Sunday, February 15, 2015

One Day at a Time!

Monday: It' P-Day, and I've been up and moving for quite awhile. I started with getting my white shirts in the wash, then Sister Bodell and I washed the car, cleaned house, and planted a small garden. All this before 10:00 AM. We've also been out picking up a broken chair from the ZLs' place in hopes that Elder Tedrow can fix it while he and his wife are here for zone meeting tomorrow. They are having lunch with us today.

The Tedrows arrived around 12:20 this afternoon. We had a nice lunch of hamburgers and potato salad here at home. Then Elder Tedrow and I picked up the ZLs and their bikes and took them to the bike shop. One of them needed a new tire, but he was planning on negotiating for a new bike. I'll have to see how that turned out. We got back to our place, and Elder Tedrow fixed the broken chair. Then we took them to the hospital to visit Sister Mills.

We left everyone at the hospital, picked up the wrong bike delivery (See last week's blog) and took it to City-Link to ship to KK. There was a mess up with the paper work, but they got it straightened out . . . we hope. We left the bike there. Now all we have to do is wait for the right bike to be shipped here.

So, the garden is an experiment. I will keep you posted on its progress. These are pictures from day one. If I can get anything to grow, I'll try some more. Some of the seeds that I planted were found here in the house. I don't know if they're viable or not. We bought the cilantro and lettuce seeds here.
The cilantro seeds are labeled coriander. They don't use cilantro here in Malaysia. At least, we haven't been able to find any.

I planted bush beans in the first pot, cilantro, and lettuce in the second one.

The top left pot has something . . . I've forgotten what right now. The pot with the plant in also has zucchini seeds. The middle pot is just full of weeds right now.
And finally, this little pot has peas in it.
As I wrote that last sentence, I was reminded that we can't find sour cream or buttermilk here either. Sister Bodell has been making sour cream by adding lemon juice to whipping cream. It works pretty well. We're still looking for a buttermilk substitute.

What was I saying in my last blog about no more houses to close? SIGH! We got an email from Sister Mains today asking that we go back to Bintulu to close one more house, possibly this week or next. We'd like to fly, but we'll have too much stuff to pack up and bring back with us. All this, and it's still only Monday! The good news is that we don't have to clean it all out. That should already be done. Should being the operative word. It isn't really a bad drive, but there are more potholes on the way to Bintulu than to Mukah.

While Elder Tedrow and I were out this afternoon, a moto with a family of four pulled up to a light next to us. We both surreptitiously took a picture.

The good news is that they're all wearing helmets.

I also caught this guy on his moto on his way home from a shopping trip

Tuesday: Good news! The trip to Bintulu isn't imminent. We don't know when we're going, but we don't feel rushed to get it done. However, we are going next week. We will also conduct some more seminary teacher training while we are there.

Today was Zone Meeting. The ZLs did an outstanding job on involving the Elders in the zone in the discussions. We had a short session to start with the usual song, prayer, and purpose. Then each set of missionaries reported on miracles that had happened to them the past week. The miracle I witnessed this past week was Sunday when the four missionaries from Branch 2 spoke in Sacrament meeting. That's nothing all that unusual except they were asked about 30 minutes before church started. They coordinated their talks and selected the music that would enhance the topics on which they spoke. Each of the missionaries taught with the Spirit. It's one of the most spiritual meetings I've attended.

There was an intermission where the missionaries were treated to homemade cookies, chips, and pretzels supplied by Sister Bodell. The Tedrows brought soda for them. Needless to say, the missionaries were grateful for the treats.

Prior to the intermission. the ZLs collected everyone's black missionary badge. During the intermission they places an orange sticky dot on each one. (When missionaries enter the MTC, they are given a similar orange sticky do to distinguish them as "greenies" at the MTC.) After the intermission, everyone went upstair to enter the Sibu "MTC". Sister Bodell and I had the privilege of welcoming the Elders to the MTC and giving them their badges with the orange dot. They all understood what the orange dot represented.

The purpose of the Sibu MTC experience was to remind the missionaries about their feelings and enthusiasm about missionary work when they were "green".  Most of the missionaries in our zone right now are "seasoned veterans". They were reminded of the "greenie fire" they had. A discussion was conducted on how to get that fire back. It was great to see these guys get involved and get fired up again to go forth to serve and to teach.

We have a great zone! These wonderful young men who want to serve our Father in Heaven, to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to their brothers and sisters. We have several new Elders in our from the last transfer, but we can already feel the love they have for our Savior. It's a blessing for us to be here with them.

Back Row: Elders O, D, L, M, G, S, W, T, & S
Second Row: Elders G, C, C, J, T, W, & H
Front Row: Elder & Sister B and Elder & Sister T

After our meeting, the Tedrows and we went to the hospital for a short visit with Sister and Elder Mills. We didn't stay too long as the physical therapist came for Sister Mills. We took the Tedrows to one of our favorite restaurants here in Sibu. It's called Cafe Cafe. The food is excellent. After we ate the Tedrows took off for their home in Mukah. That's a two-hour drive.

