Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May 25th Was A Very Busy Sunday

Last Sunday was the busiest we have had, except the one Sunday we tagged along with Elder & Sister Wadsworth before they went home. It was "Missionary Sunday", and the missionaries took care of many of the member's regular responsibilities. This is what we did: Set up a table near the front door to hold brochures and Books of Mormon, greeted people as they arrived, Blessed and Passed the Sacrament, Gave the Talks (Kurt), Bore Testimony (Linda), Missionary Choir Number (Linda directed - ha ha). Kurt taught the High Priests' Group, one Elder taught Elders' Quorum, Elder Ma'u taught the Young Men, and Linda taught the Relief Society. Then afterwards we had 5 baptisms. Sister Eki is a lovely woman. She is a trainer of stewardesses for Arik Air and her husband works for the government in Abuja, which is quite a commute. However, he probably flies for free. We hope to also teach him the lessons.
It was a pretty fun Sunday for us. The Elders were busy teaching first discussions to new investigators for a long time after church.

These are four of the five people who got baptized on our busy Sunday. Sister Eki, left & her daughters & cousin are with Elder Ma'u, who helped to teach them.

Brother & Sister Ekpagah & their son are with Sister Eki's group. Their children go to the same school, and Sister Ekpagah is the member who first invited her to church. Brother Ekpagah is on the High Council in our Stake.

Elder Agwu and Elder Darku (our AP's) taught the lessons to Kingsley, who is one of the guards for the church compounds. He is a very nice young man,

Monday, May 26, 2008

Pesky Neighborhood Goats

We see more stray goats and chickens than cats and dogs here. That seems funny to me. We even saw a bunch of goats on Opebi the other day, which is unusual because it is a very busy road. They seem to go where they want, though.

They also seem to eat whatever they want. This reminded me of the darn neighborhood dogs at home when they are let out to roam free on garbage day.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Our Baby's Growing Up

Haylee hanging out in a snow cave with Amy Johnson and Rachel Reschke. She was blessed with great neighborhood friends to play with.
It looks like Haylee was only about 5. She was still young enough that she would let me put in pink sponge curlers and play with her hair. She loved to pose for the camera.

Haylee always loved cats and dogs. The problem was that she was allergic, especially to the cats. Here she is at the Kasper ranch in Victor.

This is definitely one of my favorite photos of her. Of course, that is one of those nifty dresses that I made for her. She looked pretty cute in it, I think.

What a beautiful smile! Haylee was such a fun baby to be around. Here she was about a year and a half old.

Happy Memorial Day and Happy Birthday to Haylee. Haylee's birth fell on Memorial Day the year she was born. I am starting this post early because we have a Zone Conference and Elder Golden will be here with us that day. Sunday will be filled with church and other responsibilities. But I sure don't want to forget Haylee's birthday because we all love her. Let's see what I can dig up from my photo files to tell a little about our "baby", Haylee Miriam Krupp Marshall.

Haylee turns 22!

I like this cute picture of Haylee and Owen taken by her friend, Heather,
during their "courting" days.

Hanging out in Mom's kitchen

Our "princess Bride"

Here's Haylee, showing her creativity with a bunny cake for Easter. She is smiling as she puts up with an annoying big brother and a goof-off husband.

Haylee is always so helpful with all of her nieces and nephews. Here she is helping Tyson dye eggs for the annual Easter Egg Hunt in Grandpa's yard.
Haylee with her own baby on Miriam's blessing day with us and Owen.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Big Truck - Small Street

Night before last (in the dark), this large semi-truck pulled nose-first into the Church Compound next door to us. It was a large curriculum order for all of the Lagos area. The truck was unloaded yesterday morning and by noon the driver was ready to leave. Problem was - How to get out? By 3:30 p.m. he was still stuck in the parking lot, wedged in super tight. Everyone was out there yelling different directions at the driver in their native language. He knocked some trim off the guard shack. Finally Marcus Ogbonna, who is travel coordinator and a retired military officer, took charge. He emptied the parking lot of cars to give the truck room to move and he was finally on his way - or so we thought. Since we were trying to leave ourselves to go to the store, we needed him to move. I shot a little video to show his continuing problems in getting out of our little street. I don't think this driver will want to come back any time soon.

