Monday, April 23, 2012


Here are some fun pictures Dad fixed for me to send.  Enjoy!
l.  Marea and her Relief Society President, Sister Lasedi and our 4 Kanye Elders.
2. Firewood place
3. A couple of cute little boys in Kanye!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Final Letter

     We are so happy with Elder and Sister Kimball.  The Lord is helping them each and every day and they are learning and doing just fine.  We really was worried for a couple of weeks but they have great attitudes and are quick learners so we are pleased.  She has even driven the car a few times.  They are both great drivers (a little slower then mom and I) but they are doing great.  Yesterday the transfer missionaries (8) arrived safely and we showed the Kimballs what we do and they did fine.  Today we take our new missionaries to the police to get things certified and to the doctor to start the paperwork to get their residence permits.
     We will probably help them for a few hours than come back to the Motheo Apartments to pack.  Mom has already started but I will start this afternoon.  We leave here at 8:00 and go through the border about 8:30 then drive to Johannesburg mission office and drop off the car and deliver some things.  President and Sister Omer will drive us to the airport and them along with Elder and Sister Bricknell and us will have a late lunch together and visit.  Then we will go to the departure gates and check in and wait for our plane to leave.  Mike remember that we will be coming in from Atlanta so I don't think it will be in the international part of the airport like Maria came into.  It says we will be on flight number DL983 arriving in SLC at 11:50 AM from Atlanta.  We have nothing to do in Salt Lake unless you want to set up an appointment with President Monson to get us released and I could tell him that a mission needs to be set up on Botswana.  (just kidding)
     We are looking forward to seeing everyone.
Love Out Of Botswana, Dad
P.S. Grandma and Grandpa Beus are planning to stay with us Saturday night.  Mike and Didi can you share a bedroom with your kids or something for just that one night.
P.S.S.  We will have internet here all day if anyone needs to say anything.  We wish Brayden good luck on the 16th we are praying for him and Jaxon

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Week # 77 - Papa Lynn

Week 77

Dear Family and Friends,                               
               This letter will be short because I am so excited to be heading home that I think I will say too much and you won’t be very spiritual.  This has been a great week as Mom and I have moved out of the mission home/office so Elder and Sister Kimball can move in to learn and run things without our influence so much.  It is fun to be back where we started and we feel calmer than we did 18 months ago, but I think that is because we have more faith and trust in the people of Botswana.  The Kimballs are learning all they need to know and I think they will be just fine.  They will do things differently than we have done them but that is OK because we did them different than what we were taught also.  I’m not sure they will keep up the picture board of all the missionaries because it is a lot of computer work and I don’t think that is the things they are the best at learning.
               I had another surprise trip to Johannesburg Friday evening and stayed overnight and flew back on Saturday morning because we had a passport up here that was needed at 6:00 AM Saturday and I took it down.  I get to do think like that all the time.  Oh well it all pays the same in the long run.
               Today we attended the three wards here in Gaborone and it was fast and testimony meetings in each so I had the opportunity to bare my testimony in each meeting.  Mom bore testimony in two of the three meetings.  It was difficult because of our love for each of them but we got through and several wanted to have pictures with us after meetings.
               Well it won’t be long now and we will be home.  This week we bore testimony in three wards and next week reporting our mission in Unity 2nd ward.  We are very excited to see everyone.  We love you all very much.
               Love Out Of Botswana, Dad

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thoughts for Today's Reading

Dearest Family,
We are back in the office for a few minutes  while the Kimballs are gone so I grabed her computer for a minutes and I wanted to share this with all of you from our reading!
Mormon 8:31
Mormon refers to "great pollutions" in our day. 
Boyd K. Packer said: :Sadly, the effects of this great pollution are perhaps most evident in the mass media, films, television, and popular music.  If we in this nation continue to sow the images of murder, violence, drug abuse, perversion, and pornography before the eyes of millions of children, we should not be surprised if the foundations of our society rot away as if from leprosy."
Mormon 8:34 -35
President Exra Taft Benson declared that our study of the Book of Mormon should be influenced by our knowledge that Moroni saw our day and wrote with us in mind:  "We must make the Book of Mormon a center focus of study because it was written for our day.  The Nephites never had the book; neither did the Lamanites of ancient times.  It was meant for us.  Mormon wrote near the end of the Nephite civilization.  Under the inspiration of God. who sees all things from the beginning; he abridges centuries of records, choosing the stories, speeches, and events that would be most helpful to us.
Each of the major writers of the Book of Mormon testified that he wrote for future generations.
Mormon himself said, "Yea, I speak unto you, ye remnant of the house of Israel.  And Mormoni, the last of the inspired writers, actually saw our day and time.
If they saw our day and chose those things which would be of gretest worth to us, is not that how we should study the Book of Mormon?  We should constantly ask ourselves, "Why did the Lord inspire Mormon, or Moroni, or Alma to include that in his record?  What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age?  And there is example after example of how that question will be answered."
Enjoy your reading; ;we are!!!
Congratulations to Alex!  We tried to look up your mission of the Church e-mail but we couldn't even figure out how to spell it.
Don't know if we will be alone in the office again or not; but we love you all and we'll see you next Friday.
Love out of Botswana!
Mom and Dad

