Sunday, October 20, 2013

WEEK SIX Oct 13-20

As the questions about food keep coming up, here is another cooking lesson for you.  This is a very traditional dish, as well, and you can find about 10000 recipes for it on the internet.  But this one is simple, if you can find the ingredients, and we liked it so much I think we will eat it often.  That is an orange on the side.  We eat a lot of fruit, and have tried several new ones.  The things we are used to are expensive, but we can get oranges, apples, red grapes, grapefruit, mango, bananas. watermelon,  pears and tomatoes.   So far, don't like pomelo, like a huge dry grapefruit , not a fan of papaya, Elder likes lanzones better than I do, mangostein is just a real disappointment.  We can both enjoy a lichi  fruit or two, but they are a lot of work for a tiny bit of fruit and a big seed.
We DO like, however, anything coconut, including the best macaroons I have EVER tasted, coconut candy, and fresh coconut shreds in a fruit salad.  It is  young coconut season, so they are stacked everywhere, big green basketballs that you need a machete to get into, and then you pour out the coconut juice, scrape out the most inner layer, into small shreds and add it to the juice, and then drink it like that.  Sort of a glass of sweet water with fibrous chewy stuff in it!  As far as we can tell, they just throw the rest away?!
The bakeries are going to be our downfall.  

Filipino Pancit                          
2 lbs uncooked noodles   I use the Bihon (or bijon rice) noodles, but you can use pancit or vermicelli or a combination
4 cups sliced fresh vegetables  -  cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, green onions, red onion, celery
1 lb. lean pork, cut into very small pieces
½ cup oil
1 onion minced
1 Tbls.  Soy sauce
8 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pork bouillon cube
6 cups water
1.     Do NOT soak the rice noodles, but if you use vermicelli or pancit, soak them for a while to soften while you prepare the vegetables.

2.     Brown the pork in the oil with the soy sauce, garlic, and onion. Add the water and bouillon cube to the pork and bring to a low simmer.  Add the vegetables and cook for 5-10 minutes.  Add the uncooked rice noodles, (About 8 cups worth, but they are very stiff and hard to measure! You need a lot! ) and simmer over low heat until the noodles soften and soak up all of the broth.  Serve with soy sauce and sweet chili sauce.  Or, just serve sweet chili sauce with everything. 

 This week began a little slow.  We went into the city to do some shopping again, and were able to find Elder a pair of crocs that actually fit, and can be scrubbed and dried and ready for a new day.  They were expensive, but if they save his other shoes it will be worth it.   Our clothing situation is really funny.  So far, we ruin about 1 garment per week.  And replacing them is not going to be easy.  I don't know if the younger missionaries do better, but we should have brought more clothes, I think.  

 Shoppping here is fun.  The malls are really big, like two or three together.  You go in to park, which costs about 15 cents.  There are guards at the door of the parking garage, with rifles,  who open your trunk, and also carry a mirror on a pole for looking UNDER your car.  Then they wave you in.  I don't think I want to know what they are looking for.
 Then, the big malls have lights above every parking spot.  It is red if there is a car there, and green if it is open for parking.  No driving all the way down the aisle and finding a "farking spot".
   At  the door of the mall, another guard, who  pokes a stick into your purse and pats down the guys.  Elder seldom gets his behind patted, though.  I guess we look honest, or harmless? I have been looking and looking and LOOKING for yarns, etc. to do some crocheting.  I finally found a few in a store in downtown Antipolo.  This is the ENTIRE stock of choices, which doesn't look too bad if you don't know that the little balls are about  the size of a golf ball, and the others about the size of a softball.  Anyway, still looking for hooks, etc.   

