Monday August 30, 2010
Dear Family & Friends,
Another week has passed and our life continues to be most interesting and it changes by the day!
This past Tuesday we went teaching with our Missionaries from Mochudi (45 minutes North) to a man they have been working with for a couple of years. His wife is a cute little black lady that is super active and does a great deal to run the ward in all of it’s organizations. Her husband is white and comes to church with her every Sunday, supports her in all of her callings, but has an alcohol problem. He even goes out during church to have a drink and then comes back in. During our meeting with him, he is just a congenial as can be and knows all the answers to the questions we ask and doesn’t seem to have any questions of us; but he says he’s perfectly happy with his life and was baptized when he was just one year old so he doesn’t want to change much with his life. It’s unbelievable for me to see how many families can be destroyed because of alcohol; and yet it is such an addition that they just can’t give it us. We challenged him to prepare himself for baptism and he said, “I guess I can try” but I actually think we didn’t get anywhere with him. Dad is going to call the missionaries today and see how he did this week.
On Wednesday we had our 3rd big Training meetings with all of our missionaries. We taught from 10 AM to 4 PM and seemed to go well. The missionaries are being very responsive to the lessons and tell us they are learning so much and becoming more confident in their teaching which is the main object of all that we are doing. We just have one more week to go and then it will be finished. I have to say I’ll be relieved when it is over; a whole month is a long time to stress and it’s weighing on me heavily.
Thursday we made quick trip out to the Botswana/South Afrikan Border to get the Insurance for all 13 of our cars. We have to go out and renew it every 3 months; only this time they said we couldn’t renew them anymore and we would have to start registering all of our cars in Botswana. They are bought in JoBurg and therefore the Car Zar in the Area Office registers them all in South Afrika and then sends them up to our missionaries to use. We have to pay every time they come in a out of the border and also to renew the insurance for all of them. However, now the rules have changed (no surprise) and they wouldn’t let us pay the insurance, they want them registered here. Since that would cost the church 12% of the value of each car; the area office doesn’t want us to do that unless we absolutely have to. The man we talked to at the Border took a copy of the sheet we were carrying that gave the license numbers and registration numbers on all of our cars and sent us walkin’. We called the Area Office and told him what had happened so on Thursday, Friday and Saturday we will be switching out all of our cars for different cars from JoBurg to hopefully alieviate any problems for now. The Area Office is going to get the legal department involved and see what can be done, but hopefully they will let these new cars into the country without any trouble, if not we will be without any cars for our missionaries until this can be resolved.
Every Friday now we visit a District Meeting, this week we went to Molepolole which is about 1 hour West of us. They live right next to their Branch building which is actually held in a school. They hold Priesthood and a Sunday School class in their apartment and the rest of their meetings are held at the school. The school, however, doesn’t have running water and the outhouses are “horrid” so we always have to plan well before we go there and don’t drink any water all morning before we leave. Dad can use the Elders bathroom, but women aren’t suppose to be in their flat, especially down the hall where the bathroom is and I hate to ask for special privileges.
They did put on a great District meeting though and the 4 missionaries that we have there are doing a great job. Molepolole has been open for a couple of years (maybe less) and now has a local member for their Branch President and only uses one missionary as his 2nd Counselor. They have a big watering tank for a baptismal font and are pretty self sufficient for leadership so we hope they can become a Ward one day so Botswana can become a Stake. If we could get 2 more wards formed and working sufficiently we know they would make us a Stake as now the Stake President and all of his Counselors are from South Afrika and they come up every month for meetings and training. They do a great job, but the trip is 5 hours and can’t be easy for them as they are all family men with teenagers and younger children.
Dad is actually organizing a weekend when Elder Bricknell can come and talk to the entire Stake to inform the people of what it would take for us to become a Stake. We think if the people knew how close we are they would work hard to help us find people to teach and most importantly to hang on to the people that our missionaries baptize. I think we have zeroed in on October 9 and 10th for the firesides with a whole Stake one on Saturday afternoon, a missionary fireside with Elder Bricknell earlier on Saturday and then we will take the Bricknell’s to church with us on Sunday to Kanye which is one of our newer Branches about 1 ½ hours from here. Kanye has been meeting in a home and the FM group has approved for them to rent another partially completed office space and remodel it to make it a chapel. They have been working on it for about a month and we hope it will be finished by then so they can be hold church in their new place by the time we take Elder and Sister Bricknell. We are excited for them to come and stay with us and hope they can stay for an extra day just so we can spend a little personal time with them. We haven’t even seen them since the Couples Conference we went to in JoBurg which was soon after we came into the mission.
Dad chewed on sometime the other day and broke a tooth or pulled off a cap; he isn’t sure but we are trying to find the name of a good dentist that we can take him to. He called the American Embassy this morning to see if they had anyone they recommended, but no one has gotten back to us yet. It isn’t causing him any pain, just irritating and rough in his mouth.
We get to go out teaching with the missionaries more and more all the time. This week is so busy though that we aren’t accepting any more appointments this week; (we already had a couple pre-arranged) and then next week is our transfer days and new missionaries coming so we’ll have to limit things a bit that week also. We love the work and enjoy going out with the Elders and Sisters. They are great teachers and very obedient missionaries; we are proud of them and love them a lot. Two of our 6 Sisters will be going home the 1st of December and that will be a sad day. I especially love the Sisters and they are wonderful missionaries. The two leaving are from Iowa and Nevada and we only have 1 other from America (actually Preston Idaho) and the other three are from Kenya, Uganda and Madagascar. We have Elders from Kenya and Uganda but also Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Afrika,