Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy New Year

Sunday Morning, December 26, 2010

Dear Family,

Just doing a little studying this morning and decided to share these thoughts with you from my Book of Mormon Study Guide about the Sacrament.

Elder David A. Bednar on the importance of partaking of the sacrament in our effort to remember our covenants. “Through the ordinance of the sacrament we renew our baptismal covenant and can receive and retain a remission of our sins. We are reminded on a weekly basis of the promise that we may always have His Spirit to be with us. As we then strive to keep ourselves clean and unspotted from the world, we become worthy vessels in whom the Spirit of the Lord can always dwell.”

Elder Dallin H. Oakes spoke of three significant meanings that should be understood when we take the name of the Savior upon us during the sacrament:

l. Our witness that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ has several different meanings. Some of these meanings are obvious, and well within the understanding of our children. Others are only evident to those who have searched the scriptures and pondered the wonders of eternal life. “One of the obvious meanings renews a promise we made when we were baptized’ we witness before the Church that we have truly repented of our sins, and are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve Him to the end. When we partake of the sacrament, we renew this covenant and all the other covenants we made in the waters of baptism.

2. “As a second obvious meaning we take upon us our Savior’s name when we become members of The Church. Every member, young and old, is a member of the ‘household of God’ Because of the covenant we make we are called the children of Christ, his sons and his daughters (Mosiah 5:7)

3. A Third meaning appeals to the understanding of those mature enough to know that a follower of Christ is obligated to serve him. By witnessing our willingness to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ, we signify our willingness to do the work of His kingdom.

In these three relatively obvious meanings, we see that we take upon us the name of Christ when we are baptized in His name, when we belong to His Church and profess our belief in Him, and when we do the work of His kingdom.”

There is at least one returned Missionary in each of your homes, so I close with this:

President Henry B. Eyring adds: “Those of you who have served missions may have come upon your missionary journals put away in a closet in your home. You may have read and felt a shock as you remembered how hard you worked, how constantly you thought of the Savior and His sacrifice for you and for those you tried to meet and teach, and how fervently and often you prayed. The shock may have come from realizing how much the cares of life had taken you from where you once were, so close to always remembering and always praying.

“My message is a plea, a warning, and a promise: I plead with you to do with determination the simple things that will move you forward spiritually.”

Start with remembering Him. You will remember what you know and what you love. The Savior gave us the scriptures, paid for by the prophets at a price we cannot measure, so that we could KNOW HIM. Lose yourself in them. Decide now to read more, and more effectively than you have ever done before.”


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Week # 45 - Papa Lynn

Dear Family and Friends

Already this morning this has been an unusual day. Not only is it Christmas but it isn’t even 7:30 AM and we have attended a funeral this morning. It was to start at 6:00 AM but as usual 90% of the people didn’t show up until 6:20 or so. It was not a traditional funeral where we were told many people stand and praise the person that has pass on. It has been signified that most of the things said are lies so this funeral was a typical Mormon funeral where the bishop conducted the meeting and there was only one speaker which was or good friend Bishop Matswagothata who was not conduction with a rest hymn and then Bishop Mokwane spoke. They both did a great job speaking considering that most of the people who attended were not members of our faith. It was a short meeting and we are home.

By the time you receive this e-mail or read this BlogSpot Christmas will be over and the next exciting thing will be New Years Eve and then the New Year. Time keeps marching on and it seems that in many ways we have been blessed. The time does not drag in the mission field as there are many thing that need to be done every day. Mom and I love serving here in Botswana. There was only one white person at the funeral besides us missionaries. He is from Mochudi and his wife is black, she is a member but he has several habits that keep him from joining the church. He attends many meetings but isn’t strong enough to join and live the Gospel.

I wrote a note about this past week in a letter I was asked to send for the Patriarchal Dinner in it I wrote of having President and Sister Poulsen here doing interviews and being with us for our Christmas party here in Botswana. During the interview time I polished each of the missionary’s shoes as a Christmas gift to them. They were very appreciative of this. We had the Cardiff’s here from Monday until yesterday morning and they went back to Francistown 5 hours north yet still in Botswana. It was a great week and we are looking forward to a good one this next week as well.

