Monday, August 24, 2015


Good afternoon,
I thought I would write while I'm still at the mission office. The office matters have slowed way down, so I'm using the internet here instead of at our flat. How are you all doing? I hear that Lorraine has been very busy with family campouts and fun with the kids. Dad I feel sorry that it just keeps raining and the hay is in the fields. Someday it will dry out and you can get back to work. Last weekend we did have a great time going to Masvingo , so we could speak in church. It was a nightmare getting out of Harare. It took us 2 hours, and we just kept going in a big circle trying to find the right road. WE followed everyone's advice to connect to the right road, and they were all wrong. If fact we were driving down one road and the police were out in the middle of the road, so we just stopped and asked for directions. The policeman looked at us, as we asked if we were on the  right road to Masvingo. His comment was, " You're lost!, You are on the road to Marondera". Dang it! So he said that if we turn around and then take a left and take that road for a very long time and maybe you'll connect to the road to Masvingo. We decided to turn around and start all over. We did that 3 times, and then we talked with a man who lives here in Harare and we were able to get on the right road and off we went.
Masvingo has a national park called the " Great Zimbabwe". It was the stone rock fortress built on top of a mountain where the King of Zimbabwe lived. Then down in the valley there was another stone round fortress for the queen. All the walls were six stones deep and they were all smooth. This fortress took over 300 years to build and keep up for their kings to live in. It is settled close to a beautiful lake and there were animals close by. The kings had over 200 children and many wives. So we climbed this mountain, and I can say that sitting in this office chair for a year has done me some damage. It did take my breath away, but I made it to the top and it was so beautiful. The daughters of the kings had a trail down the back side of the mountain , they would walk about 3 klm to the lake to get water and then back up the mountain with the water on their heads in containers. The women still do that today. So we also say a little shona village, where there were older women dancing. I have found out why the round huts are round in Africa. It's because if an evil spirit enters there is no place for it to stay because all the huts are round.
We had a wonderful time at church the next day and the branch is still on track teaching the correct doctrine as the rest of the church. they do have 4 full time missionaries in this city. It is so far to get to, so not to many people go and visit. The Branch president and his family are going to the temple for the first time this coming Sunday. They are so excited and that will boost the members to get motivated to attend the temple. Our drive back was great, we saw many huge, huge baboons and we saw long horned cattle roped together pulling a wagon, actually the back end of a truck. Any mode of transportation will work here.
Our mission president has been in South Africa for mission presidents training. So the office has been quite. We did mention to president  to try to recruit some of the senior couples in South Africa to come and take our place in January. He loved that idea and was going to present it to the Area Presidency. We'll see what happens. So far we have no new missionaries coming in December thru February. Our mission will be shrinking and so will the baptisms.
We are doing fine. I can't believe it's almost the fall season in Utah. It's just turning spring here. WE went to the bank to get money for the office and they were out of 100's. The teller told us that the money she had in her drawer was all she had! We kept wondering what that ment. Just hope they continue to get money at the banks.
The other day we had a panel beater, an auto body repair man , come to the office to talk with us. As he was waiting, and elder just started to talk with him and shared the gospel with him. 35 minutes later and some pamphlets, the man was interested. Sure hope he pursues this interest.
we are glad that Rob and Whitney are in Louisiana. Now we can't wait to here their stories!!! We do hope that everyone is doing well and that you're all happy and healthy.
Our little Domboshawa 1st branch is shrinking in numbers. The branch president is getting quite discouraged. All the growth is coming from the other branch. So we will need to visit with him on Sunday, sounds like a batch of brownies are headed his way. My maid gave me a letter last week telling us that her husband, our gardener, is in a mental hospital. I should have asked what pushed him over the edge, but I didn't. I do know that since he's been gone for 2 weeks, the foliage in the back yard is finally growing. He would cut all the plants back till they just don't grow. I hate to fire them, because we are there only income of 100 a month.  I guess we'll just hang on until the end of the mission, using this couple. They are members, but the man loves his marijuana and beer. They just had a daughter return from a mission to Malawi.
Alan is ready to leave the office, so I better end. We love you and we pray for you always. My 40 year class reunion is on the 5th of September. Maybe some one could crash it and take some pictures. I haven't seen anyone for ages. I read that Jeri Crosby's dad passed last week. he lived in Washington fields area. How is Lex and Uncle Jon doing? I do hope they are doing well. I better stop.

