Thursday, December 4, 2014

"Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good"(D&C 90:24)

We made it!! We are excited to see Aubrey on Friday!

This has been a great week of reflection. Mom has been busy baking cakes and more cakes to give to the numerous people we have grown to love.

I can now sense a pull in two directions. Up until now, my main focus was on helping to move the work along here in Beira. Now, I'm trying to make sure that all the loose ends have been completed....

On Tuesday, this week, we sent two (2) suitcases to Maputo with some missionaries going there for a leadership conference.  On Wednesday, I gave my suit to an Institute teacher Macopas (photos attached) who is preparing to serve a mission. We came here with six (6) suitcases and will return home with four (4). Simplify, simplify, simplify.....

Some good quotes:

As President Harold B. Lee frequently taught, “When we understand more than we know with our minds, when we understand with our hearts, then we know that the Spirit of the Lord is working upon us” (“When Your Heart Tells You Things Your Mind Does Not Know,” 3).

The joyful news for anyone who desires to be rid of the consequences of past poor choices is that the Lord sees weaknesses differently than He does rebellion. Whereas the Lord warns that unrepented rebellion will bring punishment, when the Lord speaks of weaknesses, it is always with mercy."
-         Elder Richard G. Scott
"It is a fundamental truth that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be cleansed. We can become virtuous and pure. However, sometimes our poor choices leave us with long-term consequences. One of the vital steps to complete repentance is to bear the short- and long-term consequences of our past sins."
-         Elder Richard G. Scott

“What do you do when you have prepared carefully, have prayed fervently, waited a reasonable time for a response, and still do not feel an answer? You may want to express thanks when that occurs, for it is an evidence of [Heavenly Father’s] trust. When you are living worthily and your choice is consistent with the Savior’s teachings and you need to act, proceed with trust. As you are sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit, one of two things will certainly occur at the appropriate time: either the stupor of thought will come, indicating an improper choice, or the peace or the burning in the bosom will be felt, confirming that your choice was correct. When you are living righteously and are acting with trust, God will not let you proceed too far without a warning impression if you have made the wrong decision.” (Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer,” Ensign, May 2007, 10.)

Photos of the week.....

#1 Zone leaders going to a leadership conference. Elder Hillman, Lara, Shumway & Abel.

# 2-4 Delivery of my suit to Macopas Jose Fernando. Not only was he an Institute teacher but he served as the 1st counselor in the Munhava Branch Presidency, and earlier this year we were able to see him baptize his parents. 

# 5 Seminary teacher in Mangá - Mariano José Bonga, Jr.

I love you, Dad

Friday, November 28, 2014

"Live in Thanksgiving Daily" Alma 34:38

Last night, on Thanksgiving day, Mom and I were able to face time at Brooke and Joshua's home in Richmond. Additionally, Jason, Chad, Kalie and Chanelle were there!! What a blessing to be part of an eternal family!!

The words of the angel to King Benjamin are that "the natural man is an enemy to God,..and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ" (Mosiah 3:19)  

Korihor, did just the opposite when he "put off the Spirit of God that it may have no place in you;" (Alma 30:42) 

Know this, that ev’ry soul is free

To choose his life and what he’ll be;

For this eternal truth is giv’n:

That God will force no man to heav’n.

He’ll call, persuade, direct aright,

And bless with wisdom, love, and light,

In nameless ways be good and kind,

But never force the human mind.  
(Know This That Every Soul is Free, Hymn, 240)

Mike Murphy sent me an email a few days ago. He wrote:
"I feel like you do about the Sabbath. It is the best day of the week and I look forward to it. We are so blessed to me members of the church and have the Gospel in our lives. There was a time when I was younger that on new snow days on Sunday morning I wished I could allow myself to go skiing in that fresh powder but I long ago lost even that feeling. The Sabbath is truly a DELIGHT when it is lived the way Heavenly Father wants us to do it." (Email sent on Nov. 24, 2014)

What a simple and blessed life anyone can have, when we just heed the promptings of the Spirit. Things will always work out.

I love you,


Photos of the week.....

# 1  Mom's English class. The reward for attending twenty (20) classes is an English copy of the Book of Mormon.

# 2  Mom's English class on the final day!

# 3  Mom and her favorite seamstress Jonny!

# 4  Jonny's store. On Thursday, Nov. 27th,  when Mom went to have her dress altered one last time, she learned that next Monday he is moving to Nampula, a city about 15 hours away! 

# 5  Thanksgiving at the Hoffmanns!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

How great the inequality of man is because of sin- Alma 28:13

This week the other two (2) senior couples are out of town.  Elder Larry Dille's mother passed away and on Monday the Dilles flew to Idaho to attend the funeral and help oversee the care of his father. On Thursday, the Castro Deus couple took two (2) missionaries and drove  about nine (9) hours to Marromeu. They should return next Monday, while the Dilles return on Friday night. 

This weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, November 22-23, is the Beira District Conference. This will give us an opportunity to say goodby to the faithful Saints in Beira. Mom is attending a young woman 24 hour sleepover held at the chapel from 10 AM on Friday until 10 AM on Saturday.....

