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.