Thursday 21 October 2010
This week has been about the hardest week here and we are needing ALL of your prayers tonight just to help us get the work done. Just briefly here is the deal!
Monday we found out that after 3 months of meeting with people at Immigration and several new letters written at their request, Five of our eight missionaries from August have been refused Residency. Theee got approved (same paperwork, but different committee) and five got rejected. The “system” was down so they couldn’t tell us “why” just that they had been rejected. We called every half hour all day to see if the system was up and running, but on Tuesday it still wasn’t up and running until about 4:00, too late for us to get clear out there before they close at 4:30. We went our first thing on Wednesday, only to be told that they were refused because the committee wanted a copy of our church “Constitution” included in their packet tell them “how our church does business in Botswana.” We asked for a chance to actually talk to the committee but they said we needed a “form letter in writing” before we could have an appointment to talk to the committee and they would have this letter ready at 3:30. We went back at 3:30 and “took a number” and waited in line until 4:30 when they close their windows and announce that “you’ll have to come back tomorrow because it’s time to close.”
It’s now Thursday morning at 4:30, and we are preparing new paperwork for the 8 new missionaries we just got at mid-night. We still have 7 missionaries from September’s transfer with paper work at Immigration (in limbo) and we are a little unsure where they stand also, but the August group now have 5 days to either be legal or leave the country. With new missionaries just coming in last night, we don’t want to have to call President Poulsen and tell him we still haven’t been able to get the August group legal and we have to do an emergency transfer.
This transfer we had to send two Elders out 6 weeks early as we could not clearance for them to stay their normal 180 days, they only gave them extentions for 150 so we had to send them to Joburg early.
In the middle of all of this, on Monday we got a notice from the small local Post Office that we had a package to be picked up. We have a P.O. Box, so we actually picked up the notice on Monday evening too late to ask for the package. Tuesday was a blur and we didn’t get to the Post Office until about 4:30 only to be told that the package was actually at the Main Post Office in downtown and we didn’t have time to get there before they closed so we went in first thing Wednesday morning just to be told that they sent in back. They told us they had the package for a month and when we didn’t claim it, they returned it. We are assuming it was Cindy’s “birthday” package for me as they said in arrived in September. We told them we had never been notified until Monday, but they insisted they had sent an earlier notification and they were sorry we hadn’t received. We asked “why” they sent a 2nd notice and then two days later return the package, but they didn’t seem to have an answer for that. So, Cindy I’m sure the caramels are hard and the Cinnamon Jolly Ranchers are still eatable so we are sorry and we hope your family likes them. Actually, it just wasn’t the news I needed this week, but we’ll live and we don’t need anyone to send anything! We did get a Halloween package from Aunt Carma, I’m not sure how it got through except that she did put our phone number on it and it wasn’t too big and did actually go to our small post office instead of the main one in town and they seem to know who we are and call when our missionaries get a package. Dad wrote a quick e-mail to all of our missionaries and told them to be sure and have their parents send small Christmas packages in Priority Envelopes and to put our phone number on them and they might actually arrive.
The Sisters wrecked their car about a week ago and that has been a trial. The Elders in this area are on bikes, four of our Sisters got sent to Francistown (5 hours North) for a new trail run up there. The Sisters have always served here in Gaborone, but Francistown is growing so fast they needed more missionaries and President Poulsen got special permission from Salt Lake to send them up there. Previously the only place Sisters could serve in this mission was here in Gaborone. Actually, we have the only “white sisters” in all of the African missions serving in Botswana, the rest are native African Sisters serving from other countries. We are missing them and especially missing having 4 less missionaries to do the work here in Gaborone. Now we have 4 less missionaries, one set of Elders on Bikes and one set of Sister’s in a huge car area with no car. Dad has been trying to get some bids on getting it fixed, but……………….. Actually last night he got the car towed to a “panel beater” place that gave us the best price, only to find out that the guy who towed it from the scene of the accident charges us over P5110. Just to tow it and have it set at his business for the 8 days it took us to get anyone to help us. That is actually about $800 and I guess that is not terrible at home, but here it was shocking and even the guy that is going to fix it said they totally “ripped us off” and it should have been much cheaper. Anyway, it’s been a long week and it’s only Thursday morning early and we need your faith and prayers to get us through this one.
We will take our 8 new missionaries to the Police Station this morning to get all of their personal papers certified, to the mall for passport pictures, then to the Doctor for a physical and then to Immigration to “begin” their lost journey to try to get Residency. They each will have a folder full of papers including the “Constitution of the Church” we will did obtain by calling our wonderful friend Elder Bricknell that works in the Area Office; who in return contacted the legal department of the church and they faxed us this paper. We are taking them out to add to the list of papers in the previous 5 missionaries that we are most concerned about the need our families prayers for tonight.
We love you, we pray for you and know you will be praying for us tonight. Thank You!
Love, Mom and Dad