Sunday, May 17, 2015

Happy Late Mothers Day

Hello family,
I'm really off the chart with the late mother's day announcement. Some days just fly by and then a week is gone. I do hope you all had a great mother's day. Last week in church, before it ever started, our branch president told everyone that was sitting waiting for church, that today was mother's day. And that sister Hermansen was going to give everyone money! I just dropped my mouth open. He said that I had a lot of money, since I was white, and I could help everyone out!. Then he just started to laugh and said,"just kidding". But then after our sacrament meeting, he announced for all the mothers to stand, Even Sister Hermansen who is white! We have a treat for all the mothers. They had purchased large chocolate candy bars for all the mothers, and young women in the branch. I just never know what to expect when we go to church. A man in the branch had picked peas, from his garden , and gave me a huge bag of  them, and wished me a happy mother's day. To top all that off, just speaking with the kids and grandkids, made my day.
The burning of the corn fields have started. IT is smoky and hazy most days now. Just an old African tradition. One thing that has really impressed me, is to see the beautiful poinsettia trees. They have been in bloom for the last month. It really is a remembrance to see, when we celebrate the birth of Christ. Of course in America it is at Christmas in December, but I do believe that he really was born in April. Just makes sense.
Lorraine, I love the pictures at your recital. You are doing a great work. You'll be loved forever by these women.
I'm so sorry to hear about Leslie's mother. I really liked her, a great sense of humor, like Leslie. I do hope the family is doing well.
Last week we had another family get baptized into the church. The mama was just beaming. She was so happy, and to have her oldest son and her husband baptized also. Last Saturday we had our first ever, Mission Branches Auxiliary training meeting. It was great. We had over 100 members there and they really made a great sacrifice to attend. My class was with the Relief Society. Some of the women have such great knowledge of the gospel, where there are some who are struggling. I do believe that we should be teaching English to most of the women. They don't read English, so that is a struggle when it comes to reading the church handbooks. I have really come to love these women of Africa. They are dedicated and so they are teaching their children the correct paths. they  still have their tribal customs which are confusing to understand. They just don't make any sense at all. So for lunch I had ordered 120 sack lunches from this church member, who does catering. The lunch was going great, I went back into the cultural hall to grab a sandwich, and thy were all gone. If there is any extra, they are gone!!!! Oh, well I heard they were great.
Now on the 28th and 29th of May, we will be having Elder Lynn G. Robbins from the first quorum of Seventy, Presidency. So another large zone conference and a dinner to worry over. All the couples are invited to attend a dinner with them and the Cooks at the mission home. A lot of things going on before our president leaves on the 1st of July.
I went to the dentist yesterday. My root cannel that I had in Utah, before our mission, is getting really expensive. Yesterday I could see that the infection at the top of the root now has gone down in size. So the dentist has packed the empty root cannel with sharp things. I'm not sure what is up in there, put they tend to make my gums hurt. He'll leave all this stuff in until the first week in July(after his vacation ). Then he will take all the sticks and needles out, and put in a screw. He said that the bone structure will detriate if it's not supported well. So much for having good teeth on a mission. But in the states, to have this done would cost a couple of thousand. Maybe one good thing about Africa. Did I tell you about where my dentist lives. You drive down ChurchHill drive, to Normandy, to Dunkirk Lane. Sounds rather familiar. The dentist is from Croatia! Go figure.
I come to the conclusion , that my mission is centered around meeting people and not seeing the landscape of Africa. We have a problem with not having church material to hand out, even in the distribution center that is down the hall of our building. There was a man from Zambia this week looking for Books of Mormons. He said that he was truck driver and the church members in Zambia can't get Book of Mormons either.
There was one of the grounds gardeners, who came running into the building late one afternoon, looking for money. His wife who is  6 months pregnant, had fallen and was bleeding. He needed $50. to rent an ambulance to take her to the doctor and he was asking everyone for some money. He said the next day that she will be alright and thanked us for helping him out.
We do have some great news in the mission, come October transfer, 2 U.S. missionaries will be coming to the mission. One from Ogden and one from Alpine. I just can't wait to see their first take on Zimbabwe. In October that will bring our U.S.count up to 9 people.
I guess, you've heard that the empty lot that is across from us in Elk Ridge is for sale!!! That is really depressing. there goes our view, we might as well put our home up for sale and move to downtown SLC. At least there, no one has a view of anything.
I'm glad that it is raining in the Western States. You certainly need it.
I went to an all girls private school today, to pick up some paper work for the new mission presidents daughter, who will be attending there. It was one nice school! Sure it was old, but the buildings were well kept, and the athletic fields were just  perfect. Now I'm excited to meet this little 13 year old, and her parents. Dad I'm glad your hay is coming up, sure hope you have a great crop this year.
We are very grateful for you all. Everyday I think about you and hope you're doing well. We just are "hanging out" haha, here. WE are really just waiting for the power to go off, so we can get that out of the way for the day. Elder A. has had a hard week, dealing with church members here in Africa. they don't understand the most common business ethics. I just have to tell myself that the church is true! I was so grateful to have Sister Cook back from South Africa. Last week was slow and boring. this week we had a lot to catch up on! It is sad that she is so excited to go home, and we'll be here still working.
Take good care of each other, and we love you always and we pray for you all.
Love Elder A and Sister H.

