Wednesday, December 21, 2011

We are fast approaching Christmas, as hard as that seems in this climate of heat and rain, today was a cool 30 degrees and very humid.  The stores are doing their best to remind the people of the season.  There are decorations and Christmas music.  Zambia is "Christian" in that there are lots of Churches and many attenders.  The people speak openly of the Savior and religion.  No one is afraid to be pro-active on the subject.

The Branches are having some "Christmas" parties and maybe some "Christmas" based programs, but we have not seen them yet.  The Mission Home has invited all the missionaries who are here (about 34/36) for a visit on Christmas Eve and dinner on Christmas Day for the couples only.  They have invited the young missionaries later on Sunday for a movie and snacks.  Boxing Day apparently is a holiday.

We have been officially trained by our head PEF(Perpetual Education Fund) man from South Africa (Thembinkosi Mhkize), held "In Service" meetings (3 in one day) for Seminary and Institute, and had a YSA/Institute planning meeting for a New Years Eve dance/party. We are now back to waiting for the District President to give us the go ahead to continue with the event.  We have been encouraging the Branches to enroll students in Seminary and Institute and call teachers where needed.  Distributing the manuals and related supplies has been underway as well, but that is a challenge, when you are not sure how many students and classes there will be.  Seminary and Institute are currently on their "summer break, so there are no classes.  We often visit up to 5 Branches on a Sunday to get out materials, meet with people, put up posters.  Communication is very difficult during the week.

We are still helping the lady (Sister Teke) who runs the Distribution Store at one of the Chapels.  I do posters and other printed materials and Sister Shields helps with inventory and supplies.

Be grateful for each and every blessing that you receive.  Be grateful for the season of Christmas, for His birth and the example of His life.  We love you all.

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