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:
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".
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:
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:
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.