Sunday, May 4, 2014

28 Apr - 4 May 2014 GenConf,ChurchPictfromBalcony,Bananas

The subject of Sister Snelson’s spiritual thought in this week’s Staff Meeting was faith.  She reminded us of an important article on faith given by President Boyd K. Packer entitled “The Edge of the Light” (BYU Magazine, Mar. 1991)

Shortly after I was called as a General Authority, I went to Elder Harold B. Lee for counsel. He listened very carefully to my problem and suggested that I see President David O. McKay. President McKay counseled me as to the direction I should go. I was very willing to be obedient but saw no way possible for me to do as he counseled me to do.

I returned to Elder Lee and told him that I saw no way to move in the direction I was counseled to go. He said, “The trouble with you is you want to see the end from the beginning.” I replied that I would like to see at least a step or two ahead. Then came the lesson of a lifetime: “You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness; then the light will appear and show the way before you.” Then he quoted these 18 words from the Book of Mormon:

“Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.”

Those 18 words from Moroni have been like a beacon light to me. Let me put them in their setting:
And it came to pass that Ether did prophesy great and marvelous things unto the people, which they did not believe, because they saw them not. And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. (Ether 12:5-6.)

During the 29 years following that experience, I have learned over and over again that all of us must walk by faith—near the edge of the light. Like Nephi, who said, “I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do” (1 Nephi 4:6), each of us must learn to take a few steps into the darkness of the unknown.”

This is an important concept, so I hope someone who is reading this is also benefited by our including it this week.

Every week at Staff Meeting this month, the AP’s have announced the number of baptisms and confirmations that occurred in the past week.  Every week has been from 20-30 baptisms, so it wasn’t surprising that the total for this month was over 100!!!  Every branch is experiencing growth and ¾ of the baptisms represent Families!  Since I am the one who entered the baptismal “Fichas” on the CDE program, there has been a steady stream of Fichas to enter into the computer.

The number of Mozambican Missionaries who have submitted their missionary papers is increasing and several have received their calls to serve.  Richard and I are helping Tualuo to review applications. 
A new form is now required for missionaries to submit, so we have been working together to get training materials to the Branch Presidents so they can begin using the new form.

We went on a quick errand to the GAME store with the elders on Wednesday.  Just inside the door was a beautiful display of flowers and a sign reminding customers that a week from Sunday is Mother’s Day, and that flowers were a perfect gift.  In addition to bouquets of colorful flowers, there was a pretty display of African Violets….  My Mom’s favorite flowers were African Violets, so it is funny, but true, that at that instant I made the connection between African Violets and Africa!!!   African Violet is the common name for Saintpaulias, which according to Wikipedia, are native to Tanzania, which is the country to the North of Mozambique, and southeastern Kenya.  This flower gets its name from the German nobleman who first discovered it in 1892, Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire.

I really have been missing children and grandchildren lately, so the call from Lyn, movies from Emily and Tad, Skyping with Zoe, Paul and Peter, and a call from my sister Sharon have really meant a lot!

Thursday was a Mozambican holiday.  In the morning, we went to the chapel to view the Saturday afternoon session of conference, which we were unable to view last Saturday.

Attendance wasn’t the best, but it was good to sustain the Leaders of the Church and to hear the speeches again from Elders Nelson, Scott, Zivic, Zwick, and Cook.  I especially enjoying hearing Elder Cook’s talk again about Family History.  It gave us some ideas we can use to stimulate interest here.

One of the mission goals is to have as many Mozambican missionaries serving missions as we have missionaries serving in Mozambique.  Currently we have 39 Mozambican missionaries serving or have received calls to serve.  The application process has recently changed and Richard is coordinating training for the Branch Presidents.  So, we have been busy preparing charts comparing the previous and the new process, a checklist of documents, and a PowerPoint presentation.  We also are involved in reviewing the completed packet of documents from the branch presidents before sending them on to the Southeast Africa Area Office.

In all of the many times we have walked to the Maputo 2 chapel from our apartment, I don’t think we’ve included a picture so you can realize how very close we live to the chapel.  This picture is taken from our small kitchen balcony.  The Maputo 2 chapel is the building with the tall dark windows, about in the middle of the photo. You can see it better in the close-up.

We have been watching the industrious labor of one of our backyard neighbors.  He finished the brick wall around his home and then proceeded to put a metal roof on it.

I was going to wait until the height of the zucchini season to post this picture, but decided to share it this week.  In the grocery store, we often see (and purchase) tiny zucchini.  Having grown zucchini for many seasons, I know how difficult it is to catch zucchini at the 5-6” stage!  I figure it must be a way different variety than the ones we plant in Utah!

While out in the yard at the mission office the other day, I was intrigued watching a dragon fly perch on the end of one of the cactus’s succulent leaves.  The bananas are doing well!

Here is this week’s featured sunset:

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