Sunday, November 29, 2015

Road Trip Continued, Thanksgiving, Branch Parties at the YMCA, Sunday

Well, it's about 9:00 Thanksgiving evening. We are both beat. It's been a long with the continuation of our S&I graduations and inservice. We finished up this morning out in Sibu Jaya with the seminary and institute teachers there, but I should back up a little bit first.

Before leaving Kuching on Monday, Sister Bodell wanted to see if she could find a turkey to bring back for  Thanksgiving dinner for the missionaries. We went to one place (Cold Storage) Monday morning and found out that the government had banned the import of turkeys into the country. Not sure why. However, the fellow that told us this said there might be a chance at another particular store. Sure enough she found her turkey. Apparently this store is affiliated with a store in Singapore, and what is shipped from that store to Malaysia is okay. We flew back to Sibu with a frozen, 5.4 kg turkey in my carry-on bag!

After arriving home we spent a couple of hours getting some needed laundry done for the rest of the week before making the two-hour drive to Mukah. We met up with President Lai, our boss, and President Boney, the Mukah branch president and Elder D and Elder M, the Elders in Mukah. We made our S&I presentation to President Boney and answered many of his questions and helped him understand his responsibilities.

Tuesday morning we attended district meeting with Elders D and M. Usually it's just the two of them so they were happy to have us there. Elder D gave a wonderful training. I took a picture of the white board after the training so I would remember it. I accidentally deleted it. Bummed! Later that afternoon we were able to meet with a family in Mukah and discuss seminary and institute with the youth and young adults in the family. They were very receptive to our being there. We were able to got to dinner with them that evening.

Sister Alice and her bevy of beautiful daughters, her son, and his fiancé
We drove back to Sibu Wednesday morning with President Lai. That evening we met with two families in Sibu Jaya to encourage their children to attend seminary. We got home about 9:00 and started Thanksgiving dinner preparations. We finally went to bed around 11:30 PM.

Sister Bodell got up early this morning and continued her preparations. I helped until it was time to pick up President Lai and return to Sibu Jaya to meet with the seminary and institute teachers there. That meeting went from 10:00 AM to almost noon. We returned to Sibu with the four missionaries from Sibu Jaya. I dropped them off at the home of Elder and Sister Mills and then dropped President Lai off at his hotel.

After getting home about 1:00 PM, I helped Sister Bodell finish up her preparation for dinner. We had to make a run to the store to find some cranberry sauce and a few other things. The dinner went off without a hitch. We started on time (4:00 PM) and ended on time (6:00 PM). With the help of the Mills, we fed 16 missionaries including the senior couples and two others. The dinner included the traditional turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole provide by the Mills, gravy, broccoli, cauliflower, lemon carrots, apple and yam casserole, raspberry/strawberry Jell-o, rolls (provided by Elder S), and apple, pumpkin, lemon cream, and blueberry cream pies, and ice cream (provided by Dylan). No one went away hungry. The Elders cleaned up and Elders A and S washed the dishes. Unfortunately, I was so tired that I didn't take many pictures. I had Elder Mills take one of me slicing the turkey, and I got one of Es A and S washing the dishes.

What do you call the person who carves the turkey on Thanksgiving?
That's an old joke that only some of my keyboarding students would understand
and maybe those to whom I've told that story. 
Elders A and S washing the dishes. Thank you so much!
I was not looking forward to that.
We got home about 6:30 PM, unloaded the car, and collapsed. We watched a movie and then I finished washing the dishes that we brought home and wrote on my blog. It's now time to go to bed. I will finish this later. G'night.

Friday was a good catch up day. It was also a good day to relax. We had to get some shopping done for Youth Conference and other stuff. In between I managed to get two naps, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. I didn't realize how tired I was. They both felt good.

There was a Branch One activity at the YMCA on Saturday. There was also a Branch Two youth activity at the YMCA as well. We were able to bounce back and forth. The chicken was pretty good. We also had fruit from one of the trees. It tasted a little like peaches, but it was much more tart! Here are a few photos and movies from the morning.

In the jungle at the YMCA
The gazebos at the YMCA
(Sorry, I couldn't resist the black and white shot.)
Preparing the grill
Main Course #1 - Ayam Wings
(Yes, ayam is Malay for chicken.)
Main Course #2 - Ikan
(Yes, ikan is Malay for fish.)
Packing the bamboo with ayam.

Sister Bodell and friends
If you look carefully you can see the fire behind the bamboo.
The chicken is cooking in the bamboo.
Elder Bodell and friends
Some of the members from Branch One
The trees have beautiful orange flowers at the top. 
It's striking to see the flowers at the top of the trees.
One last shot of the river that runs through the YMCA.
The youth had a good time playing in it.
Scene 1: Swimming in the river
Scene 2: Picking fruit from a tree
Scene 3: Throwing fruit from the top of the tree
Scene 4: Ping Pong Ball Battle

The youth and youth leaders of Branch Two
Love these people!
One last night at the Fruit Bowl for Dalin. He leaves Monday morning.
Dalin, Elders A, T, C, S, and Jackson
I was thinking Sunday might be a pretty normal Sunday. It started when I attended Branch Two branch council meeting. No one was in President Balley's office except his family. I love this family.

President Balley and his family
Dalin is leaving on a jet plane Monday morning. He'll be doing some traveling before returning home, but we won't be seeing him for awhile.

Jackson, Elder T, Elder A, Elder and Sister Bodell, Dalin 
Brother Gaadong, Jackson, Kelvinson, Ray, Allen, Dali, Perry, Brother Merang
What a Priesthood gathering!
Well, we've got Sister Julie and her family, Brother Gaadong and his family,
Brother Merang and his family, Elder and Sister Bodell,
Elder T, Elder A, Jackson, and Dalin.
We have been so blessed to have these people in our lives. What a blessing it is to be serving a mission here. I wish more senior couples would make the decision to serve, especially requesting the Singapore Mission. They are needed! 

It has not only a blessing for us, but we've been able to share our talents with them and help them to grow and develop their own talents. I am already starting to have withdrawal, and we still have three months left.

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