Dear Family and Friends,
Again a lot has happened in the past week. I had my blood checked again at the clinic last Thursday and they sent me a result that it is still a little thick. It went up from Monday the 8th which was 1.39 to 1.75 on Thursday the 11th. I thought it would go up faster but the clinic said it is wonderful and right on schedule. Dr. Merrill the doctor that works with many missions including South Africa Johannesburg Mission wanted it to be between 2 and 3 for a week or so before we left for Botswana. We talked with Dr. Isaacs that was my doctor at the hospital and the one that prescribed the medicine (Warfarin) that is to thin my blood. The last time I saw him he said I looked great and if I wasn’t in any more pain and if I had a doctor in Botswana he would release me. I meet all of his criteria and the clinic said all was going along fine so I talked to President Poulsen and he said to write an e-mail to Dr. Merrill and explain everything to him and we had his blessing to head for Botswana the following day which was Friday the 12th of March 2010. We left about 8:45 that morning and arrived at the border about noon. We stopped for gas and to walk around a little as that is what Dr. Isaac suggested every second hour. Of course we got lots of walking in at the border as we had to go through customs and immigration and pay for the car to go into Botswana.
We certainly thank Elder and Sister Olson which met us at the border personally. They had to cross the border and make a loop and met us at the customs office. They really saved us a lot of problems and made sure everything was done right. It still took about an hour and then we headed toward Gaborone pronounced (Haborony). We stopped at a mall called River Walk Mall and had lunch and Mom and I had a physical with a doctor as you need to be in good health to arrive in Botswana. She the doctor, asked questions about our health and I couldn’t lie so I told her about my problem of having blood clots in my lungs. She was very nice and all the questions that she asked I answered to her satisfaction. She felt confident that my health is not an issue to enter the country so here we are and I think for 18 months.
As we left the border Elder Olson said to stay close so I tried. He drove like he wasn’t concerned so a couple of cars got between us but we kept an eye on them and followed them to the River Walk Mall and the first thing Sister Olson said to Mom is have your husband try and stay closer to us. From then on I was almost like a fly on flypaper. They took us past the Broadhurst Chapel on the way to our flat (apartment). It was about 4:00 in the afternoon when we arrived at our flat and it will be sufficient enough to get by for three months until the Olson’s leave to go home. After Elder and Sister Olson helped us get the car unpacked and our luggage into our new flat. We have a GPS system in our car and the Olson’s wanted us to put chapel and other places in the GPS so we could find our way around. So when we left our apartment or flat it was in the GPS to find our way back. We then followed them to the Botswana Mission Home which is in their home or flat, it is more like a home and not at all like a flat. It is very nice and we are very excited to move into it in three months. We will probably wait and take pictures of it when we get moved in. They feel very safe and secure in it and I’m sure we will feel that way as well.
Saturday we shopped and bought a few groceries and tried to set up housekeeping in our new flat. About 3:00 in the afternoon we headed over to the Olson’s and had a good visit with them. We left in time to freshen up back at our flat before going to the adult meeting of our stake conference. Let me explain a little of the layout of the six stakes in Johannesburg. Each of the stakes come to a point in down town Johannesburg and go out like huge cuts of a Pizza. Well the Roodepoort Stake comes clear into Botswana. They have always had a stake conference in Johannesburg and then came up a week or two later and had the second half up here in Botswana. Well today became a first. They had the stake conference in Johannesburg and broadcasted it up here to the Broadhurst Chapel. So last night the adult part of conference and today the general part were both broadcast to our chapel and it was wonderful. The next to last speaker said he got a phone call from the Broadhurst Chapel in Botswana and he said they have over 100 more people in attendance than we have here in Johannesburg Chapel. That was very exciting to hear as I secretly hope to make a District or Stake here in Botswana before 18 months is up.
We are now back in our flat and have had a nice lettuce salad and in couple of hours we will have baked chicken for the real meal of the day. I guess we call it Sunday dinner. Well our thought always go to each of you several times a day especially prayer time hoping and praying that all is well with each of you. We love each of you and miss you very much. Our flat is a little worse than our apartments were in Ukraine but it is just fine for 3 months. If you want to know what the apartments were like in Ukraine get with Bryce and Melissa and then can tell you about the nicer one we had in Dneperpretrovsk. This apartment is a lot like our first apartment we had while serving in Donetsk well maybe not quite as nice but close.
I will close with the wonderful feelings we had in the conference we enjoyed yesterday and again today. These people are well founded in the gospel. They strengthen my faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We love missionary work and feel it a great pleasure to serve and be doing the Lords work. Sure we miss each of you and with birthdays we miss along with baptisms, blessings, temple weddings, returning and leaving missionaries it truly is a sacrifice to be here but this is where the Lord wants us at this point of our lives.
With love from Dad