Today some of our missionaries are going to climb Kgale Hill which I would like to do but my knees are keeping me here on the more level ground. My spirit wants to go but my body is keeping me here. When they get back they are all coming over for a Braii which is like an American Bar-b-que. I don’t know how much time they will spend here today as each of them will be involved with phone calls to their families.

This is the same letter I started a couple of days ago but it is now Sunday afternoon and I will add a few things. We only had the local Gaborone elders and sister come to the Braii so we were not crowed at all here in the mission home. It was fun and they arrived late so we only had a couple of hours with them. A couple of them came back to call their parents for Christmas on our Skype program. It was wonderful to be able to talk to each of you Christmas morning your time and late afternoon for us. Your voices and the fact that we talked to each of you made our day. We love each of you so much and feel close to all of you even if we are 10,000 miles away. Because we are family and enjoy the blessings of the Gospel keeps us together in so many ways. Again Mom and I love each of you so much.

I don’t want to tell you this next part but I need to. We are losing 5 missionaries because of the immigration department again. Our man Stix is putting things off until the last minute and the immigration department doesn’t budge an inch on anything. He promised us that he would ask for extended time for the immigration board to meet of either accept or reject these applications. Well with the Christmas holiday the board is off for about three weeks and he didn’t get that much time. He only got 10 more days which does no good for us as it doesn’t get us the time we need for the board to meet and it doesn’t get us to the next transfer date. I know I take this personally because I know it makes it difficult for President Poulsen. He is such a patient man and is much more understanding then I am but we know that this work is in the Lord’s hands and what happens must be what he wants. We feel satan's influence in so many things sense we had the meeting to become a stake of Zion here in Botswana. I think satan wants the missionaries to fail and we have wonderful missionaries so he is working every way he can to keep the work from being done. I hate to see our missionaries taking the blunt of this but my hands are tied and it seems that Stix can’t get it put together either. Let me end on a positive note saying that we know that in the long run satan will not win and God does answer our prayers. We just have to be patient and all will work out, I consul Mom and she consuls me. The immigration has been up to me and I still prepare everything but think I take it to personally when it doesn’t work out for our missionaries. The Gospel is true and we pray for strength and guidance every day and we receive it every day but not always the way we think it should be. I keep trying to end on a positive note but.

My family is the best and thank you for all you do to support Mom and me. In a few days we will be able to say we will be home later this year. Take care of each other as we know you do.

Love Out Of Botswana, DAD and MOM

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

To My Dear Family,
As you know it's my favorite day of the year, and I'm certainly thinking about all of you and wondering what the last minute things you might be doing are. I'm sure you are all enjoying the Festivities and I'm so proud of you for all the preparations you have made to make sure your family has a very spiritual Christmas this year.
We loved the call from Bryce telling us about your Patriarchal Dinner and also the message from Cindy that told us of your family getting together between Christmas and New Years to have your dinner. It's been such a blessed tradition and we are so glad that you choose to carry on with that tradition, even when we are gone. Of course we miss it and also just being with all of you, but we are sure proud of you and happy that you know about the really important things in life.
We had a father of three of our YSA members pass away this week and his funeral will be tomorrow morning (Christmas Day) at 6 AM so Yes, we will be getting up early in the morning and being at the church to support all of them. This family has 8 or 10 children and the three oldest are all in our YSA group, the oldest is a daughter Nthabatha that is beautiful and knows the gospel like the back of her hand. The 2nd is a returned missionary son Kgotla that is a wonderful young man with a girl friend from Durban but they can't get married yet because her family wants an exhorbant amount of labola and Kgotla is in school trying to get an education. This young ladies father is in the Stake Presidency in Durban????????????? Then there is a 3rd child in this original family I'm talking about that is also beautiful and smart but I'm not sure she's (her name is Patience) making really good choices right now and we haven't seen her for a while. Anyway, they are a great family and the parents were putting in their papers to go on a mission when the father got sick. They thought he was improving but Tues. he called all the family together and told them he wasn't going to make it and he proceeded to put things together and tell them exactly what he wanted them to do for the funeral and set things in order and then passed away. They don't do embalming here so a couple of days is all they can wait for the burial to take place and they always do it really early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day so we plan to go pay our respects and then come back home for the day.
We had been invited to a families home for Christmas Eve dinner but they are also involved with helping for the funeral so that got cancelled. The Elders and Sister's in our District called to see if they could come over and cook dinner for us, so of course we said "sure" and they just left. We had mashed potatoes, rice, chicken and a fruit salad and then cake and ice cream. It was delicious and fun to be with them. They even cleaned up the kitchen so we are set tomorrow. We are having about 25 missionaries all come here for dinner tomorrow, but I'm not doing all the cooking. I was about cooked out from this past week with the interviews all scheduled here at our house and then the big Christmas dinner for 44 of us at the church on Wednesday. I told the missionaries they could do the Christmas day dinner at our house, but everyone had to help; they are bring over a Braii (Barbeque grill) that someone has at their flat and they are all bringing their own meat. I'm making a big potato salad and the rest is whatever they bring. They can come (Open House Style) between 12 and 4 and then they will go home and make their Christmas calls home to their families. It should be a good day; with enough going on to keep my mind in Botswana most of the day until time for us to call you. We'll try to catch all of you sometime tomorrow or in the next few days if you're not at home.
We love you all so very much. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful day with your families.
May the giftts of love and happiness be abundant in your lives this season and throughout the coming new year.
Gift giving is a major part of this wonderful Christmas holiday. We too often, however, get so "wrapped up" in the preparations of Christmas that we forget the greatest of all gifts given from God, His Son, Jesus Christ, for whom we celebrate. As each of us try to focus more on our Savior during this beautiful season, we will be more grateful for His birth and more importantly, His life and mission in our behalf.
Tell your kids how much we love and miss them today, but we LOVE our Savior also and He fulfilled His mission and we will fulfill ours.
Mom and Dad Granny & PaPa Lynn

