Monday, March 17, 2014

10 - 16 Mar 2014 JamineTemple,CityTour,Abras,MissionSign

For P-Day this week we took a long walk to find the National Historical Archive of Mozambique.  Upon arriving at the address we had, we read the notice on the door which said the archive had moved 2 years earlier to another location.  We had no idea where the other street was, so we thought we’d save the finding of the archive for another day.  We needed to have at least one successful “find” on our walk, so we decided to find the Biblioteca Nacional de Mozambique on Avenida 25 Setembro.  One of our stops along the way was the City Market which has been there since 1901.  Here, under one roof, were probably a hundred different vendors selling fruits, vegetables, fish, shrimp, and tourist items.  The smells reminded me of Pike Street Market in Seattle.

Among the fruits we found a stack of large limes.  One of these, we recalled, was the “ball” the children were using in the Vondo  game last week.

Across the street from the market is the “Casa Elephantes” which we pass about every business day on our way to the mission office.  I do not believe they sell elephants nor sell to elephants, but we think it may be a place to eat. As I took pictures of that building, I caught a close picture of a lady carrying a bag on her head. [I later found out that this store sells hundreds of colorful capulanas!]

The red hibiscus are still in bloom; and we saw this pretty evergreen tree.

We confirmed that bats are still at the park

We were able to get a good picture of the Bank of Mozambique which has been under construction since way before we arrived.  Paul will have to see if they are up to international building codes!

When we arrived at the Biblioteca Nacional, we found out it was closed until 2 p.m.!  It was only 11 a.m., so we looked on our list of places and decided on to the Centro Cultural Brazil, which was on the same street, to kill time.  Inside we looked at a photo display about the 2014 Olympics.  Then we saw a sign “Biblioteca” and decided to go in.  The library had a small book collection in a dark room adjacent to a large reading room.  Inside the reading room there were only 2 people - a woman who was looking over some papers and making a list, and a man who was cataloging some children’s books.  Sandy was curious to know what the woman was doing, so I went over and asked her.  We met Jacqeline, a librarian from Brazil who spoke English, who was there to help organize the center’s library collection.  She had been there almost 2 months and was going to return home on Saturday.  She felt like there was so much more to do, but her assigned period was completed and she missed being with her family.  It was enjoyable for Sandy to talk “library” with her.  We told her about our unfruitful walk to find the archive because of our interest in family history, why we were in Maputo, and our unplanned stop to the center.  She explained that the room with the books had no electricity!  She introduced us to Fabião who was a worker there, who knew each book in the collection and didn’t need lights to locate them!  She invited us to come back and Fabião would bring us books on Mozambican history that we could look through.  Before we left the building we decided to go upstairs and look at the rest of the center’s photo collection of the Olympics.  We were about ready to leave and there was Fabião!  He said he knew where the archive building was and offered to lead the way to the address; it was only a few minutes away.  He led us down alleys and across busy streets, but about 10 minutes later we were at the archive.  He didn’t just drop us there, but talked to the guard.  The guard motioned us all upstairs to the administrative office.  After Fabião introduced us to the workers there, he left.  The archive, we found out, houses records for people whose ancestors had originally come from Portugal but lived in Mozambique.  They explained the procedures for filling out a form to request a search in their secured collection of records.  When we got home later that afternoon, I used Google Maps to find the new address of the archive.  Google Maps didn’t know the street existed!  If we had not stopped to talk to Jacqueline and obtained the help of Fabião, we would never have found the archive! If the national library had not been closed, we would never have gone to the cultural center.  We felt we had been guided!

We did go back to the national library, but it was a quick stay.  The collection, we found out, is all in closed stacks.  To access the collection, you look through booklets with titles listed alphabetically!

Banana Tree Update!  Bananas are forming!


This week transfers were announced and a group of Elders went home.  Five Elders who had been at the MTC in Brazil arrived and will be serving here for at least a transfer before their visas arrive for Angola and Brazil. 

The Mission has been waiting for many months to have a sign for the office. It arrived and was installed this week.  The President asked the guard to move the small tree you see below the sign and also to plant grass under the sign so that people can stand there and get their pictures taken.

We had a very successful Family History class this week.  We had 2 new students and 3 “returning” students.  We talked about temple work for the living and for the deceased.  Part way into the lesson, one of the students said that he wanted to do ordinance work for his father, but his father had passed away a month before he was born.  He only knew his father’s name and was disappointed because he thought that he did not have enough information.  Sandy told him to continue to listen, because the rest of the lesson would give him the hope he needed.  He became very excited when we talked about approximated and calculated dates, as he knew his father’s age when he passed away.  Another student stayed after class and, since the Internet was working (Hurray!) Sandy showed him his Family Tree in both the traditional view and the fan chart view.  He is anxious to find more information so his fan chart will be even more beautiful!

On Friday we talked to Matilde about her family’s trip and experience in the temple.  Their bus rides, though long, went well.  They had no problems with their recommends, family group records, or ordinance request.  She expressed her gratitude for our help.  We are hopeful this is the first of many families in the mission who will be able to travel to Johannesburg, South Africa, to receive their own ordinances and also to begin doing ordinance work for their deceased ancestors.

(This picture was given to us a couple of weeks later.  It was taken on their first day in the Johannesburg Temple, Tuesday, March 11, when they were sealed as a forever family.)
The Distribution Center has a crowded storage area that has lots of donated clothes for missionaries and members, that needed to be organized so the clothes could be used.  Sandy talked to the Sister Missionaries about having a combined Relief Society/Young Women activity to sort and organize the clothes.  The activity was scheduled for Saturday.  Saturday morning we helped the Sister Missionaries and some helpers move the bags and boxes of unsorted clothes from the 4th floor to the 1st floor chapel.  We organized the area for the activity which began later in the afternoon.  A group of about twenty participated.  Ripped, soiled, or smelly clothes were discarded.  The rest were organized into sizes; missionary clothing was separated from the other clothes.  Members were encouraged to take any clothes they or their families could use.  A lot of good work was accomplished during the two hour activity.  The Distribution Center now has a more useable clothing collection and many people were blessed and will be blessed in the future from the project.

One of the Elders was asking what city in the United States was about the same size as Maputo. Maputo including the adjacent Matola area has about 2.4 million population, and Chicago has about 2.7 million. LA has 3.9 million and NYC has 8.4 million.

This week our son is traveling to Ghana, Africa, on business which is exciting, however, we will not get to see him as Ghana is still 3,500 miles away. Africa is a big continent.

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