Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The writing assignment for our senior couple Family Home Evening this week was: Something Amusing on the mission. Here is what I wrote.

To identify an amusing event here in Zambia and Malawi is not hard to do.
Where do I start? The most recent was when the Humpherys daughter in law who was visiting offered to play the keyboard for sacrament meeting in the new Matero Ward and after playing some brief prelude to the opening hymn, Sister Rosemary Mulenga lead the hymn in a completely different and much lower key and continued that way through the entire meeting. It was painful at the time. Amusing after the fact.
I get lots of texts and phone calls from elders and sisters and many of them are amusing. “Hey, can I order 3 name tags one guy one and two regular?” “forgot I had a ring on my finger last night and slept with it. Now my finger is swollen, any idea what I should do?” “I know I don’t leave for another 20 months but how much can my bag weigh?” “Just a question, Are there any sickness or foods that cause exhaustion and tiredness?” “May I please call my mum tonight?” “ I got bitten on my finger by a kid. Should I be worried?”
In 14 months I will actually miss these texts.
I find the goats and chickens and unimproved pigs amusing. But not when they run in front of the vehicle and scare me. Combie drivers are not amusing to me anymore but I am still amused at how many people and things can fit in a single combie. In Blantyre I saw a bag of red onions the size of a medium coffin in a combie. The list goes on and on.

Most of the little frustrations here in Zambia and Malawi can usually…easily… be turned into amusements after the initial amazement and impatience at how ridiculous something is wears off. For example, the 6 hours I spent trying to get Interpol clearance for the Chevrolet to cross the border. I had to go to 3 different locations which were not close to each other to get various documents and pay for each. And of course I arrived at the RTSA at 12:04 and was told to come back at 14 after the lunch break. As my frustration mounted I realized what an opportunity was before me to practice patience and practice what I preach to missionaries when they face disappointments and delays. I began to be amused by the whole long process of something so simple. In the last police post office where I was paying the final clearance I sat in a very small waiting room, more like a hall that was filled with large burlap sacks…the kind they sell grass starters in on Katima Mulilo… and onions and Chinese cabbage. The sacks were filled with files upon files stuffed in the bags. I investigated the ones on top and found the very forms I had filled out all day….dated just a few months ago and knew that my paper work would inevitably end up in one of those bags. And I laughed.

The pictures that follow are pretty random. 

                                                               Sister Bingham  
     Our family home evening gatherings are pretty great and we will miss all these couples that are                                                                      leaving so much.
                                              Elder and Sister Skidmore
The Humpherys and Elder Bingham
                                           Common scene in Malawi
                                        Sunset ....long favorite time of day
                                                      Tis the season for watermelons

                                                               got any suggestions?
                                             Our board! at its almost high mark
                                      March was a busy month with so much good happening!
                               Elder Ssengooba and the titanium ring that would not come off!

                                  Teaching appointment with the elders in Ndirande Blantyre
There is something so cool about watching our elders walk away down the road.  They know where they are going and they walk with dignity.
 Sister Stones and her talks with President....can you just see her intense love for the work...she is 80!
                                                      Our friends the Munkondyas
He laid in a public hospital ward for 4 months waiting for surgery on his back. She took a bus to see him every day without a complaint. He is home now recovering and can stand with crutches. He joined the church first and she joined after she saw that he really did stop drinking beer and attended church in a white shirt for 3 hours.

And us! at Precios and Wilson's wedding in Luanshya


Lindsay Garlock said...

This is an awesome post! Thanks mama

Allison Massey said...

The hymn story cracked me up! Elder Massey #2 plays for his branch in Cape Verde and they sing their own melody. Don't even try to sing what he is playing....keeps him laughing every single week!
Thanks for sharing!!
Congrats on the beautiful grandsons!