Saturday, August 23, 2014

11 - 17 Aug 2014 Mery,Yara,ElderCambarame,Fatima,Abras,Cemetery,BDay

We did two weeks of grocery shopping on Monday this week, because Hobsons are going to be in Beira next Monday.  I love going shopping – I usually see at least one of the girls I’ve met in the produce department.   Mery is one of the workers who weighs products and tags them with the price.

I have continued to bake with Yara on Monday afternoons, and, in addition, this Monday, Vanessa came to learn how to make banana bread.  It is fun to cook with these girls.  While we wait for things to bake or dough to rise, we often go into the living room and sing songs.  Yara wants to know how to sing the songs that are not sung very often in their Portuguese hymn book.  She also wants to know her favorite Portuguese hymns in English.  She has hopes that the Young Women will be able to sing "Firmes Segui" (“Press Forward, Saints”) (some verses in English and some in Portuguese) for a special meeting in October.

When we got to the office on Tuesday I noticed some notes from Elder Douglas, who was transferred to Swaziland.  One note explained another receipt project for me to do.  The other asked me to take care of his Lego elephant!

Some of the Mozambican missionaries who began their missions here have now received their necessary visas.  They travel from Mozambique to Johannesburg, South Africa, so they can obtain a Patriarchal Blessing and go to the Temple for the first time.  Then they leave for the mission to which they were originally called.  One such missionary, Elder Cambarame, asked for my help to prepare the documents so some of his deceased ancestors could receive their temple ordinances while he was at the Temple.  He had his Minha Familia booklet, but needed a few more facts about his deceased parents and two deceased brothers, so he used my phone and was able to talk to other members of his family who could provide the needed information.  After he had the information, it was a fairly simple process to input his information into FamilySearch.  When we reserved his parents for their work, I saw something I’d never seen before on FamilySearch.  Maybe it was because this was the first time he had requested ordinance work, I don’t know.  But, in any case, I watched as the light green colored temple icon moved, from the requested part of the screen, diagonally up to the Temple tab on the screen!  It was sort of eerie, special, and miraculous all at the same time!  Elder Cambarame had what he needed:  a Family Group Record and a Family Ordinance Request to take to the temple the next day.

The mission received many boxes of missionary proselyting pamphlets, so Elder Tidwell, Elder Hamrick, and Elder Cummings and I organized them in the room in back of the Mission Office. 

While working I saw a large coin under one of the boxes.  Elder Tidwell saw 1,000 on it!  Well, Matilde explained that many years before, the Mozambican money had been devaluated.  This 1,000 MT coin was now worth only 1 MT ($ .03)!

I worked on putting together training for Saturday for someone in Tete who has been called to serve as their Branch Family History Consultant.  I had to rethink the process because we were going to do the training via Skype and I’d always done consultant training face-to-face.  That evening the Hobsons came over to have apple pie and ice cream with us for an early birthday treat.  They left for Beira Friday morning and would be gone a week.

On Friday we celebrated my birthday!  It was a fun day!  Richard took me out to eat for lunch at the Mira Mar Restaurant by the Bay.  It was so enjoyable to sit outside in the beautiful just-right temperature day, looking out toward the water, and eat delicious seafood! 

We were going to walk to the office afterwards, but the secretaries gave us a ride, as they needed Elder Tidwell to help straighten out details about his stolen mission card and his new mission card. 

As I was working on mission receipts, the elders told me that Fatima was waiting for me at the gate!  I had told Abras, the guard who knows Fatima and had recently returned from a trip to Maxixe, that I had a book I wanted to give to her. I invited her inside to sit with us on the patio and I showed her the Book of Mormon and explained that it was scripture like the Bible.  I showed her the photo and message I had put inside.  As I read the message which included the account of how we met [remember, she was the housekeeper for the house I can see from my office window], my testimony of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, she would say “Sim, sim!” (Yes, yes!) and nod her head.  She was very gracious and thanked me for the book.  She explained that she would have some time to read on her long trips out of town as she and her sister’s family had purchased land and were going to build a house.  I hope she takes the time to re-read the message I wrote to her and read some of the passages I told her about.  I know if she begins to read with a humble spirit she will begin to feel the Holy Ghost and feel of God’s love for her.

In keeping with Springtime here in Maputo, it is a good time to plant. Abras was planting little stems of plants along the front walkway.  He took a few stems, broke them into the right lengths and then planted them in the ground.  I wondered – will they grow?  He assured me they would! 

