Friday, April 20, 2012

Weeks 19 through 24

Let’s begin this 5th blog, approximately weeks 19 through 24 – or more exactly March 13 through April 18, 2012 - with the best and greatest news of all!  WE ARE GREAT GRANDPARENTS!     Little Eden Naomi Wayment, with beautiful red hair, made her long awaited entrance into this life on March 18th weighing in at 8 lb 9 oz.  She was welcomed by our wonderful oldest granddaughter, Kylee, and Kylee’s equally wonderful husband, Ryan.  They live in Houston, Texas.  Heads will turn – and who could help but smile - when people catch a glimpse of this red-haired trio.  It will be many months before we hold this little one in our arms, but we will watch her grow through pictures and Skype.  What a joy she is!

Before we have a chance to hold Eden in our arms, there will be another precious little one to hold.  Our second oldest- and also wonderful- granddaughter, Auna, has announced that she and her - also wonderful- husband, Ron, are expecting in October.  Ron’s heritage is Filipino.  This will be a beautiful dark haired baby. We are so happy for them!  It is amazing how as new members enter a family, love multiplies rather than divides.  

The dry season – April through June - got off to a slow start beginning with a couple of weeks of frequent rain. We had been invited the first of April to a member’s birthday party in her home which is located in the center of a rice paddy.  The home, however, was flooded the day of the party (and for a week thereafter).  She asked if the party could be held at our place. 

For her home to be flooded is not unusual, even though the house is built on stilts. The water comes in and later recedes through half inch spaces between each of the narrow bamboo strips that make up the floor. Incidentally, she told us that her kitties were very happy.  They love being able to catch fish in the house.

At the party a game was played where everyone told something interesting about themselves – something others may not know. One young sister said that she had had a dream in which she saw the Savior. He embraced her.

Another young sister told of a dream she had had about a year after her family had joined the church. In the dream, she was with the Savior. She was an angel and he taught her how to fly. There were some other angels standing close by, watching. She recognized these other angels as some of her friends. The Savior asked if since she now knew how to fly, would she teach them? She said that she was able to teach some of them how, but not all..  The ones who learned to fly in the dream were those who have now joined the church.

Another young sister told of a dream she had before being taught by the missionaries.  In her dream, two young men in white shirts and ties showed her a large attractive building that she had never seen before.  Later two young missionaries taught her the gospel and invited her to attend church with them.  When she saw the Toledo chapel for the first time, she recognized it as the building from her dream. (And yes, she was one of the angels who learned to fly.)

We held our 4th transfer, 6th pancake breakfast.

We tried walking several mornings but did not enjoy it and felt rather obvious.  We are back to exercising in the larger room we have here at our place.  I have actually begun doing “The Bunny Hop” as part of my daily routine.  I can hop much better now that when I first started.

We spent a few days on the north end of the Island last month consulting with Elder and Sister Bailey, the Senior Missionary couple in Bogo.  They will be returning home to Manti, Utah soon just in time to help with the annual pageant. We went there with the hope they could help us better learn how to use Power Point in creating some auxiliary training seminars and share from their experiences information about how Senior Missionaries can effectively offer support to members and leaders.  They were wonderful hosts and became new friends.  Using ideas from our discussion and what we trust is inspiration; we have made some personal goals based on the 2012 Goals set by the Philippine Area Presidency.

They introduced us to Annie’s amazing basket weaving shop and pointed out three-and-four-foot-high termite mounds in fields of sugar cane.

Note by Elder Dover:

After discussions with Elder and Sister Bailey, I have decided to try and help branches bring membership records up to date and to teach how to use information from reports that can be generated.  If this proves to be a realistic project, it may very well keep me busy for the rest of my mission. I would like that. We are told that much of the quarterly report information sent to Salt Lake is a “best guess”.  I hope to be able to get into the computer system of each branch in the Toledo District, and work with the district and branch clerks to clean this all up, and to teach the branch clerks how to do it, get them fired up to work hard at it and keep it up to date.

We will work with Individual Ordinance Summaries for members of the branches. We want to review each summary with the members to bring it up to date. This will give us the opportunity to visit branch members – we will go with the young missionaries or with other branch members who know the people and know where they live. We will get any unrecorded information and then work with the branch clerks to get it recorded. This will work very well with the Area Presidencies’ goals for the Philippines for the missionaries to focus their labors on the less active church members. Hopefully, this will all coordinate well together and will be a worthwhile project. We will start with the 2 branches in Toledo, and then work our way through the other branches in the district. There are a total of 8 branches in the district. The District President is very supportive.

We are hopeful that helping to establish and teach the use of and the importance of the record keeping system of the church, as Elder Dover has explained, will be a solid step in more firmly  establishing the church here in Cebu. It would help us feel that our time here will have been of lasting value. I do know that Priesthood leaders value Elder Dover’s counsel and I have heard him give excellent counsel touched with that optimism and sense of humor that is one of his wonderful qualities.  

I will soon begin a project to increase interest in family history. I need to complete some work on the auxiliary training Power Point Presentations before I begin work with family history. 

Summer vacation has begun in the Philippines.  The private school, Saint John, across the street from our place had three different graduation exercises- lower, middle and high school. A graduating class here is known as a “Batch”. So this year’s class was Batch 2012. Because the exercises were held outside, in English and WELL amplified, we could clearly understand all the speakers. Do not view this as a complaint. I found it very interesting and well done. I was impressed with the values urged by each speaker. The songs sung by the youngest children were delightful including “You are my Sunshine”. My mother used to sing this to me all the when I was little and I had almost forgotten that. Interesting isn’t it, to be reminded of such a tender memory in the Philippines.

