Happy Easter!!! The weather here is getting cooler and we are having lots of rain. Sometimes it seems that it is raining buckets and we wonder if we should be building an Arc! We were in Mafikeng South Africa last night as we had meetings with the Elders down there, and it rained so hard and the little roadside motel we stayed in had a tin roof and we were sure our car would have floated away by morning. It was a really cute place and had lots of separate buildings and each of them had cute pictures painted on them of different African “people” scenes. Some were cooking over an open pit, some with women carrying bundles or buckets on their heads, and some were of ladies doing their laundry by hand. It was all done with bright colorful painting and as tall as the buildings; really cute and we took a few pictures. I’ll see if Dad can send some.
Our Branch in Mafikeng is growing slowly, and our Missionaries are doing a great job there. We usually have to help out with lessons there, and my challenge is always the Relief Society as the ladies get caught up with trying to tell each other “when they should read their scriptures” and “how to handle difficult family members who have not joined the church” and they all think there way is the only way and it ends up coming off “way judgmental” and authoritative. Someone gets offended and then today I stood up and tried to explain that the Brethren teach us that we should study our scriptures and read with our families; they don’t try to tell us When; and what works in one home doesn’t always work in another. I told them that through the years we had tried several different approaches to Family Scripture Study and that they would all be blessed for doing it the best they could and not to judge each other and feel that everyone has to do it the same. Our Sunday School Teacher said that he hasn’t been there for the past two weeks because his son got stabbed and molested and that he had been struggling with his testimony since all of this happened. Then he said he sat down and put together a Cross Word Puzzle of words from the scriptures and decided to come back to church and share it with everyone for his lesson today. It was quite interesting and some of the words were spelled wrong, but he helped us all through it and helped us figure out which word went where as some of the numbers didn’t match up; but all in all he had a lot to say and hopefully felt better and soon the lesson time was gone. The sad part about the whole day was the Counselor in the Relief Society wasn’t there today as her 14 year old son was shot last night and she was at the hospital with him. She came at the end of meetings and I was able to visit with her and he is going to live, but will be in the hospital for a while with a lot of internal injuries. It was a rough day in Mafikeng!
We had President and Sister Poulsen with us for a couple of days earlier this week as they came up to do interviews with all of our Elders and Sisters. They do the interviews here at our place so it was very busy for Thursday evening and Friday and then they flew to Francistown for a couple of days and will return on Tuesday before driving back to JoBurg. They have a very busy schedule and are trying to get all over the mission once more before they go home the end of June. They have almost 200 missionaries and our mission is huge so it’s very hard for them to be everywhere they want to be. They are great people and we have loved serving with them. They always offer to take us out to dinner when they come, but their schedule is always so hectic and they always get here late and it’s time to do the interviews so it works better when we just have a nice dinner here after they finish their interviews on Thursday night. President told Dad to set up a lunch out somewhere on Friday after all the interviews were done for them and us and our 8 Sisters. However, we have 2 Sisters who are not getting along well at all (to put it mildly) and after he met with each of them twice, met with the other 2 sisters that share their apartment and then with the two of them again; there was no time and it was almost time to take them to the airport so I started grabbing things out of the refrigerator and we sat down with the 4 Sisters and the Poulsen’s and us and we had a nice lunch before they left. The 2 Sisters still weren’t speaking so things may be pretty cool in their apartment this weekend. We are going to try to get them involved in an Auxiliary training in another one of our Branches (Kanye) for this coming Saturday and see if we can’t warm things up a bit there. They are both excellent Sister Missionaries; one from America and one from Uganda, but they are both stubborn and came out at the same time and we’ve been told that they didn’t like each other in the MTC and nothing has changed! Hopefully we will be able to bring them together because President Poulsen is far away and he told Dad to take over and make them work it out because he’s not planning to change their companionship. We only have 8 Sisters so there isn’t a lot of room to move them around when they all stay in Botswana for their entire 18 months.
Our wonderful friend and Bishop of our YSA ward called on Friday while we were in Molepolole and said he was in the hospital and asked Dad to come and give him a blessing. He was having an Appendicitis attack and hoped he wouldn’t have to have surgery, but on Saturday morning they did have to do the surgery. We visited him on Friday and again on Saturday and by then he was feeling much better and was released Saturday evening and still went to church for the whole block today. He and his wife came over tonight with some friends that were visiting them from South Africa and we had a nice visit but I think he needs to go home and rest and he was looking pretty tired tonight. While we were at the hospital, his counselor in the Bishopric’s wife (Brother Kalubhi) had a new baby boy so we got to go downstairs to the Maturnity Ward and see Patience Kalubhi and her new little boy. I’m not sure what they are going to name him yet, but he weighed about 5 ½ pounds and is certainly a beautiful little baby.
Easter Sunday didn’t seem to cause much of a stir at church, they did sing “He is Risen” for the closing song in Sacrament meeting, but otherwise nothing was mentioned about Easter. We gave the Elder’s some peanuts and Candy eggs we found at the Grocery Store in Mafikeng last night before we went to their flat and did an inspection. They had it nice and clean and they are 4 great Elders serving there. We took a meatloaf and some baked potatoes (cooked them while we had meeting) and wacky cake and had dinner with them in their apartment after having a good District meeting with them and hearing about all the work they are doing in their area. There was some candy and Easter Egg stuff out at the stores, but mostly toys and Easter Cloths; we think they must give more gifts at Easter time that we remember people doing at home.
Well, family, we are preparing for Mariah to return on Friday night. We are praying that she can find somewhere to live as that seems to be the biggest thing to work around right now. Please include her in your prayers on that one as it really determines where she can try to find work and where she can go to school. It all has to be possible to get around on a Combi and not cost a fortune to travel to school and to work so until we know where she is staying, we can’t decide which school to try to get her enrolled in or where to try to help her find work. This is all too hard for two old people and especially trying to do it all in-between our real job here, which is to be good missionaries. Hopefully we are doing what Heavenly Father wants us to do and He will be able to helps us and bless us and guide us. We love you all and we pray for you every day that you can keep your families close to the teachings of the gospel as it is the only way to true happiness in this life and in the life to come. The Gospel is so true! Life it with all of your hearts!
Have a great week and remember that we love you!
Dad and Mom, Grannie & PaPa Lynn, President & Sister Morgan