Blessings in Botswana!!!
Dear Family & Friends,
We have had such a marvelous week that I’m not sure how long it will take me to tell you about it, but I’ll try to keep it brief.
I think Dad wrote last Sunday, but I also wanted to tell you how special the day was opening a new building for our Kanye Branch. We love those people and they seem to think we can do anything and answer every question and we find ourselves just wanting to bear our testimonies to them ALL and wrap our arms around them and hope and pray that they stay active in the church. We helped them clean ALL DAY Saturday and it was a project and a half---but Sunday was all worth it and Dad and I each had people just wanting to talk to us about their life and it’s problems, one in particular asked to visit with me and she is 18 years old, pregnant from a rape and scared and alone. I am trying to get her some counseling through Joburg, but I’m not sure if anything is available yet so I have found her some articles in the Liahona that might help her for now and I will continue to try to visit with her when we go down there but that is only every two months. HARD!!! Another lady has had 3 children and only been married when she had one of them and is afraid to go to the Branch President so she can be baptized, I will continue to help her to realize it is a necessary step for her progress. I’ve gone to her home once and met with her individually and sent her a couple of articles also from the Liahona, but she is still hoping for me to talk to the Branch President for her which I’ve told her I can’t do. The Branch President is also the Missionary that is teaching her so it gets a little sticky at times and hard for them to understand. She is doing well though and I’m hoping soon to help her complete the process so she can be baptized.
On Wednesday this week we were involved with training meetings with President and Sister Poulsen. So on Tuesday evening the Poulsen’s came to our place and we had dinner together. I was also cooking for the dinner for tomorrow for all the Elders so I just fixed Meatloaf and Baked Potatoes and a green salad for our dinner but they seemed to enjoy it and we had a really nice dinner discussing lots of Mission plans, ideas, and a few problems that President needs our help with so it was a very delightful evening with them. Wednesday was FULL of training for the Zone Leaders, the District Leaders and all the Trainers and we started at 9 O’clock and didn’t get through until 5 O’clock and we actually had a nice discussion on teaching experiences during the lunch hour so we didn’t even have a break all day. President Poulssn really knows how to get the best out of a day with the Elders and it’s great to learn from him. Sister Poulssn never gets to spend any time with the Sisters, so I fixed a special lunch for the Sisters and her and she skipped out on the Elders and their training meetings for about an hour and a half and just had lunch and talked with the Sisters. They weren’t invited to the other meetings as it was just a Leadership Training day so this way they didn’t feel cheated as they were afraid they wouldn’t even get to see President and Sister Poulsen after they came all the way to Botwana for the day.
The next day our Elders from Lobatse called and said they had some bad news and that they had hit a cow on the way home from the training meetings and also that their Power was off the whole time they gone and all their food was spoiled. We’ve actually had a problem with the Power Company in Lobatse and they moved into a new flat there 4 months ago and we’ve never been able to get them to send us a bill. I’ve gone to the Power Company at least 6 times and even wrote a letter to the company requesting a bill. I’ve also gone to the landlord twice telling him that we don’t get a bill. Well, I went into the Power Company Thursday morning and I won’t even go into all the details, but they said they would turn on the power that day (after I paid the bill of course) which I did and left. Thursday night when the Elders came in from working there was still no power. I called again Friday morning and they apologized and said they would do in Friday, for sure so when the Elders called me Friday night late to say they had come home at 9:30 to find their house with no power and it had been broken into during the day and every room in the house was completely torn up! You can imagine how upset I was so on Saturday morning we left for Lobatse by 7 AM to see what we could do. They called the Police (emergency phone number) that night but no one answered so we called them again Saturday morning; they came out and the Elders filled out a bunch of papers, but……………..you know!
I called the Power Company and they said they would be right out; but we had an appointment with a Finance Guy coming from the AREA Office in Joburg at 10:00 so we couldn’t stay. I told the Elders to call them every half hour if they didn’t come, they finally did show up about 10:30. We also called a fence company that would come and repair the Elders electric gate that was cut and another spot in the fence that they had torn down but we couldn’t get the Alarm Company to come back and hook it up until Monday so we are praying that no one breaks in again before we can get them hooked up to the Burglar Alarm System. When we moved into the house 4 months ago, we chose not to have them hooked up to the Alarm System as the house was very expensive, in a nicer neighborhood and the landlord said he had lived their for 6 years and hadn’t ever had a problem. As you can see, that was a bad choice because that is actually the second time those same Elders have been broken into so we are hooking them up the Alarm System and just paying the fees to do so. We do love it here, but Safety is a issue for us all.
