Sunday, December 14, 2014


Can't believe Thanksgiving has already come and gone, and we're just a week and a half away from Christmas!!

For Thanksgiving, Anne spent all day cooking.  Dave spent all day doing dishes.  The elders spent all day working up a good appetite.  (Actually, one of the sets had a dinner appointment earlier, so they weren't terribly hungry, but they still ate well.)

Thanksgiving preparations started many weeks before the big day. We hadn't seen turkeys in the stores, and one of the elders, Elder Brockbank, really wanted to get a live turkey and prepare it--like his brother had done on his mission to the Philippines.  Anne worked with one of the members, Olivier, who found one for us.  He said it was a nice big one, and he hoped we could get it for $70.  When Anne got there and saw the bird, it was a bit of a disappointment--not a good sign when the breast bone is poking out through the feathers.
Plucking complete!  (Elder Bacera figured out why there is a loop on the back of dress shirts.)

Cutting out shapes of pie crust for our pie bar.

One skinny turkey (before implants)!

Who knew those mammo skills would come in handy.

A much "fuller"bird!

Table is constructed and ready for a feast.

Thanksgiving dinner 2014.  Olivier, E. Beutler, E. Bacera, E. Waite, E. VanAusdal, E. Kabenga,
E. Wright, E. Nzema.

On Tuesday, Anne and Olivier bought the turkey and brought it home with its legs tied up, in the back of the van.  It didn't put up any fuss at all.  The elders were excited for the big event, and came to the house to slaughter it and pluck it.  Jeff Gibb, a Canadian member who had killed turkeys before came over to oversee the work.  Elder Brockbank and Elder Beutler volunteered for the slaughter stage.  A dull machete doesn't make for the quickest kill, but it eventually worked.  A dip in hot water after having cleaned it out, and the plucking began.  Once all the feathers were off, it was evident the breast bone poked out because there just wasn't much meat on the breast.  Anne, ever one to solve a good challenge, bought a couple of very nice chicken breasts and implanted them before we cooked it.
E. Beutler, E. Bacera, E. Waite, E. VanAusdal, E. Kabenga, E. Wright, E. Nzema, E. Tshibanda, Jeff Gibb
E. Wright, E. Nzema, E. Tshibanda, Jeff Gibb
Olivier, E. Beutler, E. Bacera, E. Waite, E. Vanausdal
E. Tucker (Standing), E. Brockbank and Sister Dimond finally in line.

We had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, carrots, green beans, home made stuffing, raspberry Jello (which was partly Jello, partly home made gelatin so there would be enough for all).  For dessert, the elders brought a delicious apple pie (thanks to Elder Wright), and Anne made leaf-shaped cut-outs of pie crust that we put different pie fillings on.  (It's a great tradition--you don't end up with a bunch of soggy pies the day after the big feast!)  We had banana cream, coconut cream and chocolate.  The whole dinner was delicious!  The preparations were something the elders will never forget!

Every day we're here we see so many things that people here endure--just their way of life--and we take so much for granted.  Seeing people carrying their water home in buckets, bottles, from the neighborhood tap; watching people pushing heavy loads up steep roads on a cart that can barely handle it; so many people limping with defects in their legs and feet; so many who do so much with so little.  It's impressive.  I feel so spoiled, both here and in America.  When you see what people need to live, and still can be happy, it's eye-opening.  We are so blessed, by our loving Heavenly Father.

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