Sunday, July 12, 2015

July 12, 2015

We never knew senior missionaries were so busy.  It is a good kind of busy.  We feel the work in self reliance is moving forward now that "some" books have reached Zimbabwe.  We spend a lot of time during the week in our office.  The self reliance/family history center is always busy with students.  We spend a lot of time "one-on-one" with people in the office teaching them how to interview, choose a school, and get a correct lds account log in.  We are still observing several self reliance classes per week.  This is such an inspired and great program.  Everyone should study the manuals and teach the Foundation principles to their family in family home evening.  We visit units as often as possible observing how the self reliance group meetings are being conducted.  We find all different ways of facilitating the groups.  Mainly people stop coming after about the fourth lesson because they are not doing the homework so they do not see any change for themselves and their family.

On the fun side we have been to Lake Chivero which is a big fresh water lake near Harare.  It is kind of like Holter in Montana.  We went back to the Lion Park, farmer's market, downtown Harare shopping, Mbare flea market, the movie, and restaurants on Friday night.  It may seem to you that we do more playing than working.  We'll let you decide.

We never get over the culture shock and amazement of the amount of people here. There are people everywhere you look or go.  Thousands of people are on the streets selling everything you can imagine.  They line the sidewalks downtown and are on every street corner.  The government has been trying to limit the street vendors to no avail.  They have had some minor protests downtown, but nothing has changed.  The people are just trying to survive.  They are very industrious and hard working.

We have attended church at a lot of different wards and branches.  Some have very beautiful chapels and others meet in homes.  Many of the chapels are fairly new with anywhere from two to four wards or branches meeting in the same building.  There are approximately 25,000 members in Zimbabwe. The geographical area here in Zimbabwe is about the size of Montana.  That isn't a large number since there are millions of people in Zimbabwe.

Wherever we go or walk, people will ask us for a job.  How they know that that is our calling, we do not know, but they know us.  Oh...that is right, we are white.  They ask for any kind of work, for example, to trim our trees, clean our place, or come to the office and be referred to a company.  Many think we will hire them on the church's behalf.  We have helped people find jobs.  Mainly security or fast food restaurant.  Better paying jobs are very rare with more business/companies closing every day.  Yes, it is a bit discouraging, but we just keep looking at the thank you note from the "one" who is grateful to be working.

We are having winter here right now so it is cool in the evenings and mornings.  We have a little electric heater that takes the chill off.  There are not as many things in blossom right now as the indigenous trees have mostly lost all their leaves.  The poinsettia bushes have lost their leaves, but the red blossoms are still hanging in there.  They have been blossoming since April.

We are really trying to do what the Lord wants us to do here.  He knows the people he has prepared to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We know he loves all of his children.  We have now been here over seven months and have seen quite a bit of change.  We have a new mission president as of the first of July.  His name is Mkhabela and is from South Africa.  Our former mission President Cook went to Inkom, Idaho.
On the way to Bindura, women washing their clothes at the dam.
Elder & Sister Robbins visited. We were at Pres & Sister Cook's for dinner.
One of the walls where the women and children lived at the Great Zimbabwe.
One of our self reliance training classes for missionaries going home.
This is "roughing it" at the movie theatre.