One of the Highlights of the week I just slipped right over, but on Thursday afternoon we had the privilege of helping with the wedding for two of our couples that were being married so they could be baptized. They went to the Dist. Commissioner 3 weeks ago and “Posted their Bans” which basically means they declared they wanted to be legally married and they have to sign an agreement that they will pay their Lobola (The Bride Price) to the family at some point in time. The family has 3 weeks to complain or make trouble for them, and then if no one objects, they can be considered married legally. They do it in a big group and then they just sign the papers and there are legally married. Then they drove to the church and we had a nice little reception for them which basically included remarks by some of their friends and family and refreshments. They didn’t have any money for a reception so the missionaries and dad and I did it all except for a nice lady in their ward who decorated a couple of tables very nicely and brought plates and glasses for the refreshments. I should say that one of these couples is 61 and 42 (respectively) and they have two grown children and have lived together for 20 years. The other couple is probably about 35 and they have 2 boys about 15 and 10 and they have lived together for 15 years. They asked Dad to say a few words at the reception and they considered that their Church Wedding. Dad has applied to be a marriage officer, but it hasn’t come through yet but these two couples seemed so excited to have “President Morgan” a their wedding and they just kept thanking him for his wonderful words of advice and just for taking the time to come to the wedding that we kind of felt guilty because they thought we were somebody important. We told them we were just a Counselor to the Mission President and he really would have like to be their also, but he was clear in Joburg and couldn’t make it. It was a really special day for them and they spoke also and bore their testimonies of how important this day was for them and how they were so happy to finally find a way for them to be married and knew that God was happy that they were able to keep His Commandments.
That brings us to today and today we were able to go to church in Molopolole and see all of the people I’ve been talking able go into the waters of baptism. The older couple were both baptized, the younger couple and their two sons and also another lady that dad had a 2nd interview with is from that same branch and they were all 7 of them baptized today after church. We had to go to Mochudi (North an hour) to church, but we only stayed to Sacrament meeting and a meeting with the Branch President and then we took off for Molopolole (almost 2 hours East and South of there) and arrived just in time for pictures with all the candidates involved (they all wanted Dad “The President” in their pictures and again we felt a little funny, but we obliged them and jumped in the pictures and then we got to witness their wonderful baptisms. It was truly a great day and a very busy but wonderful week.
I almost forgot that last night we were invited to two meetings by the Stake President. The first one was for all the local leaders and is concerning Botswana becoming a Stake of its own. Right now we are part of the Roodepoort Stake which is located 5 hours away in JoBurg. The Stake President gave the Brethren some challenges and Dad will tell you all about that later, but basically they are shooting for us to become a Stake by next June 26th. We are excited.
The 2 meeting last night was for all of the returned missionaries from Botswana. It was a great meeting and this letter is too long to even go into that. I’ll just close by saying that Dad and I were called out of the audience to speak and I told them that we had a Grandson being blessing in Church today and we also had a Grandson speaking in church before leaving for a mission in Argentine. I bore my testimony that we are missing some very special and important things at home, but that we know we are where we are suppose to be because 27 people were being baptized in Botswana this Sunday and we were thrilled and happy about the missionary work that we are privileged to be involved in. We are working as hard as we can; but we miss every one of you at home and we know that we are missing some very important things in your lives. Please know that we love you and we are proud of you and we thank you for “Carrying On’ in the work of the Lord. We are so blessed because of the way you are living your lives.
We Send ALL OF OUR LOVE
Mom and Dad, Granny & PaPa Lynn, Lynn and Lorraine
PS We sure hope Trey’s blessing day was wonderful for the Barnum’s
And Bryan, we certainly missed being with you today. We are proud of you! Thanks for
being the fine young man that you are. You will be the best missionary in Argentina!!