.

E-Mails/Letters

From Mom & DadFebruary

If you get some that I donít post & want to just send it to

Jen@fitzgarrald.com

2/5/09

Jen & Jeremy,

 

How are you all doing???  Is there a time when we can call you when you are delivering papers to help keep you awake??

We are home & there is no one who is up except you at about 4:00 am.  :)

 

The video on the kids on UTube on the Fitz webpage just kept starting and stopping, but Rachael sent an attachment and it played right through- we laughed so hard because it was all sooooo cute. How did you make that snowman costume for you anyway, I know you used hula hoops - but how did you do it??  Arianna was just a hoot - a real star and and get out there an dance!  Jayden was cute with his mask and costume - just the way he likes it too.

 

On the last pictures and videos that I uploaded to Picassa web page with the new EM address - it shows that there are 90 uploaded but in Picassa, it said that I had 150. It it because there is too many video clips and took up all the new room that you had created?  We liked our trip to Corregidor, but some of the video may move along a bit tooooo slow for it to be fun....the tunnel was not as dramatic on video as it was in person and the wind really played havic with the sound on the video as we were in the trolley - oh well.......   Please take a look and see what you think.

 

On Skype the last couple of days it won't bring up anyone's picture - we can see ourselves and they can see them, but they cannot see us.  Here I thought we had mastered Skype!

 

Things are going well - just will get more hectic as we really need to be expert in all the Family History areas that we are not - I pray that a little knowledge will go a long way with the help of the Holy Ghost!  :)

 

Dad is driving now~~~~~~~~~~~~~  and doing a great job!  It only takes up about 10 minutes to get to work, but half an hour to 40 minutes to get home. I think that is going to be the extent of our driving for a while.  We can walk to get groceries & if they don't have it - I'm not going to worry about it.  ha

 

Love to all of you.  Megan's girls said that they were trying to help you with your craft projects, how are the orders going?

 

We miss all of you a lot,

 Mom & Dad Fitz  :)

 

2/7/09

Hi all,

 

This is one of the little factories that recycles the juice packs and makes them into bags, purses, mats, etc. - your imagination is your limit.  A couple of years ago I read an article in the Church News about a single Mom who was desperate for $ and she came up with the idea of making bags out of the juice packs and it really caught on!  They also get roll ends of the plastic from the factory before the juice gets in the packs and make long strips that workers even take home and weave instead of the usual straw/hemp baskets.  See anything you like?????

 

We are getting ready to leave for Church here in an hour (12:00 noon) It takes us an hour to drive there and maybe a little longer to get home because by that time the traffic is a little heavier at 4:00. 

 

We send lots of love to all of you.  We'll have to get busy and take some more pictures for the web page.

 

Hugs,

 Mom & Dad  :)

 

2/9/09

Meggie and All,

Just got your email;  glad everyone is doing fine.  It is a beautiful morning here.  Yesterday, we came up to the office to prepare for a group of Univerity students and their advisors.  We got home about noon, had lunch, and moved most all of our stuff over to the new apartment.  We will miss the Spencer's.  They are a retired military couple and so fun to be around.  They flew out earlier this morning. 

We came up early this morning and set up for the little conference.  I think the school was Catholic where the eight students were from.  They were all girls, with their history professor, who was young, and two advisors.  We presented a brief history of the Church, showed the eight minute video of the Myths and Realities, which was made for the press at the Salt Lake City winter Olympics.  It is so well done.  We had a question and answer period, and then told them of the purpose of the Family History Center and why we do genealogy.  Carolyn showed them how to get on the Family Search Program and begin research.  They were so excited and then got on the computers and began finding family names.  The three advisors asked me about the restoration and why it was necessary.  I explained it, and then how the family fits into the scheme of the Lord's plan.  They asked about how we receive salvation.  I was able to give them a brief lesson.  One said, "That is so similar to the briefs of the native peoples of the Island."

The girls didn't want to leave, but they had four other stops to make on their excursion.  They want to come back for a tour of the Temple sometime in the near future.  It all went so marvelously.  This weekend, we will have 70 more students to introduce to the FHC. 

Next week, we will meet with the Marakina City Officials to finalize the setting up the first ever Family History Center in a city building anywhere in the world.  The planning began last year and hopefully will be ready by the 1st of April for a weeklong big native tribal celebration.  The Church will furnish the computers, readers, desks, the training, and the volunteers to staff it.  Other cities nearby are interested, and perhaps this will be the beginning of wonderful things. 

Glad you are having a good time together.  Hope everyone is well.  Thanks for all your prayers.  We are trying to find the Skype problem, so we can see you all.

