Monday, February 2, 2015

Yes, they are still winning!

Or we are still having losses.  Sympathy for the Seahawks! 

Here is our sorry story for last week. 

 When we got the three new cars, about a million years ago, they had temporary licenses on them.  After about 6 months, the area office called us and told us to pick up the license plates and install them.  Elder Schlager put the ones on our car, and gave the others to the office elders for their car and Sister Revillo's car.  They came with a set of bolts to attach them to the car, but we already had bolts with the temporary ones. So, we all just used the ones already there, as no one told us to do otherwise.  (The new bolts were passed on to our apartment couple, as he does repairs daily)  
A few weeks ago, the Elders were driving Sister's car, and the plates were stolen.  
President was concerned.  It IS the Philippines. He is afraid the plates will be used in a crime, and traced back to the mission.   He told them to go to the fleet office and report it.  THEY said, the other bolts were special, designed to break the head off when you used them, so that no one could use a screw driver and remove the plates.  (Well, thanks for telling us NOW, guys!)  
So, our poor APs have spent most of their time for the past two weeks, running around the city, with notarized documents, affidavits, police reports, etc.  trying to get the plates number removed from OUR record and new plates for that car.  WE have been trying to find the kind of bolts you need, so that we can replace them on the other two cars before it happens AGAIN!  Yeah, that is not happening!  Maybe we can get them from the LTO (Land Travel Office, but don't hold your breath!)

And, the one for this week:

This is Elder Barreno.  He is a fairly new Elder in our mission, and a Filipino.  He and his companion stopped, about 5:00, at this tindehan to get a drink.  They are assigned in the city, and not one of our safer areas.  While they were there, a man no one knew, and who appeared to be high and perhaps waiting for them, pulled a knife and tried to stab Elder Barreno.  He missed, twice, but finally did manage to stab him in the right forearm  slightly, and then ran away.  Fortunately, the damage was minimal. A quick trip to the hospital, and he is back to work.  We are so grateful for the protection afforded him.   


Elder Schlager and I have been ill.  This is NOT a healthy environment, due to the smog and other things in the air. Some of our missionaries have been told that they can't work in the city---rashes and things. We finally got so drippy and disgusting that we gave up.  My first, ever, sinus infection.  So, we got advice from the medical practitioner, got some amoxycillan, and we are getting better.  Yuck, like really bad head colds, but never getting better.  Just worse and worse.

BUT, LIFE is still great!

Coming home from church last Sunday, we encountered a very strange parade.  Even the Filipinos aren't really sure what it was--some kind of Catholic celebration.  They were carrying dolls---in, fact, booths were SELLING dolls, in all sizes.  What I would call, 'graven images',  but what do I know?   

I had a wonderful day on Friday.  We held our Sister's Conference.  
A Celebration of "God's Most Beautiful Creation"
I guess I was sort of the Key Note speaker---who knew?  President said, to me, at the last minute, "Can you go first, to introduce the theme?"  
Well, I had been asked to speak to the Sisters on Self-Esteem.  
So, I Did.  
Then we heard from President Revillo, and from Sister Revillo.  Then, we went to the cultural hall and they all changed to exercise clothes, and we worked!
And Played...............
Sister Revillo, giving them the instructions.  
Sister Johnson did a workshop on organizational skills.
Sister Sheffer did one on cooking, and added a lot of pages to their recipe books. (And did a fun game, where they won, as prizes, the ingredients for some of the recipes.)

Then, we watched "The Errand of Angels", about Sister Missionaries in Austria, while Sister Revillo and I handed them sandwiches, drinks, cookies, and later, popcorn.  
Finally, we did the "swap meet".  
They all brought clothes, bags, accessories, they were tired of , of we put them all out, like a sale table at an after-Christmas sale at Macy's.
They had a ball, picking through, trying on, taking pictures, and I think everyone took home some "new" things.  It was fun.  Our sisters range from childs' small to bigger than me.  They were all dressing each other.  "This one looks like you, Sis!"

Afterward, we packed up all the remainders, about 4 huge bags full, and Elder and I took it to the MTC.  They were really glad to receive it, as Sisters come there all the time with very few belongings.  They shop downstairs in a sort of thrift shop that the MTC provides for them.  


That we need more seasoned missionaries?  Well, another couple returned home last week, and President is moving his men around on the board to defend the posts that need defending.  (Sort of!)  
Anyway, the Whittakers served for 18 months in the Sampaloc Branch, and did a heroic job.  
As I mentioned, President asked us if we would object to leaving Binangonan and supporting the Sampaloc Branch.  Well, NO!

I am sure no one was ever welcomed to church with more love and joy than we were on Sunday morning.  When we drove in, most came out to welcome us!
 Beautiful Sampaloc.  It was clear and cool and lovely. We did not use the fans, but opened all the windows.  It got so cold in Sunday School, we had to close the ones behind me.  
 Elder was handed a note from an older couple with health issues, the Besarios, asking us to come after church to see them.  We were both invited to bear our testimonies.  Elder has been asked to teach two classes next week.  They are planning a temple trip in three weeks and need help with that.  President Dollete told me to "bring your lunch", because from now on we will be doing visits with them in the afternoon, on Sunday.

After the meetings, they are holding piano classes for those who wish to learn to play.  The church provides up to 6 keyboards in each branch, and Sister Whittaker, Sister Johnson, and Sister Sheffer all ordered them and began teaching.  Here are Sister Dollete and their recent RM daughter, Eunice, teaching.  (Because Sister Whittaker is gone, now.) Elder Schlager was in a PEC meeting with the missionaries.
After that, we took our missionaries, and President Dollete, and went to hold a special Sacrament Meeting with Brother and Sister Besario, in their garden.  
Finally, we drove home in the late afternoon, back to the city.  
We are so blessed, to be able to spend our final months with these wonderful Saints, and on the 21st, three more will be endowed!  I promised Sister Esponilla I would be there when she went to the temple, and I WILL BE!

This is jackfruit, or jak, hanging on the tree up there.  They are all around.  
Know about jackfruit?  Look it up!  Sometimes they weigh about 100 pounds!

Here is another recipe for you:

Mango Float Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of mangoes (thinly sliced)
  • Graham crackers 1 box
  • Crushed Graham 1 tbsp
  • 1 can all purpose Nestle cream
  • 1 can condensed milk

  • Chill the Nestle for 30 minutes cream then whip the Cream in a bowl.
  • Fold the whipped cream with condensed milk, then Mix well.
  • Then on the layered crackers on the bottom, spread the milk and cream mixture.
  • Then spread out the thin sliced mangoes evenly on top of the cream.
  • Make another layer of graham crackers; spread the cream and mango slices. You can do lots of layers if you want.
  • Garnish top layer with mango and sprinkle the crushed graham.
  • Chill the Mango Float for at least 2 to 3 hours before serving.

We buy the cream in cans or in boxes on the shelf.  You will just want to use whipping cream.  Condensed milk is Condesada, or sweetened condensed milk, NOT evaporated milk.  That is where the sweetness comes from.  You can make this with bananas, also.  They call it Banana Float.  And, it is often served frozen, not just chilled.    Try it. Very Filipino.

Our daughter says, "No wonder they don't want to come home.  It is one continuous party over there!"  
She may be right!

So much beauty here!