|Richard and Myra - Richard was baptized not too long after we got here. They live up the road from us and are great neighbors...|
1/12/13 – We were invited to a traditional Philippine birthday celebration for Myra. She combined her birthday with the grand opening of her new spa, and she asked Dennis give the blessing on the food and to bless her business at the same time. It was in such a beautiful place, and even though it was raining the party went on as planned. We had traditional food including rice, ham, chicken, and a rice dessert that is really good. They cooked a pig in the Umo (oven) and we watched them carve it, and put the meat on a platter. Then they put the head in the middle of the platter, with his beady little eyes looking up at us. There was one dish that was new to us. It looked almost like dressing. When we tasted, it neither of us were quite sure about the taste. We had each taken a couple of bites when they shared with us what we were eating… It was all the insides of the pig, including the stomach, intestines, and bowels sautéed in the blood. Needless to say, we were through with our taste testing! We had planned leave the party and go to a nice place by the ocean for shrimp dinner – to celebrate my birthday – but decided if we were to get sick from what we had just eaten, we didn’t to spend money on a nice meal that we might loose in the middle of the night… We woke up the next morning and were still alive so we survived! So much for celebrating my birthday… We had planned to go to the same restaurant on our anniversary, and when we got there, they were closed to the public due to a private party. Maybe sometime this week we will try to find a night to celebrate both our anniversary and my birthday… (at least we are saving money).
January 17, 2013 – Today we met Elder and Sister Rotz at the airport. They are the newest senior couple to arrive in our mission – they are from Orem. Their calling is with Public Affairs. We had the opportunity to introduce them to our island and share some of the beauty that surrounds us. We helped them with some shopping and even accompanied them to their interview with the local TV station. It was so fun to get to know them.
January 18 & 19, 2013 –We just experienced another quarterly zone conference. It was an amazing two days. We received some great council and advice. The president approved a trip to the National Park on the north west side of the island. We stopped at an overlook to view the Cocks Comb. There are many birds that nest on these two islands. It is so beautiful. We never get tired of the scenery here… We had dinner at a restaurant called the Fia Fia where we had the best Beef and Broccoli I have ever tasted.
LANGUAGE - We are slowly learning some of the language. Our institute students as well as the missionaries are so good to help us. We are not only learning Samoan, but Tongan as well. Today we attended a Tongan Branch. They spoke mostly in Tongan, but there was some English and Samoan spoken as well. I was quite proud of myself, although I didn’t understand most of what was said, I could sing the songs and realized that the closing prayer was in Samoan, not Tongan…