Wednesday, October 21, 2015

National Elections in Tanzania

 This is an historic time for the nation.  The first election since the country was organized that has been real opposition.  The people are excited and involved.  Flags are flying all over the place.  These pictures are just the flags at one intersection.  The election is on Sunday and because no one knows what to expect and traveling around can be quite difficult on a normal day, church has been canceled.  Members have been encourage to vote and than stay at home with their                                                                                                   families.
Tanzania is a young country only about 50 years old.   They have been having rallies all over.  On the right, a rally is forming in a large parking lot and people are walking, riding motorcycles, and bicycles in order to be involved.  The green and yellow group are the governing party.  The blue, red and white are the opposition party.  

The Missionaries have been counseled to stay home Saturday and Sunday.  Keep a very low profile and stay away for large crowds for the next few days as the election results don't come out for the President until Wednesday.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Tingatinga Artwork from Tanzania

In comparison to woodworking painting has a fairly low profile in Tanzania.  The most popular style by far is Tingatinga, which takes its name from painter Edward Saidi Tingatinga, who began it in the 1960s in response to demands from the European market.  Tingatinga paintings are traditionally composed in a square, with brightly colored animal motifs set against monochrome background.  The are so fun to look at and it really represents Tanzania.  I hope you enjoy looking as some of this art.
You can find almost anything!

I like the Noah's Ark that looks like it is sitting on the car!

You can see why children like this artwork so much, it is just fun!

Sometimes it is just fun to look at a picture and see what you can find in the picture.
You still people dressed in traditional clothing.   The ladies love bright colors and many African fabrics have a large print and many bright colors.  We tend to see a great deal of purple, gold, pink yellow, green, blues and reds, and many others but they really seem to enjoy wearing the traditional look.  When you buy fabric it will usually come in a minimum of 3 metres.  At most stores everything is just one price.
Most of these pictures are so busy, what can you find?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Beginning Quilting Class

This has been such a wonderful experience, for me to be involoved with these wonderful women.  They are so eager to learn, so creative, so hard working and not afraid to try anything.  There is a closeness among these sisters, as they work together learning something new, they are sharing, laughing, talking and all enjoying the excitment of a new adventure.  I was there about 2 hours and had to leave, the sisters just wanted to stay and they did and had a wonderful time together.    They have a Relief Society President that loves them.                

 Their Relief Society President would brave the Marketplace that the missionaries are not allow to go to, to look for supplies that can't be found in the regular stores so this event could take place.

This is an amazing branch, they really are a family.  The branch is small  their love for the Savior is enormous.  Last week we attended their Sacrament Meeting and they had a Branch Choir that sang prelude music, and sang "Secret Prayer" as the musical number in Sacrament Meeting.  Harmony and all!!
The choir was about half the congregation.
                    It was beautiful.

At our next quilting class we hope to finish the edges of the project they are working on in the pictures.  We also hope to learn the International Quilting Stitch and make a Baby Quilt.  It can be diffcult to find the tools needed for this task but once again the Relief  Society President is on the move.  These ladies really understand the meaning of extra mile!!!

                                                 "CHARITY NEVER FAILETH"

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Called to Serve

 This is Mashaka and Rashid, they are brothers in the Changombe Branch in Dar es Salaam. They have both been called on missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  They left for the MTC this week and are at the MTC in South Africa.  One will be serving in Zimbabwe and the other in Kenya Nairobi.

This picture was taken last Sunday after church, they both shared their testimonies and did a wonderful job.  THEY WILL BE GREAT MISSIONARIES.

It was our opportunity to teach these fine young men the Temple Preparation class.  We really enjoyed teaching them.  They were very interested and always came prepared.  They loved learning about the temple.

We received a short email from them the other day and they are having a great time.  They are the only members in their family.  They worked hard to get ready to go and they studied hard too!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Mormon Helping Hands - Dar es Salaam - August 15, 2015

 The Dar es Salaam District Missionaries.  Fun and hard-working.  So willing to do anything that is needed.

         WE SO ENJOY BEING                        WITH THE                            MISSIONARIES!!!!
 From left to right:  Elders Lopeyok and Arudo, Elder and Sister Wilson, Elder and Sister Smith, Sister Mayoli and Alinyo, and Elders Harvey and Nkhoma.  They have so much fun but when they do training at District Development Meeting, they rise to the occasion.  At the end of a meeting you feel a need to go home and study some more, work harder, love more and serve better.

