I have lots to talk about in this letter so I am starting a week early. Mom sent her letter a few days early this week and many of the things that she wrote about are in the process. We picked up President and Sister Omer at the airport here in Gaborone on the 4:40 PM flight. We went to dinner at my favorite restaurant and had a great visit and a great meal. They are so wonderful and they will be great for this mission. We knew how much we have enjoyed President and Sister Poulsen that we have been concerned who the Omers would fit in. He has been throughout the mission doing interviews to get acquainted with each of the missionaries and Botswana is his last three zones to interview. We have been blessed to have them here at our mission office/home and everything went very well. We don’t have to worry if they can fill the shoes of the Poulsens as they will do just fine.
Because of flights and distance President Omer ask if I would have Francistown missionaries come down here to Gaborone for their interviews as well. It meant only having four elders and four sisters come in two cars and then we wanted the Risers to come as well so they came earlier than the Francistown Zone. We had a good day Friday with each district come in for interviews and they were each on time and the interviews went really well. In the afternoon Elder and Sister Riser got here and so after interviews my sweet wife had dinner for the three couples, President and Sister Omer, Elder and Sister Riser and ourselves. It was a great meal with enchiladas as the main course and everyone had as much as they wanted and it was fun to set around and just talk until it was time to take President and Sister Omer back to their hotel for the night.
The next morning we had changed the interviews to be a couple hours earlier so we could take them shopping to a couple small markets in front of the River Walk Mall and then over to Botswana Craft. It was fun and the women really enjoyed it. After that Mom and I left everyone (Omers and Risers) here in our mission home/office and we went out to the border to get Elder and Sister Kimball and Elder and Sister Oborn across the border. We didn’t know if they would need us but it really helped and they were happy that we were there. It usually takes about 4 ½ to 5 hours to come from the Office in Johannesburg but it took them 10 ½ hours. They got lost twice and went the wrong way in some very important places that totally took them the wrong way. Later as they followed us from place to place I know it must have been the fact that they were not use to driving on the left side of the road. However the driver Elder Oborn has been in England on his first mission and he has been in South Africa for about a month and he is so causes that he can’t follow anyone very well. I take always take great precautions when someone is following me that I have never lost anyone until yesterday in broad daylight. It was frustrating to say the least. Elder Oborn was driving but just didn’t have a clue as how to follow. Sorry this sounds so negative but we were all late for everything because of this.
Sunday we picked up Elder and Sister Kimball at the Mottheo Apartments (where we started here in Botswana about 17 months ago) then went past the Mondior Hotel to get President and Sister Omer and Elder and Sister Oborn to follow us to Gaborone West chapel. We were on time because I had allowed a little extra time for them to follow us. They all had an opportunity to speak in the YSA ward Gaborone West 2nd ward) with President and Sister Omer taking the greater amount of time as it should be. Then we stayed there and attended Gaborone West 1st ward (the family ward)and they all spoke again. Mom and I had arranged for us to attend a baptism at the Broadhurst building at about 12:0 but again Elder Oborn didn’t pay attention and followed the wrong car. Gratefully President Omer had his cell phone I called and they finally got behind us about ten minutes later. When we got to Broadhurst the baptism of three was over but we did get to be there for the music while they were dressing and then got to hear each of their testimonies which were wonderful.
After all the different meetings we went to we came back home here to have dinner. The roast was tender and great and we had funeral potatoes with all the trimmings. My sweet wife has al talent in fixing meals. They all loved the food and we all had a great time. We could barely fit eight of us around the table but it worked fine. We just set around and talked for the whole afternoon and no one wanted to leave. We finally had ice cream and cookies and then lead them back to the hotel and apartment. I didn’t mention that Elder and Sister Riser left at 5:00 AM Sunday morning to get back and do a visit in the Serowe group and their way back to Francistown. The next morning we needed to take President and Sister Omer to the airport to fly back to Johannesburg and while there we pointed Elder and Sister Oborn down the road to the Tlokweng borer to drive back to Johannesburg. We found out they made it back just fine. Then about noon we picked up the Kimballs to get them some groceries so they could eat at their apartment. We ended up coming back to our home and did a little training and talking over dinner then he asked if he could drive home with us with him as we needed to bring back the car. Sadly he hit a curb and bent a rim on the car and broke the hub cap. I think it was caused by driving too fast so when he slowed down he does just fine. We picked them up for the next couple days but after learning the way from the Motheo Apartments he now drives the car they brought up from South Africa (this is the car we will take back to South Africa on the 11th of August).
Tuesday we took them to Mafikeng to learn where the Elders flat is and we did an apartment inspection and also where the church is in Mafikeng. They had a good experience crossing the border both going to and coming back from Mafikeng. On the way back we did an apartment inspection in Lobatse and showed them the church there as well. Both Monday and Tuesday was a holiday as it has been Presidents day here in Botswana, so Wednesday we did all the preparations for the immigration papers for the Kimballs. Thursday we did apartment inspections for the entire Botswana East zone which included Mochudi and all the flats here in Gaborone. Friday we went to the power office to get them acquainted with things there and then we went to the main mail to show them the post office and did a little shopping of the tourist items while there. While having lunch back at the mission home I received a call to do a second interview back at Mochudi so we did that in the afternoon.
Saturday we went to a wedding of one of our YSA couples and it was wonderful and almot started on time. It was only a half hour late instead of two hours late as some have been. Between the wedding and a special meeting with President Hall our Roodepoort Stake president I got a call to do two interviews in Molepolole. So my sweet wife fixed us all a sack lunch and we headed for Molepolole and after the two 2nd interviews we did an apartment inspection and showed the Kimballs where the church building was in Molepolole as well.
24 July 2011 Sunday: Today was be a bit different as the MTC President and his wife spent the last couple of days in Madikwe game reserve where Mom and I took our three sons when they came to visit and they came to visit us today. They have two of their girls with them and we are meet them at the River Walk Mall and took them to church in Broadhurst. We also have the PEF couple in town and they are came to dinner at our house as well. We are very glad that everyone wasn’t here all at once. We had the first dinner with Elder and Sister Kimball with resident and Sister Christensen and of course Mom and I. It was fun and they stayed until about 2:00 and we drove them to the edge of town to make sure they knew their way to the border.
At about 5:00 we got a call from the perpetual education fund couple who we thought was coming with everyone else and we had to fix another meal. Then at 7:00 Kgosy and Miepillo came and wanted to eat as well. It is now 8:30 and I don’t think anyone else will be coming to eat. But I guess some missionaries could come even yet for about another hour.
Well the day is about done and we are about to finish up a few things and get ready for bed. Before doing so I need to explain something. On or about the 2nd or 3rd of August we are going to do what we did in Ukraine. We will be moving out of our home here in Botswana rom the mission home/office and change places with the Kimballs. They will move here and we will spend the last week in the Motheo Apartments. We want you to know if you need to get hold of us we will still be checking our e-mail every day right up until the 10th and then the 11th we will most like not check it as we will be driving to Johannesburg and heading home. As of that same day we will be changing homes, cars, and cell phones. Our phone number then will be 00267-7138-0266 instead of 00267-7132-0394. The last number will be the Kimballs and if you call it they can get hold of us.
Love Out Of Botswana, Dad and Mom