Saturday, April 29, 2017

We LOVE the Philippines

Yes, we do love the Philippines...and the end of our time here keeps getting shorter!  Our half-way mark has come and gone!

I shouldn't always show the fun outings with the senior missionaries, but we sure enjoy being with them.  Last week we went to a secluded cove for the day. We had to travel by boat and the scenery was beautiful...wearing the required life jacket.  Vendors came on shore and Donna found the Tahitian black pearl necklace she has wanted for years.  He made it right on the spot!

Transfer week comes every six weeks.  Many missionaries are transferred to new areas and new companions, beloved, faithful missionaries leave and return home, and new missionaries arrive!  New trainers are called and matched up with their new missionary for a 12 week training.  President Dahle chooses his best missionaries to be the trainers.  He prayerfully matches those trainers with a new missionary after interviewing the new batch.  This transfer was small...we had 9 new Elders!  It was perfect for a picture collage page. 
New Missionaries and their Trainers
Baptisms are wonderful events.  At a recent baptism, I just had to take pictures of all the cute children.  Most of these live close to us and play at the church.  The basketball hoops in the parking lot are constantly being used.  Surprising to me, basketball is a big sport for the Filipinos.  I am amazed when I watch these small children throw a perfect basket!
The cutest FACES...found at a baptism

Missionaries in Action
The pictures above are some of our everyday occurrences...missionaries singing at a baptism, baptisms with pictures taken for remembrance, and teaching and learning and inspiration going on at MLC (mission leadership council).

I wanted to start taking more pictures of the things we see as we travel the mission.  Below are just a few of the pictures I will always have in my heart and mind when I think about the Philippines.

Our Olongapo District (like a Stake) Relief Society had a celebration and everyone got involved.  Each Branch chose a country.  They performed a dance and brought food representing their country.  One representative from the Branch came to the front and told some history, culture, and stories about their country.  It was like a "Miss Universe" pageant with questions and talent.  It was such a fun afternoon with the sisters!
District (Stake) Relief Society Activity...done right!!!

Easter season is over, but I had to include one more picture for our family.  The Epperson's have a tradition that we wanted to participate in even though we are far on the other side of the world.  We call it an "egg fight", but it is really harmless.  Our mother would make soft boiled eggs for part of our Easter breakfast.  We would then take our egg in hand with either the 'large' end or 'small' end out and challenge someone.  We hit the eggs together and the one that doesn't crack is the 'winner'.  We continue until we have a champion 'large' end and a champion 'small' end.  We then vie for the champion egg!!  It is a fun, silly tradition that brings our thoughts back to our childhood and our wonderful, loving family.

These are some of our favorite things!!  Life is good.  
I love serving.  I love that I have my sister with me in the Philippines.  We work in the Mission Office and get to be out with the missionaries and the people.  There is nothing better than that!

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