Every year the Dar es Salaam District finds a large project to do with Mormon Helping Hands.  This year they chose a hospital.  There is a very large Government owned hospital that required a great deal of cleaning around the hospital grounds.  Members brought their own tools, shovels, rakes, brooms, pitchforks, and of course pass along cards.  We have been told there were about 120 volunteers.  They worked the whole morning and got a great deal accomplished.  Many hands make light work.

Elder Wilson       
               ElderArudo                  Elder Lopeyok and friend waiting for area assignment for work!               

What a joy it is to be able to serve side by side with the members of this district.  I saw several people stop to read the sign that was placed in the center park area of the hospital grounds.  It is a quiet place where visitors and family members can go for quiet reflection.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Dar es Salaam's Beautiful Peninsula

 Just out for a walk along Dar es Salaam's beautiful peninsula.  You can see everything from dugout fishing boats to yachts.  There is a lot to see in the area from fancy hotels and restaurants to the humble fishermen working for food.  There is a long natural pier that you can walk along and just take your time enjoying the atmosphere.
We had a great time with Elder and Sister Clayton and Elder and Sister Smith.  The weather was perfect for seeing the sights, with a pleasant breeze blowing in off the ocean.  The sand is white the water is clear and the sky is blue.  It was exciting to watch everything that was going on, from fishermen hard at work to those that were just relaxing and enjoying themselves.  Some walked down to put their feet into the waters of the Indian Ocean while others

 were parasailing across the water.  We were able to watch one young man, hanging onto his sail and standing on something similar to a surfboard.  We watched the wind pulling him over the waves.  It was quite a sight to see.  He would go so far and than return to the place where he started and do it all over again.  It really was breathtaking.
 There are several fun places to shop on the peninsula, one of them is called Slipway, it is a collection of small shops where you can buy anything from sandals, woodcarvings, to Tinga Tinga art.  Everything is handmade.  Nearby there is another shopping plaza that is also fun for shopping.  They have a bookstore, chocolate shop, jewelry store, a supermarket, but the store I like is a shop where everything is handmade by a special women's organization in Dar es Salaam. They make bags, purses, clothing, placemats, coasters, etc.

There is a community on the peninsula that is called Oyster Bay.  Many people live there that work for different embassies.  Many of the residences have signs outside their property identifying the nations that reside there.  Naturally, we were able to find the Canadian Residence.  This was fun for us to do because several years ago Elder Wilson's brother was living here with his family while he was working for the Canadian Government.  We are so grateful for having the opportunity to serve here and have met many members who have fond memories of  them.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Ladies in Tanzania

 The Ladies in Africa love to dress-up, they like bright colors.  They love modern as well as traditional styles.  They even dress up to go shopping.  You can see them walking their children to school.  With a babies on their backs or in their arms often with another by their side.  They walk tall and proud.   They walk with                                            their heads held high!   They often                                             carry things on their head.                                              They are hard working women!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Nairobi, Kenya Trip - MLS Couples Conference

Can I just say this was a great trip!!  We arrived in Nairobi in the late afternoon just about the same time as another MLS Couple from Mwanza, Tanzania.  Upon on arrival we were greeted by Elder Shakespeare and Elder Horner. Elder and Sister Shakespeare are serving as LDS Humanitarian missionaries and Elder and Sister Horner are serving as MLS missionaries but they are serving in Kenya.  They took us to the flat where we would be staying with some of the other MLS couples and three of the couples who serve in the mission office.  When we got there, we were greeted by Elder and Sister Banks who also serve in Tanzania in a city called Arusha.  In total  there are  5 MLS couples in the mission right now.  Three serving in Tanzania and two serving in Kenya.   That evening the couples from the office had a spaghetti dinner for us and we just had a good time getting to know each other.  On Wednesday morning we were up and ready to go to the mission office for our MLS Conference with the Mission President and his wife.  It was a wonderful meeting full of instruction, inspiration, sharing of experiences and the love we all had for those we are serving.  We soon learned that we all were serving where we were supposed to be and that each was having a totally different experience even though we were all assigned as MLS missionaries.
That night we ordered pizza and continued to share.  The next morning we got to see more of Nairobi, it started early in the morning at Nairobi National Park for a game dive.  We started early enough that we were able to see this beautiful sunrise.

We saw many of the animals not the least of which was a big baboon!!!!!!!!

There were Cape buffalo.
                     The giraffe were graceful as always!!!!!!!
                         This looks like a whole family having
                                            breakfast together!




  with their families!

                                Then of course, the overly friendly big baboon! 
But that is a story for another day.


