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Monday, January 28, 2013

Kitchen Curtains

I forgot to update my kitchen picture! I made new curtains and spruced things up a little. Here is the before picture:

Here is the after picture:


It makes me happy!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

First!


Firsts!

1st Animal we Hit: Does it count if it hit us? We were driving to Lobatse today and out of no where a bird hit our windshield. So, does that count as the animal we have to hit while living here?  (No I did not stage the feather, that's where it landed)


Another first was playing the piano for Sacrament meeting today. (See mom, all that money you spent on lessons for me paid off...I'm practicing without being told!) But this is the first time I've played for anyone to sing since I played during Seminary when I was 17. Quite an experience. After Church I had 2 young single adult ladies ask if I would please teach them piano. They had take some lessons in Gaborone but hadn't been able to continue. Some of the YW would like to take lessons as well. So not only was it a first to play as an accompanist but now I get to be a piano teacher. Who would have ever thought. Now I need to contact the Area people to find out where I can get a hold of some key boards for these ladies to be able to practice. The church really would like to have accompanists in every ward. The church piano course has the students playing very simplified hymns on the first lesson. The idea is to get them to be able to play the 80 hymns in the Hymns made Easy and then to teach the next group coming along. (So all of you who are taking piano lessons or have taken piano lesson, practice, practice, practice. You are definitely needed in the mission field)

A week ago we held out first YSA party. We played games and ate refreshments. Their very favorite game was Fruit Basket. They loved it. We had about 16 members and 4 investigators there. We deemed the activity a success. This coming Friday we are having a movie night. The ward has a projector and screen. The Taylors brought videos with them and have said we can borrow what we need. I think we'll be showing The Other Side of Heaven. Our Bishop is very concerned that there is no entertainment for the YSA or the Youth and suggested the movie night. We'll make popcorn and such. When we handed out invitations this week, the YSA we gave them to were pretty excited. I hope we'll have as many in attendance this week.

Yesterday, Sister Taylor had a project in Mochudi she needed help with. Sister Rands and I packed up the sewing machines we have access to and helped her out. The sisters were going to learn how to sew. We made some nice scripture bags. The RS activity sounds just like a home, lots of talking and laughter but it was it Setswanan so I didn't understand any of it. But the whole RS activity was definitely fun. Here's what the sisters made. Don't those funny looking white people look out of place? The part that was the very best was that the sisters were thrilled with their finished
bags. Not one of them whined about the stitching not being perfect. Nobody complained that someone else did a nicer job. Or that another bag was a prettier color. When the project was all over, EVERYONE wanted a picture. Sister Taylor printed out a picture and put it on the bulletin board and even the young children were trying to find their mothers in the picture. One of the ladies told me that she was so excited to learn how to make a bag that she could now make more of them and sell them. I'm making a note to pat myself on the back more often for my little successes.

Our Stake President was at church today and asked Elder Gubler and myself to help with training the Stake leaders, especially helping train the YM and YW leaders. This is really comfortable territory for Elder Gubler but I'm going to be playing catchup. We will specifically be working with Duty to God and Young Women's Personal Progress.  The Stake Counselor over us would like to communicate with emails to get things set up. That's just great with us, because we can't understand them most of the time when they speak! (And it goes the other way too).

We are loving Botswana. Wish that we had water everyday and power all the time, but I guess that's life in the rest of the world. Most of these women in Mochudi don't have electricity and cook over open fires. Today when Elder Gubler and I taught the Youth Sunday school class, I was so impressed with how much these kids love the gospel. Very few of them have support from home. Another wonderful thing, a woman who is getting baptized in a week just had a Second Interview from our Mission president. When I've seen her before she's been very standoffish but today, she just glowed. She is so excited to have the gospel in her life. She brought her brother to church with her today. Her son, who lives in Mochudi, will be baptizing her before he leaves on his mission.

Oh we do love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We love how it changes lives.



