Sunday, September 27, 2015

Temple Trip, Weaving, Mid-Autumn/Mooncake Festival, FHE, & RS Baking

Are you bored yet? We're definitely not! There is always something happening each week. Some days are slower than others, but there is always something going on. This week is no exception.

Since we have so many new Elders in our district, Siew Yong, a member of the Chinese Branch offered his services to take the Elders to the Tiger Temple and a long house. This was our third trip to the temple so I didn't take a lot of pictures, but I do have one with the missionaries. Please excuse the informal dress wear. We were told the night before that we would all be wearing P-Day clothes because the Elders were going to play basketball afterward. They changed their minds Monday morning, but forgot to inform us.

Elders S, T, S, Y, O, Sister Bodell, Elder Bodell, Elder E
There is some apartment construction going on behind the temple. The workers live in makeshift dwellings while working on a project like this. When the project is done, they pack up their belongings and move on to another project. The Malaysian equivalent of migrant workers.

Nice looking apartments except for the workers' quarters in the foreground.
This has shot has some sort of fruit tree on the right. You can see the elongated fruit hanging from the top.
One of the residents of the long house weaving a new mat, such as the one on which she is sitting. 
An older lady working on a new mat. 
What's a trip to this long house without another, maybe better shot of the skulls?
I know I've talked about how poor many of the people are here. We were stopped at a light and saw this couple "fishing" in one of the many ditches/canals along side of the road. This is a very common occurrence here.

District meeting was on Tuesday. We were taught by Elder Y because our DL, Elder S and his companion, Elder E, had an appointment elsewhere. They did join us later for lunch at a fun place call Jack Pork, an usual place here in Sibu because the main dishes all contain some form of pork. The food was delicious. I know we'll be going back. I don't know how the young Elders find these places. We've been here a year, and this is the first we'd heard about it.

Lunch at Jack Pork. This reminded me of a very famous painting.
I thought about posing everyone to make it more authentic, but thought better of it.
Tuesday night was also the usual FHE with the Chinese Branch. This was a special evening. There were twice as many people there than usual however. After the lesson, instead of a game, we celebrated the Mid-Autumn/Mooncake Festival. This was done by writing wishes on small hot-air balloons and sending them into the sky. All of the district was able to attend and participate. Mooncakes? Don't ask. Some people love 'em. Some don't.

What blessing do I want?

Albert had to be very careful unfolding the tissue balloons.
Sister Bodell had to mend one. They are very fragile!

Is your blessing here?

So, we have to hold it just right to fill it with hot air . . . 

 . . . supplied by a very flat, but efficient candle.

Up, up, and away!

Elders, O, E, Suew Yong, Elders Y, J, and S

This activity reminded me a lot of the hot air balloon scene from Frozen, except there weren't as many balloons.

Friday night we went to FHE at President Gara's in Rantau Panjang. His and Brother Alok's families were there. The reason it's on Friday night is because two of his children are away at school during the week.

President Gara had a well-planned Keluarga Malam. I was very impressed with how smoothly it went. It was as good as any FHE I've seen in Utah. Opening song, opening prayer, lesson by Brother Alok and Sister Mina who shared scriptures. President Gara asked me to share my thoughts on the purpose of FHE and why it's important. (Thank goodness for Elder S who translated for me!) When I finished, President Gara said that he agreed with everything I had said.

President Gara had prepared two games for after the lesson. He had gone to the trouble of writing on little blocks, about the size of dominoes, short statements or activities pertaining to FHE. Each of us drew one from a box and had to read it or act out what it said. It was well-done. After this game we played again about faith. It was actually Jenga, and the one who knocked the tower over was without faith. We got down to where it was quite difficult. President Gara looked at me and said, "You first, then the Elders, then me." I looked at him and said, "You first, then the Elders, then me." He agreed. It was a little dicey for awhile as he took a block out; followed by Elder E. I'm thinking I may have made a mistake. Then Elder S took his final turn . . . . Fortunately for me, he didn't make it. Whew! Everyone had a good time with this game. My only regret is that I didn't get any pictures.

We finished with a closing song, closing prayer, and refreshments which turned out to be dinner which was delicious.

There is one more little anecdote that occurred this evening. The missionaries had ridden their bikes out to Rantau Panjang. We took them home with us. I had to put the bike rack on the car so we could pack up their bikes before leaving. I was having a little issue with adjusting the height of the bike hanger bar. The teeth wouldn't come apart so I could adjust it while it was on the car. I had to take it back off the car and work with it on the ground. I finally managed to shake the teeth apart so I could make the adjustments. President Gara called me MacGyver! You may recall awhile back we had a dead batter and he got us started. When asked where he learned how to fix things he told us from watching MacGyver.

Sister Bodell conducted a cooking class on Saturday for Branch 2. They wanted to learn how to make baked mac and cheese and pizza. The baked mac and cheese was modeled after the Cracker Barrel recipe for mac and cheese.

Sister Norlia, Sister Lydia, Sister Bodell, Sister Doo, Sister Sabie

Sister Doo said it was sedap.

Sister Sabie liked it, too.

Sister Lydia loved it.

Sister Norlia enjoyed it as well.

Barbercue Chicken Pizza

Cheese Pizza

Seminary and Institute we held Saturday night. We had time change for this week so I was a little worried about everyone showing up. They all showed up with a couple of extras, too. It was exciting to see that, especially since there were two investigators that came.

We have some extra seminary students who come who are technically too young to attend, but it's good for them to learn. A couple of them, including a daughter of the teacher, get a little talkative so I took a few minutes before the seminary lesson and gave a brief lesson on respect, what it is and why it's important for all the students and the teacher to show respect to each other by being attentive and not chatting away frivolously or playing on their handphones. The seminary teacher said they were pretty good this evening. I must remember to go back in and thank them next week for showing respect.

Sunday the Branch 2 Choir sang in Sacrament meeting. There are about 25 members, including missionaries, who sing in the choir. I think there were about five members left in the congregation when the choir got up to sing. It was kind of funny, but sad that there are not more more active members in the branch.

Sunday evening we with a set of young missionaries to present a recent convert discussion to Sister Rurin and her children. Her husband is off-shore for about three months working away from home. It was a good discussion and good food. (We had lots of good food today as we had the Elders over for dinner earlier.)

I am late getting this blog posted so I will quit now and get that done, and then start next week's blog.

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