Sunday, November 11, 2012

Always moving forward

Dear Family and Friends,  Welcome to Namibia.  I would guess that most of you have never heard of Namibia.  It isn't on most peoples destination lists unless you like to hunt big game or visit dunes.  I reminds me a lot of Arizona, though they have my favorite cactus which I can't spell at this moment.  We are in the beginning of summer and are "enjoying" temperatures in the upper 80's and low 90's.  We have our fans and a small box air conditioner in the living room.  We must thank the Smith's who are going home in March for giving up this flat.  They have moved into one of the Elder's flats for 4 months.  At the moment we have no young elders in Namibia, the government doesn't want to give them visa's.  We hope that we will be staying also, Elder Richins hasn't obtained his visa and he has two weeks to obtain it.  There is someone in the Public Affairs committee that  rejects all of our applications.  A few years ago there was a small group that came in here and got a lot of the people interested in their church, had them pay a lot of money and then left the country with it.  It is hard to convince them that all we want to do is share our message.  It is up to the individual to make the decision to join.  One of the excuses is that these young men are coming in to take the jobs of the people in the country.  It doesn't seem to matter that we are not doing that, we come at our own expense, we bring in money, we don't take it out.  If you are so inclined we would love for you to add your prayers that we can get Elder Richins visa, and also that the young elders can come in also.

Now to what we have been doing for the past week.  Today was a awesome day at church.  It was the Primary children's turn to do the program in our sacrament meeting.  For those of you who have never been involved or listened to a sacrament meeting program, I highly recommend it.  The little ones between 3 and 12 prepare music and little parts to say.  The theme this year was CHOOSE THE RIGHT, each month they learn a new song and then each child prepares a short part to say.  Most of the children had their parts memorized and they stood up and would say (for example  , Dear Brothers and Sisters my name is Sam, I can choose the right by being kind to my family and obeying my mother and father, in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
I took these pictures after the program in the primary room.  The group was so large and the room so small I had to take two pictures.  The picture includes the children and the teachers.

Windhoek Branch Primary children and teachers
Last weekend we were in Swakopmund.  It is a seaside down with a German presents.  We went from 80-90 degrees to 60 degrees.  I was grateful I had a light jacket.  We met with 2 couples and their children.  We call it a group, they are meeting in the Noble home but we renting space in new business section, it is being made into a church setting with a chapel, classrooms, kitchen, clerks office and branch president's office.  So we will be going to Swakopmund in December to buy TV, frig and things like that.  Everything else will be shipped from Salt Lake. We hope to have an open house in January.

The Hercules and Nobles families, Brother Smith and the Richins
The church is renting the bottom floor of this building

We visited with several members that live in the area besides the Nobles and Hercules.  One of the things that amazes me is how often the families are split apart because of jobs.  One sister lives in Swakopmund, she has a very good job with public relations in the health field, her husdand lives in Windhoek and he is an engineer.  Another young mother lives in Walvis Bay which is south of here and her mother is raising her daughter in Windhoek. It is very common for the grandmother's to take the kids and raise them.  The Young Men's president is working here and his family, wife and 3 children are living in Zimbabwe.

So you don't think we spend all of our time at the church here are a few pictures of our adventures to, at and from Swakopmund.

A ship wreck off the Atlantic coast
 We enjoyed walking around Swakopmund.  It is relatively a small town, I would say smaller than Carpenteria.

Does anything look out of place in this photo? 

This "little" guy flew on my back while I was sitting on the pier.  Just to let you know I didn't panic.
On the way home Sister Smith saw a sign directing people to the 2nd largest sand dune in the world (I think) So we went off the main two lane highway and on a roller coaster road that was often covered with a dust of sand.  It was only 11 kilometers, which seemed like forever when you had huge semi trucks constantly coming out you.
Please stay on our side of the road!!!
When we got to the #7 dune Elder Smith got out of the car, when to the nearest table took of his shoes and socks and started climbing to the top.  He is very strong, very big and very fit.  He said that going up the sand was hot on the top but if you burrowed down it was cool, so he stopped often to cool off his feet.  I only went up a few yards, it really was to hot to climb and I wasn't dressed for the occasion.
 Enough for today,   Have a great week.
Love, Elder and Sister Richins

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