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Week #44 - Granny

Dear Family,

Well, Botswana doesn’t do Christmas! There isn’t a tree up in any house that I’ve seen; no lights up in anyone’s yard or anywhere around town; and very few signs of anything about Christmas in the stores. No Santa in the Mall, no street decorations in town; I even asked in a couple of stores if they have a Chrismtas section and they just look at me funny and say "no". There is a Mall near us that has a store called “Game City” and it is the closest thing to a Wal-Mart that we can find in Botswana and they actually had a end-cap with some Christmas Napkins and Paper Plates (no cups) so I bought enough for our Mission Christmas Party and for the YSA Activity that we had tonight. We also took plates to three of our neighbors and sang Christmas Carols to them. Most of the YSA said they had never gone Caroling before and really thanked us for the experience. We had a little Christmas Program first with scriptures mingled with Christmas Carols and then we went caroling and came back for refreshments. We had nearly 50 here again so we did the refreshments outside but we did “Pack” everyone in the living room and dining room for the program, all on small stools or on the floor. It was fun but our neighbors didn’t get much out of the singing as they all have their tall fences and don’t open their gate or even come out for you to sing. We did catch one family down the street a ways that had company leaving so we hurried down and sang to them and gave them a plate of goodies. They looked at the goodies with a little suspicion though and I’m not sure they will eat them as they really didn’t know who we were and you can imagine this white couple marching down the street followed by a really nice looking group of 50 YSA Adult aged people and you might be suspicious too. But we did have a good time and it’s starting to feel a little bit like Christmas. Many of our YSA group have wonderful voices and can really harmonize and they sing out. It was fun to go caroling with them and they all looked so sharp; they had come right after church and their Institute Class so they were still dressed in their Sunday Best.
The Sister Missionaries came over yesterday and helped me revive an old artificial tree that was in the back corner of the servants quarters in our house. Dad uses that area for a work space, but there is actually a tiny kitchen, a tiny bathroom and one other room back there and low and behold, there was a “dead” tree we thought we sholud use. The Sisters literally taped it together with a tape gun, took green thread and wound it all around the branches to hold them up and the lights are absolutely impossible to revive so we just have a “daytime tree” but it doesn’t look half bad and from a distance, you can't see the tape or the green thread. There were some red balls in one box in the closet and another box that had a bunch of gold balls so we put all of them on and added some plastic white snowflakes and wrapped a white mattress cover around the bottom and it actually looks like Christmas in the Mission Home. We strung a garland that was also in the box, put a plastic tablecloth on the table that was cutsie, but Christmasy and what really saved the day was a tiny Nativity set that Aunt Carma sent and some snowmen made out of syrofoam that look really cute under the tree and a Merry Christmas sign to hang on the front door. Thanks Aunt Carma!

