From Mom & Dad† January
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How are you doing? I was wondering if it was a possibility that we could talk to you while you are doing your paper route? Does it use up your minutes for us to call you that way? Probably....... and besides, you can't juggle everything in the car - driving, throwing and rolling and talking - or could you! ha Everyone else is asleep when we get home from work except you.....just a thought.
Also, can we watch any movies over the computer meaning order and pay for? We are going to Corregidor Island Monday & the movie about General McArthur and WW II covers the battles here in the Philippines. We went to a video store in the Mega Mall yesterday but they said they didn't have it. You are supposed to be able to get DVD's here for a few $ but will have to try again. We are really not going to have much time soon because we will really get busy and have to do most of our EM'ing from home instead of work.
I got a computer card yesterday & had the guy put on 45 hrs. of time! We'll see if I get it used up in two months before it expires. ha We won't have internet connection in the apartment - it's the way the apartment is facing on the 23rd floor - I guess.
Ok, I'd better go, we are getting the last of the Sharing Time lesson on Adam & Eve ready and then we leave for Church at 12:00. It takes up about 45 min to get there.
Love ya & the kids were cute on the movie. Ours kept stopping and then going, is it supposed to do that?
Mom & Dad Fitz :)
That's a lot of extra work for you.......I don't know if I'll put anything on today, there isn't too much that I've taken. Monday we will go on a day trip to Corrigedor Island & I'll have some from that.
How was the route this morning? How are things working out with the new system?
We will leave at 2:00 and go to the Mega Mall for a card for the computer and the phone. Hopefully this will get things working so we can Skype from home on some days & not take the laptop to work every day!
We have a car now & only 1 week left of our friends helping us drive and then they are going South to Cebu where the new Temple is being built, so we will drive to & from work ourselves. Going to work is only about 10 minutes, but going home we have to go a different way & even though we leave at 4:00, the traffic is always bad - just so we don't get lost! There are still a few couples left in our apartment complexes that would give us rides to other places when we need them so we will be ok. It's an adventure - right????!!!
We will probably eat at the Mall and then go home and get ready for our Primary Sharing Time tomorrow. Last night another couple gave Dad an extra keyboard!!! We are sooooo excited, this will be good for both of us.
Ok, have a good night and talk to you later.
Mom & Dad Fitz :)
I got up early this morning and went for a run, completely forgetting what day this is. It's Wednesday!!! and, no big deal, my b-day. Thanks for your reminder and sweet wishes. Hope everyone is having a good day. We are at the office and busy as† usual. Elder and Sister T. boarded the plane this morning for Canada, and so we are flying by the seat of our pans from here on out. Yikes!!! Keep us in your prayers. Grandma is around here somewhere, probably taking pictures from a a different angle. Love you all...
Thanks for posting the pictures, just in time because my camera says it's full and I will have to delete the pictures - you know how I hate to delete!!!
It is Monday morning about 10:00 and it is our day off, but we took a taxi to the PAO (office) so we could read the EM's and so on. We will be getting a phone soon and then can put some $ on it for Skype phone calls and reload our card for the computer since the minutes ran out last week.
I will try to upload the next set of pictures......I may call you..... :) We were at the mall and it is Chinese New Year out here so they had a couple of dragons & drums going through the mall for good luck for the stores for the New Year. If it turns out, Jayden and the kids will like it - something different anyway.
How are you & Jeremy & the kids today? We are trying to call Josh to get ahold of him before he leaves for Iraq. Megan wrote and said that would be in a couple of days & that it was really hard - I can only imagine & I pray that it will be the 7 months or shorter. We are doing fine here, so everyone just concentrate on their family & how much they are going to miss each other.
Love you & miss you - it was not a good thing for us to look at all the pictures as a slide show - it made me cry because I
could hardly look at all those little kids & not want to be there right with them to love them - all my big kids too!
Mom & Dad Fitz :)
Dear Josh, Britt, and little sweeties, & Everybody!
