Flying to Ethiopia for the 5th time, July 9th,2010

July 9-11th, 2010

I arose early and was glad to have everything packed. Joseph was already dressed and ready to go when I went out for breakfast. In the car we chatted briefly then we went over the Melchizedek Priesthood preparation lessons together. I am very pleased with how prepared he is for this next big step in his life. He will be ordained an Elder in August. I told him that I was sorry that I would miss the sustaining at Stake Priesthood Meeting but that I would be home to do the ordination in August. My heart melts with joy and gratitude as I see the tremendous growth he has made in his life.

All went well with the flights to Detroit and to Frankfurt. On the flight I watched Invictus, a movie about Nelson Mandella and the South African rugby team’s fight for the World Cup. I love the poem that inspired the title and I really enjoyed the movie. I found a quiet corner of the airport and took a long nap for part of my 12 hour layover. I had a good talk with Erika on the phone and spent the last couple of hours watching the soccer match between Germany and Uruguay for 3rd place in the World Cup. It was exciting to be in Germany as they won the match.

As I was getting my seating assignment I volunteered to move up to business class if they needed me to. The man at the counter smiled and said that he would make a note of it. I was pleasantly surprised when I was called up as we were boarding and he changed me to business class. It made the flight much more pleasant especially considering that the movie they were showing was filth. I listened to my Gerald Lund story during the meals and slept the rest of the time.

I was stopped by Customs because I had more than one laptop and they wanted me to pay tax for it. The last time I had a laptop they charged me the tax for a new computer, 2000 ETB ($166). This time they saw that my computer was used and only charged me 800 ETB ($67). The Lord must have known this in April as I stuffed 800 ETB into my booklet and forgot about it when I turned in my expense reports. I was very grateful to have just enough to pay the tax instead of having to return the next day.

 Danny met me at the airport and drove me to the three bedroom house that Paul has rented near the office complex. I showered, cleaned my dress shirt and changed into my dress pants. I arrived at church early only to find that they had moved the time up one hour so I just caught the end of sacrament meeting. It was good to see so many familiar faces and disappointing to not see some. I found out later that Thadeus is serving a mini mission in Debre Zeit while he is waiting for his call. Ashuje on the other hand has not been back to church.

I slept for a couple of hours in the afternoon then forced myself to get up. I walked to Paul’s house and called Erika. We chatted for a little while before she had to go to church. Paul arrived home as we were finishing our conversation so I talked with him for about an hour. I love working with that visionary and unselfish man. I wish that I could spend more time learning from him. By the time I walked back to the house Ethiopia had shut down. It was about 9:30pm. I was ready for bed.