Monday, April 30, 2012

Pigs and Poke & Pour Cake (#33)

Pig #2: I thought it was hot in the courtroom, but this room is like an oven.

Pig #3:  Do I small bacon? Oh wait—that’s just me.

Yes, our Koror sixth graders are still working on “real drama.” We’re down to the last week of rehearsals for “12 Angry Pigs” and our other plays, choral readings, skits, and individual poems which will be performed during the second week of May.  The students really look forward to having Elder and Sister Johnsen come and teach their class—for some reason they would rather work on drama than math problems . . . what a surprise!

Speaking of Pigs . . . no one on Palau is permitted to own a firearm of any kind, except the police.  However, as we delivered a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies to a less active sister and her non-member husband this week, we learned that there’s more than one way to keep the Palau Pig Population under control.  As we chatted with the couple, he brought out his pellet gun.  It had a HUGE scope, wooden stock, and a heavy barrel.  It looked like a firearm to Elder Johnsen, except for a cylinder under the barrel that was about the same size as you might see on a pump shotgun.  There was a fitting where he hooks the gun’s pressure chamber to compressed air; he says that he can get the pressure up to 3000 psi.   He’s killed lots of wild pigs at considerable distance.  Now that WOULD make a pig angry!  

No one was angry at our baptism this past Sunday, but maybe a little nervous. First of all, the water in Koror has been going off at 11:00 A. M. every day, so the Elders went over at 7 A.M.  to start the water running in the font. But when they came back at 9, just before church, the water was barely dripping from the faucet, because the water pressure was already too low. The water was only about a foot deep.  Sister Johnsen wondered if anyone has ever been knocked out by having their head hit the bottom of the baptismal font.

It was finally decided that the baptism would be performed in the ocean. The baptismal program was held at the church, and then we were all supposed to get in our cars and drive to the location where the baptism would take place. During the last talk, it started to pour outside.  Sister Johnsen started to pray that it would clear so we could perform the baptism. (Later she asked the Elders if they had started to pray; they all said they had been praying too.) Shortly after the service ended, we got in our cars and it was now just sprinkling. By the time we got the ocean, the sun was out. It was beautiful. However now Maylyne, who was being baptized, was nervous (she was shaking and kept saying, “Ok. Ok.”)  Cullen Carlson, who is her boyfriend, and was performing his first baptism, was pretty nervous too because he couldn’t remember the words of the prayer.

Then Cullen made everyone there nervous because someone had instructed him to make sure that Maylyne was fully immersed, and so he put her down in the water and didn’t bring her up until he had looked over to make sure she was fully immersed. The whole group laughed nervously when he finally brought her up.  It was only a second, but it seemed like forever.

Cullen’s mother, the branch Relief Society President, gave a beautiful baptismal talk.  In it she described an experience she had after she was converted, and then baptized and confirmed a member of the church.  She said that people were trying to get her to look up so they could take her picture, but she kept looking down at her feet—she said that she had the strangest feeling that she was floating about a foot above the ground, and kept looking down to make sure she really was firmly on mother earth.  

Besides the excitement of plays and pigs, and making lots and lots of chocolate chip cookies to take the inactive members, Sister Johnsen has been making different kinds of Poke and Pour cake for the Elders who come to dinner every Sunday night. We started out with the traditional cake: yellow with lime Jell-O and vanilla pudding on top. Then we tried the same thing only with strawberry Jell-O.  Elder Early started wondering what it would be like if we made a chocolate cake with raspberry Jell-O and chocolate pudding. Everyone liked that pretty well. This week we tried yellow cake, with lime Jell-O and pistachio pudding. This was the favorite so far. Who knows where our imaginations will take us next week.

(Elder Early and the newest Poke & Pour creation)

We think maybe our poke and pour cake is a little symbolic of our work here. We “poke” the people by reminding them that they are members of the church, and then we try to “pour” the gospel into them by means of 17 points of the true church, the restoration pamphlet, showing them videos, reviewing the plan of salvation, and bearing our testimonies.  We always feel thankful that we have this opportunity to come to Palau and experience these amazing adventures.

Bring on the pigs and the poke and pour!

1 comment:

  1. Yumm~! I totally did poke and pour cupcakes. Strawberry cupcakes, with strawberry jello and a whipped cream topping. Glad things are going good! Miss you.