With Mother's Day being May 10, 2015, our hearts are drawn to home and all of the Mother's in our lives. We are drawn to the memories of our dear "Moms". . . . and our dear daughter-in-laws, who are the "mothers" of our 18 precious grandchildren. . . . and to our 6 sons who call me "Mom".
Motherhood has always played a very special place in my heart. I loved being a mother and owe much of who I am today to my teachers, all 6 of them, who patiently and lovingly allowed me to grow and learn along with them.
So today I would like to pay tribute to all mothers.....Eve was called the "mother of all living" before she ever had children, so mothers to me are all women who treasure their role of "nurturing life"....
Being missionaries for the Lord has brought us to a country where we can continue to nurture life in everything we do. We are grateful each day to be around such wonderful "mothers" who are trying to do what our Savior would ask.
We are touched by the efforts of the mothers here in the Congo. They work so hard to clean and cook and have enough money to buy food for just the bare necessities to get them through the day.
One dear sister came and taught me how to make yogurt. She has turned this into a business to bring some added income to her family. Without the modern conveniences that having electricity brings, everything is done by hand here. They wash in buckets and cook over fires.... they are amazing!
The following are some pictures of the work of mothers here in the Congo.
Surprise asked us to come this week to give his mother a blessing. Denise has not felt well for many months so she is going to Angola to be with her only daughter for a month. She also had 5 sons and has worked so hard all of her life to take care of them. This is her compound that she owns and the house behind them she rents for money. Surprise loves his mother so much and is always worried about her. It is so touching to see how devoted he is to making sure she is taken care of.
This is the woman that lives in the house behind Surprise. She is the one that did all of that wash by hand.
This is the "manioc" that the women make to sell. It is a labor of love, but one that is part of their routine. The manioc has to be grown, dried, pressed, kneaded and shaped into logs, cooked and then wrapped in banana leafs. They sell the bundles for pennies to passerby's. Manioc is a staple here in the Congo.
These are " bags" that women in Cameroon made for my daughter-in-laws. The African women are amazing seamstresses.
This is my dear friend Delov. She looks so much like her mother that I just had to take a picture of them.
Florida is a wonderful seamstress. She had a class where she showed the Sisters how to make a top and skirt. They have no patterns, they just use measurements. They mark the material with chalk and then just cut and sew.
They measure a certain amount from the neck, arms and length to make it fit just perfect.
The sewing machines are always run by hand because of the lack of electricity in most homes.
This is Doreta and she is one of the most beautiful African woman you would ever meet. She is getting water from the Church-well to take home. The women in African carry everything no matter how heavy or hard.
This is the Ngasakki family. Sheniyah was baptized this past Saturday by her father. On Monday they all headed for South Africa to be sealed together in the Johannesburg Temple. Yvette is the Sister who helped me make yogurt. She has the reputation of being one of the best in the Congo. We are so happy for their family.
These are the pictures of making yogurt. It takes 5 liters of water. 2 kilos of powdered milk, 3 natural yogurts, 4 cups of sugar and 4 teaspoons vanilla. You have to let it sit for 8 hours undisturbed.
It is definitely a messy job, but worth it in the end.
Filling the bottles.
We shared some with the missionaries and kept a few for ourselves. It turned out wonderful. Yvette does not speak English, so we had a great time trying to figure out what each other was trying to say. . . . . you should have seen us trying to figure out what a "whisk" was...... but we did it! We resorted to the dictionary for most of the morning.
This is Grandma Jeannette. She was baptized last year and has embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all of her heart. We love her beautiful spirit. She is truly an example of a "mother" ..... a nurturer of life..... in everything that she does.
This was a dinner that Sister Gakosso fixed for all of the missionaries. They are amazing cooks and know how to feed a crowd. The mothers here in the Congo work from sun up to sun down. We will forever be grateful for their examples to Elder Bailey and I of their devotion to their families and to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
And these are the "joys" of my mothering. . . We have one more little grandson "Dax" who wasn't born yet. He belongs to the "pink" family. We express our love to our beautiful daughter-in-laws, Raeni, Melissa, Leslie, Alexis, Jacie, and Stephanie for the wonderful mothers they are to our grandchildren. We love them dearly for all they do and sacrifice for our eternal family...
Happy Mothers Day!
Until next week!