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week # 76 - Granny

Dear Family,
Well, Time is marching on so quickly that we are running out of time for training, teaching, talking in church, and visiting with these people that we love so much.  We are doing our “last” of everything and it’s really quite sad.  We had our final part together with the YSA yesterday and it was so fun.  We bought wood out in the country from a little family that sells it for a living and that is an experience in itself.  Dad started the fire and got it just right for a good ol’ American wiener roast and they had never even seen and couldn’t imagine how to cook them over the open fire.  Dad had made about 18 wiener stick with a good stiff wire he found and some dowels and they worked really well.  We had about 75 in attendance and they ate until I thought they would all burst and I think they had a great time.  Sister Busi Matswagothata (Bishop’s wife) had put together a really nice memory book and had all of them write us a little note to put in the book along with their pictures and it is really a treasure.  We will really miss them and hope we can keep up with their lives through Bishop and Busi.  The Matswagothata’s have become way more than friends and we will never forget them.  They say they will come to America to visit and we think they really might.  We certainly hope so!  They invited us to their home this Thursday evening and we are looking forward to going.
     Today we drove to Kanye for our last time; we really love the Saints in Kanye and they have become like our 2nd family.  They became a branch about 2 months before we arrived so we have seen them through a lot of baptisms, confirmations, building remodeling and building grounds clean up operations, as well as parties and leadership training.  It was hard to speak in their meetings today as, of course, we got quite emotional and the spirit was certainly with us all as we said our fair wells and as we witnessed to them of the truthfulness of the Gospel and pleaded with them to remember our testimonies and to let our testimonies strengthen them until they could be strong enough of their own to ALWAYS stay close to the Gospel and it’s teachings.  I met with Sister Lasedi (The Relief Society President) for an hour after church; she is a member of less than 9 Months and trying to be the mother of the ward; and doing an excellent job I might add.  Their Branch President is a wonderful  7 Ft. Tall Elder (Elder Oketa) with a crippled leg and a dynamic spirit.  We left Kanye with heavy hearts, but full of excitement for the future.  Marea was with us today and she came back to Botswana with us and is going to help me clean tomorrow and then ride the Combi back to Kanye as she starts school again on Tuesday.  She has been out for a 3 week break, but will soon be in full swing again.  She is doing excellent in school and getting very good grades.  She is happy and fun and we love her.  We bought her a bed as she has been sharing a Twin Sized bed with her cousins daughter because she has no place else to sleep except on her grandma’s floor.  It was fun yesterday when we took her to the furniture store, she went to the absolute cheapest bed in the store and laid down on it and said (thumbs-up) this one will be just great! 
     We plan to pack up and clean and train all day Monday and Tuesday and then move into the small apartment across town where we began our Mission and let the Kimball’s move into the Mission Home so they can start doing all the computer work, answering phones, and everything else that comes up daily.  As long as we are here, we keep doing it and they need to be on their own for a few days before we leave.  They are wonderful people, fun to be around; having a great experience here so far and they are thrilled to be serving in Botswana.  They have served a Family History Mission in their home stake, but have been praying for a Foreign Mission some time in their life and now at age 74 and 75, they have realized their dream and they are just so excited to be here.  They were a little less excited after it took them 5 hours at Immigration on Friday, but they are good sports.  We are proud of them.
Well, it’s been a big weekend and the week is looking about the same so I’m going to close and I don’t know if we will be able to write any more or not.  It’s kind of hard to use the computers when it isn’t our house, but if we get a chance we’ll try.  If you need anything, you can e-mail us though as I’m sure we will at least be able to check for messages one day when we come over to do office work with them.

We love you all so very much.  We thank you for your love and support as we have served this mission.  We couldn’t do it if we didn’t have that support.    Thanks for allowing us to spread our wings and fly; we love each other and we love serving together.  We have been so richly blessed and we pray for that same blessing for each of you.  We’ll see you in “a few”.

Mom and Dad, Grannie & PaPa Lynn

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book of Mormon Reading Challenge

Dear Family and Friends,
     I don't know how many of you are keeping up with the Book of Mormon challenge that started on the 27th of May 2011 but if you are staying on schedule you will be reading of the actual appearance of the Savior to the people on the American continent.  The challenge of readng 77 days at 7 pages each day you should be reading page 428 through 434 today.  You know that I haven't mentioned this very often but today is special with the appearance of the Savior and his teaching contained in those pages are wonderful.  I know that the next four days will be full of great and wonderful things and I am excited to read them but I am staying strictly on schedule.  I hope you are reading pages 428 through 434 today.
Love Out Of Botswana, Dad, Papalynn, Brother, and Friend

Monday, July 25, 2011

Quote of the Day!

