Sunday, July 12, 2009

Those of you who are old enough to remember The Johnny Carson Show might recall the feeling of disappointment when Johnny was out for a time and there was a guest host. You probably still watched anyway just out of habit.

Well, Heeeeeeeeere's Kevin!

Our week here has been forward in it's progress and educational in it's demands. For Ann there is always a flurry of activity between her regular duties as to inputting records into the Church information system and the supply and organization of the materials for the missionaries. For me in the back office it is the start of the learning curve as it relates to understanding IMOS. Over the past couple of years the Church has been changing the Mission Operating System to one that is internet- based. We are 'on' now after a few delays, the first of which preempted our actual hands-on training. Now that we are on, I am learning as I go. We haven't been here long enough that it's that hard to switch, but for one who is neither and accountant nor a computer programmer, understanding this new process will just take some time.

In the last couple of entries we told you of a change in part of our mission assignment. After the mission tour, Elder Ko of the Area Presidency asked President Hansen to assign the senior couples to attend some of the outlying branches in the districts. Just as a refresher, in the missions of the Church if there is not sufficient membership in an area to form a stake with wards, then branches are formed and a number of those congregations are organized into a district. Although the district organization has a district presidency, the organizational authority rests with the mission president. Ann and I have been assigned to work in the Bogo Branch and in the Polambato Branch. Today (Sunday) we attended the District Conference held at the Bogo chapel.

Looking back along the beach to where we stayed in Bogo.

The District Conference included a leadership meeting and the Saturday evening adult session of conference. Ann and I decided to go on Saturday, find a place to stay and attend all the meetings both days. It was a good opportunity to meet many new people and find out about the branches we will attend. We will keep you apprised of those interactions as they develop over time.

It really is enjoyable to sit in a meeting with the Saints in this part of the world, and as the meeting progresses, realize that similar training goes on all over the world. And even more is the realization that our human frailties and foibles are the same all over the world.

We stayed at Nailon Resort, remember in Cebuano you pronounce all the letters and the 'i' is 'ee' so it is Na-ee-lun, unlike the American pronunciation nail-on.

As part of our stay. of course we went on our morning walk, hoping there might be some beach shoreline to receive our early morning attention. We were successful in our beach quest, and found a very different beach than we described in last week's posting. Ann described last weeks beach on Camotes as a collector's beach, with shells and coral tossed up on soft, white sand.

This beach is made up of two kinds of coral; wet and dry. Ann described it as a tossed salad shoreline; lots of different colors and shapes and textures, none of which could be walked on with bare feet. Coral is very interesting to look at after it has been beat upon by the water for a time and or rolled in the surf. There were very few shells, but we managed to pick up a couple that will go in the collection.

Because of the distance from the road to the beach and the slow progress on the beach, (we walked very carefully; coral would leave a reminder if you fell on it or had to put your hand down to catch yourself) we didn't actually get very far. When we popped out to the road there were these young people packing water from the source to their home. We also met two fellows who make really nice chairs out of an indigenous tree that is great for outdoor use, you know the gnarly ones with the natural character that enhances the design.

Plant of the week: Ananas comosus from the Bromeliaceae family. Did you know that the pineapple is the only bromeliad fruit in widespread cultivation? We came upon this pineapple plant on our path from the beach to the road, and having never seen a pineapple actually growing before, took this picture. I had heard that people who worked for the summer on pineapple plantations in Hawaii wore heavy arm coverings; now I see why!

I spoke briefly with this father and son as they readied their boat to catch 'breakfast'.

Ann has a fascination with the antics of the 'conductor', or in this case, conductors.

That's it from over here. We are really enjoying this opportunity in our life. We thank all of you who have expressed your support in word and prayer for our well being.

All the best and remember keep your sandals on!

Love Ann and (the substitute)