Got your most welcome email this morning. It is Monday, our P day, but we decided, as our home internet is not yet working, to come up to the Pao office and get any messages we received since Saturday afternoon. Glad to hear everyone is fine. We miss all of you so much. It is a beautiful morning, and we experienced our first cab ride anywhere. It went fine; the traffic was pretty heavy though for 9:00 in the morning. The cabbie didn't know where the temple was, so he got an education!!!!
We are going shopping when we return and get ready for tonight, which is a celebration as the couple we are replacing is returning home to Canada. It will be difficult to fill their shoes, as they are a wonderful, and dedicated set of missionaries.
We had a wonderful Sabbath; I drove there, which is a 50-55 kilometer drive. That is about 30-35 miles. Traffic wasn't heavy, so I got along fine. Brother T drove back, as the traffic is really heavy. It is a beautiful morning in the city. Hope everyone is fine. May the Lord be with you on your trip to Iraq. All of the family will be praying for you, Britt, and the kids. He will take care of all of you. We love you all a bushel!!!!!
Write soon, DAD FITZ
Dear Stef, Kids, and my little Angel Princess,
I miss you all very much. I emailed you the other day, but I haven't heard back from you. How is everybody doing?
Have the kids been playing their indoor games? How's the babe; is she over the cold? I still have a little bit, but I'm okay.
I have been running twice a week early in the morning. I woke up this morning and looked at the clock. I thought it said
5:30, which is the usual time I"ve been getting up. We usually go to bed by nine. I put my running stuff on and looked closer at the clock; it said 4:35. I ran anyway and had lots of time to shower, eat breakfast, and study the language.
It is Saturday morning here, and I drove the three miles up to the PAO for the second morning. It is still fairly quiet early and not quite so hectic. Thursday night, we went out with five other couples for a birthday dinner with five other couples that we work with here at the PAO. We left at just after four, drove back towards our apartment, and then on to the restaurant another two miles. Going back towards the apt. that time of the afternoon is hectic. By the time we got to the restaurant, it was 5:15. We had a good time: the food was really good. The two miles back to the apt. took us about 30-35 minutes. How's your commute from work lately????? Tomorrow, we will head for church by 12:00, attend church from 1:00 to 4:00, and get home at 5:30. The chapel is very nice, much like ours, and we had about 120 there. The songs are in English, as are the sacrament prayers, but most everything else in in Tagalog, with a sprinkling of English, which helps us know what is being talked about. Everybody is so friendly; and the kids are just like all of our grandkids, cutier than bugs ears. Grandma will be sending the pictures as soon as we get all of the connections made. She has some really good ones of the city and etc. We will be getting a cell phone furnished by the Pao by Monday, then we will be able to talk more.
The food costs about 25-30% less than in the US. Restaurants are about the same. On the street, you can eat for about 15 cents if you could trust it. The natives have built up an immunity, so they can handle it. Of course, they eat a lot of rice. A lunch is served here in a small cafeteria, but the food is not heated. It is good, but we have started bringing a lunch because I like my meals hot. We eat our lunch in a conference room with the other couples, which has a fridge and microwave. It is amusing that some of the office workers who eat there in the cafeteria, eat huge piles of rice with just a little meat and sauce in a small bowl on the side. They do have McD's here in the islands and a Philippines chain called Jollie B. We hear it is good.
Well, I better get something done, so write soon. Take care DAD FITZ
. Love ya!!!!
