Monday, October 27, 2008

Elder and Sister Bird from Fruit Heights Utah, and we are happy to have them here in our mission. They are the Humanitarian couple and will be doing some great projects. We are doing alot of things together.
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The Malagasy way is 10 guys with pry bars and some chains to get this 2 ton generator down in that little house on the church property.

I gave them a 50% chance of making it.

It only took 2 days... but they were successful. I guess the electricity goes out often.

A few of the "good guys" at lunch with us between conference sessions on Sat.
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Thursday, October 9, 2008

First Mada Video

Monday, October 6, 2008

The humanitarian efforts of the church are amazing. 500 Wheel Chairs donated to our country, braille machines donated, clean water projects completed, community restrooms facilities built and it goes on and on....
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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Madagascar a life time, well it seems like we have been here a life time! We love our mission, but have been so sick with chest colds, and weak bodies that have lasted the last 2 weeks. It’s ironic that we are eating healthier than any time in our lives, yet we have never been sicker.
The office work is going well, but is very tedious and demanding. Our day starts at 8:30am to open the office, take a lunch break, and lock up and leave by 5:30 which is long enough for me to handle the money and financial transactions. The complexity of the financial end is really way above my brain capacity and a constant challenge keeping everything in balance. We just received an infusion from church headquarters in South Africa for 243,000,000 ariarys which we will disperse over the next 60 days much of it in cash payouts.

The President had invited us to go to Tomatov this weekend for the split of the only branch there which presently has about 380 in attendance. This branch is on the coast and about a 7hr drive, but because of our poor health we were not able to attend. The Pres. and APs drove 3 hrs and stayed overnight in a dumpy motel where they all had to share a room. In the morning they were awakened by a scratching on their door and lo and behold LEMURS! They were very excited to see these funny monkeys.

Friday we had the experience of visiting two humanitarian projects which was very exciting. In the morning I traveled with Gaby about 60 miles out of Tana to ck on the progress of a clean water and restroom project. The Mayor of this little hamlet was very gracious and proud of the work being done and anxious to receive the remainder of the funds to finish. Actually the clean water portion was completed some months ago and now none of the town people are plagued with diarrhea. The church budged $500,000 for projects for this country and you can imagine the impact it has on the village people. Unfortunately, many of these projects are in outlying areas where there are no missionaries, but the good will these projects generate is beyond calculation.

I will let Judy describe going to the hospital and seeing the wheel chairs given to the poorest of the poor. Friday was a very special day. The hospital had called a few days before and said they wanted to do this ceremony and present the wheelchairs and could we be there. Pres. Gaya was up in Thomasine, so Sister Gaya and David and I went. I can’t describe how old this hospital was and so many sick people waiting to get in. They had us go in a room where all the recipients were sitting. The head of the hospital came in and told all the people where the chairs came from and that they were very lucky to get one and for them not to sell them as they would be checking up on them to make sure they still had them. After that we just talked to the people. It was really hard to see how desperate they were for the chairs. One woman was carried in on the back of her son, I think. It was heartbreaking. It is wonderful to see the Humanitarian Aid being used so well. I left the hospital sobbing for these people. Sister Gaya said we need to go to some place happy. So we went to the flower mart and what a beautiful place. Sorry the pictures are not in the right order on the blog. We are still learning.

Happy, Happy day today. We went to the Branch that we have been assigned to, Ampitatafika Branch. It is out in the country and Sister Gaya took us there. We got lost, but finally found it. It is a sweet branch and we are so looking forward to being a part of their branch. The missionaries had 19 investigators there. They have a lot of inactives and we hope we can help with them. I wish I could tell you how happy these people are and so excited to meet us. EVERYONE wants to shake your hand and welcome you! Then we went to lunch at a member’s house, who works for the US Embassy. Very nice family and treated us to a wonderful Sunday dinner. As you can see we had no General Conference. We tried to get some last night, but the audio kept cutting out about every 4th word. We will just have to wait for the DVD.

We are getting better, very slowly, but we will live. Everywhere you go people are complaining about this chest cold. Many missionaries are sick.

We love and miss you all. Thank you for all your prayers and your confidence in us!

Mom, Grandma, Judy and Dad

Home with our plants. This pink flower was on our patio when we first arrived. It was just a stick but with love and pampering from Judy it's a gorgeous flower.

Soil, pots and plants will make this balcony beautiful. Note our gaurdian's house gazebo/house in the background.

Where we spend every Saturday and Mada's answer to WalMart.
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Saturday, October 4, 2008

So many to choose from and at such very good prices.

We are going to have a garden!

She is in charge and don't forget it!

Beautiful children everywhere.

Gaby who went to the hospital with us and then helped us do our bargaining. Sometimes they quote their prices in French francs and other times in Malagasy ariarys about a 5 times difference. Can be confusing.
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Words cannot describe the beauty of these flowers and they definitely lifted our spirits.

All grown locally.

Judy bought several plants to begin her garden.

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A new wheel chair for a very little boy.

A picture of the Drs. and staff at the hospital in downtown Tana.

It must have been built in the 1940s and caters mainly to peasants and very poor people.

The hospital organized a reception to present the wheel chairs and to thank the church for their donations. 10 wheel chairs were donated and they needed twice as many. Actually the church donated 500 chairs to the entire country.

Mother and her son and being so grateful for this gift. The Medical Administrator is fearful these chairs might be sold away instead of left with the patients.
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Elder and Sister Peterson and Sister Gaya visit with some of the recepients of the wheel chairs donated by the church.

This is the worst tire pump I have ever used and might have been easier with no one sitting in the chair. These people were so grateful for this gift.

Such a caring staff helping these desperately poor patients.

To our surprise while shopping at the flower market who should we see walking home from the hospital, but this smiley little mother pushing her child home in a new wheel chair!
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One of 13 clean water projects completed in the last 18 months. This restroom will be completed in 60 days at a cost of $5000.

The church provides the funds and expertise and they provide the labor.

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Visiting Mayor Nanie in the village of Behenjy looking at the progress of the community toilet facility. We already finished the clean water project and have eliminated much sickness.

Refreshments in the Mayor's home. It was duck liver/in lard with Fanta orange drink and was just what my spirit needed.

Gaby our translator with the Mayor's daughter.
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