An electrical nightmare:
Terraced rice fields:
We did a Career Workshop (CWS) for the outgoing missionaries at the Mission home on Monday and Tuesday, November 2nd and 3rd. It was great to be with these young adults who have worked so hard impacting the lives of many people whom they have brought into the church. Our group consisted of 9 Filipinos, two of which were sisters, 1 Fijian, and one American.
Tuesday after the Workshop we packed up and headed to the SM Mall for overdue haircuts then headed back to Legazpi. We got there just in time for a surprise birthday party I planned for Annette since her birthday fell on a Sunday. I invited our landlords, Amy and Danny, our neighbors Andrew and Lena , the Zone Leaders and our friends the Pangan's (he is the 1st counselor in the Stake Presidency and who we work with in the Stake Employment Committee here in Legazpi). The office Elders were also in town so it was a pretty good group.
It was a nice dinner and good friend-shipping activity for our neighbors who are not of our faith. They asked a lot of questions and we invited them to come to our Prosperity Fireside Sunday. When we finally arrived home we were really tired but it was a good kind of tired because of all that we had accomplished in that week end.
Our next endeavor was on Saturday November 7; a Self-employment Workshop (SEWS) in Ligao District. Ligao is about an hour away, west of Legazpi. Every time we travel out of the city it is an athletic event. This time it was quite pleasant until we came to Camilig where the heavy rains had caused a mud slide from the volcano into this tiny town. The roads were covered with mud and rocks. Some of the dirt had been shoveled away, by hand of course but the bulk of it remained. This little town sits at the bottom of the volcano so most of its problems come from the volcano. Other than the mud, rocks and water the trip was nice. We like teaching in Ligao because this is one district that is really performing as a team and doing the right things as the Stake Employment committee. They take time to plan things and have really learned from the training we have provided. The SEWS was great. The group of 21 was interested and we had great participation. We expect about half will try to start a new business in the next six months; we hope they will be successful! It is important that they follow the steps: pick a business they want to start and make a plan to identify all the components of a business plan. They are not formal plans, but contain the product or service idea, market research, market strategy and financial plans.
We love teaching our classes; the graduates have fun with the process we take them through. We have a work book and some fun videos that we work into the various subjects. By the time we are done is seems like we are all friends, laughing, learning and working hard together. We had 21 graduates in this class!
We especially had fun because we took our Grandson Truman with us(a "Flat Stanley" likeness of Truman Galmeister), Truman has an assignment in his class to take some pictures of him in different places so we have him visiting us here in the Philippines . The class all wanted him in the picture so we did. He is the youngest graduate of our class.
Sunday was special we were able to attend our home ward after three weeks away. There we did a Prosperity Fireside immediately following church and had a about 75 attendees. After the one in Legazpi, we did the same fireside in Daraga for two wards. It was well attended, maybe 60-70 people and we know many of them including the Stake President Ramos and his wife, some of the Bishops and President Pangan, a dear friend. Elder Cooley almost started world war 3 when he mentioned that Sister Cooley handled the check book. Several couples came up after, saying my wife now wants to handle our finances. We won't go there next week in the firesides we have.
Today was a P-day; we love this day because we have the chance to talk with our children via webcam. What a delight to see and hear about their adventures that week. We even have the opportunity to be entertained some weeks like today when Tanner started us off with his straw tricks and then Edmond did his Elephant impersonation for us. It is so funny, what a guy!
Elder and Sister Cooley