Friday, June 11, 2010

Week 17 - Granny

Dear Family and Friends,
Today is June 11th, the first day of the World Cup Soccer Tournament held in South Africa and Botswana has Soccer Fever! We had to run to Immigration early this morning and as soon as we went out of our driveway, we saw cars with flag all over their Windows, hanging from the antenna, windows rolled down with people honking those big long horns that make a huge low pitched HONK! The past couple of days have been pretty crazy, with people selling all kinds of "team' stuff from flags to shirts to horns to crazy hats, scarfs, and I can't even remember what all. People are dancin' in the streets and everybody is really happy and excited for the games. Businesses closed early today so people could be home by 4 O'clock to watch South Africa play Mexico in the opening game. We got to see some of the opening ceremony and it was fantastic, reminded me of the opening ceremony for The Olympics. Our missionaries can't go out knocking doors during the games, they have to have an appointment or just "street contact" to people on the streets but they can't bother people in their homes for the next month. They are trying to organize parties at the church so they can invite investigators and non members as well as members to come and get together to watch the game. They have it in the RS room and use the church satellite system and it works pretty good. There is a member here that brings in a bunch of receivers and decoders or something, I don't understand it all but we did get to see the opening and the first game today and it was pretty fun to be with the people here in Botswana as they watch their home team (actually the closest thing they have to a home team) involved in the World Cup. We had about 70 people in attendance and us and the missionaries are the only white people, 3 from America and 1 from Germany. The people were a little wound up today and they were really talking crazy and in their native Setswana language and I certainly felt like I was on a Foreign Mission. They got so excited when South Africa scored their goal and were literally dancing around with their chairs up in the air and just couldn't step smiling and hugging each other; it was really exciting. I wish I could have made you a video of 65 Crazy Africans just loving life and "letting go" of all their inhibitions and yelling and screaming"; it was quite a sight and I would love to have shared it all with you. They are a delightsome people and though they don't seem friendly at first, they certainly are accepting of us now and they are our true, dear friends. Then Mexico scored and that's how it ended. Dad and I left and came home as the room was so full there weren't chairs for everyone to even set down, but the missionaries came over after the game and cleaned up all the dirty dishes and etc. at our place so we got a chance to visit with them and they felt it was very successful and they plan to do it again tomorrow for the Nigeria versus Argentina game at 4 PM. It may not be as successful but a lot of people here are from Nigeria and they also say that Argentina is one of favored teams so hopefully the missionaries will get good support and it will be good for the ward to have such a great activity together.
I hope you get a chance to watch some of the games; it exciting to be so close even though we aren't actually in South Africa. I know they closed the office in Johannesburg and had a Braii (Bar B Q) at the STake Center next to the Mission Office. People are pretty happy and excited here and our office supply store said we couldn't order anything from JoBurg for the next month as there wouldn't be any deliveries from there until after the games. Life might get interesting around here as Botswana gets EVERYTHING from JoBurg. Usually it's only a few days, but a month might stretch things a bit, we didn't get any warning and didn't stock up much so we'll see what things are running like in one months's time.
It's transfer week this coming Wednesday and Thursday and we got a bulletin from the Embassy telling us of the heightened security at the borders and to limit our travel across borders during the next 30 days; last transfer was a nightmare and we thought this one would be easy but we'll see. We won't have Sister's traveling this time so I'm thankful for that. We don't get any new Sisters until December but we do have 6 Elders coming up here from JoBurg so we'll just wait up late and make sure they get through.
We got our Residency Permits though today. We fasted and prayed about it on Wednesday as that is the day the committee meets and our 90 days was up on Wednesday but we couldn't find out until today if the committee finally decided to pass us or not. We are so relieved and thankful and have thanked our Heavenly Father for helping us to finally get approval to stay in Botswana for our 18 months. When our new Elders get here on Thursday Dad will start the paper work on them so we can get them approved to stay in the country for 6 months. Sisters stay 18 months as our mission only has the Sisters serve here in Botswana. The Elders serve most of their time in South Africa and only the "lucky and the chosen few" get to come and spend 6 months in Botswana. They just come in on a 90 Waiver and then Dad get's them another 90 Day extention and then they have to leave. Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork, that's our middle name here, but we are learning the ropes and if they don't change the rules on us again, we are getting it down better and better all the time.
Well, enjoy the World Cup, we certainly will when we get a chance and we love the theme "Once in a Lifetime, 24/7". We are actually having Zone T-Shirts made up with that theme written on them and then with a map of Africa and all the Elders and Sisters signature on it. Enjoy!!
Bucket's of Love,
Mom, Granny, Lorraine

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