Dear Family and Friends,
It has been a hectic week and this weekend is going to be even more hectic. Today is Friday and we are doing a second interview with a Sister up in Kanye and then after that we are doing a Fireside for couples in the Kanye branch. It will be mostly on Family Home Evening but I expect to open it up to a question and answer time as well. Mom will do a spiritual beginning part and I will follow with some remarks and then the questions. On the way we will be going through Lobatse and deliver some church logo signs with an arrow showing the way to the church building. Lobatse gets two and we are taking another one to Kanye and then one for block all around the church building. We just picked theses up this morning and we also picked up a project that President Poulsen assigned to me shortly after we got here in Botswana. He asked me to work out some wording and a plaque that we can attach the tithing boxes for the 6 branches we have here in our two zones.
It is now Friday evening after our trip to Kanye. The second interview went really well. She will be baptized the next baptism in the branch. Mom and I spoke at the Fireside the branch had put together for us to talk at. Mom really prepares for things like that and she did a great job. There wasn’t a lot of people there and the elders went out on the street as it was getting started and got a young couple with their son to come in and they had never been to the branch building before and they really enjoy themselves. Mom talked about families and watched this couple all during her talk and they took it all in. I talked about the basics in the church and tied my remarks in with Mom’s and we both think we did a good job. Mom asked the young family after the meeting if they enjoyed what was taught. They were very impressed and we sent them home with a Book of Mormon and a family home evening book and the handouts that Mom prepared. I think they are very interested in the church. The biggest problem is that they live over 400 kilometers away and Kanye is only their home village which they visit about once a month.
Tomorrow is our preparation day for the President and his wife along with their daughter and her husband to come to dinner Sunday night. We will have Elder and Sister Cardiff a couple from Francistown here as well. There will 8 of us. That along will be a challenge to put together a nice meal but the next day is Zone Conference and we are preparing super spuds along with corn on the cob. This weekend will be crazy but when it is all done it will be worth it.
A few weeks back I told you of a boy that was about nine years old that I meet on the street and told him when I was 8 years old I was baptized and we asked him what church he went to and he told us the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Well his sister is a mini missionary with us here in Botswana but the interesting thing is that he and his older brother were baptized last Sunday. We enjoy attending different branches and baptisms as well. All in all we love serving here in Botswana.
The weather is wonderful. I go out every day in a short sleeve shirt and only one time have I wore a jacket and then in the afternoon it was very worm and I had to take it off. But it isn’t so hot that I can’t wear my suit jacket on Sundays and I will at the Zone Conference this coming Monday. We are suppose to be getting into the winter months but we feel comfortable but most of the people are dressed up in warm coats and even then they say it is cold out. I guess we are used to Idaho weather and the nice days here seem wonderful. I’m sure that later we may need a jacket but not yet. Tonight coming home from Kanye we watched a full moon and it sent my thoughts back home to where all of you can see the same full moon but you will see it hours later.
Well I need to close for now but I want to tell you that I love my companion. She is the greatest and we love missionary work. I’m not saying we don’t miss home but we feel a real purpose here in Botswana. I love serving and I love the strength I feel in increasing my personal knowledge of the scriptures. I have spent much time reading and studying the Gospel. I love it and hope this habit will stick with me for the rest of my life. We pray for each of you every day, that your jobs and means for support will continue. Thanks for being who you are and we love your e-mails to us.
Today is Saturday the 29th and tomorrow we go to church in the Broadhurst ward and then attend a baptism with 7 being baptized. I think most of them are the sisters that serve in G-West ward. After that we have 5 of the sisters coming home for lunch and then when they leave we need to jump into high gear as I mentioned above the other guests arrive and we feed them as well. Before I send this I will add a few things about Sunday and even the Zone Conference.
I took some pictures of what we have done to the house it really looks nice and Mom says if you send them the pictures they won’t feel sorry for us any longer. Things really are looking up. We are getting into a grove and our health is great and we feel quite safe and secure. We don’t want to be over confident as it only takes one mistake and we would be in real trouble. The people are very friendly and I feel they are honest people. As in every country in the world you have the few that make life bad for the few. We received a text message on our cell phone from the G4S security people that we deal with wrote that there are more gangs in Gaborone than there used to be and everyone should be aware of them and don’t have anything to do with them. (I didn’t plan to.) We love the office in the front part of the house. We can do some work when the elders and sisters come over. We still lock the house completely and we sleep behind one door in the hall locked and then we lock our bedroom door with two locks and then set the alarm for the interior of the house and the fence alarm is on all the time.
You will be getting this letter in bits and pieces. We just got back from the Broadhurst Ward meetings, we visit different wards and branches each week. I just can’t x1cpress to you to you how wonderful it is to be on a mission and be able to speak the language. The meetings today were especially great and I understood each word that was spoken. Maybe the dialect is a little different than we speak back home in Burley but I get much more than just a drift. Every day I realize how hard it was to serve in Ukraine. If I had it to do all over again I think I would have put forth much more of an effort to have learned the Russian language so I could have at least understood what they were talking about. Sometimes I raise my hand to make a comment and I can feel everyone and I do mean everyone listen with great interest to what I have to say. They look up to Sister Morgan and I as though we are the authority on whatever subject we talk about, even the Bishops. I know that the people of Ukraine were the same way but I couldn’t feel that closeness because we had an interpreter for everything we said and heard. I am so glad we went to Ukraine first and now to Botswana. We came home to put a few things in the oven and are heading out in a few minutes to go to a baptism, then back home to feed 5 of our sister missionaries. We haven’t had them in for an official meal sense we have been here but today we actually have a dinner scheduled with them. I will write more later
It has been great to be able to kick back for a day and collect our thoughts and get out of the kitchen so to speak. The meal for the President and his wife along with his daughter and her husband fail through. The president called as we were leaving Broadhurst ward and the two zone leaders were there when I told Mom they would not arrive until after 10:00 PM. One of them asked what we were going to do with all that food that they weren’t going to eat. Sister Morgan said I guess you will have to come and eat it because we don’t want it to go to waste. At that time one of the district leaders that was training a new missionary come up and got in on the conversation. He had been transferred here to Botswana his last two transfers from being an assistant to the president just before going home. Of course we had room for them as well which made it for missionaries instead of the President, his wife, daughter and son in law. It was a great meal and you could say we almost didn’t miss the President. Elder and Sister Cardiff were with us as well and they didn’t miss the President as well.
The next day was Zone Conference and it was a wonderful day. The super spuds were great and we also had corn on the cob. To finish everything off we had root beer floats. It was a meal that the two zones will never forget. President Poulsen came up to Mom and I and said it had been a long time sense he had enjoyed such a feast. The messages in the conference matched the meal as they were great as well.
I will close as we have had a couple of normal days come and go and I haven’t finished this letter until now. I am attaching some pictures of the house both inside and out. Again you won’t feel sorry for us any longer but you don’t need to. We are doing the LORD’S work and we love it. We pray for each of you every day. We love your letters to us. Dax is getting close to coming home. All the remolding and house building is going great as well for those involved back home. We pray for your jobs that you can be support your families. We pray for Harold back in school, Garrett that he can finish his thesis and always for every ones health.
With Love OUT OF AFRICA, DAD AND MOM
Pictures are coming! -Kricket has to figure out how to download them from a zip file.