This week started with a regular day at the office rather than P-Day, “Dia de Muhler” (Day of the Woman or Women’s Day). P-day was moved to Tuesday!
We continue to hear of the good things our children and grandchildren are doing at home. Although this blog is mostly about what we have been doing here In Africa on our mission, I don’t want to forget the wonderful things that are happening in our families at home. In Tad’s family, Paisley turned 11 on 5 March, and Ava loves it when Paisley comes home from school so they can play together. In Emily’s family, Daesen, their youngest, turned 3 years old in March, Kaedric was baptized in March, and Klaesara is learning to drive. Thanks, Emily, for keeping us updated and sending us pictures of the baptism! In Washington State, Lyn’s family have expanded their already huge garden and they are beginning to plant the early vegetables. Henry and Fern love to go to the library and are learning a lot via home school. Zoe’s family is busy with the Mesa Eater Pageant. She posted lots of pictures on Facebook. Sarah turned 4 year old and Sedona lost her first baby tooth! In Paul’s family, Tanner turned 7 in March. Paul reported that Saratoga Springs is the 4th fastest growing city in Utah – great job security for his employment as building inspector. Peter took a work trip to Ghana in March; their girls, Amelia and Georgia are enjoying various classes and activities with the family. As you can see, our families are doing well. We miss them – especially the hugs only grandchildren can give. Family, we are so proud of all of you and we really enjoy your telephone calls, video Skype calls, and the links to pictures you send us! Keep them coming! We feel so blessed to have each of you in our forever family!
We received a few back issues of the Church magazines in English. Richard found a great article “Citrus Warriors” in the September 2013 issue of the New Era that has a great Family Home Evening idea. It is an object lesson with uses two oranges and water. Check it out: https://www.lds.org/new-era/2013/09/citrus-warriors?lang=eng
If you need a web site that has lots of good music, try the “Seminary Music” portion of the music area of lds.org! I was excited to find the intriguing arrangement of “Hope of Israel” there.
We were invited to go to the beach and play volleyball with the missionaries on Tuesday’s P-Day. The road to the beach was like an up and down rollercoaster ride at Disneyland! Although it was misty-rain for part of the time, it was great to be on the beach, play and have fun with the missionaries. It was the same beach we had gone to the first time with the Smith’s and, sure enough, there were flamingos! We tried a few unique shots through a binocular lens and some of them turned out really good! I counted 36 flamingos!
Family History class this Wednesday evening was particularly fine. The lesson was on interviewing family to obtain more information. We had a great discussion and Richard did great in translating their remarks. We had 7 people there, including one new student who I believe was “led” to come to class. He usually attends classes in the evening, but on that night he didn’t have class. He was thinking that he hadn’t been by the Church lately – he has been investigating the Church. He noticed lights on in the Church and asked the guard what was going on. The guard didn’t know, but he knew there were people inside, so the brother came in. He saw a couple of people in the class he recognized, so he came in a sat down. He was glad he did and he learned a lot! Because he travels so much, especially on weekends, it has been difficult for him to attend Church, but he reads the Church magazines and hopes to be able to attend Church soon. It turns out that one of the class members he recognized, who is now a member of the Church, was being taught the gospel by the missionaries at the same time as he was. It was nice for them to meet again and talk together.
On Wednesday evening I made my first really successful pie crust since we arrived last year. I used the Crisco that Smith’s brought us from the U.S. after Christmas. I also used the bottle of sour cherries they purchased for us in South Africa to make the cherry pie.
Thursday morning was a special District Leader Training with President Kretly. President started by emphasizing that the skills the missionaries were learning were life skills that would help them throughout their lives, not just here on their mission. President Kretly is the CEO of Franklin Covey in Brazil. He shared the 7 Habits Training with the missionaries: (1) Leadership is a choice; be proactive in exercising your Faith in Jesus Christ; (2) Begin with the end in mind; determine your short and long term goals – your vision; (3) Plan how you attain your goal; what will you do today, this week, this month, etc.; (4) Think Win/Win; effective and lasting relationships are built on mutual respect and benefits; there is enough and to spare; (5) Seek first to understand and then to be understood; listen with love and with the intent to understand; (6) Create synergy – the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; celebrate the differences – together with others you can create a better way – a wider road to success; (7) Nurture all aspects of your life: physical, social, mental, and spiritual.
Thursday evening we met with the Secretaries, Elders Santos and Poyfair, and one of our family history students, David Jambane, in our apartment. This student has been particularly faithful about attending class and filling out his Minha Familia booklet. We wanted him to see the process of entering his information on FamilySearch. The Internet was up and all went very well! David enjoyed seeing his Family Tree form online. We got a good start on entering all of the information he had gathered about his family. We’ll be meeting again soon to enter more information. We all enjoyed the treat – warm cherry pie and ice cream!
The weather this week has been cooler. We’ve had lots of rain, too, but not enough for the street to be flooded. There are plenty of puddles everywhere, though. The Hobsons had invited us to have dinner at Café Sol, so were glad that the rain cleared up by late afternoon. It threatened another downpour. Instead, we saw a beautiful rainbow.
Our meeting on Saturday morning was delayed, but it was okay, because at 10 a.m. the Internet at the chapel wasn’t working! We went up to the 4th floor (in the Distribution Center) and it was working up there! The downstairs connection, Richard found, wasn’t connected. It needed a special plug! When the sister arrived, we continued using the Internet upstairs. The process took a couple of hours, since we had a couple of glitches with the Internet and with FamilySearch, but in the end, we entered two generations on the mom’s side and two on the father’s side of the family. The sister left with her family’s Family Group Record and Family Ordinance Requests to take on their trip to Johannesburg which was to begin early Monday morning. The Shew Famiily will be in the Johannesburg Temple Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Doing this Family Search work online will save the family having to go to the Family History Center in Johannesburg and they will be able to spend their time in the temple rather than having to input their information in the Family History Center in Johannesburg.
Sister Shew sent me pictures of their memorable days at the Temple.
On Sunday, President Kretly did the Minha Familia training in our Maputo 2 branch for the first hour of Church - the Relief Society, Priesthood, Young Men and Young Women met together in the chapel. President Kretly is a dynamic speaker. He knows the doctrine and explains it in a personal way and intersperses relevant scriptures, too. He urged all of those present to begin to fill out their booklets and prepare to go to the Temple to become forever families and to make, by proxy, covenants for their deceased ancestors. I am excited that so many people now have a booklet and know what to do with it!
Sunday was Yara’s birthday and she brought a cake and a large group gathered to wish her well. Her mother came to Church with her, and Yara said that was her very best birthday gift! And, we today discovered that Yara and Lumiana are sisters! We admire these young women so much!
The Smith’s had invited us over to Sunday dinner, so when we got home we called them and they came to pick us up. We had a delicious chicken dinner. I brought homemade rolls, applesauce and banana bread.
On Sunday evening we heard that a computer and printer for Family History has been installed at the Maputo 2 building in the former office of the Maputo 1 branch president. I am anxious to get a key to the room. I hope to be very busy, in the future weeks, entering information on FamilySearch!
Here are a few pictures to share with you of common sights here in Maputo. The bananas are ripening at Mission Office. Sandy calls this palm tree in the Mission Office garden, a “peacock” Palm tree!