THANKSGIVING DINNER IN OUR APARTMENT
WITH THE YOUNG ELDERS AND SISTER DOUGLAS
Thanksgiving is a North American holiday but in talking to people here, they like the idea and are implementing it in small ways. A gentleman we talked to in Kuching who is Anglican, was speaking in his church on gratitude last Sunday because 'it is such a good idea to set aside a time to be thankful' he told me. We have so many things to be thankful for and our family and friends are right up there at the top of that list. We are also very thankful to be here in East Malaysia AND serving a humanitarian mission.
So today we had our district meeting this week at our place and I fixed a Thanksgiving dinner for the 8 of us---4 elders and 2 senior couples. I had quite the adventures fixing it. First of all, it is hard to find a good turkey here. Oh, they have them but they have been sitting in the freezer for a while and they are very expensive (like about 50 US dollars for a 10 lb. turkey). And secondly, my oven is too small to get a turkey in it. So we had chicken. I also fixed dressing, cranberry sauce (from a can), mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, dinner rolls, apple pie and pumpkin pie.
I am so out of practice with baking. I used Christine's great crescent roll recipe because I knew they would be good. So I was mixing up the rolls and had 3/4 of the flour mixed in and the dough was so stiff and 'dead' (you who make your own bread will know what I mean by that) and I still had a cup of flour to get mixed in. So I went back to the recipe and checked all the ingredients. Oops. I had left out 2 eggs. I sure didn't want to throw it out and start over so I just flattened out the dough and broke an egg on top and started mixing. What a mess! But I kept at it and then added the other egg and kept kneading. Pretty soon it felt right. They must have been OK because they disappeared fast at the dinner table.
KAMPONG SADIR WITH BAMBOO FLOOR
IN THE COMMUNITY AREA
ELLEN WALKING DOWN THE PATH AT THE KAMPUNG
Last week was another adventure. We flew to Kuching, down on the southern tip of East Malaysia, which is the capitol of Sarawak. We have been there several times and met with all four Rotary Clubs there in that fine city. Our first day there we were taken by members of a Rotary Club and men who work for the Ministry of Health to visit some villages out in the jungle. We drove south towards the Indonesian border to visit 2 different kampungs who have clean water problems. Their current water systems are old and inadequate. Both kampungs have been added in to our major water project. We knew we would be doing them as well as the other sites when we submitted the project earlier this month so it was just a formality going to the villages. At one of the kampungs we were told that most of the people are related to each other (there are about 575 of them in 80 houses) and they had lived in that place for about 600 years. They are members of the Bidayuh ethnic group and that means "walking by foot path" in their language. At both kampungs I got a GPS reading and we were 1 degree north of the equator. We were welcomed with speeches and food and treated very respectfully.
THEY ALWAYS WANT SPEECHES
ENTRANCE/EXIT TO THE KAMPUNG
Another day we went to visit the Sarawak General Hospital which is a teaching hospital for Sarawak. We met with the head nurse who is called the Matron and found that they have some needs as well. They deliver over 100 babies EVERY DAY!! It is a very busy place serving a large area.
We met a new senior couple in Kuching. They are the Reidt's and have only been there a few weeks. He went out to the kampungs with us and will be helping us by coordinating some church member help with working on the water systems. We are grateful for their willingness to do that. It saves us a lot of travel and the church some $$.
Last Sunday I spoke in sacrament meeting on Family History and Temple Work. That is something I really miss doing while we are here on our mission. However, I have recently been able to help a sister get some family names ready for her to take when she goes to the Manila temple in a few weeks with her family to be sealed.
KATE (STANDING) INTRODUCED US TO THESE 3 WOMEN FROM
PROVO, UTAH, VACATIONING IN KK
We spend much of our time in the sky and this is the common scene out the window. We can maneuver most airports here blindfolded. I think with a little help we could fly the plane to where we need to go.
VIEW FROM THE WINDOW OF THE PLANE
Our water project is now in Salt Lake to be approved by Presiding Bishop Burton. That will be Tuesday your time. So we are very hopeful that it will go through as we have spent a very large part of our mission working on this and getting the bugs worked out and preparing all parts of it. However we are obedient and if it is not approved we will move on. It has gone through 9 levels at this point and this is the final level.
If it is approved we will be on the road...or sky... to the three cities that the projects are located in to get papers signed and make arrangements for everything to move ahead. Part of this will be kick off ceremonies they like to have and the rest will be interviewing people to select the correct site monitors who will report to us each week on each of the projects. We then will be traveling each month to each location to monitor and work out problems. So we will be very busy. I am very hopeful we can get it done before next September when we go home. Next month is our half way point,,,,, it is so hard to believe that.
We celebrated our 42nd here on Borneo. We thought we would go somewhere for our celebration and then thought that is what we are doing all the time!! Well maybe we will go out to dinner? No we are doing that all the time too! SO I hired our local travel agent and dear member of the church to bring in a suprise dinner and flowers for Ellen. Afterwards we went to a church meeting!! Yep we are on a mission.
OUR 43RD WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
SUNSET IN BINTULU
...................till we meet again...................