Thursday, May 31, 2007

Brain Strain

I slaved over a letter to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education in Namibia today to have him request a career workshop for schools in his area. I'm sure he, along with the other ministers I wrote today, will pull out their red pencils to make corrections on my compositions. Man, this is the hardest part of my calling!! People walking by my desk probably wonder why I'm pulling such faces. "Brain Strain."During the lunch hour the sister's around the office worked hard tying quilts for an orphanage. They were made with a cute I AM CHILD OF GOD motif in the middle so not only will they keep the children warm physically but they will start learning who they really are.In an hour we will be on a conference call from Salt Lake concerning a measles immunization program for Lesotho in September. We are full of questions so we're happy for the opportunity to get them answered.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Loose Your Noodle

Hello dear ones,We have been on the learning edge again this week. Last Friday I had sent out an email to three different entities in Lesotho regarding a shipment of wheelchairs. I had suggested that they get in communication with each other to determine the date, time and place for the presentation of the chairs. Well, on Monday I received a phone call from the Queen's secretary (one of the emails went to her), and she informed me that it was ONLY the queen's call as to date, time and place, the others wouldn't have any say in the matter. 'Do you understand that?' she asked me. Dah...of course I do. It only takes me once to be hit over the head before I understand!!We are hoping they remember to invite us to the event.Last night, Terry and I were put in charge of Family Home Evening for all the missionary couples and a member of our Area Presidency. It was a farewell dinner for one of our couples who will be leaving next month. We decided to have fun by having them order their items from a menu which was a 'little vague' on what the items actually were ie sticker picker, toasted igloo, hunter's special, and festival fluff. It was pretty funny to see the combinations of items go out to the different people. Included in the items were also the utensils so some people had food to eat but no civilized way to do it. One brother was eating his kernels of corn one at a time with his toothpick. Anyway they all had a good laugh and no one left hungry. We were relieved to have it over.We are still loving the work and the people and we just received word that the truck to Lesotho that we loaded last week is now in the process of being unloaded. Soon the orphans will have some blankets to stay warm through this winter.We miss you all and love you.Kris and Terry

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lights out

We have spent some time the last two days at the warehouse and in the process have met some more wonderful people. Yesterday, Sister Parmley (her husband will be the new Area President soon) picked up some blankets and toys for a day care and orphanage, Bishop Mabunda and his brother gathered quilts for poor people in his ward boundaries and our stake president came for a wheelchair for a sister in his stake. Today we had three returned missionaries there to help us load the truck with blankets and hygiene kits for Lesotho. They had walked for an hour to be there and were very hard workers. We asked one of the missionaries how many languages he spoke...he said four! That isn't the exception, either. They are very intelligent people.The electricity went off last night at our apartment building so we stayed at the mall and went to a movie...might as well be warm and have some entertainment too! The other couples said it got very cold in their apartments so most just went to bed!well 'they' are coming in to spray the carpet with antistatic solution so we have to vacate the building.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Scraps for the Orphans

Do your kids like to cut up paper? There is a lady here in St. George who makes books out of magazine scraps IE images of happy babies and kids, fresh food such as fruit, veggies, natural things (nothing like pizzas or casseroles or fast food. Basically any kind of food that has been prepared because these kids will never see these luxuries) cartoon characters, pretty scenery. Nothing commercial like cars, electronics or things of monatary value.
The finished product is bright, fun and laminated. She told me these books are sometimes the only possession these kids can call their own. So if you are hard up for something to do with the kiddies one day this summer see how they like cutting up your old magazines and then you can send them to me (sushicat) and I'll pass them on to her. She will be thrilled.

The work is great!

22 May 2007 Greetings from cold So. Africa,Yes, the temperature has dropped below 0 here. That is 0 celsius, so it is still below freezing. It is very deceiving though because it is sunny and bright outside and one would think it should be warm and yet when outside the wind chills to the bone. I even have on my long-johns and they feel good!!Terry and I have been busy answering calls for blankets and hygiene kits. Now that the weather is so cold there are orphans, refugees and street people that are suffering greatly. Yesterday we gave away many of these items, tomorrow we'll be giving out more and on Thursday we'll be loading up a truck to take these things into the Lesotho mountains where there are thousands of orphans in need. We just wished that the blankets were already there...but government clearance, trucking schedules, etc. have slowed down the works.We are staying healthy and happy. The work is great! Hope everyone is well on the home front.Love to all,Kris and Terry

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Soweto Hospital

Not much new here. We've just been arranging a truck to take a load of blankets and hygiene kits into Lesotho for the many orphans that live in the mountainous regions. It gets pretty cold there.Today, I'm going to call the Salvation Army to see how we can help their organization help a huge hospital in Soweto. It is a government hospital and is the biggest in the world. In a week's time they have 500 babies born and there isn't enough hospital gowns for the mothers to wear..they just wrap up in their sheets and many have nothing to bring their babies home in. Yesterday, Sisters Parmley and Stringham visited the hospital and delivered 72 newborn kits...they were used up in short time.We sure have it nice compared to many in the world.

