Sunday, July 21, 2013


The most exciting thing we received this week was our FIRM and FINAL flight itinerary for our return trip home from our mission.  It was received with rather mixed emotions.  Bittersweet.  We will leave KK to go to Singapore on Tuesday Aug 20.  We will attend our final senior conference on Wednesday, Aug 21.  On Aug. 22 at 5:15 am we leave for home.  We arrive home in SLC at about 2:30 pm on Aug. 22.  Such a short flight back.  Only about 9 - 10 hours.  Amazing as the flight takes us 9 hours to reach Tokyo alone.  There's just no accounting for that International Dateline.  But like I said, it is bittersweet.  BUT we are so excited to see family and everyone again.  We were a little underwhelmed though with the reaction from our kids and grandkids when we gave them the news.

On Tuesday we had a really bad wind and rain storm.  As Sabah is known as "The Land Beneath the Wind" it was rather unusual for those living here.  The electricity was off for over four hours.  Of course the electricty went off just as I was going to put in a pasta dish and bread for the Elders/Sisters district meeting which we have at our house every Tuesday.  We had to improvise.  As I cook with propane gas, I was able to heat the pasta casseroles on top of the stove and we had scones from the bread dough instead of garlic bread.  The bad part was no Air Con.  Boy, it can get hot in a hurry.  Pictures of some of the damage from the wind:
 Some trees down outside the fence line by our apartment complex.
They were very quick to have these trees cut and hauled off.  You can see how they have crashed into the fence.  There was damage all over town. There were several businesses who also lost their signs.  We have worse wind storms at home, but this was just so unusual for KK.

On Saturday some of the RS Sisters from KK1 branch came to our apartment to learn how to make cupcakes and cookies.  They love cupcakes!  I said I would be glad to teach them, but then I got to thinking (always dangerous) 'None of these women have an oven in their home!'.  They don't use ovens here.  Everything is fried.  Well, they wanted to learn anyway so we had "Cupcake Class 101".
 This is Sis. Alice, Sis. Ebony and Sis. Susan filling the cupcake tins with the batter they made.
(Sorry, I don't know how to rotate this picture).  Here they are mixing the batter.  Sis. Audrey, RS President, Sis. Alice, Sis. Ebony, Sis. Caroline and Sis. Susan.

The cupcakes turned out pretty good.  We made them from scratch as they could never afford to buy a cake mix.  While the cupcakes were baking, I taught them how to make no-bake cookies, or Gorilla Poops as Amber calls them.  Then I had each one of them make up a cookie kit of the no bake cookies to take home so they could make a batch for their own families.  We had a lot of fun!  Of course, they all had to bring their children with them:
Some of the children who came:  on the couch:  Chelsea, Jeanette, Aven and Hendrey.  Behind the couch:  Aric, Larry and Lexlee.  There were more but these were all that I could get in the picture at the time.

Several of our members live in a housing complex called Karamat.  It is government low-income housing. There are about 10-15 blocks of housing units in a small compacted area.  There are four floors to each block and about 16 units per floor.  Recently the government repainted the buidings:
They needed painting.  I think the government must have got a good deal on surplus bright pink paint.  They really stand out now.  Wherever there are these massive housing units, there are enterpenuers (sp?).  People in the units will just set up a table or chair or bench or whatever they have and start selling stuff to the other tenants.  I needed some bananas and this little girl was selling bananas, soft drinks, vegetables and rice:
I bought some bananas from her.  Her part of the housing unit looks pretty clean.  Most do not look this nice at all.  So many people in such a small place.  Be grateful for what you have, however small you may think it is.

This morning as we were opening the church, we met this group of people on their way to church.  They are all visitors from the Philippines and they are all members.  The lady sitting by me on my left has a son serving a mission in San Diego.  They spoke good English and stayed for the entire 3 hour block and contributed to the discussions in SS and RS.  There were about 10 of them all together.  The extra ten really made the count in KK1 branch go up by several percentage points.  I didn't get any names, but they insisted on having their picture taken with me.  Don't ask me why.


  1. We spread the word fast to others about you coming home because we are excited!! Sorry we didn't make it known to you. I think they wanted the picture with you because you are orang phuti (sp?).
    Miss you lots!
    Love you more!
    See you soon!

  2. Did you get our emails? We're super stoked to have your date finalized and are counting down days!! See you two soon! I expect gifts! :) jk.