Sunday, May 3, 2015

Week 42 (May 3, 2015 Camiling, Philippines)

To Mine Beloved (Mom), :)
"Hello! How are you, my [Mother], today?" (It's from a song that I don't know)

Elder Ronquillo is still proves to be a good missionary, but still struggles with homesickness or something of the sort. I still don't really know how to help him. I tried looking back trying to see what I would have had my earlier companions do differently, but I just see a lot of it as my own problem with pride. So... ya :)

I'm really hoping I can help Daniel out. He's a really good friend that I wish I would've treated better. I wish I would've treated a LOT of people better :/ I'm hoping I'll still have the chance to do it after my mission. Anyway, that's one of the reasons I like Daniel so much, I think. He's not that really shallow type of person who gets offended once and then never talks to you again. He looks over it, and forgives and forgets. Granted, he still thinks we're all a bunch of kooks trying to brain-wash him, but I guess you can't really blame him. I've seen some of the "Mormon Approaches" used on him. I'd be pretty taken aback/annoyed as well :P But he's a really good kid who just needs the little extra nudge.

Tell Kendyl congratulations!! That's so awesome! I think one of the things I miss most from before my mission is Madrigals and Drama Club. There's so much that I wish I could do over or just do again. Tell Kendyl not to stress over it. Just do her best, and love the results. The only way to get somewhere new is to accept where you've already been. It took me WAY to long to realize that, and even now, I forget sometimes :P


This week has been alright in terms of work, but it's still a little slow. I think I've seen an increase since last week, but last week may have just been a step in the ditch and now we're on normal ground. If so, we've got a lot of work ahead of us :P We were able to find two new investigators, who have both attended church twice, but they're both only about 14 years old, which means we can't teach them without their parents. Which means if their parents aren't interested, they're out :/ Hopefully, though, it'll all work out :) Their names are Franklin Diaz (13) and Johnathon Villanueva (14).

We went on exchanges this Wednesday, and I was teamed up with the foreigner still in training. That was a LOT of fun :P It was a really different experience, because of though he sort of new the people we were teaching, he didn't know how to talk to them, so I just had to make friends real quick, which I do NOT know how to do :P It was a fun experience though. He's also new in this area, and it gets dark really fast this time of year, so we got lost later in the evening. Basically it was just a bunch of walking around, going down dark alleys, me getting after him for talking to the drunk people, and then not getting eaten by stray dogs. I <3 the Philippines :) His name is Elder Silva, and he's from Sri Lanka (sp?).

And straight to the scripture I guess :)

Jarom 1
11 Wherefore, the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers, did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence; teaching the law of Moses, and the intent for which it was given; persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was. And after this manner did they teach them.

12 And it came to pass that by so doing they kept them from being destroyed upon the face of the land; for they did prick their hearts with the word, continually stirring them up unto repentance.

I want to compare this with something Kendyl will understand :) In Ranger's Apprentice book 3, the main character, Will is being held as a servant. As a task, he is assigned to the "Paddles." In this Scandinavian type country, temperatures are extremely low, and ice can constantly be found forming even on slowly moving water. Will's task is to turn the paddles in the village well, churning the water in order prevent it from freezing over, leaving absolutely no time for rest. The extensive, continuous labor tears down the body, and the splashing water soaks and then freezes the skin, making the workers miserable.
The part of these verses that made me think of Rangers Apprentice is the last little bit in verse 12: "continually stirring them up unto repentance." I feel like as we sin and distance ourselves from God, we become more stiff and stubborn when it comes to repentance. We "freeze over" and no longer follow the path of salvation. And so the Lord has blessed us with Prophets, who also feel that sadness and weariness of the soul as their words are preached to some in vain. But they continue in their labors, stirring and churning, doing all in their power and then much more beyond to bring us back onto the path of Salvation.

Sorry if the analogy didn't really work. It made sense in my mind, and I got pretty excited about it, so I thought I'd share it with you all :P

I think that's about it for now. Sorry :/ Still no word about what the mission is doing for Mother's Day, so I guess we'll just find out. Anyway, love you so much!!! Super excited to see you next week if that's when it happens! :)

Elder Syphus


This is a jackfruit. It's huge.  (definition of jackfruit below)

The Church from outside our front door.

The Branch President's house from inside our Front Door :) Also, it's raining :D

Love you!!


Jackfruits grow on the branches and trunks of tall trees. You don't wait to harvest until they drop of their own accord — by that time, they'd be overripe.

