Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pozole


This is a recipe from Hermana Becerra, and it is enough to serve an army.  It is a fairly common food here to be served, and I am sure that there are other recipes that make less, but this one was really tasty.  Don't be afraid of the chiles, once everything has been put together, it is really tasty, and not spicy.
  • 7 lbs Pork Shoulder
  • 2 thighs chicken
  • 2 legs chicken
  • 3 cans of pozole blanco (white hominy)
  • salsa
  • 1 bag chile guacillo o cascabel
  • 1 onion
Boil the chiles and then blend them in a blender.
 
Put the liquid chile in a large pot and add all of the meat (bones, and everything included).  Boil
 
Add salsa and pozole (hominy).
 
Makes a soup.
 
Serve in bowls.  (The natives don't pick out the bones when serving it.  You just leave the bones in your bowl after you are done eating.)
 
Top with (They just put all of these things out on the table, and let each person put what they want on their own Pazole):
  • diced radishes
  • shredded lettuce
  • diced onions
  • diced peppers (japeleno if you are brave, others if you are not)
  • Limon (limes)
  • crema (this is kinda like sour cream, but better, you can find it on the Mexican Aisle)
  • Hot Sauce
  • Tostados (You don't really put these on the soup, you just eat them with it.  The Red kind are the best!)

Habichuela Gisadas


This is a Puerto Rican recipe, and it is really tasty and not spicy at all. 
  • 1 can habichuela (bush's beans)
  • 1 can water (use the same can as the bush's beans for measurement)
  • sazon goya (co cilantro y achiote) (these are special spice packages that you should be able to find on the Hispanic Aisle in stores)
  • 1 chicken buyon cube
  • some diced potatoes
  • sofrito (this is a special sauce that you might be able to find on the Hispanic Aisle.  It has cilantro, onions and garlic among other things.  If you can't find it, just throw in some cilantro, onions, and garlic and it will work out.)
Put everything in a pot and heat until the potatoes are soft.
 
Serve on a bed of white rice.
 
Optional: serve with pork chops.  Season the pork chops with Adobo All purpose seasoning (again, it will be found on the Hispanic Aisle.)
 
This recipe is thanks to Hermana Luna.
 

Mofongo


This recipe is from a nice family that the elders are teaching.  They are from Puerto Rico, and so is this recipe.
  • fried platinos
  • ajo (garlic, the fresh kind, several lumps (can't remember what the word for these things are... :| ))
  • mantiquillo (butter)
  • olive oil
Put everything together, and squish and mash them really well.  Scoop some of it into a small cup and apply pressure then remove from the cup and serve (this part is kinda like the way you build a sand castle, it is just to give it a pretty shape.)

Ceviche


2 fillets of Tilapia
15 key limes
1 bunch of cilantro
1 red onion
clove of garlic (or garlic powder)
hot red pepper
palta (Avacado)
 
Cut fish to 1/4 inch chunks.
Juice limes over fish and let it sit 20 minutes or overnight, but make sure the fish turns opaque.
Chop red onion enough for one cup and rinse with water and salt.
Drain water from onions and mix with the fish.
Put of handful of cilantro leaves but mush them in your palm.
Mince Garlic and add.
1 tbsp of hot red sauce/ pepper
salt to taste
put diced avocado on top and serve.

Chicken Tamales


Many hispanic families make Tamales during Christmas time.  They are a traditional Christmas food.  This recipe comes from the Mejia family.
  • boil several chicken breasts.
  • Mix maseca (corn flour), a little bit of salt and the chicken broth (from the previous step) to make a dough.  Add water if necessary.  Consistency of not quite runny oatmeal.  mix well with your hands.
  • Make a salsa in the blender.  (chili (pepper), aqua (water), cebolla (onion), ajo (garlic))
  • shred chicken with hands
  • Put dough on corn husks, smooth out to have a thin layer over the bottom 2/3 of husk.  Don't put dough on the top part of the husk.
  • Put chicken and salsa in the center of the layer of dough on the husks.
  • Roll up.  Fold the part of the husk without dough up
  • Put water in the bottom part of a double boiler.
  • Put tamales on top with the open end facing up.
  • Cover, and boil for 1 and a half hours.

Nancy's Salsa


Making salsa is one of the easiest things ever, and most of the natives have a slightly different approach to making it.  This Salsa was very good, so I thought that I would share it with y'all.
 
fry dried "chili de arbol" in oil for a little bit.
tomatoes, chili, oil, oregano
blend.

Atoli (also known as Champurrado)


This is a hot chocolate type drink that is typically served with Tamales. This comes from the Mejia family.
  • agua (water)
  • canela (cinnamon) sticks
  • chocolate (the Mexican chocolate used for making hot chocolate, Abuelita is the best)
  • azucar (sugar)
  • maseca (corn flour)
  • leche (aqua)
This recipe makes approximately 4 gallons.
 
