Our Airline tickets have been confirmed and with only two weeks left to go we turn to reviewing the last two years, asking ourselves questions, like “what have we accomplished?” “have we fulfilled what the Lord sent us here to do?” “What legacy will we leave behind?”
As a youth and adult I have always practiced the tradition used among many women of our community, of sharing my plants. When a plant gets sufficiently large I break off small branches and root them, these I share with friends and neighbors. Here in Senahu where there is such an abundance of foliage outside you never see indoor plants, so I asked one of the Senior Missionaries in the capitol for some starts off of her houseplants. I then brought them home and rooted them and am using them to give away among the sisters in the Branches here. I explain to them that as they begin to grow they need to break off and root other pieces that they then give away to others who do not have one. I explain also that the plants are like our testimony, we have to ake great care and support it so it will grow, through prayer, scripture study, obedience and serving Heavenly Father, then as our testimonies grow we share them with others and slowly the Gospel will spread into all of the homes. Hopefully this love and testimony that we have shared here will continue to grow and enrich the lives of the people here in the areas we have worked.
Suggestions I would make to those coming to serve in the Polochic: PLEASE remember that this is mainly a Poverty economy, it affects people's outlook. You always have to think whether what you do will make people more independent or dependent on outside help. The lack of literacy is the root of many of the problems here, but is beginning to change with more schooling becoming available. There are still many though who do not value the importance of education, especially for young women.
Many times people here do not understand how to save for the future, we are working on it. They will ask you for money, we just say no. Luckily it is a rule that mission can't loan money or give it to them, but sometimes we can provide other solutions- like advice to help fix a problem. It helps us to realize that due to past “handouts” they can't help but ask for money, because they do not see another solution. The environment of dependence affects their growth in literacy and understanding of the Gospel. They need to learn to do their own study and research, not just wait for others to come in and give them answers. Many groups who have come in, have done "handouts" which really only make the people here more dependent on an outside rescue, instead of thinking what they can do to make a change to resolve their situations.
Anything done to help improve diversification of crops, and planning for future success will be a magnificent help. The importance of planting a garden and saving for the future need to be a priority. It is sometimes a slow repetitive process, with little steps to change, change does not always come rapidly. This community has been very hard hit in recent years because of dependence on their Cardamom crop exportation, and then that crop got a fungus and the value dropped drastically. There was no diversification nor savings, so the people have suffered not knowing a solution.
Many of our wonderful members who would love to stay here cannot because there is no employment. Hopefully with the road improvement across the valley it will begin to increase the development of the economy and job market here.