We were able to call Mark in Africa . I was nervous that he might be home sick and I had rehearsed in my head what I was going to say to him should he say he wanted to come home. Thankfully, he was so upbeat and positive. He sounded happy and not at all home sick.
He told us that they are in class about 9 hours a day. There are only 19 missionaries at the Johannesburg (or JoBurg as the locals call it) Missionary Training Center. He told us that they were able to sleep in an hour on Christmas day and they had a wonderful devotional by the area Seventy (a leadership group). They were told that the Uganda, Kampala mission area had just been increased. The lower Sudan has just been opened up to the missionaries. The Elders in Marks mission would be the first to enter there and that there were 3,000 "non-member members" waiting to be baptized. They told them that the missionaries going into that area would be "pioneers" in the organizing of the church there. Mark was so excited about it he can hardly wait to get going.
Here is Mark with his room mates. The Elder to his left is his companion. His name is Elder Onen. He is actually from Uganda but going to the Cape Town mission. The Elder to his right is Elder Davis form Thatcher, AZ, and finally, Elder Buthelezi. We were able to speak with Elder Onen when we called Mark. He was so sweet and soft spoken. He said some very kind things about Mark that just made us so proud.
We were invited to Justin's parents house for dinner Christmas night. It was so fun!! They brought out their Wii Fit and we all played for hours! I will have to put the video up of Craig hula hooping. I have never laughed so hard!
And miracle of miracles, it SNOWED yesterday in Tucson!! It's true. Now, I will admit it was a not a snow storm by, say Utah standards, but it was snow. A very wet and slushy snow. Nothing stayed on the ground. It's so funny, though, because all the kids in the neighborhood were out riding their bikes in it. We also had a little giggle at all the people suddenly bundled up to the hilt. I am talking scarves, hats, gloves, snow boots, parkas...the whole bit. I looked out of place in my capris and sweat jacket. (it still was 45 degrees) This morning we had to scrape the ice off the car windows. Of course we no longer own an ice scraper and had to use a credit card. (we learned that handy suggestion from the weather man on TV!) haha!
I have so enjoyed reading your blogs lately. I haven't had much time this month so I have been doing a lot of catch-up. I haven't really made a lot of comments, but I have popped by and absolutely loved all the pictures and recipes.
I have tried to email many of you back for making comments on my posts, but I know I have sadly missed some. Please forgive me! I sincerely appreciate every comment that is left here!
So, I am off for now.....I have a little project in the works that I have wanted to finish up for some time now. Craig has a couple of football games he wants to watch so I will be sewing the day away while he does that! Have a wonderful day, everyone.