It rained for about ten minutes last evening, but most of the time it is sunny and bright.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Dear Josh, Britt, and kids,
Hope this finds everybody doing fine. I wrote a long email Saturday, but somehow it did not get sent!!! Everything is really busy here, but we are having a great time adjusting to the new culture. It is quite different from the U.S. as you might imagine. The majority of the country is quite old. The streets and buildings are really ancient and run down. The few areas of big business like the malls and around them is very attractive and well built. The city is teeming with people. and the traffic is totally unbelieveable. The streets have lanes but the cars, tricycles (motorcycles with passenger cars on the side or at the rear), jeepneys, and buses just weave in an out at will. If the vehicle next to you is fender length ahead of you and they really want what little space is in front of you, they begin to pull over, and you just give them room!!!! In the meantime, the motorcycles weave in and out, zipping by in a flash, so you really have to stay on your toes. But, everyone is not outwardly aggressive about it; it is just the way the system works. And, it works!!! Vehicles in the right lane stop anytime to load or etc.. and you either wait for them or look of a little gap and pull out into the next lane. There is a lot of honking, but it is not rude honking. They let you know often if they intend to occupy the space in front of you. What is truly amazing is that there are very few accidents. With 20 million people crammed into such a small space you would think that half the drivers would end up in the hospital or morgue before lunchtime. We got our driver's license yesterday. Sometime, I'll have to tell you about that!!!!!
We are the new Family History Advisors over half of the Philippines, so it looks like we will traveling out of the city about once a week or every two weeks, meeting with the Service Missionaries over the nine missions in the northern half of the country. Some of the trips will take three days. We travel to the Philippines Area Office (PAO) each day to our office. It is across the street from the Tremple in a beautiful area of the city. It is about three or four miles and takes 15 minutes to get there in the mornings and up to 45 minutes to go back to our highrise apartment. We are assigned to attend a branch way out of the city on Sundays. It takes us about an hour to drive there and one and half hours to return. We haven't driven yet, and I'm not excited about that trip when we begin driving. We met with the mayor's asst. in neighboring city Marakina, where they would like to have a family history center near the city hall. It will be the first of its type in the world. We have negotiated a designed facility and administration of it with the mayor, and the construction is to begin very soon and be opened in the middle of March. Several other cities within the Metro Manila want to discuss similar facilities. They will be staffed by volunteer Fam. Hist. missionaries from the local wards and stakes. It sounds like a major public relations coup for the Church.
We get home about 4:30 each day, Tues, Thurs, Friday, and a little earlier Saturday. On Wed., when we finish at the office, we go across the street to the Temple and get home about7:30. Church isn't until one o'clock on Sunday, so we do have a little daylight time at the apartment. We are on the 23rd floor of a fairly new apartment complex up out of the dowtown area a few miles. We have quite a view. The street below us are really busy. We were out in the city of Marakino, which is a progressive city. The businesses are more attractive, with fewer shanty businesses and better streets, but there is still a lot of evidence of poverty. We will try to send you pictures to show you the areas and etc.
The food is delicious, similar to oriental, of course, and Carolyn cooked a delicious stirfry last night and porkchops the night before. At the conferences we attended last Thur. and Fri.,
we were served wonderful Philippino food, so we are not going hungry. It took us about three or four days to recover from the jet lag. The long conference days, beginning at 7:00, traveling to the site and getting home at about 6:00 didn't help. We were so tired, we seldom ate supper and just crashed at about 7 or 7:30. We have been instructed not to eat on the street and to be careful of cheap cafes. Fortunately, the food in decent restaurants is very reasonable.
The people are wonderful, so helpful and polite. Here at the office, there is a fam. hist. center for saints coming to get their cards to do temple work primarily And there are lot of native staff and senior missionary couple from the U.S. so we are not lonely. The weather has been really mild, cold to them, and it gets up to the mid 80's in the daytime and down to the mid 70's at night. It hasn't rained since we arrived. The humidity is quite high but not really uncomfortable yet. The hot season will begin in about six weeks.
I've only seen one soccer field so far, way out, so I have been running in the mornings, at about 5:30 through the huge parking garage here on the ground level. The three tower apartments are connected and have a five level garage below ground.
Well, I've about run out of time to write. Hope all are well and having a good time. Write when you have time. And, pa ra, (be careful). Mahal kita, (love you.) Your Favorite Misyoneros.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
We are just leaving for work to meet with the City Manager Rep from Marikina - I am really excited to be included in this project.