Take care; love you all tons.   DAD and MOM

 

2/17/09

Good Morning,

     It is Wednesday morning here in Manila and a beautiful day.  We just arrived at the office and have lots to do.  We are fine, and getting things a little more organized each day.  We spent Saturday morning here and went way out on a training session in the afternoon.  It was our first real hands-on meeting, where we participated.  It all went well, except for one commute incident.  At one three way intersection, the traffice snarled as we got into the intersection,and noone moved for at least twenty minutes and I mean noone.  If it had not been for one enterprising man, who walked up and started to stop lanes and moved a car here and there, we might still be there.  It was unbelieveable !!!  If we had not left early, we would have been so late for the session.  It took us an hour to get there.  We left the chapel at about 4:30; the later in the afternoon, the worse the traffic problem.  We took a little two lane road back through a dozen or two small villages that wound all over and by-passed that bad intersection.  It took us two hours to get home.       

     Sunday was a good day.  We left home at 11:45 and arrived at our Branch at 1:00.  The Branch is large and so friendly.  We didn't teach in Primary this week, as we had the two previous weeks, so we didn't get to see all those cute little kids.  Our Sunday School teacher is a returmed missionary sister, who reall knows her stuff.  As I might have said before, the talks in Church, Sunday School lessons, and Priesthood are in Tagalog with a smattering of English.  About every third sentence will have a couple of words in English, so we can tell what the lesson or talk is about.  They understand English, but don't talk it that much.  The kids have it in school, so they chatter to us all the time.  It is not easy to understand them though.

     They are not at all clockwatchers here.  If a meeting runs over ten, fifteen minutes, no one gets antsy, and they finish and close.  They are all clothed neat and clean in spite of the fact that many do not have much.  You can't tell who does and who doesn't have much. They all seem to want to shake our hands; they are so friendly 

     We got moved over to our new apartment and are very comfortable.  One thing is so funny.  There is a place on each floor inside a door to put your garbage.  The sign on the door says, "Throw your garbage at the garbage room."  A sign on one side of the road up near the Temple says, "NO parking both sides,' but it is only on one side of the sign.  How the traffic coming down the street from the other direction is supposed to read it across the street and on the opposite side of the sign is a little unclear.  Driving is getting a lot easier; I just have to watch out in all directions and not get crowded out.  Sometimes,  three lanes will converge into one without any signs and without any lane markings, and they open up again into two or three lanes again in about 30 or 40 yards.  The streets often do not have traffic lights at the intersections and oncoming traffic turning left in front of you just come on across and work their way across, stopping your two or three lanes to do so.  It works!!!  The taxis are usually smaller compact cars, but they love their suv's here.  Amazingly enough, there are few dents in vehibles on the roads.  One couple recently had a real bashed in frontend.  The car was towed back to the Church headquarters here and an outfit came out, jacked up the car, and repaired it right there over a few days, painting and all, and it was a beautiful job.  Labor is really cheap here, so when something is done, lots of workers will tackle the job and work on it til it gets done without much in the way of our sophistocated tools. 

     The weather is still mild and will be until the middle of March, when it becomes their summer.  Then, school get out for three months, and the Temple and our center gets really busy. 

     We will leave this Friday morning for a city, Lingayen, north and west of us about five hours away.  We have a seminar the next morning and then travel to Alaminos and hour from there to hold another in the afternoon, stay the night and come home Sunday after Church.  We probably won't be emailing much that weekend.

      Well, I hope everyone is fine, taking good care of each other.  We love you all so very much.  Keep us in your prayers.  Oh, I about forgot the blonde joke.

This blonde woman was speeding down the road in her little red sports car and was pulled over by a woman police officer, who was also a blonde.  The blonde officer asked to see her driver's license.  As the woman looked through her purse, she got increasingly agitated.  "What does it look like?" she asked. The policewoman replied, "It's kinda square, and it has your picture on it."  The driver finally found a square mirror in her purse, looked at it, and handed it to the officer, saying, "Here it is."  The blonde officer looked at it, handed it back, and remarked apologetically, "Ok, you can go.  I didn't realize you were a cop."

                                                                              YFM,  DAD and MOM FITZ

2/20/09

Hi,

 

We started at 6 this morning and reached our destination at about noon - which is good time and the roads were ok once we got out of metro Manila.

