Thursday, December 24, 2015


This is a Christmas party we had with some of the Elders, Sisters, and couples in in the mission. We had a dinner and exchanged white elephant gifts, and at the end of the night we watched the movie "A Christmas Carol".   It was a lot of fun.  We really enjoyed meeting a lot of the missionaries. Their stories and testimonies of how they came into the church are miracles.  A lot of missionaries are from other countries here in Africa. The Lord's hand in leading these people to the Gospel is undeniable.

A lot of  these missionaries are the only members of their family in the Church.  One sister's father became ill, and when she would call home and they told her everything was fine.  Then one week she called home and her father had died.  She was able to go home to Zimbabwe for the funeral, and she was back in like 4 days.  She  has such a good spirit about her.
   This cute Sister got my shorts as her gift.  They are a little worn out.  She'll have to take them in a bit!

This Elder got some bread in the shape of a crocodile.   He was pretty excited. 

 The next day we went to the Copper Belt area and along the side of the road are these fruit stands,  This picture doesn't do it justice but the color was unreal.   I thought of my dad-  he would be in heaven with all that watermelon.  We bought some melons, and other fruit, it was really good. 

More melons,   

This is Pres. Manasse Tembo, he is the Second Councilor in the Ndola District Presidency  He is also the Self Reliance Specialist for the District. He joined the Church when he was like 15, served a mission and has a strong testimony of the Gospel, This is his little boy Amon, cute little thing. He said he named him after the Book of Matthew, where is says Manasse begat Amon,  We looked it up, and  Chapter 1, verse 5, says Salmon  begat  Booz!  This could be a great name for a future grand kid! hint hint!  His wife just joined not to long ago,  They  hope someday to be married in the temple.   His Mom is not a member but we went and visited her; what a great lady. 
She has a little store in the neighborhood.  It's about 6'x 8', clean and very well organized.   Notice his home- no ceiling, but really clean inside.  We love working with him.  Great man.   We attended his Branch on Sunday before Christmas.  When we got there he asked me to speak,   I thought I would probably only need to fill in for a few minutes.  After all the speakers concluded, they left me 20 minutes.  Nothing prepared, so I just followed the spirit! Before I got up I asked Terry if she would bare her testimony,  GOOD LUCK ON THAT.   Anyway it went ok, I guess. 

4 days before Christmas we went with 2 other couples on a Safari!  This is a picture of the sunset, can you believe it?   Not a lot to do the week of Christmas- not much training we can do, so President approved, even encouraged us all to take a little break.  We had a ball. It was about a 4 hour drive out of Lusaka.  We stayed in these little huts, ate great food, and saw lots of animals. 

 Two brothers hanging out. It was kind of freaking me out.  We were in an open vehicle and all these guys had to do was jump up and grab ya and yank you out, and have some diner. 

End of another great day.  You can't believe these sunsets.  And to think we took these pictures!  
We love the Gospel, we wish all our family and friends Merry Christmas.  This is a special Christmas to us.  We miss everybody, especially the grand kiddos.   Nana asked Pops to do this post, so forgive me for all the mistakes.  MERRY CHRISTMAS.   LOVE NANA AND POPS.  

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


We have such a beautiful backyard.  No need to worry about cutting the grass or watering anything.  No shoveling snow.  Also, no dryer- I do have a washing machine but no dryer.  I also do not have a dishwasher or a disposal.  It's such a rough life.  The laundry smells wonderful and everything is nice and crisp.  I actually love hanging my clothes outside to dry.

Crocodile burger..... Yum.  Not kidding.  There is a crocodile farm here in Lusaka and they sell crocodile meat.  Why not?

We finally got ourselves a GPS and it has saved out bacon.  Once we find a the place we're looking for, we save and then we can always find it again although sometimes it takes us down some crazy roads.......

like this one.  I think it was just a shortcut but we were hoping our GPS knew what it was doing.  It did.  Going through some of the villages and compounds is just a maze of  dirt roads and it's impossible to tell where you're going.

And this is what we were trying to find.  The Lilanda Ward is renting a home that they use as their church.  This is the chapel.  We came to meet with a return missionary who is trying to get his school on the preferred list for the Perpetual Education Fund.  I just love the return missionaries here who have so many challenges but are doing their best to become self reliant.

