We have decided that our wall in the kitchen is our art gallery. The first entry in our gallery, next to some purchased screen prints, is an amazing picture of a tiger drawn by Draeton.
We were pleasantly surprised this week to see that mail can actually get from the USA to Mozambique. However, it does take a couple of weeks. Schneblys tested it and now we have some more original art work on our wall from Sarah and Sedona! Postage does cost $1.10 for a one-ounce letter. You can also send pictures by email, and we can print them out. We would like to run out of space for art on the wall.
With over 200 families being baptized in 2013, the interest is in moving them forward to temple endowments and marriage and family sealings. The church’s Temple Patron Fund financially helps members and their families to attend the temple for the first time after they have made a significant sacrifice. This is a great fund to which you may wish to contribute as it is administered very carefully and offers great blessings to worthy members. Just indicate on the church donation form that it is for the “Temple Patron Fund.” Let your money cause someone to say, “I never thought I could ever take my family to the temple in my life-time, and now I can go through the temple and be sealed to them forever.”
President Kretly noted that missionaries in Mozambique are baptizing the first generation in the Church here in this country. These members here are true pioneers for Mozambique. He reminded us that we are helping to build the foundation for the future as we train leaders here.
We were surprised when we received an email from “Afri-Bat” an organization that tracks bat colonies. They had noted the bat pictures we had on our blog! They told us that “our” bats were Straw-colored Fruit Bats. We registered on the site and may be returning to the bat park again to document the bats are still there and to get more pictures. I thought after two visits we were done with bats, but maybe not! See http://www.inaturalist.org/projects/afribats.
For those of you who are interested here are the latest insects.
Yesterday I went to pay our electricity bill. While I was walking I heard the peeping of little chickens in the middle of a very busy city! Then I saw them in cardboard boxes. There were lots and lots of fuzzy yellow shapes. People were coming to buy them to raise them.
Just about every day on the way to the office we see this store that says on the partially hidden sign “Surprise”. Maybe we will have to go find out what they sell at such a store.
Due to very active excitement in the politics of an election, the Mission President has asked all missionaries to stay in their apartments all day and night of Wednesday, November 20. Here is an invite from Mom to sister missionaries to come and do Christmas crafts on Wednesday when we need to stay in. Some of P-Day was delayed until Wednesday when we need to stay in. The sister missionaries all live in the same apartment building as we do. The pictures show the voters in line and the Christmas craft activity with (standing) Sister Naehu, Sister Olander, Sister Smith, Sister Harrison, Sister Baldwin, and, (seated in front), Sister Thornton, and Sister Merkley.
Here are a few pretty pictures from the week. The red petals on the sidewalk are from the acacia trees.
We had seen geese in the yard below our apartment. Now we see lots of goslings. Did you know that a group of goslings is called a gaggle?
The weather doesn’t suggest to us that it’s nearing the holidays, but next week it is December! Mom and I put up the Christmas tree in the Mission Office. The bright blue lights really stand out!
Remember the zinnia seeds I (Grandma) planted in a pot? It isn’t much, but one of the gangling stems produced the first tiny pink blossom. I really should have transplanted them outside, but I didn’t know where a safe place would be that they wouldn’t be pelted by the heavy rain storms we have here.
We got to go bird-watching on Saturday “down by the bay.” The larger birds are white-breasted cormorants.
As we came up from the beach children were sliding down the edge of the steps on crushed plastic water bottles for “sleds.”
Sunday we went to the Magoanine Branch. Mom got to speak about the plan of salvation and Family History and Temple Work.
Can you say “Inhamízua”? It might take some practice; it did more us! In-ham-E(long e)-zoo-a
How about Magoanine? Mag-o(long o)-a-KNEE-knee
Here are some comments from the LDS Church News, November 2013 that echo many of our feelings about Africa and our mission here in Mozambique.
“The Church is vibrant and growing in Africa,” said Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during his recent visit to the Africa Southeast Area.
There is an eagerness and light in the eyes of the African Latter-day Saints, he said. “This is a place where many people live challenging, difficult lives. They don’t have many of the temporal comforts and blessings that people in the Western world have. Many of these Saints are grateful to have one substantial meal a day. Yet because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, they have great light and hope. I learn a great deal from the people every time I visit the African continent.”
“Africa is an enchanting and inspiring place,” said Elder Bednar. “Africa is diverse and complex. There are highly industrialized and sophisticated communities and rural and simple villages. The gospel of Jesus Christ gathers all kinds of people into the gospel net. Even though there is a common strong faith among the Latter-day Saints, there is also a remarkable diversity.”
Elder Christensen, on his first visit to Africa, stated the area was “quite different, quite diverse, quite broad from any other place we have been in the world. As we mingled with the Saints, we observed strong faith and spiritual depth.”
Elder Christensen said members have a desire to bless and watch out for one another, which “is a natural extension of the Savior’s gospel.”
Elder Bednar said, “Finding people to teach is not a fundamental problem in Africa. The challenge is making sure there are sufficient priesthood and auxiliary leaders to support the growth so the Church can be unified and strong.”
“The maturity of the Church is to be found in the hearts of people. In Africa I find a very mature Church,” he said. “The family is the center of the gospel, evidenced by the way these people live the gospel in their homes.”
“This is a land, a people, and a place of great faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said. “You can feel it as well as hear it when these Saints pray and when they sing.
“These members have a simple faith that is uncluttered. It is focused on Christ. And it brings many blessings and spiritual gifts into their lives.”
In closing, Elder Bednar affirmed, “Every time I have an opportunity to come and witness what the Lord is accomplishing among the people here, it is thrilling for me. Africa changes me.”
CN 18 November 2013