 

We traveled North to Alaminos which has a lot of rice paddies and water buffalo., Being more country, the people and towns are better off than in the busy city. There are mountains here on one side and Philippine Sea on the other.  We will be helping to train Family History Consultants in Alaminos and then in Lingayen where we are at the Hotel now. It is about 1 hour south of Alaminos. The Hotel is across from the beach & the ocean and then the Capitol building. It is pretty humid here today but we have the air con (as they call it) turned up for the eveing! 

 

Dad just met two WW II vets from Australia in the lobby downstairs I hope I get to see them when we go and eat, there is a restaurant here in the building - hurrah!

 

We ate lunch at the Jolly-Bees which is like McDonald's only their logo is a Bumble bee - I could use a real hamburger! 

 

When we were up at Alaminos, we we onto a city called 100 Islands and took a boat out to the 100 Islands. They are just little dots really and we only took a couple of hours to visit 3 of them.  It was fun and they had beaches and you could climb steep steps up to the top and look at all the islands - a real paradise view and we would love to go back, my camera ran out of memory because I was trying to take too many videos along the way!  The boat we were in was like a canoe with a motor and a little top on it - the islands were only 3 miles away but it took us a while to get there - it was a lot of fun and we enjoyed going with the other couple because they are from the Philippines.

 

We are getting settled in for the night here.  We love all of you and thank you for your prayers so we can drive safely - that is a big deal here!

 

God bless,

 Mom/Carolyn  :)

 

 

2/23/09

Dear Family and Friends,

     It is a beautiful morning here at the Pao.  We returned Sunday from our trip to Lingayen and Alaminos following two conferences with a Stake and a District.  We had a wonderful turnout of about 35-40 at each of the two meetings, which included leaders, consultants, and members. 

      We left Friday early morning to avoid the traffic congestion of MetroManila, which took a hectic hour's drive, and drove north four hours to the two coastal cities I mentioned.  It was a enjoyable drive past miles of rice fields, some flat and stretching for miles and some terraced in the foothills below small mountains.  There were long stretches on the super highway uninterrupted by little towns.  Leaving the freeway, we again encountered many towns of narrow streets, filled with people, tricycles, (motors bike taxis with sidecars), pedicabs, and a few smaller version of the big city jeepneys.  The two cities are right on the coastline and pristine in comparison to Manila.  Our hotel faced a two block square of lawn, gardens, and provincial capital buildings.  Behind that was the beach and the gulf.  There were a number of memorials erected, commemorating the second landing of MacArthur and invasion.  Several tanks, large gun, and a fighter plane were on pads in the park.  It was all beautifully done. 

     We then drove on west and north up the coast to Alaminos, where we went on a boat tour of the Hundred Islands.  They are all quite small little toeheads of lava rock about 3-4 miles out, but round and green.  The ocean was a deep blue, and the tour was great.  We went for a ride in a trike and a pedicab on the quiet streets for the first time here.

     We returned, had dinner, and got ready for the next day conferences.  The Church was only a block away, so after the meeting, we drove back towards Alaminos and held the second meeting.  We stayed that night and left early in the morning.  Our drive home wasn't as enjoyable as, in many of the areas, the farmers were burning the rice stubble and straw from the last crop,  But, we saw rice being planted by hand, plowing being down by caribou and hand plows, flooding of the fields for the next crops, and one large flock of about two hundred ducks, herded along and then across the highway by a young man.  On the sides of the roads, on the gravelled edge, there were, often, four foot wide strips of shelled corn, drying in the sun.  Some of these strips were a few hundred feet long to half a mile.  Workers would come along and shift the corn over to complete the process.  It was pretty amazing how they did it all by hand.  I saw a couple of tractors and six or eight hand guided, two whelled, motorized outfits that were used to pull little trailers or to plow, or etc. These were few and far between.   Everything was primarily done by hand.  Along much of the route, there were the usual small hut businesses, where they sell everything you can name made in their little shanty homes. 

     Monday, we had the time to explore the town around us and went to two different malls in a trike, which was quite a new experience.  It makes you wonder how you can really expect to survive in such a vehicle in a big city, but we made it.  I wish you could experience this with us.

     Here, we are at the office, and it is a brilliant, sunny day.  Could it get any better than this? 

Hope all of you are fine.  Sure enjoy your emails and are grateful for your prayers.  In response to some of your concerns to help,  anything that you want to send will be used to help these people.  Often, I am told, because of the conditions of unemployment, one person will find work and support as many as 8-12 members of a family.  How they survive is remarkable.  Please don't feel obligated.  If you want to, send it to Natalie, at our home address, in check form, made out to us, and she will deposit it into our missionary account.  Maybe we can together help some of these parents feed and clothe their children.  Well, may the Lord be you.

