Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 31, 2015

Masikati (Good day)
Hi Everyone,
Tomorrow is our two month anniversary on our mission.  What an adventure it has been so far.  Something new happens every day.  For example, we sent five ads of companies who are getting ready and have started to interview people to hire to the Bishops and Branch Presidents here in Harare and received over 300 applicants.  So for the past two weeks we have turned into an employment agency.  Some of the members here have never worked or interviewed with a company, so we set up interview training classes on Monday and Wednesday until everyone has attended. There is a Sister Leocardia Murenza who is teaching the classes for us.  She had done this for her business and is an excellent teacher.  She understands the people in English and Shona.  We are still trying to get a handle on understanding those who are supposedly speaking English.  Our part is to tell them about the companies we are contacting, the process of resume writing, and doing practice interviews with each one.

We have an office in the Highlands chapel building.  The internet rarely works there so we walk across the parking lot to the mission office and use a conference room to do our computer work.

Our mission president assigned us to go to Bindura District on Sundays.  There are six branches in their District.  We have now visited all of them.  Two branches meet in one building, three in another and one branch meets in a little community center which is sort of like a cement hole.  There are two different churches meet right next door.  They sing and shout to the top of their lungs during our Sacrament meeting.  The Primary meet outside under a tree.  We have never been so amazed at the fine talks and singing in their meetings.  They sing beautifully without a piano, organ, or keyboard. The chorister sings the first restrain and then everyone sings.  The talks are awesome.  Some of the people have been members for only a year or two, including some of the bishop's and branch presidents.

Last Saturday for fun we went to the Lion and Cheetah Park.  We couldn't find it at first, but came back to the mission office and got directions and went back and found it.  They have 31 lions.  One of the places you just drive your car through and the lions are loose.  In another part of the park the lions are in cages.  Also in the caged area were hyenas, crocodiles, a pair of white lions and a monster size tortoise that they said is about 300 years old.  They also have a place to drive through where there are giraffes, zebras, elands, ostrich, monkeys, baboons, water buffalo, and lots of birds.  Some of the lions were sleeping way up high on some rocks.  One great big male was just laying in the road in the shade.

Last Sunday we took a few pictures of some of the places people live on our way to church in Bindura.  Many do not have indoor plumbing, but there is a satellite dish on the roof.  Many walk for very long distances to get water and go to church.  We see women carrying five gallon buckets on their heads filled with tomatoes and other garden produce taking it somewhere to sell.  Many are out every morning hoeing in the maize fields.

We are still waiting for the new self reliance books to arrive.  It is very frustrating as we were promised they would be here the end of January.  We are going to make an attempt to train Bindura District on the new curriculum tomorrow at 4 on the computer without the books.  That should be interesting since this new curriculum is "hands on".  The people here need this training desperately. Everyone here buys something from somewhere and tries to sell it on the street.

Today we went to the Chinese mall.  It is a huge store with all the China junk you can imagine.  We did find a few things for our office like a stapler, paper clips, white board markers and eraser.
 Lion in the road would not move
Large male baboon 
Biggest lion 
Us and Debbie & Larry McMurdie 
 Homes  on the way to Bindura
Homes on the way to Bindura 
 Beautiful trees on the road where we walk each morning
 Modern Zimbabwe dish washer (the water is Very Hot)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

We have been very busy the past two week.  Elder and Sister Adams came from South Africa to help us contact businesses to recruit jobs.  We were able to find a lot of businesses who were willing to talk to us and let us refer the members for job openings.  Then, Elder Sitati from the First Quorum of the Seventy came from Salt Lake and Thabo Lebethoa, the self reliance manager from South Africa came.  They met with us, the Adams, and Binghams who came from Zambia.  Elder Sitati had leadership training meetings all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  All of the meetings were to introduce the new curriculum and self reliance.  He met with the young adults, and had a fireside for all members of three stakes.  There are six stakes and two districts in Zimbabwe plus a mission district with six branches. There are 60 wards and branches all together.

Our electricity is off about half the time, so if we do not respond to your messages it is because we have to start the generator to have electricity.  It hasn't rained this past week.  It's been in the mid 70's every day.  It's just a little warm at night.  Sorry to those of you who are freezing in Montana.

We drove around town trying to get a little more oriented as to where everything is.  We came to an area which had a much larger flea market than the one we had been too.  It covered the area of about five blocks long.  We didn't stop, but it looked like mostly cloths.  We also got lost (again) and found ourselves in the outskirts of downtown where it was very difficult to drive through the streets because there were so many street vendors (in the middle of the street), plus solid cars and people shopping or wandering around.

We walk every morning at 0530 for an hour and found a sign that made us feel like we were home.  The picture is attached.  Also Miles is standing by a sample of beautiful flowers which are everywhere you look.  We also tried the poached corn that they sell on street everywhere.  It really was pretty good for "field" corn (maze).  We have tried sadza (really thick cornmeal mush).  It is tasteless, but they make a "sauce", which is kale with spices which makes it pretty good.  I won't be cooking much of it however.

We took Binghams to a "western" restaurant where the "guys" had a steak and "gals" had a hamburger.  It wasn't too bad for Zimbabwe.  They played "old" western music which made us feel closer to home.  We eat out three or four times per week, as the food is just about as cheap at restaurants as it is to buy it in the store.

We found Hayden's business competition.  Notice the bow tie, necktie, and scripture cover made of beads.  We are trying to figure out how to send you the bow tie so all you older boys can take turns wearing it to the prom.

The people who are members of the church are so friendly, kind, and humble.  They are all first generation members but they have really strong testimonies.  We have had two people approach us wanting to be taught about the church.

We love you all!

Elder Sitati on the right