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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. 30, 2013 - Distribution Boxgirl, Mangos, & 2 Nephi 4

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August 30, 2013 - Friday - Today was so different than other days at the PEF.  Franco and Jib were not there as they were delivering supplies for humanitarian relief from the effects of the monsoon and the flooding. They left very early this morning as they had a very long drive.  Around 4 hours or so I understand.  I had hoped we might be asked to go with and help but I think it might not have been appropriate as they were going to stay the night and it may not have worked out for us to be there.  I know they were talking about staying with members in the area but I don't know whether that will be the case or not. All I know is that at the end of the work day they had not returned to the office.  There was a mouse(daga) in the office this morning. Maintenance came and put out some traps.  Too bad mice are so disgusting.  They sure are cute with their pretty black oil drop eyes.
 At 9:45 this morning I was completely finished with the stuff that was there for me to do.  Now what?  I went to the CR(restroom) and got a drink of water and just outside of the PEF Offices was one of the cute sister missionaries I met in the grocery store two weeks ago.  It was the sweet girl from New Zealand.  Her companion was in the Distribution Center that is right next to PEF so I went in to say hello to her too.  Such impressive girls and so darling to remember me.  We chatted for a few minutes but the Distribution Center was so busy and was teeming with people that were noisy and talking and there was a church video running.  All in all real chaos.  The gal running the place looked a little harried.  I felt bad for her.  She only had one other employee to run the register and do customer service.  She was trying to help some people who were there with their 2 near adult children.  They were trying to get garments fitted because both of the kids have mission calls and were supposed to go through the temple this afternoon for their own endowments.  There was simply not enough help to wait on everyone who needed help.  I told the young man at the counter that I would be happy to help and he said to ask Tere  (that is short for Teresa.)  I knew she was too busy for me to interrupt so I just started picking up and putting things back on the shelves where they went and restocking packages of garments that people had pulled down but not put away.  When Tere finished with her customers she said, "Oh, Sister you don't need to do that.  I will get someone to do it."  I told her I was that someone and I would do whatever she needed me to do after I finished the clean-up. So I ended up working in the distribution center all day.  I opened 88 boxes of garments with 20 pieces per box (kahon), found the place they belonged on the shelves, stocked them, flattened the boxes and cleaned up and reorganized each area.  It was exhausting, but I loved it.  I got to talk to and help dozens of people and was generally a very useful stock boy.  I also enjoyed myself immensely.  I have never handled over 1600 garments pieces in one day.
 The best part was getting to talk to a Filipino couple who come back to the Philippines from New York City, every August to see both of their sets of parents who still live in Manila. They had their two daughters with them.  Beautiful girls who are both absolutely Filipino looking but totally Americanized as they have lived their whole lives in NYC.  One was a Junior in High School.  The other a ninth grader. I felt so at home just listening to both of them just chatting away in English.  When I said hello to them in unaccented English they were both so surprised and then really friendly.  I got to visit with them while I helped their folks load up on underwear. The girls and their dad were so friendly and outgoing.  The mom was quite a bit more reserved but sweet and kind.  Between getting garments and other stuff in the bookstore they were in the center for nearly two hours.  The girls just kept coming back and talking to me while I stocked shelves.  I asked them about school and their classes and about their lives in NYC etc.  It sounds just like my students(estudyante) back home and my oldest 3 granddaughters.  The girls go to Seminary at 6:15 every morning.  They don't love the early hours but they raved about their seminary teacher.  They are called Jasmine and Julia Convocaro. Julia is into sports and dancing, and loves history(kasaysayan) and the humanities.  Jasmine is tied to music, dancing, theatre, and the arts. Her favorite classes are choir(koro) and biology.  So nice to see young people again.  Nice to feel their energy and enthusiasm.  Before they left they said they would come see me next August when they come back to the Philippines again.  Yippee!!! Looking forward to it!  August 2014 can't come too soon. I hope I get a chance to serve again like I did today.  My feet hurt, my back aches, and I have a cardboard cut. I am thrilled!!!
 No interesting eating has happened in the past few days unless you count that I am extremely spoiled and have a mango a day and love it!  Mangos at home in Utah are good but the mangos here are simply divine.  I am nuts about them.  Sister Doig said I was not going to know how to act when I get home and can't eat a mango every day.  I know I am getting spoiled and I like it.  I looked up Mango on the internet because I don't really know much about them other than they are totally desirable and yummy.  A little mango info follows. Skip the next 7 paragraphs (** to **) if you don't want to read up on this scrumptious and exquisite little bit of heaven.
Mangga is the Tagalog word for 'mango.'