Sue has been sending an Advent Calendar with a Spiritual picture and a scripture, song, and something to do each day. I print these off and put them on the front door and all the Missionaries that come and go read them and do the activity for the day. Thanks Sue!

Dad and I had to speak in church today and we poured out our hearts to the people of Kanye and told them how important it is that we “Follow the Prophets”, Keep Heavenly Father’s Commandments, and “Share the Gospel with All of Our Neighbors.” We love the people in t hat branch and they really love us too. They treat us like we ARE the Prophet and his wife! They hug us and beg us to come to their activities and want to meet with us afterwards to ask personal questions and have us help them with all of their problems. Actually, our little Mariah that is 18 and pregnant is from that Branch and she calls me every few days just to tell me that she is doing fine and feels really good. She asked for some pictures of my family so I took her some today and showed her and she asked to keep some of them just to look at. Another little girls saw me give her a picture so she wanted one also. She begged for the picture I was carrying of Kinli and it was actually the older one when she was only a few months old. I have the new one that Danielle just sent me so I told her she could have it and she went around church showing it to everyone and kissing her picture. There isn’t a white person in their Branch anywhere, but they treat us very nicely and love us even if we are different! I’m learning a lot from them and we love them! They begged us to come to the “Almost Christmas and Nearly New Years Party” on the 31st and we told them we would come and they were all so excited that we will be down there again. It is an hour and a half drive, but we make it there when we can and their party will be in the middle of the day so it will be something fun for us to go to.

This year will be the Mission Christmas Party. President and Sister Poulsen are flying up on Tuesday, doing interviews on Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday morning, and then the Christmas dinner and program will be Wednesday afternoon, with interviews finished up on Thursday morning. They will then fly home on Thursday and be home for Christmas and we will have Christmas here in Botswana by ourselves. Some of the missionaries will probably come over, at least the ones that serve here in Gaborone, but they all have to be in their flats by 6 PM on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day. Most of their areas aren’t safe for them to be out any later on these holidays so it will be pretty quiet around here.

We will be thinking about each of you and know that you will be having some wonderful family time and enjoying being together. We are grateful for each of you and pray for our Heavenly Father to bless each and everyone of you during this holiday season. May you FEEL of His love for each of you. May you COUNT your blessings and thank Him for them. Sing some Carols for us, remind your children how much we love them and how we pray for each and every day. We hope everyone of you can feel our arms around you and recognize how proud we are of you and the wonderful job you are doing of being wonderful companions to your spouses and amazing parents to our fantastic grandchildren. We FEEL BLESSED!!! Thanks you for being exactly who you are.

We’ll be in our flat by 6 PM each of the evenings that I mentioned, if you have time to call us. We usually go to bed by 10 O’clock; we can’t wait for the 10:30 curfew as we are too old and tired by then. Our 6 PM is about 9 O’clock in the morning for you so anytime between 9 AM and 1 PM would be a good time to try to call us. (For the Vegas and Eugene family, members the time is one hour off from what I’ve said but I think you can figure it out; I get confused so I won’t try to tell you exactly what it is.


All Our Love,

Mom & Dad, Granny & PaPa Lynn

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Week #43 - Papa Lynn (His Birthday & Couples Conference)

Dear Family and Friends, 8 Dec 2010

Today happens to be my birthday and it turns out to be very special. Again we are having problems with the immigration people. The man working for us isn’t doing his job very well as we have 5 missionaries that had their 90 days run out yesterday and when I called Joseph of the Area Office yesterday morning he just about came unglued. He called President Poulsen later in the day and said they hadn’t trained Stix very well and now we were paying the price. President called me about 6:30 PM and said Joseph is on his way up to pick up the 5 missionaries and get them out of the country. He asked me to call them and get them all in Gaborone ready to go by about 8:00 PM an hour and a half from then. I asked him if I could call Stix one more time then call Joseph on his cell phone.

Well I did and Stix finally called me back about 7:30 and said he had an extension worked out so I called President Poulsen and Joseph and the elders didn’t know how close it was that they had to leave Botswana. I told the President I didn’t think Sister Morgan and I should or could go on the Couples Conference scheduled for the next morning. He told me that with the extension everything would be alright, so we decided to go.