It's not every fruit that gets its own international symposium.

Then again, the jackfruit is not your typical fruit. It's got a distinctive, musky smell, and a flavor that some describe as like Juicy Fruit gum.

It is the largest tree fruit in the world, capable of reaching 100 pounds. And it grows on the branches — and the trunks — of trees that can reach 30, 40, 50 feet. (Trunk-growing is a good thing because it reduces the odds of a jackfruit bopping you on the head.)

Jackfruits are also a nutritional bonanza: high in protein, potassium and vitamin B. And, with about 95 calories in about a half a cup, they aren't quite as high-carb or caloric as staples like rice or corn.

Yet the jackfruit is "an underutilized crop" in the tropical-to-subtropical climate where it thrives, saysNyree Zerega, director of the graduate program in plant biology and conservation at Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden. In countries like India and Bangladesh, where the jackfruit was once widely cultivated, it has fallen out of favor.

So in mid-May, the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore, India, will devote two days to revving up production and marketing of the jackfruit as well as its cousin, the breadfruit.

For parts of the world facing food insecurity — the buzz phrase for the struggle to provide enough nutritious food — the jackfruit could be manna from a tree. The tree itself requires "relatively little care once it's been established," says Zerega. By contrast, popular crops like wheat, rice and corn need lots of irrigation and pesticides. And the jackfruit is a perennial so it doesn't require constant replanting.

There won't be an instant payoff for new farmers. A tree takes five to seven years to bear fruit. Eventually, a yearly yield might be in the 150- to 200-fruit range, saysJonathan Crane, a tropical fruit crop specialist at the University of Florida.

Fruits are typically picked in summer and fall. You don't wait to harvest until they drop of their own accord — by that time, they'd be overripe.

The tree belongs to the mulberry family. And it's got an impressive lineage. Around 300 B.C., the Greek philosopher Theophrastus wrote: "There is also another tree which is very large and has wonderfully sweet and large fruit; it is used for food by the sages of India who wear no clothes."

Probably was a jackfruit. India is thought to be its place of origin.

As for the name "jackfruit," it most likely emerged from what the Portuguese called it,"jaca," which was probably a version of a name used in southern India, "chakka pazham." Jackfruit has other names, too: kathal in Bangladesh, kanun in Thailand and nangka in Malaysia.

Whatever you call it, it's a versatile food source — and thus a potential economic boon for countries that market it. Jackfruits can be dried, roasted, added to soups, used in chips, jams, juices, ice cream. The seeds can be boiled, roasted or ground into flour. Even the tree itself is valuable: high-quality, rot-resistant timber for furniture and musical instruments.

Or you can eat a jackfruit fresh.

The jackfruit is made up of hundreds or even thousands of individual flowers that are fused together. We eat the "fleshy petals" that surround the seed, which is the actual fruit, says Zerega.

The edible portion of a young fruit has a slight crunch when you bite in. As the fruit matures, it may remain firm, but in some varieties it becomes softer and more custardlike.

Curious fruit lovers can find fresh jackfruits in the U.S. Zerega has bought relative peewees (12-pounders at about $2 a pound) at Asian markets in Chicago. Crane sees fresh jackfruits at Asian and Caribbean stores in Florida, where the jackfruit is grown on a limited scale and also imported from Jamaica. Bottled, canned and other products are available online and in specialty markets around the country.

All this reporting made us eager to put the jackfruit to a taste test. We couldn't find a fresh one in D.C., so we bought jackfruit packed in sugar syrup. Since Crane mentioned that frozen jackfruit is "refreshing," we froze some and also ate some out of the jar.

As potential tasters wafted by, the first comment was, "Oh, it has an aroma."

The aroma was compared to overripe fruit, packaged fruit cup, smelly feet, stinky cheese and pet food. But really, it wasn't that bad!

As for the taste: "It tastes better than it smells," was a consistent opinion. The taste was described as "mellow mango," a little peachy, a little pearlike. The texture was compared to chunky applesauce or overripe banana. Also a little mealy and stringy.

A taster who grew up eating jackfruits said he found them too gooey as a kid, and after one bite said, "Still too gooey."

But most tasters liked it. They thought it was sweet in a good, tropical kind of way. They imagined how yummy it would be mixed with yogurt. They liked it semi-frozen (the frozen samples thawed out a bit) and were eager to a try jackfruit popsicle.

But tasters who'd had fresh jackfruits said they beat jackfruit from a jar by a long shot. When pressed, they couldn't explain why.


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