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Acts of Kindness

Updates from the LDS mission of Kathleen O’Reilly as she serves in the Philippines. Click “Subscribe to Blog” and be notified immediately of all new posts, photos, and articles.

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Aug. 21, 2013 - Pitaya, Pineapple & 1 Nephi 19

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August 21, 2013 - Wednesday - It's been a long and kind of boring day sitting around while it rains and floods.  Can't go anywhere or do much.  I have read a lot, had a nap, gone for a walk at the mall, and watched a movie. Not too productive.  I hope we can get back to work and get something done that is useful and worthwhile.  This has been a long week. 

One good thing about the heat (init), humidity and boredom is that I have absolutely no desire to eat.  If this keeps up, I will lose stones of weight. I think I would rather be fat (mataba) and busy rather than thin (payat) and useless. 

I can't seem to find a thing to write about.  The only thing even remotely interesting was the fruit Sister Doig brought home from the grocery store. Along with things you are familiar with like bananas, mangos and pineapple, we are also enjoying Pitaya or Dragon Fruit. Again I may be showing my ignorance but I had never eaten one before I got here.  I told you the other day about a veggie called chayote that I thought was so exotic only to be informed that you can get Chayote at Wal-Mart in Lindon. Where have I been?  I have never seen or eaten Pitaya (Dragon Fruit) in Utah.  Let me know if I am really  hibernating in the back woods on this one as well.

Pitaya - is the fruit of several species of cactus. It was first discovered in Central America centuries ago and has traveled to all corners of the globe. Early missionaries brought it to Asia where it has since been renamed and is more commonly known as Dragon Fruit.

There are two very noticeable differences between Pitaya from Central America and Pitaya (or Dragon Fruit) that comes from Asia. When you cut open most of the Pitaya from Asia, you will discover that it is very white on the inside. However, when you cut open a Pitaya from Central America the inside is a dark red magenta. The white varieties from Asia tend to be very bland and do not carry a lot of nutrients. However, the Pitayas from Central America have what some would describe as an earthy strawberry-raspberry taste. The deep color also signifies that the fruit carries a lot of nutrients and is packed with Antioxidants.  Lucky me, I have eaten both the white and the red kind.  The red kind is more potent tasting and it stains anything it gets on including your dishes, tongue, teeth, and urine.  That gave me a bit of a surprise.

The Pitaya fruit from Central America can be found along nutrient rich volcano mountainsides. That is also where it grow in the Philippines. The Pitaya fruit sprouts from a big beautiful white flower that only opens its petals under the night sky. The strong sun rises in the morning, and burns off the flowers petals. You are left with a small bud ready to grow into a delicious Pitaya fruit. The Pitaya is one of only a few fruits that grows from a cactus, it is pollinated by both bats and moths.

The amazing Pitaya fruit is famously known as a natural fiber rich digestive aid that is packed with Antioxidants, Omega -3s but low in sugar. It is also a good source of Vitamin C, Calcium and magnesium.

Sweet pitayas come in three types, all with leathery, slightly leafy skin: · Pitaya blanca or White-fleshed Pitaya - has red-skinned fruit with white flesh. This is the most commonly seen "dragon fruit" · Pitaya roja or Red-fleshed Pitaya has red-skinned fruit with red flesh. · Pitaya amarilla or Yellow Pitaya, has yellow-skinned fruit with white flesh.

