Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Found a Peeler!

Things break.  Especially nice electric glass top stoves when electricity comes in spurts and switches require a consistent level.   While my perplexities have been finding shoes and internet, the test for our fearless office manager is having a questionable cooking source.
But Elder Starkey is an engineer, and throughout his childhood he remembers neighbors bringing broken toasters and everything else to his grandpa, because his family can fix anything.  Elder Starkey's sister pulls the drain apart and remedies the water softener if anything drips or peeps.  Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Or do without. 

Dad shared with chef Brianne,
Friday, his love for cooking.   It is real. It is relaxing.  But sadness sizzles when two burners are toast and the third burner crackles. With five pounds of costly quinoa remaining, 20 pounds of black, red, garbanzo, white beans and lentils galoreat the local grocery store, healthy eating could be at our fingertips at the flip of a switch--if only the switch would flip!

Never fear, Elder Starkey is here.  After researching the make, model and switch numbers, after weighing carefully if the switches themselves would cost as much as a new stove, after hunting down a company five hours away that sells switches for "less," a repairman was summoned, parts were ordered, and ultimately four switches arrived in a cheerful yellow pouch.  Only one problem.  The switches came with the wrong model number.  It is a RARE thing indeed to return something in Central America with exchange in mind or reimbursement expected.  Regardless, we set to work, looking for the original KNOB to the first switch.  
              One of the mysteries! 

Our friend Betty visited.  Betty looked.  Elder Starkey looked. And looked. 
We like Betty.  She is wonderful, and helps curb the dry white "hongo" (or mold) that peeks out when we are not looking on the concrete walls and tile tops.  

But when something goes missing,  there is every a wish to peer into the mind of Betty.  Where could that thing be?

At the beginning of our mission we told Amber if she was sending a package, 
she could send a vegetable peeler. 
                  And she did.  

Light weight, not too expensive.  

But in the left behind items from the previous missionaries there was a cool blue sideways peeler that Elder Starkey uses every day to peel his carrots.  

Carrots are good for the skin, you know.  Nice for complexions, good for vision,  roughage, and they carry well in a ziploc during our weekend jaunts over the hills between here and Baja Verapaz. 

But the happy blue peeler went into hiding.  Hooray for Amber's conventional peeler.  Hooray for less mold on the front room tile.  Now was the time for Elder Starkey's sidekick to crank into gear and find the missing knob to the broken stove.  

You have to believe losing something offers incentive for putting things in order.  
Rice and beans were inventoried, the plastics organized, 
the vitamins placed in a row and the spices lined in their boxes. On the last leg of the kitchen, the switch was declared indefinitely lost, but the peeler!  The peeler peeked out from behind the oat meal and honey.
(When the dryer of dishes, hands laden with cups and lids, dropped it safely into the silverware bin, it did not have the courtesy to stay. 
It slyly slipped behind the stands waiting to surprise us in our despair over broken switches and crackling burners. )

"Found a peeler, found a peeler, excavating for a knob!"

Elder Starkey smiles at least once a day on demand, and this did it for him!  

Also, yesterday brought a garage full of new hotel quality mattresses with their bases that have become a new puzzle for our expert resident engineer -- how to economically transport four large items atop a passenger van over winding muddy potholed trails?? 

[These last four pictures are courtesy of our temple president counselor, Pres. Don Cazier, who also traveled these roads...I was invited once, but failed to capture the roads like he did!]\

 What would life be without a challenge?  And perhaps a peeler will peek out on the way! 

Note from a special gathering at a meeting house six hours north.  A week ago, Elder Quentin L. Cook and his wife  visited an area that just received a stake (a more developed and well organized group than the districts where we work in Salamá and the mountainous areas of Polochic to the east.)  Sister Cook invited our missionaries to do a spontaneous medley to "Hark all ye Nations, Hear Heaven's voice!"  She glowed as she taught us we could learn to be like Jesus by remembering Primary songs for children and letting them teach us and help us stay on track.  

Elder Cook then told stories of a beloved missionary companion whose sister had given up nearly everything to help him come.  The new missionary did not know his part instantly, but what he offered made a difference.  Elder Cook left an unequivocal witness of the Savior and left a blessing with the missionaries that their mission would bring blessings that they could not comprehend, to each of their loved ones--mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, future spouses, children, grandchildren.  If things were not going well at home this would change. 

A great promise--as Kristen called last night with the washing machine smelling like caramel and forgetting how to agitate... as a new baby begs 

  for feeding... and her three siblings ages five and under  
are learning like cousins at Uncle's house
 that their clothes
 should NOT be the napkin. 

Hoping in your hunt to find a functional switch to augment your daily doings that you also will be met with pleasant surprises.  May your favorite peelers materialize and your eight colorful vegetables a day be cut with care.  

We love you! 

Are you noticing blessings?  Thanks for being ours!
Elder and Sister S



  2. What an "a-peeling" post! (Couldn't resist the pun.) Good to hear from you my friend.