President John Mwingira, 2nd Counselor in the District Presidency, took us to a village where the Church has a water project. Water for homes and buildings is stored in large tanks. However, this village does not have city water. The Church installed the tank and a system of eaves troughs to gather water.
The eaves trough runs along the side of the roof and into a pipe that drains the water into the storage tank. It is a rather effective system if it rains. To supplement this, the Church will be drilling a well around the back of the school and pump water into the tank. Readily available water is a great blessing to the students and teachers.

The school is a public high school with about 1000 students. It is very crowded. In Tanzania, the students wear uniforms. They go to school quite early in the morning. This is one of the classrooms. We met two students working on problems from an English chemistry book. The surroundings are humble and the materials they have are rudimentary and in short supply.
In one of the classrooms, we saw a English lesson written on the caulk board. All students learn English. In general, the young people speak English better than the adults.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

This will be our second  Transfer 
Transfers can be challenging.  When you work so closely with each other you are almost a small family.  They all are of one purpose.  They all love the Lord and are here to serve.  

Elders Nkhoma, Ojjogolo, Eveson, Emannuel, Steed, Lopeyoke
Sisters Mayoli and Isiche

Monday, June 1, 2015


Traffic is an amazing thing here in Dar es Salaam.  There is no way you can predict how long it will take you to get from one place to another.  Because the traffic is always unpredictable.  If you are stopped at an intersection people will walk between cars to try to sell you things.  Pikipiki drivers drive between rows of cars to get ahead of everyone.  Vehicles will go off the road to get around any number of cars and then cut in, in front of someone who has been waiting even longer.  It is amazing what you might see when sitting in these long lines waiting for an opportunity to move.  

We watched this guy for quite a while.  He had plastic bags he was hanging on the side of the truck from the valves that release the gas.  He would than empty it into a large water container.  If the truck would move he would jump on the back of the truck and ride until it stopped again.  We found out when we mentioned this to a friend, that it was okay.  The trucks are coming back from "up country" where they empty their load.  While heading back to reload these guys just empty out the tank the rest of the way before the truck can refill.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

ROADSIDE NURSERIES - these just pop up all over the city.   

There are a thousand different businesses all over the city.  They sell everything from food to auto supplies.  Sometimes they have fresh fruit and vegetables and at other times they are cooking food to sell.  They sell all kinds of clothing and you can see people trying things on over their clothes.  There is a Marketplace like this about 2 km from our house it is called Mwenge Market.  They have artists, wood carvers, jewelry makers, fabric stores, hardware stores, etc.    They are great traps for tourists.  Artists with a touch of everything.  You should see what they can make with coconut shells.
This lady is on her way to set up her table to display
her merchandise.  There are thousands of businesses like her's.  Her's located at



                                      THIS IS OUR GROUP, 4 SENIOR COUPLES
                                                10 ELDERS AND 2 SISTERS.
                                PRESIDENT AND SISTER HICKEN - middle left
                                    ELDER AND SISTER ELLIS - middle right
We had a wonderful conference.  The spirit was strong and their presentations were outstanding.  They just seem to know everything that we needed to hear.  It was inspiring, uplifting and more.  We love our missionaries, they work hard and they love the Lord. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015


 This is the rainy season in Tanzania. When it rains, it is often torrential, pouring heavily and constantly. Recently, it rained continually for three days nearly all day and night. The water began to build behind out compound.
 The water flowed into this area from the nearby streets. The local drainage system is not capable of handling this amount of water particularly with the garbage on the streets that plugs the drains. The water continued to build.
 The landlord had build a new section of wall behind our house. He built the new wall in front of the old wall intending to take it down later. As the water rose, it washed away the old wall.
 We noticed that the water was now running under the foundation of the new wall which had not been dug deep enough. We informed the landlord that we were concerned that the new wall would collapse also. Suddenly in the later afternoon we heard a loud crash. Immediately I said to Sister Wilson, "The new wall has fallen." I went outside and saw half the wall gone.
Here we see all that is remaining of the poorly constructed foundation of the new wall. The rest is in the rushing water. As Toto sings, it does rain in Africa.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


People in Dar es Salaam fine all kinds of ways to make a living.  Some are educated and do well providing for their families.  Others struggle, you will see them providing transportation for others.  Each "Bjuj" or "pikipiki" is individually owned and they charge for transport.  Some peddle products between vehicles waiting at intersections.  They peddle everything from food items, clothing and even auto maintenance supplies.  You can see them carrying the tables they use to display their products on their head until the find an open space to place their merchandise on the roadside for selling.  This fellow has a ice cream business and he rides around the open market areas selling his ice cream.  Many of the people work very hard.