Dear Family,
Another quote for the day; this time about 3 Nephi 10:12
Elder M. Russell Ballard taught: "  We, like the Nephites, must follow our prophet if we hope to find safety, peace, prosperity, and happiness:  "It is no small thing to have a prophet of God in our midst.  Great and wonderful are the blessings that come into our lives as we listen to the word of the Lord given us through him.  When we hear the counsel of the Lord expressed through the words of the President of the Church, our response should be positive and prompt.  History shows that there is safety, peace and prosperity, and happiness in responding to prophetic counsel."
We Love You and we'll see you in A FEW!!!
Mom and Dad, Grannie & PaPa Lynn

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Quote of the Day

Dear Family,
Just another great quote that goes along with our daily reading!
3 Nephi 6:12  Prosperity and Pride!  Quote by Pres. Eyring
"A little prosperity and peace, or even a turn slightly for the better, can bring us feelings of self-sufficiency.  We can feel quickly that we are in control of our lives, that the change for the better is our own doing, not that of a God who communicates to us through the still, small voice of the Spirit.  Pride creates a noise within us which makes the quiet voice of the Spirit hard to hear.  And soon, in our vanity, we no longer even listen for it.  We can come quickly to think we don't need it."
3 Nephi 6:15-18  satan tempted them to willfully Sin against God! 
Satan, who rebelled against God in our premortal existence seeks to stir up rebellion among the Saints of God.  The danger of willful participation in sin has to do with the voice we choose to follow. King Benjamin warned:  "And now, I say unto you, my brethren, that after ye have known and have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go contrary to that which has been spoken....."I say unto you, that the man that doeth this, the same cometh out in open reellion against God; therefore he listeth to obey the evil spirit, and becometh an enemy to all righteousness; therefore, the Lord has no place in him, for he dwelleth not in unholly temples."
In connection with this, Elder Neal A. Maxwell observed: "Surely it should give us more pause than it does to think of how casually we sometimes give to Satan, who could not control his own ego in the premortal worls such awful control over our egos here.  We often let the adversary do indirectly now what we refused to let him do directly then."
Elder M. Russell Ballard explained the danger of heeding Satan's temptations:
"In the premortal world before we left the presence of Heavenly Father, He warned and cautioned us about new experiences we would have in mortality.  We knew that we each would have a physical body of flesh and bone.  Never having been mortal before, we had no experience dealing with the temptations of mortality.  But Heavenly Father knew and understood.  He charged us to control our mortal bodies and to make them subject to our spirits.  Our spirits would have to master the physical temptations that our bodies would encounter in a temportal world.  Spiritual power over the influence of Satan comes to us by keeping the commandments of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
"Satan will seek to tempt us at times and in ways that exploit our greatest weaknesses or destroy our strengths.  But his promises of pleasure are short-lived deceptions.  His evil design is to tempt us into sinning, knowing that when we sin we separate ourselves from our Heavenly Father and the Savior, Jesus Christ.  We begin to move away from Heavenly Father's promised blessings toward the misery and anguish in which Satan and his followers languish.  By sinning we put ourselves in Satan's power.
"The battle for your souls is increasingly fierce.  The adversary is strong and cunning.  However, you have within your physical body the powerful spirit of a son or daughter of GodBecause He loves you and wants you to come home to Him, our Father in Heaven has given you a conscience that tells your spirit when you are keeping the Lord's commandments and when you are notIf you will pay more attention to your spiritual self, which is eternal, than to your mortal self, which is temporary, you can always resist the temptations of Satan and conquer his efforts to take you into his power."
Have a great week.  We are SUPER BUSY but Happy!  I love you Dad.  He is such a great man and the missionaries all love him.
He uses his Priesthood righteously and I'm so proud to be his companion.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week # 75 - Papa Lyn

