Sunday, February 21, 2016

Chancho and Majadito

[February 21, 2016]

The Temple was closed for maintenance this last week, so we've spent it getting to know Bolivia a little bit better.

On Thursday, we had a Bolivian lunch with the Paredes. They are the missionary couple from La Paz who are finishing their mission this week. They are really sweet, fun, humble people. He and I have a running joke about eating "chancho" after our temple shifts. "Chancho" is pork, cooked with certain condiments.

So, Thursday morning, we went with Hno. Paredes to the market, and bought the pork at one of the regular, open meat markets. When we got it home, Hna. Paredes showed Molly how to clean it, which they thoroughly did. Molly cooked the meat in our oven, and Hna. Paredes cooked the bananas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes (camote). It was fun eating with them and visiting over lunch. 

[This is Molly.

"I just wanted to add how much I enjoyed spending the day with the Paredes. I felt like a real Bolivian buying even the meat at the open meat market. Hermana Paredes cooked for many years at a pension and she taught me a lot. We had chancho (pork), papas (potatoes), camote or sweet potatoes, postre (the big bananas when they are green you call them platanos, when they are yellow with black spots they are postre). Postre usually means dessert and they are sweeter and much softer than the green ones. We also had an ensalada (salad) of iceburg lettuce and tomatoes and hierba buena (mint) leaves chopped fine. We baked everything except the salad of course.

I learned that you shouldn't eat certain things with pork such as, avocado or milk products. They will make you sick." ]

On Friday, we took a taxi out to Cliza, just to see if I remembered anything. Cliza is a small town about 6 miles from Punata. We used to walk over there from time to time to proselyte, etc. After Demetrio Carballo had contacted us at church in Punata, we walked to Cliza to teach him.

[Molly again:
"Cliza was a darling small town. They haven't had missionaries there in a while and I don't think they get many North American visitors. We must have looked like "white giants" to them. We got some surprised and and interesting looks."]

We walked around Cliza a bit, and I didn't remember anything. Here are a couple of pictures from Cliza:
Central Plaza in Cliza.
The enclosed, modern market in Cliza.
A regular street in Cliza.
After wandering around Cliza for a while, visiting the cathedral, etc., we took a trufi to Punata along the road that my companions and I walked so many years ago. The feel was similar, but again, I really didn't remember much as far as the environs.

When we got to Punata, we visited the market where I had breakfast every day. Here's a picture:
Market in Punata.
I wanted to take more pictures, but the cholitas demurred and wouldn't let me.

We walked from there to the home of Jeaneth Sanchez and her family. We found it pretty easily. We had called ahead to let her know that we were coming. She was there with her granddaughter:

Jeaneth and her granddaughter cooking lunch for us.
She really wanted to cook us lunch, so as we visited, she prepared and cooked a Bolivian dish called Majadito. It is basically rice with spices, vegetables, and meat cooked in, served with fried bananas and an egg on top.

"I loved watching her cook and hearing her talk. Her happiness bubbled out in everything she did and said. She is a real example of someone who is truly happy living the gospel. I learned a lot from watching her cook as well. Her little granddaughter Charlotte was scared of us at first, but eventually warmed up to us. Jeaneth is a fun grandma and they have a sweet relationship.  

I love sharing these experiences with my sweet companion and seeing the love he has for these people and the love they have for him."]

Here is a picture of Molly (seated), Jeaneth, and the Majadito:

Jeaneth was so excited to cook for us, and as she cooked, we visited. I wanted to know more about the history of the branch/ward here, and kept asking questions. She was so happy and excited to share her experiences and testimony with us.

Jeaneth was born in Trinidad - very hot and humid. Her family moved to Punata in about 1972, when Jeaneth was about 11. From what I could gather, she and her mother (she called her father an atheist) had been looking for a church to go to. They had attended the Methodist, Adventist, and Baptist churches, but didn't feel inclined to continue. When they moved to Punata, they moved into an apartment attached to the building where we held church meetings in Punata, so she started coming to church.

From what I could gather, she felt very good about the church, but her father wouldn't let her or her mother get baptized. 

After three years or so, her father apparently relented. She told us that the missionaries really didn't teach her - she learned everything she needed to know by attending church for those three years. I got the feeling that she finally prevailed on her father, and got baptized - the day before I got to Punata.

Over the next few years, Hna. Lopez took Jeaneth under her wing and helped her learn more and more about the church and the Savior. Jeaneth's testimony strengthened, and she loved what she was learning.

She was active continuously, from what I could tell, until the branch closed. Her father wouldn't let her go to Cochabamba to go to church, and eventually she took a job teaching children out in a small community away from everywhere.

She always asked about the church, and the missionaries, but wasn't able to find them until she moved back to Punata to take care of her dying father (her mother had died some 20+ years before). The first week back in Punata, she asked for and found the missionaries, and attended church there for the first time in many years. When they found that she was a member, they called her to teach Primary. She said that she just cried and cried that Heavenly Father still remembered her.

Since that time, she has been to the temple, and said that she had done the ordinances for her parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, but still had others she wanted to work on. She doesn't have a computer, and needs help with this, so we invited her to come to the Family History Center here at the temple, and we'd help her in any way possible.

So, it really feels like we are continuing the work done so many years ago to find and baptize people by helping them complete the work in the temple for themselves and for their families.

No comments:

Post a Comment