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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dong Liu

Sister Gubler, Elder Gubler Dong Liu and chicken from the Colonel (KFC)
We love our little ward in Lobatse. So many good people live in Lobatse and we have become so attached to many of them. One such friend is Dong Liu. He is Chinese. We have watched him come to church, alone, for months. When my sciatica was acting up, he brought me some "patches" to put on my hip to make it feel better (he noticed me standing in the back of the church on Sundays). When he was called on to pray, he gave the sweetest, pure prayer I have ever heard. Just recently he was given the Aaronic Priesthood and ordained a Priest. He passed the Sacrament several weeks ago. On fast Sunday, he bore his testimony and told his conversion story. Dong Liu had been walking past the church on Sunday and heard music. He stopped to listen. A missionary saw him standing there, went out and shook his hand, didn't let go of his hand, and pulled him in. The rest is history. After meeting with the missionaries he joined church two years ago. His father allows him to attend Sacrament meeting.

2 weeks ago, we found out that Dong and his father were moving back to China this week. We were so sad. We invited Dong Liu over for dinner on Thursday before he left on Friday. Thursday was a hectic day. Dong called to tell us on Wednesday that he wouldn't be able to come to dinner. We were all over place Thursday with a couple leaving, missionaries coming for cinnamon rolls and to say goodbye and just a jumble of stuff going on. We were excited when Dong at 4:30 called to say, guess what, I can come to dinner! Wowser! we put our heads together to figure out what to do. Elder Gubler and I decided that the Colonel would provide the main course (KFC chicken), with mashed potatoes and tossed green salad. We ran past KFC, picked up the chicken and rushed home to started the potatoes. while I was cutting and cooking potatoes, Elder Gubler ran to pick up Dong Liu. In the mean time, several sets of Elders came to dinner also. We had two of the missionaries that served in Lobatse bring their companions and enjoy the meal.

When Dong came in the house, he asked if he could help cook. By this time I had the potatoes cooked and mashed. Dong asked if he could taste the potatoes. Now I had put in butter, cream and sour cream into the Pots and I thought they were delicious. Dong tasted them and pulled a really funny face. He made a few comments about the "interesting flavor" of the spuds. Oh dear. So we sat down to dinner. Most of us really enjoyed the food. At 7:00 Dong told us that he had to leave for a family activity. One of the elders asked Dong how he liked the food. He said it was good and the potatoes were his favorite. Hmmmm. I did wait until he left before I laughed out loud.

We will miss Dong Liu. He is a remarkable young man. We wish him well in China,

Our (almost) Garden

Sister Gubler, Sister Cook and Elder Gubler attending to the garden.
If any of you know Elder Gubler, you know that one of the things he enjoys most in life is planting a garden. The other thing that he really loves is giving his produce away. He has had remarkable gardens in Santa Clara and the neighbors love the bounty. OK, maybe not so much the zucchini but the tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelon are legend. The Taylors went home several months ago, but not before Elder Taylor figured out a way to hook up a hose. Hose bibs are not a common sight in Botswana and especially not in our complex. Elder Gubler decided to maximize the use of the hose and in addition to using it to wash our car, he decided to plant a garden in the area available next to the Taylors flat. He planted tomatoes, radishes, carrots, green onions, squash, watermelon, peppers and cucumbers.

The garden started coming up and of course was looking beautiful so he decided to expand. The search was on for "stuff" to incorporate a hose bib at our house. Under our stairs, in the closet that contains our washer, drier and freezer, he drilled a hole through the outside wall. With a hose attachment that has a splitter so that allows two water connections, he hooked up the outside hose and the hose to the washing machine. (Don't be alarmed that he drilled a hole through the apartment wall, it's OK here to do those kinds of things) Anyway, after several trips to the Home Builders Warehouse for attachments and hoses, it was time to plant the garden. Last night, Elder Gubler, put the finishing touches on our beautiful garden.

Now the sad part. An Indian couple Elder Gubler has made friends with came over to give him some news. A few months ago Botswana proclaimed that anyone using a hose to water outside would be given a P5,000 ($600US) fine if caught. ARGH!! Botswana is in the midst of a horrible drought so growing things outside isn't allowed unless bore-hole water is used. Checked into how much bore-hole water would be and it's 5,000 liters for P650 ($80US) By the time we paid for the water the vegetables would be some of the most expensive ever eaten! So now we are praying for rain. :-)

Elder Gubler made a phone call to one of our High Councilors to find out exactly what the water situation etc is. Well, it gets even more interesting! Swimming pools, grass but most of all, our Baptismal Fonts have to be filled with bore-hole water or face the possibility of a fine. In Lobatse, there are 3 baptisms schedules for next Sunday. Hopefully we can figure something out by then.

In the meantime, please pray that Botswana's reservoirs will fill.