On a recent trip to Cebu, we were excited to pick up 7 packages from the states. They held some items we requested, plus some surprises.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Using some of the things in one of the packages, Elder Dover was able to satisfy his craving for a good home-baked chocolate cake.  He figured out how to use our propane heated oven and baked a perfect one.  “Dad is great, he still bakes chocolate cakes.”  

Included in the packages were a total of 8 sets of UNO cards.  We had wanted just a couple of sets for gifts and to have on hand for missionaries on P Day.  When we received so many, we thought about having an Uno night in the Branches, but gave up the idea us impractical.  However, a couple of members we had mentioned it too were really disappointed and urged us to move forward with UNO nights.  They offered to help. So, with the Branch Presidents of Toledo I and of Toledo II approving, we invited just the Young Single Adults in both branches to an UNO night at the church. They came – so did the Branch Presidents. They all seemed to have a great time and now are ready to teach the game to other members.  They will serve as “UNO Masters” at a combined Toledo Branch I and Branch II UNO night this Friday.  Several told us that it has been a long time since the branches have done anything together.

How will many players play with only eight sets of cards?  We’ll see how our plan actually works, but basically the winner of a hand wins the right to remain at the table for the next hand.  Other players count their cards. The person holding the most cards will be the first to give up his/her seat to the person who has been waiting for a seat at the table the longest.  If there is more than one person waiting to play, the player holding the next highest number of cards will give up his/her seat to the 2nd waiting person.  And so on until each person waiting gets a seat or until all of the players with losing hands are replaced. We hope that these nights of fellowshipping will help recently baptized members and returning less actives make new friends and enjoy an evening of socializing.

Last Saturday we visited the home of a recently baptized family. They are a wonderful family.  The father had to quit smoking and give up social drinking in order to join the church.  We would like him to find new friends in the church, so we took Uno cards to them and asked their delightful Single Adult daughter if she would like to teach her family how to play UNO. She had attended the UNO night for SA.  We asked if she could be one of the Uno Masters and perhaps bring her family to the Branches UNO night.  She seemed genuinely pleased.  We then asked if there were anything we could do for them.  She got a cute expression on her face and said “play uno now”?  It was funny.  So we did and taught her mother how to play.  Many children from the neighborhood gathered to watch.

Before we left, we mentioned English lessons we are beginning to teach. Her mother asked if we could teach her. We will go to their home once a week now to teach her, her husband, and some of their children.  She told another member later that her family is very excited to study English with us because they do not have money for private lessons or to attend an English class at a school; however,   they have long wanted to speak better English.  Right now and they are very hesitant to speak in English, but they do have a limited understanding of it.

We will teach some basic grammer and conversational English, then read from the book of Mormon. Sister Ernstrom, the mission office secretary, gave us a valuable tool that we will use.  It is the first half of the Book of Mormon with one line in English followed by the translation of that line in Cebuano.  It is perfect to teach English to those who have limited command of the language. The following is an example:

1    I, NEPHI, having been born of goodly parents,
1    AKO, si Nephi, natawo sa mga matarung nga ginikanan,

therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father;
busa ako gitudloan sa tanan nga nakat-unan sa akong amahan;

and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days,
ug nakasinati sa daghan nga mga kasakit sa akong panahon,

nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days;
bisan pa, gipangga sa Ginoo sa tanan ko nga mga panahon;

yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God,
oo, nakabaton sa dako nga kasayuran sa kaayo ug sa mga misteryo sa Dios,

therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.
busa ako naghimo og usa ka talaan sa panghitabo sa akong mga panahon.

2    Yea, I make a record in the language of my father,
2    Oo, naghimo ako og talaan sa pinulongan sa akong amahan,

which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians.
nga naglakip sa kinaadman sa mga Judeo ug sa pinulongan sa mga Ehiptohanon.

We just started an English class of about 10 students who meet with us at the church on Saturdays. They seem excited about the class and we love teaching it.

As a side note, we gave Elder Dover’s “learning Cebuano” materials from the MTC to a young woman who came here as a bride. She speaks English and Tagalog. She has been struggling to learn Cebuano and felt that we gave her the tools she needs to do so.

We have been able to reach out in many small ways to help individuals. We went to the hospital recently to help two of the younger missionaries give a blessing to the baby of an inactive mother with a non-member husband. We returned the next day with some food and things for the baby and to learn how the baby was doing.  The baby was doing much better than expected.  The husband wants to have the missionary discussions now. They want us to be part of those discussions.  This sister’s mother and brother are also interested in taking the discussions.

Today is Thursday, piano day. And as Winnie-the-Pooh - a bear who is given to hums and poetry - would say of finding good hums - “They just come, sometimes, and they can’t be fetched.”  - so I say of today – “May good hums come to us all.  Happy Thursday or whatever day it may be for you!”  Teaching piano always brings good hums to me. Thanks for reading!

A summer sunset over Kanlaon.

I decided to look up Negros volcanoes on the internet. Negros has a chain of them with the tallest being Kanlaon. It is listed as restless- being 2 on a 1 to 5 scale. This summer sunset over Kanlaon was taken from the waterfront by our place. The view is across Tenon Strait. I have been told that whales and dolpins frequently pass through this strait. They aren’t observable from here though. It is off the south part of the Strait of Negros in Dumaguete that they can be observed. That is the point where Cebu comes closest to Negros. Kanlaon reminds me of Bali High in South Pacific.  It is generally at least partially covered by clouds.

1 comment:

Sommer Family said...

So fun to read and see pictures. I especially liked the memory of "you are my sunshine." Leave it to Dad to figure out how to make chocolate cake in a propane oven!