This is a quote from "Hillel the Elder" from the first century. (I thought I was so original!)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Time to Clean the Garage (after 30 years)

I love my garage.  It is the start of projects and the catalog of leftover items from those projects.
We have never had a car in it since the first day it was finished.  I raised the door an extra six inches so we could get our 1977 Blue Dodge van inside, but the day I tested it was the only day a car was inside. I did keep the boat in there for many years until I tricked my son-in-law Brent into buying it from me.  That event was one of Kristi's happiest days of our marriage.

Kristi thinks I like to keep EVERYTHING.  It really isn't true, but it is fun to rediscover items from the past.  Someone just might need it later on.

This suitcase was full of costumes I had worn as a kid.  I dyed the long johns red and wore them to high school for some occasion.

                       This is the holster set and guns that I got for my fifth christmas from Santa.  
                         The ruffle sleeves were from a church dance festival in Santa Rosa 1963.

Kristi actually got a little teary eyed when I said we should toss out the puzzle board we used from an old crib.  We have used the crib-end to put puzzles on so we could move them in our first apartment when it was dinner time.  (We now have more than one table)  It has been used over forty years, and very handy.

                                                     We uncovered the boxes of wheat.  

There are still over 3500 lbs of wheat against the wall.  We have given a few boxes to our kids when they would agree to take it.  The wheat is a symbol to me about obedience. We had tried ever since we were married to follow the words of the prophet and have a storage supply of food.  It always gave me comfort that we were never told we had to eat it, : )  just have it for emergencies, local or personal.  When we started to finally put on our first addition it was only on faith as we didn't have but a little extra money each week.  After the footing and garage floor were poured I thought we were spending money that we could use for food storage.  My Dad and I took our step van (the SWAT truck) to Sacramento and canned wheat all day.  It was close to 4000 lbs.  We loaded it up and headed home to unload it in the middle of the new concrete.  I built the garage around it.  It delayed construction a week as I had spent the money on wheat, but there it sits.  We used a little last year and it is still very good.  We've told the neighbors where it is.

Two Missionaries

This is Tyler, Brent and Rebecca's oldest.  Tyler just went to the Oakland Temple for the first time.  He will be heading to Florianopolis, Brazil one day before we start our journey to Zambia.  He is our oldest grandchild and I am really proud of him.

Right after this photo we all headed to Fenton's for a crab sandwich and for me a chocolate fudge sundae with a very ripe banana.  Fenton's is where I took Kristi for her very first ever banana split, the summer of 1966!  (I think she just about threw up)

Tyler will fly directly to the Missionary Training Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil to start his two years of service.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Preparation (physicals/lot of shots)

Kristi doesn't like this photo, it was her second Rabies shot, only one more to go.
We have also had Yellow Fever, Tetanus, Meningititis, Shingles, Flu, Polio, Pneumonia, 
Hepatitus A & B, a series of Typhoid pills and before we leave the USA we will start taking Malaria pills everyday for two years.  The hospital also set us up with Cipro for our first couple bouts of diarrhea.  Do they know more than they are telling me at the hospital?  All those hippos and elephants and lions look really healthy.

Preparation (physical)

Once our papers were in we (Kristi) decided it was time to get in shape for whatever assignment we were given.  We (Kristi) decided we could do the "East Bay Regional Park Challenge".  This meant that we would visit many of the local parks and hike.  I must admit that it was absolutely beautiful to be in the California hills among the wildlife and spring flowers.   The hikes were about five to seven miles each.

Tilden Park has great views and miles of trails

We hiked up to the top of the ridge around the Black Diamond Mines

 This is above Round Valley behind Mt. Diablo where many Native Americans once lived.
I would have been very happy to stay in that valley by the creek and watch the wildlife.

Blue Bellied Lizard or California Fence Lizard - They are everywhere.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Learning about Zambia

Zambia is landlocked and surrounded by eight different countries.
Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Malawi (which is part of the mission), and Mozambique.

Below is the Flag of Zambia

The pole would be on the left side.
The Green represents the land of Zambia.  (I suppose during the wet season)
The three columns stand for:  Red for freedom.  (blood?)
The Black is for the people of African heritage.
The copper colored column is for its resources which is mainly copper mining.
The flying Fish Eagle is the national bird and is always on alert and protecting.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Mission Call to Lusaka, Zambia

This is the photo of Kristi and I that was sent in with our mission papers.  I hope I can get used to wearing a tie every day!

We decided to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on New Year's day 2013.  I called the Ward executive secretary and we met with the Bishop and started our paper work the next Sunday.  The medical physical and paper work were completed and we met with the Stake President the 3rd of February.  Now all that was needed was to be patient and wait.

Finally, on 11 March we received a packet in the mail.  We were visiting the Charles Schulz museum with some out of town friends when the Stake President called and said that the assignment had been changed.  We are not exactly sure why - we got several reasons.  Two couples assigned instead of one or visas for Americans were going to be a problem, something like that.  The assignment was just what I had hoped for.  It was to Bangalore, India for twenty-three months as Humanitarian Specialists.  We went back to being patient and trusting the Lord that wherever we ended up would be the perfect fit for us.  I had put on our mission papers that we "preferred to serve a humanitarian mission" but would "serve wherever we were needed."

Finally, on the first of April the new packet arrived.  It said it was to confirm the change to our mission assignment from the Sri Lanka Columbo Welfare Country Office to the Zambia Lusaka Mission serving as office specialists.  The mission includes all of Zambia and Malawi.  We are to report to the Missionary Training Center on May 27, 2013.

We are excited to serve the people of Zambia.  We are happy to work with young missionaries.  We are happy to share the gospel and how joy and peace can enter into the lives of those who accept Jesus Christ.  We have heard many stories about what long hours "office specialists" put in, but if the Lord needs adventurous, healthy souls in the office in Lusaka, we are willing and able.

Our call was opened with our five kids and all our grandchildren watching.  Their first reaction was to see where they might be able to visit us on vacation.  I am not sure how many will come to Zambia but I think they are all saving their money.

Immediately following our chat with children over the internet we hosted our Monday, Family Home Evening group with dinner and reading our stories from our lives.  The photo above was taken around midnight when we realized we didn't have a photo of us opening our mission call.  Zambia lies between  Kristi's finger and mine.