1 part water, and 3 cinnamon sticks.  Heat on stove, until the water is red.
 
Add 2 chocolate pieces.
 
1 part water, and 1 part maseca. Mix together with a whisk in a separate bowl, then add to the pot on the stove.
 
Add 1 part milk.  Continue to whisk the Atoli regularly.
 
Add approximately 4 cups sugar to taste.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Hola Todos!

We are starting to see some fruits from our labors (well blossoms really, but I know that they can turn into fruits).  We are starting to find people who are interested in the gospel and we are starting to receive referrals from the members.  We have set 3 baptismal dates for January, and miracles are starting to happen.
 
We set a baptismal date with Luz!  We have been working with her for a while.  She has been regularly attending church for the past 5 months.  We have been encouraging her to pary about a baptismal date for the last few weeks, and she has always been very reluctant whenever we started talking about baptism. 
 
But Wednesday night, we were talking about the blessings that come from being baptized.  We read Moroni 8:25.  Her kids were being very loud and distracting, so our exchange followed the impressions of the spirit and took them outside to play.  (Members really are the best!  Normally it is the testimonies of the members and friendship by the members that make all the difference, but this time it was a member helping to provide a atmosphere where the Spirit could be present.)
 
Luz read the scripture again and we started talking about what remissionof sins means. Hermana Facer talked about how all your sins are washed away and you are clean, when Luz asked about what happens if you mess up after you are baptized.  We talked about how there is only one perfect person and the church isn't a place for perfect people; it is a place for sinners who are trying to come to God.  We also talked about how the sacrament renews our baptismal covenants, if we partake of it worthily, then we are clean once more. 
 
And then someone we set a baptismal date.  I'm not sure exactly what happened.  But Luz said something about not wanting to get baptized ahorita.  I asked her why not, and she said that we wanted to do it when all her family is there, and with the Holidays, many of them are going to different places.  So, we set a date for the middle of January when all her family can be there!
 
We asked Luz what had changed, because she has always been so reluctant to even talk about baptism, and she said that she guessed that the Spirit has been working on her!!!  
 
We were able to set another baptismal date as well with Javier on Thursday.  We just met Javier this week, and taught him a 5 minute lesson outside his door.  We came back with a member to teach a full lesson, and the Spirit was super strong during the lesson.  Javier is from Honduras and is here working two jobs to save enough money for his wife and 4 year old daughter to come here as well.  He is super busy, but he has a sincere desire to learn more and follow Christ. 
 
Yesterday, Friday, was a crazy day.  It was the day that the world was supposed to end according to the Mayan calendar, and there must have been something in the air, because it seemed that all the people we were talking to were a little bit crazy.  One man starting trying to convince Hermana Facer that she needed to marry his son in Mexico.  Another one started telling us all about his life, and something about declining a $50,000 job because he found Jesus. 
 
Hermana Facer and I are getting ready for Christmas.  I am super excited for Christmas here in Denton.  It is going to be amazing!
 
Merry Christmas Y'all!  Feliz Navidad!
 
-Hermana Julie Anna Sanchez

Monday, December 17, 2012

Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad!  Ojala que todo este bien por ustedes y sus preparaciones para Navidad!

Denton is still having a bit of a dry spell, we know that there are people out there whom God has prepared for the
gospel, but we still haven't found them yet.

The good news is that we have the support of the members.  We had 15 member present lessons this last week, and we know that when we do find the people that God has prepared for us, the members will have no problem fellowshipping them.

Denton is a very mixed population.  It seems to me that there are a lot less Hispanics here than there were in Waco, and they are much more spread out.  Denton is also a college town, and there are a ton of apartments and trailer parks.  But the apartments and the trailer parks have been tracted and tracted some more by the missionaries before us.  We want to find the people who are kept from the truth only because they don't know where to find it, so we are trying to expand our missionary work and find the hispanics who live in areas that haven't been tracted by every companionship for the last 5 years, in other words, we are trying to find the Hispanics who live in houses.

This is proving to be a difficulty because there are always one or two Hispanics per neighborhood, but we don't know which ones are which.  Plus, with it being Christmas time, it is harder to pick out the Hispanic houses, because everyone has their Christmas lights up.  Now, we are looking for mops on the porches, but they are much harder to pick out from the street.  Also frogs and pots and bunches of plants are good indicators of Hispanics.

