Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fruits of the Spirit - Love, Joy & Peace

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." 3 John 1:4

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

We don't sing because we are happy, we are happy because we sing. Angelic is a classy woman.  She always looks like a million dollars. ( I love her headdresses) She played all of the songs for Sacrament Meeting today.   She has had only a few piano lessons, but has a musical talent and is not afraid to use it. 

Alma 30:34 "And now, if we do not receive anything for our labors in the church, what doth it profit us to labor in the church save it were to declare the truth, that we may have rejoicings in the joy of our brethren?"
 Now that Claude is a member of the church and feels the joy, he fills his truck with his friends, neighbors, family and workers and brings them all to church every Sunday. 
Bananas make the workers happy!

They have made 750 desks we donated to public schools. 

These couples were in training with us in South Africa. They are marvelous people and 
so willing to serve. They are an inspiration to us.  

 Elder and Sister Moody are serving in Gabon.  He is from Delta, Utah and knows my Brother Clayton and Sister Deanna.  He had a pacemaker put in the week before leaving on this, their second mission to Africa.  
Elder and Sister Moses are a good example of hardworking people from Idaho.
 They have done so much good in Ethiopia and leave for home soon.
Elder and Sister Lee are finishing their sixth mission in the Humanitarian work of the church.  They have been all over the world doing good.  They know the ins and outs of this work forward and backward.  They could do it in their sleep.  Maybe that is how they accomplish so much!

Three of us turned 70 this year!  We had fun taking Glamour shots and celebrating.
I was surprised that these two were as old as me.  Don't they look great?

No, this is not one of our vision projects.
This boy found a creative way to use the sacrament cups.  OH NO!

This boy in the center, Paul, is eager to learn the skill of sewing.  He is also learning English. 
 He is so willing to help with anything I need done when I am teaching. 

This city is a beehive of activity.
Smiles on the faces of hardworking people bear witness to the fact that working makes us happy.
James 2:22 "By works was faith made perfect. " 

These sister missionaries are a joy to us.  They are so sweet and beautiful!  We weren't prepared for the day any of them would be transferred or go home.  But it is here.  Tonight we take a trip to the airport at 12:30.  These middle of the night jaunts are simple -- no motorcycles, bicycles, cars, trucks or pedestrians.  It simplifies things greatly! 

 The Sister in the center is Judith, my translator when I teach sewing.  She is fabulous!  She studied in America for a year.  She is such a great friend and sister to me.

 Sister Randrianirina has a lovely singing voice.
(We have practiced how to say her name for months.)
We danced to celebrate Sister Petu's birthday!

And last but not least.....................

"And becometh as a child submissive, meek humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."
 Mosiah 3:19 

"Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him."  1 Corinthians 2:9

Mind is the master power that moulds and makes,
And man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of thought and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills;---
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking glass.
                                           James Allen

Don't worry, be happy!

 Have a Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Christmas Blessings Burundi Style

With the palm trees swaying and the grass so green, it took a while to feel like it was Christmas time.
Christmas Parties and celebrations were helpful, but the real trick was recording Christmas Carols with our family on Whats App!  We did Silent Night in five languages from across the world.  It was so fun to hear the singing voices of our adorable grandchildren. Christmas is family-- thankfully Family is Forever!

 Christmas Day the Neeleys hosted all of the missionaries at their home for dinner, food and games.  Our old favorite paper bat game crossed all of the language barriers and made a hit.  The Foofoo made a particular hit with the Elders!  They stayed true to Congolese tradition which says the guests take home the leftovers.  Foofoo is just casava and corn flour mixed in boiling water to make a dough.  They form it into balls and eat it with or without sauce.  We enjoyed the rice and green beans and beautiful rolls (Sister Neeley is a pro).

 Branch One had their Christmas Party on Saturday after Christmas.  President Thomas and his wife were here by then and enjoyed their lovely buffet.  It was a special day for children, so they were asked to sit together in their little chairs under the tree and wait for the food to be served to them.  We marveled at how they just sat and waited so patiently -- not leaving their seats, or even squirming and making noise.
 Clean up was simple (not as simple as paper plates) but a few buckets of water, some Relief Society Sisters and a tap in the yard.  Who needs a kitchen with 4 sinks and all the fluff we have?

 One day we treated ourselves to a hamburger at the Roca.  This is the spread we got!  The four small bowls in front have bacon, cheese, carmelized onions and dill pickles.  This is a burger that would make In and Out jealous!

 Frida finished her Thesis and received her graduation certificate.  We were invited to the festivities.  Seems like Frida and Aimable have broken us in on many of the Africa Traditions.  This one was also followed up with Soda for everyone.  We don't do so well with Soda, but they also make water available. Whew!

 A Real White Christmas is a baptism.  This one was very special as Salvator has waited for four years for his wife Mwamini to accept the gospel.  It was a very happy day for them.

 I just love this photo of Elder Van singing as he plays for the music at the baptism.  He is still enthusiasm personified.  He sings in English while everyone else sings in French.  No one can even hear him which tells you that these people SING!

                           Dolly Project

You just gotta LOVE this little face.  His mommy was sewing and he was pushing chairs around or trying to entertain himself.  Here he is on her back and we were preparing to take photos of each woman with the dolls they made.  

The Project was a big success, but with a few twists I didn't expect.

The plan was to make 50 dolls, teaching women to sew and to give the dolls to children at orphanages.  My vision was that they would be so happy and excited.  As it turned out, the children at the orphanages were not very excited, and the people who ran the facility really only wanted food to feed the children.  So we gave rice, sugar, juice and cookies along with Dollies.  

 50 dolls became 85!  So we gave them to children in the Branches.  Now THEY were excited!  They loved them.  I loved that the Sister missionaries came down and helped me paint faces more than once!  It made the painting simple and they did a very nice job.  No dolly came out with a funny face!


These are the ten I made for examples of different styles. 

 Oh yes, did I mention that along with the rice and dollies we gave the kids a chance to dance the Chicken Dance and Hokey Pokey.  They liked that better than dolls.  We sure do LOVE that JBL speaker!  We take the ipod and the JBL and we are in business!

 This is what 50 dolls looks like.  I didn't get a photo of all 85, but this is a lot of Dollies!
 One of the two orphanages had little ones, some had been found in dumpsters.  Beautiful babies with parents who couldn't care for them.  These people are doing a good work in their behalf.

 Lawn mowing at the park.  These workers knew David wanted a picture of all of them working together, so they purposely stopped one at a time until he gave them 1000 bif (about $3.00) Then they picked up their tools and made the grass fly!

 The mosque at the end of the street, all white and sunlit was a stark contrast to the trucks and traffic.

 These Mango Vendors didn't know we got a bird's eye view of them selling their wares.

 Common scenes here are still new to us.  We frequently see a pickup filled with people!  And I do mean filled.  I always remember how I made my kids sit with their little bottoms right on the bed of the truck.  And I ask, "Where are their mothers?"

 These two are reminiscent of the pictures of David wanting to stand and let the cows go around him.  Remember that one?  We did it with the goats.  We had just stepped out of the Roca Golf Hotel and these goats were coming down the street.  We just stood there as they approached. They hardly noticed us as they parted around us and then came back together on the other side.

Yes, Christmas comes without the cold and snow

 and Family is Family near or far.