I received an interesting email from my friend Jerry.  It was all about pineapples (pinya).  We eat this quite often as well. I don't think Jerry will mind if I share this interesting email with you all.  It's very interesting and informative.    The pineapple is a member of the bromeliad family. It is extremely rare that bromeliads produce edible fruit. The pineapple is the only available edible bromeliad today. An orchid is a bromeliad It is a multiple fruit. One pineapple is actually made up of dozens of individual floweret's that grow together to form the entire fruit. Each scale on a pineapple is evidence of a separate flower. Pineapples stop ripening the minute they are picked. No special way of storing them will help ripen them further. Color is relatively unimportant in determining ripeness. Choose your pineapple by smell. If it smells fresh, tropical and sweet, it will be a good fruit. The more scales on the pineapple, the sweeter and juicier the taste. After you cut off the top, you can plant it. It should grow much like a sweet potato will. This delicious fruit is not only sweet and tropical; it also offers many benefits to our health. Pineapple is a remarkable fruit. We find it enjoyable because of its lush, sweet and exotic flavor, but it may also be one of the most healthful foods available today. If we take a more detailed look at it, we will find that pineapple is valuable for easing indigestion, arthritis or sinusitis. The juice has an anthelmintic effect; it helps get rid of intestinal worms. Let's look at how pineapple affects other conditions. Pineapple is high in manganese, a mineral that is critical to development of strong bones and connective tissue. A cup of fresh pineapple will give you nearly 75% of the recommended daily amount. It is particularly helpful to older adults, whose bones tend to become brittle with age. Bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme, is the key to pineapple's value. Proteolytic means "breaks down protein", which is why pineapple is known to be a digestive aid. It helps the body digest proteins more efficiently. Bromelain is also considered an effective anti-inflammatory. Regular ingestion of at least one half cup of fresh pineapple daily is purported to relieve painful joints common to osteoarthritis. It also produces mild pain relief. In Germany, bromelain is approved as a post-injury medication because it is thought to reduce inflammation and swelling. Orange juice is a popular liquid for those suffering from a cold because it is high in Vitamin C. Fresh pineapple is not only high in this vitamin, but because of the Bromelain, it has the ability to reduce mucous in the throat. If you have a cold with a productive cough, add pineapple to your diet. It is commonly used in Europe as a post-operative measure to cut mucous after certain sinus and throat operations. Those individuals who eat fresh pineapple daily report fewer sinus problems related to allergies. In and of itself, pineapple has a very low risk for allergies. Pineapple is also known to discourage blood clot development. This makes it a valuable dietary addition for frequent fliers and others who may be at risk for blood clots. An old folk remedy for morning sickness is fresh pineapple juice. It really works! Fresh juice and some nuts first thing in the morning often make a difference. It's also good for a healthier mouth. The fresh juice discourages plaque growth. SO..... Eat more pineapple.


Read along - 1 Nephi 19 - The first third of the chapter covers Nephi's obedience to the Lord's commandment to make and keep records which he does.  He keeps the stories, the histories, and then others for the sacred records.  I can't even imagine trying to keep an accurate history on plates of brass with some kind of writing instrument.  Most people now days can't even write decently with a pen on paper.  We are terribly spoiled by how easily we can do all kinds of writing with computer word processing.

The most important thing Nephi speaks of is the coming of the Savior, Jesus Christ, in 600 years. Which is, of course, the most important single event that the world has experienced.  Nephi reminds us that the prophets of all ages have told of the coming of the Savior and of the power and impact his birth, death, and teachings would have upon the peoples of the earth.

Nephi records that he (Nephi) has written (He uses the word "spoken') unto all of Isreal if they will just heed him.  He has been moved upon and influenced so heavily by the spirit that he is exhausted to the point that he is even weak at the joints.  He realizes how blessed he was to have listened to the promptings of the Lord to get himself and his family out of Jerusalem just as his father, Lehi, had said.  He realizes that they would all have perished and been destroyed.  I wonder how often in my life I have listened to the promptings of the spirit as closely as I should have?  I wonder if many of the mistakes that I have made and the things I have suffered could have been easier on me or even avoided had I listened more closely?

Nephi feels the great need of impressing upon his brothers the things that were written upon the plates that they might know and understand the things of the Lord.  He wants to more fully persuade them to believe in the Redeemer.  He knows it will be for their profit and learning if they will heed the words of the prophets. There is no indicator as to the brothers response.  If they follow their normal pattern, what is the likely response to Nephi's teachings?  What is my response to the words of the prophets? to my local leaders? To the Scriptures?  These are things I will have to think about and give more heed to.  Am I following the promptings of the spirit as fully as I can? Am I following Nephi's example as my friend and mentor? How am I going to do these things more diligently? Lots to think and pray about.

New Tagolog words for today:

  • Mataba = Fat
  • Payat = Thin
  • Init = Heat
  • Pinya - pineapple

Have a great day and be happy and be good.  I will always tell you that because I always want you to be. Love, Miss Kate Thanks for all the first day of school photos.  They are wonderful. Send photos as often as possible.  I adore them!!!

Love, Sister O'Reilly

"Blessed is the influence of one true, loving, human soul on another." -- George Eliot

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