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E-Mails/Letters

From Mom & DadMay 2009

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

Jen@fitzgarrald.com

5/3/09

Dear Kids,

 

I was going to call many of you & chat, but Skype is still acting up & says "call is still in progress!"  I sent a complaint to support, but don't know when I will get an answer back. Meantime, the clock is ticking away. We think about all of you & what you are probably doing during the day - taking care of all of our Grandchildren I'm sure!!!  What a nest of grandchildren they are, all unique and the joy of all our lives.

 It is Monday at 7:00 am and our day off, so we will run a few errands. We hope that you all had a good Sunday and can have a restful evening and get ready for another busy week. It doesn't seem possible that school is almost over!

 

We love hearing from all of you, even if it is just a little EM. We know that everyone's schedules are pretty packed and we miss being there in the thick of things with all of you and helping out & passing out tickles, hugs and kisses & cooking for all of you. :)

 

Love & Hugs,

Mom & Dad  :)

 

 

5/5/09

Dear Family and Friends,

I usually get started on Saturday on my weekly letter to you, and here it is already Wednesday.  Hope this finds all of you well, with everything going smoothly.  We have spent the past week conducting tours, registering patrons on the New Family Search, providing orientation and research experience for youth groups and new patrons, and enjoying the friendships we are making with these wonderful people.  What a busy week it has been!!Here it is the 6th of May, and we can not believe we have been here nearly four months. 

We've had a few new experiences, like making a wrong turn on one of the major streets one night at about 7:30, getting stuck in two different traffic jams that followed, having to hire a trike to get us back on the right street leading to the apartment, and getting home at about 10:15, about three hours later!!!!  We and the couple that were with us still have a lot of laughs about it.  You've got to keep a sense of humor.

The weather is still quite unusually rainy, but very beautiful.  Glad to hear you are finally experiencing spring there.  Hope all my tulips came up.  If any of you want the garden plants I used to get from the high school each spring, I will try to make contact with OHS. Since they are doing so much building there, the nursery may not even exist anymore.  But, I'll give it a try, if there is interest. 

Carolyn and I have been continually amused at some of the situations around us.  Since there are peoples from many countries here and many languages spoken, it is quite a job for the Filipinos to communicate and be understood by all.  In order to do so, the signs are generally in English, and they try so hard.  I may have mentioned before of the sign on door of the small room on each floor of the apartment house where the tenants are to put their bagged trash.  It says, "Throw your garbage at the garbage room."  There is a sign in the exercise shower room that says, "Washing dishes are strictly forbidden."  But, they probably look at us Americans and say to themselves, "Gotta keep my sense of humor!!"  They would never say it out loud because they are not a judgemental people.  Everything they say is spoken with a smile and the word "po" at the end of the statement, which is a sign of respect.  If they greet you with a "magandang umaga," which is "good morning," the phrase always ends with a "po."  The peace it generates is so calming and refreshing.

I hope you all are loving each other and those around you.  Life is too short and too precious to let an opportunity escape your grasp.  We love you all and feel the results of your faith and prayers.  Ama sa Langit's maraming basbas lahat.           E/S Fitz

 

5/6/09

Jen & Jeremy,

 

It's after 9:00 pm here and must be after 7:00 am for you. We are wondering when we can call for Arianna's birthday? 

Tomorrow is Thurday here but Wed. for you. We will be in the office by 7:30 am in the morning, so I could call you

at work Jeremy. What is your cell # Jen, maybe I can reach you on that sometime. 

 I wanted to do a trial call because Skype has really been bad lately & won't let me call out & then kicks me off. It says

that there is already a call in progress. I did make it through to Nat today, so we'll see what it does tomorrow. I would

like to do a Skype call so we could see all of you & sing Happy Birthday to our little princess! 

 Let me know what your plans are, and we will work around them.

 We went to the Temple for the 4:00 session today. The rooms are really minature, holds about 30 people.  Always a really

good feeling there. The Temple and the grounds are always busy with members coming and going, especially now that

summer is here for them.  That keeps us busy at the Family History Center also.

 Good night from us.

 

Hugs & lots of love,

 Mom & Dad Fitz  :)

 

5/17/09

 

Dear Family and Friends,

We passed the four month mark this last weekend.  We aren't counting down the days; just wondering where the ones behind us have gone.  We are here at the PAO (Philippines Area Office) on our P-day to get a few things done that we never seem to have time to do during the week.  It is a gorgeous day.  It is our no-drive-day again, (always on Monday and our P-day) so we won't go far, but we'll yet do a little exploring.  This coming weekend, with it being Memorial Day, we will be joining our friends here, and going down to the American War Memorial Cemetery Saturday morning early to place 17,000 flags on the graves of our soldiers.  Sunday Morning will be the ceremony, honoring our dead.  Those that have participated in the placing of the flags and attending the ceremony before say it is a very humbling and spiritual experience. 

So far, it has been an unusual summer, it has rained at least twice a week and often heavy  this past month.  It makes everything so clean and beautiful though it makes it tough on those that have to make a living outdoors and those whose shanty homes don't offer a lot of protection.  It is quite warm; we get up early and turn the air conditioners on immediately.  The air down in the basement four levels of parking is really heavy and quite hot.  I feel for the security officers that mann each level, a twelve hours shift, but every time you pass their post, they salute and smile.  I've been saluted more here than Josh in his 8 years in the Marines!!!  When they address Carolyn, they say, "Hello Mum," or "How are you mum," "Thank you, mum."  You hear that in all of the stores, and everywhere.  I am "Sir."  A big smile always goes with it. 

