Saturday, May 24, 2014

May 2014

May 2014

On Monday (5th), DAC hosted their annual "ARC Board Meeting Picnic" with the help of Willies Super Valu (owner grilled burgers and brats). We couldn't ask for a better day as God brought sunshine and beautiful weather.. Praise the Lord!

The following day (6th), I hung out with some friends (Yuu & Chris) at Old#1 to watch both the Minnesota Twins play (lost 4-2 against Central Division last place Cleveland Indians :( ) and the Minnesota Wild (2nd round of the playoffs) win Game #3 (down 1-2) against the Chicago Blackhawks by 4-0!

On Wednesday after my weekly ESL-GED classes, I went over to a special service going on at a local church family's house. It was a great service even though I came late for the last hour of it. This past Sunday's guest speaker (Michael G.) shared and led a prayer service for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (see Good News Ministry).

I started the 2nd weekend of the month by going golfing (driving-range) with my housemate (Yuu) on Friday at (9th-Pomme De Terre Golf). It was my 1st time to go this year as the weather was great. We then went to Old #1 again to watch the 4th game of the Wild vs. Blackhawks series. We ended-up winning that too as we had home ice advantage. Yuu and I each invited all our friends (Hakeem-sp?, Julie, Jillian, and Wagner-newest ESL student from Brazil) to join us as we had a great time hanging out.

On Saturday (10th), it was the UMM Commencement Graduation, which I was happy to see my housemate and others that I've befriended graduate. It didn't rain as they forecasted, but it was too windy and there was a "little" chance. Thus, they had to move it indoors. The following day, like many years after UMM Graduation, it was "Mother's Day". We had a special service to honor the moms at my local church. We had a guest from our connection to Mexico-Vineyard Church, which I would invite them to the "Spanish-speaking" church ( Iglesia Nueva Vida) at the Morris Evangelical Free Church. I haven't had the chance to visit my hermanos-hermanas (brothers-sisters) in Christ there for awhile, so it was good to see them. The next day, my housemate (Yuu) had to leave for Japan, which he left the following day with his girlfriend to the Twin Cities. He would then leave the next day by plane to home. It was a blessing to have him over at the house, which encouraged me on my mission or "calling" in housing international students to "welcome" them to Morris. O

On Wednesday (14th), we had a cultural experience of trying a Brazilian drink called "mate" (pronounced as "mah-tee"). This student brought his unique cup and we all started sharing it as a volunteer (Jon) bought a bag from his own home to share with the class.

The next day (15th), we had our 1st official practice for the men's softball team. My left knee isn't completely healed from my unfortunate knee accident when I fell on ice last March, so I took it easy (not diving for balls) as I work a knee brace. However, I felt good hitting during batting practice! I would later go to another practice the following week and not play any games for the season at this point (4th of July) as I want to rest and focus on other activities (e.g. play music).

On the 3rd weekend of the month, I took my every other month or so visit to Moose Lake Prison. It was a nice day for driving (60's). When we got back from Moose Lake, we stopped over at Molitor's Place Restaurant. We drive by this place every time, so we got curious on checking this place out...

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I ordered this fancy personal size chicken pizza, which reminded me of Bella Cucina's! They had a great sweet potato fries too, which I shared with my friend.

I sung with my local worship team the following day (Sunday 18th), which I enjoy everytime! Later in the day, I continued my summer projects by preparing my garden (tilling and planted seeds such as sunflower and potatoes).

On Monday (19th), we had our (workplace) annual board-staff supper after work. It was a great evening and I had great time with the people I saw with over a delicious meal catered by a local restaurant (?).

The following day (20th), we had another volunteer work time at the new church building. They had to do some preparations for the new carpet. We did some moving and cleaning. The next night, I was invited to a couple of friend's bonfire. We stayed up till past 10ish in the nice evening before the mosquitoes! On Thursday (22nd), I went to my 2nd softball team practice, which I had a great at bats (many line drives)! Too bad I won't be able to play :(... I did more house yardwork the next two days including cutting the large bush in front of the living room window. However, I couldn't cut the 2nd one (by housemate's master bedroom) due to a baby robin...

Baby robin (?) 's nest on the bush in front of my house that I was about to cut on Saturday, May 24th 2014

It was like a "Divine" intervention as I was about to cut this bush, but my blade broke (worn out)after cutting one branch. I was about to cut the branch that had the nest, which I wouldn't see till the "parent" bird attacked me (flew towards me, which I had to duck!).

