This week we have had cooler weather – in the 60’s. I was glad I had a sweater to wear. Elder Tidwell wore his knitted vest and wind-breaker. On Tuesday, 3 new missionaries from the United States arrived and we had to go to G.A.M.E. to purchase them each a blanket to use while they stayed at the Mission Office! The store had a colorful display of national flag for the countries which are participating in the World Cup games.
One morning it was in the 40’s!!! One day this week we actually had some rain – we haven’t had rain for weeks!!!
When new missionaries arrive, there is always a lot of work for Tualufo to do with documents, and APs (Elders Santos and Cummings) and the Office Elders (Elders Poyfair and Douglas) to help with training, and arranging food, lodging and transportation to their proselyting areas.
This week I finished hemming the last of the curtains for the sisters’ upstairs apartment. The Kretly’s returned from being in Beira for the Beria Zone Conference bearing gifts. They brought gifts - each of the senior sister missionaries received a beautiful silver pendant of Mozambique and Swaziland. We are anxious to purchase a chain so we can wear them.
Also, they brought the wood figures that we had asked Sister Dille to order for us from a wood artisan, Vasco (Elder Francisco's uncle) in Beira. They are a Noah’s Ark set and a Nativity.
It was announced that in 3 months from now (October 21-24) all of the senior couples will be having a Couples Conference in Swaziland. Activities will include visiting a botanical garden; going to a cultural show and craft market/silver smith, traveling to Hlane Royal National Park, and going on an early morning safari before traveling back to Maputo. By then, 2 more couples will be part of our mission, so there will be 7 couples attending.
I finally took some time to wash the shells I’d gathered during our walks on the beach in Maxixe. One of the shells, apparently, had a little crab in it that had since died. It really grossed me out to clean it out of the shell – its body was so long and ugly.
We love getting letters from our kids either via the mail (yes, we do receive mail here) or via email. I have come to the conclusion that one of the reasons why senior couples go on a mission is so that we will step back and watch the miracles take place in the lives of our children and grandchildren. We are so proud of all of our children and the families they are raising.
The bananas from the tree in the mission office garden were harvested by the guard about a week ago, covered for ripening, and on Friday we got to taste them!
They are short, plump bananas and so sweet! Thanks you, Abras for planting and caring for this young tree!
As we wait for our ride in the morning, we frequently see women who are picking up garbage on the streets.
On Friday morning, the couples had access to the transfers. They will be announced to the missionaries on Monday, but we can begin to get the transfer cards ready for the President. It’s my favorite card game!
Eight missionaries will be returning home. One of them is one of the first missionaries we met when we attended T-3 branch with the Hobsons one of those first weeks we were in Mozambique. He was so friendly and welcoming. Each of these young men have served faithfully. I listened, from upstairs, a group of missionaries singing "Aonde Mandares Irei" ("I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go") for the opening hymn of their meeting. Knowing that some of them will be called to go to other areas of the mission and some even to Swaziland, a different country, I had mixed feelings of sadness and excitement for them. In another couple of weeks, we will have been here for a year! Impossible that the time has gone by so fast! The next 6 months will go fast, too, I know, as we are very busy every week. I can’t imagine leaving and coming home. For the closing song, I listened to them sing "Deus vos Guarde" ("God Be With You").
On Friday evening we taught the last class to the Salvado couple from Magoanine who are training to be Family History consultants. Due to the trouble we continue to have with the Internet, their training has taken almost 2 months! They have been willing to sacrifice long crowded trips in chapas from Magoanine, which takes about an hour plus. Assaina has come with her baby Helena and 4 year-old son Mileno from Magoanine to join the Dad, who works in Maputo. I wonder, would I have been willing to sacrifice to learn if I were in their place? They are an example of perseverance and faithfulness to me.
Saturday we had our own version of “super Saturday” – cleaning the apartment; cleaning and organizing drawers; washing, drying and folding clothes; making brownies (for Yara to sell); finishing the transfer cards; ironing; making lists for the President.
After Church on Sunday many of the missionaries, who will be returning home on Monday, were at the Maputo 2 chapel. What a privilege it has been to meet and get to know them. Hopefully our paths will cross again!