Tuesday, December 30, 2014
LIFE IS THE BEST SERVING WITH ONE ANOTHER. I KNOW IN THE YEARS AHEAD THAT WHEN WE SEE ONE ANOTHER OUR MEMORIES WILL BE LONG, OUR HUGS LONGER AND OUR LIVES MORE COMPLETE FOR SERVING HERE!
Why is it that those that work the hardest get paid the least?
I love the experiences that shape our service here. We are continually taught beautiful lessons here by those that love this gospel. The other day, during our Sister Scripture study, a woman entered the room. Her name is Bernice, and she is a champion for women and girls in our area. She is connected in doing so much good for others that you wonder how she accomplishes all that is before her. She had come to thank the group for helping with her Days for Girls Project. Here, as in other African countries, girls do not go to school during their monthly cycle. Herself and other volunteers have come up with a washable packet to give to girls in the area. Bernice came to thank those in our group that had come to help in the Saturday Service Day. She explained that in her culture that when someone has done something kind for you or helped you in someway that you need to walk to them to give thanks. She said that even in her culture that some are moving away from this practice. As she stood before us, you could feel all of us taking note of what was being taught. How often have we sent a text, phone or used Facebook. She said, "You need to look them in the eyes to say thank you". I took my heart note not to forget this lesson that she had brought to us. I thought of the Savior, and knew that in His sandaled feet He had walked many a dusty road to be this example as well. May I never forget the day that Bernice showed us to be more like Him.
A LOCAL MARKET WITH FRUIT, VEGETABLES AND DRIED FISH. I LOVE HOW THEY ARE PROUD OF THEIR PRODUCTS. HERE WHEN YOU BUY SOMETHING THEY WILL DASH YOU. THAT MEANS THEY WILL ADD A LITTLE MORE PRODUCE TO YOUR PURCHASES. THE BIG TUBULAR VEGETABLE IS CALLED A CASSAVA THAT THEY MAKE FLOUR OUT OF BY POUNDING IT AND THEN BOILING IT IN WATER TO MAKE FUFU. THEY ROLL IT UP IN A BALL, AND USE IT AS A SPOON TO EAT WHATS ON THEIR PLATE.
WOULDN'T THE WORLD WOULD BE A BETTER PLACE IF WE SHARED A LITLE DASH WITH ONE ANOTHER!
If you notice on the chair next to this man and his scriptures is a sweat rag. Both men and women have them here as the weather is turning hotter. Even Elder Terry has one that is green and white. I must admit when I see him pull it out of his pocket, I tell him we aren't in Kansas any more! We are having a hard time remembering what cold or snow would feel like.
These women and 1 man have graduated from the Literacy Program. Their English astounded me!. The gentleman is the 1st Counselor in the District Presidency. The woman in the yellow shirt is the RS President, the woman holding the baby is her 1st counselor and the older woman is the secretary. Their smiles tell the story of how they were determined to come 3 days a week for 10 months to learn English.
As we spoke and they wanted to know what I could do more for them, I sat for a moment and love how the spirit fills the words that come forth. I told them that they were champions, and could now bring others to the Literacy Program. I asked them if they knew about a bicycle and what would happen if it had a flat. They all agreed it would go no where. I told them now that they knew of the power of reading and speaking English they would be the pump for others to come and experience what they have been given. I told them it isn't what I can do for you, but what you will do for others in your own village. You will pump them up. The RS President looked at me and said, "I will pump, and pump and pump!"
On a dusty dirt road in the bush a taxi driver came around a blind curve and ran into Elder Terry and Elder Dalton. The taxi driver came into his lane to avoid hitting a puddle. They were fine even though the air bags did not deploy. The passengers in the taxi did not fare as well. 3 went to the hospital, but have now been released. The roads here are dangerous, and as we pray each morning for our protection my mind goes to all the prayers I've heard over the years for the safety of missionaries. Elder Terry said, "The Angels were working over time on this day for all of us." Continue to include us in your prayers! We return tomorrow to this same area, and I guess I will be driving.
If someone would of told me that this would be my mission business card, I would of had to have a serious conversation with them. Life and the Lord's ways can change our course in a matter of minutes. It's not what is written on the card now days, but what has been imprinted on my heart to serve beside the adults that desire to read, speak and write. It is like watching your own child pick up a book and read from the pages for the very first time. As I do, I thank Heavenly Father for giving me so many children to read beside and see on their faces "I DID IT"!
It seems that we find ourselves in some pretty interesting places on our way to church each Sunday. We go to different wards or branches for our different assignments. It only takes one wrong turn, and you can find yourself stuck for a very long time. As I waited in the truck and Elder Terry went out to scout out the problem, he came back with a very serious look on his face. As he entered the truck he said, "You might as well turn the truck off because we will be stuck here till 7 pm tonight." Mind you it was about 8:30 am. He had found out that we were in the middle of a taxi exchange station and all the vehicles in front of us had no driver, and they just left their vehicles unattended. There are many moments here in Africa that it looks doomed from what you can presently see, but given time things always work out.
The irony of the rest of the day was we thought we found the ward only to have the RS President text me to find out if I was coming. It was at that moment that you discover that the sacrament meeting you are sitting in is miles away from where you should be.....back on the other side of the traffic jam. Another long drive, and you finally arrive. It's days like this on the backroads of patience and laughing that you tell yourself, "It always works out!"
￼There was the "child in them" that captured my heart as I came upon these little girls way off the beaten path. At first, the little one in white ran away when we first met. By the time I left we were all saying, "Jesus Loves You" and then hugging. I found an innocence in their laughter that made it hard to leave. They were working with others in the back bush of a village making palm oil. They didn't seem to mind picking up the palm nuts that were scattered on the ground. To witness the fullness of life in moments of even hard reminds us of how truly blessed we are when we "love because it's the only true adventure".