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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Lobatse, alive!

Hillary with the Lobatse YW

Elder Gubler teaching the YM/YW Sunday School class (outside because it was too cold in the building)

Our Primary with Hillary and Roger
A few months back, we received a young English Elder into Lobatse, Elder Butcher.   He came at a time when our ward was stagnant and the missionary work was not doing well.  As soon as he arrived, we could tell that he was a special young man.  He and his companion Elder Illungole and later on Elder Bangani were very hard workers and soon they gained the respect of the members and especially the Bishopric.  

We were having Ward Conference about that same time and the stake president requested that the Ward Choir sing a song.  Elder Butcher could play the piano and often substituted for Sister Gubler playing the music for Sacrament meeting.  Bishop Moapare noticed this and asked Elder Butcher and Elder Bangani if they could organize a choir and have them ready to sing at Ward Conference in two weeks.   They went to work and prepared a medley of church hymns to the music of Come Thou Font of Every Blessing.  The choir was made up of five ward members (mostly Young Single Adults) and Elder Butcher played while Elder Bangani conducted.  It was very beautiful and had harmony and rhythm with an African flavor.  The Stake President was very impressed and suggested they come and participate with the Stake Choir. Our choir is now lead by one of the ward members, Sister Montsiwa.(Side note: Today Sister Montsiwa and another Sister sang in Sacrament Meeting. They sang I Pray in Faith. It was beautiful and with no accompaniment.) 

While Elder Butcher was there, he was able to change the entire atmosphere of the ward. You could feel the energy. He became a zone leader in Broadhurst, the Bots East Zone and is now one of our APs.  When Elder Butcher became AP, Elder Fackrell the AP Elder Butcher replaced, requested that he spend his last 6 wks on mission in Lobatse, where he had served for 9 months. Our Mission President added another set of Elders. We have had 6 baptisms last month, all young single adults. Lobatse is just coming alive! Last week, we filled the building, this week extra chairs had to be brought in. Wow! It was so exciting. The people are excited to be at church. 

We have about 8 member children in Primary (4 are under 4), but we have had 30 children in Primary. We are constantly teaching about Jesus, The Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith. These kids are so hungry for the gospel. They come without prodding from their parents because their parents don’t bring them to church. Every Sunday we have new people coming to church. They recognize the truth and are so eager. This week we had an Area Authority Seventy and our Mission President and their wives with us in Church. It was so exciting. We also practiced our Primary Program. What a challenge! We never know who will be there in attendance so we just keep practicing the songs. The kids have copies of the words to the music because they haven’t been there often enough to memorize the words. 

Oh, the challenges and joys of the gospel out in the mission field.  We love being on a mission. The people of Botswana are amazing and it is so fun to see the Lord’s work among these people.

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