The typhoon that was, and then wasn't.........
We were told that this storm was bigger, and meaner, than Yolanda.
We were ready. We prepared, we planned, we provided, and we prayed.
Ultimately, we had over 3,000 emergency food kits ready, and so did the mission in Naga and the ones in Cebu. These were for the members we fully expected to have to shelter in our buildings during and after the storm.
By noon on Sunday, the truck was packed and ready to go. They were still telling us that Monday was going to be really bad in Manila. We were all safely in and waiting by Sunday night. Guess what? It fizzled out. We got a little rain. A very little rain. Elder and I swam that morning. This time, the Philippines was protected.
However, in case you think we do not work over here, I have to tell you that when I got dressed today, I chose the shoes I wore on Saturday. I could not figure it out at first. They were
Full of rice!
I am still teaching music
to the Primary in Binangonan. Now that the program is over, we are having fun with Christmas music. I am not sure if I ever showed this. This is the music stand I had built for the Primary, to hold the songs we teach them. They sing and sing, but it really is hard for them to remember all the English words. So, I write them, and we hang them up and they can read as they go. It is good practice for them, also, in preparing to serve in the church.
Here is another nativity:
please note the sign over the manger. This is quite common here. It says: If you are wondering why the manger is empty, it is because we are eagerly anticipating the Birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, on Dec 24th. Merry Christmas. Look for Him here on Christmas Day.
One of Elder's jobs is the mail.
This requires that we go to the Quezon City Post Office about once a week. We take all the mail our missionaries are sending by post. (There is another entire facet of the Pouch Mail) We also take the "package" cards that are delivered here, to tell us to pick up packages at the post office. Of course, it is Christmas time. So, we go with cards to pick up 7 or 8 packages and come back with 30. It is at least a 2 1/2 hour trip each time. About 4-5 miles!
Well, While Elder is picking up all the packages, and signing for each one individually, in the book they manually wrote it down in when it arrived, according to it's assigned number, (Lots of notebooks), I go do the mailing.
We have to list, first, all the letters and packages individually, so that the missionary can have his postage costs deducted from his support. Then, If I am lucky, NONA is there. SHE has a postal meter. She divides them up by area, after she looks through the lists to decide WHERE Tonga, or Kiribati, or Ceylon is. (Can't blamer her for that. I don't know where half of the places are either!)
But, if she is not there, I have to use the other window. SHE has no postal meter. She gives me stamps to stick on the letters, and then I have to record on my list the cost of each piece of mail. Sometimes, this is done with a wet, dirty sponge, in a bowl. Yuck. That is if the stamps actually have any glue on them.
First, she has to weigh the letter, on a scale that I am sure is a relic from an old meat shop. She records on the letter it's weight. Now, she is ready to find the area of the destination. She has a mimeographed set of sheets for that. Usually has to ask someone. With the weight and the area, she looks at another list to determine the cost of the postage Then, she has a book, and the stamps are filed in it according to denomination. She carefully tears off the right ones, replacing the sheets of stamps in the book where they go, and then writes down how much for each, confirms with me that she is giving me that amount of postage. On occasion, I just had to wet the stamps and stick them. Usually several per letter. Last time, she handed me a pot of library paste and a 2 inch long plastic stick. ARGHHHHHH. There are real concrete reasons why I am not a "scrapbooker". I nearly pasted myself to the counter. Well, yesterday Nona was away again. I guess I flunked "paste", because the other lady didn't even offer the paste to me, this time.
Here she is, carefully pasting the stamps on all of the letters and packages I took in.
Finally, she adds up all HER calculations, has me confirm with her that the mail has all those stamps on it, and then tells me how much to pay. I take the receipt and my record back to the office, and we prepare an invoice for Elder Yourglich, so that he can repay us. In turn, he takes the appropriate amount of postage off of each Elder/Sisters support for the month. Usually, this all costs, packages (p100 each) included, about p4000 -p6000 (about $100 -150.)
Elder has a cold,
so I am having a quiet day at home. Well, sort of quiet. I decided to make more candy for Christmas. First, here is another recipe for you. I found it on Pinterest.
Peanut Butter Truffles
1 Cup powdered sugar
1/2 Cup creamy peanut butter
3 Tbls. butter, softened
White chocolate chips or bark for dipping them
Cream the butter, peanut butter, and sugar together until it will form in to a ball for you.
Shape into small balls, about the size of a hazel nut. (Keep them small, they get bigger when you dip them. Should get about 25 from this batch.)
Chill on waxed paper in the refrigerator until they are firm.
Melt your white chocolate in a microwave oven until you can stir up with no lumps left. Working quickly, dip them in the chocolate and place back on the waxed paper. When they cool, you can dribble the chocolate over them to make them "pretty". And they are very good!
While I was at it,I decided to make two more batches of the Glazed Almonds. Well, here is your funny story. I forgot to turn off the flame on the stove before I added the vanilla to the boiling sugar. Flames shot up everywhere. I pulled the pan off the fire, and then there were MORE flames. I am dealing with that, and Elder jumps up and says,"Your hair is on fire!" He put it out with his hands.
Fortunately, I have an appointment later with my Stylist, Miss Ned, She will put me back together again. I am not burned, just disfigured
.And, here I am with Miss Ned and Rayne, my angels. They did the best they could with my hair coming out in wads in the comb, and stubs 3cm long on the crown of my head!
Not too shabby for 67! (They are 35 and 20).
Goodbye, Sister Cutia.
(Mission home is beautifully decorated for Christmas.)
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE PHILIPPINES!!