May 15, 2010
Dad and I have been thinking about all of you all day yesterday and all day long today. We know you are all together right now, as for us it is 8:15 PM which means you are all together in St. George attending Kylea and Casey’s wedding. Our hearts are full, just thinking about you all together. How grateful we are for your love for each other, your support for Cindy and David today and especially for your worthiness to all be in the temple today for such a special occasion. It is especially tender knowing that my parents are there with you and that Dad will be performing the wedding ceremony for Kylea and Casey. It’s hard for us to be so far away, but we have so many special tender mercies shown to us these past few days, that we just know it is Heavenly Father’s way of letting us know that we are where we are suppose to be at this time.
Last week was such a hard week that we didn’t even get around to writing a letter. We got 9 new missionaries in our end of the mission, 7 Elders and 2 Sisters. I guess I have to say we were suppose to get 2 Sisters, but one of them was from Madagascar and they wouldn’t let her through the border. So when we two Sister’s we sent to Johannesburg to bring them home got to the border they called Dad and he tried to talk to the Border officials and even offered to come out with whatever paperwork they needed to see if we could help. But they said, anyone from Madagascar has to already have applied for a Botswana Visa and have it with them before entering Botswana. Our Sisters come into Botswana with a South African Visa and then we have to apply for Botswana residency for them when they get here and that always works; except if you are from Madagascar. Somehow, someone from the Area Office or from the MTC should have caught this before it got up here to us, but………………………..Anyway so at 9 PM at night, after a 5 hour drive from Johannesburg, we had no choice but to send them back to JoBurg that night. We called President Poulsen and he agreed to wait up for them and have them stay at the Mission Home for a couple of days until it all could be sorted out, but as it turns out the two new Sisters had to go back into the MTC (right there in JoBurg) and our two Sisters drove back up to Botswana without their new companions. It’s now 10 days later and we still don’t have our new Sisters, the Area Office is working on her passport, but it takes a while and we aren’t pulling any great strings yet.
The Zone Leaders had to stay in JoBurg one extra night to do some training with the President so after they got all the new missionaries on their way here for transfers; they did their training and then drove back here the next night. Well, at 9 Pm we got a phone call from the Border again, and they had switched their “car registration” letters they have to have to cross the border with another set of missionaries that drove up the night before. The one set of missionaries didn’t get checked really close and they got through fine, but the Zone Leaders got stopped and the Border Patrol was insisting that we produce both sets of missionaries and both cars to the police for fines, and whatever???? Dad talked to them for over a half an hour and sent new letters (by e-mail) to the border patrol and after an hour and a half of talking, e-mailing and convincing them that it was just a mistake not an illegal “car ring’ they finally let our missionaries through.
The rest of the week was full of registering all the new Elder’s that came into country, re-doing all the Elders tht have been here for 90 days and have to have more legal work done to get to stay their extra 90 days and that was full of frustrations also, as they change the laws all the time and now instead of us doing the paperwork for our Missionaries and taking them their new permits and such, now we have to bring the missionaries in in person and some of them are 2,3 or 4 even 5 hours away from our office. We also have to pay Insurance on every car every three months, and we usually drive out to the Border (which is about 45 minutes away) with all the paperwork and pay the Insurance. But this time, they said we can’t do it that way anymore, we have to bring all the cars in, individually, before we can pay the insurance. I’m not sure what we are going to do about that one; some of these cars never get close to a border at all, especially every 3 months.
Oh well, it’s all in a day’s work and we are trying to learn to do it right, but the rules keep changing. Anyway, our new goal has been to try to get one big thing done each day and be really content with that. But yesterday we left home early in the morning with a list of 10 things that we needed to do and we were just going to see where the day took us and with the help of our Heavenly Father, by 6 O’clock, we had 9 of the 10 things done and the other one will wait easily until next week. Today was our preparation day and we cleaned the house, did our grocery shopping, washed the car, and then worked in the office all day trying to get caught up from all of our computer problems. Dad is up and running great, but mine still has some problems. I think we are going to have to call Salt Lake again and even get in touch with our “on-line banking” system here in Botswana because I can’t bring up my on-line banking at all and it is all done in coordination with the Area Office in JoBurg. It takes so many credentials and proof of “who you are” that I hate to think about it, but hopefully the Lord will bless us again this week and it will all be up and running again soon.