Sunday 12 December 2010

The morning when we got to the airport they changed the flight for 2 hours later without calling or telling us. Then we found out we didn’t have tickets anyway. We had a confirmation number and they didn’t ask us how we were going to pay for the tickets so I thought we would pay at the airport that morning. Well at the bottom of the e-mail confirmation was two letters with a date (TL 25.11.10) which meant nothing to me. Later we found out that the TL meant too late. Other words if we didn’t pay by then the confirmation numbers were cancelled, and so was our reservation.

The flight had only one seat so I bought it along with a standby seat, with the agreement that if there wasn’t a standby seat I would get my money back for both tickets. Gladly we did not have to fight this out as we both got on the 11:30 AM flight. I turned off the phone in flight and when we landed a message said we only had 10 days on the extension that Stix got for us. Several phone calls during the Couples Conference and I think I know what we need to do as of Monday morning.

The rest of this letter will be pictures with captions added. The first picture is with Mon and I standing in front of a Baobab tree in the town of Kasane. After we all arrived we were picked up by Elder and Sister Cardiff and then the rest of the couples came in on a plane shortly after us. All in all there were 12 couples and we had a short meeting and went to our rooms and changed for a boat cruise. The second picture is President and Sister Poulsen in the front with our guide (Cornelia). As you can see the boat is quite big and it was a lot of fun. Not only did we see lots of animals but we also got to visit with all the other couples on the boat. We even had a small snack of crackers and cheese with water or soda. The weather was perfect. Third picture we saw many hippos and lots of them were very close in the water but not much shows while they are in the water so here are two on land. This is a big island and it is full of grass and the guide said most hippos don’t like being out of water for vey long but here on the island they seem to not let the sun bother them. The fourth picture is a shot of two elephants sparing on the shore. It was so relaxing to set around and visit with the other couples. A lot of them we hadn’t meet because they were all serving in South Africa. Ofcourse we knew some of them as they were here when we had the Couples Conference last April just after we had lost our passports from the top of the car in Mafikeng. Even the Olsens were here at that time. But this mission has many couples so some come and some go almost without even knowing who they are. Not only did we enjoy visiting with them but got to know where they are serving in South Africa. We still only have the Cardiff’s and us serving here in Botswana. The fifth picture is Mom in conversation and enjoying the boat ride. Later that evening we had a wonder buffet back at the lodge which was great with many different kinds of meat fruit desserts and drinks. It was a little expensive but lots of fun. After eating I took a picture of the Chobe River in the dusk of evening. Along with a picture with Mom standing in the area above the swimming pool. Of course we didn’t swim but they place was a wonderful place to time relaxing from the daily routene of the many mission responsibilities.

We had a relaxing evening and visited more with everyone and the next morning we had a buffet breakfast that was a great meal of anything that a person could ask for from cold ceral to fancy food that I don’t even know what it was. Again we were being very spoiled however as you may know we paid for it all in the long run but it was worth if.

The next morning we got on two big vans and headed for the Zimbabwe border as we were on our way to see Victoria Falls which is between Zimbabwe and Zambia. On the way we saw several elephants and The only country that we went into was Zambabwe but near where we went on the cruiz the night before is where all four countries meet almost like the four corners are are in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, but the names of these four countries are Botswana, Zambia, Angola, and Zimbabwe. We could claim being in the four countries but not legally as we didn’t get our passports stamped.

The next few pictures will be of Victoria Falls. Remember that these pictures are taken in the dry time of the year. Most of the areas in these pictures that don’t have water flowing over them are covered with water in the wet season (March and April). In a couple of the pictures you can see people standing at the in a pool or at the very edge of the falls. These people are in Zambia as the gorge the water falls down into is the dividing point between the two countries.

The falls were wonderful and we got really wet most of the time because of the mist coming back up from the bottom as the water hit between the walls of the gorge and if we would have had sun it would have made some wonderful rainbows.

The next we had a game safari which was fun and we saw lots of animals but nothing more dangereous than these wild dogs.

The first picture is the vehicle the second the wild dogs that the guide said she had never seen them in the gamer reserve before. The next is a huge bird and if you look close you will see the leg of an impala hanging just under the birds feet against the main part of the V-in the tree.

I am holding a dung bettle and the last picture shows why a wart hog is called a wart hog (Pumba).

