Saturday, March 14, 2015

Hello family

Hello Family.
I wasn't going to write this week, but Robert put me to shame. Way to go Robert! How are you all doing? We are fine. It's just been one of those days. Towards the end of the day, I had inputted, a whole batch of baptismal records. I went to submit them on the church site, and only one submitted. I almost cried. It takes me forever to do these. So I'm working on Saturday this week, trying to catch up on the work in the office. I would wait until next week, but the missionaries just keep baptizing. I'm the only one complaining and I shouldn't. See I should not have written this letter.
 Yesterday we took the office elders out to lunch. We have Elder Innocent Ojok and Elder Merritt. Elder Ojok is from Uganda and he is such a great missionary and young man. We asked him about his conversion and he told the best story. He said that he comes from a family that his mother and two sisters and an aunt are members of the church. His father is a minister for another church. He said that when he was younger his aunt would come for a visit and they would all make fun of her for joining the Mormon Devil worshipping church. Elder Ojok said that he would make fun and  persecute the Mormons, every chance he could. One day one of his friends at school asked him to come to his church. He said that he was busy and that maybe he would come after school. he said they had school 7 days a week. So one Sunday he told his friend that after school he would go, because he had to go to school in order to pass the final exams that were coming up. That sunday as he passed the church, he just went inside. He said that he was shocked to see so many of his classmates and friends at church. He said that the first day, he felt like this church was the place for him. He had the missionaries teach him about Joe Smith and the church. He said that from then on , he would go to church on Sunday and then go to school after church. He said that he was in the upper 90% of his class in school. After the finals he has never gone back to school . I asked him if he were like Alma the Younger. He said that he was worse than that.   Infact since he's been of mission, he's run into one of the missionaries that he persecuted. The returned missionary just couldn't believe that Elder Ojok joined the church and is serving a mission now. He is such a powerful giant, in the mission field. His dad still is a pastor for another church, and he's looking forward to returning home and getting his dad to listen to him and getting his mother to come back to church. Conversion stories like his, really strengthens my testimony of the restored truths
Last week Elder A. had a tooth pulled. The tooth was cracked down into the gum line and couldn't be saved. He's been suffering from an infection , because of the cracked tooth for over a month now. I now have a tooth problem. I'm terrified to go to the same dentist. I can't loose one of my teeth, it's near the front of the mouth. Any way, Alan is planning on having an implant here before we return. It's a lot cheaper and the dentist said that it's a good implant. The dentist is white from Croatia.
We are doing well, This coming Tuesday 16 missionaries will have finished their mission. I'm just quite sad they are leaving. 12 are going back to the states. All fantastic missionaries. One of the missionaries that is leaving had served in Sierra Leone this past year,  before the ebola out brake. I would love to read his mission letters from his mission president. I might ask him, if he would share. They were really put to the test, and had to leave all but a small bag when they departed. We are getting a change in the assistants that work in the office. Elder Kawauki, from Uganda is going back in the field and we'll be getting Elder Mayall( he's from England) to take his place. I've come to see these missionaries as angels. They are so blessed and can teach the gospel like the apostles.
Well just a bit about my day. How are all of you. Thank you for the letters, we really appreciate them all. We hope that you're all doing well and still going to church. How's little Hailey and bigger Owen?  We do love them and all of you too. Our next door neighbors are the Diede's , they are the Self-Reliance missionaries. They have their work cut out. This is a country with no jobs and they pay maybe $5.00 for a twelve hour shift. That is a good job. Can you imagine what people in the U.S. would do if they only received $5.00 after working for 12 hours. A big revolt would take place. The government just closed down one of the countries telephone companies today. So there is only one left , and it's run by the government. Crazy life here! but the people are great.
I just realized that General Conference is in a couple of weeks.Wow! time just keeps ticking.
When you get a minute drop us a line and send pictures on facebook. Would love to see them. Our prayers are for you all. Oh yes. the little boy who had the really bad burn, his leg looks so good. It's like a miracle has happened. The skin has healed so well and He might have a little white thin line down his leg after it all heals. I wish I could give all the branch members American medicine. They ask me for headache pills, I've given out my neosporen for the little boy with the burn. They are so in need of really good drugs and ointments. Take care and maybe I'll write next week. Tomorrow I need to find "Joy in the Journey". Time for bed. Love you all,
Elder A and Sister Joy

