Monday, July 27, 2015

Mission Monday

From South Africa:

Well, all has not been calm here on the eastern front of the Western Cape! To start things out, we had a baptism on Sunday, we have another two projected for two weeks out, loadshedding (scheduled power outages) is starting to really get on my nerves, and now I have two companions to enjoy all the fun with!

He just bought a new pair of shoes to replace these.  Good!

(My new companion) is from Antananarivo, Madagascar, so I'm learning the way of the Madagascans! So take that. I cant be in MDG, but MDG can come to me... Who need Fort Dauphin anyways? Paarl is where it is at. What more can you want? But seriously, Paarl is awesome despite all the things that drive me nuts about it. The ward here is awesome and really open to the missionaries, and they help us a ton to move the work forward.

From Madagascar:

Well, I'd love to give y'all a nice rundown of my new companion at this point, but I'm not going to lie... I don't really know him yet. We just got together like six hours ago, so next week you can expect an intense profile of him, hah. Anyway, we were expecting the new missionaries to come as the old ones left, but the old ones left Thursday morning, but the new ones didn't come until today. So Elder Tiu and I have been doing member splits in each of our areas every day until now. But now we're done with that, it's a big relief! I do think that the folks up in the office were just trying to be inconvenient as possible because when the new missionaries finally came, it was when we were planning to climb the big mountain... So we cancelled that for the second week in a row, haha. But next week for real!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mission Monday

Yeah, I know I've dropped off the planet.  It's summer, and we're having fun with the family!  I may catch up with some of what we've been up to, but then again, I might not!  At least my missionaries have been consistent!

From South Africa:

Well, it is transfer time, but I'm not going anywhere. There, I'll spoil the fun. That, and I'm going to stay with Elder Castro. So Six month area for me, and 4 1/2 months with Elder Castro. Oh, and we are adding to the mix, Elder Erampidy! So back to tripanionship number three... But Elder Erampidy is cool. Nate knows him, and I met him before while I was in PE.

I love being a missionary and getting to see all the blessings that come from serving the Lord with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. I'll write more next week, but till then, I love you all!

From Madagascar:

Anyway, Malagasy Morsel is mpisava lalana. That means pioneer. And I just want to talk a little about my pioneer heritage. Growing up in Utah I always felt like it would be way cooler if I had a sweet conversion story or a cooler reason why I was a member of the church than "my great great great grandpa was a member..." But after working with all of these pioneers in this very young part of the church, I am so thankful for the solid foundation my ancestors gave me! The church is not trying to just have a church full of first generation converts, the goal is a very strong, founded church culture. Back home the "Mormon Culture" always got a bad rap, but that's exactly what we're trying to establish out here. It starts with familes, and then spreads to friends and neighborhoods. Zion, that's what we're trying to establish. The real Zion isn't just members of the world that go to the Mormon church every Sunday, it's the society of people trying to follow Jesus Christ and his prophets and help other people do that too. I'm so grateful for all the pioneers and Latter-day Saints in my family tree, and I look up to them so much. There's nothing wrong with already having a strong foundation to build off of.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Playing in the Summertime

Oh, what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?

We sing old songs, that's what we do.

And we play dressups with our dollies.

And we play Legos. Lots and lots of Legos.  The older boys play with Magic cards, or play games on the computer or watch funny movies on TV.

We do that, of course, after we get our chores done.  It's a nice, kick-back kind of summer.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Mission Monday

These two small fry came home from church yesterday with "Future Missionary" names tags, and are as proud as can be that they look like their older brothers.  I think they are adorable.  Maybe by the time they go on missions, they will be somewhat taller, and learn to tuck in their shirts.  And maybe learn a few other things, too.

Bolo de Caco (a Portugese bread - find the recipe here) is amazing. If you haven't had it, try it. (Trent, you would love this). Especially try it with garlic butter. (perks of having a Portuguese companion).

Lots of fun things are happening here, and it is amazing to see just how much the Lord is involved in every little phase of the work. Even in the long days that just seem like they are going to go on and on. But He DOES care. And He DOES Love us so much. It may not seem like He is there at times, He is. Sometimes He just wants us to act for ourselves. Sometimes He wants us to exercise our faith. Sometimes, it really isn't the most important thing that we need to be worrying about at that time. He does love us and care about us, and only wants the very best for us.

From Madagascar:

Well, exciting stuff this week, the weather sucked! It was so cold, dang it! The best part is that I left my rain jacket up in Antananarivo... so I just got soaked in my BYU hoodie... Haha it was weird proselyting in a hoodie, I'm not going to lie, but it's like a church thing right?... BYU... Anyway, it got soaked and it's thick, so it's been wet for like three days since. However, it was only raining a lot on Saturday, so I was mostly good. Yesterday was a pretty good day, weather wise, and today is absolutely gorgeous...  Saturday was a terrible day. Well, it was a bad day for being on a mission in Madagascar, so it was still a really good day by other standards! 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Happy Father's Day

Found another post I forgot to hit "publish" on.  

Happy Father's Day to a wonderful man!  When we were in high school, I always thought he'd be a great Daddy, just by watching him play with my little brothers.  How lucky I am now, to watch him play with our kids.  And how lucky are they to have such a hands-on Dad?

This is what he wanted for Father's Day - to play games with the kids.  First he played little-kid Monopoly with the younger set.  Who knew that playing with children was so manly?  Every father ever, that's who.

Then they got out the big boy version and played for about an hour.  They all had lots of fun.