The most common variety of mango in the Philippines is what Americans refer to as champagne mango. It's been called Manila mango, Ataulfo mango (named after its Mexican grower) and Honey mango.  Filipinos call it manggang kalabaw (carabao mango) while the Philippine government refers to it as 'Manila Super Mango' and it is reputedly in the Guinness Book of World Records as the sweetest in the world.  

The Manila mango is more slender than the large mango varieties with which we Americans are familiar. The Filipino mangga has yellow-orange skin which wrinkles once it is very ripe. The flesh has an almost buttery texture and is very, very sweet.

In other countries, a mango is peeled with a knife like the way you'd peel an apple. This is possible because the mango variety they are peeling has very firm, not so juicy flesh. Peeling a Filipino mango this way is almost impossible because the flesh is too soft.

Filipinos slice up a ripe Manila mango lengthwise, producing three flat slices, the middle slice containing the large seed. With the outer slices, you either scoop out the flesh with a spoon or make cubes using the "hedgehog" method -- make a crisscross grid with a knife, turn the flesh out with your hands and then scrape off the chunks. Filipinos also love eating manggang hilaw (green, unripe mangoes) raw either plainly with rock salt or with the fish paste bagoong. Mango juice is popular and is even sold in cans and Doypack stand-up pouches by the Zest-O company. It's a favorite flavor of locally made ice cream. Dried mangoes are eaten by the locals and are a top export product.

Fresh Philippine mangoes meant for export are sent within 12 hours after harvesting to a factory to receive Vapor Heat Treatment. They stay in the VHT chamber for about five hours from pre-heating to cooling. No chemicals are sprayed on them; they are merely steamed. This process is to satisfy the phytosanitary standards set by Japan to which the mangoes are exported.  In the Philippines, mango growers are classified as backyard growers, commercial growers or corporate farms. Half of the mango supply comes from backyard growers, defined as those who own five to 20 fruit-bearing trees.

Trivia: The mango fruit is closely related to the cashew!
I wish I could bring home a bushel of them to share with everyone.  That ain't happenin'.


2 Nephi 4 

(My absolute favorite chapter in 11 Nephi.  You should see my scriptures.  This particular chapter is more marked up and self-annotated than any other in my book.)  This is one you must read and study for yourself to really get the full impact and power of what is written there.  
 Simple overview includes that Lehi counsels all his children and promises them that if they keep the Lord's commandments they will prosper in the land and if they don't they will be cut off from the Lord's presence.  Lehi spoke to all his family and followers according to the feelings of his heart and the spirit of the Lord which was in him.  He finishes counseling and blessing his family and then dies and is buried.  The earthly end of a pretty amazing man who had great influence.
 Bet you can't imagine what's next.  Laman and Lemuel upset with Nephi??? This time they are joined by the sons of Ishmael.  Poor Nephi.  He is constantly forced into speaking to them according to the admonitions of the Lord.  I bet the Lord is tired of their whining and insulting and poor behavior.  What is the possibility of them ever learning?  (The answer is none, I am afraid)
Verse 16: Brilliant!  
            "Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.  "
Verse 17 is so important and revealing as it shows that Nephi , for all his goodness, leadership skills, his obedience etc, still knows his place and is sorrowful that he is not more perfect in the Lord's sight.  Very repentant and humble.
 Verses 18 -35 are frequently called or referred to as The Psalms of Nephi.  It's pure poetry I think.  My favorite verse is 31.  It is one that I have had memorized for years.  It is something I find appropriate for every day of my life. It is something that in some ways I ask for in my prayers every single day.  Find it, memorize it, and use it!
 Read with special fervor 34 -36.  I know this applies to us.  Not just for myself but for each of those I love and care about.
 I love this chapter as much as any there is in the Scriptures.
 I testify that the Lord lives and loves each and every one of us.  We are his children in whom he delights, worries over, fears for, and rejoices in.  I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer and yours too.  I love the scriptures and revel in learning from them.  They have blessed my life so much.  I wish I could have seen their value much earlier in my life.  However, I am grateful that they are such a part of me now.  I am truly blessed by knowing that they are a great comfort and guidance in my life.  I    am so grateful for the restored gospel and what joy it has given me.  I am also very grateful to have a loving and wonderful family, the best friends in all the world, students who have given me great pleasure and pride, and who love and care about me.  You are the best.
 I love you all.  I miss you desperately and am so grateful to those who spend their precious time writing to, thinking about, and praying for me.  You are God's gift to me in times of need and loneliness.

New Tagolog words for today

  • Mangga = mango
  • Daga = mouse
  • Kasaysayan = history
  • Koro = choir
  • Kahon = box

Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs and love to all,
Sister (Miss Kate) O'Reilly
P.S. Email please. Even short notes are appreciated beyond words.  Thanks

Sister O'Reilly

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

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