March Madness

Hello family:
We'll I can't believe that March is here. I do miss basketball. WE loved that BYU won the game against Gonzaga. Well, our mission tour is underway, but it has moved from Harare to the other cities in Zimbabwe. Our dinner was really good and everyone got enough to eat, which is the goal. Elder Kevin Hamilton and his wife are our visiting  general authority. His wife looked at my name tag, and said, hey I know a "Miriam Hermansen" do you know her? WEll, yes we know Miriam and her family. They use to be Miriam's bishop and her stake president in Newberry Park in the Thousand Oaks area. WE did have a great visit. They have been in South AFrica since 2013. I'm not sure how much longer they'll be here. WE did have a great zone conference. Of course our Mission President and his wife are still stressed, but today we just really relaxed at the office and it was time for some catch up. Yes, the office refrigerator is still clean, and no one looked inside. We have some really great elders that work in the office. They are all leaving the mission in June. They will be missed, but they are looking forward to returning to their home.
Today we received the new mission presidents information to receive his visa for Zimbabwe. He is bringing two teenage daughters with them. That will be interesting, so I'm practicing saying his name. I might get it , by the time they arrive. Tonight all the senior couples went outside of our gated apartments and picked up trash for just 30 minutes. WE ended up with 3 huge trash bags full, a rusty bucket full of garbage, tire tread and much more. One man walked by me and thanked me for picking up their trash. Maybe we'll spur some interest in keeping the earth clean. So much for service.
Last Saturday was a full day off, so we took a road trip to the city of Mutare. It is right on the boarder of Mozambique. It was so beautiful. This community is surrounded by big mountains, and it was so green and beautiful. We drove around and we saw a cricket match being played, and that was what we ended up doing. Watching a cricket game. IT is so confusing to understand and watch. Nothing like baseball or any other sport in the world.... But we were the only white people at the all  black sports club in Mutare. I felt just a little out of my comfort zone, but we stayed for a while, then we drove home, a 3 hour drive each way to this city. but it felt great to go for a drive somewhere.
 I've loved the letters about all the snow fall.  About time you have received some snow. To bad the blossoms were out on the trees. WE have received so much rain lately. but the rainy season is almost over, and then it will be cold. I don't llike the cold here because I didn't bring anything warm to wear. Maybe this year I'll go find something to wear. Christine you're on the mailing list. I'm sorry that your husband  has not shared all the letters. They are on a blog that Lindsay has set up on Facebook. I do hope you had a wonderful birthday. By the way , how is your job coming along? we certainly hope you're doing well. We hope the weather isn't doing a lot damage back there, and we do hope your car has been fixed.
Curtis happy Birthday, hope you made it up the hill to the house after the big snow fall. WE are doing well. I'm just very grateful for our family and the temple blessings that we all enjoy. We love you and pray for your families and all that you do daily.
We are trying to book a trip to see Victoria Falls. I guess I need some one with a  African accent to book our hotel. They are charging us Americans an outrageous price. But I do hope it will work out. Hopefully sometime in April, will be our little trip. Today I received the weekly missionary list for the south east Africa area. I counted up how many Americans that are called to this area. Only 15 americans out of 144 have been called to this area from now to the first part of August. The countries here are really stopping the flow of foreigners coming to Africa. It is really hard to get a visa, and every country has their own different requirments. Well, I'm not thinking  well, so I better end.
We love you and thanks for the letters. They mean the world again to us. I did receive some great advice from Kathy Browning, she said that I should just buy the African junk on Amazon when I get home. She has a good point to ponder on. Our little branch is doing well, we know have a really good PA system in the building. Someone has planted really nice plants around the building, it looks really well. Please take care of you all, and we'll talk to you later. Love Elder A and Sister H. Our goal is to have 5 grandkids by the time we get home.... so adopt or start giving us some great news...... Love you all.