Wednesday, July 22, 2009


We've been in the mission field for four months now. In practical terms that equates to:
4 cardboard canisters of Quaker Oats
3 tubes of Crest
25 lbs. whole wheat flour
4 sets of earplugs each
3 transfers

I look at the newest missionaries, who on Friday won't be greenies any more because there will be fresh greenies, and marvel at how much they have acclimated in just six weeks. One new sister in particular has been serving in the City Zone where I've been able to watch the process on a weekly basis.

First week after arrival--very excited
Second week--tired, overwhelmed and tearful
Third week--hunkering down and getting through; still tired; no smiles
Fourth week--gloomy--depressed--my motherheart full of ache for her. All I could say was,"c'mon--you're doin it--you're learning it--you've got the best trainer in the mission--don't give up"
Fifth week--a new woman! Tears jumped to my throat when she walked through the door with a new countenance. Bright! Enthusiastic! Reaching out!

Thank you, Lord.

This surely must mean that Kevin and I feel completely at home after four months.

Here are some pluses:

We like being mission companions.
We've become teachers in new realms.
We're healthy and increasing in strength and stamina thanks to our daily hill walking.
We have a reasonable level of confidence in our office responsibilities.
We've become dear friends with the other missionaries.
We've made friends, even outside our missionary circle.
We feel trusted by our young missionary associates.
We know our way around our grocery store of choice.
We can estimate the time needed for most errands and come within an hour of accuracy.
We've climbed Mt. Manungal.

Here are some minuses:

A city of millions-plus population is still noisy and dirty.
Filipino mosquitos love my ankles.
Cebuano streets don't connect with each other.

Lopsided and badly out of balance. Did you notice that the pluses are deliciously personal while the minuses are shoulder-shruggingly impersonal?

There is happiness going on here, even as we wrestle with the challenges of our new realm. Hope you've got the same.

Love and blessings,
Kevin & Ann