Tuesday, March 4, 2014


THIS WEEK MARKS THE END OF THE FIRST 6 MONTHS OF OUR MISSION. We can hardly believe it, but our release date is February 28, 2015, so we are less than a year from returning home. The time goes so fast. In fact, it seems to go Faster and faster.  

 I had a little bit of time to cook, so I tried a new recipe. This is Caldereta, or Kalderata. Ignore the broccoli, it is not part of this dish. In fact, just serving it over rice is more an American thing than Filipino. Here, rice is served beside the dish, and Often is shaped into a ball or a cup.  
I have been wanting to try it. It is spicy stew, made ​​with brisket. I cheated and purchased a packet of seasoning / sauce for it. MamaSitas Caldereta, and I followed the recipe on the back of the package.  

But, we liked it very much. It has brisket. Purchase about 1 pound, or 1/2 Kilo. cover with water and add salt and pepper. Simmer until the meat starts to get tender. A bout 1 1/2 hours. Add about 1 1/2 cups of cut-up carrots, and let cook a little longer while you peel the potatoes. Add about 1 1/2 cups of potatoes, cut into bite size. When They are tender, make sure you have about 2 cups of the broth from the cooking. If not, add a little extra water. Stir in the sauce packet, and then add 1/1/2 cups of frozen peas. Bring back to a Boil and serve hot with rice.  
 Sometimes it is made ​​with chicken. But the brisket here is nice. It is not sold whole, like at home, but cut into chunks.  
We are losing the battle with the bedbugs. .. More casualties this week. And trying hard not to become casualties ourselves!   Yuck! And transfers are upon us. We are trying to get them under control, so that the pesky little bug ger s do not stow away to new lodgings with the missionaries. We did not have a lot of work to do delivering this week. Just lots of permethrin.    

We had another FHE with the seniors, and (Nearly) everyone brought pictures from their  time here. Some of them were fabulous. Many had great stories to go with them, my favorite part.,  

Manila Temple is closed for cleaning for the first two weeks of March, WE DO NOT get that time off to go sightseeing, etc.. as the temple missionaries do . But to prepare, we took our exiting missionaries, with Pres and Sister Revillo, on Wed to the temple, instead of two weeks later on the final day of their mission.   It was wonderful, as always.  

The Jensens are continuing the work caring for families who need a little boost to get going. So, They are building a house for an active family, the Andreas family. They have five children, and were evicted. So, His brother lives in a small house in the middle of Cardona. His parents live attached to his house. His home has two levels, theirs only one. So, Jun and Dexter and the family are adding another level to the parents "house". First, They had to dig a hole for the CR. They did that in the little space the parents occupied.  They will move back in after the project, with the CR in THEIR little area. This is the little alley you walk through from the street to reach the house. No place else to leave the building materials.

Here are the Johnsons and Elder S, and Elder Anderson. Making Business Decisions!

These are pictures of the service project to help get the house built. Missionaries came from Teresa, Morong, and Binangonan. When we got there, Sisters Franks and Medina from Morong were digging the hole for the septic tank.  It was already over heads to throw the mud out. They dug it out, and then the elders loaded it into buckets and carried it out to the vacant lot across the street. Later, When it needed a pickax, Elder Abel took over for them.

Here are the two sisters, with the brother who owns the adjoining house, and his sister in the middle. All nine of the family moved in down the street with her ​​while the project is completed. Notice behind them, the wall of the next house. And against it, the only nice piece of furniture this woman owns. A wooden cupboard, with a picture of Christ on it.

This is Jun, the foreman, on top with power tools, making the framework for the new house upstairs.
And this is the adjoining house, and Elder Anderson up stairs in the window, preparing to change the wall so that it can hold another house.  

Just FYI, this family will have a house for about $ 1,000. They can not be evicted from it.  Also, three families have a working wage for a couple of weeks, and the missionaries had plenty of happy service hours! The home is almost done. Next, a remodeling for a widow in Tanay. After that, a new apartment for the sisters in Morong. It is a "fixer-upper". We are going to make some renovations before They can move in.  
Again, Sisters  Franks and Medina. They were covered  with mud  on Thursday and working like chain gang prisoners. On Friday, They were at the temple. They took a van full of people to the temple, to do baptisms for the dead and also to tour the temple grounds.  They both cooked a full meal for about 35 people, and brought it with them. Their companions helped them.  Then, those who could, went inside. Those who could not, were taught about the temple outside.  
Here is Sister Franks. This is a "part-member" family. She is a member. Her husband is studying with the missionaries. They came to learn about "eternal families". They have another little boy.

Sister Johnson and I were outside with the tour. Our Elders were inside, assisting with the baptisms. The older girls here had already done theirs. Next to Sister Johnson is the Andreas grandma, 72, an investigator. She is the grandma who was displaced from her little house to build another one on top for her son's family. Next to her are two of her granddaughters.

T he family here are next door neighbors to another member. They are studying with the missionaries, too.  

The Andreas family, while waiting for the new home to be built, all made ​​time to come to do baptisms. And they brought Grandma!

WE did not plan to be at the temple again that day, but we got an SOS from the Johnsons, that there were not enough priesthood holders to do the work. So, as soon as we could we ran up and jumped in there.  
One of the most wonderful things about our mission is that we never really know what will come. Every minute of every day belongs to the Lord. I can not tell you how freeing that is. We plan, we work hard, we do what we need to, but finally, we just follow the Spirit and do what comes next. And there is an adventure every day.

Of course, some things we still do not really want to do! This week, we each got an "invitation".  One funny thing, this nice form they use is in English.  And it says that the meeting begins promptly at 9:00 am in the afternoon.  
Needless to say, it is not easier to prepare a talk When you know that you can not speak the language. Although some of the speakers use some English, our meetings are held mostly in Tagalog. Since we moved to the city, our Tagalog has not improved at all. We never get to hear it, or use it, as we did when we taught with the missionaries. But, we will do our best. I am sure the Branch President had some kind of goal, when we asked us!

Lunch at the work site! Just like home, pot luck for the labor. WE have so much fun!  

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