Monday, November 4, 2013

28 Oct - 3 Nov 2013 Rain,ArteFair,Smiths,Insects

This week as we arrived at our regular shopping place, Premier, Christmas shopping displays were in place to greet us.

Later that day we had lightning and thunder and torrents of rain. If one were caught in it, no normal umbrella would stop it, due to volume and the wind. They say the rain gets worse, but that is hard to imagine. With the coming of rain we are told that we will see more mosquitos which can carry malaria. Hence, we will keep taking our daily malaria pills and will need to more regularly use our bug repellant that contains 25-30% deet. Mosquito nets for night-time use are also recommended.

On the way to the office on Tuesday, we went to Premier again!  This time we were shopping for the materials for 4 dinners and 3 breakfasts for the 3 newly arriving missionaries.  It reminded us of the time, about 3 months ago, when we were assigned to shop for meals for the group of 16 new missionaries.  That trip took us nearly 3 hours!  Needless to say, Tuesday’s grocery shopping was a lot easier.  From entering the store to paying for the food, it took us only a half hour!

Here Elder Miller on the left is leading music at his last staff meeting at the Mission Office where he has been one of the Office Elders since last April. He will be sorely missed for his happy do-it never-complaining attitude and his gigantic knowledge base. Elder Tanner, one of the Assistants to the President (AP), is also going home. He is on the right and Elder Miller is on the left. We have enjoyed working very much with these two Elders! Such Elders have to be very flexible and full of energy as they work all day on errands and training and administration and then do regular missionary work, as well, at night and on week-ends.

Mom crocheted booties and a hat for Brother and Sister Machoie’s new baby boy that is named Tiago (means James) which was suggested by Elder Miller because that is his middle name. He said he did not think he would ever name a baby on his mission! She also made a hat for another baby in the branch. These African babies are very cute and they easily win Mom’s heart.

Here are two pictures of a centipede this week to show how they move, how big they are, and how they curl up when you nudge them.

The Art fair where we found the centipede was more interesting actually. We were taken to the Art fair by Solomon and Tammy. Solomon’s mother was in town for a week or so and they were taking her there and invited us to come with them. There were about fifty or more separate booths with handcrafted items of all kinds - carving of elephants, hippos, lions, giraffes, masks, nativity sets, beaded animals and ornaments, to name a few.  I did not feel comfortable taking pictures of the many booths as the owners were working on their projects or anxiously hawking their wares. If we stopped too long we were overwhelmed with offers. Look too long at something and it was handed to you for examination. Solomon was able to help us get a number of good deals on some items as he is used to dealing with such vendors. Interesting that they polish their wood carved items with shoe polish.  The pictures I have are of the decorative colorful bags hanging from ribbons from the tree branches swaying in the wind. After the fair we went to the Smith’s house for dinner.  It was an incredible Tuesday!

Here are some interesting flowers that we can see out our window.

Insects are starting to show up more for unknown reasons. Here is a grasshopper, mosquito, and cockroach all found “inside” our apartment. What will we find next?

Two other flower pictures.

Solomon & Tammy Smith brought their son Mark by on Halloween to show off his “knight” costume.

Sandy has been working on a Christmas Program which will be given to the members by President and Sister Kretly and all the missionaries on Dec 15 and 22. 

We took a walk to an old cemetery in the middle of the busy city of Maputo.  It was still locked up.  Sandy is wondering if she ever saw the doors open.  It looks so disserted and overgrown.

Baptisms are often on Saturdays, and this week was no exception. Here are two pictures taken in Maputo. There was a family and another young man baptized. We saw them all confirmed on Sunday, the day after, in the two branches we attended.

The Snelsons, a senior couple from our same Edgemont Stake in Utah, serving in Mozambique, told on their blog about the weddings of 9 couples and the associate baptisms a few weeks ago in Beira, Mozambique.

At Fast Meeting today there were 33 testimonies borne in one and 29 in the other Sacrament meeting. We are still learning to understand the language when spoken, but we understand some of the words and all of the Spirit. The testimonies are shorter than we typically hear in our home ward, but we have enjoyed hearing from so many in such a short period of time.

At the mission office this week we worked on convert baptism fichas as one month ended and another began. Mom inputs these, and she has to contact missionaries to verify spelling or gather information to complete the input into the church membership system.  This week Dad was given on-line membership access for all units in the mission so that he can assist to verify if the membership records have been correctly registered in the church system. Mom has also been organizing and auditing the input of all fichas of the past years for which records are required to be kept. Dad is starting to be involved in more of the financial activities of the mission office.

On Saturday we went on a shopping trip on foot.  Crossing streets is a challenge in this city with its wide streets, left hand driving, and signals not always being obeyed. We found some of the things we wanted, though paying more than we would have liked for some things.  Would you realize how hard it is to find an item like a sweater in Africa? The weather does not really need sweaters very often, but Mom needs one so that when Dad is hot and turns on the air conditioner, she can still work in the same office. Lunch at KFC was very good and even an ice cream cone was available. We stopped by to visit the English-speaking lady at the store where we bought the TV about a month ago and she was happy to see us. She even gave us two small Santa hats to use for Christmas. We will have to think of a gift for her next time.

Family history class this week we had 8 there; some were new and others were repeats. It is a challenge to plan classes when the attendees are not always the same. Last week we talked about interviewing experiences, places to find records, and requirements for first time temple attendance. After church the Elders introduced us to a family who needs us to help them get their paperwork ready to attend the temple in the next month or so.  They will be attending the class this week to get the help they need to enter their information on

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