Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Our Thanksgiving celebration a little early

Monday started out kind of rough for me.  What I needed was some good quality time with my companion and to NOT talk about missionary stuff for a couple of hours.  After getting showered and dressed in jeans (NOT a skirt:) for the day, we stopped at the Cafe Arabica for a nice breakfast.  One of our YSA girls is a waitress there and we thought we would try it out.  

I knew right where I wanted to spend our Pday and it was up this mountain that is close to our home. From our road I can see a waterfall and for 5 weeks now I have been wanting to get as close to this waterfall as possible.  Today was our day and it was most delightful!  Just up from our house is the Mooni (pronounced Moaney) area. We turned up the dirt road to Mooni and started driving up the mountain.  We passed by the village and stopped to take pictures and to give out candy to the little ones.  It was such a picturesque drive and the little villages we passed through were really wonderful.  

Here you can see the waterfall in the distance. 
(Actually in our drive we discovered 4 different waterfalls!)
This one is the largest.  We were able to get very close from the road.

Just below the waterfall was this river.  These women were out doing their laundry in it.  The majority of the women here in Mbale (and throughout Uganda for that matter) wash their clothes in a bucket of suds with water that they generally have to carry from a borehole.  It looks so hard to bend over like this washing clothes.  This Thanksgiving day I am thankful for a washer and dryer (and all of my modern day appliances) that make my life easier!

These pictures do not do this mountain justice.  It is covered with lush vegetation from banana and matoke trees to waterfalls, cliffs, and quaint villages.  Truly amazing and it provided much healing for my soul!  At one point we passed a school with children walking home.  When they saw our truck coming they started racing us.  It made me laugh as I rolled my window down and encouraged them to beat our Toyota up the incline.  I posted a video on IG if you want to see it:)

We got back into Mbale around 3:00 and stopped at BAM (our supermarket) to pick up some supplies for our Thanksgiving Activity with the YSA group.  I prepared sloppy joes and bbq beef sandwiches along with chips and pineapple.  We usually have around 15-18 people for our FHE activities but  this night we had over TWENTY FIVE!!  They were so happy to meet together and my heart was so happy as I saw them laughing and talking and just having a good time.  These kids have become like family to us and we truly enjoy being with them.  They love each other so much and it is wonderful for them to have a strong peer group to belong to.

After dinner we sat around and talked about the things we are grateful for.  It was a tender experience listening to our dear friends.  Thanksgiving is an American tradition but it was great to share this special time with them counting our blessings!  Oh, did I mention that I made a two layer cake!  It was a homemade (no boxed cake mixes here) white cake with a delicious almond frosting that I colored what???   Orange, of course!!  It turned out 'SUPA 'YUMMY!  I didn't know if one cake would feed everyone so thankfully Elder Phelps make up some uncooked oatmeal cookies  (He is getting pretty good at that!) to make our dessert go farther!  We came home completely empty handed.! Whatever we take to the activities is always eaten right up!

We also had a couple of kids join us.... they must have heard we were bringing food.
We BARELY had enough to feed everyone.

                                                               The children and Isaac.

                            Mike, Solomon, Joshua, Gerald, (children i don't know) and Mqne

Daniel (in orange) is one of our AMAZING investigators!  He LOVES the Book of Mormon and has an amazing story of finding the church.  Someday I might tell it here on the blog.  He is loving being taught about the church and is preparing to be baptized on the 3rd of December.

                                                              The group being silly!

Sarah and I

Solomon wanted a couple of pictures taken.  He is 17 and is our branch pianist.  I have shared some of my music books for him to practice with.  He is hoping to improve in his skills.  The branch is lucky to have him.  He is hoping to serve a mission some day:)  He will be a great one!

A picture with Michael, me, Solomon, and our beloved Francis!!

         Not sure who the ones on my right are but the lady on my left is Mercy.  (Pronounced Massi)

    It was a wonderful way to spend a day of Thanksgiving with good friends from our branch family!

Today is November 24th so we are officially beginning our Thanksgiving Day here in Mbale.
We have a full day of teaching planned but we are also hoping to go out to have dinner tonight for our Thanksgiving Celebration!  I'm sure turkey will not be on the menu but we will find something yummy!

                                                     Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!

              Eat up some Thanksgiving foods for Elder and Sister Phelps!  Especially the pies!!

             And of course, recognize the blessing it is to be with family this Thanksgiving Day!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post, Janell--it made me more thankful than EVER for the many marvelous THINGS I have been blessed with! Yes--THINGS! Even some trivial things like Cake Mixes!! :)
    We DID have a wonderful Thanksgiving time--several DAYS of it--with all our family around us. And I sure wish there would've been a way for us to send some of our delicious food and Plethora of PIES to you!! Our fridge is still bulging with Leftovers!
    I'm delighted that you got to take that little drive on your P-Day and have the welcome relief the beauties of nature gave you. You are SO right--camera shots just do NOT do those gorgeous places Justice!!
    And it's so very nice of you to feed so MANY like that! I'm sure not surprised that the youth LOVE you so much!! (love, karen)