Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday Evening

Hello All,
I just have to tell you about today. It was a very special sunday. We drove about 2 hours to a town called Kadoma. The zone leaders met us along the road and we followed them to the chapel for church. This branch has grown a lot, so today the branch was split. It was the first time being there, and they have a really nice chapel and it was almost packed. The music was beautiful and everyone was so reverent. Now they have Kadoma 1 and Kadoma 2. I'm sure in about 3 years they'll have another branch.The members are not people that live out in the bush, so it was a different feeling in their meetings. Most everyone speaks English and can read it. But the branch president did translate the division line , in Shona and everyone understood then what was happening. The young man playing the organ, keyboard was really good. He taught himself and has only been playing for 2 years. He is 22 and was called as one of the branch clerks. He did say he was getting ready for a mission.
After church these 2 cute little girls came and latched onto my hand and then ran to grab Elder A's hand. They were so cute and expressive.(A tender mercy). Later they only wanted a picture with them in it. We laughed for a while over that.
The Lord pours out his blessings, and we saw that today.
We've had many tender mercies come our way lately. Like last night, our power was out for most of the day and our generator wouldn't stay on. I thought that I'd have to go to church with another "bad hair dooo". But last night the power came on so we could clean up for our Sunday meetings.
We are doing fine. This week , we get to Skype with our new mission president. It should be good and exciting. I'm rather nervous to get a new mission president. I just don't know what to expect from him and his wife. We'll just do our best in the office. I believe that they are as over whelmed as we are about this change in the mission. I'll just have to give her some cookies and soften them up.
Our missionaries are doing well. No accidents this week. Just some really big medical challenges for some missionaries. they might have to go home early.
How are you all doing? we love to hear from you and hear what you're up to. Our winter is here now, and it's cold. I need to buy some winter tights, so I can wear under my skirts. I know that sounds like a "Colorado City" thing. but it's cold!
I'm back to the doctors tomorrow to try to get my ear unplugged. I think I might have an ear infection. They took the wax out but I still can't hear. Very annoying!!! I'm going to get a hearing aid in the future. Not hearing is awefull. I just have to hear what is going on.....
We hope that you're all healthy and your doing well.
Love always Sister H. and Elder A

Hello Family

Hello family.
I'm getting on my soap box, to say how grateful I am for our country. Just to be able to drive down the road and not be stopped every 5 miles by a police stop, or to have sidewalks and garbage cans. I'm just so missing these things. Our mission office activities are going well. ON Tuesday we have another large transfer with new missionaries coming in and  10 going home. That will be a busy day. Just praying that everyone will get their right flights and then that makes me happy.
Our power here has been really crazy lately. Last week we had 3 days with no power. Then on Monday Sister Cook read me this message on her face book, from a man that knows all in Zimbabwe. It said that now until the end of July the power will be out for 16 hours a day. WEll it has started! Our generator is chugging along. Now we tried to have hot water, and there is something wrong with the geizer, or hot water tank. I think I'll just go to bed!
Our maid came to day, but I had to send her home, because we didn't have power and water, so she couldn't clean or iron. I felt bad all day, because she came a long way to do her job. I haven't had her for two weeks in a row, because of the power outages. She just wanted to hang out at our flat and wait for the power to come on, but I told her no and gave her money for the buses to go back home. She only has us and the Cooks, for income. I'm not sure how they will survive. Some days I just wish that these people could get a truck full of food and money and then they'd be ok.
Last Sunday, for our fifth lesson. Our branch president spoke about food storage. He said that the branch members could hide there food in a cave, or dig a hole outside and  cover it and store it. Also he said that they should save their coins!!!. BEcause times are going to get tough again. My heart aches for how poor they are. Then today at the office, the cleaning lady that cleans the  missionaries transfer house, came and was begging for a propane stove at the transfer house.She said that she had to move out of her house because her husband is abusive and she is on her own now. WE just can't give things like that away. wE have to watch out for the missionaries first. We';ll have to talk with her about seeing her bishop and getting assistance first.
I do hope your all doing well, sorry about my venting. I might just go home with the Cooks, This will be a test of all tests to stay here.
Oh, one more vent. The ATM machine declined my debit card! It wasn't compatible, What does that mean? Does that mean that it could tell that I'm white and someone behind the machine was just laughing at my frustrations. The teller just said that I have to try other machines. Great! Only Elder A has a card that works.
I do have to count my blessings. The missionaries in this mission don't have washing machines, hot water, or water for days on end. they don't have heat in their flats( no one does). and they have no power for weeks at all. But they don't complain like me, and they do their calling. I so admire them, they are good and strong.
I do hope that you're all doing well. We sure miss you and pray for you always. There is another bright light. ON Saturday there will be six baptisms at the branch. That will brighten my day. Oh yes, we went shoe shopping last Saturday. Just running shoes, are 150.00 and up. I do believe that i'll be keeping my uncomfortable shoes for the next little while. Most of the white's here make good money, so they can buy expensive things. I have heard that there is a "black Mall" downtown with cheaper items. I would go, but I'd be a little out of my league.
The gospel is true, so very thankful for it. Love you all and please take care.
Love always

