Monday, April 25, 2016


Wow, what a month for baptisms! I think we went to a baptism every weekend in April.  The only problem being water most of the time.  This particular baptismal font was filled up with bottle after bottle of water.  Needless to say it postponed the whole meeting but it went on eventually.  The water is cold and not very deep so it's kind of tricky to get totally dunked.  Sometimes it takes a few tries.

I absolutely love this picture.  Eight people were baptized from two families.  It was a sight to behold. It was a proud day for the families and the missionaries.  On this same day there was another baptism in another ward.

When we have time we love to go teaching with the elders or sisters.  This is Elder Abisai from Namibia and Elder Almeida from Angola.  Elder Almeida is just learning English coming from a Portuguese speaking country. I am amazed at how fast he is picking it up.

One night we got a knock on our door and one of the sisters said, very calmly, "We have an emergency."  I walked over to their flat with her and water was gushing out of the hose behind the sink in the bathroom.  When I say "gushing", that is putting it mildly.  Water was already about 2 inches deep in the bathroom and quickly filling the rest of the rooms.  I ran for Craig and he finally got the water shut off and then it took us a good hour to get the water cleaned up.  Thank goodness there is no carpeting on the floor- only tile.  Never a dull moment- well, not very many of them.  Elder Salmon has become the fix-it-guy in the mission.  There's not too much he can't fix.

There are not very many keyboard players in the mission so this was a treat to have Sister Groesbeck playing a special musical number as the children sang for the baptism.  She teaches lessons on Saturday mornings for those who are interested in learning to play.

We visited a near by crocodile farm.  That crocodile almost couldn't open it's mouth wide enough to fit Elder Salmon's head inside.

It also had snakes- really big ones!

All three of these guys were scared to death to even touch it as you can tell by the way they are holding it.

Emmanuel was turning 21 and said he had never has a birthday cake before.  We couldn't find any birthday candles so we used the next best thing- one great big one.  He was pretty happy.  I've baked a few more birthday cakes since then and now everyone is telling me when their birthday is.  It doesn't take much to make someone's day a little brighter.

Another baptism last Sunday after church and these are the sisters who taught them although the man standing next to Craig asked if Craig would baptize him.  They grew very close during the self reliance group that he was attending.  It's an amazing process to see someone learn about the gospel and just embrace it like he did.  It's like he was just waiting for someone to come along and teach him about it.

Just a note on general conference.  We were able to watch it at the church a week after it was broadcast.  Elder Anderson talked about his trip here to Zambia and about one of our missionaries, Elder Ssengooba and also our mission president, President Erickson. It is quite a story about both of them and so many missionaries out here have very similar stories.  They have great faith and love for the Savior.  It makes my faith grow even stronger.  Missionary work is like no other experience I've ever had.

"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right had of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."
Ether 12:4

Sunday, April 3, 2016


We got invited to dinner at the Stake Pres. home. We had all the Zambian foods, fish, nshima, and relish.
Their daughter (third from the left) just left on her mission  to Scotland and Ireland.
No utensils allowed.  I burned my fingers right off the bat.   They got a kick out of it. 
We visited a refugee camp in Malawi. There were two LDS families there- this little one got to me.  He said his name was Thomas S Monson.   
 This is the other family at the camp.  The father had a stroke a year ago, not doing great, but they were sure glad to see us.  He asked me to pray, and then at the end of our meeting he asked me to pray again.  I told him I just prayed, how about you.  He offered the sweetest prayer. In it he said " And Father, please don't forget Thomas S. Monson, and the 12."   I just felt it was kind of funny that he felt the Lord might forget them.

We were sitting in a small room with a dirt floor and this family has nothing.  At the end of the meeting we asked if we could sing a song. We asked the daughter in the orange shirt to pick  her favorite song. She picked "Because I Have Been Given Much."  As we are singing I had tears coming down my checks, and dripping on the dirt floor.  It was so humbling.   The satellite dish is a curious thing.  I'm not sure if it was in working order.

Ok, this is a Ant Hill.  not your typical Utah ant hill.  This is big, and they even get bigger.
 This is a tobacco farm that we drove past in Malawi.  They hang these leaves up until they dry and then sell them. It is the only thing they export from Malawi. 
Bro. Goodson and his wife have only been members for about 2 years.  He was a minister in his church but he and 6 others made a stand on gays and lesbians not having any callings in the church.  They all got excommunicated.  He then found the LDS Church. They have a son serving on a mission, and they are preparing to go to the temple.    They have their own school and teach 230 kids, ages 3 to 6 in two very small rooms with a dirt floor and plywood walls.  The school building is really bad.  They are trying to figure how they can make some improvements.

When you're dead, you don't know that you are dead. It is 
difficult only for the others.

It is the same when you are stupid.