Tuesday, April 14, 2015

We have been very busy the past month.  We finally received a token amount of self reliance books.  There were enough to give each stake one set.  We have trained all but one of the stake self reliance committees.  The stakes are to train their wards and branches, however they need our help and there are 60+ of those.

The job opportunities are starting to come for members in and around Harare.  We are not sure how many are actually hired.  We received requests to send 50 people for interview one day and 80 the next.  There have been several requests for 15 to 20 people at a time.  We need to contact more companies who are willing to hire the members.  We have sent people to a fast food company who expect people to work for two weeks without pay to see if they pass their test.  We have talked to several people on the street, when we walk in the morning, who have worked for six months without pay.  They cannot quit or they will never get paid.

We go to Bindura for church each Sunday.  It is a beautiful hour and a half drive each way.  We are working with a small branch there who is struggling for retention of membership and leadership.  The other five units we are assigned to are growing and doing fine.  Our Zimbabwe Harare Mission baptizes about 2,500 people per year.  That is equal to a whole new stake.

A month ago we went to a place called Antelope Park.  There were not a lot of animals except for lions.  We could hear them roaring from our cabin early in the morning.  We did see another amazing site.  They fed five male lions at the same time and in the same place.  There was losts of fighting, growling and stealing each other's food.  It was not hard to tell who was dominant ones.  We were right on the other side of a very large chain link fence.  It is amazing how "fast" and strong they are. They each weigh five to six hundred pounds.

From Antelope Park we went to Gwero and Bulawayo and trained three stake presidents on self reliance.  Otherwise we do not get to travel outside of Harare very much except to Bindura.

We took a short vacation from Wednesday to Saturday and went to Victoria Falls with the Hermansen's and McMurdies.  It was spectacular and is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  The falls are nearly a mile wide and three times higher than Niagara Falls.  There is so much moisture that it causes rain to fall on the other side of the canyon.  We also went on a safari to the country of Botswana.  The place was called Chobe Park.  We did a ground tour, had lunch on a floating island, and a river cruise.  We saw lots of elephants, hippos, elands, pukus, baboons, monkeys, mongoose, crocodiles, water buffalo, large lizards, and birds.  All of these animals were in their natural habitat.  We were so close that we could see the eyelashes on the elephants.  We saw two baboons fighting.
Two dominant male lions at Antelope Park
Victoria Falls
Hippo with a dress and attitude on Chobe River
she came in the water after us
Primary in Bindura Branch
Small woman carrying 5 gallon water 1/2 mile to house from borehole (well)

It is a great adventure being in Zimbabwe.  We learn something new every day and have a new adventure.  We have a lot to learn from the wonderful, humble, and faithful people.  They have so little but are so happy.  We know we are in the right place doing the best job we can to serve the people of Zimbabwe.  We are preparing talks this week on the Restoration and the Book of Mormon for a small branch at Kadoma, about three hours away.  We Love you all!