We had our last church service at the local high school, which was a mix of emotions (sad that we are leaving this place we've had service for many years and happy to get out of here to move on :)) . We had a couple of guest that came, which coincidentally was a friend (along with his girlfriend) that used to come to this church many years ago. However, he came when we were meeting at the "old" local elementary school. It was actually his first, only, and last time at this high school auditorium. I took them both as a treat to Don's Cafe for lunch after service, which they went on to Chokio for a friend's high school graduation. It was a great fellowship time!

It was Memorial Day (Monday 26th) the following day, which I didn't do anything special besides doing stuff on facebook. I did some multi-media projects (videography-photography), clean tools in my garage, etc.. The next day (27th), we had our first "unofficial" church worship service-prayer meeting at the new building. We didn't have the new chairs yet, which we used some "used" ones. It was cool! I then went to the 2nd game of my softball teammates to cheer them on and I dressed in case as a back-up. We won the 1st game (15-3) and lost the 2nd game (3-15), which I probably brought "bad luck"! :( , A co-worker (THANKS Christine B.!!!) of mine gave me a couple tickets to the movie "God's Not Dead", which I actually got teary as it brought up a lot of life challenges (e.g. elderly, Alzheimers, Cancer, Philosophical questions on: life, creation; etc... I can't wait till this movie comes out in DVD, which I would love to share that "God's Not Dead" (Newsboys challenged us to text this at the end of the movie) to as many people.

The last weekend of the month, I went on my monthly trip to the Twin Cities to visit familia. It was a scary moment Friday evening with my nephew as he was coughing blood (came from his bloody nose) as he's been sick after coming home from North Carolina for a vacation. Thank God he got better. I also came home to help hook the computer I bought as a gift to my parents, which is supposed to be "elderly" friendly! Then my friend Wanny (h.s. buddy) text me to read his book (about motivation) online on his story that I never knew about since I've know him during junior-high school!

April 2014

We started the 1st day of April "Fools Day" with snow, actually a little "blizzard". Big enough to cause some major drifts to cause this SUV to be stuck..

I found this truck stuck along my drive back home from my 2nd job early Tuesday morning. I thought it belonged to a friend (Tim) of mine, which I would later found out it wasn't after helping shovel some snow. The snow drifts caused a 1 hour "late-start" at my regular job. I was able to catch-up on my computer (pics and vids) project for that 1 hour.

One the 3rd (Thursday), I participated in my 1st MCC (local church) worship team practice. It was fun singing as joining the worship team will be an additive to my personal growth with my Heavenly Father (e.g. after my "Father's heart" as David).

On Saturday (5th), I went with my housemate (Rai) to the annual CNIA Pow Wow at the university. We would meet a couple of former college peers (Ryan & Jen) of mine with their kids. It was great to see UMM alumnus that come visit Morris again.

On Sunday (6th) during church service, I was part of the worship team for the 1st time! I was nervous a little, but when I kept reminding myself I'm singing to my Heavenly Father-my "butterflies" went away!

The following day a friend "out of the blue" came up to me and ask "how do I become a Christian?" (long story on how this came about). I thought it was very "God-timing" with the circumstances prior and during. I shared this (see photo album) as I was trying to find the "basic simplest" explanation. This is the story I emailed to my pastor and youth pastor of my local church..

"Update: 4.7.14

I thought of this share several days after when I was going to go to the local college to watch this movie (Jeremy Lin Story), but I kept telling myself "I wont' go unless I find someone else to join me to watch this". Well, it hit 7:30ish and I decided to stay home. Sometime later, my housemate came home from work. I told him about the movie that was being played. I shared some videos online of this guy's story. My housemate appeared to have a lot in his mind, so I would share with him. Then it led to sharing the Gospel (Salvation) story, which we ended up praying together to "accept Jesus" into his heart. Praise the Lord! Welcome brother Yuu!

I've been "trying" to grow in this more in "waiting/seeking" God's heart..daily for His purpose and His plans


I was motivated after this, so the following day I took a "friend" out to eat to just do some "personal chatting". I've learned to be more of a "listener" as people just "want to be heard" if we just take time. As I write this, I think of two other people in this community I've actually gone out to a "meal" with to just chat. I'm praying that these conversations will go "deeper" to point to God as the source of all these guys' (one of them actually past away, so I encourage one to pray more to "dig" deeper before it's too late :(-just like that song "The Living Years") hope" in their "life-challenges".