This will be of limited interest, I know, but any woman knows that a hairstylist you like and trust is pretty important.  Leaving mine home was almost a deal breaker for me.  As soon as I got here, I began to ask around.  I was told to go to Davids'.  That is a chain, and they have shops in the big malls and also near the temple.  So, on Monday, we went to find one.  I needed a haircut.  We stood outside, and Elder said, "It looks expensive."  Yeah, so what???? I was afraid "walk ins" might not be welcome, but they took me right in.  The young man in the back of the picture washed my hair, lovely!, and then put me in a chair and pushed me forward and gave me a massage!  I guess the stylist wants you too relaxed to complain?  Then, this lovely young woman came and cut my hair.  It doesn't look like this when I style it---she styled each hair separately, I think.  But, when it was all over, I went up to pay.  It was P220.  With tip, it cost me about $7.  Sister Jensen tells me that IS expensive.  She pays about P60!   

Tuesday and Wednesday we were teaching again, and met some new friends and saw some old ones.  In Sampaloc, we went out of town the other direction, to a neighborhood of cinder block and concrete homes,  and found a family that another set of missionaries were teaching, but then got transferred.  When the new elders tracked into them, they were so excited.  WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR YOU!  So, we all went, and met a Tatay, (grandpa) and Nanay, (grandma), their son and his three children, and their daughter and her baby.  They couldn't stop talking.  They were bearing testimony so fast, in Tagalog, and the grandma just kept holding on to me and trying to tell me what was in her heart.  I wanted to understand her so badly.  Finally, I asked Elder McCoy to help me understand.  The children, even the baby, just sat and listened.  

I    In Malaya, we were able to visit with two new families, the De Castro Family and the Magnai family, as well as with Josue Morales, who was scheduled for baptism on Sat.  We had Brother Alvarez with us, a member missionary from the branch who walks with a cane and needed to be steadied, but who is such a blessing! 

     This is the De Castro family.  She is actually the oldest daughter of the Magnai family, and they are all part of a huge family who own a lot of land out there, in the hills.  These are her children.  All but the two youngest are committed to baptism on the 16th of Nov.  The father is just a little behind them.

When we arrived at the Magnai home, THIS is what we found.  A Filipini cradle.  It was actually a lot of homes, all near each other, and we met at a sort of communal dining hall where they cook, and spend their time.  There is a big table, and all under a bamboo roof with a wooden floor and big benches all around.  The mother and three daughters were there, with their babies.  Little ones everywhere.  Another note about the kids here.  We frequently see them without pants.  Almost never without their flipflops.  I think they put shoes on them the minute they are born.  By they time they are walking, they manage  them like pros.  
These elders teach with such power!  That afternoon, we met with a young man to plan his baptism, and they committed 8 more people to baptism for the 16th of November.  It is such a privilege to be able to be with them.  I really wish I were three people, as we want to be in every branch, every week.  

Thursday our elders in Tanay were working with members, so we took the opportunity to run into the Distribution  center for supplies.  We had ordered some white pants for Elder several weeks ago, as we did not get the memo telling us to bring our White Clothing with us.  He will need them to help baptize.  No chance there will be a white jumpsuit in his size anywhere in these meeting houses!  So, we picked up a lot of books and things for our own work and for the Jensens, and then asked about the pants.  Turns out, they are here.  However, they are in a cupboard, which is turned towards another cupboard, and then big boxes of stock all around that.  So sorry, but they can't get to them.  Please come back next week, or maybe the next week.   That is one funny story for you.  So typically Filipino.  Can you imagine any business at home having that attitude?  And getting away with it? But we are adjusting, I guess.  When he needs them, I am sure he will have them.  