That evening after our dinner we got everything ready to greet our company.  I made chocolate layered dessert (with instant chocolate and vanilla pudding from the USA), had the rest of the apple pie out to share, and banana bread was soon to come out of the oven.  Elder Tidwell had invited the APs and Secretaries and the sister missionaries to come for a treat in celebrating of my birthday.  When most of the guests had arrived (Sister Lopez brought banana bread, too) I told them that if I was at home I would have my family over for treats, so I thanked them for being my family this year! They sang "Happy Birthday" in Portuguese.

Parabens pra você
Nesta data querida
Muitas felicidades
Muitos anos de vida!

Hoje é dia de festa,
Cantam as nossas almas
Para o/a menino/a
Uma salva de palmas.

It was lots of fun to laugh and talk together as we ate treats!  I also thankfully received calls, Skypes, texts, and emails from family and friends before, on, and after my birthday!

Sister Hobson compiled these 2 pages of pictures for my birthday.

Saturday, 16 August 2014, we participated in the All-Africa Mormon Helping Hands Day. Our Helping Hands project was to clean up the Texlom Cemetery in Matola. We met at the Matola chapel and then drove the short distance to the cemetery, which was on the opposite side of the same street as the chapel. A bus transported most of the people. Saturday is a busy day at cemeteries and there were vendors selling flowers at both of the cemetery gates.

As we walked down the street toward the second gate, we saw a large group gathered and later we saw other smaller groups around gravesides inside the cemetery.  

When we first walked into the cemetery, it didn’t look like there was much to do; their dumpster was already almost full.  The cemetery supervisor explained to President Gonçalves and President Mateus what we were to do. 

There were piles of debris which had already been gathered here and there in between the graves.  We were to take the piles to the dumpster.  The members used the small plastic bags I had brought as gloves for their hands.  The large black plastic garbage bags we brought were suddenly gone, too!  Some had brought rakes and shovels.  We started in!  We soon found there was plenty to do!  Soon the dumpster was overflowing. Everyone was busy!

Many graves were not identified; others the names were engraved in smooth stone.  I noted a few of the inscriptions:  one a child who had died when only a few months old; another of a mother and daughter.

By the time our leaders called the project’s end, many bags of debris surrounded the dumpster.

There was more that could be done, but no place to put more!  We reconvened at the Matola chapel and the leaders, after we counted off by branch, determined there were 105+ people who participated.

We sang together "A Vida é Luta sem Quartel!" (“Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel!”) [The literal translation of the title is:  Life is a relentless fight!]

On Saturday afternoon we readied for our Skype Family History training.  However, it never happened.  We guessed that Tete may have had Internet outages.

On Sunday we discovered it was Brother Castel-Branco’s 84th Birthday, Armando Chicuele’s birthday was August 13th, and Lumiana’s birthday is the same day as Peter’s!  We met later in the afternoon with Brother Mutampua to put photos onto his Family Search Family Tree.  The Internet was so slow; we were just waiting forever for every screen we needed and were not accomplishing anything!  We decided to go to our apartment to use our more reliable Internet service.  In a fraction of the time we’d wasted over at the chapel, we signed in, entered his account as a helper, uploaded and attached his pictures and attached them to his Family Tree.

Since Vanessa wanted to make cinnamon rolls on Monday, she came over on Sunday evening to make Parker House Roll Dough.  Did you know that Parker House Rolls originated in Boston?  When Vanessa asked why the dough was called Parker House, Elder Tidwell looked it up on the Internet.  To save you from looking it up yourself:

A Parker House roll is a bread roll made by flattening the center of a ball of dough with a rolling pin so that it becomes an oval shape and then folding the oval in half. They are made with milk and are generally quite buttery, soft, and slightly sweet with a crispy shell.

They were invented at the Parker House Hotel in Boston, during the 1870s, and are still served there. They are often sold frozen for quick baking by bakeries such as Sister Schubert's. Fannie Farmer gives a recipe for them in her 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book.

The story of their creation has several variations, but they all involve an angry pastry cook throwing unfinished rolls into the oven, which resulted in their dented appearance. The recipe for Parker House Rolls first started appearing in cookbooks in the 1880s.

It’s the beginning of a new school year!  Our Arizona grandchildren began school on August 6!  “First timers” entering Kindergarten this year are:  Amelia, Brendan, and Taebria!  Silke is a Senior this year!! 

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