President Ezra Taft Benson wrote: “If we wish to truly repent and come unto Him. We must first and foremost come to realize this eternal truth–the gospel plan is the plan of happiness. Wickedness never did, never does, never will bring us happiness...Repentance means more than simply a reformation of behavior. Many men and women in the world demonstrate great will-power and self discipline in overcoming bad habits and the weaknesses of the flesh. Yet at the same time they give no thought to the Master, sometimes even openly rejecting Him. Such changes in behavior, even if in a positive direction, do not constitute true repentance. Repentance involves not just a change of actions, but a change of heart...The gospel is the Lord’s plan of happiness and repentance is designed to bring us joy. True repentance is based on and flows from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other way... Part of this mighty change of heart is to feel godly sorrow for our sins. This is what is meant by a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” (A Mighty Change of Heart, Ensign, October, 1989, page 2) 

Mormon comments: "And thus we see how great the inequality of man is because of sin and transgression, and the power of the devil, which comes by the cunning plans which he devised to ensnare the hearts of men. And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of because of the light of Christ unto life." (Alma 28: 13-14) 

The "great call of diligence of men [and women] to labor in the vineyards of the Lord" 

Keep up your diligent work.

I love you,


Photos of the week.....

#1 Elder Isaias Domingos Nesse, on my right and Elder Joaquim Alberto João Mapenda, on my left. They have both started their mission. Elder Mapenda, will be serving in Johannesburg. He was one of the seminary teachers. He has an unusual gift among these people, as he naturally thinks about and focuses on the future. 

#2 Transfers-nine (9) elders going to Maputo.

#3  The Tidwells getting ready to return to Maputo.

#4 Walking through a typical neighborhood. The baby on the woman's back is a neighbor's child. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Seminary and Institute Graduation- Love produces a desire to learn

Elder and Sister Tidwell (members of the Edgemont 7th ward) are staying with us for a few days. They have come to Beira so Elder Tidwell can participate in MLS training. Over 25 years ago, I was assigned as their home teacher when we were members of the 7th ward. They are "high yield, low maintenance" faithful Saints.

Saturday, November 15th, was the Seminary & Institute graduation. There were 145 who have completed the requirements (seminary & institute). We had 130 in attendance. However, when it came time to feed them, we had about 175...These good humble people are most always hungry. 

Last Sunday, in Sacrament meeting, we noticed a young girl walk in during the distribution of the Sacrament. She went to the front, the deacon turned the tray toward her and she took a fistful of bread and then walked out. Amazingly, the deacon nor anyone else did nothing to discourage or restrict her, nor did anyone even act annoyed by what she did. These people are very forgiving and tolerant of others. I'm sure you feel a similar love that we do, for the people you serve.

Lamoni's father (unnamed) was king over all the Lamanites. Initially, he refers to Ammon as "one of the children of a liar" (Alma 20:10) His attitude changes to the point that "he was desirous to learn" the Gospel (Alma 20:27). "when he saw the great love he [Ammon] had for his son" 

Later we read "we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us."  "they had rather sacrifice their lives...because of their love towards their brethren." "has there been so great love in all the land ?" "how many of these have laid down their lives...because of their love and their hatred to sin."  (Alma 26:31-34) 

Successful missionaries, need to love their companions and those they serve.

I love you,


Photos of the week.....

Photos 1-3 a woman has swept the street for sand. Now she needs someone to help her lift the heavy bag onto her head.

Photo 4- walking with the sand on her head. Notice that she is also carrying her baby on her hip....

Photo 5-Seminary and Institute graduation.

Photo 6- me with brother Given Masetle-Southeast Area office MLS expert.

Monday, November 10, 2014


Hi kids,
This week was our first (and last) Couples Conference and it was in Swaziland! With the new couples from
 Brazil, we now have 3 couples in Beira (us, Dilles, and Castro Deus'), 3 in Maputo (Hobsons. Tidwells, 
and Lopez'), and one in Swaziland, the McCuens. So, it was all of us plus the Kretlys. The Beira couples
 flew down to Maputo last Monday.  We had a big lunch at the Kretlys and then stayed overnight there. 
The Kretlys left that afternoon so Pres K. could do interviews. 
Loaded up to go to Kretlys:

Yummy Lunch!!

The women

Everybody! (Their maid took the picture, so it's a bit lop-sided!)

The next morning, the six couples loaded up in three cars and drove to Swaziland. It was about a 3 hour drive. When we stopped at the border, Sandy T, Sonja, and I braved the  bathroom there. See that yellow bucket? It was full of water and there was a cup inside that we scooped the water up in and poured it over our hands to wash them in that sink. We had to pay 5 mtz to use it.
 Not sure what these guys are doing....

We stayed at a beautiful hotel in Swaziland and when we arrived, there was a group of women there to greet us and take our luggage. They were hilarious!! They hugged us and laughed and smiled!

