|Jordan's Mission Call|
Jordan never served in Angeles City, where Brad spent the last six months of his mission. Angeles was where we seemed to have spent the most time during our visit in September 2005. From the moment Jordan received his call to the Philippines Angeles Mission, we hoped that he would serve part of his mission in Angeles. However, the closest Jordan got to Angeles City was Gapan (perhaps an hour northeast, depending on how many trikes, dogs, water buffalo, and people are on the road at any given time). As a zone leader in Gapan, Jordan was able to visit Cabaio, which was Brad’s first area. We attended church in Cabaio during our last visit here, and had a wonderful experience. (We addressed the ward in sacrament meeting by invitation, and then got to linger with the entire ward for some lunch and pictures after the three hour block. Several members asked if we would ever return, and we could not make any promises. Strange that we not only returned to the Philippines, but also to the same area.) Anyway, in September 2005, we attended the baptism of Edsel Bie, and had the great privilege of speaking at his baptism (performed by Brad). That was really special. We got together with Edsel, Mhayet “Pink” (she loves the color pink), Jojo, Kenneth (who had then just recently joined the Church), Olive (who had a baptismal date and was later baptized), Cherry, Lorie, Medel, Melvin, Mamerto, and others after the baptism for pictures and lunch, and later for some karaoke. This group had held a special Family Home Evening for Brad the first night after our arrival in the Philippines, the day we reunited with Brad, and it was really fun. Even though the group had never met Jordan, they asked if they could have a special Royal Family Home Evening with him. So, that is how we planned to spend our Saturday evening, excited to be reunited with some of our very best, closest friends.
|Angeles KARAOKE NIGHT, September 2005|
So, now that you have an idea of our plans, allow me to relate the saga of our return from Puerta Princesa. We were thrilled to have sufficient internet to listen to the BYU/BSU game via KSL.com. (We picked up the pre-game show at 7:00 am.) In typical fashion, BYU played greatn, then not so great. It was during the not so great part with about 10 minutes left in the game that we had to leave for the airport. The score was 34-20 and BYU had the
|Taysom Hill had another great game - and for the second straight|
week, we were resigned to listening to only part of the game,
hoping to see it all via our DVR later
ball. It had just driven across the 50 yard line and looked to be back in gear. Taysom Hill was called for intentional grounding when Maralea came stomping back from waiting for us at the front desk. (Jordan and I were huddled around the computer in our room, knowing that the second we took a few steps out the door, we would lose our internet connection. So, we were pushing the limits of Maralea’s patience.)
We went to the airport with the hope of picking up some internet to listen to the rest of the game. Nothing. We got so desperate that we had Jordan send a text to Pink to see if she could look up the game online and let us know the final score. Pink responded that she was not at a computer so we made our way back to Manila wringing our hands. (Would BYU really blow a 21 point second half lead?) (As you may recall, we went through the same thing when boarding our flight to Manila from Seoul, as BYU was playing Houston. Things were looking bad for BYU and I wrote it off as a loss. We were pleasantly surprised at the outcome and hoped it would be the same this time around against BSU. It was.
|After a great few days away, it was time to return to the mission for a few days before departing for home|
After we landed, Pink sent Jordan a text: “Okay, I’m on espn.com. What do I do now to get the score?” Jordan gave her some instructions, and after a few minutes, Pink texed back: “37 to 20, BYU.” (Yes! We can now relax and enjoy the rest of the day. The Cougars won their fifth straight, finally beat BSU (BSU had led the series 3-0), received an official invite to the Kraft Hunger Bowl (yeah, we’re going this year and will fight hunger at the same time), and has two weeks to prepare for Wisconsin. Go Cougs!) It was while en route from Manila to Angeles that I suffered my first personal property casualty. I began looking for my bright green i-Phone adapter (that Maralea bought me a few months ago so I “wouldn’t lose it” because it is so bright), and then had a clear vision in my mind of where I had left it (on the plane, within the rear pocket in the seat ahead of me). (I had taken it out of my computer and tucked it into the seat pocket. Who does that? I deserved to lose it.) Maralea said: “Well, at least you still have your passport” (and that’s not even lime green). I guess if that’s all I lose (as the family’s biggest loser of things - most notably my wallet), I should celebrate.
We were met at the airport by Clem, who drives for the mission. He personally delivered Jordan’s passport, which had been held up by immigration prior to our departure for Palawan. So, we got that resolved. (Now, if we can just keep from losing our passports during the trip, everything will be cool.) Our driver for the rest of the week is Nilo, one of Pink’s many friends (who she recommended). Nilo has been a member of the Church since 1975 and served a mission in Cebu. He picked us up at the airport and drove us to Angeles, where we met with Pink and friends at Pink’s residence.
|Edsel cooked a lot of food, Pink burned a lot hours creating a special video, and Jojo drank Royal soda!|
|And . . . Edsel can cook! He created this masterpiece for our party.|
|Here with Pink, Edsel, Jojo and Jamaron Tating|
Jordan had previously met Jojo, who found Jordan at a mission conference and introduced himself, and has had some limited communication with Pink since we arrived. Pink had asked me for information about Jordan and his life, which she put together with pictures in a video. (I was especially frustrated with the internet at our villa in Sabang because it would not allow me to send or upload any pictures or videos requested by Pink.) It was quite the gesture of friendship for Pink to throw a party and put together a special tribute for a missionary she had never met before, who had never worked in Angeles City. However, our friends in Angeles are like family, and they readily accepted Jordan as family. Edsel cooked a wonderful dinner (including chicken feet), James and Kris brought over some sisig (pigs ears), Jojo brought some dessert, and we drank it all down with Royal orange soda. Pink’s video presentation for Jordan and our family was incredible. We marveled at all the time and effort she invested on Jordan’s behalf. (She was up most the previous night working on the presentation.) It was such a sweet expression of love for our family.
We had a regular Family Home Evening program, with Pink making sure things ran timely, according to plan. She made sure everyone present said something nice to Jordan (even if they had just met him for the first time). (Pink is so funny.) She got Rich Biggs (fka Elder Biggs) via Skype to talk with Jordan and the group. (Pink thinks of everything.) It was a great way to spend a Saturday evening, with the greatest of friends who loved a son of ours whom they had just met. It is no wonder Jordan enjoyed his mission so much here. It’s why we were so happy about his call, and so excited to return!
|Maralea displays Pink's Royal family memory book with our driver, Nilo|