Ironically on this topic, the next day, I would read updates of former college alumnus and found out till "now" that a friend/former housemate died last year. I just visited this guy and sent him a video to encourage him after he shared his struggles. I wonder if he could've got this encouraging video much earlier??? ..or if he did?..One of those BIG life questions that I'll probably won't know until I get to Heaven :(...

On Thursday (10th), I went to an event at the local college campus called "Coming to America" (stories of UMM community sharing about their experiences coming to America and abroad). There were many great stories-too many to share here! Those who were there, I'm currently working on putting a photo archive with some video clips I took of this event for future generations to hear. I believe "we" all have a story to share to encourage, inspire, and even entertain others through their current "on-going" challenges as immigrants, refugees, migrants, or anyone traveling abroad to a "new country"-culture.

I went home for Palm Sunday weekend, which was also to celebrate both my sister and mom's birthday. We went to House of Wong (see sample dish) in Roseville, which was my 1st time there. I met James (sis' b/f) adopted dad for the first time, which we had a great lunch-chat with his family and ours.

When I got back from Morris the following day (Monday after a 3-day weekend) my local church needed volunteers with "tearing down" our future church building for remodeling preparations. I was so thankful my housemate (from Pakistan) was willing to work and tear down as he was ok doing this to help pay for his house rent. The following day (Tuesday), when I went to work. Several clients from my workplace told me they missed me even though I was just gone for a! Well, I was very touched by this as I realize my workplace has become like a family already after almost 9 years now.

On Wednesday (16th), we had a snow blizzard, which isn't too a surprise living in Minnesota all my life. Then the following day, Rai and I did more work in the church remodeling project. I had to leave after a short time for worship practice at our temporary location (former Morris Life Care Pregnancy Center office). A lot of the snow that we had yesterday was already melting today with our near "Spring-like" temps.

It was the Easter holiday weekend, which we had "Good Friday" (18th) off. However, I was battling a sore throat. I was able to get a lot of errands (e.g. fax/scan old notes from ministry school back in 1999, upload videos from my vacation back in the Philippines in 2012, etc...) done with the start of my holiday weekend. On Easter "Resurrection" Sunday, my friend/co-worker (Paul) invited over to have supper at his house with his family. It was such a blessing since I couldn't be with my family back in St. Paul for the holidays. Unfortunately, my battle with my sore throat got worse, which I had to call in "sick" for the 1st time this winter on Monday (21st). It was a good time to rest and I watched this interesting "prophecy" video called "Harbinger". The following day, I still wasn't feeling good, but just a "little better". My co-workers told me I should've stayed home, but I didn't want to be gone after a 4-day weekend. I brought some home remedies (e.g. apple vinegar), which I googled to help fight this sore throat. I'm just not a fan of going to the doctors, so I "google" (e.g home remedies) for all my ailments and it seem to help and safe time-money!

On Wednesday (23rd), it was a very eventful day for my housemates. My housemate (Yuu from Japan) had his senior seminar on "tatoos". Then, my other housemate and I went to Subway (despite the latest new on "rubber" made material bread they have, but as long I don't go there often). We didn't have time to go home to make supper as we had to be at the local elementary school for Rai's presentation in our weekly ESL classes. He wanted to get some practice before his actual "real" presentation at the USDA Soils Lab as part of this end of the week farewell. I learned a lot more about "Sunflowers" as that's what was his research project during his 6-month stay.

The next day (24th), I attended the annual "Women of Today Talent Show", which I try to support my co-workers/clients each year. It's very entertaining for whoever I bring too, but there was no one that came with me this year. It was a great time as I took this cool rainbow pic prior to going inside the American Legion to watch.

My last day of the week (25th-Friday) was pretty "easy" as I had to to take clients almost all day to the RFC as I subbed for a co-worker that usually took them. This is part of my job I mostly enjoy :) When I got home it was a beautiful day, so I wanted to take advantage of it and with Rai being around before he leaves. I asked him to hold the ladder as I did some "finishing touches" (caulking) the roof around the sky windows after I found some holes with leaks last summer when we put it up with the metal roof. I'm just hoping this will be good for the future. Time will tell as I don't like climbing the metal "slippery" roof. It took me a long time to figure how to do this late last summer.

For my housemate's (Rai) last full day, I treated him out as my guest at the annual "Taste of Asia" at the local campus. He was supposed to leave on Sunday, but it was postponed due to unusual circumstances. Instead, he left the next day, but very early 2ish in the morning! It was a great experience to meet 3 guys now from Pakistan as it's been very culturally enriching!