Love always,


Hello all:

I thought I had better write!. Time seems to get away from me and I just get a little lazy. Mom and Dad, thanks for the letter. Just to let every know, we are still here and doing well. The mission is doing well. I've been busy with baptismal records and submitting the medical to the insurance company. The office elders are gone a lot lately, so it's really quite and slow in the office. Not much has happened in the last little while. The Humanitarian couple just invited us to watch a bore hole drilling this coming Thursday. That should be exciting , if they drill into a water pocket. We just want to watch it once while we are here.  Last week we met the Breckstrands from Bountiful. They are on there 3rd mission. Now they are here in Johannesburg at the area office training stakes all over the Africa Southeast Area, on how to audit there stakes. That sounds rather boring thing to do. Tonight we meet another couples from the area office and they are called as Historians and training other members on how to do "History and writing it down". They are from Sandy Utah. I've seen this pattern of senior couples that have been called to Africa once, get called back again for another mission. They seem to be better at  what they do than we are, no worry here!!!!!

Our mission president asked Elder A the other day if we would consider extending our mission. Elder A had no problem with that question , but he did say that Sister H might be the hard one to sell that idea to. So of course, our mission president has not asked me about that question at all. He did want to know if we had any friends that might consider coming to serve here on a mission> So what do you all think, any takers?????

I hope you are all doing well. Just to let you all know, Rob and Whitney are moving this coming Wednesday to Lake Charles, Louisiana. He is being transferred with in his company. If any one wants to see what Louisiana looks like, Rob will be driving from CA. to Lake Charles on Wednesday. Whitney is flying to Denver for a few days and then to their new home. We will miss them and will have to Skype much more to watch Hailey and the new baby. Russ and Christine hopefully will be done with school in December. What a happy day for them. Then we wait to see what the next step is for  them.  Lou and Curtis planning to attend BYU-I next year. Dang all you guys are moving away. WE need to plan a family gathering for next summer, so come up with some great ideas.

A lady that is the house cleaner for the transfer house, told me about her nephews wedding last weekend. She said that they had a tribal wedding and then they had a church wedding. But what happens after the wedding is rather unusual. She said that the bride and 5 other ladies her size all dress I white material , with veils over there heads. They are taken to the grooms parents house and they all stand outside of the gate. Now the groom has to guess which one is his bride. With each guess he pays the brides family money. If he is wrong he has to pay more money!!! For a country with no jobs and money, they can be poor and broke before their life even starts. This lady said that it took her nephew several tries to get his bride, and a lot of money given to her family. What a tradition.

We hope that you're all doing well. Sounds like Utah has been blessed with more rain! That is a good sign for good crops. This lion killing here in Zimbabwe isn't as big a thing as it is in the States. I just read that Magabee just killed a baby elephant, antelopes and other animals for his million dollar birthday party. Then a landowner killed a lion and crocodile and stuffed them to give as a gift. I guess that these killings take place all the time here. He does need to confess to his crime. the dentist from the states.

We are planning a trip to Hwange National park  and then to Victoria Falls in September. It should be quite different, since it will be the dry season and not much water. I just want to see some lions in the wild and not up close so they attack us!

Let me know if there are any takers on subbing for us in the office, so we can go home in January. wE are grateful to be here and see the growth of the church and see how the missionaries struggle and improve in their lives. I sure will miss the office elders come October, who will invite us to play paint ball games with????

Next week we are going to Masvingo, Zimbabwe to speak in church. But we are leaving the day before and go see some ruins at the Great Zimbabwe! It has ruins dating back to the life of Christ. This should be fun, to get a way for 2 days. Just hope we don't get lost and end up in South Africa or Mozambique.  Now I have to decide what to speak about, I need to be inspired with the topic.

There have been some changes to the mission, with the new mission president. They will be good ones. HIs wife is a very nice person, and we seem to help each other in our callings.

Before your dad tells you his side of the story, I did fall again on a walk! It's the shoes and the potholes in the road. More road rash on the leg and hands. I'm on a big push to take as many interesting pictures that I can. Today we saw a first!!!! A lady had a new tire on her head. I really wanted that picture , but Elder A wouldn't pull over so I could get the shot...I have never seen that before. Well, I'm rambling.

Take care and know that we love you always and forever.

