Christmas morning we had the other senior couples and the sister missionaries over for breakfast. On the right are the Bodily's from Arizona, who are welfare missionaries and the other couple, the Groesbecks, are from Sandy, Utah. They are the office couple and this is their second mission, the first one was to Mongolia.
These are the name tags of the sisters. Try saying those 3 times in a row. Sister Nyachwo is from Uganda and Sister Andreamamonjisoa is from Madagascar. They live next door to us right now but that changes frequently. It is so hard to remember all the missionaries names- especially the African names. We have been to some teaching appointments with them and they are fantastic missionaries. We love them!
This string of tinsel was my only Christmas decoration this year. I was kind of a Scrooge- it just didn't feel like Christmas to me. I had to remind myself the day was not about me but about the birth of the Savior. That really helped me put it all into perspective. Being stripped of all the shopping and holiday cooking and parties and gift giving can really make the season a different experience. These sisters don't have a car- they walk everywhere- and Christmas Day was no different.
This little friend was in the shower one morning. No big deal.
There were two baptisms in the parking lot after church last Sunday. There were only 2 cars. Sometimes, ours is the only car in the parking lot. Every baptism we have been to has been held on Sunday after church so the members can just stay a little longer and don't have to make another trip to the church. It's a long way for most and no one ( well, almost no one) has a car or even money for transportation.
We had a flat tire and had a hard time finding somewhere to get it fixed. It was New Years Day and everything was closed but found some guys by a gas station that tried. We ended up having to change to the spare and after figuring out where everything was and trying to squeeze in between cars, it was done. It only took about and hour and a half and it was so blasted hot.
I was just hanging out by the gas pump in the little bit of shade I could find. It was so blasted hot! I got lots of people staring at me and I'm sure they were wondering what is this crazy white lady doing?
Everyone loves to put something about God on their cars.
One thing that really bothers me here is all the garbage everywhere. This is just about a block from where we live but very typical. Plastic water bottles are a big problem. Some people have no water in their homes- I don't know if that's a contributing factor but trash is a big problem- especially in the city. No one seems to care.
Compare it to this beautiful sight we was today as we went with Elder and Sister Bodily to visit some sights for the water projects they are working on out in the bush.
In order for the church to come into a village and pay for a new bore hole (well) to be drilled, the village must come up with some of the funds. Otherwise they won't take ownership of it and they won't maintain it. This takes lots of time, paperwork, and negotiating between the welfare missionaries and the people representing the villages. The Bodilys have been working in this particular area for about 6 months trying to get 6 bore holes done. They go home in March and are so hoping to get done before they leave. There are no other missionaries coming to take their place.
Coming to get water at the bore hole is a daily chore. Imagine how heavy that bucket of water is on this woman's head and that's a container of water on her back also. It is about 2 kilometers back home.
This is the school in the village.....
And this is the bathroom. So count your many blessing, name them one by one.