We took another trip to Mothers Without Borders to take the kids a little treat for Christmas.  About half of them were not there.  They were sent to spend the holidays with extended family.  Normally there are 32 kids living there.

Rice Krispie Treats, of course.  They had never had them before.

This is my friend, Patricia just stirring up a little nshima for those sixteen kids- everyday.  Isn't she beautiful?

Another bug to add to our collection. This scorpion is just a little bit bigger than the one that Craig stepped on at Lake Powell.

This is Kasnos Paradzai.  He is our self reliance manager- an employee of the church.  He lives in Zimbabwe and covers all of Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia.  He is one hard working guy, always traveling and trying to solve problems.  We would be lost without him.  He was here just last weekend and had a flight to go home early on Sunday morning.  We got a call from him about 7:30 AM and his credit card wouldn't work (which is very common here) as he was trying to check out.  He needed 51 kwacha (about $5) before they would let him go.  Craig ran to the hotel to give him the money and the minute Craig walked back in the door at home, Kasnos was calling again.  He had been pulled over by the police for an improper lane change and they wanted 1500 kwacha ($150) to let him go.  He didn't have it so they took him to the police station and were going to impound his car if he didn't come up with the money.  Elder Salmon to the rescue again.  He talked policeman down to 1000 kwacha and even gave him a Book of Mormon.  They became fast friends.  What a guy!  What a missionary!  Maybe Craigville isn't such a bad place after all.

This lady is crushing rock up gravel.  It is all done by hand and then separated into different sizes.  It's a common sight in one part of Lusaka but it's a hard way to make a living. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


 We decided to take a trip to Malawi to attend a District Conference and meet the members and missionaries there. It was a 12 hour drive to get from Lusaka, Zambia to Lilongwe, Malawi. Crossing the border was a little stressful.  We had to have just the right paper work and money from 3 different countries.  That was a little tricky.  The mission has a nice flat there which is used by the mission president when he visits there.  It was not being used so we stayed there. The next morning drove another 4 hours to get to Blantyre, Malawi just in time for the District Conference.  No extra flat in Blantyre so we stayed in a nice hotel. The roads were so narrow and there were people and chickens and goats and cows and dogs and bicycles and great big trucks that made the driving very scary at times.  I had one incident where, I promise you, Jesus took the wheel.  I had to pull over and compose myself and then I let Craig drive.

Sometimes it felt like we had traveled back in time about 100 years.  And then we would see a big cell tower and come back to the future.  There were fields and fields of maize that were all plowed and planted by hand.  The only tool I saw was a hoe.  There was not a single stretch in Malawi where there weren't people walking or riding a bike along the road.  Non stop pedestrians for hundreds of kilometers.

The guys on the bikes carry huge loads which are very heavy as you can imagine.  These guys are packing charcoal which is how everyone does their cooking.

I really don't know how they do it.  One wrong move or bad bump and it's all over.

This one is even higher.  This guy put his hand out when he saw Craig taking his picture.  He wanted some money.

This is Chloe.  I met her at the District Conference in Blantyre and she would not smile for me- not even close to a smile.  After this meeting we headed back to Lilongwe, a 4 hour drive where we stayed for another couple of nights.  The whole 3 nights that we were in Lilongwe, there was no power.  That gets really old.  The poor missionary couple that lives there are very frustrated.  How do you keep food in the fridge or freezer?  They have a generator but it is so loud and the fumes are terrible.  I feel so bad for them.  In Lusaka the power is off where we live every night from about midnight to 8 am.  Sometimes it will just go off randomly or if it rains hard.  Anyway, after we left Lilongwe, we had another 12 hour drive home.  That's the 32 hours in the car.  Craig spent most of that 32 hours in his own head.  I've decided to call it Craigville.  He doesn't need to talk or listen to music or anything.  He calls it Never Ever Land.  I've never been there myself but he spends a lot of time there so it was very quiet in the car.

I counted 35 people get into this van.  I'm not kidding and it was probably 90 degrees outside so I'm pretty sure it was about 150 degrees inside the van.

Craig is about to eat a caterpillar.  No worries- its cooked.  He saw some at a market on the street so he just had to try it.  He had some return missionaries bring him some.  I tasted one and I didn't care for it.  I don't think I'll be preparing any for him.

