Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

Dear Family and Friends, We hope each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving week. We had so much going on that it will be just the highlights this week or it will be a book.  Here is one of
the pictures we took on our way to the Windhoek airport, yes it was 5:30 a.m. The Smith’s and Richins are going to Cape Town to be with the other senior missionaries for Thanksgiving, a little R&R and missionary training.

Walking to our plane you will notice the Airbus in front is headed to Frankfurt. Windhoek was established by German’s many years ago. We were in the airport for about 2 hours because a manual wasn’t on the plane. In the mean time the baggage guys must have had time to kill because when we arrived in Cape Town and were going through our luggage  Elder Richins clothes were all messed up, and if you know Elder Richins at all, you will know that everything is folded and neatly packed. The scariest part was that Sister Smith’s make up was noticably gone through and my curlers were in her bag. The bags are going to be locked from now on.

We left Windhoek with temperatures in the 90’s and spent the week enjoying beautiful Ventura
weather the 70’s.


Elder Richins getting a much needed haircut from Sister Fowers. He is still looking for a barber in Windhoek. Sister Fowers often will cut 10 heads of hair when there is a Zone conference. The Elders love anything “free”. So they can spend their small allowance on other things, like food.

While the Cape Town Mission presidency is having their executive meeting, the wives are taking care of other business. We are putting the final touches on the mission Christmas party, preparing for branch conferences next year, and looking at the new curriculum for the Young Men and Young Women. In order on the couch, left to right, Sister Fowers, her husband is the 1st counselor, Sister Wood, President Wood’s wife who wears many hats, Sister Smith, her husband is the 2nd counselor, and Sister Richins her husband is the executive secretary (Another new hat for Elder Richins to wear).

Our Granddaughter Emily wanted to see what the Namibia money looked like. The Gold coin is $1 and worth about 11 cents, the silver is worth nothing in US money. $10 = $1.13US, $20= $2.25US, $50=$5.63US, $100=$11.26US. Now when I go shopping, which is a rare occasion, I don’t buy anything because when they say it costs $100, all that goes through my head is $100 US dollars. So Elder Richins has saved lots of money. The only time I don’t look at prices is when I go grocery shopping.

The Back of the Namibia money.

Wednesday morning preparing for the Thanksgiving feast, Sister Fowers and Sister Smith are preparing the dressing, and Sister Woods is making a cheese cake. I made my orange roll dough and it is in the frig.

After lunch on Wednesday all the senior couples arrived. There are 12 couples all together. This is the
R&R afternoon. We spent the afternoon at the Kirstenbosch botanical garden. Here are a very few of
the 100 pictures I took.

 Above is a Silver Tree that is only found in Cape Town South Africa. It truly glistens like silver.

 One variety of the Protea family which is the
National flower of South Africa. This plant is called the Pin Cushion

 Merry Christmas, I don’t know the name of
this flower but it looked like snowflakes to me, which is the closest we will get to snow around these

My butterfly photo

 Can you see the owl in the tree, above Elder Richins head?

We sat down to enjoy the view and as we were enjoying Table Mountain everyone was pointing up. As we looked we saw this owl right above Elder Richins head. Most of the time owls just blend into the tree trunks, there were 3 of them in 3 different trees.

This is the closest I have ever come to this bird. They have a loud honk and usually stay far away from people but since these are garden ducks they are used to people and often get feed. I think the eyes of so many of the birds are amazing.

A pigeon enjoying some berries

After we enjoyed the gardens we went out to dinner in the Mall. Everything went just great until we
were leaving with the Robert’s. As we prepared to exit the mall Elder Robert’s went to the pay station
to pay for parking when he put the ticket into the pay station the machine said that his ticket wasn’t
valid. We decided to try and exit after a another car, but just as we got to the cross bar it closed right in
front of us. We went back to the ticket bay and there was a HELP button. Brother Roberts started talking to the person on the other end with no success. The guy said we would have to
pay $40 instead of $6. Elder Roberts wouldn’t go for that at all. He pushed the button again and the guy
on the other end just ignored him. We decided we needed to find the Kiosk that housed security. As we
were wandering around the parking lot Elder Roberts noticed the entrance that they had entered from
so he went and tried to pay again. SUCCESS, I personally wondered what we were going to do all night if we couldn’t get out.

THANKSGIVING MORNING I couldn’t sleep. I was so worried about getting the orange rolls rolled out and into the pans to cook. So at about 6 I got up to take care of the task. We are staying with the
Roberts in their rented flat. They have just moved in and so we had to improvise. I brought the muffin
tins from the mission home. Thank heavens I had already made the bread dough. There wasn’t a bowl
big enjoy to prepare the dough in. I found a really weird grater for the orange zest and there was NO
rolling pin.

So I used
a glass for my rolling pin. It took twice as long to roll out the dough. I’m just grateful I had the time.
It is good that the mission home is well equipped. Otherwise we might have had to forgo the Orange Rolls. I think everyone enjoyed them though.

For 24 people we had 5 turkeys, of course they were about 8 pounds each and came from Brazil. They
were only $150 Nam dollars each. When you realize that is $16.89 each it isn’t as bad, but when you see the price sticker it really looks way expensive.  It tasted like turkey and
was really yummy. We had all the leftovers on Friday, so we got to enjoy Thanksgiving twice.

In the afternoon
we went to enjoy another park. Her are Elder Smith and Sister Wood preparing to take pictures of
the group. Does this look familiar, putting the timer on and running to be in the picture? We got a
professional picture as a guy was coming by and he sent it via email to Sister Wood.

Thanksgiving night we got
together to enjoy a night of giving Thanks. I hope all of you took the time during Thanksgiving to stop
and reflect on all your many blessings. Through each of our disappointments, we can always find many
things to be grateful for. Elder Richins and I are grateful to each one of you for sharing this mission with us. We love your comments, love and moral support. Each of you are a great blessing in our lives.

Notice the wonderful electrical wire system in the townships. It is amazing they don’t have more fires.

Notice the satellite dish?

We stayed
with the Roberts in Sunset West. They live in a high rise on the Indian Ocean. I will keep this picture to
enjoy the sunset when I get tired of the desert sand .

Friday we enjoyed a day of meetings and hearing everyone share what they have come to know as
their “errand” on their mission. Each of us as missionary couples come to find out we were sent here for
special purposes that become evident as we rely on the Lord’s direction.

Saturday we were up early, oh about 4 and left for home, Windhoek, Namibia. We were home for
about 3 hours and then were off to YSA activity in the park. The YSA had a great time playing games and eating what I thought looked like a luau, they had no idea what I was talking about. Do you think it looks like a luau?

YSA group.

I was shocked to see this guy in the park, and he wasn’t the only one. All that I could see happening in
the park was our activity and about 10 weddings, coming and going to take pictures.  these are the 1st guns I have seen in Namibia so I don’t think this is a common sight. No one seemed to take a second look at him as everyone carried on like he wasn’t there.

The Young Men and the Young Women had a wonderful gala evening , with the girls dressed up in their
best and the boys also. They started the evening by walking down the red carpet.  Elretha walking down the red carpet, she is 17 and was just made a branch missionary. She has also been a member for about 4 months, she is awesome! Don’t laugh, I thought it was quite ingenious.

We love you all and appreciate each of you. Enjoy a wonderful holiday season.

Lynn and Miriam, mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, sister, brother, friend, daughter.

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