Saturday, March 1, 2014

17 – 23 Feb 2014 Snelsons,Sewing,BananaTree,Maputo1Move

On Monday, February 17, 2014, Elder Brian and Sister Kim Snelson arrived in Maputo from Beira, Mozambique, where they are currently serving as CES missionaries.  Brian was our home teacher years ago in Provo, and we have known Brian and Kim for many years, as they live in the Edgemont Stake. Other than on the computer screen via “GoToMeeting,” this is the first time we’ve been able to see them since we arrived in the mission.  The Snelsons were on their way to spend a few days in South Africa visiting Nelspruit and Kruger National Park.

If you haven’t taken the “Gratitude Challenge” it is way worth your time.  Our daughter, Zoe Schnebly, used this for a home evening lesson for their family before Christmas time; however, it would be good to do any time of the year since it leads you identifying 100 things you are grateful for and will help you become more aware of the many blessings you enjoy every day.  Elder Tidwell did it for our home evening lesson this week.  Intrigued?  Go to, in the search box put “gratitude challenge.”  All 3 of the articles which come up are related, but only the 2nd and 3rd links pull up articles with introductory materials for the home evening lesson.  So, click on either “Three Reasons to Give Thanks” by John Hilton III and Anthony Sweat, or “First Presidency Message, "The Choice to Be Grateful" by President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency.  Enjoy!

Before we left on our mission, our grandchildren were asked where we would be living and what we would be doing on our mission. One of them guessed we would be living in a grass hut. Well, we do not live in a grass hut, but we do work in the Mission Office which is a house with a thatched roof!  Here is a picture of the ceiling in our office.

We saw our first grasshopper this week by the Mission Office!

If you want to listen to a wonderful devotional talk, you will want to listen to Suzanne Julian’s talk which she gave Tuesday, February 11.  Go to BYU Speeches ( )  and you’ll see the link to “Led by the Spirit.”  Suzanne was my supervisor when I worked in Library Instruction at BYU and I loved being able to listen to her voice!  The Digital Universe reported that she emphasized that “now is the time to develop important skills gained through educational opportunities, regardless of how irrelevant they may seem during the pursuit toward furture careers” (Digital Universe 12 Feb 2014).

We knew that on our mission we would be “sowing," but sometimes Sister Tidwell really is “sewing.” Missionaries have found out that she has a sewing machine and is quite handy in mending and hemming slacks.  Record so far is three pairs of pants for a single missionary in the same week.

In an earlier post, we included a picture of Peter with Amelia & Georgia taken via Skype. Here is one with Zoe with Samuel, Sedona and Sarah!

This tree by the beach has had most of the sand eroded away from some of its roots.  Other roots must still be firm in the sand or it wouldn’t be standing. Even if we are burdened down by problems, we can hold on and overcome our challenges.

Along the Avenida de Marginal which runs along the beach, there are countless vendors selling everything!  One of the items seen most often are capulanas flapping in the wind.

The sunflowers here remind us of Utah in the summertime.

The guard at the Mission Office proudly showed us the banana tree he planted in the garden. The pointy part growing up out of the middle of the fronds will send out a flower which will become the bunch of bananas.  It will take a total of 3 months He explained that after a banana tree produces its bunch of bananas, the tree dies, but new shoots come up at the base of the original tree and form new trees.

On Friday the Tidwells and Snelsons went to the Arte Parque in the Parque dos Continuadores in Maputo. Here are the two main shoppers: Sisters Tidwell and Snelson at the opening gate of the selling area.  As it turned out they were almost closing and we were the ONLY customers. We were the focus of all attention. We bought a lot of good things, but it was so fast and crazy with everyone wanting to sell their product. We were not in danger, but we did feel a little intimidated with sayings like: “you have bought nothing from me”, “I have a family,” “I have sold nothing today,” “Just look at my things.” We finally were able to get out of there, and maybe we will go again.

Dinner was at Café Sol where we ate Mexican food and it was very good. We had milk shakes, and Brian was overwhelmed to have one as I gather you cannot get one in Beira.

The activity for a combined activity for the youth was a field trip to the Coin museum, the old fort in Maputro, and to the Parque dos Namorados where Mozambique was dedicated for the preaching of the Gospel. They rented a bus to take them and came back to the chapel for food.

On Saturday we went to church distribution and came upon a baptism for which we stayed. It is exciting to think that just about every Saturday morning there are many baptisms happening throughout the mission.

Sister Kretly, the Mission President’s wife, had a birthday and some of us and member families went to help celebrate.

At church on Sunday we learned that one of the two branches we have been attending is moving to a rented building to be closer to their branch boundaries as well as to make room for possible additional branches. That was exciting but quite sad at the same time as we will not have contact with the Maputo 1 branch members who will be attending there. Without a car it will be very difficult to attend at the new location at least on an weekly basis. We are already feeling a loss of the regular association with these members many of whom have become dear friends.

This week Elder Tidwell has been working on completing the instruction sheets describing how to apply for assistance from the church to attend the temple for the first time using funds from the temple patron fund. In addition he has been working on a flow chart to help members determine how long it will take to prepare to go to the temple to include obtaining passports and other documents. All of these procedures need to be written in English and Portuguese.

Sister Tidwell is working on adapting her family history classes to utilize the new My Family booklet.  She writes the lesson in English and then translates it into Portuguese. It has been a challenge to teach the classes when the Internet service has been so undependable. In the meantime Sister Tidwell has been doing some of her personal family history and submitting names for temple work. Having access to the Internet does allow her to be quite productive in her research.

Sandy’s newest project is to update apartment/house/chapel information for 25 missionary dwelling places, including landlord contract information, apartment inventories, and appliance status reports. 

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