We stopped by the post office to check on a package that was supposed to have been delivered a couple of months ago, but we didn't have a tracking number. Sister Bodell walked up to the counter, and the clerk pointed to a package. There is was! It was another miracle. We had the tracking number, but they were waiting for us to come in this time. We had been once before, but didn't have a tracking number so they couldn't (wouldn't) help us. We are still waiting for another box that a previous senior couple shipped to us with Temple clothing. We haven't been able to obtain a tracking number on that delivery as of yet.

Wednesday: We were thinking today would be more leisurely than usual, but it wasn't really. We had to scrounge up some bike boxes for a couple of Elders who left their bikes here when they were transferred. They want them now so the ZLs and we are trying to get everything together. The missionaries are supposed to be responsible to take their bikes with them when they transfer. I will say no more other than some missionaries are more responsible and reliable than others.

We also ended up taking Elder W to the medical clinic for a pain in his back and side. We picked them up Tuesday night from out by Farley Corner where they had been working because the pain was so bad. The Elders in his apartment gave him a blessing, and the pain eased a bit, but it was still painful in the morning. When we talked with him this morning, we told him to call Sister Mains and ask if he should see a doctor. She thought it the best idea to be on the safe side. The good news: It's not appendicitis! He's either pulled a muscle or has a urinary track or kidney infection. We don't know yet.

In the evening we went out to Rantau Panjang to Brother Steven's place for his son's birthday party/FHE. It was fun. Dinner, of course, was served. I was already stuffed from our own dinner so I didn't eat anything but a piece of cake. We sat on the floor as they don't have chairs in their home.

Petersen, Brother Steven, Elder Bodell, Sister Bodell, Sister Mina

There two ladies were preparing greens of some kind as we ascended
the three flights of stairs up to Brother Steven's home. 

Thursday: Elder S's bike arrived today by City-Link. We delivered it to him along with a the broken chair Elder Tedrow fixed. We ran a few errands. It's been a pretty calm afternoon so I was able to create a birthday card for our grandson, Jaxon. He's turning eight on Valentine's Day. He will be baptized soon. I've tried several ways/places to upload it, but without success . . . yet. I'm not giving up. Success! If you'd like to see the birthday/baptism card I made for Jaxon, you can find it at

Friday: This morning we had our Skype lesson with Bryan, our coach, and the volunteer. While we were finishing up, Micah, our tutor, walked passed in the background. I was able to get a screen shot of both Bryan and Micah. These are the two young men who have been helping us learn Malay. Bryan went to Croatia on his mission. Micah served here in the Singapore Mission. We appreciate their help!

Micah, our tutor, and Bryan, our coach
Not bad for a screen shot over Skype, eh?
Saturday: We took Elder W back to the clinic this morning. He had another test done this morning. We dropped them off then drove down to the Everwin store at the end of Brooke for a few items. I dropped Sister Bodell off at home and went back for the Elders. They weren't ready. The testing was done, but they were waiting for the results. I came back home to wait. Parking at the clinic was at a premium this morning.

No positive results from Elder W's test this morning. However it could have something to do with his gall bladder. He was given an antibiotic and something for his pain. He has to go back in 10 days for a check up.

I almost forgot to say something about eating out last night. We went to a place the missionaries call the fruit bowl. It's only open in the evening. It's an open air, potpourri of many different food stalls. There are two that actually serve a fruit bowl. It's composed of ice, milk or cream, watermelon, coconut, and other fruits. Not my favorite concoction, but Sister Bodell liked it and ate mine, too. It was Saturday night. English class was over; teaching class was over, and seminary was over. It's hard to believe that it had rained hard this evening, too.

Elder L and Elder C

Our district at the Fruit Bowl Saturday night

Sunday: The end of the week or the beginning? I don't know anymore. All I know is that today has been more restful than usual. Sister Bodell had her usual doses of Primary. We didn't have any extra classes or activities after church today. The only thing I had was to meet with President Gara (Branch 1) and his family to discuss their temple trip preparations. There is so much to do to prepare. It's not like going to the Temple for the first time in Utah. First, they have to travel out of the country here, to Manila, in the Philippines. We will meet with them again tomorrow to see how much we can get done.

The President of Branch 2 (President Balley) asked me today if I was available this coming Thursday. I checked my calendar, thinking that there wasn't anything in particular that day. He asked me if I would come out to some property he owns and dedicate if for the building of his future house. I told him that he could do it, but he said that he wanted me to do it. His asking me to do this is an honor and very humbling. He gave me an idea of the direction I need to go, and from where to call him when I get to a certain point. He'll meet us and lead the way from there.

Bike update: Both ZLs took their bikes in and both came out with new ones. They seem to pretty nice bikes, and they fit on our car bike rack better than many of others have done.

That pretty much covers the week. I'm thinking next week may be busy as well. I know we're taking some missionaries to the bike shop tomorrow morning, attending District Meeting on Tuesday besides Skyping with our financial advisor and driving to Bintulu, returning Wednesday after Skyping with Micah, our language coach, attending Chinese New Year festivities at a member's home, Skyping with Bryan, Skyping with Brother Thorley who's over the Infield Language for Senior Couples, and attending a couple of branch activities. Watch for all of that in the next blog!

Our love to all of you who may be reading this. Thank you for your love, prayers, and support! It means a lot to us.

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