Dear Family and Friends,                                                           
                I have lots to talk about in this letter so I am starting a week early.  Mom sent her letter a few days early this week and many of the things that she wrote about are in the process.  We picked up President and Sister Omer at the airport here in Gaborone on the 4:40 PM flight.  We went to dinner at my favorite restaurant and had a great visit and a great meal.  They are so wonderful and they will be great for this mission.  We knew how much we have enjoyed President and Sister Poulsen that we have been concerned who the Omers would fit in.  He has been throughout the mission doing interviews to get acquainted with each of the missionaries and Botswana is his last three zones to interview.  We have been blessed to have them here at our mission office/home and everything went very well.  We don’t have to worry if they can fill the shoes of the Poulsens as they will do just fine.
                Because of flights and distance President Omer ask if I would have Francistown missionaries come down here to Gaborone for their interviews as well.  It meant only having four elders and four sisters come in two cars and then we wanted the Risers to come as well so they came earlier than the Francistown Zone.  We had a good day Friday with each district come in for interviews and they were each on time and the interviews went really well.  In the afternoon Elder and Sister Riser got here and so after interviews my sweet wife had dinner for the three couples, President and Sister Omer, Elder and Sister Riser and ourselves.  It was a great meal with enchiladas as the main course and everyone had as much as they wanted and it was fun to set around and just talk until it was time to take President and Sister Omer back to their hotel for the night.
                The next morning we had changed the interviews to be a couple hours earlier so we could take them shopping to a couple small markets in front of the River Walk Mall and then over to Botswana Craft.  It was fun and the women really enjoyed it.  After that Mom and I left everyone (Omers and Risers) here in our mission home/office and we went out to the border to get Elder and Sister Kimball and Elder and Sister Oborn across the border.  We didn’t know if they would need us but it really helped and they were happy that we were there.  It usually takes about 4 ½ to 5 hours to come from the Office in Johannesburg but it took them 10 ½ hours.  They got lost twice and went the wrong way in some very important places that totally took them the wrong way. Later as they followed us from place to place I know it must have been the fact that they were not use to driving on the left side of the road.  However the driver Elder Oborn has been in England on his first mission and he has been in South Africa for about a month and he is so causes that he can’t follow anyone very well.  I take always take great precautions when someone is following me that I have never lost anyone until yesterday in broad daylight.  It was frustrating to say the least.  Elder Oborn was driving but just didn’t have a clue as how to follow.  Sorry this sounds so negative but we were all late for everything because of this.
                Sunday we picked up Elder and Sister Kimball at the Mottheo Apartments (where we started here in Botswana about 17 months ago) then went past the Mondior Hotel to get President and Sister Omer and Elder and Sister Oborn to follow us to Gaborone West chapel.  We were on time because I had allowed a little extra time for them to follow us.  They all had an opportunity to speak in the YSA ward Gaborone West 2nd ward) with President and Sister Omer taking the greater amount of time as it should be.  Then we stayed there and attended Gaborone West 1st ward (the family ward)and they all spoke again. Mom and I had arranged for us to attend a baptism at the Broadhurst building at about 12:0 but again Elder Oborn didn’t pay attention and followed the wrong car.  Gratefully President Omer had his cell phone I called and they finally got behind us about ten minutes later.  When we got to Broadhurst the baptism of three was over but we did get to be there for the music while they were dressing and then got to hear each of their testimonies which were wonderful.
                After all the different meetings we went to we came back home here to have dinner.  The roast was tender and great and we had funeral potatoes with all the trimmings.  My sweet wife has al talent in fixing meals.  They all loved the food and we all had a great time.  We could barely fit eight of us around the table but it worked fine.  We just set around and talked for the whole afternoon and no one wanted to leave.  We finally had ice cream and cookies and then lead them back to the hotel and apartment.  I didn’t mention that Elder and Sister Riser left at 5:00 AM Sunday morning to get back and do a visit in the Serowe group and their way back to Francistown.   The next morning we needed to take President and Sister Omer to the airport to fly back to Johannesburg and while there we pointed Elder and Sister Oborn down the road to the Tlokweng borer to drive back to Johannesburg.  We found out they made it back just fine.  Then about noon we picked up the Kimballs to get them some groceries so they could eat at their apartment.   We ended up coming back to our home and did a little training and talking over dinner then he asked if he could drive home with us with him as we needed to bring back the car.  Sadly he hit a curb and bent a rim on the car and broke the hub cap.  I think it was caused by driving too fast so when he slowed down he does just fine.  We picked them up for the next couple days but after learning the way from the Motheo Apartments he now drives the car they brought up from South Africa (this is the car we will take back to South Africa on the 11th of August).
                Tuesday we took them to Mafikeng to learn where the Elders flat is and we did an apartment inspection and also where the church is in Mafikeng.  They had a good experience crossing the border both going to and coming back from Mafikeng.  On the way back we did an apartment inspection in Lobatse and showed them the church there as well.  Both Monday and Tuesday was a holiday as it has been Presidents day here in Botswana, so Wednesday we did all the preparations for the immigration papers for the Kimballs. Thursday we did apartment inspections for the entire Botswana East zone which included Mochudi and all the flats here in Gaborone.  Friday we went to the power office to get them acquainted with things there and then we went to the main mail to show them the post office and did a little shopping of the tourist items while there.  While having lunch back at the mission home I received a call to do a second interview back at Mochudi so we did that in the afternoon.
                Saturday we went to a wedding of one of our YSA couples and it was wonderful and almot started on time.  It was only a half hour late instead of two hours late as some have been. Between the wedding and a special meeting with President Hall our Roodepoort Stake president I got a call to do two interviews in Molepolole.  So my sweet wife fixed us all a sack lunch and we headed for Molepolole and after the two 2nd interviews we did an apartment inspection and showed the Kimballs where the church building was in Molepolole as well.
                24 July 2011 Sunday: Today was be a bit different as the MTC President and his wife spent the last couple of days in Madikwe game reserve where Mom and I took our three sons when they came to visit and they came to visit us today.  They have two of their girls with them and we are meet them at the River Walk Mall and took them to church in Broadhurst.  We also have the PEF couple in town and they are came to dinner at our house as well.  We are very glad that everyone wasn’t here all at once.  We had the first dinner with Elder and Sister Kimball with resident and Sister Christensen and of course Mom and I.  It was fun and they stayed until about 2:00 and we drove them to the edge of town to make sure they knew their way to the border.
                At about 5:00 we got a call from the perpetual education fund couple who we thought was coming with everyone else and we had to fix another meal.  Then at 7:00 Kgosy and Miepillo came and wanted to eat as well.  It is now 8:30 and I don’t think anyone else will be coming to eat.  But I guess some missionaries could come even yet for about another hour.
                Well the day is about done and we are about to finish up a few things and get ready for bed.  Before doing so I need to explain something.  On or about the 2nd or 3rd of August we are going to do what we did in Ukraine.  We will be moving out of our home here in Botswana rom the mission home/office and change places with the Kimballs.  They will move here and we will spend the last week in the Motheo Apartments.  We want you to know if you need to get hold of us we will still be checking our e-mail every day right up until the 10th and then the 11th  we will most like not check it as we will be driving to Johannesburg and heading home.  As of that same day we will be changing homes, cars, and cell phones.  Our phone number then will be 00267-7138-0266 instead of 00267-7132-0394.  The last number will be the Kimballs and if you call it they can get hold of us.
                Love Out Of Botswana, Dad and Mom

