Dear Family and Friends:
I know we are in the hands of the Lord and it is his mission and we only do what we can do but this past week was a disaster. I would apologize to each of you about your prayers but perhaps your prayers were a little more open minded than mine. Of course we wanted everything to work out great and wonderful for our 4 missionaries to be able to stay here in Botswana and prayed very hard for that, but again we know we are in the hands of the Lord and His was is to take them out and put them back in South Africa to finish their missions. It is so impossible to tell you how it is to work with the immigration department here in Botswana. Even though it is very, very difficult I do not loss my cool. I may not smile all the time and I get very disappointed but I hold my temper and try my hardest to be kind, friendly, and in some cases compliment them. You might ask how I can be complimentary to them in the problems I have with their department but I tell them that when you make a decision based on what you know and understand your department is very strong and stick together and I admire that. They were very nice and asked how many days we needed to get these four ready to leave the country. I lightly asked for the 1s of December when we have or next scheduled transfer and they declined. I asked if we could have until the 15th of November and they declined. Finally we wrote a formal letter and asked for 10th of November and they excepted but charged us P100.00 for each application. So all in all the application for residence permit was P500.00, passport pictures P30.00, Doctors exam P157.00 and now the P100.00 and all the time of waiting to apply and waiting for to see if ready and then waiting for results all adds up to much money and time.
Now that I have unloaded all this information you won’t think that I was really quite nice to the immigration department in person. I guess the interesting thing is that President Poulsen has chosen to move them tomorrow instead of the 10 days that would have taken them to the 10th of November. That doesn’t bother me because as far as I’m concerned the sooner the better. So again we get 4 new elders tomorrow afternoon. It will be a completely different schedule than regular transfers because there will be no transfer meeting in Johannesburg at 1:00 for two hours.
This is our conference weekend meaning General Conference weekend as the local wards and branches meet as though they were in Salt Lake City attending all the meetings. Of course very few come on Saturday morning or afternoon and a medium size number of Priesthood holders for the Priesthood session. Today being Sunday the morning session at Broadhurst was attended by about 100 people. I think most of them think General Conference weekend is a holiday and they don’t have to attend. We left a little early to head up to Mochudi for 3 baptisms and arrived as they were still in their wet cloths but didn’t get a chance to see the baptisms. We stayed for their testimonies and closing and had a chance to visit with everyone. Then we head back to the school they are using for a church for the last session of conference. All in all we got to see all five sessions of conference.
We thought this week coming up would be easier but with 4 new missionaries the first half of the week will be busy as usual. We are changing apartments of flat for the zone leaders and the set of elders living with them and hopefully this will be finished by Tuesday. Next week the elders (two sets) will be moving apartments (flats) as well. It is a never ending marry go round. We are keeping busy and that is what we like the most. Wednesday we travel to Kanye and put in some white boards (meaning me) and deliver a refrigerator and stove for their new building as well. Then at noon we have an interview with a young 18 year old single girl that was raped and is expecting. I pray for the spirit to be with me in consoling her and knowing what to say. I was asked by the area mental health person (Elder Scott) to visit with her. The main thing he wants me to find out is was she really raped or was it through consent. It makes a lot of difference as to how to advise her about abortion or keeping the child or putting it up for adoption. I find myself in some unusual circumstances but with faith, and strong prayers the Lord blessing me to make decisions that I would hesitate under different circumstances.
We have one flat that 4 sisters used to live and another flat across town where the other two used to live but now we only have 2 sisters here in Gaborone and 4 in Francistown. I asked President Poulsen what his intentions was going to be for the 1st of December transfers as two of the six go home and we get four brand new ones. That will put 4 in Francistown and 4 here in Gaborone. Where ward or wards does he want them to serve in. He said President Morgan that will be your call because you know Botswana better than I do. So prayerfully I have a big decision to make about the sisters here in Gaborone. The 4 in Francistown will stay in the two areas that they are currently serving in. Francistown is really growing and they are now meeting in two different buildings and have split the 2 sets of elders and the 2 sets of sisters up so each building has 2 elders and 2 sisters in them. I think Elder and Sister Cardiff have their hands fuller than they planned. Two buildings and 2 sets of elders and 2 sets of sisters with getting a new apartment for the sisters has been a lot of work for them.
This Sunday evening and I think I will finish this letter and relax for a couple of hours before going to bed. I hope everything is going well back home. We got a letter from Charne Adams and Rohan is engaged as of past weekend. She is from back east someplace like Philadelphia and Charne said they are really in love and plan an April wedding so Elder Colin and Sister Jenny Bricknell can be there with them. As you can life continues to progress. I’m sure Dax and Melissa are getting excited about the up coming date. We wish we could be there so please keep us informed each step of the way. Braxton and Daniel we are excited for you taking the temple preparation classes. We will be excited to hear when you plan to go and be sealed in the temple. We love you both and that cute great granddaughter as well. Drop us a line sometime and tell us about your lives and what you are doing.
I challenge anyone to write we love letters and it keeps us going. Thank you for you that do write and some of them are very regular, Melissa is the top of the list.
The Gospel is true and we love our Savior Jesus Christ and we do this for Him. We can feel good about not being with our wonderful family only because of our love for Him and serving Him We receive endless blessings from Him and the greatest of all it the Atonement.LOVE OUT OF BOTSWANA, DAD AND MOM