Monday, January 31, 2011
sew for them, take them to the doctors if they are sick, and help with anything else they need. I spent much of December making each of them beautiful slide shows to send home with one of our Elders, for him to mail off to their families for Christmas. They were a big hit with their families on Christmas Day.
I am in charge of the Distribution Orders for our Branches. Things were really in a mess here as far as orders went. For over a year people kept ordering things on tithing slips, and they never showed up. We figured out that the clerks just thought the orders would be placed from the tithing slips, and didn’t realize that an order had to actually be placed through Distribution in South Africa… where they speak English… not French.
With the help of the two clerks, we compiled the overdue lists, and I took new orders for three weeks… then, six weeks later - Christmas week - we received 28 boxes of books and supplies. I now collect the money, order the products and disperse them.The members here get a huge discount. They get a hymn book for 40 cents, a Bible for $1.00, garments for 40 cents per piece, and the Liahona (French church magazine) for 15 cents a year. They would never be able to afford any of these items without the discount. When they get their orders, they are thrilled! I have also taken on six piano (keyboard) students. (With another 6 wanting to learn.) The Harman Foundation (As in Harman's Kentucky Fried Chicken) has a program where they will send out six keyboards for teaching interested members how to play, but they have to have a teacher. My own children are probably laughing, because I can’t play well enough to play at church… but my students all think I am musically brilliant, and that is what matters. Right now, we only have one keyboard, but there are six more on the way. Our English classes are going great. Last Saturday, we had over 70 people there. I am the “principal” and the Elders teach the classes. I am in charge of the coordinating and getting all of the copies of the workbook printed up for each lesson. But my most rewarding thing that I have accomplished, is helping to teach the members how the church can best be run, to have it follow the direction that has been established by the leaders of the LDS Church. I quickly realized that the Relief Societies and Primaries are very dysfunctional. The new handbooks that the church have distributed worldwide, with instructions and answers to every question you could have about running a branch or a ward, gave us the perfect excuse to “train” without offending anyone. I have worked with two primary presidents and one of the Relief Societies. More details to come about my experiences in a future blog post. I am now keeping very, very busy and loving the people and the adventure of serving in the Congo!
For the first few months that we were here, we walked in the mornings and he played hard basketball with the Elders. However, our most athletic elders went home or were transferred to Cameroon. (The other country in our mission that has North American Elders.)
Ed has so much physical and mental energy, that he keeps thinking up new ways to keep us “going”. The past couple of months our regimen includes the goal to be out of the house by 6:15 a.m. We then drive 5 minutes to the beach for our 2 mile walk, which has now progressed to a jog. He has lengthened his stride, and now runs at least 3 miles in the time that I do 2.
We are usually the only ones on the beach and can see each other at all times.
After the run we do push-ups on the beach. His are Army perfect… straight as a board and fast.
Mine are like a crab crawl, and definitely not Army style.
We drive home and then he has us jump rope. He is up to over 50 fast jumps…
But it is a wonderful way to start the day and we always feel better if we make the time to do this.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Hello family and friends! As many of you know, I am going to visit my parents in the Congo. I felt that this was a great place to post some of the experiences I have had getting ready for this trip.
I talked to both Jean and Sue about joining me but once I told Jean, “I will let you know what shots you need,” she responded, “I’m out!” Sue had a few other things going on including her wonderful hubby's passing. Love you Sue and miss you Mike.
When I first started talking about going, I wanted to surprise them. I emailed their Mission President's wife and asked if it was a feasible thing to surprise them. She told me that it was feasible but what would better than the surprise value would be the things I could bring in my bags. Boy was she right.
I ended up telling my parents (or should I say confirming to my parents as my wonderful brother Chuck let the cat out of the bag early) on Christmas morning that I would be joining them for a week in the Congo. I told them that I would be bringing 2 bags of 50 pounds each that they could tell me what to fill it with. I told them that I would not be able to bring more than the 2 bags as I am flying standby and I might need to have my bags with me if I don’t get on a flight, so it needed to be something I could feasibly carry.
The immediate response from Mom and Dad was “Walnuts and Peanut M&M’s.” Batteries were quickly added to the list. Then, 2 Elders on their mission got their cameras stolen, so I was asked to bring those. Then Dad decided he needed a new computer….and what about this and that or the other?
As today is my last day before I leave, I thought it would be fun to list here on their blog what I am packing. It has been funny to go through every item and think, “How much does this weigh?” You would be surprised that 2 tubes of toothpaste weigh over one pound.