I saw another funny street sign the other day in a neighboring city.  "Truck, Trailers, and the

Likes--no u turn.  I'm not sure what the Likes includes, but I guess they do.  Often at a stop light, before the light changes from red to green, drivers will anticipate it and be clear across the intersection before it changes.  Sometimes, their early advantage gets them into near fender benders with those that are still running late yellow and early reds in the cross lanes.  Coupled with trikes, bikes, and pedestrians going every which way, it is amazing that each light change doesn't lower the population some!!!! 

I spoke about a new couple here from American Fork in my last letter, I think.  Anyway, we were bringing them up to the PAO one morning this last week.  I had moved into the middle lane, passing a slow taxi on my left and a car on my right, when another vehicle came out of a bus lane on the extreme right, into the lane on the right and then on into my lane.  I moved over sharply in front of the taxi on the left.  The wife, not being experienced with traffic here, let out a blood curdling scream that almost shattered the windows.  I know she was really embarrassed; it was a little louder than the ones Carolyn used to utter, but... just another day in traffic in the Philippines.  Your mom and I laugh about it, but it didn't seem  funny to the woman at the time.  Your mom hardly bats an eye anymore.  The arm rests though are beginning to show the results of the intense squeezing.  Don't tell her I said that!!!

Hope things are going well for all of you.  Keep on loving each other.  E/S Fitz

 

5/26/09

Dear Family and Friends,

 

Well, it has been five months today that we last saw any of your beautiful, handsome, warm, and loving faces.  We miss you all very much.  I wish you all were having as much fun as we are.  Every day is something new and memorable.  Hope everything is going well back there in the trenches, where the metal hits the road.  Here we are on cloud nine, and you're making it possible, with all your hard work, thoughts, and prayers.

Last Saturday, we got up really early and went down to the American War Memorial Cemetery, at 6:00, where we joined a large group of Filipinos, Americans, and others and put an American and a Filipino flag on each of the 17,000 graves.  Many wreaths were placed next to the walls where the over 37,000 names are carved, honoring those missing in action.  The grounds were beautifully landscaped and not a blade or leaf was out of place.   What an inspiring sight it was two hours later to see those beautiful flags on each grave, as the rows upon rows stretched out over the green, rolling hills.  The next morning, Sunday, several thousand came to the site to pay their respect.  A small pavilion was erected in front of the center monument, where we were able to  sit during the ceremony.  Many dignitaries representing a number of nations were there, including the American Ambassador to the Philippines, who gave a wonderful address.  About forty organizations had sent wreaths, which added a beautiful floral setting to the granite monuments and grave stones.  President Hinckley had said on an earlier visit before his death, that it is one of the most hallowed and sacred sites on the earth.  The spirit is so strong there; it is really humbling.  We visited again the gravesite of Michael Hammon and the wall where Ernest Fields' name is carved.  I know Carolyn's father, Bob, was looking on. 

We went out that Saturday afternoon to a Stake Center in a neighboring city and held a training and NewFanilySearch registration for about twenty five.  Yesterday, we had a surprise group of leaders and youth, who had come from some distance, arrive later in the afternoon.

We have two groups coming in tomorrow morning of about 70, and Saturday afternoon, we will be out about an hour from the city for another training.  We meet such wonderful people, who are eager to find out how to research their ancestors.  The Center here is still quite busy, but we anticipate it slowing down as soon as school begins in a couple of weeks.  Then, we will begin making trips out to the Stake Centers in the Provinces.

I awoke last night to one of the loudest claps of thunder ever.  It shook the windows and then was gone.  I went for my usual run early to find it only had rained a small amount, so we arose to a beautiful, clear, fresh morning.  We sure miss everyone and the beautiful lawned, flowered neighborhood around 534 No. Monterey. 

We trust the Lord is taking good care of each of you.  We wish the Lord's richest blessings on all.  Take good care of each other.                  E/S Fitz

 

5/30/09

Dear Kids,

 

It's Sunday morning here and I've been watching the short movies from LDS.org the "Mormon Messages". (There are 34 movie clips and then there is also a caution that from "you Tube" it also offers other "Related Movies" - but, these are not from the Church & will not always bring you the good message that

you might be wanting.  Only watch the movies that say "Mormon Messages.)  The Church also offers a Radio station now "Mormon Station".

 "Please watch with your girls the one about Virtue and Young Women. It touched my heart as I think about you and your daughters and the blessings I want for each of you in the Temple.

 The second movie from Pres. Hinckley is for the boys to watch, it will change their hearts too.

 Please everyone, take the time to use all of the opportunities that LDS.org offers to listen to, watch and read about what is going on with the Church and the members. Heavenly Father is providing a way for all of us to find the answers and the blessings and the comfort that we are praying for at this time in our lives.  I can sincerely bear testimony of that to you and do so with all the love of a Mother's heart for her children and grandchildren.

 

I love you,

Mom :)

 

5/31/09

Hi Kids,

 

If you cannot receive all of these pictures, I will send in smaller groups.

The Memorial was very beautiful with all of the flags on the crosses, what a tribute to the men who are buried there and remembered there.

The Navy men and the Marines in uniform, of course, made me cry as I thought about Grandpa and Josh.And the Jeep that was there made me think about the jeep on the Farm that Grandpa had and we drove all over the sand draws. It was a good day to remember and to be grateful for the many sacrifices made in our behalf.

We see this Mustang parked on the way to Church - Dad would really like to buy it!

Love & hugs and God bless all of you.Josh, we are grateful for your sacrifice in our behalf and that of your men & others with you - thank you.

 

Mom & Dad:)

You have been sent 45 pictures.