Tuesday, January 20, 2015

12 – 18 Jan 2015 MissionHistory,FarewellParty,Neighbors,Premier

Monday, our last P-Day, was the long 7-hour (this includes our stop for lunch in Xai-Xai) drive back to Maputo from Maxixe.  You pass through many little villages and along N1 there are always people walking, and groups of people waiting.  Some cement houses in each small village are painted red and have white bold lettering advertising Vodacom, the main telephone company in Mozambique.  As we drive by people turn and look, not that cars are a spectacle to them, but they are waiting for the next chapa or bus to take them to their destinations.  Even the babies and small children peer around the shoulders of their mothers to see what is going on in front of them, children point down the road expectantly.  In addition to people walking, people rode bicycles and I saw one man pedaling a bicycle, his wife straddled on the metal framework (not the handles).  These people are busy providing for the necessities of life: they carry water, wood; they sit by the roadside weaving palm fronds together; the outstretched hands of their children hold bowls of litchi fruit in hopes that passers-by will stop and buy. 

We’ve mentioned before that in the countryside of Mozambique it is like stepping back 100 years.  We saw many carts pulled by donkeys.  Children play with simple toys - a stick and a wheel rim or tire - pulling a stick to which a wheel or other things has been attached. The stands which were full of oranges last June, are now full of bottles of piri-piri (hot sauce), mangos, melons, pineapples, litchi fruit, and coconuts.  We saw many piles of coconuts and trucks piled high with coconuts.  I was struck again with the beauty of this country – jungles, ocean views – but more importantly people like you and I, with hopes and dreams as real and as earnest as ours.

The Maxixe trip had its losses too.  On Tuesday I realized I must have left my silver Africa necklace in my hotel room.  We contacted the hotel and talked to our friends there, and they were going to look for it, but we never heard back.  Sister Kretly said she would order me another one, but I still feel sorry I did not see it on the floor or anywhere when we checked the room before we left.
Tuesday was our last Staff Meeting. President and Sister Kretly attended via GoToMeeting.  It was challenging to take notes, because the entire meeting was conducted in Portuguese!  Since it was our last Staff Meeting, we got to go out for lunch and I got to choose the place to go – Café Sol, of course!  Elders Douglas, Hamrick, Reinstein, Poyfair and Shumway joined Elder Tidwell and I and the Kimballs.  We have always been welcomed by the personnel there and will miss the good food and these wonderful friends!

Tuesday we were both feeling pretty frantic when we thought about all of the things we wanted to accomplish before Monday morning rolled around.  After a good-night’s sleep, regaining an eternal perspective and, with the help of prayer and the Spirit we regrouped and I know I felt more peaceful, knowing that as we prioritized our tasks, we would be able to finish the necessities. 

On Wednesday, the computer specialist came and checked all of the computer and Internet connections.  My Internet began working again!  I do a lot of work on Word, but it was really limiting to not be able to access the Internet – many times I need to go to a site here or there to obtain the things I need for the document I am compiling.  Tualufo sat down with me and we identified a pile of documents which could be filed.

 I finished more of the Mission History.  That evening I made 2 batches of small banana cakes (ready to give away), and we began going through our papers and possessions getting everything ready for the packing process.

Despite Thursday being a holiday, Inauguration Day for the New President of Mozambique, we were able to give out some of our small banana cakes.

Matilde baked  the Date Pinwheel cookie dough I brought.  They were part of the treats for the “Going Away Get-Together” for that evening. 

Kimballs took us out to lunch to MansoBrasso, a fish restaurant down from the fish market around the corner from the Mission Office.  Richard and I shared grilled salmon with vegetables.  The food was delicious and I thought the service was better than at the big hotel down the street.

All of the sister missionaries and the APs and the Secretaries came to the “Going Away Get-Together.” Yara and Lumiana stayed for a while after the others left.  They had a surprise for me.  They sang hymn #41 Firmes Seigue (Press Forward Saints) to us in the same plan that we had planned to do as a special musical number months earlier, but we were never able to do it.  It was very thoughtful of them – Richard filmed it on our flip camera.  Lumiana also gave me recipes for Feijao and Pastels, a fish/potato cake.

That evening started our major packing process!  It was so challenging – like a giant jigsaw puzzle – no wonder it wasn’t Richard’s favorite thing to do.  One by one, we filled our huge suitcases.

On Friday morning, we said good-byes to our neighborhood friends before we left for the office. Along with the breads we gave each person a Thank You message with an invitation to learn more about the gospel.  This is Antonio, who lives around the corner from our apartment building.  He always greets us in English when we walk past!  

We had our last shopping trip to Premier and give our gifts and said "Good-bye" to “The Premier Girls” - Mery, Mariana and Dionysia.  They said they would convey our good-byes to Guilhermina.

At our last District Meeting, I told Sister Bernardo about Antonio; they said they would invite him to Church!  And he came!

We enjoyed a special lunch cooked by Matilde.  Angelo came by so we could say good-bye.

Here is the Extraordinary Mission Office Staff of the Mozambique Maputo Mission: (front) Elders Shumway and Hamrick; (back) Elder Poyfair, Naldo, Tualufo, Elder Reinstein.

We enjoyed dinner at Smith’s.  They have been such good friends to us!

Saturday was a busy day. We said good-bye to more of our neighbors, and to the guard on duty at our apartment building.

We packed up our remaining suitcases, went to the Distribution Center to give the crochet supplies to Maria, met Laura and we walked to Marta’s for our last crochet session.

We spent the evening with President and Sister Kretly.   We enjoyed dinner together at the Manso Brasso Restaurant where Richard had lobster tails! 

Then we visited at their home. They are very appreciative of all we did to help the mission.  We will see them again in Provo, as they are coming to spend time with their daughter who also lives in Provo in the Vineyard area. 

Saturday evening we stayed up late getting all the final details arranged in our apartment.

We attended both branches on Sunday and were invited to share our testimonies in both.  Brother Chivite said I had spoken “PortuEnglish”, a new language, but he understood every word!  When Sunday School time came in the Polana Branch, we were happily surprised to see Antonio sitting next to Sister Bernardo.  I had passed on his contact information to Sister Bernardo after District Meeting, she had followed-up and there he was!  His son had brought him.  I hope he wants to return to learn how the gospel can further be a blessing to his life.  After these meetings we said good-bye to many wonderful friends who we have grown to love. That afternoon we had dinner with the Ponds and the Kimballs.  

The next morning, we'd be up at 3:45 a.m. so we could be at the airport by 5 a.m. for our 7 a.m. flight to Johannesburg for our after mission African adventure.

No comments:

Post a Comment