Linda's Flowers-one week after planting

Sister Krupp had our daughter, Heidi, send some flower seeds. She had Elder Krupp fill some pots with sandy dirt. She planted her little seeds and took this picture of one pot and it's little flower starts after just one week of growing. We are not sure there are enough nutrients in the sandy dirt to give us flowers, but she is trying.

Construction Nigeria Style

These five men are standing in a trench dug by hand. The two with their feet up are resting their feet on a slab of concrete. The concrete had to be removed to allow the trench to be dug. Three of these men worked for the better part of 3 days to beat through the concrete. They used a small sledge hammer with a handle the length of a normal hammer. There was no Jack Hammer. There were no power tools of any kind. There was not even a normal sized 10, 12 or 14 lb. sledge hammer with a long handle. They just beat on the concrete for 3 days by hand with the little sledge. Everything except the mixing of concrete (that is done in an old style tub mixer on site) has been done by hand. The picture on the left is one of the workers with a 5 gallon bucket full of water on his head. All of the water for the project is hauled this way from the LDS Service Center, right next door. That's how everything is moved. The material goes into a bucket or big "pan", up on the head it goes and then to the appropriate floor and room in the building where the material will be used. There are dozens of men on this one project all the time. The trench is now full of a concrete footing with re-bar in it. On top of the footing is a concrete block wall that will rise to 8' or more. The block wall will be surfaced smooth with plaster or stucco. When you show up with a camera to "snap" a picture, everyone around wants to get in the picture. That's why the 5 men in the picture, instead of just the 3 who beat the concrete and then dug the trench. I have had a great time getting to know some of the construction workers and having them explain the things they are doing. This short length of wall is part of the Compound Wall for the new Mission Center Compound. It is moving very fast, compared to what we have observed for the past 3 months. Everything was always moving quite quickly, for African standards. It just didn't look like it to us.

The flat, whitish wall behind them is part of the wall of the Mission Center Compound Guard building. There is a small building inside the gates of most compounds for the guards. By African Standards, this Mission Center Building and Compound are quite substantial. Both the Lagos East Mission and the Lagos West Missions will have their offices in this building. There are two very nice 4 bedroom suites for the two mission presidents and 4 small apartments for Senior Couples. We are the only Senior Couple for the foreseeable future. Maybe one of the small apartments can become an exercise room. That would be nice!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Brianna

Happy Birthday to Brianna Knighton. Brianna is our fourth grandchild, and she has always been very entertaining. She lived with us, along with her family, for about a year while they were building their own home. It has been fun to watch her grow up. Today she is 9 years old! I remember the day she was born and what I was doing. I was in Boise watching Alicia play tennis at the state tournament. Heidi and Kelly were living in Oregon at the time. After the tournament was over, Kurt and I made the trip to Forest Grove to see her. She was beautiful, of course. We are so happy to have her living near our home in Idaho Falls now. I wish I had more solo shots of her. I kept looking for some good ones, and in the meantime I kept adding more!
Another Happy Birthday to Brianna - this one when she turned 5 years old.

Brianna loves to swim and is pretty gutsy. Here she is attempting a dive at Grandma Rose's pool. This was taken two and a half years ago.

I think this was her first year of T ball. She had a fun time playing with cousins Kayleigh, Ethan and Ethan's cousin, Kira.
Brianna loves all her younger nieces and nephews to death - and I mean that literally. She can't ever seem to get enough of them.
Brianna made such a cute witch. She didn't scare us at all!
Blowing out her candles with Grandpa nearby. As you can see, we love birthday cakes at our house! We will miss having cake and ice cream with you this year Brianna, but we want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. We love you!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Food Chain

A little mosquito is feasting on me at night. Well, that is probably an exaggeration, but that's what it feels like. Two days ago I had one bite on my forehead right between my eyes. Yesterday, it was a big one on my forearm. Today, it was three on the right side of my head - two forehead area and one in front of my ear. This is what I remember from during the night. I woke up and felt some itching in the area of the new bites and thought "Rats, he got me again!". Not wanting to scratch the bites I decided to change head positions and the thought came that I am being such a good missionary because I am "turning the other cheek". It gave me a laugh in the middle of the night. I will try a heavier dose of repellent tonight.