Hi, just a note from the blog master, I went to my bosses RS luncheon today (because my job is the best in the world) and got to help stuff animals and make books for the kids in the orphanages in South Africa. Pretty cool to think that maybe some of the stuff we worked on today will end up with my parents over there.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Why are you so funny Elder Rix?

We are looking forward to getting back to our regular desks this week since we have been sharing a computer room with three or four other guys while the air conditioning units are installed. They can get very distracting when they talk to each other or on the phone and persecute us because we are Americans and chide us about our kind of football. They are pretty fun guys but we can't get as much done with them around.I hurt my back again the day we had to travel to Durban...I did it in Washington and had to be in bed a few days and then again in Hurricane. This time I was starting to feel a little pain and then I leaned over to pull the trash bag out of the basket and wow..what a pain I had it even made me nauseous. I told your dad 'I think I need a blessing.' So before we left we stopped by the Stringham's apartment and the two men gave me a blessing. Sister Stringham gave me some medication that she had to have for her back.We traveled for six hours, I had pain but it wasn't unbearable and I never had to take that medication. By the time we arrived my back was doing pretty good and I was able to move about without difficulty all weekend and today feels good too. Another miracle for me.It was an interesting experience at the City Hall in Durban where we had the wheelchair presentation. There was a disabilities conference with about 2000 people in attendance and the presentation was included on their program. So we gave 12 of the 500 chairs out with a huge audience and the people were clapping and cheering and the church got great exposure. Afterwards, some of the missionaries were talking to some families of the recipients and it sounded like they were setting up appointments. Super!Today was a good day too. I spoke in Sacrament meeting about parents responsibilities, your dad gave the gospel doctrine lesson and then we both ended up doing sharing time in primary because no one from the Primary Presidency was there! Your dad taught the kids about the angel Moroni's visit to Joseph Smith and the gold plates. After Primary, one of the little girls came up and said,"Elder Rix, why are you so funny?" Good question, I've been asking that for years!!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Pretty Bird

I was happy to get a call from Africa this morning. I was thinking as I got ready for church that if they were going to call it would be right about then and sure enough a couple of minutes later they did! Do I know my parents or what?

I got this email tonight (their tomorrow crazy, emails from the future..wooow. :)

We had to apologize to the Bishop because we have been counseled not to take a big position in the ward but to only do shadow others learn their jobs. However, I did lead the music in Primary and had a great time doing it. Your dad volunteered to teach the Gospel Doctrine class next week. Anyway, we won't have the callings but we will still be involved in doing the work. I'll try to send a couple pictures from our trip to the bird place. We didn't tell you, but they also had a poisonous snake and frog display too. Very interesting. Did you know that the chameleon's tongue is 1 1/2 times as long as its body?

Friday, May 4, 2007

Swaziland letters

Ben forwarded an email he'd written to M & D to me (I think so I could read about my lack of contact, hey, I'm the one with a cell phone that can't call out of the country!) and this was attached so I'll slip it in here for more reading on Swaziland. :)

Dear Ben, Kwona and kids,
We tried to call you last night but your phone was busy!! Maybe we'll have to arrange a time when you'll be home and available. We had a great trip to Swaziland, saw some interesting things on the way and while there, like a cow being skinned on the roadside, (must have been hit by a car). We were able to meet with a number of people about some projects that are pending, like 250 wheelchairs, disaster relief, books for a library, NRT, and a career workshop. It was tough catching the Mayor of Mbabane, but he finally slowed down long enough for us to find him in his office. We set up three different times with him...third times the charm!
We were able to visit a cultural village where we were entertained with singing and dancing, and a tour around their village of grass huts. Saturday we went to the zoo in Pretoria with another missionary couple (the Elder is actually Sharon Olson's cousin). Your dad got some good pictures of the animals there. Hope school is going good for the kids. We were called yesterday by our Bishop to serve in our assigned ward. Your dad is excited because he has been asked to be the Gospel Doctrine teacher. I am looking forward to mine also because I will be in PRIMARY with the children as the music director!! Only problem is they don't have a piano so I'll have to learn how to carry a tune. The Bishop was so happy to have us say 'yes', because he says many people will go inactive if they are asked to have a calling here. Well, we love all of you and think about you everyday. Love,Mom and Dad, Grandma & Grandpa

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Real Deal

The pictures in the last post were just some images I found on the net, these a true blue authentic photos coming from M & D.

Yesterday, it being another holiday (Workers Day), we took a trip to Pilanesberg game reserve with two other couples. It took two hours to get there and then we spent 6 1/2 hours watching animals. We saw giraffes, white rhinos, hippos, gazelles, wildebeests, warthogs, zebras, 1 crocodile, and about 40 elephants up close, playing in the lake with their young ones. Some elephants reminded us of our kids and grandkids because they would submerge themselves in the water, then jump up out of the water and then sink back down under it again. Some were using their trunks as a snorkle, you know, 'up periscope' style. It was so great seeing them in their element and believe me, we stayed in "our" element, the van.