Monday, September 15, 2014

8 - 14 Sep 2014 Translate,ElderDamiao,TemplePoster,Crochet,Dilles

After shopping on Monday, we worked all afternoon pulling together plans for the details for the General Authority visit next month. President Kretly wanted a report at Staff Meeting on Tuesday.  When we had the plans ready in English, Richard did the next step – translating them into Portuguese! 

To me, this translating process was another testimony of Joseph Smith and the authenticity of The Book of Mormon.  Elder Tidwell has a great understanding of the Portuguese written language and, of course, he knows English.  It takes him a couple of hours to correctly translate one page of text – and, he’s using Google Translate to give him the foundation translation.  Some, who do not believe Joseph Smith was a prophet, say that he fabricated the whole story of the golden plates and made up The Book of Mormon! How could Joseph Smith with only a rudimentary elementary education and knowing nothing of ancient languages and texts, make up a story with story lines which interconnect and make sense? Modern handwriting and textual analysis reveals that the book was written by multiple authors.  “The translation was a staggering achievement. It was completed within eighty-five days, from 7 April to 30 June…. Considering the complexity, consistency, clarity, artistry, accuracy, density, and profundity of the Book of Mormon, the Prophet Joseph’s translation is a phenomenal feat.” (Welch, John W. Ensign, January 1988, “I Have a Question)  He accomplished it by divine help.

In the Skype call from Peter and Charlotte and family last Monday, we heard about their great camping and fishing trip to Payson Lakes over Labor Day weekend. After a night of camping and even driving up to the Devil's Kitchen overlook to see the red-rock formations, the van brought their family home safely.  This was to be the van’s last adventure, for when Peter pulled into the parking lot at his work the next morning, it had a "transmission attack" and died. [A new transmission would cost about $2500 and the Blue Book value of a working van of that year is only $665!] 

The van, which in its 17 year life has taken the family and Elder Tidwell and I on many trips, has never stranded us in a bad situation far away from home.  It has always waited until we got safely home, even in its last trip!  We put an entry on our “Family Says” page and invited the family to add memories.  It is sad to see it go, but it has served the family well!

Sometimes it takes a while to see the reasoning behind some laws.  One of the elders said he now understands why there is a law in most states that you can’t park within 30 feet of a stop sign.  Here in Maputo you can park right up to and on the corner!  It is very hard, as you can imagine, to see approaching cars!

I helped Elder Damião, who is going to Brazil to serve in the Brazil, Salvador Mission, print out a Family Ordinance Request so that he can do the ordinance work for his father when he goes to the Johannesburg Temple.  His father, who had been taught the gospel and was in the process of filing of marriage papers prior to his baptism, contracted a very bad infection and died before he was baptized.  He was very anxious to help his father.

We are receiving more missionary recommendations to process.  Of the six we have received in the last 3 weeks, half of them are sisters!

On Friday we were invited to attend District Meeting and help with a poster the elders and sisters were putting together showing the basic steps to get to the temple. We finished the sign on Sunday morning and it generated a lot of interest.

Well the R.S. activity, learning how to crochet, happened on Saturday afternoon!  Only 2 attendees, Sister Celeste Moiana and Sister Laura Matica, but we had fun and learned a lot together!  Both sisters are going to meet again with me next Saturday before the Area Authority visit.

We were only home a few minutes and then we left with Hobsons to meet Elder and Sister Dille and their daughter and Sister Dille’s mother at Café Sol for dinner!  The Dilles had returned from Kruger Park and are on their way to Beira, then Johannesburg, and finally to Zimbabwe to see Victoria Falls.

On Sunday we attended the first meeting of the Temple Preparation Class for the Maputo 2 branch.  The elders started with an “envision” activity in which we closed our eyes and he described looking at and entering the beautiful sacred temple.  Elder Tidwell and I and both elders shared our testimonies to the couples.

To make sure Manuel got home safely today, Elder Tidwell walked him home after Church.  We noticed he had arrived late for Church and he explained that he had made a wrong turn and had gone through a very hard time getting oriented again and returning to his apartment.  We could tell that the experience had been very stressful and frustrating to him.  I can’t even imagine being blind and trying to navigate the bumpy sidewalks and busy streets here in Maputo.  It would take a lot of faith to even leave one's safe apartment!  We had a nice visit with him later that afternoon.  We helped him fill out more of his Minha Familia pamphlet and then read him some articles.  We had also brought him some music CDs.  He said he felt like a rich man!

That evening we joined Sister Castanheira and her children who came to surprise Sister Hobson for her birthday.

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