Monday, December 1, 2014

23 - 30 Nov 2014 Hives,Pie,ThanksgivingSmiths,NoWater,MariaBetania

My hives went from bad to worse with a bad reaction to Benadryl and a fainting spell on Monday morning.  Sister Olander, one of the sister missionaries, was very attentive and was able to purchase Prednisone, recommended by the area doctor.  I started taking it on Monday afternoon.  Needless to say, I didn’t go shopping on Monday with Richard!  I rested!!!  Probably should have laid low on Tuesday, but keeping busy seemed to be the way to keep my mind off the awful itchy burning sensation all over my body – and it was Staff Meeting and I usually take the minutes!  The swelling on my face had gone down a little, so that was good!  In a few days I hope this will be a historical memory – like a bad dream!  I will spare everyone the horror of photos!

It seemed like every day was a step forward and two steps back, but I was happy with any progress, however small. Every day it seemed there were a few patches of skin with new smaller welts – as if they didn’t want to be left out of the act. Wednesday evening I felt well enough to bake pumpkins pies for Thanksgiving.  We still had some USA Crisco to make the crusts and I had specially saved the can of pumpkin we had received last year.  The pies turned out really well.

We had been invited to join the Smith family for Thanksgiving.  The AP’s and Secretaries and the Ponds and the Lopes would also be there.  I figured it was OK to skip a year making Parkherhouse Rolls for Thanksgiving.  Richard purchased rolls early Thursday morning from the bakery not far from the high school and gas station down the street from the apartment.  On Thursday we worked at the office.  We shed a few tears when we watched the Church’s “What are you Thankful for” video featured on   We met at the Smiths who have moved to a house in the city not far from the embassy. 

Back Row:  Elder Lopes, Elder Pond, Elder Hamrick, Elder Mason, Elder Reinstein, Elder Tidwell, Elder Poyfair, Elder Lourenço.
Front Row:  Sister Pond, Sister Lopes, Sister Tidwell, Mark & Tammy Smith.  
(Below):  Solomon & Tammy and their son Mark.

Spent a regular afternoon at the office on Friday – Friday morning is District Meeting.  Matilde showed us the beautiful porcelain figure of Joseph Smith she had received as a gift.

Since we were without water at the apartment, we took our things to the office so we could shower. We have been without water in our apartment since early Wednesday morning.  The city was fixing some pipes and that entire section of the city was without water.  The building guard said it could take days, weeks, or months to fix it!  Wow!  I was so thankful when I tried the water tap before going to bed late Friday night, and the water came spurting out!!!

Friday night I had my first all-night’s sleep in a week!  It was a miracle!  I am so thankful to be rid of the horrible burning itching pain of hives!  I had a few spots to contend with, but for the most part, my skin coloring has returned to normal and I feel (and look) like myself again.

On Saturday morning I went to teach Maria at the Distribution Center how to make crocheted flowers.  She is a fast learner, has crocheted before, and was so glad to learn how to finish the headband she crocheted for her daughter Madeline. While we worked, I asked her son Richard to draw me a picture of a zebra.  (I brought a little book about a zebra that he was looking at while I was there.)  Here is his zebra picture, and as a bonus, a picture he drew of me, complete with my glasses, necklace and nametag!

Saturday we made final preparations for our Sunday School lesson for the Temple Preparation Class. (We are adding 3 Family History lessons into the regular Temple Preparation Sunday School lessons.)    This lesson was on what members need to do (as far as recommends, family group record) to go to the Temple for the first time and what they need to do to prepare the names of their deceased ancestors for Temple work (Minha Familia booklet into FamilySearch, Family Ordinance Request). 

We invited the Secretaries to come enjoy the last three pieces of pumpkin pie on Friday night.

President Anselmo gave a very good lesson on Tithing for the 5th Sunday lesson for combined Priesthood and Relief Society.  To pay tithing is a privilege.  Blessings from the “windows of heaven” (Malachi 3:8-10) are promised in addition to other blessings.  It was also interesting to review chapter 12 of Teachings of the Presidents of the Church:  Lorenzo Snow.

The Sunday School lesson went very well!  On Friday, I had asked Matilde Jamine to share with me how it had helped her family to have their documents prepared before they went to the temple and I shared what she said to the class while I showed the picture of her family at the temple March 11, 2014.  I hope the rest of the class will realize the help I can give them.  We have only a few short weeks to help them.

The children did well today presenting “Families are Forever.”  They didn’t have a piano accompaniment, but it was best that way.  One got the full flavor of their enthusiastic singing.  You could tell they really liked the songs:  "Ele Mandou Seu Filho" ("He Sent His Son") , "A Família É de Deus" ("The Family is of God") ,  "Buscarei Cedo ao Senhor" ("Seek the Lord Early"), "Néfi  Era Valente" ("Nephi’s Courage") and "Segue o Profeta" ("Follow the Prophet").  At the conclusion of the program, President Kretly congratulated the children for their excellent program.  To paraphrase what he said:  I really enjoyed the program and the songs you sang, because I know that as you learned to sing those songs, you also learned the message of the songs.  I feel real good about the future of the Church in Mozambique, because I know that you children will become the future leaders of the Church here in Mozambique.  You, at this young age, already know the important truths of the gospel.  I know these same things to be true ...

Thinking back over this past week, I have learned to be very very thankful for my health and strength.  Last week has been the only week in the last almost year and a half that I have been sick.   It seems that if I was going to be allergic to something, it should have happened my first week here! Foods are different here.  They have fewer regulations on food additives and the government hasn’t an equivalent to the FDA.  Another thing we Americans can be thankful for!  I am thankful for the blessings of the Priesthood, competent medical professionals, prescription medicine and over-the-counter aids, and especially for everyone’s prayers this week.  Thank you!  Thank you!

Maria, who is a Stake Leader, attended our branch today because it was the Primary program.  Madeline came wearing her new crocheted headband with flowers!

Here is her brother Richard, the artist noted above.  He is the one wearing the suit and tie.

Here are my friends from crocheting: Carolina and her mother, Marta and grandchildren, Martinha and her little brother; Carolina and her daughter, Agnesia; Victoria, with her beautiful new hairdo especially for the Primary Program, and her daughter Selma.

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