Well, another week in the country of Zimbabwe. Just to let you know, Alan, posted some pictures today on drop box, and also a video. The pictures of our flat are nice, but you have to remember it's a different world in our gated community. The lawns are kept up and green, we have gardeners that do a wonderful job, and life is good. But, we need to take the real pictures that exist outside the gate! I'll be posting some of those soon. We just had a wonderful time skyping with Russ and Rob. They look great and we love to hear how they are doing. Russ has this "mustache" growing on the upper lip. Russ's wife Christine is so cute. Whitney you and Rob and Baby Hailey are such a cute family. We just love you all. We love Lou and Curtis and little Owen also.
This week has been filled with a lot. During the week a family by the name of Neild, came into the mission office. They are members and do a lot of good in the country. Well, they have 3 daughters who are pro-women golfers.They travel all over the world, golfing and doing firesides and helping out with humanity projects. We started chatting and they invited Alan and I over for dinner that night. WE found their home, with the help of following them to their home. What a lovely home. It was their parents home, and the kids and some of their kids live in the home.We drove up to the back door, the maids were still in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up. It reminded me of the movie the " The Help". Then we were taken into the sitting room and met their father. What a nice man ,they are all members. They told us of their conversion and how they have lived in Rhodesia, and through the wars that have taken place. We found out that Brother Neild is a stake patriarch of our stake, and his brother-in-law is a bishop in the building next to the mission office.They cooked the most delicious food. They are friends of all the apostles and their wives. They had a lot of stories they told us. Two weeks ago they took Elder Hales out on the golf course, they described how he carried his oxygen tank and was able to hit a few holes. They have been working with Elder Eyring and his golf swing. They love to talk! That has been our cultural outing. The first time we've driven at night. I can see why we don't drive at night. It is so dark, no street lights( they have all rusted out and missing wiring and bulbs), and you can't see the people that walk on the side of the road. So, these ladies invited us to come to the country club and they'd give us free golf lessons on Saturday morning. Of course we were there. Now that was a funny site. Me swinging a golf club. Actually I did hit it, a lot. Alan just improved his swing a lot. Now we just have to remember all those tips and try them out in 17 months.
I saw another animal today, It was a huge bull walking down the road out in front of the church building. It had the biggest horns I have ever seen, and it was a huge animal. We've not had time to venture outside of the city yet. Hopefully in October, we'll get organized so we can do something fun. The office work has been so busy. I wonder why I'm here! I've let Alan do all the computer stuff for the last 34 years, and now It's up to me! What is the mission department thinking. It takes me so long to do anything, and then I have to resubmit things because I did it wrong. It has been stressful. I feel for our mission president. I'm not making his life easier. In fact the other day, he asked me if I'd seen his calendar on the computer, or if I knew what a calendar was! I can answer the phone, copy papers, now I can attach items to an email. But there is so much. I guess I need to take the words of advice of President Hinckley's father, Get to work and just do it!
We are having an apostle and many general authorities come in the middle of October. We are on high alert until then. Then it's time for transfers and it starts all over again. In fact President put me on the program to play the piano,when the apostle comes to talk with the missionaries. I just told the president I can't play for an apostle. He took my name off and we're just going to sing African style. They pick their own rhythm, pick their note and just go for it. They do sound lovely when they sing, it's from the heart. So my life until the middle of October is going to be stressful. We are the only senior couples, we should have at least 2 more couples in the office.
Today has been good, we've had power all day, which is a miracle. I do love our generators. We've used them everyday for a week. I love electricity. Our water comes from what they call a borehole. Every flat has a huge water container outside their home, which stores the water. We have a filtering system for our water, only in the kitchen sink, we still rinse all our dishes in a bleach and water solution. And we drink bottled water.
We eat a lot of vegetables and bread. Yesterday I gave in and bought some beef and made a stew. I couldn't eat the meat, Alan thought it was rather good. He'll eat anything and say it is good.. We tend to spend a lot of time shopping for food. Just for something that tastes normal and is American. Lindsay I'll be sending my Christmas list to you. If you send us a package around the middle of September, we'll get it for Christmas. It takes 3 months to get a package from the states.
Our branch meeting was really good today. It's the second week playing the keyboard for church. I really slow down the hymns when they sing, but they do like having a piano in church. We are teaching the temple prep class. Our branch president wants 8 couples to get ready to travel to the temple in Johannesburg in October. It will take them 10 hours to get to the border, then another 6/7 hours to the temple from there. The branch members bear the most humble testimonies about Jesus Christ and it's so simple to understand. One ward today had 10 baptisms. The work is going strong and the people are ready to accept the gospel. It changes the lives of people, for the good. I broke down today and made a batch of cookies. They turned out like biscuits. Might have to give it up for some time. Everyone in our complex knows that we are missionaries. Tonight a little English lady came to our door and gave us some huge avocados, and asked if we were here for 1 year,2 or 3. I told her that we were here for 18 months. She said I just had to make the best of it, and walked off. The older people here are very "old fashioned English speaking". Grandpa Lowell you'd really get a kick out of what they say.
Sure hope Lindsay you're felling better, you'll be a really good mother. Just hang in there. The wedding looked fun and so glad to see some pictures. A young woman at church told me that she would braid my hair. I told here that should be her young women's project. I guess I should do something with it. I did notice that the shampoo in the stores are for only black hair. I just might need a scarf, when the shampoo is out. We love to hear from all of you. Just to let you know, you can Skype any Sunday morning or just afternoon States time. That won't be too late for us.
Alan is loving his mission, I'm sure I will when I can get the mission details in order. We love you all and can feel the prayers that are in our behalf. Our door is open to any visitors from the states, anytime.
Yes Alan broke down and purchased a satellite link. He can watch a little tv, just no worth while tv. Well, the knot is back in my stomach, the weekend is almost over, and it's back to the office in the early morning.
Remember anyone can Skype. We love you again.
For anyone that is interested in looking at their pictures on drop box, here is the link https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wm7he5r16kwc4uz/AABTjOv9MmZ3kOSb41eKrPh5a?dl=0 If this doesn't work, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can invite you through there.