Thought for the Day

Dear Family,
The last 4 days have been just as Crazy & buzy as I told you they would be but our new Mission President is wonderful and his wife is amazing also.  We hit it off with them so good that we ALMOST wish we were going to be here longer so we could serve with them.  The Kimball's are a little more Mature than we thought they would be and we are a bit nervous about them taking over here; but we have faith that the Lord Qualifies whom He calls" so we are sure they will be up to the task when the time comes.  They don't know computers much at all, and neither one of them wants to drive but said they will both try in a few days.  A new couple from the office in JoBurg brought them up on Saturday and it usually takes 5 hours.  Somehow they got lost 3 or 4 times and we ended up meeting them at the Border to help them through after 10 hours and I'm not sure where they had been and they didn't know either.  Well, I'll write more later but it's time for us to go to bed but I did want to share something from my reading today before I hit the sack!
President Ezra Taft Benson observed that "the record of the Nephite history just prior to the Savior's visit reveals many parallels to our own day as we anticipate the Savior's second coming." Only those with firm testimonies and full conversions were able to remain steadfast prior to the Savior's appearance in America.  The same is true in our day.  Only those with firm testimonies and full conversions will be able to remain steadfast prior to the Lord's Second Coming.  A careful study of 3 Nephi 1-7 will help you understand how your testimony of Jesus Christ and conversion to His gospel will give you the sustaining strength you need to stay true to the Savior during the challenging days in which you live. 
President Hinckley counseled the youth of our day on how to avoid being led away from the truth.  "To our young people, the glorious youth of this generation, I say, be true.  Hold to the faith.  Stand firmly for what you know to be right. 
You are the best generation we have ever had.  You know the gospel better.  You are more faithful in your duties.  You are stronger to face the temptations which come your way.  Live by your standards.  Pray for the guidance and protection of the Lord.  He will never leave you alone.  He will comfort you.  He will sustain you.  He will bless and magnify you and make your reward sweet and beautiful.  And you will discover that your example will attract others who will take courage from your strength."\
Love You All,
Mom and Dad, Grannie & PaPa LYnn

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thought for the Day

Here's a quote I came across today while I was studying.
President Hinckley: Concerning the importance of family prayer: "I feel the morning and evening practice of kneeling together---father, mother, and children.  This, more than soft carpets, more than lovely draperies, more than cleverly balanced color schemes, is the things that will make for better and more beautiful homes."
And then for all of my Aaronic Priesthood young men, Elder Oaks had this to say:  "Through the Aaronic Priesthood ordinances of baptism and the sacrament, we are cleansed of our sins and promised that if we keep our covenants we will always have His Spirit to be with us.  I velieve that promise not only refers to the Holy Ghost but also the ministering of angels, for 'angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ.'  So it is that those who hold the Aaronic Priesthood open the door for ALL Church members who worthily partake of the sacrament to enjoy the companionship of the Spirit of the Lord and the ministering of angels."
PaPa Lynn and I are proud of you for ALWAYS being worthy to pass and bless the Sacrament.  Imagine what a blessing you are to the people in the audience when you WORTHILY administer the ordinances of the Sacrament each week.  You will always be blessed for using your Priesthood in service of others.  Always be worthy to go to the temple so we can go with you!
Love You ALL
Mom and Dad, Grannie & PaPa Lynn

