On Mondays we usually go shopping with the Hobsons, but they were not available this week due to some training. So, we thought we would walk to the store to see if we could make it ok. It took us about 38 minutes to walk there. Of course, we could not buy much, because we would have to carry it all back. Thankfully we had bought ahead on a lot of things so we did not need very much.
At the store Mom was able to make contact with her friend who works with the produce, and was able to get her phone number so Mom could text her. It is hard to have a conversation at the store with her, because she has work to do helping to weigh produce. So, Mom has been able to have a periodic text conversation this week with her to get to know her better. Mom is still developing her listening skills, so texting gives her a chance to translate her friend’s words and then reply in Portuguese.
We were grateful to know that we could walk to the store if that were necessary. It took us longer to get home than to walk there as we made some stops along the way. We got some more yarn at the store we had found previously. The man there was nice to tell us that they would be closed from Dec 23 until they reopened on January 2. The clerk seemed very pleased to help Mom with the yarn because Mom was speaking Portuguese to her.
This week we had a great family history class on Wednesday night at the Maputo church. We had many of our regular attenders plus a couple of new ones. Mom gave a lesson on writing one’s own personal history, reminding them of how much they would value such a history written by their parents or grandparents. One of our new class members was not a member of the church, but had been invited by the sister missionaries to come and join the class. She was enthused about coming to the class. Another new class member was concerned that he would miss every other week because of school, but we were able to assure him we could add classes to catch him up. This is typical of the desire to learn that we have found in these people.
During the week we were asked to help with the three new missionaries arriving on December 10. That means we buy about 3-4 days of food for them to have while they are getting their visas in order and initial training to then be sent to their areas. During that period they live in the mission office house. In addition to food we will buy them their own sheets, pillow, and pillow case to use during their mission. It is always exciting to meet and feel of the spirit of the newly arriving missionaries.
We had two pigeons come and visit us this week but they did not stay long.
We met some young boys in front of our apartment building with toys they had built from things they had found on the street. Here they are with their creations.
On Tuesday morning we were picked up by the office Elders as usual. The road in front of our house turns into a one-way street early in the day and then around 8am it changes back to a two-way street. It reminds me a little of the reversible lanes in Seattle during the commute hours, except that in Seattle the transition was tightly controlled and usually had no problems. However, the transition here tends to be more of a phased approach where there is a period when cars are going BOTH ways on the reversed side during the transition. Some days it is more tightly controlled, but on Tuesday it was not. As the Elders picked us up they were pulling into traffic when a car, thinking the lanes were no longer reversed, pulled into our lane without looking and almost hit us broadside where I was sitting. The Elder who was driving quickly veered to the right, where no car was thankfully, so the car only hit our left front fender. Both cars had minor damage and there were no passenger or driver injuries. We were delayed for a few hours waiting for police to arrive and for someone to take the blame. Our driver was not in the wrong, but the other driver did not think he was either. Elders will go figure it out with the police in court next week. We got to the office late, but we were thankful for the safety of all and especially for a quick response by our driver.
Here is a picture of an acacia tree also called “Arvore de Natal” (Christmas Tree) because it is always in bloom at Christmas time. The blossoms are very unique as you can see.
On Saturday we went to the church to teach a family history lesson and attend a baptism. In addition we were able to attend a wedding. Mom made an important contact with one of her family history students who is preparing to go to the temple with his family soon.
On Sunday, December 8, Mom spoke at two different "ramos" (branches), Matola 1 and Matola 2, about family history and the plan of salvation. She continues to fine tune her speech. Sometimes I am asked to sit on the stand with her where I am not allowed to even nap at all, of course. I am doing well at following that rule. The members very reverently listen to her. We enjoy receiving feedback from members after she speaks. One of the counselors in one of the branch presidencies today noted that in February his family will be a member for a year, and they are looking forward to go to the temple at that time.
After church this little boy enjoyed holding Mom’s hand and walking with her.
After church Mom was able to give a picture that Sister Hobson had printed out of a family in the Matola 1 Branch. The picture was one of us and the family taken on the first Sunday we were in Mozambique. The family was happy to see the picture and had almost forgotten that it had been taken.