Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The pictures didn't get onto the board so we'll try again.
The Sun just continues to Shine!  Wow!  We are enjoying it - and the fact that it is only about 28 - 30 degrees now so it is more livable - much more humid as well.  Seminary and Institute are starting this week with 22 teachers that we know of - we're not sure how many exactly in the Copperbelt.  They are really trying hard to take the classes to the people because history has shown how hard it is to get the people to the classes.  We hope this works for them - they are so excited about studying the Old Testament this year.  Many of them grew up with the Bible.

Elder and Sister Carl Cook of the First Quorum of 70 visited the Mission, starting here January2 and spending part of the week in Malawi.  We had dinner with them and a good visit the first day and attended some of the leadership training meetings the next day. We know why he was called, what a powerful, spiritual man and woman.  They truly love the Lord and are great at expressing it, and at teaching and instructing.  The missionaries came from the Copperbelt and they had a great time buying things in the Distribution Store after the meeting (they don't have one up there).  A Great Day!  A Great Week.

We were invited to dinner with the Public Affairs couple (the Louthans) - we enjoyed a great stew and a great visit.  We both have initials behind our names so the mission doesn't get to put us to work for them as much.  We both do try to get involved in things as they come up - us at the Dist. centre and Sr. Louthan is starting to teach a few piano students at the church (that will be so good).

We also had 4 of the missionaries over on Sunday night - they prepared us dinner (Elder Mosika is from Kenya - and he was the major cook).  He started from scratch and fixed chapati's for us all.  It took a couple of hours to get it ready before we could eat - we were all quite hungry and the missionaries had had a great time eating the home made cookies until the other was ready.  We were all filled to the brim and it was really GREAT.

Sunday at church at the main building (Lusaka Bldg.) we took a picture of the big truck that the orphanage brings to church.  They have to rotate who is allowed to come as they can fit less than half at a time in the back.  They are such good kids - and so cute.  Hmmm,  maybe we could bring one or two home.  There was a lady, her daughter, and her mother here a few weeks ago, trying to adopt 4 of them (4 are from one family and their parents are deceased (AIDS).  Her husband sent her to see what she could do.  We haven't heard what the government has said about that yet.  We are not supposed to let these things enter our minds but you can't not think about it when you see them -

We have also been very busy with the PEF student renewals and the first time students.  Their schools don't like to issue their invoices any too early - so then we are scrambling because they do want the money quickly.  Just more of life's challenges.  We also spent two full days this week at the Distribution Center - Sr. Teke has ordered in way more stock than the center has room for and we are trying to logically find the items a home.  It is a big challenge - not easy to overcome as she says she has two more orders outstanding still.

This week our boss President Tasara Makasi phoned to say that they feel they are ready to Hire a Full Time S & I Coordinator for Zambia and Malawi.  They wanted us to post the position in all the buildings so we did.     It will close January 31, 2012 with the job to start March 1, 2012 (if anyone qualifies for the job).  This is what we are now doing is being the coordinators for Zambia - so that MIGHT leave us open to other opportunities - we'll just have to wait and see what happens.  President Makasi asked if we'd be willing to go to Malawi -

We think of home often and pray for each of you in your daily lives and activities.  We know our grandchildren are growing up so fast and once in a while, feel maybe we are missing some important things.  We also know this is where our Heavenly Father wants us to be at this time and we are happy we are healthy enough to be able to answer the call.  We hope we are setting a good example for each of you, that you will have a desire (way down the road) to serve missions of your own.  We love each of you, you are great family and we appreciate all you do for us.  Thanks for your example to us.  Keep us in your prayers, the Gospel is True.

Love,  the Parents, Grandparents, Sibling, Elder and Sister Shields (you get the message)

Monday, January 2, 2012

How Time Flies!!! January 2, 2012

Christmas has come and gone, so has New Years.  The weather remains mostly hot, although today it is cooler. For a rainy season, we have not seen that much, although it did rain New Years Eve, but not enough to stop the fireworks. from going on.  China still provides the fireworks.  At the end of the New Years Eve Dance,  the District President provided fireworks (with a little arm twisting for a financial contribution from Elder Shields and the Mission President).  The young people and many adults were well entertained (by the fireworks in the Church yard) for more than 30 minutes.  Because it had rained hard earlier and during the actual ignition of the fireworks, there was little danger of a fire.

Church services on Christmas Day were abbreviated to one hour.  We still covered parts of three Branches and went to the Mission Home for dinner with the senior couples.  One couple were away up North (in the Copper Belt) and one new couple, just arrived to do Public Affairs in our Mission and elsewhere, so there were 8 people present. We had been planning to have a New Years Eve dance for the YSA (Young Single Adults), but did not really get the final "go ahead" until December 26 in the afternoon (when we finally had verification of a budget).  We had the Youth find a DJ (actually a member) and he turned our to be good.  There were three of them with all the usual equipment.  If we can get a picture to work, we will post one showing the hall, all set up.

The Mission was instructed not to do anything costly for the missionaries, so they were all invited to the Mission Home Christmas Eve for games and food.  Many came dressed in African attire.  Christmas day, the missionaries all came back for food and a movie "The Ultimate Gift".  We took 4 Elders home afterwards to their flat, located in a very bad road area, which combined with the weight of the 4, caused us to hit bottom a few times, and traversing very deep pools of water in the roadway (normal when it rains).

Sister Shields talked the DJ into finding the music for a Chicken Dance, which was actually well enjoyed, not something they had heard or done before.  She even found a rubber chicken as a prize.  We had to gather up all the refreshments and get them served to a bunch of very hungry people, who probably had not eaten much for a while.  We had at least 100 come, which to us was a great success.  We had the usual "wall flowers" and people who really just came to visit and not dance.  Our two young MCs, who had never done anything like that before did a great job.

On New Years day, after getting home the night before, well past "missionary curfew" we hit bottom at the Bauleni Group meeting, when only one member showed up.  It was raining heavily and they are so poor, they do not have umbrellas.  It was another dinner at the Mission Home for Senior couples, that concluded New Years Day.  The fireworks went on all night and are still going on today.

We have been working on Perpetual Education Funding, but it slowed down over the Christmas break.  They will realize shortly that they have more documents to provide, to get their loans to pay tuition in January, so we expect to be busier.