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Cout Down


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Week # 73 - Papa Lynn

Dear Family and Friends,                                                            
                Another two weeks and it is my turn to write again.  We have had a good week this past week.  We have had a change of replacements for us here in Botswana.  We thought the Robison’s were going to replace us but their MTC date has been changed so President Omer called a meeting with his counselors and we are now being replaced with Elder and Sister Kimball from Arizona.   They are as I write setting in training at the Prove MTC.  If all goes as planned they will be here in Botswana a week from today.  We have arranged housing for them from the time they arrive until they will move into this mission home/office on the 11th of August just after we pack up and move out.  We will leave quite early that morning and the Kimballs will move in.
                Because they arrive here on the 16th of July we will have 3 ½ weeks to train them.  We hope we have everything organized enough that they should be able to step in without very much of a skip of a beat.  Of course all depends on organizing every day to make things happen as they should and how fast they learn.  I think the only worry I have at this point is how well they can use the computer.  We have put most everything on the computer and hopefully they will be able to just carry on.  We will know a lot more in about 10 days after we have done some preliminary things with them.  We are looking forward to showing them the city of Gaborone in detail so they will be able to pay all the bills, get to the immigration offices, make it to church and find each of the missionary flats.  Then we will expand to the villages and smaller cities; Lobatse, Kanye, Molepolole, and Mochudi.  Again the church buildings or where they hold meetings and the missionary flats again.  Bill paying in these areas and what else needs to be learned.
                We are looking forward to a very busy week this week.  Marea (notice change of spelling on her name) is going to come Monday and help do some cleaning Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  She wants to earn some extra money and so we can pay her much better than she can earn anywhere else and it will help her a lot.  We are helping her to open a checking account so she can keep better track of her money and not have to worry about it being stolen.  She will catch a combi to get here on Monday and she planned to take a combi back on Wednesday but just about an hour ago I was called to do a second interview in Kanye so we arranged it for 4:00 Wednesday afternoon.  That will again help her and it won’t be out of our way at all. She completely (with help) cleaned the kitchen last week and this week we are going to have her clean windows and do cleaning in out bedroom and bathrooms and even do some weeding in the yard.  Of course all of this will be done with our help.  She is a joy to work with as she really does know how to work.
                On Thursday evening President Omer and wife are arriving and we will have dinner with them and it will be our first time to meet them.  We are really excited as I feel we will truly love them.  I have been impressed with the two or three presidency meetings I have been on the phone with him that he is really good.  He listens and even complements good ideas and said he is getting a real feel for the mission from his three counselors.  President Atkinson serves in the Northeast and I serve in Botswana and his other counselor is a local South African and isn’t involved with the everyday happenings of the mission but is more of a go between for the mission to the stake presidents.  There six stakes in Johannesburg and we are a part of one of them the Roodepoort Stake.  The next day which is Friday President Omer has interviews with the Botswana East and Botswana West zones and rather than him travelling up to Francistown on this first visit I suggested that the missionaries from there come down to Gaborone and have their interviews on Saturday.  He really liked the idea as he couldn’t get any flights to match his schedule.  The Riser’s our Francistown couple will come down on Friday with the Francistown zone and stay over with us here in the mission home.  That evening we will have dinner here in our home with the Risers, Omers and us.
                After the Francistown interviews on Saturday the Kimballs will arrive and we will all get acquainted with them and probably go out to dinner with the four couples.  Then they will stay at the same place we started our mission about a year and a half ago, the Motheo apartments.  Sunday we will most likely have all four couples attend the same meetings and then Mom will fix dinner for all four couples again.  After that the Risers will head back to Francistown and the next morning Mom and I will take President and Sister Omer to the airport to fly back to Johannesburg.  That is when the training for the Kimballs will start.
                It sounds like we have it totally organized but there are always things that change and I’m sure this next weekend will have many changes before it is over.
                Last night we had a fun evening.  Kgosi and Maipolo the couple we went to the temple with back on the 15 of February came over for dinner again (they do this quite a lot) but we had foil dinners cooked over coals in the front yard in a half barrel.  It was fun and we changed them or rolled them over every three minutes for about 40 minutes and they were done and not burnt and tasted wonderful.  They thought it was a fun way to cook and enjoy a camp fire at the same time.
                I will close for now but tomorrow is Sunday and I will probably add to this letter.
It is now Sunday,                                         July 10, 2011
                We went to Lobatse and attended the block with them and they had a baptism after church where a 16 year old girl and a man were baptized.  It was great to be a part of all of this.  Just before sacrament meeting in Lobatse my phone rang and the G-West elders locked their car keys in their car but it was at church so they said they could wait until we came back to Gaborone to help them out.  It wasn’t very much longer and got a call from the G-West sisters and they also locked their keys in their boot (trunk) and they said they were at church so I told them we would be there after meetings in Lobatse.  It worked out well because G-West has two wards in the building and they usually attend both wards each Sunday.  They had a baptism where four were baptized so we also attend them a well.  I got to play hero and retrieve the keys from each of the locked cars and return to the elders and sisters.  It is a good thing I have a spare se for each car here in Botswana.
                This afternoon we had a young couple come to visit to talk about marriage and schooling and in general I just think they want a reason to come and visit.  They came at 4:00 and left about 5:15 so it wasn’t long but I am getting hungry because it has been a long time sense breakfast.  So I will close with my love to each of you.  As of tomorrow we have exactly one month until we climb on a plane and head home.  The year and a half has slowly turned to months and now they are becoming only weeks.  We have a lot to do before we are ready to fly home as we have a lot of training that needs to be done with the Kimballs.
                The Gospel is so true and we love serving.  We only hope our Savior will accept our work.  We pray for our family and friends every day.
Love Out Of Botswana – Dad and Mom

