How has your week been? I do hope you all remembered your Irish ancestors on the 17th. I really enjoyed reading Lorraine's link to "James Little" on family search. I really liked learning about him. We've been blessed with great people to call family.
We are doing well. This week is almost over, and it's been a very busy and tiring one. We had transfers this week, sent 16 missionaries home(there time was up). I really wanted to hug each of them, but they were still missionaries. WE have 2 elders whose families have come to Zimbabwe to join them on their flight back. One elder's visa expired on the 16th, so the gov't gave him a one day extension and then get out of the country. Well, his family is traveling here for 10 days. As of tonight it has not been resolved, so I hope he doesn't get caught without a visa. All the missionaries leaving were top notch missionaries. I do hope to see them one day, probably in heaven.
So now it's catch up on the work and getting the next batch of missionaries ready to leave at the end of April. Last Saturday we enjoyed witnessing another group of 7 people getting baptized. It was really great. One of the elders who left this week, worked in the same branch as us. He said that he taught 63 peoplein out little branch, who all got baptized. He also told us that he baptized 102 people on his mission. Our little branch broke the record in attendance last sunday, 254 at sacrament meeting. All time first for the Domboshava Branch. We really need a new building. Also at the baptism, there was Sister Sande. She told me that she was going to get baptized next week. She is the little lady who had to get married first before she could be baptized. Her husband is 90 years old and didn't want a civil marriage, but he gave in and now she will get to be a member of the Jesus Christ's church. She was so thrilled that her husband consented to the marriage. Now I have to bake him a cake. The Church has a rule in Africa, that all married people have to be married civily before they can be baptized. A tribal wedding isn't enough to be baptized. All the branch presidents and bishops have gone through a marriage candidates course, so they can perform civil weddings. Just another miracle. But last Sunday, Alan and I attended the Bindura District conference. It was really good. One thing that was a tender mercy, when we were walking into the school, where church was being held. These little boys grabbed onto Elder Alan's hand and wouldn't let go. They sat by us during the conference. 3 little boys on one chair for the entire meeting. The oldest boy's name is Washington Chapadzit, then there were Proud and Pride, twin brothers who sat next to Alan. I guess the Lord knew we were missing our grandkids on Sunday. I've talked about Bindura a lot, I really like driving there. the way is green, but this trip, the corn stalks were so tall, you couldn't see the fields and mountains. It is starting to dry out, and then the people will burn all the weeds, trees and fields. I don't look forward to that again.
Last Friday night, the Cooks invited us to dinner. it was interesting. WE went to this restaurant that was outside. All the tables were on the grass, and they had these open brick ovens and they cooked the pizza outside. Reminded me of Italy, but the food wasn't as good. There were only white people there. I've come to the conclusion , that the white people here are mostly alcoholics. they love their liquor.
I can't remember if I have written about our office Elders. Any way, Elder Ojok,from Uganda works in the office. WE asked him about his conversion story. I won't repeat myself, but he is really a great missionary. he use to be an "Alma the Younger" before he was baptized. he said that he really persecuted the Mormon's and their missionaries.
Sister Cook and I have realized that there a lot of missionaries that have no parents. they have died. WE have a new Elder from Zambia, this week, who told us that his grandmother's sister is raising him, since his parents died when he was 10 years old.. They truly are valiant young men with a great purpose in life.
Here are some funny things that have been said to me this past week.
Sister Mashati, told me, that she thinks she has "worms". I just couldn't contain the laughter. She said that she eats all the time.
Elder Burnham, said that some one told him, if you "pee" on your feet, it will take care of atheletes feet. I said that he needs to scrub out his shower, keep his feet dry and buy some ointment.
Oh,yes, the other night President Cook received a call from one set of sister missionaries. One Sister was crying and he said, Sister what is wrong. Sister answered, "My companion told me I was stupid". That brought a silent laugh.
Today, we had a delivery man with some papers run into the office. He said that the papers needed to be here before 5pm. Well, we congratulated him, because it was before 5pm. I walked with him to another office in our building and he handed the papers to the secretary. The man was so proud and announced that he was here before 5pm. The secretary responded back, yes you are , but the papers were due yesterday before 5pm. His bubbled had been burst!
We are fine, and Alan's tooth is healing and now I need to see the dentist next Monday. Not looking forward to this appointment.
I hear that Spring has come early. Dad I do hope that you will be able to get out to the fields and spin around in the tractor. WE talked with all our kids last weekend. what a treat for us. We did miss Whitney and Hailey, but maybe this weekend. We love you all and love the letters and pictures that are posted. The church is true, the people of Zimbabwe are truly blessed with the ability to feel the spirit and act upon its promptings. Yesterday a Lady came up to the mission office window and said that she needed to talk with Bishop Spencer(he's a bishop that serves in the building next to us). This lady had a look of panic and desperation. She was so skinny and I noticed that she had some very small children outside. She really was looking for the Relief Society President, who was late. She was there for welfare assistance. I really felt bad for this sister. When I see this look in their eyes, I wish I could give them all that we have, but then I remember there is a certain order in the church that things are given out. Well, I've gone on to long. We love you as always and pray for your safety and happiness.
Love Alan and Joy