Yesterday, we had to go to our Bank for a “cashier Check” to pay for a Mission Purchase of P6050. (This is about $1200. ) They wouldn’t take a church check so we went to our bank for the Cashier’s Check. We had to stand in queue (line) for about 15 minutes and then we were handed 2 full pages that we had to fill out. (Actually it was one page, but there were 2 copies and they said I had to fill them both out). They had a copy machine right on the ladies desk, but I had to hand write them both. Then we got back in line to wait for the teller to take our papers and he said the check would be ready in 15 minutes, we could just go walk around or set and wait. We walked around the mall that our bank is in and went back in 15 minutes and thought we’d just pick up the check; but…………….we got back in queue (line) and waited our turn again and when we got to the front of the line, the teller went in the back to get the check and was literally gone for another 20 minutes and no one was there to wait on any of the other customers in his spot. He finally came out and said the check was almost ready, could we just step out of line and wait. We did wait for another 15 minutes, by now the bank was closed (3:30 here) and it was 3:50 when he finally went back in the back and came out with our Cashier’s Check. Needless to say, we won’t ever be going back for another cashier’s check. Our choices were the cashier’s check or write a check to ourselves and cash it at the bank and pay cash. We didn’t really want to do that as it would look like we were just paying ourselves and thought the Cashier’s Check was definitely a better option, but next time we’ll just pay ourselves, even it looks bad and make sure we have plenty of receipts and documents and etc.
We are getting settled in our home here. The Mission Home is very comfortable, we love having the office out in the dining room and the missionaries love it also. They have come over a lot lately, I think just to see all the new arrangements and of course, I always have cookies, banana bread, or Wacky Cake for them when they come. My latest is Banana Bread Muffins (yes, I actually found cupcake papers and I bought all I could get my hands on) and I even made 3 Wacky Cakes this week and poured them into the Muffin tins and they turned out great. It’s much easier to take the Banana Bread Muffins and the Cupcakes with us when we travel so we can give the Missionaries a treat for clean apartments and etc. They love having something “homemade” and it’s fun to spoil them. I even found “icing sugar” here and it makes pretty cook frosting. When our missionaries have to go to JoBurg for transfers or Zone Leaders training, they leave their areas about 4:30 in the morning, arriving here at anywhere from 5:30 to 6:30 AM depending on where they are serving. Some of them are even farther and we usually have them come in the night before and stay with the Zone leaders for the night. They have to come here and get their passports and Car registration papers and their Pula to pay for Border crossings; so we just get up early and have them stop by for a “smoothie and a muffin” and send them on their way with a prayer to insure that they have a “Safe Journey”. I really wish they didn’t have to do so much traveling here, but it is part of the work and they do it all with a smile. They always come back from JoBurg late and their cell phones don’t work until they get back in Botswana so we always worry about them, especially the Sisters on the road at night with no cell phones. Dad is going to try to get roaming on their phones, but it is costly, but after this last go round and them having to go back to JoBurg in the middle of the night, I think we will consider it at all cost.
Well, this letter has gotten too long, but it’s been too long since I wrote and my mind is going a little crazy tonight. We love you all, we miss you and we are so happy that you are together right now in the temple. We can picture all of you in the St. George temple and all the grandkids waiting outside for the happy couple to enter the grounds of the temple. What a sight that would be and we thank our Heavenly Father for letting us have a vision of what it must be like. “Let There Be No Empty Seats in Our Heavenly Home.”
We love it in Botswana, we especially love the people here and we feel blessed to be able to serve our Heavenly Father and to try to thank Him for his bounteous blessings to us. Missionary work IS the work of the Lord, and we are privileged to be on His errand. I love your father; he is the greatest protector I could ever ask for. We feel safe here; we have an 8 foot cement fence around our home with an 8 wire electric fence on top of that. There is a security system installed in the home with detectors in every room that would set off the alarm if anyone did get in. At night we go down the hall into the master bedroom and lock ourselves behind two heavy wooden doors and set the alarm system on. I get a little claustrophobic when Dad closes the doors at night, but we sleep well knowing we are safe.
Mom and Dad, Granny and PaPa Lynn, Elder and Sister Morgan