Sunday, August 15, 2010
Hello! From Botswana,
It’s been a very busy week and we are still learning from our experiences here. We had our 8 hour training meeting on Wednesday and I think it went reasonably well. We had a few glitches in setting up all the equipment and that didn’t go exactly as planned, but we compromised and got most of the teaching done the best we knew how. The Missionaries have been very complimentary and said they loved the teaching and felt really inspired to become better teachers because of the things the Brethren have sent for them to hear. It was a full day, but we loved it.
We’ve had lots of car problems lately and Dad has to deal with all of those. We are working very hard at getting our Lobatse Elders back in their car, it’s been in the shop since last Saturday night. We finally gave them permission to hire a Taxi to run them around as they are really in a rural area and their appointments have been cancelled two or three times because each day the garage promises the car will be ready and it never is. They’ve had to order parts from JoBurg twice because they can’t figure out what it wrong, we drove down to Lobatse this week to help the Elders with their appointments and we thought to take them to get their car, but………….. When we got there, we saw about 8 people trying to push it backwards up a hill to get it out of their way so they could work on someone else’s car. They just couldn’t get the car to go back in the direction they wanted as no one knew how to back it up around a corner. It was quite a sight and somehow we knew right away that we were not going to get the car AGAIN! They had to come into Gabs on Wednesday for the training on a bus and after the training we drove them back to their area. We hope they get their car back before the training this week, which is on Thursday. This week will actually be our Mission Tour, which means the President and an Area Authority will be coming up to do the training so we are quite excited about that. We are planning a dinner for the President and Sister Poulsen, our General Authority President Renlund and his wife and the Cardiff’s from Francistown and ourselves. We don’t have 8 plates alike, or even have 8 bowls, but somehow we are going to try to make this a nice dinner here at the Mission Home. I plan to cook a Pork roast and potatoes and carrots if I can find a large roaster, if not I might do it in two crock pots (thank goodness for the crock pots) they save my life when I cook for the Elders and I remember in Ukraine when we didn’t have them at all.
We had a lady that caters on the streets fix our dinner last Wednesday as I didn’t think I could be one of the two speakers for the day and pull of a meal with only a 30 minute lunch break. She fixed all Afrikan food and it was pretty good. She fixed the stuff I told you about that is called “pop” and is staple that looks like stiff mashed potatoes (or over cooked rice) and another dish just like it that looked like it had some specks of something in it and I didn’t care of either of those, but she had a chicken platter that was great, a shredded up beef (their beef tastes like wild game to me) but pretty normal and then she had several other dishes that were like salads or macaroni only different than we have at home. I tried them all and thought they were quite tasty. There was, However, one dish that I’ve seen the Elders eat before and I can’t bring myself to even put any on my plate to eat. It looks exactly like a big Cow Pie, and I’ll just leave it at that!
We all got full and I didn’t have to do a thing except bring the paper products to serve it on, my white sheets to use for table covers, and the juice to drink. Easiest Missionary Dinner I’ve ever been involved in so I thought it was great. We are going to have someone like that do each of the meals for this training as I can’t be in two places at once and perhaps I’ll enjoy it so much that I won’t ever cook for the dinners again. Probably not! But it’s nice to have the option.
Today we went to church in Mochudi, the closest Branch outside of Gabs. Our Stake President came up to Botswana today and wanted us to travel with him. He is such a great speaker that we love to be in whatever Branch or Ward he is in so it’s nice that he likes us to be where he is. Afterwards, we hurried back home to put the finishing touches on our talks for a Fireside in the Young Single’s Ward this afternoon. They invited all the YSA people from all of Botswana, even if they have children, so it was a big crowd. The chapel was really full and they are a really sharp group of Young Adults. The guys are Tall, Dark (of course) and Handsome and dress really sharp. The girls are beautiful and dress really stylish and have their hair all done up in every configuration of braids; it’s truly a sight to behold. We love to be involved with them and they truly seem to love it when we come to anything they are having. I felt like our talks went well and we are both just happy to have them over so we can continue work on our next two sets of training for the missionaries. By September 2nd, we will be finished with all of our training sessions and I have to say it will be a BIG relief to have them done. I’m sure there will be some follow up, but the hardest part and the preparation will be done by then.
I know this is a big week for everyone at home with Kricket coming in with her new baby Trey, Mike and DiDi and family coming up and we are excited that Bryce and Melissa will be home from tour and together again with their little family, Alex and Morgan will be home from tour also and I’m sure everyone that was on tour will have so many adventures to relate to us. Elder Greener will be returning from his mission for all of you to see, hug, and especially to hear all about his experiences in Brasil. Also, Dallyn will be turning 12 and receiving the Aaronic Priesthood; what a busy-but wonderful weekend you should each be having and we are so proud of you all. There could even be more than I’m not thinking about right now, but I hope it’s a great weekend and we will certainly be looking forward to hearing all about it. I also know that it’s about time for all the kids to go back to school and another summer is almost over. I’m so proud of you for the things you do with your families and we love hearing about all of their activities. (Hint, Hint, we would love some more letters) We miss all of you and we pray for you constantly. We feel so blessed to know that you are all doing such a great job as parents and that our Grand Children are receiving all the blessings that can come to them as they are raised by righteous parents in homes with all the blessings of the gospel and the Priesthood of God. THANK YOU
I’ll close by sharing something I read in my Book of Mormon Institute Manual this week while I was preparing for training and for speaking. It’s in Jacob 3: It was a real reminder to me about how blessed Dad and I are by each one of you. We recognize our blessings every day and we truly thank our Heavenly Father.
Jacob 3: Example!
Children constantly learn from the examples set by those around them. Elder McConkie Quote: When we violate any commandment, however small, our youth may choose to violate a commandment later on in life perhaps 10 times or 100 times worse and justify it on the basis of the small commandment we broke.”
Elder Holland admonished: “I think some parents may not understand that even when they feel secure in their own minds regarding matters of personal testimony, they can nevertheless make that faith too difficult for their children to detect. We can be reasonable active, meeting-going Latter-day Saints, but if we do not Live lives of gospel integrity and convey to our children powerful, heartfelt convictions regarding the truthfulness of the Restoration and the divine guidance of the Church from the First Vision to this very hour, then those children may, to our regret but not surprise, turn out NOT to be visibly active, meeting-going Latter-day Saints or sometimes anything close to it.
“Live the gospel as conspicuously as you can. Keep the covenants your children know you have made. Give Priesthood blessings and bear your testimony? Don’t just assume your children will somehow get the drift of your beliefs on their own.”
I know Heavenly Father loves our grandchildren because He sent them to YOU!! Please give each of them a hug and kiss for us this week and try to remind them how much we love and miss them. Thank you for living the gospel so conspicuously!!! Keep up the Good Work.
Love Ya, Mean It!!!
Mom and Dad, Granny & PaPa Lynn, Lynn and Lorraine