Friday, March 17, 2017


 Our office couple, the Groesbeck's went home in February.  We miss them terribly and there has been no one to take their place yet.  We are in desperate need.  With them is a member of our Stake Presidency, President Mushala.  He attended BYU, Idaho and then earned a masters degree from Gonzaga.

 Another couple also left in February- the Hull's.  That leaves us the only senior couple in Lusaka.  There are two more couples but they are both in Malawi so we don't see them very much.  We had a lot of fun together and I'm glad they both went home at the end of our mission and the not at the beginning.
 I'm always amazed at the amount of food the Elders can put away.  Elder Kabisa and Elder Day with the pile of bones they left behind.

 It rained really hard one night and we finally found water in the swimming pool at the gym we go to.  But it was not to be because they pumped it out the next day.  Maybe some day they will finish it.

 We found these kids playing a game of checkers using bottle caps as the pieces.  When Craig played by their rules he lost and when they played by his rules he won.  They were 2 very different games.

 Mission Leadership Council (MLC)- I think that's right.  There's so much picture taking that you have to get a little crazy every now and then.

 We're just helping our friend, Bernard move (or shift as they call it here in Zambia).  That was everything he owns in a few plastic bags and a small mattress.  It really makes me think about how much stuff I have.

 I wish you could see the size of the room that he "shifted" into.  It is probably about 8 by 8 1/2- no water, bathroom, or kitchen- one bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling.  400 kwacha per month ($40).
 Feeding some hungry Elders once again.  Elder Ogooguo and Elder Mpofu.  They are great young men and great missionaries.  We've had the privilege of doing some teaching with them and it has been a testimony building experience.
Moses is a member of the church who Craig has hired to do most of the repairs on the vehicles in the mission.  He is a colorful character who always has a new outfit.  This is one of the best and we had to take his picture.  One day he came dressed in his white temple suit, black shirt and white tie.  It really caught my attention.  He pointed out to me that he was wearing a black shirt and black socks and shoes so it was okay.  He's a great mechanic, though.

We took our fourth trip to Kalimba Farm, the crocodile farm.  The snake was very active this time and started to wrap itself around Craig's leg.  He hates snakes but made sure that I took his picture, quickly.  The missionaries are always looking for something to do on p-day and this place is close by and inexpensive.

Several months ago Craig and I thought we would try out this companionship study thing and we have actually really enjoyed it.  I would highly recommend it to anyone.  We started with the New Testament which has been a mouthful to say the least.  This is a quote we read from the New Testament Student Manual by Elder Orson F. Whitney (1855-1931) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:
"No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted.  It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility.  All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable".

Elder D. Todd Christofferson said of the Lord's chastening:  "Correction is vital if we would conform our lives 'unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ'.  Paul said of chastening, 'For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth' (Hebrews 12:6).  Though it is often difficult to endure, truly we ought to rejoice that God considers us worth the time and trouble to correct".

I'm not sure if I'm ready to be thankful for my trials but I will think differently about them.

Sunday, February 5, 2017


We'll start with a birthday again.  Sister Motseko is from South Africa and has only been here for about a month.

 We attended a district activity with the Chainama District and had a great time with the young missionaries.

It didn't start to rain until we started cooking lunch.  But it rains almost every day so at least we had an umbrella.

Another district activity on another day at the same place- different district.  You can see how unified they are.  They even wanted to dress alike.

Joined by another district not quite as unified.

 Two new couples arrived but they both went to Malawi and two couples are going home next week leaving Craig and I the only couple in Lusaka besides President and Sister Kupu.

We had a quick couples conference before everyone went their separate ways.  One day of meetings and one day of fun.  This place, called Chaminuka,  is only about 30 minutes outside of Lusaka.  It was fun to be all together.  Great people and great friends.

When things heated up, the pants came unzipped!

Great picture of some lazy lions.

There's a new restaurant in town and it's very popular.  How do you think it would do in Centerville?  Maybe we should open a franchise.

I'm always amazed by the young children taking care of even younger children.

I can't quite remember how we became involved with Benard but he is in our ward and we started to give him a ride home after church every Sunday.  We would just drop him in front of a big gate.  We came to find out that he was homeless and it was obvious that he had some mental disabilities also.  One of the missionaries who went home left this quilt behind so we gave it to Benard and he fell in love with it.  We found him a place to stay and are working on the mental issues but I don't really know what will happen after we leave. 

Sisters at the Zone Conference

A couple  more baptisms that we attended.  Douglas ( top) is a young husband and father.  Hopefully his wife will also be baptized after their first child is born. For some reason women refuse to be baptized if they are pregnant.   King (bottom) is a 15 year old young man who was taught by the sister missionaries along with his father.  King decided to be baptized but his father did not.

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow, what ride!"

Marjorie Hinckley

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


These first two pictures are just some things I thought were funny.  It might be that you have to be here to appreciate so I'll include them just for me so I don't forget the craziness.  Everything is in a pretty random order mainly because I'm terrible on the computer and I get frustrated with the whole process.

