Sunday, June 12, 2016

is this still the honeymoon phase?

since we've been here about 6 weeks now, some people in the mission have asked if we've had a meltdown yet and have been surprised when we say no ... everything is still new and (mostly) pretty fantastic!  some had a hard adjustment at the beginning and we just haven't.  can you say tender mercy?  we are still able to laugh at the insane traffic and the brown-outs and we absolutely LOVE the rain!  the heat/humidity is a bit oppressive ... we DO wish air-conditioning was a little more common here, but that's about it! 

sunset out our kitchen window

when i moved from texas to arizona i would tell people i missed clouds, rain and green.  well ... they are back in my life and it makes me smile!  plus the added bonus of mountains and beaches!  

mountains and pastures outside the city
i think i may be posting too many pictures of us at the beach and giving you the wrong idea about what we're doing here!  we work very long hours, usually 6 days a week and this little diversion was an invitation from our new friend, Sherylynn Dahle, the mission president's wife.  she called and said she was in need of a girls outing/walk on the beach for a couple of hours.  we are here to help wherever we are needed so who were we to deny her?!

monday morning diversion at a nearby beach
it was the last week of (what they call) summer, the kids were going back to school and the beach was deserted at 10am.  she explained to us that it would've been bustling earlier with locals coming to fish but that they weren't really a source of recreation for them, at least not during the week.  i was reminded of what the islanders said when they were working so hard to prepare the pig a couple of weeks ago ("it's not work ... it's lunch!").  while i know family and friends are very hard-working, this seems a different kind of work.  as someone whose life is beautifully simple, i'm in awe of the labor involved in everyday life for a large part of humanity.  it is truly humbling and i am filled with even more gratitude for my abundance.  my cup runneth over.  

... and i think we are both broken records
 about the beautiful children, but come on!
i love the people of the philippines. their joy is unmatched.  one of my favorites the past couple of weeks is a 16-year old named jedha.  she was just baptized last saturday and she is beautiful inside and out.  she throws open her arms and runs to greet us whenever she sees us -- makes a gal feel special! i am blessed to have many people in my life that have that quality and it is my hope that i can develop that in myself.  i want to truly see each person as Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ see them. 
   i love the Lord.  
i'm so grateful for this opportunity to serve here and, in the process, discover so many things about myself.  i know He lives.  i know He loves each of us.  i am grateful that i am learning to pay attention and be more mindful of all He has given me.  i can't wait to see what's next!
love you more than i can say.

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