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Monday, September 8, 2014

Potpourri of Botswana Experiences


Because I have been so remiss, horrible, lousy at updating our blog this past at least 6 months, I'm going to post a "potpourri" of pictures of somethings we've experienced in Botswana.
This is Pauline on her baptismal day. It was pretty chilly and the water was down right cold! She was so delighted to be baptized and become a member of the church. She has 5 boys, the older is 23. I asked her how that could be when she was only 16 :-)

This is the Sister flat in Mafikeng. Yes, it is just that purple. At least everyone is happy when they see it :-)

Elder Alidi showing one of the seven cars we sold to members. It was a closed auction with bids. Pretty interesting. All of the cars were sold and everyone was happy.

Elder Gubler and the Cars. These 7 cars were getting on in miles and years and needed to be sold. It was a very painful process for Elder Gubler to get ready for the sale. Luckily, Elder Davis came and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. He sells cars professionally when he's not on a mission.

The Botswana Consumer Trade Fair.

Excited that we've almost finished setting up. We actually thought we were finished when we decided to add "decor"
From l-r: the Taylors, Bro Thebe, the Humphries, Caiphus, the Gublers, Sister Wilson and Andrea Wilson
 (please notice how our church is worded in our title signs)
The Botswana Consumer Trade Fair 
We decided, as a mission, to enter the Botswana Consumer Trade Fair and get our presence out there. We had stake members and missionaries cycle through and help with handing out information as well as explain, very simply, our doctrine. We had a very spiritual and amazing experience talking with many people. We handed out pass along cards like candy. The children especially loved having a picture of Christ of their very own. (While Elder Gubler and I were walking around and enjoying the Fair at during a lull in activity I heard a little boy yell, "Mama, see her, she gave me CHRIST" pointing at me) I know that most of these cards actually made it home because people here not only love Jesus but also keep things and don't throw them away. I told the children I handed cards to that the pictures should go by their beds so they could look at Jesus first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I got to use a few of my design skills by making the pull up banners we used at organizing how all the information would be set up. The Fair was definitely a highlight of our mission.

We also won 1st place in the Consumer Fair.

Sister Wilson loving the consumer fair and our display

Isn't that the best smile ever? We had a great time at the fair and loved meeting new people.

We won 1st Place for our display. Notice, the "the" is in the correct place in our title.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Guess what's coming to dinner...

Monday, we're having a missionary conference this week. We're going to have a "Beast Feast" and here are pictures of our "invited" guests:
Mr. Wildebeest

Mr. Impala
Mr. Gemsbok aka Mr. Oryx

Mr. Eland
Mr. Ostrich
We'll let you know what happens with (to) our guests. :-)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Monkeys and our Monday Easter Picnic

The day after Easter, the South Botswana area of our mission had an Easter Braai at the Gaborone Game Reserve. We roasted Russians and Viennas, not quite like our American hot dogs but still tasty. Everyone of us brought something to share and the Wilsons brought the meat and buns.
Roasting hot dogs

And the eating

We barely got started when monkeys came to visit. All of us soon substituted eating with feeding. The monkeys loved the bread and water melon. When I fed one broccoli, he wasn't very impressed. One of our elders even gave one poor monkey a cup of cola. Poor monkey got pretty hyper. He was all over the place after that!
Sister Gubler feeding a monkey

Elder Gubler feeding a monkey

And, then the fun began. Sister Wilson and I moved away from the group and started hiding Easter Eggs. Awe, the fun. The monkeys were pretty busy with the missionaries so we thought we were safe. Sadly, no, the monkeys followed us, found the eggs and tried to open them as fast as we hid them. It truly was the best way to have an Easter Picnic EVER!
Hiding Easter Eggs

Finding Easter Eggs

Stalking Sister Wilson

Odie Weavers

Odie is between Phakalane (Paw-caw-lawn-ee) and Mochudi (Moe-chew-dee). The Taylors and Rands took us to see the Oodi Weavers. The women who are the weavers are pretty amazing. First, freshly shorn wool is purchased from South Africa. The wool is then hand-dyed to make the beautiful colors that are then spun into yarn and woven into wall hangings. There is no pattern to follow, the women just make it up as they weave. Last July we bought a small hanging for the entry hall in our home. These are one of the actual "Made in Botswana" souvenirs that can be bought here. The women receive a commission on each weaving they sell. We had a wonderful time watching and learning.
Spinning wool into yarn

Elder Gubler and Elder Taylor
This is the weaving we bought. You can't tell this, but it hangs over our circuit breaker panel that is in our entry hall

Monday, April 7, 2014

Look What We Found!

Wow! Sometimes when you go out to eat or go to the grocery store, you find great surprises! Friday night we celebrated our 43 Anniversary by eating at Spurs. Aw, the music was US Country music with our servers all doing a few line dances. Kinda like home. But, best of all, we had FRY SAUCE to go with our chips. The thought was there even if the taste wasn't quite like home. The sauce was made with Tangy Mayonnaise (think slightly cut back Miracle Whip) and tomato sauce. Tasted yummy anyway.
Spur Salad and French Fry Dressing.

Saturday, we went on a quest. Since I've been off of wheat, it's been hard to find ways to use all of the taco seasoning we have accumulated.  Taco shells are very difficult to find in Botswana. I had been making flour tortillas and they were delicious but alas, no wheat flour. :-(  Plus, we love tacos. Taco shells are very difficult to find in Botswana.  Spars has carried them in the past but we haven't been able to find any lately (read months). We went on a quest to locate taco shells. After 3 stores, look what we found!!!! We are so excited!

We can hardly wait to try them!
We followed the advice of every senior couple who has lived here: "If you find something you want, buy as many as you can and price be Danged!" You never know when you can get them again. These Taco dinners were P65 a piece so for 4 of them, we paid $32. Yes, we did but we are excited to have these meals.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Our Salt Lake Visitors

Brother and Sister Marriott, Sister and Brother Stevens

Sister Abraham, Sister Stevens, Sister Gubler, Sister Antoniou
Elder and Sister Maynes and our ENTIRE mission :-)

We have been very fortunate to have Salt Lake guests visiting in Botswana this past month. Here are pictures of Sister Stevens, 1st Counselor in the General Primary Presidency and Sister Marriott, 2nd Counselor in the General Young Women's Presidency. It was so fun to have these delightful women and their husbands speak to us and especially to have them speak with the leadership of the wards, branches and stake in Botswana. Additionally we had Elder Richard J Maynes of the Seven Presidents of the Seventy come and do a training for the Priesthood in Botswana as well as a personal training for the missionaries. We also had Elder Carl B Cook of the 1st Quorum of Seventy come and do training. What an amazing time for all of us. We were told to open our mouths and share the Gospel message ever chance we get. It has been a very spiritual month for us.

It's so wonderful to be able to serve the Lord on a mission! We love the people here. They are so friendly and kind to us. We can't go into a store without someone asking us about the church. Everyone wants to know where are congregations meet. One lady at a store told me that her Mom went to our church when she lived in Gaborone but she has moved to her village is and is 150k from the nearest LDS church. This delightful woman also told me that the missionaries had gotten her off of coffee. :-)

I can't even imagine having these types of conversations in the US. How blessed we are to be in Botswana!