Going it Alone--Our First Career Training Group

Left to Right: Elder Koroma, Elder Tei, Elder NWaeke, Sister Inmpey, Elder Ahamba, Elder Ashikwe, Sister Squire, Elder Agbugba, Elder Mpamah, Elder Momoh

These are the 10 departing missionaries that we spent 3 days with during our Career Resource/Self Employment training. It was an even mix of 4 Elders and 1 Sister from each mission. They were a sharp group. On Monday, we paired them with a mentor from their chosen profession so they can get more information about how to get into their desired fields of employment. Sister Squires had completed some schooling in fashion design, and her mentor (Sister Ogege) hired her on the spot. We felt like maybe we had helped her somewhat, and Sister Squires was on cloud nine.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bad Filter-Good Filter

The filter on the left is "Filter #1" in our water filtration system, after 2 months of use. The filter on the right is the one I put in this morning to replace the brown one. The water filter system the Church uses is as good as they come, we are told. Filter #1 works for 2 months. Filter #2 works for 4 months, and filter #3 works for 1 year. Filter #3 is replaced at the end of June or first of July, each year. That coincides with the coming and going of the Nigerian Mission Presidents (service time in West Africa is only 2 years, 'cause it is a tough place to serve). When the old mission president leaves, new filters #3 are installed. The new president knows that filters #3, thruout the mission are to be changed on his "Hump Day". Hump Day is half way through your mission time.....thus "Hump Day." Elders Ma'u, Ohuegbe, Pres. Dyreng, Emmanuel and I moved 45 cases of filters from the Service Center Building and stacked them in our Compound Shed, yesterday. That is enough filters for the next two years.

Linda wanted you to know that the change of filters marked the two month anniversary of our time in Nigeria. Eight more changes of filter #1 and I can stop changing filters! The used filter weighs about 10-15 times as much as the new filter. It really pulls the junk out of the water.

Our Jumbo Box

The kids sent us a jumbo box through DHL that was full of stuff that we didn't have room for in our luggage. It was full of vitamins, some new t-shirts for me, and just a whole huge assortment of stuff. Kurt Jr. stuck in some of those big Hershey chocolate eggs that are covered with a hard candy coating like an m and m. They are one of my personal favorite things that I shouldn't eat. (He must have over bought at Easter) One thing that we wanted were new dish towels. I'm sure they sell them in Lagos, but they just aren't as nice and would cost more. Our new ones look great and work great, too! Was it worth the HUGE cost and all the hassle that the kids went through to shop for and to send it? Yes, it sure was to us! It was a connection to home. It showed us how much our family loves us. It gave us some entertainment as we tracked the box online. It was kind of like watching and tracking Santa online on Christmas Eve and estimating how long it will take his sleigh to get to our house. The excitement has tapered off, but I can remember what great kids I have every time I walk into our kitchen and see those towels hanging up by our BYU Aprons. Thanks, you guys!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pretty Cute Wizard

Heidi and a friend made darling costumes last Halloween for the girls. Amber got to pick out her fabric and pattern. She's MAGIC, that's for sure!
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More of Amber

She is definitely a bathing beauty, even if she isn't the most courageous swimmer out there! We have had lots of fun together in the water with her sister, Brianna.
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Life's Rewards

Today is the birthday of our first grandchild, AmberLynn Knighton. She is 12 years old today. We love her and think that she is an awesome young lady. Here are a few photos of her that I was able to pull off of my computer that I thought reflected what a "cool" girl she is. She is bright and creative. One thing that I have noticed about her is how patient she is with the younger kids. They all love her. She is talented and won the neat blue fiddle last year.
Happy Birthday, Amber!

