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 back.....photo 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,
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.