We'll start with another birthday- why not? It looks like the whole cake is on fire but it's not. Sister Ntwe (seated in front of the cake) is from South Africa. She hasn't been out very long, in fact she just finished her training and then became a trainer.
We came across this little guy out in the middle of nowhere because we were also out in the middle of nowhere. A member wanted to show us a piece of property he had acquired which turned out to be, as I said, out in the middle of nowhere. The son of the headman in the village gave him the piece and was perfectly willing to give us one also. I kept telling Craig he needed to make it perfectly clear that we were not interested. I'm not sure the message got through.
The man standing slightly behind me is the son of headman. It was about 95 degrees and we were tromping around in the weeds and burned grass, the bugs were biting, and I wasn't sure when it was going to be over, thus the gun to the head. Good news though. I'm pretty sure we are now the proud owners of land in the middle of nowhere in Zambia.
We were invited to a wedding and someone (who shall remain nameless) decided that we should show up in real Zambian style. Craig is getting measured for his new outfit. Stay tuned for pictures of the new outfits and pictures of the wedding.
Hanging a couple of new light fixtures in one of the missionary flats. The repairs are never ending.
We visited a farm that one of the members in Lusaka works at. He was a white farmer in Zimbabwe and was forced off his farm and it was given to black Africans who have done nothing with it. Many other white farmers in Zimbabwe were also forced out. They have great hopes that someday they will be able to return to their farms and take control again.
They were harvesting potatoes. Wow- those potatoes were giant sized!
These women would fill the bags and then throw them up on the truck. Hard work.
Craig already put Steven's picture on Instagram but these are some of the sisters that taught him. He really make them work for this baptism. He had so many doubts and questions but in the end he knew baptism was the right thing to do.
We worked with this young man to help him get his missionary papers ready to send in. Evans has only been a member for just over a year. His parents are both deceased and no one else in his family is a member of the church, so he only has the support of the other members. It has been very difficult for him. He finally got his call and he is going to Ghana on December 29th. He is excited.
The mission was able to acquire a new van for the mission. Elder Salmon was the one who made it happen. He drives a hard bargain and it was quite the process. I'd say he was the right man for the job.
Just a typical market place. They are everywhere. Pictures just don't do it justice. I wish you could see it and hear it and smell it. Garbage and flies and people are thick.
This is a common occurrence -getting pulled over by the police. Probably about once a week the negotiations begin. Notice the stool to sit on- front and back seat. Anything you pay pretty much goes right into the pocket of the policeman or woman so if you say the right thing you can pay very little or even get away without paying anything- Especially if you are a missionary and you say you will pray for them. Yup, we have actually used those words and didn't have to pay anything. If you get angry or argue the price usually goes up. It gets really frustrating sometimes.
I have never seen a bottle fed baby here. If they are not breast fed they drink from a cup.
Craig just loves this little guy. He always has this suit on at church. His name is Nephi.
Okay, here are the wedding photos I promised you. Everyone in Zambia must be married civilly first before they can be sealed in the temple which is in Johannesburg- a 24 hour bus ride from Lusaka. It was a real cultural experience. The ceremony took place in the branch and was more like a sacrament meeting with a choir and congregational singing and speakers who basically gave talks. Closing song and prayer included.
Out attire for the wedding reception. Family and friends of the bride. The groom was the branch president in the Kitwe Branch.
Just waiting with great anticipation for the wedding party to arrive. Aren't those the greatest decorations you've ever seen? Like I said, pictures don't to it justice.
Finally they arrive. There was a Master of Ceremonies, a D.J. and dancing that made me blush. Those Africans can really shake it! I'm not kidding- it was a sight to behold.
We watched conference at the Kitwe Branch which is held under this tent. You might not be able to see but we are watching it on Craig's laptop propped up on the chair because they couldn't get the projector to work. It was about 100 degrees under the big top. By the end of the four or five hours there weren't many people left. I can't wait for the Conference Issue of the Ensign to come so I can read the talks. I think my eyes rolled back in my head a couple of times.
This time we did the birthday party up big and had a BBQ. Birthdays are not really a big deal here and some people don't even know when their birthday is (mostly just older people) so it's fun to celebrate and make it a special day.
It was Davis Munkondia's birthday- front and center, age 27. Just as it was getting dark the power went out, of course. No big deal. We can handle it.
I read this quote in the October Ensign:
Every couple with the ability to serve a mission has been prepared to serve in ways special to them. They just need to exercise faith enough to go where the Lord has need of them, and He will use them to make a difference in the lives of others.
"Couples can make a difference," said Elder Robert D. Hales. "Couples can accomplish remarkable things no one else can do. . . .
". . . . The ways in which couples can serve are virtually limitless. From mission office support and leadership training to family history, temple work, and humanitarian service- there is an opportunity to use almost any skill or talent with which the Lord has blessed you. . . .
". . . You have received much in your life; go forth and freely give in the service of our Lord and Savior. Have faith; the Lord knows where you are needed. The need is so great, brothers and sisters, and the laborers are so few."