Sunday, April 14, 2013

Brownies and Baptisms

Hello Everyone from Beautiful Borneo

First of all I have a question to pose.  On Sunday I made two pans of brownies.  One was a pan for Ben and I to have for desserts during the week and the other was for the District Meeting we have with the Elders and Sisters each Tuesday.  Both batches were made together in the same pan with the exact same ingredients all mixed together.  Both were put in the same size pans.  Both were put in the same preheated oven - 350 F - for the exact amount of time specified in the recipe 30-35 minutes.  At the end of the time I tested one pan of brownies and they were done just right so I took both pans of brownies out.  Ben and I had brownies for dessert on Sunday and Monday.  On Tuesday I served the saved pan of brownies for the meeting.  When I cut them, it was like they had only been in the oven for 10 minutes.  Still very much undone and runnnnyyyy.  They appeared to be as done on top as the first pan.  So, who out there knows the answer of why one pan would be done just right and the other pan hardly done at all.  They were cooked on the same shelf so one wasn't on top of the other either.  I have been awake for several nights now trying to figure out what went wrong and I just can't seem to put my finger on it, but I sure would like to get some sleep because this perplexing problem is keeping me up all night counting done brownies and runny brownies.  By the way, the elders and sisters didn't care a bit.  They ate them just as they were.  I did put the pan back in the over for another 20 minutes and they raised even higher and were quite good.  Things that make you go UHMMMMM?

On Tuesday one of our investigators, Melin, had to make an emergency trip to the hospital.  She is a young single mother of two small children and is 28 years of age.  For a long time she has been having pain in her tummy area but was afraid to go to the doctor because they would poke her with needles.  Finally the pain got so bad, she needed to go.  It seems she is in kidney failure and now she needs to have dialysis.  She is supposed to have three treatments a week with each treatment costing 300 Rm/$100 US.  No way does she have that kind of money.  And you have to pay for the treatments in cash in advance.  And she is Indonesian so the hospitals here in Malaysia won't help her.  Her mother was able to pay for one treatment, but that is all.  She will have to go to a specialty clinic that may help her since she is a foreigner.  She is really caught between a rock and a hard place.

The hospitals here in Malaysia remind me of a hospital you would see in Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was bombed.  Long wards with many many beds in them, no privacy.  In the hospitals here you are required to provide your own food.  Someone has to bring in your meals for you.  They do not have kitchens and feed you.  They have no air conditioning, just big ceiling fans and open windows.
Melin's bed is through the doors beside the red and white lawn chair.  You can see from one end of the building to the other and there are probably about 30 beds.  She asked for a blessing which Ben and David Liew gave her.  There are no curtains even to pull for privacy.  They do have some portable curtains you can push from bed to bed so that is what they did when they gave her the blessing.   Pray for Melin.  If someone is going to the temple and could put her name in, that would be wonderful.

On Saturday we started our day nice and early with our quarterly Adopt-a-Highway project.  We had a starting time of 8:30 because we really wanted to get started at least by 9:00.  We did have a pretty good group by 9:00 but not as many as we had hoped for so we turned the project into a Clean-A-Church project.  The church house here is always always in need of cleaning.  It is one of our shadow leadership goals.  Everyone pitched right in and got to work:

When we got through a few hours later, the whole church was clean from top to bottom.  It looked so good and smelled so fresh and clean.  Sis. Lisa and Sis. Josie brought a treat to keep them going:
Boiled Bananas?!  You can't just boil any ol' banana though.  These are special boilable bananas and they tell me you just boil them right in their peeling.  I thought they would be mushy and gooey and slimey, but they were actually not too bad.  I'm so sad we don't have boilable bananas in Roy, UT though.  I could start a whole new business.

We also had a baptism Saturday night.  (There went all the hard work to clean the building.)  We had five people baptized.  The schedule for the baptism was supposed to go like this:
6:00  Baptizees arrive and get their clothes on and have all the pictures taken
7:00  Baptism
8:00  End of program and then go to KK 2's Fellowship night for food and fun.

This is the actual schedule:
5:15  Simon arrives for his baptism.  He is so excited.  Simon is deaf and one eye is blind due to different childhood accidents.  When we first met Simon I thought he was a girl.  He dressed more like a girl and had longer hair and wore jewelry in his ears and around his neck and wrists.  I would give him hugs because I thought he was a girl, then the elders told me I shouldn't because he was actually a HE.  I really found it hard to believe, but they assured me he truly was a boy.  The elders worked with him and little by little he made every change they asked him to do.  Because of his history, Pres. Clark said he couldn't be baptized for a year.  During that year Simon has done everything that has been asked of him and he has come to church every week.  It must be difficult for him being unable to hear, but one of the sisters knows a little sign language so she could help him and then we also make sure someone sits buy him and can write out what is being said.  He is a wonderful young man and he was so excited when Pres. Mains told him he could be baptized, he was jumping and glowing.  He was so excited to be baptized he  showed up extra early to be ready for his baptism.  Now back to the schedule:
7:00  Two more arrive for their baptism.  They need to get dressed and get pictures taken.  Takes about 30 minutes before they are ready.
8:00  One more arrives.  They have been in a traffic jam they say.
8:30  We start the baptism without the last baptizee present.
8:35  A little kid sticks his head in the door while we are saying the opening prayer and yells "Those people you have been waiting for are here now."  Off to a spiritual beginning.
8:45  Ben runs out and gets a picture of the last person before she is baptized.
8:50  The baptisms start.  It takes a while to baptize 5 people, and have the talks about baptism and confirmation.  Then the 5 people share their testimonies.
9:20 ish   Upstairs for the Fellowship night.  Someone has been taking care of the food for us all this time.  It was good food and they did a good job preparing and maintaining it.
10:00  Take the elders and their investigator who live about 20 minutes outside of KK home.
11:00  We are finally home and getting ready for bed.  WHEW.  Quite the day -- But What A Great Wonderful Day.  Five new members is always exciting and wonderful.  And here they are:
 This is Simon.  I am so proud and happy for him.  He stayed committed and on course for a full year.
                                            Elder Tan with Sis. Rujinah and her two children.
 This is Sis. Melin.  She was just released from the hospital and has a special tube in her neck for the medicine.  They told her she could get baptized if she didn't get the tube wet.  Elder Tadius baptized her and he was so very careful with her.  I don't think it got wet, but because the hospital didn't do a very good job with her, it started bleeding after she was baptized.  She wanted to be baptized so bad she came right from the hospital to the church.  With her is her mother Sarjet, who was baptized two weeks ago and her brother Hans.
                               This is President Sebastian with Bro. Roy.  Roy is Melin's cousin.
                                  This is Elder Tan with Sis. Jalinah.  Jalinah and Rujinah are sisters.

And one last item.  We said goodbye to Bro. Edre this week.  He is one of the "Ed's".  He has been such a pillar of strength in his branch.  He has been home from his mission for a year but now he has been accepted to BYU Hawaii.  Also, his brother Eddy has been attending BYU H and Eddy is getting married on Tuesday. Edre will truly truly be missed but we wish him much joy and happiness.
                                                          Edre and his brother Eder

Wow, I really went on and on didn't I but I hope you can get a little feel for what we are doing here and how rewarding the work is for everyone and how rewarded we are.  We are truly blessed and love the work.
Right On and Write On.  Love to All E/S Read

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