On our way to the room, we saw this guy:
After we settled in, we had our conference meeting. Pres. Kretly spoke and then we had a group discussion about the mission needs and plan of action. It was good. At the end, Pres. Kretly asked us and the Hobsons to share our testimonies. I talked about how surprised I was that the people here have become my friends. I knew that I'd love 'the people' and would work hard to help them, but I didn't expect that I would get so close to some of the people - they would become my friends: people that I'd tease and joke with, talk fashion with, and share cooking and child-rearing tips with. I'll miss them and wonder how they're doing after we leave. I wish we could come back once a year to see them and catch up. I want to know how things worked out for them. That part will be hard....
After our meeting, we went downstairs and had a wonderful dinner. It was so good to eat different, delicious, safe food! Salads and vegetables that I haven't had in months! We were so full, but I had to eat every bite. Scarcity mentality! Look at the beautiful table!!

Dad said I was squishing his legs. He's such a romantic! ;)
The next day, we got up and went to a silversmith. Here's how they make the jewelry. No laser cutting for them. It's all done by hand.

Then we left and went to tour a traditional Swazi village and watched a show that they put on.
Typical Swazi house. You have to duck really low to go inside.

A big part of their dance style is the high kicks that they do. The men also do these bird calls that sound so realistic I thought they had it piped over a speaker.

A group of women visiting from S. Africa were in the audience and they were decked out in their native dress. After the show, we complimented them in their dress and asked if we could take a picture with them.
Then Dad told them that it was Larry's birthday and asked if they could sing Happy Birthday to him. One woman stood up and said that they could sing AND dance for him and then all the women shuffled to the stage area and started singing and dancing. It was great!! Larry beamed and said it was the best present. Ever.
At the end, I went up to thank them and danced a little with a zippy lady.

After the show, we had lunch at a real restaurant in a real mall! So good! I wasn't even that hungry because I'd eaten so much the night before and had eaten a big breakfast at the hotel but knowing that this week was my only chance, I stuffed myself again. So yummy but what a tummy ache! 
The plan was to go to a glass-blowing factory, but half of the people (including Dad) wanted to go back to the hotel and rest. It ended up being Kretlys, me, Sandi, Ann, Bev McCuen, and the Tidwellls. Richard T. and Pres. K. were the only guys. I wasn't super interested because I'd been to one in Murano, but I didn't want to rest - this was my chance to see sights! I was glad I went though because it was totally different from what I'd seen. It was a huge room with 6-7 guys working the oven and another 5-6 at different places making their certain animals. It was SO hot in there! And they weren't wearing any protective clothing, not even gloves as they handled molten glass. A few of the guys at the oven wore sunglasses but I wasn't sure if it was to protect them from the glare of the fire or the heat. It was really interesting to watch them work.
(Sandi has these pics on her phone.:(

After the glass factory, we went back to the hotel and everyone had dinner on their own. We joined up with Hobsons, Tidwellls, and Castro Deus'. (McCuens took Dilles to do medical checks on a few of the missionaries. Pres. K. had interviews).

Dad ordered two desserts...;)

The next morning, we went to a candle factory. This was interesting. They take a warm blob of wax and shape and sculpt it into an animal. They have squares of patterned wax that they lay over the shape and mold it in with the body. It's pretty cool how detailed they get.

Next to the candle place is an outdoor craft market, so we walked around and bought a few things.
I tried on these crazy pants - they looked cuter on the hanger. Ha!

The wood-carvers:

Buying batiks

Our internet is too slow to do more pictures, so I'm sending on this and will do "Swazi Part 2" in another email. Stay tuned....;)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Humility required to obtain Sanctfication-Chad & Kalie Hind engaged!!

Hello there....The big news is that on October 31st, while in the Redwood forest, Chad proposed to Kalie Hind and she accepted!! Currently, they are planning on a wedding the end of January 2015!! We are very excited for them. You will love Kalie and be amazed at how she and Chad complement each other.

We returned late Friday night from our first and last couples conference! There are now three (3) couples serving in Beira; three (3) couples in Maputo and one (1) couple serving in Swaziland. The seven (7) couples, plus the mission president and his wife, met in Swaziland for a conference/retreat. 

As of about May this year, Swaziland was added to our mission. The country appears more of a 2nd world country compared to Mozambique as a 3rd world. We stayed in a beautiful resort (Summerfield Resort)  for two (2) nights and then the last night we stayed in the Hlane Animal park. The cabins in this park do not have electricity, but they use kerosene lamps which work very well. For the first time we saw lions in the wild. I will include some photos.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie said: “all progress in spiritual things is conditioned upon the prior attainment of   humility....To be sanctified is to become clean, pure, and spotless; to be free from the blood and sins of the world; to become a new creature of the Holy Ghost, one whose body has been renewed by the rebirth of the Spirit. Sanctification is a state of saintliness, a state attained only by conformity to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. The plan of salvation is the system and means provided whereby men may sanctify their souls and thereby become worthy of a celestial inheritance." (Bruce R. McConkie, MD, p. 370 & 675.)

C.S. Lewis said: "The Christian way is different: harder and easier. Christ says 'Give me All. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don't want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours" (Mere Christianity, 167)

I love you,


Photos of the week.....

#1- Kalie and Chad driving through Nevada when they faced time with us!!

#2-Swaziland market!

#3 & #4-Lions!!



#6-President Mounga (Branch President) riding home from Church with his son today.