Love you all.            Your Fav. MIshes,    Elder and Sister, DAD and MOM, LOLO and LOLA (papa and grandma)  FITZ

 

2/24/09

Dear Family and Friends,

     It is a beautiful morning here at the Pao.  We returned Sunday from our trip to Lingayen and Alaminos following two conferences with a Stake and a District.  We had a wonderful turnout of about 35-40 at each of the two meetings, which included leaders, consultants, and members. 

      We left Friday early morning to avoid the traffic congestion of MetroManila, which took a hectic hour's drive, and drove north four hours to the two coastal cities I mentioned.  It was a enjoyable drive past miles of rice fields, some flat and stretching for miles and some terraced in the foothills below small mountains.  There were long stretches on the super highway uninterrupted by little towns.  Leaving the freeway, we again encountered many towns of narrow streets, filled with people, tricycles, (motors bike taxis with sidecars), pedicabs, and a few smaller version of the big city jeepneys.  The two cities are right on the coastline and pristine in comparison to Manila.  Our hotel faced a two block square of lawn, gardens, and provincial capital buildings.  Behind that was the beach and the gulf.  There were a number of memorials erected, commemorating the second landing of MacArthur and invasion.  Several tanks, large gun, and a fighter plane were on pads in the park.  It was all beautifully done. 

     We then drove on west and north up the coast to Alaminos, where we went on a boat tour of the Hundred Islands.  They are all quite small little toeheads of lava rock about 3-4 miles out, but round and green.  The ocean was a deep blue, and the tour was great.  We went for a ride in a trike and a pedicab on the quiet streets for the first time here.

     We returned, had dinner, and got ready for the next day conferences.  The Church was only a block away, so after the meeting, we drove back towards Alaminos and held the second meeting.  We stayed that night and left early in the morning.  Our drive home wasn't as enjoyable as, in many of the areas, the farmers were burning the rice stubble and straw from the last crop,  But, we saw rice being planted by hand, plowing being down by caribou and hand plows, flooding of the fields for the next crops, and one large flock of about two hundred ducks, herded along and then across the highway by a young man.  On the sides of the roads, on the gravelled edge, there were, often, four foot wide strips of shelled corn, drying in the sun.  Some of these strips were a few hundred feet long to half a mile.  Workers would come along and shift the corn over to complete the process.  It was pretty amazing how they did it all by hand.  I saw a couple of tractors and six or eight hand guided, two whelled, motorized outfits that were used to pull little trailers or to plow, or etc. These were few and far between.   Everything was primarily done by hand.  Along much of the route, there were the usual small hut businesses, where they sell everything you can name made in their little shanty homes. 

     Monday, we had the time to explore the town around us and went to two different malls in a trike, which was quite a new experience.  It makes you wonder how you can really expect to survive in such a vehicle in a big city, but we made it.  I wish you could experience this with us.

     Here, we are at the office, and it is a brilliant, sunny day.  Could it get any better than this? 

Hope all of you are fine.  Sure enjoy your emails and are grateful for your prayers.  In response to some of your concerns to help,  anything that you want to send will be used to help these people.  Often, I am told, because of the conditions of unemployment, one person will find work and support as many as 8-12 members of a family.  How they survive is remarkable.  Please don't feel obligated.  If you want to, send it to Natalie, at our home address, in check form, made out to us, and she will deposit it into our missionary account.  Maybe we can together help some of these parents feed and clothe their children.  Well, may the Lord be you.

Love you all.            Your Fav. MIshes,    Elder and Sister, DAD and MOM, LOLO and LOLA (papa and grandma)  FITZ

 

 

2/24/09

Hi Jen, Jeremy & Kids,

 

We miss you guys!  What's everyone been doing?? I'm sure that the kids have some new tricks that they have been up to!

 

What are the best times to Skype with you?  We may be going out of town again this weekend starting Friday and coming back on Sunday. The trip will be longer this time, the last one was 6 hours. Dad is checking on the maps, etc. to see what we can do.  We have 9 Area Service Missionary couples and we are supposed to visit each one

at least twice a year while they are training their Stakes about Family History to see how everything is going. They are really great couples and very dedicated to try and get everyone registered (it's a BIG deal here) and then start on their genealogy even though most everyone does not have a computer.

 

Jeremy, how much memory is in my computer?  Should I be copying the pictures off & having someone burn them to a cd or dvd?

 

We are just reloading a card for the computer and not worrying about trying to get internet hooked up. If I can just remember to reload the computer, the phone, and unload the card in the camera!  You know this is not what I

like to do at all.  ha

 

Love to all,