Sunday, May 25, 2014

12 - 18 May 2014 OpenHouse,Dilles,FHTraining,JuniorDeacon

Before I begin this week’s blog, I wanted to add that during our Mother’s Day calls Emily’s family sang to us “Love One Another,” “A Child’s Prayer,” and “I Often Go Walking.”  Zoe’s families sang to us “Mother, I Love You” and a new verse of “The Army of Helaman” for Mother’s Day:
Our mothers know the scriptures are true by their example we learn in our youth.
Their faith is strong, so ours too will be.  Our mothers know it and so do we!

The Hobsons were In South Africa, so we didn’t go shopping on Monday.  I spent most of the day preparing to teach the Salvado couple who have been called as the Family History Consultants/Teachers for the Magoanine branch.  It went very well!  They have a darling family:  a baby girl, Helaine, and a little boy, Miléno.  This week I also helped one of the office elders expand his Family Tree by adding generations which already existed on FamilySearch and hadn’t been connected properly.  All of the missionaries have been given the assignment to fill out their own Minha Familia booklet before the next Zone Conference.  A few minutes of their Mother’s Day call was to be used to get some of the information and ask their families to send them more information.  I have been working on my booklet, too.

This week’s major concern has been our broken water heater.  We stayed home on Tuesday and Wednesday hoping that the people, who the building manager said would come to look at it, would come!  Well, we stayed home for nothing, because no one came!  I must admit that on Tuesday I was pretty put-out about the waiting thing.  I guess I failed the “Be grateful in your circumstances” as we were admonished to be by President Uchtdorf in his General Conference address.  I promised to do better on Wednesday, and I did.  We had kept pretty busy with our work here at the apartment, but we were anxious to be back on our regular schedule.  Thank goodness for the Hobsons who lent us a key to their apartment so we could shower at night – they were in South Africa for a Humanitarian Missionary Training Conference.  On Tuesday we attended Staff Meeting via “GoToMeeting” software.  On Wednesday, Richard went with the elders to purchase a washing machine and refrigerator for the new apartment for the sister missionaries.  I went to the Distribution Center and helped Maria organize boxes.  She was very grateful for my help.  For our Wednesday night class, we helped the two students with their Minha Familia histories.

Here is one solution to full dumpsters:  set fire to them!  New dumpsters were in place by the next morning!

As we were waiting for the Elders to pick us up on Thursday morning, the building manager and an assistant wanted to see our water heater.  So, Richard took them up.  When they came back they told us that the water heater couldn’t be fixed – it would have to be replaced.  Well, not to go into all the ins and outs of that, I will give you a sneak peek to the next week’s events.  The mission hired someone to replace the water heater and it was accomplished the next Monday.

This week we prepared our visual aids and our presentation about Family History and Temple Work for the Matola Open House we would be involved in on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.  Our presentation centered around the Minha Familia booklet.  Since neither of the office elder duplas was going to Matola for the Open House from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., the office elders hired a taxi for us!  The taxi driver was very personable and, in addition to being paid his 800 MT about $27, we explained about the Church and gave him a Minha Familia pamphlet!   

The attendance at the Open House was slow.  We’re glad we were involved though, because those who did come to our room were very interested.   It reminded me a little of our MTC experience when we “taught an investigator” about a particular topic we were assigned.   However, this time we got to choose our topic and it was shorter than the MTC scenario.  We figured out about a 4-minute (Portuguese, of course) presentation, which included a short video, that we did “missionary style” – each of taking turns talking.  I thought it was fun!  We got home pretty late that evening.  The elders being stopped for about a half hour by the police on the way home didn’t help!  Guess who ended up with a Minha Familia booklet?!!

On Friday morning when I was in the kitchen getting ready for the day, I looked over on the sidewalk and saw a boy who was playing with his shadow.  He was dancing, walking, waving his hands and doing kicks and jumps.  He was having a wonderful time with his shadow!  I remember loving to play “Shadow Tag” with my neighborhood friends.  If you stepped on someone’s shadow they were “It” so they tried to get into the shade where there wasn’t any shadow.   This might be a fun activity for your family!