Friday, May 8, 2015

hard week

Hello all,
I'm glad this past week is over. We had a transfer of new missionaries coming into the mission on Tuesday. So we had their new trainers come to the mission office for training on Tuesday, the day they were suppose to arrive. Well out of 11 missionaries, 9 made it on the plane on time. later in the day the other 2 were on a later flight. So one of the two, misplaced his passport and couldn't get through customs. What a great panick time! When the mission president and others heard this, they said a pray for this missionary. One of the assistants immediately went to the place where the elder had placed his passport and then he was able to enter the country. Here is Zimbabwe you get deported immediately with out a passport. Maybe the U.S. should use this practice. Well the next day, we were waiting for two more missionaries coming from the Ghana MTC. We thought we had that day all arranged, but it went like the day before, rather confusing. Some how the mission secretary found out that these elders were being delayed, at the airport and wrote and told us this. But didn't know the new arrival time and what flight they would be on. So I was busy calling the Ghana MTC and their travel department and they had no idea what was going on. So President went down to the airport and waited and then came back  to the mission office, and then went back later . He couldn't find the two missionaries, he called us and was yelling in the phone,. WE hung up and said a prayer, minutes later the missionaries found the Cooks,at the airport. We are grateful that the Lord watches over his chosen missionaries. They are all safe in the mission and they all asked that I write a short note to their families, by way of their priesthood leaders, that they are safe! I've received a note back from all of their priesthood leaders and they are all grateful they are safe. They all entered the MTC in Johannesburg, South Africa where there is a lot of violence right now. So their families can now take a deep breath and know they are safe. To top off on of those days, the travel in Ghana moved up the departure of 4 missionaries, going to the MTC there. They were all from Zimbabwe, one from our mission branch. So this elder was having his going away party when the zone leaders picked him up , and took him to the mission home so he could be set apart for his mission and then leave the next morning for Ghana. I just pray that next transfer will be so much smoother. It's been very stressful!!!!!
So this week, PResident Cook and Sister Cook are in Cape Town South AFrica, for the mission presidents seminar. What a treat for them! Our office , I hope, will be very quite and maybe I'll be able to catch up on some late work.
So last week I had the MTC in Provo call me, so they could train the person in charge of referrals on the Churches new referral system. Well that would be me. I kept telling the young man that our power goes out on a regular basis and that it might not work. Well, the next day we got connected, through the phone and on the computer. The young man finally gave up on me and told me to print off this written script and read it. ON Tuesday coming up, we are going to try it again. Our computer never got connected to the Church map link. WE do have great problems here, and I'm probably the greatest problem. Me on a computer is deadly!
Our church meeting was good today. Our numbers were off, but the testimonies were really good and sincere. This coming weekend the mission is going to have the first ever branch mission auxiliary training meeting. I just need to get my portion all together and order food for the lunch after the meeting. We should have about 100 people for the meeting, it's joined with the branch mission presidencies meeting.
 Enough about me and elder A. How is every one? Dad, that's great that you've been able to get some hay cut and sold. Sure hope the farm equipment doesn't give you any problems this coming season. Mom, I'm sure you're outside a lot these days.
Well, Rob and Whitney called and told us that they are going to have a little boy!!!! we are excited to have another grandson. WE keep skyping with Lindsay and Curtis, and Owen. HE sure is cute and we can't wait to hold him and BAby boy hermansen (he needs a name).
We have officially passed our half way point. Just can't think about going home, time will slow way down.
The mission is going to have Elder Lynn G. Robbins come at the end of the month. That will be a treat. WE'll have a special zone conference, lunch and then a couples dinner with them at the mission home. There are more Area authorities coming before the Cooks leave on July 1st. IT will be a busy time in the office. I'm not going to defrost the freeze!!!! No one ever looks inside. I will for the new mission president.
Elder A posted the drop box pictures. I have no idea what he included in there. I will have to label each picture. Lindsay , so proud of you winning that race in Elk Ridge. I'm not sure if I'll be up to doing the temple to temple race when we get home. I'll certainly keep trying.
We are doing well. Elder A is frustrated with the business people in Harare. But we have noticed that they are putting in new street lights. I can't wait to see them. Did I tell you that we now have lines painted on the roads(just some of them). The other day, there were two men out in the middle of the street filling the hugh pot holes with bricks. They were trying to slow down the cars and get people to pay them for doing that. I'm grateful that someone is filling the craters in the road. Maybe we need to be more generous with what we've been blessed with.
WE do hope you're all doing well and we love you all and pray always for you. Hope your healthy and happy.
Love Elder A and Sister H.