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Our Replacements

Dear Family,
We don't want anyone to panic, but we just found out that our scheduled replacements have postponed their arrival until the 28th of AUGUST!!!  We are a bit paniced as we hard it all worked out to start training them the 25th of July so they would know everything about transfers, immigrtion, paying end of the month bills and first of the months bills, doing reports, etc. etc.
President Poulsen was even trying to get them to move their arrival date UP a week; but we don't know what happened as we really don't correspond with them at all, but we looked into our internet schedule of arrivals from the MTC yesterday morning and saw that they are now scheduled to arrive in Johannesburg on the 28th of August.
Dad called President Omer as we weren't sure if he knew or not, and he didn't so the two of them are trying to put their heads together and see what else they can come up with.  There are other couples in the mission that could be switched here but they are pretty settled where they are so President is going to do some looking and talk to the couple that is due to arrive next Monday and see who he feels would be the best to take our place.  We are kind of on HOLD trying to find "we don't know who" and "we don't know when" a place to stay like we did the first few weeks we were here.  It's hard to find an apartment for only a month and hotels are extremely expensive for that long so as soon as we know who is coming and when so we can product their ID information and Passport and whatever else the Hotel needs before they will let us book it; we will quickly try to find them a place to stay.  We are sure something will work out but we really don't want to have a "sleep over" here at our place for a whole month while we are trying to pack up and clean out and etc.  We love you and we are coming home!
Mike, and Family
(Mike wrote back to me but Dad said I left too much unsaid and that I'd better address this letter to everyone.  Sorry if I paniced anyone out!
No;  our "come home" date is not changing.  Our flights are already booked and we told President Omer that we have everything scheduled for you to get off work and that you are the one picking us up at the airport and he was very understanding.  We just have to switch him and his other Counselors into a fast mode and they are having a Phone Conference Call type Presidency Meeting tonight at 8 PM. to see which couple, either one in the mission already or the one coming next week will be best to replace us.  The couple coming in next week (The Kimball's) are a little older (70"s) and President Poulsen thought they might not be able to handle things here but they are from Tempe Arizona and look pretty sharp from their pictures we got on our computer program and we really feel comfortable with them taking our place.  In fact, when we saw their pictures, I immediately felt like I wished they were the ones that President Poulsen had chosen, and I was less excited about the Robison's that he did choose.  So I'm actually hoping that they all talk about it tonight and decide on the Kimball's
.  I figure with a name like Kimball; we can't go too far wrong and they will be able to do the work.  I'm not sure President Poulsen realized that Dad will soon be 69 and I'm not nearly far enough behind him.  We love you and we are coming home on schedule.
Love, Mom & Dad

