Monday, July 13, 2015

cold winter

Hello family,
I should write you all a letter. I'm getting lazy and I  think a little tired. It was really sad a week ago saying goodby to the Cooks. I've really enjoyed having a friend who will talk with me and of course go shopping and having lunch with. I've seen pictures and they just seem to be really happy being at home with their family. I just can't wait!
Before we took them to the airport, they had to weigh their luggage. she had two extra large carry ons, and I told her they would probably have to check them in, when boarding. She just ignored me and said they took them as carryons and they would be fine. Well, when they got to Atlanta, they wrote they had to check their carryon bags on the airplane and the airline had lost them. What a way to say, welcome! Those bags had all her little trincketts for her grand kids and family. But they have made it! Also when we were waiting for the Mkhabela's to get thru customs, we heard on the loud speakers at the airport, Cook1, Cook2, the plane is waiting for you to board to South Africa. WE all just couldn't believe what we just heard. For some reason they were late to board. We(the office elders and us) all looked at each other and said, "they've been here for 2 hours waiting to board".
WE got t he Mkhabela's and you are right, they have had to adjust to a lot, even though they are from South Africa. This is how different Zimbabwe is from the other African countries..PResident kept saying, I don't have my credit card yet, and we just said, President this  is a cash only economy! Then he saw some really nasty 5 dollar bills, he asked where did you get them. Elder A said, At the bank, and they look really good, he said, to never give him nasty bills, never.....
Sister M. is very soft spoken and nice. I'm learning a lot about their culture. I have such a hard time hearing anyone, so I feel like I'm always invading their personal space, I just can't hear them!!! She is great, and has taught me some great lessons already. One, the elders and sisters will have to purchase the items they need on their monthly allotments. We are not going to give missionaries, new shirts, pants, or jackets. They'll have to sacrifice for what they have. Yesterday, the mission had all the zone leaders and sister training leaders for a dinner and a meeting today. This happens every month. Sister Mkhabela was very stressed out because the dinner was at the mission home. So I got the food together and helped her set the tables and set up the food. I don't mind helping out, it's kind of like having a family get together once a month. Sister M, is going to take over the nursing position in the mission. As yet, I'm doing a lot of that. So the last week has been stressful getting to know a new job and listening to the missionaries and there aliments. My thought is, if there is no blood and we don't see any bones sticking out, you're fine!!!! Also just don't run to the local clinic because you have a runny tummy!!!!
 Since the Cooks have left, there are secrets coming to the surface in the office. I just found out that one of the elders, spent his allotment money on Labola. That is the African way of trying to secure a bride. The man pays the wifes family all this money, for his life time, and they give up their girl. I just can't believe he did this while on mission. He should get X'd for that. IT's sacred church funds!
Our fourth of July, was a memorable one. Elder A went to a craft fair with me! It killed him and he was so bored, but I have to admire him for going. The other older couples do this every weekend, and I usually go by myself. So it wasn't to bad. Later on that day, we had an indoor picnic with the other couples, which was fun.
I certainly missed the best parade on earth in Kanab. I love the  community spirit and the fireworks at night. WE can buy fireworks here, but I'm sure it would really upset the retirement community we live in, they are  not up for loud noises.
 The office is doing well, Last Sunday we went to both of the Domboshawa branches. The D1 branch had 87 members come and the D2 branch had 97. It was great. The eight hours we spent at church just flew by. I really enjoy them and their testimonies.
Sounds like you all had a fun and memorable 4th of July. I have to say, the United States is the best place to live. Even though it has a lot of problems, it's nothing compared to the rest of the world.
I just read that Zimbabwe is a country that is not requiring missionaries to wear or bring suite coats or jackets on their mission here. That is the craziest statement ever! It gets down right cold and chilly. AS soon as we get home, everyday, we put on our pj's, sweatjackets and cover up in a big blanket! We have one of the better homes to live in. WE do not have warm weather all year long.
 I do hope you're all doing well. You are all in our thoughts and prayers daily. Dad, so you got to ride in the parade again. JUst wish we could have seen you. Tell Mckay good luck as Bishop. I'm sure he'll be great.
This Friday I should get my tooth finally fixed. then I'm off to see a ears, nose and throat specialist. I still can't hear, after 2 rounds of antibiotics. I would love to hear again with out the pressure and ringing and pain. My goal was to never see any doctors here in Zimbabwe, I've not kept that personal goal. The other day at the grocery store and man stopped to talk to me, he asked where I was from and I said the united States, I asked where he was from and he said, I from there also. I couldn't hear his normal language, because I couldn't hear him. he must have thought I was stupid or something. So hopefully real soon I can hear every little whisper again.
Hope your family trips and vacations are all fun this summer. Lindsay has informed us that we have so many neighbors moving in Elk Ridge. We'll move back to a ghost town, in our neighborhood. Maybe we should consider that also.
 HOpe you're all healthy and well. We have a few more animal parks to attend, if we can, before we leave. I just can't get enough of the elephants and giraffes. 
Take care and have a great week. I'll write more next time. Thank you for the letters, skyping and  messages. WE love them and they keep us going.
Love  you always and forever,
Alan and Joy