Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Look for the beauty in the world around you. Wherever you are, it's waiting to make your heart glad."

Here we are at the end of another week which, included an array of new and interesting experiences. Last week of course was Easter week and in this country it has multiple dimensions. The beginning of that week was a holiday, though we weren't sure for what. It was like some of our Monday holidays; stores were open but many people did not have to be at work. Tuesday and Wednesday were normal in as far as work goes. With the upcoming Easter celebration, many were shopping to stock up for get togethers.

The supermarket--never called a grocery store--always found in a mall. Think of Costco at Christmas time, only with narrower aisles and very loud music! It's easy for me to find Ann in the store; think blonde in the sea of beautiful black hair.

Thursday brought the real shift in activity in the general public, as most businesses were closed, including the malls and grocery stores, and on Friday it was quieter yet. The normally busy roadways were almost empty, making getting around easy. It's interesting to realize that places we've been going for the past five weeks aren't really so far away, including picking up two missionaries at the airport that are from the Cebu area, returning home after completing their missions in other parts of the Philippines. It was nice to visit with them and get a sense of how the work is moving forward in other Philippine missions.

Our home and office building. We live on the 2nd floor on the right side, the side closest to Salinas Dr. and the jeepney and motorcycle roar all night long. We think we're finally getting used to it...

The view of the Cebu stake center from the mission office front door. We share the parking lot with its requisite basketball court. (More on church basketball in another blog.) The chapel is at the far end, with two floors of classrooms and offices that open onto an outdoor walkway. This is like no church hall you've ever seen before; geckos are welcome any time!

If you are interested, go to Google earth or Google maps and type in 47 Salinas Dr Cebu City Cebu Philippines. You will see a white building shaped at a 45 degree angle. That is the stake canter. If you look north of the parking lot you will see a small building set at an opposing angle, that is the building that has the office on the ground floor and our apartment on the upper floor. If you look east from that position you will see a large empty spot. This is the temple site.

Our office world is becoming more and more familiar, which is good, as it will allow more of our time and energy to be spent interacting with the young missionaries and their investigators, as well as with the members of our ward. There is great interest in piano lessons, and Ann will begin teaching this week.

Elder and Sister Reed with their patient and encouraging office trainers, Elder and Sister Morgan from Richfield, Utah. They will complete their mission in July. We manage to have fun while learning our office duties. Today the four of us drove over the mountains to the other side of the island for a district conference, ate our lunch in a park overlooking the ocean, checked on some missionary apartments, and completed the loop back to Cebu by way of the south road.

Oh the beautiful Philippine children! It feels like they invite you into their hearts when you take their pictures...On the other hand, the work of life for some begins early.

Thanks for your interest in our missionary adventure. Your emails and blog comments usually come when we need a bright word from home. Salamat! We know our call to the Philippines was inspired, and that the message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ is essential for all God's children. We encourage you to consider such an opportunity for yourself. You will be a blessing to those whom you are called to serve.

Bye for now,
The Reeds in Cebu