Wednesday, July 23, 2014

14 - 20 Jul 2014 Mery,Baking,TransferBoard,Packages,RenewDocs

We started the week off with a regular morning of shopping.  We are so blessed to have wonderful grocery stores which stock almost everything you’d ever want to purchase.  We usually begin at Shop Rite and then finish off with Premier.  There are a few girls who work in the produce department who are so friendly and we exchange abraços (hugs).  

I explained to Mery about how we lived with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ before this life and how we progress in this life to be able to return and live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again after this life.  She believes in God and Jesus Christ.  She asked me if our church has set prayers and I explained only for covenants do we have set prayers.  I explained how we began our prayers by addressing God - “Father in Heaven” – how we next thank Him for our blessings (these things are not set – they come from our heart).  Then we ask God for specific things (these also come from our heart) and then we close “In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.” Elder Tidwell was near-by to help me, but for the most part I explained this in Portuguese.  I love being able to explain gospel principles and hope that what I say helps others to understand the love that Heavenly Father has for them.

Monday afternoon Yara and I baked brownies and cinnamon rolls.  I accidentally had both the bake and the broil functions on our counter-top oven selected, so we actually had brown cinnamon rolls!  Maybe that’s what we need to do to make our oven brown things!?  Yara recounted the inspiring conversion story of her and her sister, Lumiana.  We had thought all along that they were long-time members of the Church.  No, they were baptized the morning of the day we arrived last year!  Yara and Lumiana were the first young women who welcomed us to the branch! 

Monday 8 missionaries returned to their homes.  Transfers were announced to the missionaries.  There were many many changes, and many missionaries were preparing to travel to different cities in the mission.  Among them are Sister Harrison and Sister Woodman who are going to Swaziland!

Tuesday was staff meeting and I gave the spiritual thought.

At this time of transfers, with changes and additions to companionships, it is good to remember this statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks (”The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood” Ensign, May 2014) “There is no ‘up or down’ in the service of the Lord.  There is only ‘forward or backward.’”   Too often, however, we succumb to “our culture’s obsession,” as Elder Holland calls it, “with comparing, competing, and never feeling we are ‘enough.’” (“The Tongue of Angels” Ensign, May 2007) “The practice of comparing ourselves to others …  causes us to feel that we aren’t good enough and that in order to be acceptable we have to achieve more, acquire more, or in other ways appear to be “better” than others. It occurs when we do not value ourselves sufficiently as children of God and consequently feel we have to prove our worth by ‘doing’ or ‘having.’” (Pam Wilson Vandenaker, “Stripped of Envy, Mar 1999) 

President Gordon B. Hinckley has counseled …  “Rise to the great potential within you. I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity. I hope you will not nag yourselves with thoughts of failure. I hope you will not try to set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know. If you do so, you will witness miracles come to pass.” (Quoted by Ellen W. Smoot, “Steadfast and Immovable, Ensign, Nov 2001)

Each of us have our responsibilities, each our talents, each our perspectives, and everyone working together, serving together, sharing what we know with each other, we grow together in love and devotion to our Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ. When we comparer (compare) and competir (compete) we may feel  insuficiente (insufficient) and ineficaz (inefficient).  On the other hand, if we compartilhar (share) and servir (serve) we will be able to comprender (understand) and have compaixão (compassion).

Joseph B. Wirthin explained:  “The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world.  Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony.  All of Heavenly Father’s children are different in some degree, yet each has his own beautiful sound that adds depth and richness to the whole.”  (Joseph B. Wirthlin “Concern for the One” Ensign May 2008, 17-20)

Paul sums it up as follows in 2 Timothy:  “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:8)

May we treasure our differences, our talents, our perspectives, and move forward, sharing, serving and working together in love to understand each other and have compassion one for another as we further this marvelous work.

I remember also the thought that Bishop Orton shared with me.  Never compare yourself with others, he said.  If you do you will feel either pride or envy – neither will help you.

We are so lucky to be able to have a “picnic lunch” almost every day we are at the office!  The weather lately has been just right!

The secretaries almost forgot to take us home on Tuesday!  They’d already locked up the mission office and were headed to the car when they thought, “Hey, wait a minute…how about the Tidwells?!”  Maybe we should make more noise while we are working upstairs in our office!  We’re glad they remembered!  It would have been a long walk home!