Memorial weekend

Hello family.
I hope you all had a great memorial day weekend. I've seen pictures of beautiful cemetaries loaded with flowers. This time of year is a great way to remember those who have passed on and those who have gave their lives for our country and freedom. Here in Africa there was a holiday last Monday also, it was Africa Day. I believe that it is only for Zimbabwe. It was the day they joined the African Union and received their independence. Most of the African workers in our office had no idea why they had a holiday. In fact one worker, Bongani Moyo came to work that  day. I said that he should go home and enjoy the day with his wife, he said that it's better to work because at home there is nothing to do. Some holiday's are like that.
Well a week ago on Friday night we received a phone call and a set of elders had just been in a car accident. They had been driving down this road at night and a "comvee" , a van bus, came right at them with it's lights on bright. This vehicle was making it's own third lane, right down the middle of the road. So the elders went to the side of the road and there tires came off the lip of the road and caught the gravel/dirt. Their car rolled 7 times off the side of the road down a hill. Came to a stop. One more roll and it would have landed in a body of water. I asked the senior companion what he did when it started to roll, he said" I hugged my companion and said, Lord we are your chosen servants, please help us now". I know they were helped, they walked away with out a scratch. The car is totaled. They are the best missionaries. Infact the senior companion is going home in just a week from his mission, Elder Ojok, who has served with us in the office. I will so miss him, and his goodness.
Later that same night, in Bulawayo the furthest part of the mission, there was another missionary accident. They weren't as lucky. Their accident was on a straight road, the same thing a comvee came towards the missionaries and cut them off, so the elder swerved to miss them and hit a pedestrian and then hit a car head on. The pedestrian was killed and the missionary driving broke his leg, cut up his hand and arm. The lady in the other car received cuts on her face. The branch elder sitting in the front seat had no injuries, but the elders sitting in the back seat (wearing his seat belt), has body bruises from the seat belt and hitting the seat infront of him. So our mission president called us last Saturday morning to drive to Bulawayo and get the missionaries out of the hospital and see how they were doing. Also the one elder needed to have surgery on his broken leg. The trip to Bulawayo was very interesting. Very dense trees and bushes. One place on the road there were baboons all over. It is a one lane road, so we were always looking for pedestrians or other cars coming at us, but the road was good, for Zimbabwe. The closer we got to Bulawayo it became more open and grassy. It looked somewhat if we were driving towards the Arizona Strip. WE could see some higher mountains in the distance, but you could see for ever! Then came the donkeys and big cattle wandering on the road, there are no fences.
We made it to Bulawayo and went straight to the hospital. The one elder with the broken leg had been released a few hours earlier, so we tried to get the other missionary out of the hospital. He was doing well, just very sore and achy. His xrays showed no internal problems. The doctor wouldn't release him, so he spent another night in the hospital. The hospital was clean and no smells. IT was a 3 story hospital, six people to a room, with community showers and bathrooms. Not modern at all! The beds were a very thin mattress with a piece of plywood under the mattress. They lay flat, no sitting up in bed. They did feed the patients, were as some hospitals here people have to bring food into the hospital to feed their friends. So the Zone leaders showed us where the other elder was and we went to their flat. I'm so grateful for my flat here. The missionaries really have it a lot harder, living conditions. The mission does try to find the best housing for the missionaries.
