Monday, April 28, 2014

14 - 20 Apr 2014 5fromBrazil,JambaneDocs,Manuel,5Weddings

This was an eventful week with the coming and going of missionaries.  During our regular shopping excursion, we purchased food for 5 missionaries arriving from the United States.  While Richard pushed around the already full cart and he put more things inside, a fellow customer remarked “Bom Apetite!”  The girl at the cash register who rang up the food and the packers were all very nice to help us with our many purchases.  We had brought boxes to help pack the food so we didn’t have as many plastic bags to carry up to our apartment! 

I was able to use part of my P-day to do some family history research on my French-Canadian lines.  It was very productive. 
Be very thankful that you have access to books – whether it is from your local library or your personal Kindle or other reading device.  All of a sudden, my Kindle didn’t have access to the Kindle Store and I needed a new book to read.  Well, after  upgrading my Kindle as Kindle said to do to "fix" it, my Kindle had nothing on it! Now what?

During this week before Easter we have taken time every day to view Church videos about the final days of Jesus’ life leading up to his suffering in Gethsemane and on the cross, and his resurrection.  We especially enjoyed the new Church video “Because of Him.”  We also found it in Portuguese!

Tuesday morning we learned that 9, instead of 5, missionaries were arriving!  The 5 from the United States arrived, and in addition there were 4 arriving from Brazil (the 5th from Brazil should arrive next week).   These 5 Brazilian missionaries were finally granted visas to enter Mozambique after serving the first year of their mission in Brazil.  What enthusiastic ready young men!  They brought such a spirit with them!  Also, another 2 missionaries from other cities in Mozambique arrived in Maputo.  They are going to begin their missions here because of visa delays to their mission countries.   Well, missionaries arrive, and missionaries leave.  One of the AP’s left this week and 6 other missionaries were to leave the next week!  All in time for transfers which will be announced next Monday!

On Tuesday Angelo Jamine, Matilde’s husband, came to visit with us at the mission office.  He wanted to thank us for our help in getting his family’s records together before they went to the temple.  Maputo 1 branch, the branch their family attends, began meeting in their new building in the Sommerschield area of town, so we had not seen him since he and his family went to the temple.  He was called as a counselor in the new branch presidency, too.   On Wednesday, Matilde sat down with us and we looked through their temple pictures which Angelo had sent on a flash drive.  Going through the pictures was like being there with them!

At our Family History class on Wednesday, Brother Jambane brought very beautiful handwritten documents of birth and marriage events for his ancestors.   Previously we heard stories that when family members die, the family destroys documents and photos about that person, but we have since learned that this is not true for most families.  On the contrary, they celebrate the ancestor’s life on the anniversaries of their birth.  Seeing these beautiful documents was a wonderful example of what families may be able to find in their houses or the houses of their families. 

We hear some very interesting stories from our students, too.  Living in Tete, before the bridge was built over the Zambezi River, Brother Panganane related how he crossed the river safely, even though the river was full of crocodiles!  He’d take a big tree branch and tie it around his waist.  He’d also try to make lots of noise.  Crocodile’s don’t like noise and the tree branch trailing after the person mixes up the crocodile.  The crocodile thinks there is something bigger in back of the person, so he goes after the branch.

Every door in our apartment and the mission office has a key in it.  We don’t often lock inside doors, but at the office, we usually do lock the bathroom door.  Well, that key started having troubles. A missionary got locked in for a while.  On another occasion, I got locked in for a while.  The lock finally would turn open after jiggling the key multiple times.  However, this week, no jiggling or praying worked and I was locked inside. Finally, we decided that I needed to get the key out of the room so someone could use it from the outside to unlock it.  We first tried to put it under the door, but there was no room under the door.  So, the next idea was for me to throw the key out of the window and have Richard catch it!  So that’s what we did!  Until the lock gets replaced, this is one door in the office that does not have a key and does not lock!

This week found us one more step closer to having a “real” Family History Center here in Maputo.  The room vacated by the Maputo 1 branch president is now the Family History Center.  We have spent time cleaning the office.   We have a nice desk and a computer and printer has been provided and an operating system and software installed.

We attended a group wedding on Saturday morning.  5 couples were married.  The chapel had been decorated and there were many members there to support them.  

President Castanheira conducted the meeting and performed the marriages.  President Kretly gave the wedding message before the couples took their marriage vows.   His wonderful advice has import for newly married couples and for those who have been married for years.  

(1) Financial Management – there is no more “my” money and “your” money – it is “our” money.  Make a budget and decide together how to spend and save your money.  
(2) Speak only Good About Your Spouse.  When things are bothering you, don’t go tattle to your parents or your friend, talk to your spouse and figure it out together.  It will work out if you talk together.  
(3) Celebrate your differences.  You think you’d like to have married someone who is just like you, but you really wouldn’t like that.  Respect each other and realize how each of your talents and abilities complement each other and make you stronger.  
(4) Always use the 2 magic words/phrases:  “Por Favor” (please) and “Obrigada” (thank you).   Men, don’t expect your wife to be your servant.  The formation of Eve from Adam’s rib symbolizes that the man and the woman go side by side through life.  You are equal partners in your marriage, one is not above the other.  Be kind to each other and say “Por Favor” sweetly and “Obrigada” sincerely! 
(5) Serve together in the home.  There is no such thing as “women’s work”; each should share in the home to do what needs to be done.  This includes helping to care for the children.  
(6) Prepare for temple marriage sealing in one year from now so you can become a forever family.  

After the vows were taken, a group of members formed in the aisle and sang special wedding songs and danced as the couples signed the marriage book. 

The wedding was followed by 9 baptisms – one of the husbands was already a member of the Church.  It was truly a day of celebration, not only for the couples but for the missionaries!

After the baptisms, the brides and grooms changed back into their fancy wedding clothes.  We assembled outside by the side of the chapel for the closing prayer to the baptismal services.  Inside the Relief Society prepared the room for the wedding celebration.  There were round tables with white tablecloths.  In the middle of each table was a round cake with the name of the bride and groom, made by Sister Olander.   A huge white cake, representing the temple, had been made by Elder Porter – his final baking feat, since he would be released Monday. 

The singing/dancing group reconvened and sang to the wedding companies.  During their last song, 5 people from the group each took a capulana and draped it around the shoulders of the couples.   

We ended the day by listening to the special performance of “The Messiah” the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

On Easter Sunday, we attended Church at the Maputo 1 building.

We watched the Sunday 2 p.m. session of general conference.   After a short break, the members reconvened and President Kretly trained the members about the Minha Familia booklets.  It’s a good thing I brought 100 of them - only a few were left over. 
Sunday afternoon we taught our first Sunday Family History class.  Our one student was an important one, as he and his wife will be married and baptized in May!

Shortly after we came home from teaching, the Smith family came to visit and little Mark gave us an Easter basket with marshmallow eggs and chocolate bunnies.

In addition to beautiful sunsets, we also see some interesting clouds.  The clouds in this first picture looked like roasted marshmallows! 

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