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Excitement in the Bathroom

I cleaned the bathroom on Monday. I had washed my little pink throw rugs and had just put them back in the bathroom and gone into the kitchen. Suddenly I heard some water noise. I ran into the bathroom and saw water spraying all over. I yelled for Kurt to get in here quick (or something to that effect). The pressure relief valve on the bottom of the hot water tank had broken and the supply hose was shooting water all over the place. (It's the white one that is down and laying horizontally across some other metal hose.) Kurt got control of the hose and had me hold it down toward the shower while he went outside and turned off the shut off valve. We then mopped up, wiped off the previously clean mirrors, and dried everything else off. Here are the miracles. First, I wasn't buck naked in the shower at the time, and second, the plumber, Yusef, just happened to be working on the upstairs apartment. He came and assessed the problem, made it so we had cold water at least, and said he would be back with the part to fix it today. How often do you have a plumber on hand when you have an emergency like that? It was a little inconvenient since we had Elder and Sister Pack coming over for dinner and had to heat water on the stove for the dishwashing. I also heated some this morning for my "bucket" bath. But now it is all fixed, and nothing else has broken today. Hip Hip Hooray.

Keeping Things Clean

The Blue-Touch glass cleaner was a hand-me-down from the Wadsworth's apartment, and the Windolene we had already purchased. We were surprised when we got home with the Windolene because it cost 140 naira, but it turned out that it was 740 naira, so I had picked out the most expensive stuff. I read the price sticker on the bottle wrong. The Blue-Touch brand was about half that price. I probably have enough to last me until I come home.
I think all the cleaning products are plenty adequate. I love the names. OMO is like TIDE, but with phosphates. I haven't ever seen it in big boxes like we have in the U.S. Elephant is a laundry booster, so I use both when doing our whites. The problem seems to be the color of the water when it comes to keeping things white. JIK is bleach, which we have already commented on. Nice green Morning Fresh dishwashing soap seems comparable to Palmolive. Vim is like Ajax( I think it should be called Vim and Vigor). The orange bottle is Harpic for cleaning the toilet. I love this stuff. It is peach/jasmine scented, and I may have to bring some home for gifts to my friends and family.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Serious Pass-Times of Senior Missionaries in Nigeria

Things are different here. Not bad, nor good. But, definitely different! Costs of Food and Paper Products are very high. The largest single expense for Senior Missionaries is food. So, you adapt. Senior Missionaries squeeze every micro-ounce of American Toothpaste out the their tubes before resigning the empties to the garbage. We scrape every last bit of Peanut Butter out of the small bottles we buy. It costs between $6.50 and $7.00 for an 18 oz. bottle of peanut butter. Paper Towels: $2.00 for a small roll. The Paper Towel game is to make one square last all day, of two squares per day. Napkins: cost $1.50-$2.00 for 24 napkins, so we cut them in half. That gives us two meals out of one napkin. Toilet paper: $2.50 per roll. The toilet paper game is to make one roll last for one week. Mostly we make it. Tuna fish: $2.50 per can. The Tuna Fish game is making sure we extract every flake of tuna from the can and lid before sending them to the trash. We can get 3 meals out of one can. One meal for the two of us, and then one meal for one of us with the left overs. Tuna gets "doctored" up with Mustard, Mayo, one small gurkin pickle, & about 1\3 of a cucumber.

There are other little money saving games we play, but you get the idea. Linda said she thought we used a roll of toilet paper per day in each bathroom at home. I don't think we ever gave a thought to how many napkins or paper towels we used in a day. Tuna was great stuff, but you used a second can if you needed more. Peanut butter came in large jars of Skippy, and you never ran out. You certainly did not spend time with a stiff spatula, scraping out every last bit of peanut butter. Things are definitely different on a Mission in Lagos, Nigeria. And, we are definitely not in Kansa anymore, Toto!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Elder Krupp tries to help. Funny boy!

Freight comes to the Missions on a regular basis. The Office Missionaries have the job of moving the boxes from the Service Center Building to storage. Some of the storage is in the Mission Offices. Most of the large items go to the "SHED" in our Compound. The large items are cases of Books of Mormon and "bricks" of pamphlets and brochures. They all weigh a ton. The ones for the shed are stacked in the hall of the first floor of this large building. The hall gets fairly & dangerously congested with all of these boxes. Getting out of the building in a fire would be a disaster.