Here is the final list in no particular order however the bottom items were added in the past 2 days:
Morton's nature's seasoning
Lawry's seasoning salt
15 fruit punch kool aid
3 boxes individual Chrystal light
12 big raspberry jello
Maybelline define a lash mascara
4 bottles of mint flavoring
2 bottles of mapleine
1 red food coloring
Shout sticks blue with orange scrubber
Dark chocolate powder
Ipod Home base (base)
3 AA batteries packs-COPPER TOP!!!!
2 pkg walnuts
2 large bags of peanut M&M
1 large bag of regular M&M
2 pkg chocolate chips
1 dress shirt long sleeve, no iron 15 1/2-34
6 pairs of costco men's reading glasses 275 or 250
2 Crest toothpaste
Green and yellow sponges
Zip lock gallon
Zip lock quart
Mash Season 3, 8-11
Small French/English Dictionary
Estee Lauder White Linen body powder 4.25
Estee Lauder White Linen Perfume - big size
Estee Lauder Lash Primer Plus (black & gold case)
4 HP #21 black
Home Depot stuff that Dad asked Wayne to get (one is actually called "Sink")
Socks for mom
Fanny pack (time machine not available)
Any movies that you think we might like (this was added last night)
As i have ordered much of the list online, my UPS guy knows my name now. I will update you on my trip when I get there! I am so excited and a tiny bit nervous…Good Times!
Location : 625 Brighton Dr, Richmond, VA 23235,
Posted via the Blogaway app on my Droid X.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
|Note the Book of Mormon in the forefront of this picture.|
This week Dad & I have been studying Chapter 9 (How Do I Find People to Teach?) in Preach My Gospel. It talks about the fact that the Lord prepares people with experiences to help them have softened hearts for when the right time comes to be personally introduced to the gospel. We are excited to realize that perhaps our "Street Experience" was just that.
We are in the process of remodeling a good size building about 2 miles away from the place where we had our opportunity to give out so many books and pamphlets... and it will be the new chapel in Pointe Noire. Perhaps, we softened hundreds of hearts that day, and we will see the fruits of it when we open that area with a chapel!
|This is the neighborhood ice cream man who wanted more information on what he had received.|
Monday, January 17, 2011
Check out the January 17th installment of the "Today in the Bloggernacle" column and scroll down to the section entitled "Missionary Dream."
“Today in the Bloggernacle” is written by Deseret News writer Emily W. Jensen every weekday, as is advertised as covering "the best of what we've seen from the world of LDS-oriented blog sites."
Way to go Dad! Your reporting on your wonderful experience was featured in the Deseret News as the best of what they have seen on LDS blogs! Keep up the hard work as a missionary, but be sure to keep taking photos and posting about your experiences, too.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
However, over the past 2 weeks Ed won 10 in a row! A huge record! So, hats off to my very clever husband that has whooped me big time!
Saturday, January 1, 2011
These are a few photos of what our 2 days went like. This first picture is Ed pulling a bus out of deep puddle.
This is the traffic Ed was stuck in for 3 hours, trying to get to the butcher to buy the chicken.
This is Ed changing his flat tire.
This is the butcher chopping our chicken.
And this is the chicken that we took home to cook (in the oven) for the party.
This is cooking chicken African Style. By the way, Ed baptized this Sister about 3 months ago. She is now the Secretary of our Relief Society.
We had a fun slumber party with the elders and exchanged white elephants.
Sister Headlee, our mission president's wife had African ties made for all the Elders. Ed got first pick when Sister Headlee was here... and then we wrapped the others and did another white elephant exchange with the ties.
We woke up to Christmas Casserole for breakfast (our family's traditional Christmas breakfast)... and then we headed off for a 9:00 am WHITE CHRISTMAS...THE BEST KIND OF ALL!
We hope you all had a Joyeux Noel!
As most of you know, in California our family has a tradition of going to the beach for a Corn Roast for special occassions. Well, we tried the corn and it tasted like I would imagine the colored corn that is used for decorations on Thanksgiving would taste like. Totally bland, hard, unchewable kernals. However, we didn't let that stop us. We were losing 3 great elders and decided to have a beach party for Christmas, while they were still with us. We found some interesting hot dogs, and used baguettes for buns... the only marshmallows we have are pink... the chocolate bars don't melt... and we used a cookie for the graham crackers. I guess the Elders didn't think we were serious about going to the beach... because they all showed up in their tracting clothes... but all in all... it was a huge success!
This is a photo of Ed asking who thought the occassion needed a Christmas Tree... They all voted Yes, and he went home and brought our tree to the beach. I love that Man!