Our Mission in Ethiopia

Friday, July 25, 2014

What a WONDERFUL time we had yesterday!  David Archuleta, with his voice coach, Dean Kaelin, comedian, Jason Hewlett and Dan Clark, an inspirational speaker, have been touring military bases and performing for the troops in Kuwait, Afghanistan, Bahrain and Djibouti and they had a 10 hour layover in Addis Ababa! So we had them with us for seven hours!  They are all returned missionaries. We had an AMAZING fireside with 125 of our young people and then Habtu took them, us, Elder and Sister Moses and Elder and Sister Hansen (public affairs ~ from Uganda) to dinner at Yod Abyssinia!  We had a GREAT time and really got to know David Archuleta.  What an outstanding young man, with a humble, strong testimony and so very inspiring.  We LOVE hearing him sing and speak to us.  He shared so many AWESOME experiences!  What a night!!

Sister Moses (Humanitarian), Sister Hansen (from Uganda),
and me with David just after he arrived at the Church

We LOVED seeing our Debre Zeyit Young Women!
We have really missed them while we have been in Addis.
Sifan on the left is a brand new convert in our Debre Zeyit branch 
and is our new YSA representative.

Christensen, Christensen, Taylor and Workman
took "selfies" when they were taking the picture
of our YW from Debre Zeyit...

Our Ethiopian missionaries with David
and Dean Kaelin, Jason Hewlett and Dan Clark in the back
(We were missing our four elders from Kaliti who hadn't arrived yet 
and the Meganagna Zls in this photo...)

Jason, David and Dan before the fireside

Muluwerk Hale, an Ethiopian girl who was adopted and lives in Utah,
is Miss Africa Utah.  She was a student in my brother Rick's program,
The Children of Ethiopia Education Fund when she was young. She
was here with him and his group and stayed an extra few days. She

will compete in the Miss Africa America later this year.

He spoke and sang "If the Savior Stood Beside Me", I Know That
My Redeemer Lives" and "Be Still My Soul".  Incredible! He
also took a few questions and shared some very inspiring experiences!

The dinner buffet at Yod Abyssinia 
where we went with Habtu after the fireside

Our group.... The Hansens, next to me, (from Uganda),
 and Elder and Sister Moses (not in the photo)
 next to them, then David Archuleta (taking photos here) 
with his group and Habtu!

Some people recognized him just before it was time to leave and the manager begged him to
perform.  He sang "Stand By Me" and "Everybody Hurts" and everyone LOVED him! 
He was GREAT!

The Bugingos made it to America on July 23rd!
Rick and Carla met them at the airport at midnight!!

Solomon and Kulf (both 3 years old) were SO
excited to get our grandson, Bryce's birthday 
cookies for his 4th birthday on Monday, July 21st!
I just HAD to put this picture on here!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

We had a fun day yesterday.  Ruth and Yeabsra invited us a couple of weeks ago to their Parents' Day at their private school, True Way Parents' Academy.  It was yesterday morning and we took them to it.  Their father is working in Tigray and their mother could not get off work at her hair salon so we are SO glad we could go!  Ruth (12) was the announcer for the WHOLE program and looked SO pretty in her traditional dress.  It started an hour late and lasted another 2 hours.

Ruth (center) with two friends

Ruth on stage as announcer
She also did an Ethiopian dance with
a boy in her class. I got it on video.

Cute Yeabsra (8) with a friend whose
mother was sitting next to us

The DARLING baby right in front of me

Kindergarten Granduation

Ruth (left top and center) was #2 student in her school!

They brought out dabo (bread) and lit a candle
to celebrate.  They use dabo instead of birthday
cake on birthdays too. 

Yeabsra's photo (in white) in the school yearbook

Yeabstra (holding our flowers) and her friends after the program

The school where the program was held 
(Not the schoolwhere they attend school though.)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

We have had a fun month in July so far.... After celebrating the 4th of July, we had a Mission Zone Conference for all the missionaries in Ethiopia on Tuesday, July 8th with President and Sister Chatfield here.  Then on Wednesday, July 9th, we had a special meeting for all RMs at 3:00 pm then a meeting for all YSAs at 5:00 pm.  All of the meetings were WONDERFUL.  The Spirit was so strong there! These young people are the future of the Church here in Ethiopia!!  They are GREAT!!  Here are a few photos from the last few days....

The Presidents ~ Habtu and Pres. Chatfield

The Meganagna and Awassa Ethiopia Zones at Zone Conference

Sister Chatfield

Young Single Adults after meeting with President and Sister Chatfield

Sunset overlooking Addis Ababa

Addis from the Belvedere Restaurant

The only two senior couples in Ethiopia with the Chatfields

The rain REALLY came down hard for about 1/2 hour and the 
power went out at the restaurant so we ate by candlelight.  

Homemade noodles, homemade cheese 
with bolognese sauce ~ Yum!

Addis at night

Bethi and Samri Wonnacott meet their dad, Tesfaye at
the airport Thursday at 3:00 am in the rain!! The girls were
adopted about 6 years ago and came back with Rick to visit. 

We just LOVE having my brother Rick visit Ethiopia!!

Tariku was happy to see Samara and Jordan in Rick's group again. 
He met them last year when they came from Utah.

Our awesome elders ~ Elders Christensen, Melton, Thornton 
and States in their matching sweaters

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Yesterday was the 4th of July! We celebrated by having a little birthday party for Tariku, since he has no idea when his birthday is.  All the elders and Elder and Sister Moses dropped by the mission office to celebrate with us.  Last night we played games with Elder and Sister Moses and ate apple pie!

Tariku thinks he is 15 but no one knows for sure....

We found sparklers for his cake and for the 4th of July!

Opening a few gifts.... a soccer ball and some art supplies

(Our elders from Kenya and South Africa didn't understand what all the celebrating was about....)

Happy Tariku!

(Here are a few photos my brother Rick took when he met him as a
little guy found on the street and brought to live in Jason's group home.)

These are some more photos I took this week....

A typical rainy afternoon one day this week 
I took this from the doorway of our office, looking
towards the Church parking lot.  The storms can
be pretty big but the weather often clears up in 
just a short time.

We were turning left behind this black car when the white car
came toward us and swerved in between the black car and ours
without hardly slowing down!

Another crazy traffic shot showing cars going every which way...

Empty yellow oil containers are PRECIOUS here to carry water in.
This guy was just dragging these down the road.

We took these photos on the way to the office yesterday. 
This was across the street from a Church. 
Yesterday was some kind of a holy day for that  particular
Orthodox Church....

A very common scene on the road by our house....
The donkeys will come back REALLY loaded down!