I'm not doing anything worthwhile, right? So, I decide to move the big stuff to our compound and put it away, tidy, in the shed. The first step is to make sure our car will fit in the small parking lot at the Service Center, then get in there and parked before someone else gets the spot. I did that. Then, I moved all of our Mission's Books of Mormon into the car and escaped before getting blocked in. I moved the cases to the retaining wall by the shed. As the time of day got later, Elizabeth, our guard said it looked like rain and the cases would not be safe outside overnight. She was right. I was waiting for the Mission Maintenance Man to show up with the keys to the shed. I have moved the boxes from the large building to the small car. Then, I moved the boxes from the small car to the retaining wall you see in the photo. I moved them from the wall to the covered area in front of our apartment to make sure they didn't get wet. That is move number 3. That part of the process worked. The books stayed dry. The Maintenance Man showed up way after dark, so it was good the books were under cover.

The next step was to move the books back out to the retaining wall in the morning and wait for the Maintenance Man. Poor Elder Krupp. That counts move number 4. Thursday was a National Worker's Holiday and the Maintenance man sent me a Text Message saying, "Hey, boss, I'm not coming, OK?" He did explain that it was a Holiday. OK, I'm thinking, what do I do to finish "helping out" and get the cases of books put in the shed? Later in the morning, Elder Krupp figures out, DUH! that I had the keys to the shed. Emmanuel, the Maintenance Man brought them to me at 8:00 PM Wednesday night. I was thinking I would have to move them again. Poor Elder Krupp! I wonder if you will try to "help out", again? Move number 5 ended with the books in the shed. Hallelujah...

Eating Biscuits

We have picked up a bad habit - trying different kinds of cookies every time we go to the market. They call them biscuits, so I feel like I'm in England having tea time with the Queen. The two rectangular packages are made by NASCO, a Nigerian comapny, which is why they are so much less money. They cost from 45 to 65 naira (50 cents) for 12 to 14 cookies. They are a vanilla sandwich cookie with a thin layer of flavored frosting. Then there are the Digestive Biscuits in the red package that are made in the UK. I thought that maybe they were to eat if you had an upset stomach, which means they shouldn't be fattening. They are thin and are a cross between a vanilla wafer, graham cracker and the cookies that Delta Airlines gives out, but less sweet than any of those. Our new finds yesterday were the two back packages called Fourre' by a company named Hellema. The ingredients are listed on the package in 12 different languages, and I think they are from Belgium. They cost 270 naira and are a sandwich cookie with chocolate frosting and are similar to the digestives. We bought one package that is a vanilla cookie and one that is a chocolate cookie. I haven't sampled it yet. My last find was a Butter Crinkle Crunch biscuit made by Fox's Biscuits in West Yorkshire. They were pricey at 480 naira. These are definitely my favorite, which proves the old adage that you get what you pay for. I think I had better lay off the biscuits for a while or I'll be proof of another old saying - a moment on the lips and a lifetime on the hips.

Cute? Lizard

Lizards are still a novelty to me, even though they are a pretty common sight in Nigeria. This is just a little guy, but I thought it was cute that he was sitting on a warm, black tire catching a few rays of sunshine. Fortunately, they all seem to staying out of my apartment. I don't mind them from a distance, but I don't want them climbing into my bed or my shower. I was late to my district meeting so that I could take this picture, and I wasn't about to tell them why I had kept them waiting.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Home Made Yogurt

Sister Wadsworth taught me how to make my own yogurt. It is very simple. It is made with powdered milk. They have pretty good stuff here. Here is what you do: Mix in a medium saucepan:
1 and 1/2 cups dry skim powdered milk (you can use whole milk)
1/4 cup dry whole powdered milk
3 cups water
Heat it until it is almost boiling (you can see heat waves coming up and some steam). Hold it at that temperature for 2 minutes. Take off heat and let it cool until it is the temperature for a baby's bottle.
Then mix in 1/4 cup of plain yogurt (needs to be a live culture) and then pour into a quart size thermos bottle. This one is all plastic inside with a wide top. Put on the thermos lids and let it sit on kitchen counter overnight about 8 hours. You can use the yogurt for the next start only 2 or 3 times, and then you should start with fresh yogurt start.