Elder and Sister Dille, the Medical couple in the Mission, arrived late Friday morning at the Mission Office to receive Family History Training from us on Friday and Saturday.  The first day of training I went over the Family History materials and the 4 lessons we teach.  It’s a good thing we didn’t need the Internet for that part of training, because the Internet was down at the office.  The Internet usually comes back soon, but not that day.  We took a break for lunch at President and Sister Kretly’s.  She had made delicious beef to put over rice, along with tossed green salad, chicken salad for sandwiches on homemade bread which Isabel had baked.   We continued our training at the office afterwards.  Elder Dille and President Kretly were called away to help one of the missionaries, so we delayed going to the Open House until they returned.  When it was apparent they would be delayed longer, we went to our apartment to finish training, because we needed the Internet for a few things.   On the way we stopped to watch the sun go down with Sister Dille.  The sunset really was magnificent!

By the time we got home it was 5:30.  Since the day was getting late and the traffic was now bumper to bumper, we realized it would take us about an hour-and-a-half to get to Matola.  At that point, there would only be an hour left of the open house, so, we decided we’d call the elders and tell them we wouldn’t be coming. 

On Saturday morning we continued our training at our apartment and Sister Kretly joined the Dille’s.  This was the day for online training on FamilySearch.  We learned all about FamilySearch accounts, using the Helper Access Number, and how to add Minha Familia information to FamillySearch and photos, histories, and documents.  

Richard and I made a delicious dinner with chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, cole slaw, jello salad – peanut butter bars for dessert.  We concluded the day by participating again in the Matola Open House.

Which one is the moon?

Sunday was a better experience than usual.  I brought my Kindle with the English version of the Teachings of Joseph Fielding Smith.  Following along with the Portuguese version, I understood a lot more than usual.  I should have tried this method weeks/months ago!  In the lesson the teacher recalled an African song/chant which she knew and I asked one of the sisters to write it down for me.

Aleluia, Agradeço a Deus me deu uma coisa muito importante.
Tudo podem levar, mas a minha fé, não podem levar.

Hallelujah, Thank God who gave me a very important thing.
You can take everything, but you cannot take my faith!

I’m going to ask a group of sisters to sing it for me so I can record it!

Months ago Brother Castelo-Branco in the branch explained that he had many family history papers and he wanted some help to sort them out so that he would know what he should do next.  I offered to help him and prayed that he’d be able to find the papers.   Every few weeks I asked him if he had found them.  Well, this week he asked if I had received them?  He had given them to one of the counselors in the branch presidency.   Well, we tracked the papers down and I will be going over them this week.  I am anxious to get started!

We had a unique Sacrament Meeting.  After the opening song and prayer, announcements, and sustainings there were 9 confirmations!  Then the Priesthood administered and passed the Sacrament.  Then the branch president asked the most recent couples who joined the Church to share their testimonies. Brother Anselmo, the husband of the couple who have been faithfully attending Church and participating in all of the programs for a year, testified of the unifying effect the gospel has been to their family.  He thanked the branch members for their support and good example to them as they came every week to Church.  The rest of the planned speakers were asked to give their talks next week, and the meeting was closed with a song and prayer.

One of the people sustained Sunday was Junior – he turned 12!  He has been waiting for this day!  Here is junior (on the left) and his friend Zacarias after Junior received the Aaronic Priesthood and was ordained to the office of a Deacon.

For our Sunday evening Family History class, we had one family come, Crislerio and Joanna.  They brought their little baby David with them and I got to hold him and he didn’t cry!  The lesson went well!   Each Mozambican family has many challenges they encounter when they try to trace their ancestry.  We continually stress that “we do what we can” and then depend on the Lord to prepare a way to accomplish this great work of exaltation.  1 Nephi 3:7 “I will go and do the things which the Lord commandeth, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way, that they may accomplish the things which he commandeth them." 

It's fall here in Mozambique and the chrysanthemums are in bloom just like they bloom in the fall at home!

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