Later we headed back to the lodge and out to the airport and headed home. We told the President we could probably last until the end of our mission now. I hope this comes out good on our blogspot. Mom and I love each of you very much and our thoughts are always with you and we pray for each of you as well.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Week #42 - Papa Lynn

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

We have had such a busy week that I’m going to hit the highlights and get some sleep. If I don’t write tonight, I won’t get a chance for another week.

This past week has been transfer week and we got 10 new missionaries from JoBurg. Four of them were brand new Sisters, straight from the MTC so we had to drive to JoBurg on Tuesday morning early to pick them up. Our Bakki (PickUp) that we usually take with a trailer to transfers is broke down (been in the shop for 5 weeks now and won’t be ready for 2 more weeks) so we had to take 6 cars to transport missionaries and luggage. When we got everyone gathered at our house to travel to Joburg, we realized we didn’t have enough drivers so I had to drive one of the cars all by myself. Dad had to drive with another Elder so he wouldn’t be alone. My driving experience has been limited here as I’m usually with Dad and he always drives, but I have done it a few times when necessary. I haven’t quite gotten use to driving on the wrong side of the car and on the wrong side of the road, but I said “I can do it” and off we went. It’s a 5 hour drive and it wasn’t much fun by myself, but except for getting sleepy once in a while I did fine until we hit the outskirts of JoBurg. It’s pretty much country and desert until and we were in a caravan with Dad leading everyone and watching out for all of the cars and making sure no one got lost. Just as we hit the JoBurg traffic, we came upon a car accident and a T junction and , you guessed it, we got separated. The Elders all went one way and me and the Sisters car went the other way and we couldn’t get back together. I followed behind the Sisters until I realized they were going to the Mission Home and I knew Dad would be going to the Mission Office and I forgot to mention that my phone is the only one that doesn’t have roaming so I couldn’t communicate with anyone. I had been back and forth from the Mission Office to the Mission home a few times 9 months ago when Dad was in the hospital so I knew the way, so I talked to the Sisters at the stop light and told them I was going to the Mission Office to find dad and the Elders and that I knew the way. I actually made it to the Mission Office without a glitch, only to find out that Dad and the Elders were not there yet and didn’t arrive until over an hour later. They got on a wrong road after the accident and someone had messed with the GPS and it had the Area Office address in where the Mission Office should be and they ended up clear across JoBurg by the temple and in the middle of 5 O’clock traffic and couldn’t get back FOREVER!! Dad was pretty frustrated and mostly worried about me because we couldn’t communicate. I finally had the Assistants call him and tell him I was safe and at the office and then at least he quit worrying and so did I. We had planned to go to the temple with the Sisters and the Poulsen’s, but that didn’t work, but we did wait and go to a later session by ourselves, and we had a wonderful evening at the temple and went out to dinner at “Mike’s Kitchen” our favorite place in JoBurg. (Probably because it’s the only place in JoBurg we’ve ever gone out to dinner, but it is a nice place.) We ran into the Mission Doctor at the temple and made arrangements to see him the next day in his office as dad is having some trouble with Fungus under his toenail and he said he would look at it. We also ran into our new Sister Missionaries at the temple and also the MTC President and his wife so that was nice also. We got asked to be the witness couple and the session was so small they had to have people come in to be in the prayer circle with us, but it was a wonderful evening and we quite stressing over the trip in to town and chalked it up as “another experience.” I actually knew that Heavenly Father had looked out for me and guided me to where I needed to go and it was actually a huge miracle in my life.

On Wednesday after the Doctor appointment and 3 hours driving around town trying to find a bank (the 4th one actually would do it for us) that would take our Credit Card so we could pay for a Game Drive we are taking the boys on when they come to see us in February, we loaded up all the cars and were ready to drive back to Botswana. All was well except that none of the 4 Sisters had ever driven in JoBurg before, one Sister was from New Zealand so she knew how to drive there, but one was from Uganda and couldn’t drive and the other two were from Utah and Idaho and weren’t excited at all about having to drive. We put them in the cars with Automatic transmissions and said “follow us” and don’t get separated and only one of them started crying. She was actually scared to death and drove so slow that we had to keep pulling over to let the rest catch up. We had so many cars that we could only have 2 in each car so the Elders had to drive with Elders and the Sisters had to drive alone with another Sister so we had no choice. The worst part was the getting out of JoBurg as it takes almost an hour to just get out of the busy part of downtown before we get out into the country headed to Botswana, but once we got that far everything went fine. It took us 6 hours to caravan home and we were all hungry and tired by the time we got there, but we were all safe and we drove everyone to their apartments and came home and FELL into bed.