Love Alan and Joy   

Happy Pioneer Day

 Hello Family,
We'll I've seen some wonderful pictures of picnics and parades and birthday parties. I'm sure you all had a wonderful 24th of July. Dad, again , Happy Birthday. You look like you could run around the farm. Everyone looks so good and happy. We are doing well. Not much has happened this week. WE did receive four great missionaries into the mission, and 7 outgoing missionaries are very happy to be home with their families. It's like heaven people are coming and going all the time and it's always happy and sad moments when that happens.
 Today our mission president instructed the branch D1, to have everyone be instructed in the handbook for their callings. So I've been called to give instruction on Relief Society leadership, next Saturday. Every one needs to know their responsibility in the church. I do have a testimony of  that. Then if someone has a question, we can just say read your handbook, or look it up in the handbook. This should be an exciting meeting. We walked into our little chapel/house, today and they had put up these curtains along one end of the building. It  looks like a funeral home. They love them and that's what counts.
I attended Young Women's today in D2. The Y.W's president has this little girl, who got into the Vaseline jar during the lesion. She was glowing with Vaseline and then she started rubbing it on her mother's knees. She is so cute. She calls me Gramy. I can handle that name.
This week I took the mission president's wife to the Chinese Mall(Wal-mart) to show her what it was like. On the way, I got a 20.00 ticket. I came to a complete stop, but I still got pulled over. The officer, a woman, said that I didn't come to a complete stop. WE both said that I did, but the more we tried to fight against it, the madder the officer became. I just stayed quite, handed her 20. 00 dollars and said that I will be more attentive next time! I just wanted to scream!!!! The police are so dishonest, they should try to get the people who drive down residential streets at 95km. Oh, they can't there are only 3 police cars in the entire city!!! I'll get over it.
Hopefully this week , our mission president will be getting his counselors set apart, then he'll be able to spread out his responsibilities.
Alan and I will be the only missionaries in the office for Wednesday thru Friday. I don't like days like that, they go so slow.
This week we did "house cleaning " at the mission office. Unloaded 2 truck loads of stuff out of the back storage room. The office is getting a new look, infact the entire building will be. I'll send pictures when it's all done.
the mission had another car accident. I just can't believe how the missionaries are just driving these vehicles into the ground. One car just died! on the road and they had to tow it back to the mission office. Sad thing when cars are towed back to the mission office, someone comes and steals the batteries out of the cars.
Last Monday before home evening, I went out to get the clothes out of the dryer, and there was the biggest spider ever!! I had to take a picture of it. Then Elder A tried to kill it with the broom. It just wouldn't die! Finally after 4 whacks, it came a part. It was hairy, and huge!
I'm very cautious when ever I go out side, or even into the next room. I always look for spiders on the walls or ceilings.
My 40th class reunion is on September 5th. I sure wanted to attend this one, but maybe another time. It's been nice writing to the class members on  face book, and getting caught up with them.
I sure hope you're all doing well. I love to hear from you and hear what your families are doing. WE talked with Russ and Christine yesterday. It was great to see you two. Praying that you'll get a job out west!!! Love the pictures of Hailey and Owen. The cutest grandkids I could ever ask for! (just more of them).
Take care and know that we pray for you all and love you always.
Love Elder A and Sister H.


Hey all,
Another Sunday down, and it's been a very busy one. I was assigned to give a talk in both Branches today, on different topics. Then for Relief Society, they asked me to give the lesson, about the blessings of the temple. My brain is fried!!! It really wasn't that bad. Church doesn't start on time and we have so many who need to be confirmed that there isn't much time for talks, and we make a point to end on time.
How was your Sunday? I have to tell you about our activity yesterday. The office elders invited us to play at the paint ball course with them. It was so much fun! I first was very nervous about trying to shoot someone, but that fear soon left when one of the assistants nailed me on the shoulder. I got him back on the neck. It definitely isn't the most Christ like activity to participate in. We did attend to the branches baptisms yesterday, which is always most inspiring. There was a man that was baptized, who is so clear in his speech, and must really study the gospel. He's smart and has a desire to embrace the gospel with everything he has. We also witnessed a wedding at the chapel yesterday before the baptisms. I wish I could understand Shona, because it would have been an entertaining wedding. Just way to much laughter.
Lorraine I can just envision the potato fields  and wheat fields in Idaho. That state is really beautiful.
My ear is still plugged and it's quite annoying. I can hear somewhat when someone is talking to me if there is no other noise. But as soon as there is any other noise I'm lost. I do hope it will just happen some morning  that I can wake up and hear normally again. Maybe this is a trial that I must endure, joyfully.
I do hope you all have a wonderful 24th of July celebration, where ever you are. Dad I hope you the best birthday in the world. I would love to see the cake with 90 candles on it!!!!
We are having a transfer on Monday and Tuesday. We are going to send home some wonderful missionaries. They have served with all their heart!!! WE have four new missionaries coming into the mission on Tuesday. They are from South, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda. It is a happy day when they all get on the plane together and arrive in a group.... Our mission President is doing well. His wife and daughter are adjusting and they will be a great help to the mission and all of Zimbabwe. Things are run differently, so I've had to make some adjustments. With time I might get everything down the way he would like it run.
Things that happened last week: We went to the bank and they had no 20 dollar bills and 10 dollar bills. The money they did give us is so dirty. Infact I laminated a 2 dollar bill and a 1 dollar bill, to show you just how dirty the money is here. May debt card has stopped working, the atm machine says that my car is"unsuitable". I just hope that Elder A's card doesn't stop working, or else we'll be coming home real soon if that happens. Just a few differences here is Zimbabwe.
I just want you all to know that you are all so loved by us! We pray that you're all doing well and your healthy and happy. I've really realized how grateful I am for our family. You bless our lives so much. We love you always,
Love Elder A and Sister J.