Anyways, speaking about how Denton is a mixed population, it really is.  There is everything from broken down trailer parks to nice trailer parks, apartments, run down homes, middle class and everything in between, as well as rich classy houses as well.  It is really interesting to see so many different types of people in the same place.
Speaking of different types of people, we ran into two different types of Hispanics.  The first one is that we met a family that is half Jewish and half Hispanic.  The dad is Hispanic and the mom is Jewish and the children are both.  They are Messianic Jews, which means that they believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and they read from the New Testament as well.  I have never heard of Jews that believe in Jesus as more than just a prophet, so we aren't really sure how their religious background will affect our teachings.  They told us that we could come back and share more of our message after Hannakah, so we will see what happens in a few days when we go back.
We also ran into a nice African American man, and we shared a pass-a-long card with him, when we learned that his wife is Hispanic, which means that we don't have to refer him to the English Elders, but can come back and teach him ourselves.

It seems that the world is going crazy right now.  We have only heard a few snippets of what it going on, but seriously people are going crazy or something.  I am really glad that I am serving a mission right now, and don't have to worry about what is happening in the world.  All I need to worry about is the Gospel.
Go check out mormon.org.  Seriously, the Christmas website is super cool right now.  It is definitely worth a few minutes of your time.

Y'all have a blessed day now,
Hermana Julie Anna Sanchez


Hermana Facer and I (yeah for awesome companions!!!)


Lots of Hermanas!

 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Denton, Texas!!!


Hola Everyone,
I arrived in Denton Wednesday, and my new companion is amazing.  Her name is Hermana Facer.  She is from Tremonton, Utah, and is a super amazing missionary.  She is a missionary with a purpose: to find, teach, and baptize.  I definitely have a lot to learn from her, and I am grateful for the chance. 
We are whitewashing into Denton, which means that we are both completely new to the area.  We are replacing two elders, and we aren’t really sure what they were doing for the last three months, but we don’t think that it was missionary work.  They haven’t left us any records of what they have been doing for the last 3 months.  Essencially it is like they weren’t even here.  We feel like Denton has been in cold storage for the last 3  months, and know we need to thaw it out.
We are really picking up where the sisters left off 3 months ago.  The elders left the apartment a mess, and we decided that our goal is to clean up the apartment and clean up the area.
We did have 1 investigator at church; Luz has been attending regularly for the last 5 months.  We are also working with Claudia, with whom we just set a baptismal date. 
We found an amazing family last night!  German, Claudia, Wendy and Carmen are wonderful.  They are looking  for the true church, and they know that they haven’t found it yet.  Wendy and Carmen are young women age, and the whole family is interested in learning more.  It is a huge blessing from Heavenly Father.
We left Waco on fire.  The Waco Spanish Area just made the top 8 this week for companionships in our mission.  Unfortunately, all of our hard work gets attached to the elders that replaced us in Waco.  Pero, esta bien.  We are all on the same team.
We left Waco with 9 baptismal dates and over 40 investigators.  They had appointments every night, and tons of support from the Ward.  I will definitely miss Waco and all of the amazing people there, like Guillermo.  But, now it is time to move on to Denton.
Ojala que todos tengan un Navidad muy feliz!

 Hermana Julie Anna Sanchez



Hermana Facer, Me, Hermana Martinez




Monday, December 3, 2012

Navidad tiempo!!!


Hola Todos!
 
Well, it is my last few days in Waco.  I will be leaving for Denton, Texas soon.  I am really sad to be leaving Waco, because Waco is the coolest!  But I am also really excited for Denton!  I am sure that there are great people there too.  My companion is going to Arlington, and two elders are coming to Waco.  I am sure that they will do a good job with the area, cuz there are awesome things waiting for them here!
 
The church is starting a month long Christmas campaign on mormon.org.  Y'all should check it out!  They are encouraging members to use social media to share the word!
 
It invites all to consider their feelings about Christmas and Jesus Christ and is part of an ongoing effort to help others understand how we worship Jesus Christ.
 
Members should go to mormon.org and post links on Facebook and other social media sites, as well as in emails.
 
There is also free music for download here. 
 
It is a beautiful 78 degrees today outside in Waco.  We love not having to wear jackets in December.
 
We have been teaching so many lessons.  We are trying to teach every person that we meet, instead of just contacting them.  As we ask to say an opening prayer a few minutes into each contact, miracles have been happening. 
 
Our numbers of lessons and new investigators has exploded here in Waco.  We had 41 investigators on planning day, 25 of whom are keeping commitments, the others are new investigators that we have only taught one lesson to them.  We weren't sure how we were going to teach that many people, but now all we have to do is tell the elders who are coming about them, and they can do the rest. 
 
Feliz navidad!
 
Hermana Julie Anna Sanchez

TRANSFERS WEEK!


Hello everyone!
 
 
It is transfers week and I am going to be serving in...
 
...
 
drumroll please!
 
 
...
 
...
 
Denton, Texas!!!
 
 
I will be serving in the area known as Denton 6th - Spanish East!
 
My new address is:
 
3232 N. Locust #1521
Denton, Texas 76207
 
Have a blessed day,
Hermana Julie Anna Sanchez
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