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Week # 71

Dear Family and Friends,                                                         
                It seems that every two weeks come very quickly.  Lorraine and I take turns writing so I don’t have to write every week.  She often does every week but I don’t mind because I enjoy only once every two weeks.  We take turns on our prayers as well each day.  I pray on every day that doesn’t have a T in the day of the week and she takes all the days that do have a T in them.  It works out to be every other day except for Sunday and I say the morning prayers that day as it follow her T day and she says the Sunday night prayer because it is just before Monday which doesn’t have a T in it.  We have used this method to share our prayer time for many years.  She says the morning and night prays on her days and I say the morning and night prayers on my days.  Of course she doesn’t say my personal prayers that I have alone every day and she does as well.  Most of the times on Fast Sundays we talk about what specific thing we want to include on our prayers we offer on fast Sunday.
                We always have lost to pray about as we receive so many blessings here in Botswana serving as missionaries that we can’t really count them all.  This week’s miracle has to do with getting missionaries out of the border (which is part of immigration).  Last transfer which was the 18th of May we had a very difficult time getting our missionaries through the border.  The reason is because they have passed their 90 days and hadn’t received their residence permits.  We have been told we can stay here without extending their time but they didn’t tell us they couldn’t leave the country as we would be illegal in trying to do so.  We had four missionaries that fell in this category last transfer and two made it through without any problem but two had a different border officer and she caught it so they had to come back into Gaborone to the police to pay a fine and bring them a receipt.  It was terrible as it took 4 hours to do this and get them out of the border.
                This transfer we had 7 fall in this category.  Two left on Tuesday as President Poulsen wanted them to come down to early meetings the day before transfers and the other five went out on Wednesday.  This transfer day was the 22 of June just 5 weeks after the last one because of receiving a new mission president the week that the normal 6 weeks transfers were supposed to happen.  Mom and I decided that we need to go out with them to the border which is a 40 minute drive one way just to help them or at least see what we could do.  Our prayers were answered as those two along with the other two that were within their 90 days got through the border without any problems at all.  The next hurdle was to get the remaining five out the next day.  We feed the missionaries before they leave so it means an early morning both of these days.  We get up about 4:30 to exercise and prepare for the day and get breakfast ready for those leaving Botswana.  A huge morning and then to follow them to the border adds even more to do.  Those going out on Wednesday all got through the border without any problems.  Again we see the hand of the Lord in this great work.  Each a little miracle for us but it is what the Lord wants to happen.
                It has been a very busy week because of it being transfer week.  I try and get things ready about a week before transfer week just to make transfer week itself a little easier.  But there are too many factors that make it not run smoothly.   President Poulsen has given me access to the transfer scenarios as it happens for weeks before the actual transfer day.   This is good because it helps me to get paperwork ready for those coming in from South Africa.  The only problem is that many times when it involves brand new missionaries the Lord has a different person or persons that need to come to Botswana.  So I have to make last minute changes in all that I have already done.  And it doesn’t run quite as smoothly because of these changes but I know that I need to do what needs to be done even if there are some changes.   So all in all with Lorraine making meals for coming and going and I have lots more work in transfers we really do keep overly busy for a couple of weeks.  I am sure that the same thing will happen with a new mission president as well.  Within a week we lose a mission president and gain another.  They overlap from 5:00 PM until 8:00 AM the next morning.  It will be up to the assistants to train the new mission president and let him learn the ropes.  When he comes to Botswana on the 14th of July will be the first time to meet he and his wife in person.  On the 1st of July we are to have a presidency meeting with him on the phone as we have done in the past with President Poulsen.  I think I am automatically released as a counselor when he arrives but President Poulsen asked that we (his counselors) make this phone call.  I may serve as his counselor but because of our short time left he may not call me to serve.
                Today and yesterday something special has been happening here in Botswana, our United States first lady is in town.  There sure has been a lot of hustle and bustle here in Gaborone.  The traffic has been terrible.  Last evening I need to go to Game City a department store that is close to us and when I got to the main road it was stopped traffic.  I turned around in the center of the road and headed back home.  Later we found out she and with her two daughters a niece and her mother had been out to Mokolodi a very small game reserve about 15 kilometers out of town south toward Lobatse which is our main road to everywhere.   We had Sydney and two of her friends (all from the Peace Corps) stay overnight because they had an invite to attend a tea thing this morning with the 1st lady along with 350 other people.  We were not invited and I didn’t have my feelings hurt at all.
                I was asked to visit one of our missionaries in Mochudi this morning to take the news that his grandmother had passed away yesterday.  This visit is one of those things that happen because we are so far away from the Johannesburg mission office.  President Poulsen asked me to visit him and said he will call him later in a couple hours to make sure he had taken it ok.  When I talked to him he wasn’t surprised as his grandmother hadn’t been well for quite some time and he was expected she would die soon. 
On the way to Mochudi we saw army tanks on most big intersections and police on almost every side street.  We think they are there because ofwas all related to the visit of the 1st lady and had nothing to do with Elder Bernards grandmother passing away.  I just read this part to Mom and she said I hope the family catches the fact that you are just kidding about who the tanks are for.
We get hit with so many different things throughout this mission.  An example is that just this evening the missionaries said the G-West chapel has really been dirty for the past few sacrament meetings and the ward members aren’t cleaning.  When the missionaries clean it then it looks good on Sunday morning for all the meetings.  I asked them when they have time to clean the chapel.  They said that if we don’t clean it then it doesn’t get cleaned.  I called President Hall our stake president and he said I will handle this in the next few minutes as the missionaries are not supposed to clean, that responsibility is up to the Bishop to assign it to be cleaned by members.  Sometimes between our missionaries wanting to be kind and hardworking and the bishops take advantage of them.  They are busy enough doing missionary work that they should not be cleaning buildings.
Life is good and we are strengthening our testimonies by reading 7 pages of the Book of Mormon every day.   I have truly felt the spirit and so far I haven’t missed a day and I am staying on task.  I hope each of you that have committed to do this are reading every day.  On the 4th of July we will be at the half way point.  I promise that it will be a personal blessing and your families will grow from it as well.  One of our children has written and how it has helped them in the family to argue and fight less in their family.  It has already helped and strengthened my personal testimony.  May we each in our own way strengthen that which we know to be true through reading, studying, and through prayer.  We have the testimonies but we need to strengthen them every day.  I know that the Lord will bless us as we strive to do those things that we have been asked.  I love serving Him and I get blessings every day.  You as my family is one of my greatest blessings and I want you to know that.
In closing this letter I want to express my love to the love of my life, my sweetheart and best friend.  She is a wise person and many times I feel she receives inspiration more than I do.  I really have to be totally in tune before I can receive the inspiration that she receives at night when she is sleeping.  She says that her mind is clearer at night and she certainly does come up with some great inspiration, many that we try to put into effect. 
Love Out Of Botswana, we will see you in less than 50 days.  Dad