The elder was in a lot of pain , even with painkillers. He had been instructed to pack his clothes, so with help he was ready to leave his flat. He spent the night with the zone leaders. That night we took the elders out for dinner at a local pizza place. It was downtown and we felt very safe. So Elder A and myself spent the night at the Holiday Inn, it was nice to have a hot shower and soft carpet under our feet and the electricity stayed on all the time.
On Sunday morning we met up with the elder with the broken leg, because we were to take him to the airport and ship him to South Africa for surgery. This elder wanted to say good bye to his branch ,so we took him to church. What a special experience to attend this little branch. The members that came were the choosen few. It was held in a little house, that was so clean and built well, with crown molding and a fireplace. They called on this elder to bear his testimony so Elder A helped him get to the microphone. He bore a simple testimony of the restoration, the prophet Thomas S. Monson, and of Jesus Christ. Then the branch president counselor helped him back to his seat, but he hit his leg on a chair. This elder was in a lot of pain. During sacrament meeting the elder in the hospital called and his doctor wanted to talk with us about this elder. So we tried to hurry after the meeting, but every member came and hugged the elder that we had and wished him the best. It was touching! There about 40 members who did this. Elder A was anxious to get to the hospital because our mission was to get the other elder out of the hospital! I know the Lord blesses those who attend sacrament meeting and partakes of the sacrament weekly, because we were blessed that day. To tell you alittle about this branch. One lady had her car totaled during the week, an army truck side swiped her. Another member's husband was trapped in his car after a car hit them and then it caught on fire, and the man has server burns on his body and is in the hospital. and then to have their elders in an accident. They were suffering as a branch, but they were strong spiritually.
We retrived the elder from the hospital, we never talked with the doctor, and then we drove him back to the little branch to meet up with the zone leaders, who were to take care of him.
Elder A, the other elder and myself sped off to the airport. The area office sent an escort from their office to be with this elder. Well we got there and they wouldn't let him on the airplane, because he couldn't walk by himself up the stairs to get on the airplane. The head airline official was set against him getting on the plane, even though the escort showed him how he would help carry him up the stairs. Elder A called our mission president and told him what the situation was at the airport. The mission president, wife and the area 70 president, were all together in the car. The ARea president Carl B. Cook, told the Cooks to pull over and they needed to offer a prayer. At the same time we were all saying a prayer for this elder. Not more than 3 minutes later, the airline official changed his mind and all was well. This elder has had surgery on his leg and is doing well. He can't leave the Continent until the legal matters are taken care of. We talk almost every day
Now the rest of the week has been exciting. We've had the priviledge to meet with Elder Lynn G. Robbins and his wife. They gave the zone conference this week and then we had a couples dinner with them. He told us about the ailing apostles and President Monson. Today we saw that Elder Perry had passed on. That was quick.
I apologize for writing a book, but I needed to write to save my thoughts. Also for sacrament meeting today, our combined meeting , our branch president gave a lesson on "food storage". I thought he was crazy, but I'm sure there will be harder times ahead for these people and also for us in the land of plenty. We love you all and pray that your safe and happy. Remember you are in our prayers and thoughts always.
Love you,
MOM and Dad Missionaries