You are terrific, Trent!  So glad we all have you.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Happy Grandma Day

We get to have Grandma Jeanne here this week.  Lucky us!  Every year, she comes down from Alaska and spends a week with us.  It's a big sacrifice on her part to come all this way, but she is as reliable as could be and never skips.  I love her for the love she shows to our family.  I love how she brings a bit of Jay back to us.  I especially love that she has accepted Trent and the little people as her own.  She truly has a heart of gold.

We love having her with us, and it's never quite long enough.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Scout Camp

This third boy of mine is growing up.  I almost said he's getting so big,  but that makes him sound like he was 7 months, or even 7 years old instead of 17.  He's better than 6'2" now, so I definitely look up to him!

This week is scout camp for the 16 and 17 year old boys.  I took him over to the church where they were gathering and stood there aimlessly for a few minutes.  What I really wanted was a hug and a picture, but I left the camera at home and I didn't know if this big, reserved boy was willing to still hug his mama.  It's been a while.

Fortunately, he remembered that he had left his water bottle at home (it's actually Ben's water bottle, but he left it out when he went on his mission so Chris considers it fair game),  and we had to run back home to get it.  I sprinted into the house for the camera while he grabbed the water bottle.
Back at the church, he stood with the other boys, comfortably joking with them and the adult leaders.  They were willing to group together for a picture, so I got my shot.

I helped Chris throw his gear in the back of a pickup.  He'll be sleeping on the ground for the next few days as they hike and rappel around in the mountains. He passed by me and I awkwardly put my arm around him.  What is it about teenagerness that makes hugging wierd sometimes?  I told him that I loved him, because I do and I have to tell him often.  He stopped, put his arm around me and hugged me back.  Love that boy. 

Even through the awkward teenage parts.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mountain Getaway

I found this picture and remembered that I hadn't yet posted it, so I'll remedy that situation.  Looking at all this gorgeousness makes me wish that we were back up in the mountains instead of in the July heat.  Wouldn't you love to live here?

A few weeks ago, we had the unexpected opportunity to stay at a mountain resort.  My dad likes to sleep in his own bed, so Trent took the kids up for an overnighter.  My dad and I joined them the next day.  In all the hustle of getting my dad prepped and ready for the day, I forgot to take my swimming suit.  Bummer.

So instead of going swimming, I had to just watch from the balcony and keep my dad company.  Fortunately, the balcony of our room was directly over the swimming pool, so I could watch the kids play while I fed peanuts to the daring bluejay that kept flying past.

It was fun to watch them all play together.  In this hustle-bustle world, they don't do that very often.  

Love these kids.

And love this beautiful world!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Mission Monday

I have seven sons.  Seven!  I didn't set out to have a whole squadron of boys - well, maybe I did.  I was an only girl with four brothers, and I was cool with boys.  My siblings were boys, my cousins were boys (around my age there were 12 boy cousins and me, the lone girl), and my friends were boys.  Girls were a whole different ballgame where I didn't know the rules.   During high school and college, my guy friends would cry on my shoulder about their bad girlfriends and ask me to explain the way girls did things.  Can't help you, buddy - I'm just as clueless as you are!  I was so nervous to go to college because then I would have to live with - gulp - girls.  I remember telling a college roommate that I wanted to have a basketball team of boys.  So maybe I did wish this on myself.  If so, I'm good with it.

I found a video that talked about six brothers, and I thought I would share it on Mission Monday.  Hope it works!

Well, Happy 'Murica Day! Just to let you know, it is not celebrated over on this side of the world, but we celebrated it anyway. :) This week was considerably better than last week. We had a ton of lessons and it was a really productive week.

I love it here in Paarl, and I'm starting to get the hang of the people here. I love it!

From Madagascar:

We are running into a big problem though...WE CAN'T KEEP UP WITH EVERYONE!!!

 We've got 30 recent converts we need to visit and 25ish investigators who come to church each week, so 50+ people who we really need to visit! And that's not counting the investigators who still haven't come to church quite yet and all of the less actives that we want to be visiting too! So we need more missionaries. We need to let more people get to work here! Haha I know, that's like the best problem in the world to have, but I really think the area needs it.

We can't honestly think we are enduring to the end if we are not consistently nourishing our soul with the good word of God found in the Book of Mormon. So, it's like kind of a big deal... So... Go read it.
It's true, I promise.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Computer Room: Ye Olde Green Carpet

Ya gotta love this green carpet!  I mean, it's so colorful and matted and dingy and vintage!  It just oozes disco balls and bell bottoms and a dozen pounds of dust!

It was gross pulling it out.  I'll spare you the details.  The good part was that the backing was so rotted out that the whole roll of carpet fit nicely in our garbage can.  We don't have to make a special trip to the dump.  Yay!

And here is the laminate flooring we will be putting on the floor.  A nice improvement, don't you think?  Trent, always a great people person and deal maker, made good enough friends with the store guy that we got this flooring for half off. 

I like.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Computer Room: Before Pictures

I read somewhere that we should not be ashamed of taking pictures of our messes because we can always pass them off later as "before" pictures.  Aren't we always just works in progress?  Hopefully always getting better?  This is our dumping ground bookshelf, where things that don't have a home find a resting place.  Like empty computer boxes and long red wigs.

And here is the middle of our little computer room.  The walls are the same beige-y tan as the rest of the house.  In 40 years, this is only their third coat of paint.  My folks were never much for colors on the walls.  The carpet is the original 1970s green shag.  It's not staying, just in case you were wondering.  The boy is moving out, too, during the renovation, but I think we'll put him back in when we are done.

To the left of the bookshelf is a little closet.   To the right of the hutch is the door.  And that's the whole room! Next time, it will look different.

Hopefully, different in a good way.