Here's a good look at them.  He said they taste like bacon but he was not chowing down on them like he does bacon,  I hear they taste really good with Nshima.  We were tempted to try some roasted mice but decided to pass.  They were selling them all along the road side in Malawi.  They refuse to eat  rats though.

This is one of our Self Reliance groups.  They were very impressed with our selfie stick.  They had never seen one before- Imagine that!  It only took us 3 tries to get it right.


Sunday, November 29, 2015


This is the swimming pool at the mission office.  I was so surprised when I saw it. It is such a contrast between this and what there is outside of these walls.  Everything is locked up so tight with electric fences around many properties including the mission office and even our own apartment.  We have a gate with a guard 24/7.  There are 2 paddle locks on our front door and 1 on our back door. The church is just renting this place and I don't think anyone has ever used the pool.

This is where we spend a good deal of our time- in traffic!  It is unbelievable, no matter the time of day.  It is really a lesson in patience because there is nothing you can do about it but just plan for it.  You have to be very aggressive or you won't get anywhere.  I haven't been brave enough to try it yet. Craig is doing a great job with the driving even when I am gasping in terror.

Our Self Reliance Services manager has been here with us all week training us and we have not stopped for a minute since he came.  He is from Zimbabwe and covers all of Zimbabwe, Zambia,and Malawi. This is a chamber of commerce meeting we went to trying to find out what kinds of jobs are industry in Zambia looking for.  We discovered there's not much demand for anything which makes it difficult when people here, especially return missionaries want to access the Perpetual Education Fund.  The church won't approve their loans unless they believe that their chosen field of study will lead to a job.  Otherwise they won't be able to pay back the loan or become self reliant. There is a lot of misconceptions and misunderstanding about how the PEF program works so part of our job is to inform and teach the wards and branches the correct way to access it.  We have been traveling throughout the mission to get a feel for how the self reliance program is working in all the wards and branches.  Some are doing well and some need lots of help.

This is one of the branches we visited in Kitwe which is about 5 hours north of  Lusaka.  The branch president here is 23 years old.  When he got released from his mission by the mission president he was called as the branch president at the same time.  He is doing a fantastic job.

The primary room where I'm told they cram 20-30 kids every Sunday.

The baptismal font at another one of the districts.

The man in the wheelchair is President Kapato.  He is the District President in the Ndola District with his first councilor.

I am overwhelmed at the amount of work there is for us to do here.  Next week we head to Malawi which will be about a 12 hour drive.  I have never done so much sitting in all my life- in the car or in a meeting, something that neither Craig nor I am used to.   Another lesson in patience.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

1 week down

One of the first places we visited was Mothers Without Borders Children's Resource Center.  It was fun to see all my friends again.
Driving on the wrong side of the road has been quite an adventure.  I am a nervous wreck the whole time and I'm not the one driving.  Actually Craig is doing a great job considering the traffic here is unbelievable.  On our third day here he got pulled over for dangerous driving! We were just following the car in front of us and two police women waved us over and said we were illegal.  They took Craig's license and then went and sat in their car.  He asked what was going on and they told him he would have to pay 600 kwacha (about $60).  We happened to have a young returned missionary with us from the ward and he said to offer a lesser amount.  Craig offered 200 kwacha ($20) and they said OK.  We were told it was because we are white.  So much to learn.  In all the time I have spent here in the past I never had to drive, cook, or even do my own laundry.
Later on the same day we were trying to get some Zambian kwacha out of the ATM at the bank and it took our card and swallowed it.  What the heck?  We asked someone in the bank and they said to wait in this line.  20 minutes later when we reached to front of the line they said, "Oh you need to stand in this line."  20 minutes later when we reached the front of that line they said, "Come back tomorrow."  What the heck?  Next day, same thing but we finally got the card back.  Next week we will be doing some travelling throughout the mission.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Here we go!

This represents what I know about Zambia already. After 10 years of teaching sewing, I'm on a new adventure in Zambia!  I'm excited and nervous for this new chapter of my life on the mission. My goal is to update weekly but since I'm not there yet I'm not sure if that is a possibility. Check back! 
We just finished at the MTC and now we're headed for 3 days of training at the church office building. Thursday Nov. 12th we get on a plane and leave everything behind. 

                                  This is what they think they are getting in the mission….

                                                But this is what they are really getting.