On Shirley's street I found a woman using a banana leaf for an umbrella:
Nanette Pangan (wife of Counselor in Stake Presidency) and I were driving home from dropping off Shirley from the doctor one day. Lee and I had passed the construction of the new Convention Center and thought of stopping and finding out what company was building it. Since I had Nanette, she could help me bridge the language barrier so I stopped. Long story short, we hit a gold mine with lots of contacts and job possibilities for both outside and inside once the building is complete. Also we found an opportunity for JR (Shirley's brother) to come to the main construction office and be trained as a mechanic for the huge construction company. We are hoping that many jobs will come from this one contact.
While in Daet, had a Career Workshop on Friday and Self Employment on Saturday, which both turned out great. The Saints there are ready and willing to learn so they can become SELF-RELIANT. We love this stake, but just wish it wasn't four hours away. With the two workshops back to back we either had to stay in Daet or drive back to Naga two hours each way, This city is in the mountains so the driving isn't easy, so we opted to stay.
It wouldn't be so bad, but the hotels are not even as good as the Motel 6 was many years ago. Lee ordered the only room with a king bed. It was so wide that when we went to bed Lee couldn't see me with out his glasses. It was W I D E, and the next morning we found out that it was the "Matrimonial Suite". The bed was pretty comfy, but the air con which is a window unit, sounded like a diesel starting up every time it turned on. I guess they figure the newly weds wouldn't be sleeping! What were these two old people doing there?!
Our matrimonial suite:
And then there was just one:
Daet's beautiful countryside:
Our first monkey sighting:
The men in the family coming home from a long day at work:
Children playing with a toy they make. They just walk beside it and guide it wherever they want it to go:
We didn't get done until after 5 PM on Friday so we decided to go eat before we went to the Canalog Hotel. We wanted to go to Biggs (sort of a Philippine version of Mel's Diner), but found that it was not available since it had shut down. We keep telling our Self-employment Workshop students that: Location, Location, Location is the key to success and I guess Biggs didn't know that. They had tried to open off the main street which was instant death. So I ran in Jolly Bee (a Philippine version of McDonald's) and is very successful. They let McDonald's spend the millions doing market research and then they build a Jolly Bee right by them.
Back to dinner, this has become my routine. I go inside and order two, two piece BBQ chicken dinners. They always say, OK then take my money and about five minutes later they come back and say, "sorry not available, only wings". Then I tell them okay, if no breast meat then I want my money back. They looking at me with a blank look they say, "just a minute" and they go talk to the manager and come tell me: "six minutes please, you wait okay"? I am amazed just how fast they can go and find breast meat every time.
These are just some examples of the fantastic blessings that we received this month. Our Heavenly Father is ever present in our work and the blessings that we keep seeing are strong evidence of that.
The Lord has given us a great opportunity to work with, A Special People, in a Special Place. I know I have told you this before, but we truly love and adore these people. We appreciate all the fond memories that we receive from them daily. Each day brings its own beauty as we wake to see the Majestic Mayon standing tall above us all and the palm trees swaying in the ever present gentle breeze from the mighty ocean. The Filipino people working hard in the rice fields or the coconut groves and the sweet spirit of our Heavenly Father spreading across this blessed land is what Elder and I see every day. We pray that our friends will have a desire to also come and join those who are preparing the way for the Lords work. Our Mission needs couples now President Smith said he could use about 60 couples to come serve as Leadership Missionaries and yet he can't even get one couple to come and work in the office. The church has need of willing couples we need your help now. May the Lord try to provide a way for you to be able to serve soon!
Elder and Sister Cooley