Wednesday morning we got dropped off at the President’s house and updated his transfer board.  The left-hand side of the board has a card for all Mozambique and Swaziland missionaries who are currently serving or have been called to serve a mission.  The Presidents wants to have as many serving from these countries as serving in these countries.  We are currently at 57 serving and 4 waiting for calls.

We walked to the Mission Office when we had completed the board - the weather was perfect!!  You never know what unique sight you will see.

The bougainvillea are in bloom, as they are most of the year. I remember last year, when we arrived in Maputo, the beautiful rainbow of colors.  As we near our one-year anniversary here in Maputo, the bougainvillea are impressive again!  In the mission office garden, the blooms on the cactus are more formed and vibrant.

Baptisms for the month of July are up to 40 already.  So, I have been working on fichas and Elder Tidwell has been activating temple recommends.

Even though postage for packages is very expensive, parents continue to send "care" packages to their missionaries.  The missionaries pay the custom fees and fees to ship the box to their area, but if the elder is in an independent branch, most likely they will have to wait until they are transferred closer to Maputo, or hope that the President will be able to transport their package when he travels the next time to their area.  The mission office is the temporary storage place for the packages, such as this huge package received this week. 

On Friday we went to immigration to renew our documents so we can stay in Mozambique.  Tualufo knows exactly what lines to stand in and, because he has connections with the people there (since he comes so often), the process doesn’t take very long.  However, the process is expensive.   We are aware now how very expensive it is to operate a mission.  Last year, 20 new missionaries arrived within a week of each other.  (We remember 16 of them well, because President and Sister Kretly were in Beira and Elder Tidwell and I were asked to plan, purchase and fix dinners for 16 missionaries and we had just barely arrived ourselves!)  It will be extremely expensive to renew documents for these missionaries.  We see how much the Church is willing to put into the missionary program just in this one country; multiply it by many nations and it shows how very serious we are in helping to bring people to a knowledge of their Savior, Jesus Christ, and the saving ordinances of the gospel.

I’ve had some time to do some Family History research on descendant lines of the RENAUD family.  It has been very productive!  While looking for one of my great aunt and uncle’s family, I came upon another family with the RENAUD surname.  In one year, three of their children were christened.  Usually the Catholic faith christens their children when they are infants.  These children, however, were christened at ages 2, 4, 6.  Then 5 years later, in the records of the same parish, I found the burial records of these same children, now ages 7, 9, 11, and another son of the same family.  They had all died of diphtheria!  I am anxious to substantiate the births and marriage of the parents so I can send their names into the temple for ordinances. 

The direct line RENAUD family also is ready to be sent in.  If you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you can obtain FREE access to, Find My Past, and My Heritage!  I haven’t used Find My Past or My Heritage, but " is the world's largest online family history resource. It is home to 13 billion global historical records, millions of family trees from around the world, and a whole lot more."  Happy researching!

On Saturday we went on a morning adventure with the Hobsons to the Central Market.  

We’d been there before to look at all the fruits, vegetables, spices, and fish, but I hadn’t been to the shops in the back of the huge indoor structure.  The atmosphere in these shops is more low-key than the art-mart with their high-pressured sales/artisans.  Sister Hobson and I enjoyed looking and both ended up buying a few small things.

We had lunch at Café Sol.  When we finish our lunch there, the waiters always bring us doughnuts. This has happened every since Elder Hobson gave the owner a package of doughnut mix from Nelspruit!  When we were there Saturday, the chef came out and wanted to know how we liked the doughnuts.  They are trying to improve their products and we complemented him on today's doughnuts, especially the one with icing on it.  We explained that the type of doughnuts that they serve are called "cake" doughnuts in America, and there is another lighter doughnut, called a "raised" doughnut that many Americans love.

Saturday we attended the afternoon meeting with the visiting Area Seventy, Elder Khumbulani, from South Africa and his wife.  Elder Khumbulani has been a member for about 20 years and was recently called, April 2014, to be an Area Seventy.  He said he is anxious for our country to have  a stake so that: (1) we can have a Patriarch and obtain specific individual blessings, and (2) so that the Stake President, who will be given special Priesthood keys, will be able to unlock spiritual power and blessings for the people of Mozambique.

Tualufo, the Mission executive secretary is pictured here with his cute family:

After church on Sunday, we did some scanning of pictures and documents for a brother in Maputo 2.  In a community newspaper, about a month ago, there was an article on the Necrology (obituary) page of the Noticias (newspaper) honoring his parents.  It was nice to see another kind of record which may be available for those searching for their ancestry.

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