Dear Family and Friends, 20 August 2010
Today as I write I have several things on my mind so I will start with the worldly one which is that tday the 22nd of August is our 6 month mark so we only have about 12 months left. I don’t want you to think we are getting trunky but of course we do miss each of you so much. The training for the two zones here in Botswana went really well on the 11th which Mom and I taught and then Thursday was the Mission Tour and President Poulsen along with Elder Dale G. Renlund the area presidency 2nd counselor (a General Authority) taught lessons 1 and 7. This next week on Wednesday Mom and I teach lessons 4 and 5 with the final two to be taught on the 1st of September with lessons 6 and 8.
We had a great evening Wednesday the day before the Mission Tour as President Poulsen (his wife has swine flu so she stayed home), Elder and Sister Renlund along with Elder and Sister Cardiff and Mom and I. We fixed a pork roast along with all the trimmings for an evening meal. It was a great meal and I didn’t think President Poulsen was going to stop eating. I know he took roast off the platter 5 different times. Not big helpings but 5 times is still a lot. We really enjoy visiting with everyone for a couple of hours after the meal and then as a couple of missionaries came President Poulsen talked with them and Elder Renlund asked if he could talk to Sister Morgan and I privately. After we got seated back in our bedroom he said, “The area presidency has received clearance or permission from Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Twelve Apostles to call you to be a counselor to President David Poulsen your mission president.” He made it clear that it was a calling and not a request. When through he asked,”You will serve in this capacity wont you?” I told him how humbled I was but I would do my very best and yes I will serve in this new calling.
The next day which was the Mission Tour Elder Renlund was giving his opening remarks and in a very nice way he announced that President Poulsen had request to have a new counselor and the name approved by Elder Jeffery R. Holland is Elder Oren Lynn Morgan and during the break you can congratulate him on his new calling. May I say that Sister Morgan and I have really felt loved by our missionaries but I know it wasn’t just Mom as they all seemed very thrilled and congratulated me with much love.
President Poulsen said I will be involved in presidency meetings that take place monthly and because of the distance from the Johannesburg Mission Office it will be done by conference calls. He has one counselor close but another one is up in the northeast part of the mission so conference calls will work out the best. I was told that I will still handle second interviews and from time to time I will most likely be interviewing missionaries as the need arises. President Poulsen is a great man and I will learn a lot from him.
Friday was a great day as we took a loaner car to our missionaries in Lobatse because their new car broke down almost two weeks ago and the warranty called for a loaner car. Then we headed back up to Kanye and I repaired two showers and hung a shower curtain, put in a new toilet seat and hung a mirror. We also meet with a man and woman that have four children and they aren’t legally married yet. They want to get married but the Labola which is money that the man owes to the womans family is always a problem here in Botswana. They are going to work it out and get married so they can join the church. They both have great testimonies and it will all work out in the end because they have four children and they need to be married.
We attended church in Gaborone West ward today which we call G-West ward. Right after the meeting we headed over to the other side of town as I was asked to conduct a baptismal meeting. Sister Barker put President Morgan conduction on the actual program. I guess the new calling will get out some way. However President Poulsen said he will e-mail President Hall the stake president to the stake we belong to and also the rest of the missionaries in the South Africa part of the mission. Elder Renlund encouraged the missionaries to call me President Morgan and suggested that Mom does the same. It will be new for everyone but we will see. President Poulsen said he will get me a couple new name tags with President Morgan on them. He said he hasn’t told anyone on the South Africa side because it was just approved shortly before they came to Botswana.
We are home now and have eaten lunch and are having some missionaries coming over at about 8:30 this evening for a nicer meal. Mom still cooks but I don’t think quite as much as she did in either of the Ukraine Missions. She likes to do it but it got a little carried away in Ukraine. We are spending time preparing the next series of the new missionary training then after Wednesday we only have two more but they are both in the same day as this time we do two as well. We are very busy as we still have to pay the bills, do the banking, pay rent and take then to different places and banks. I have missionaries bring in flat tires, damaged rims, need new lights on bikes and the list goes on and on. We love being busy and we seem to do better if we are kept busy.
I don’t remember if I told you about the work we did in Lobatse the other day or not. But I don’t think I did so here it goes. We went to Kanye and came back through Lobatse. The two towns and Gaborone make a triangle with each leg about 100 kilometers and going to one is bad enough but to hit the other on the way home is hard but it saves another trip the next day. After Kanye we had a church sign that has the church logo in it with an arrow point the direction to the church that I told the Elders I would help put un and cement into the ground. We tried to go to a Builders World (like a lumber yard) and get a few things. A shovel, cement, paint brush, some paint, a garden hose connector and a few meters of garden hose to make our hose longer. Well I could fill up two pages with the story of Builders World. We couldn’t find anything without asking for each item. Shovel were not by any other yard or garden tools, they were clear in the back corner of the outer building or shed and I’ll bet there was 200 or more. We found a ¼ bag of cement and they would not sell it to us. I offered them twice its value but because it isn’t in there system they couldn’t sell it. We could not find a short piece of hose anywhere they sold 25 meters or longer. It is probably a good thing we didn’t because even though our hose was about a ¾ “ diameter hose all there connecting fittings were for 3/8” flow so we would have lost over half our flow in the connection. We couldn’t find anything except oil base paint and a dinky brush so we made do. We had to make a second trip down because of the cement. We couldn’t find any secrete here in Gaborone either so I found a church member that is building a house and gave me some cement and gravel mix.
In Lobatse to get into the outside green tank they use as a baptismal font they climb the fence next to the font and step down on a small desk submersed in the font. They have been promised a ladder for over a year so the same day I got the cement mix I found a ladder. The next day we went down and had a great day competing everything with the Elders help. I’m not sure how much of this is the duty of a counselor to the mission president but we aren’t going to change our life style. We know what the missionaries need and we just do it for them. They are very busy teaching the gospel and are busy all the time. We teach a couple nights a week with them but we do so many other things that they don’t and can’t do.
The Gospel is true and we love serving here in Botswana. We love each of you and pray for you every time we get down on our knees (several times each day). We love our family which includes our extended family very much. I will close for now. DAD and MOM