We will & answer this EM from work. Wow - changes really happen fast - put on your seat belt!!
In the mornings, I can skype you and Natalie, just need to make arrangements. I tried just now but you two were not expecting me. Go through the routine again - I just plug in the headphone in the jack in front of the computer that shows headphones, right? If I wanted to get a stand up mike, I would plug it into the other jack showing mike? How do I adjust the sound, or is that necessary?
Talk to you later,
Love & hugs,
Mom & Dad Fitz
Friday, January 16, 2009
Hi Jen & Jeremy,
We are at the PAO - Philippines Area Office which houses our Family History Office. It is right across the street from the Manila Temple so we are really excited to be that close.
We are going to try and get an internet card today to use instead of internet connection another couple has the cards. By Monday night, hopefully we will have our phone & be able to get on skype. Monday at 6:00 pm our time here, I will hopefully get Alpine Credit Union called & ask them about our account and why when I take out 500 pecos, which is $10.00. my receipt shows that I took out $500 American Dollars!
We are 9 hours ahead of you. Hopefully we can get in a routine this week for EM'ing and skype - we really want to get to talk to everyone! I know what Jayden means about the Mission taking toooooo long, we miss all of you too.
I have help here when you set up the web page then they will help me upload things so I do it right. The light on the recharge battery never changes from red? The batteries did not work when I took them out, but they are set in their correctly, so I don't know
what their problem is?
We get off at 2:00 and then we are going to mall and see about getting the internet card & towels! We have been using Dad's T-shirts. ha The apartment is really nice with a good bed and pillows. We are very blessed. Our view is from the 27th floor and is panoramic from the west to the north and takes in skyscrapers, Pasig River and Mandaluyong City. There are 15 cities in Metro Manila.
Thank you for your prayers and love and giving us such a wonderful send-off. We will never forget the group picture of all of you when we left the MTC.
Hugs and Kisses,
Mom & Dad Fitz
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Hi Jen & Nat,
We are at a meeting, Elder T let us use his computer for this EM. Last night I used the ATM one card works & the other doesn't, anyway the problem is that when we took out 500 pecos, the balance on the receipt showed $500 American dollars were taken out of our account. This is not a problem here, Sis. T said but it is a problem with alpine Credit Union realizing that the money coming out is in Pecos instead of American dollars.
I know you can't do anything tonight, but we do need you Nat to call Alpine in the morning and maybe Jen help me get online to my account.
I will leave this computer on and answer back. It is 9:30 in the morning here and we will have more of our meeting and then have lunch.
It is a beautiful morning here - the cool season, 80 degrees is great - but they said that when it gets hot - it will really be hot!
We took some video of the jeepnees on the way over here to the Stake Center and the kids would love all of the jeepnees here - they are fantastic - I want to ride in one! I need to have someone show me how to upload the video.
Mom & Dad :)
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Dear Jen, Jeremy & Kids,
We are at the Family History Center and it is 7:30 Thursday the 15th here. The FHC is right across from the Temple - it is so very beautiful. We are here for a two day Conference & that will be really good training. Everyone is so nice and helpful. We have a great apartment and it overlooks the N end of the city and has a river running to the West. Their is honking all night long but it is like an Orchestra and lulled us to sleep - we didn't mind at all and had a nice bed and pillows.
Our flight was good and we only had a 3 hour lay-over in Taipei.
Thank you for all you did to help us, we did watch the video and it was so sweet and made us cry - our grandchildren are so very special and we love all of you so very much! We may not get any internet in our apartment til next week, so can't use the computer or skype from home like I was hoping. They are also going to get us our own phone. I will EM everyone from the office while we are here each day.
Just wanted to say hello, I will send a short EM to Nat & Megan too.
Love & Hugs and thanks for all your prayers and thoughts & kiss the kids.
Mom & Dad :)