Every city has a public market, sometimes several.  These are streets and streets of small shops, selling all kinds of things.  I had wanted to try to find some yarns, etc. there.  So Friday, we took ourselves and our badges and our cards and went out to meet the people and explain who we are and ask them if they have the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives.  They are often quite anxious to talk to us, and to tell us that they are Christian, too.  We also bought all the fruits and veggies we needed for the week, some of it very lovely.  We got a small cauliflower and a small broccoli, fresh corn on the cob, and many other things.  They sell these fruits that look like limes, but are orange inside.  Great juice to use on things.  Anyway, here is your second funny story.  We are walking along, hand in hand, talking to people and buying things.  And I stopped to buy something, and then reached back for Elder's hand, and he lets go of me, and I turned around and it wasn't him!  Some poor man was trying to politely disentangle himself from this strange woman.  I have learned quite a few Tagalog phrases now, but "I am SO sorry" is not one of them!  Incidentally, we went down a couple of alleys off the main street, and it got pretty hairy.  That is the only place we have been since we got here that DID smell nasty.  And walking was a bit treacherous.  Don't think we will do that again. 

 Saturday was the highlight of our week.  We were up early, and met the Jensens and the young missionaries in Teresa for a service project at Maligaya.  Remember, this is the neighborhood where Elder Jensen has built several homes, and where several LDS families live?  I don't know if I mentioned that it is down off the hill from the highway, and there is just a steep path that runs down there, and then a lot of uneven ground
 between the houses.  Pretty dangerous.  Well, Elder Jensen has been working with the Baranguay leaders, local government, to get permission to put a concrete road down to it. so that the trikes can run up and down.  There is a Sister Mercy down there, in a wheelchair.  If the trikes can come down, she can come up!  So, we took a crew out there to make the road ready for concrete.  This is about half of our work crew.  Everybody grabbed a tool or a trash bag and went to work.  


Elder S. dug right in, along with the young guys, and he has the blister to prove it!

And, of course, Sister Jensen soon had all the children who were gathered around to watch these crazy people, excited and ready to work.  So, they did!

       When the roadbed was ready, they spread gravel and it is now prepared for the concrete trucks.  The blue lines are the water lines into the area.  The red ones are the power lines.  Each house has a hose for water and power to charge their cell phones!

Saturday night, we had our choice of three different baptisms to attend, but we went to Malaya to see Josue Morales baptized by brother Alvarez.  Good thing we did.  We arrived right on time, to find no one there but the missionaries and the young man and his branch missionary.  Elder Loste says, "Elder, I was looking for you.  Would you like to speak at the baptism?"  His companion was  in the office, waiting for an answer so he could finish the program.  So, Elder S. prepared a talk on the Holy Ghost.  No hurry, the baptism began 30 minutes late, which is pretty good for here, and the people kept arriving, until about 6:00.  The room was full, though.  And Elder S did a really good job.  

Brother Alvarez had a hard time, and nearly fell, and it had to be done again.  I was praying so hard for him, that his leg would support both of them.  This is Elder Loste on the left and Elder DePaz on the right.  And the new Brother Morales, 20 years old and so excited!  We gave him a Tagalog triple combination, with our testimony in it, in Tagalog, thanks to the help of the Sisters from Morong.

Things are great here.  We love our life.  Sister Harris said they missed milk and pie.  Well, I don't know about that, but I miss my bathtub, and my dryer!!  Elder misses fresh milk, also, and refried beans.  Elder and I both miss Mexican Food!  We ate out at a mall recently, and ordered fajitas.  And we shopped for weeks to find salsa and tortillas.  Then, we made tacos!!  We had to fry the fresh tortillas, but they were great!  No taco seasoning,  I had to season the meat with garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes.  Now I found cumin!

We really miss being a part of a ward, which makes us miss our ward so much more.  Although we are always so welcome, we are just visitors in 3 different branches.  Even the city missionaries get to attend in the same branch every week. But, lest this begins to sound like a list of complaints, 

There are little signs at the front of our neighborhood, and then here and there around it.  They say:

God is good,
All the time.
 All the time,
God is good.

Whenever I come home and see the sign, the Spirit confirms that for me.  How blessed we are.  

1 comment:

  1. Love the update! You're on such a fantastic adventure. I missed Mexican Food too on my mission, only got to eat it once, but it was SO good! Love and prayers!