DING DONGS GREEN SCHOOL.  I sure would like to know who Ding Dong is.   I'm not sure I would want my child at a school for Ding Dongs.

This is a pretty typical hair salon, in fact I would say that it is one of the better ones.  It's the pictures of the hair styles painted on the building that crack me up.  Once again, this might be just for my own benefit.

This little primary did a fantastic job on presenting the primary program.  Everyone of them had their parts memorized and they did several parts each.  They were very proud of themselves.  Those missionaries in the bomb.

If you want to buy a coffin, this is the place to come.  It's just across the street from the hospital.  Does that tell you anything about what happens if you go to the hospital?

We went to the market to buy dried beans to give away as Christmas gifts.  Beans are a lot more nutritious than the maize they eat here but it also costs more.  Everyone grows maize.  Right now it is growing everywhere as far as the eye can see.  This year rain has been plentiful so everyone is optimistic that the harvest this year will be plentiful also.

Those bags are full of dried caterpillars.  I heard that 80% of the world eats bugs of some kind.  Mmmmmm!  Do we eat bugs in America?  I've tasted frog legs and snails (escargot) but never bugs until I came to Africa.

The local shoe repairman.

Some wonderful members in Kitwe (the Phiri's) invited us in to breakfast one morning. Bread and tea was served which we were told is a remnant of the British influence here for many years. 

Just delivering some Christmas beans to our good friend, Noel.

Thanksgiving pig with the face still attached,


Christmas pig!
You might think our mission president is from Tonga.

Pig with all the fixings for the 2 zones in Malawi and another party for the Lusaka zone a week later.  Good food and some crazy games makes for a great party.  It sure makes Christmas special for the missionaries.

Each team had to create something with wrapping paper and a limited amount of time.  Some were more creative than others. This one is obviously Santa.

Maybe not so obvious is the Christmas tree with the angel on top.

Angel Moroni, of course.

The watermelon eating contest was so funny....

super messy and a little disgusting.

We try to visit the family of this little angel in a refugee camp in Malawi whenever we can.  Her name is Light and they have been at the camp for 7 years now.

In our home ward in Lusaka the primary acted out the Nativity from the book of Luke for our ward party.  I couldn't help but look at the differences in the pictures I saw of our ward Christmas party back home in good old Centerville, Utah.  

I planted these sunflowers a few months ago.  My good friend, Sue, sent them to me and they just kept growing and growing.  We were dressed in our dresses for the missionary choir that sang at the special baptismal service we had on Christmas eve.

We had great participation from the Stake members.  Normally baptisms are done on a ward basis so we were so happy to see such a good turn out.
I think there were 22 people baptized.  Now if we can only keep them active.

Finally that swimming pool at the mission office is put to good use.

Craig and I got spend a couple of days at Lake Malawi after Christmas with Elder and Sister Hull.  They go home in February and we are going miss them terribly.  The lake is so big you can almost tell yourself you're at the ocean.

To explain this picture is a long story so stay with me.  I will try to keep it simple.  While here on the mission I read a book called THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND by William Kamkwamba.  I have been telling everyone what a great book it is about a boy growing up in a small village in Malawi.  I even got Craig to read it and he loved it also.  We found out that William Kamkwamba was staying at the same hotel we were so we had to meet him. Such an inspiring story about his life that I will never forget.  He overcame incredible odds to become educated and then be able to return and help the people of the village where he was raised.  It was an honor to meet him.

Dinner- which was actually very good.  I'm getting used to eating food with the face still attached.  No big deal.

Craig is forever just pulling over to the side of the road because he wants to talk to someone or take a picture of something outrageous as you may have seen on his Instagram.  This is a group of young boys who were herding goats.  It's always young boys you see herding goats or cattle and always women and girls who carry water.  I'm not sure where the men are.  I'm sure they're busy somewhere.

Once they saw us stop, they abandoned their goats to be in the picture and to ask for food.  They cleaned me out of everything we had in the car.

Just a small tea plantation in Malawi that went on and on for miles.  It is one of the poorest countries in the world but it has also got to be one of the most beautiful. I'm grateful I get to see it.

" As part of our mortal probation, we pass through affliction, pain, and disappointment.  Only in Jesus Christ can we find peace.  He can help us to be of good cheer and to overcome all the challenges of this life.

"What does it mean to be of good cheer?  It means having hope, not getting discouraged, not losing faith, and living life joyfully. 'Men are, that they might have joy' [2 Nephi2:25].  It means facing life with confidence.

"The gospel of Jesus Christ gives us the strength and the eternal perspective to face what is coming with good cheer".

(Elder Adhemar Damiani, "Be of Good Cheer and Faithful in Adversity", Ensign May2005).

Read Doctrine and Covenants 31:3
For us to be of good cheer is a commandment and not merely a suggestion.
Who knew?