The next day was Immigration and its usual nightmare, but you’ve heard all that before. We got them to the Police Station for Certification, to the Photo Shop for Passport Pictures, to the Doctor for Physicals and then to Immigration and turned them over to our new Immigration Specialist where they spent the next 3 hours, but we got to come home during part of that. I got lunch ready for everyone and when they returned we got them to their new areas and they went to work. The next morning we had to do the same thing all over with the new Zone Leaders as they stay in JoBurg for an extra day of training meetings so they aren’t here for our normal scheduled Immigration Day. This was an easier day though as they aren’t new missionaries, just new to Botswana so they are a little more independent, but they don’t know where anything is in Botswana. As soon as we got them taken care of, we headed to Francistown (5 hours North) to drive two of the new Sisters to their new area. It’s a pretty comfortable drive and mostly desert and country between small villages, so no “wrong side of the road stress” and they are getting more comfortable with it by now, so off we went. We actually spent Saturday and Sunday there and went to church with them and got to visit with the Saints there. They love us and we love them and they get really excited when we come to see them, so it’s really a fun couple of days for us but we are so happy to be home and in our own beds tonight.

I just thought you’d all like to know that your Mom is now a Foreign Driver and I can Zip through the “Round-Abouts” like a Pro and I even drove about 1/3 of the way home from Francistown today. I’m quite comfortable with driving on the wrong side of the road and it almost seems normal to go to the right (wrong) side of the car when I’m going to drive. Dad and I still get confused once in a while and take turns laughing at each other when we head for the wrong side of the car and once in a while even get in and set down and then realize the steering wheel isn’t where it should be!

Our week this week is going to be really busy also, but you are going to be jealous to know that President Poulsen planned a couple’s conference for us and we get to fly to Kasane (top of Botswana) for 3 days. We fly on Wednesday morning and arrive in Kasane which is the biggest game reserve in Botswana. We stay at the Chobe Safari Lodge for two nights, go on a cruise on the Chobe River and we get to travel into Zimbabwe on Thursday and spend the day at Victoria Falls. We will probably have a Fireside with the Kasane members (about 20) and then go on another Sunrise game drive in Chobe National Park on Friday morning before flying back to Botswana that evening. It will be a quick trip, but we are excited to get the privilege of seeing Victoria Falls as I guess it’s pretty amazing. Look it up on the Internet and I’m sure you can find pictures. It is in Southern Africa on the Zambezi River between the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Falls are some of the largest in the world.

Well, it’s late and we haven’t recovered by our busy week and our trip home from Francistown and we have about 5 days worth of work to do in two days before leaving for the Chobe trip, bit I’ll close and we will write again next weekend when we are home again and have more time. We love you all so much and we love the letters, the e-mails from the kids and the pictures. We did get a letter from Jenna and Cooper in the mail this week and that is always fun. Thanks Jenna and Cooper for the letters, we loved your drawings and notes; and thanks Izzy for sending us your pictures that you made in church through the e-mail. We miss you so very much and think about you every day. Families are Forever, and we have been blessed with the BEST family in the world. Thanks for being who you are and for your love.


Mom and Dad

PS Thanks Aleksey and Julia for calling on Skype tonight from Ukraine; it was fun to talk to you.
Thanks for the Ray's for writing, we can't believe you are on your way home from Russia. We feel lonely out here with out you!
Continued good Luck to the Galbriath's in Ukraine, hope you are enjoying serving as President & Matron on the temple there. WE pray for you.
Love and support to the Carter's as Mission President's in Armenia. We think of you often and pray for your work there.
Gay and Lonnie, we miss knowing that you are in the Mission Field with us. Soon you'll be back serving though! Time flies quickly!
We send our love to Russia for the Moffat's, we know your Branch is doing well with Elder Moffatt as the Branch President.
And for anyone else interested, we are seriously needing couples to serve in our Mission. Some are going home in the next few months and we neee new couples to take there place. The Missionfield is the best place in the world for "old people like us" so come and join us. We'll put in a good word with the President and I'm sure he would love to get you here to serve in Africa or Botswana!

President & Sister Morgan
Johannesburg South Africa Mission