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