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Still in Gaborone and Lobastse

This past 2 weeks has gone by quickly. So much has happened, I don't know where to start. This will be all over the place but I better start. We've been busy in Lobatse as well as dealing with cars and sick elders. Plus we went on a trip with the other senior couples to see the David Livingstone Memorial.

This is a termite hill we see on the way to Lobatse. It's actually one of hundreds. You can see how tall it is next to the cow.

In November the termites were swarming and we found lots of termite wings and dead termites around. These termite hills are sacred.


Elder Gubler thinks that most of the cars are about finished. We have a few that need minor repairs and service. The Lobatse car (beer truck car and car with the "rims") only needs shocks and a service. Yippee. We still have one major accident repair we need to take care of. The sisters car that broadsided "Albert" still needs fixing. Luckily Albert has his car and is very happy. We get to drive the Lobatse car for a few days. Let's just say that there is now a "David Livingstone Memorial Car" and the foundation of the memorial has been moved back a few inches. The car will be fixed for free because we send our panel beaters so much business. (OK, it's a fairly minor repair but it makes for a good story.) But we're not telling who was driving.

David Livingstone was a doctor and clergyman who came to Africa in the mid-1800's. Part of the time he was in Botswana. The memorial is about 20k from Gaborone so we went to see it. The weather was about 100 and there wasn't much shade. The guide we had was very knowledgeble and told us quite a bit about the placement of buildings and such. The chapel is here on a small rise. It is part way between a river (well there used to be a river) and a bigger hill. The people with Livingstone could get water easily when they needed it but could also run to the hill if there were enemies coming. (chapel, top right)

This next picture shows where the house was placed. Here he did his doctoring and his dentistry. The view was wonderful here.
This is the cemetery that was used by the Livingstone group. His 6 week old baby and several other people were buried here. The baby was wrapped in a calf skin as a casket. Adults were wrapped in regular cow hide. There were mounds that you can't seen here where rocks and such were placed to keep the animals away from the graves. If you want to know more about David Livingstone you should look him up on Wikipedia. He didn't spend a lot of time in Botswana but the people here are very proud of the time he did spend.
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When you're hot and tired, somethings just look funny to you. Look at the top right corner, "Icecold Bodies"

Sunday we attended Ward Council meeting. The air conditioning was broken so it was mighty hot but we all survived. The meeting was pretty much like every ward council meeting we've been to in the past. There was also a discussion of ward soccer and the pluses and minuses of using soccer and as missionary tool because of the injuries. (Does this sound like ward basketball?) Our Relief Society President could be the president of any ward I've ever been in. She's a wonder. She knows the sisters and their needs and she likes to keep busy. I suggested that the primary, in addition to having a president and counselor, they should have 2 teachers for the children. We'll work some more on what else needs to happen. These ward leaders really want to have a great ward. Small as this ward is, their goal is to become another ward. I can see budding greatness here. Except for the RS Pres, the leadership is very young. 

Friday night we are having a Young Single Adult party. We are taking refreshments and games and hopefully some of the YSAs will show up. Saturday, we are going to Lobatse for a baptism and then again on Sunday for our meetings. I'm baking brownies and cookies for treats for Fri and Sat. I think baking is my contribution to missionary work.

Elder and Sister Abraham, from St. George, are serving now in Botswana. They stayed with us Friday night before they drove up to Francistown. They are going to be a wonderful addition up there. It was fun to have them visit and tell us all about St George and their stay at the MTC.

Note: Sister Blunck, I have discovered cake flour. Yes, I know, you did long ago. But here, there is bread flour and cake flour. Boy, cakes and cookies really are nicer with cake flour!

Most important note: We just want to say how sad we are for dear friends of ours who lost their son this past week. We can only imagine how hard it is for the Sevy family. Alec was a special man who brought so much joy into their lives. We are so grateful for the gospel that gives us the knowledge that Alec was welcomed into the presence of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. While its so difficult right now, I know that this knowledge the Sevys have will support and sustain them. Thank heavens for testimonies!