Welcome to Serving San Pablo: the place where you can follow all of the adventures Elder and Sister Galbraith are having while serving their mission in the San Pablo, Philippines Mission.
To get started, here are a few stats about their mission:
*San Pablo is located in the southern portion of Laguna province, Philippines, It is is one of the country's oldest cities. The city is more popularly known as the "City of Seven Lakes", referring to the Seven Lakes of San Pablo: Lake Sampaloc (or Sampalok), Lake Palakpakin, Lake Bunot, Lakes Pandin and Yambo, Lake Muhikap, and Lake Calibato.
*San Pablo has a cool climate owing to its location. It is nestled in the foothills of three mountains: Mount Banahaw, Mount Makiling and the Sierra Madre Mountains. It basically has two seasons, the Wet Season, and the Dry Season. Temperatures range from 68-90 degrees year round (sounds pretty perfect doesn't it?)
*According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 248,890 people, so it's similar to the populations of Orem and Provo combined.
*Elder Galbraith was called as an "Office Specialist," and Sister Galbraith is a "Nursing Specialist," working with the elders and sisters in the mission.
We have been able to Skype with them a few times, and this is what we have learned:
*They are really busy! So busy that they haven't had time to send an actual email update (hence this update that isn't directly from them.) Sister Galbraith is on call 24/7, and her phone is always ringing with news of a sick or injured Elder or Sister. They don't even get much of a P-Day (a day off for preparation.) They are working really hard.
*They live in an apartment on the property where the mission home resides. The mission office is a separate building from the actual mission home, and their apartment is above the mission office. They kicked the AP Missionaries out of those apartments so Elder and Sister Galbraith could live there, but Elder Galbraith reports that the AP's aren't too mad about it.
*The Mission "compound" has security surrounding it, and apparently, the bishop of the ward serves as one of the main security guards after he gets off work from his full time job every day. Talk about dedication to the Church and the safety of the mission!
*They are happy! They are loving the people of the Philippines and the missionaries they serve. They shared a sweet story with us last time we Skyped. In the Philippines there are "taxis" that have names painted on them. A few weeks ago, they came out of church to see a taxi parked across the street from the building. The name painted in big letters across the back of the taxi was "Katrina."It was a tender mercy for them and helped them know that their daughter is still with them.
So, that's our first update. Hopefully we will get a real one soon- full of stories and pictures. They appreciate your support and prayers in their behalf.
Here are a few pictures we got of our Skype sessions!