Sunday, January 2, 2011

Week #46 - Granny

Happy New Year to ALL from Botswana!
I have to say we are happy to see the holiday’s behind us. Missionary work really struggles during the holidays and the Missionaries have to spend a lot of time in their flats and I think they are all getting “stir crazy”. They can’t bother member families on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day unless they have been invited to be in their homes. Also, on New Years Eve they were to be in by 6 PM and keep a low profile all New Years Day, being in again by 6 PM and their suggested activities were to Clean their flat, do their laundry, study the scriptures and from the Preach My Gospel or write letters. Since we are considered “members”, they have loved the open invitation to drop in on us when things are toooooo slow. Lots of people go to their home villages so the town is pretty slow right now and attendance at church has been really low. Some grocery stores are open, but most businesses closed around the 20th of December and they haven’t opened back up yet. I think we’ll all be happy to get back to Normal Life in Botswana and hopefully the work will pick back up again so we can work hard on our goal of making Botswana a Stake by June 26, 2011.

We’ve had another emergency transfer as we still haven’t gotten the Immigration thing worked out. We had 5 more Missionaries that President had to take back to South Africa and this time he replaced them with some local ward (and Branch) missionaries. The local Bishop’s here furnished the names, President Poulsen issued the call, and the rest was up to Dad. President just sent an e-mail telling him that he would receive a call from Bishop Thebe and Bishop Matswagothata giving him the names of 5 young men who would serve and then he could plan the Transfer meeting and pray about which one to assign to serve where and that it was all up to him. Dad took over (this was on Tuesday) and by Thursday evening the transfer meeting was all planned and the departing missionaries came into Gab’s alone with the new missionaries and we held a transfer meeting, gave out the assignments, instructed them from the white handbook about a few Missionary rules and then we started delivering them to their new assigned areas. We drove two of them to Molepolole (about 1 hour away) and the other 3 were taken by their new companions and the departing missionaries spent the night with the Zone Leaders awaiting their bus ride back to South Africa Friday morning at 6 AM.

We met the departing missionaries at 6 AM at the bus station, gave them a sack lunch containing some banana bread, fruit, and juice that would last them until they get to Johannesburg which is about a 5 or 6 hour bus ride. They had to weigh their luggage and we paid all their weight charges as they can’t take much on the bus without paying extra, but all of that went pretty well and they were soon on their way. Less than an hour later, however, we received a phone call from Elder Kolonji (From The Democratic Republic of Congo) who was stuck at the border and they wouldn’t let him through. They said he didn’t have something right in his Passport and we actually knew that but had already struggled with Immigration over this issue and they said he had the stamp that he needed. But………………after 2 hours of working with the authorities at the Border, they accepted our 500 Pula “bribe” or whatever, and they finally let him through. We made an emergency trip to the Border and did the necessary paperwork, the “please” and “thank-you’s” to all the right people and they finally let him through. He had to take the paper work and make a mad dash to the South African side and luckily the bus had even waiting for him. We were sure they wouldn’t wait at all, but we kept calling to some lady with a cell phone and she kept our missionaries and the bus driver in touch with us and the bus driver cooperated and waited until he got through. We collect all the cell phones before they leave on any transfers’ but I think we are going to have to re-think that and get an emergency travel phone because our transfers never seem to go quite as planned and then we have no way to communicate with our missionaries. Once they reach the border, the phones don’t work anyway, but dad has finally been given permission to put roaming on their phones even though some of the “powers that be” don’t think it’s necessary. Lots of unnecessary things are necessary in Botswana! We can’t seem to stay one step ahead of the problems; they come at us faster than we can catch them; but we are learning! We are humbled each day as we keep trying to do the work of the Lord in Botswana. We know that he wants the Missionaries here and for the work to go forward and we will continue to fast and pray that we can do His will and keep the church legal in Botswana. We feel His help every day and we just need to get better as listening and reacting faster. We actually had talked about Elder Kolonji having trouble getting through the border, but we dismissed it as “we just worry too much” and we should have followed the bus to the border and been there when he arrived instead of the missionaries all having to pitch in and come up with the 500 Pula before we got there to even start the paper work for him to get through. By the time we got there, they were all on the South African side (except Elder Kolonji) and we couldn’t talk to them or get them their money back, but we called ahead to the office in Johannesburg and ask them to have the money to repay each of them that had contributed with their allotment money. We’ve just got to learn to listen to the Still Small Voice and react accordlingly. We will do better! We’ve fasted and prayed today for Heavenly Father to help us learn to do His will and we ask that all of you fast and pray for us each month so we can do ALL that we are required to do here. I constantly ask my Heavenly Father each day “Am I doing all that you want me to do here?”

We loved getting to talk to most of you on Christmas. We had lots of Missionaries here calling home and it was a happy time in the mission. We hope each of you are prepared for a wonderful New Year and that the blessing will be even stronger in your homes this year than they have in the past. We are blessed to have the Priesthood of God in every one of our homes. We are blessed by ancestors who were strong and struggled so that we could have all the blessings of the gospel in our lives, every day of our lives. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and we are so blessed to have it in our lives. We are so blessed to be lead by a Prophet of God who talks with our Heavenly Father and knows the things that we need to know to bring our families back to live Eternally with our Heavenly Father. WE have local leaders who also are lead and guided to know what each of our families need and who serve us with all of their hearts. As we support and sustain our local leaders, Heavenly Father can bless us even more with constant information that will keep us in touch with The Spirit. When we study the scriptures individually and as families, we are PROMISED that our families will be righteous and will stay close to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that our children will testimonies that will help them to hold fast to the iron rod. We pray for each and every one of you every day and we know that our Heavenly Father is blessing you and watching out for you for us while we are gone. We miss you, We love you and you are our greatest blessing. WE are so thankful for each of you and your goodness and your example to each other. Enjoy the New Year; keep the commandments and be worthy of all of the Promised Blessings and “Let There Be No Empty Seats In Our Heavenly Home.” We’ll be home with you in 2011; and we will be trying to thank our Heavenly Father for all of His blessings by doing our very best work until then!!! BE SAFE

All Our Love!!!

Mom and Dad, Granny & PaPa Lynn, Lynn & Lorraine

1 comment:

  1. It's fun to hear about them and the exciting adventures they have keeping the mission running. It reminds me of everything they dealt with in Ukraine, I have to wonder if they enjoy all the excitement, or if they just happen to be extremely good at dealing with it. :)Thanks for posting these Kricket. It's fun to read them, and your blog looks really good by the way.
    Jeff Kunz (former Ukrainian Missioanry)