Sunday, May 31, 2009


It is Sunday, late afternoon, and we decided to come to the office and check emails. We went to Marondera this morning to our branch there. It went well but since their sacrament meeting was ending about 25 minutes too early Elder Bullock offered to give his talk that he prepared for the Kadoma Branch last week. The branch presidency seemed to appreciate that. That branch seems to end early most of the time - then they all go outside and visit until it is Sunday school time. His talk was on preparing to go to the temple - which worked out well as they are working on that. The branch president is the only one in the branch who has been through the temple and he is presently teaching the 'temple prep.' classes so that some of them can go at the end of August. They are saving their money and for the ones that have never been there is a fund through the church that helps people get there. The people will pay some themselves.

We got to the church about half an hour early, which worked out well, as there was a pile of construction garbage in the doorway. They are presently tearing up the floors and are going to rip out a wall and extend the room where they meet for sacrament meeting as it is just too small now. Elder Bullock and some boys got busy and moved the pile and Pres. Banda was mopping up the cement floor and wiping the dust off the chairs. By nine o'clock the place was ready to go. As usual the place was over-full. They do a great job. They certainly love to sing even with no electricity and no piano or organ - they really don't need one. If we sang half as loud at home we'd be doing great!

It is a beautiful day today - warm and sunny. We sat outside in our backyard this afternoon for a while and read. I think it was about 80 degrees.

Hope you all have a great sabbath day. I will send a couple of pictures tomorrow.

Love, Sister Bullock

Friday, May 29, 2009

Our Container

Can you believe it?? It is cleared through customs and is sitting at Glenn's transport over the weekend and will be delivered here Monday morning. I am tired. What a process it is. I will tell you about it.

7:45 a.m. Pres. Neild picked us up and we went to Zimra and had to pay $100 for documentation (papershuffling - according to Elder Bullock). Then off to Mediteranian (a shipping company) but they told us we had to go to the place where the container was by the railway and get a paper stamped and then come back.

9:45 a.m. We are at the shipping yard and cannot find the container anywhere. They sent us around to the back to check for it but it was not there either. However, it was suggested that we check with a different storage company - we called and sure enough they had it at BAK Storage. The railway had sent it to the wrong place. It had arrived there May 23rd.

10:30 Arrive at BAK Storage and WE FOUND IT!!!

Here comes our container

Getting closer

10:45 Off to Safmarine to get our paper stamped. They want $150 to stamp it but we managed to get 15% off and paid $120.

11:30 Go back to BAK Storage so we can open and check the container.

Elder Bullock & President Neild wondering if some might be missing

OOPS! We don't get it yet. They decide they want to inspect it. They start unloading the container onto the ground and open up a bag of shoes and dump it all out. Looks okay, I guess, as they then put them back in, tied up the bag and put it back on the pallet. Then they open a bundle of men's clothing. Pres. Neild managed to get them to just pull out a few things rather than dump it - it is bundled up very tight. We made the men happy by giving them each one thing (shirt of pants - although I noticed one guy got away with 3 things!!!).

First look with inspectors

Inspection of clothing bundle

Inspection of blanket

12:00 A guy from Glenn's transport showed up and it seems he managed to get them to NOT unload the whole container. Thank goodness for that. A box of school kits was torn open and we gave the lady inspector two of those for her two children. We want to keep these people happy!!!
So now everything is loaded back into the container and Glenn's Transport puts a lock on it. They will be back in about an hour with a transport truck to take it to their yard where they will keep it for free until Monday morning.

We think we are done BUT, no, not yet. They want $180 for the inspection that they ordered. According to our clearing guy, Taloni, that is a huge amount. They finally agreed to give us 10% off. What a bunch of crooks if you ask us!!!! Anyway, by 1:00 we have paid up and are on our way out of there. Hurray!!! Taloni, Pres. Neild's guy who does all the leg work to clear containers gets paid $200 - but I think he is probably worth it after what we went through today.

By the way, our power came back on this a.m. about 11:00 - according to Taylors. Hurray for that too!! Our freezer was needing it.

We are off to a meeting with a guy downtown (Leeds Trust). They are a NGO (non governement organization) that helps people. We might want to have them as a partner in the future.

Love to all, Elder & Sister Bullock

Thursday, May 28, 2009



Nice day today again - 72 degrees. The electricity has been out at our flat since about 3:00 yesterday. CANDLELIGHT DINNERS ARE FAR OVER-RATED!!!!! It hadn't come back on at lunchtime today so we are hoping it is on by now. It usually isn't off this long. Our only real worry is the fridge/freezer contents. We do keep a couple of bottles of ice to put into the fridge to help keep it cool. We also have our generator and we did run it for about an hour this a.m. to cool off the fridge. We did use it to cook supper last night but then we lit the candles and played a game of "Five Crowns" and then used our 'wind-up' flashlights to read with for a while. And since there is no electricity to heat the gyser - pronounced geezer -- (water heater in the attic) we had a cool sink bath this morning. Such fun!!!

Guess what! Our container is coming in the morning. It really is - I think! haha :) We are going with Pres. Nield in the morning at 7:30 to pick up the paperwork and go to the shipping company to have it trucked over here. We have to take $$ with us because we may have to pay to get it out - up to $1000.00. (hopefully not more). There is an allowance written into the initiative just in case we get dinged for storage charges. Pres. Nield is pretty good at talking them down so we are glad he is going with us.

I wish I was coming to Utah with my sisters. :( I will be missing a fun time!!!! :( O well - I am having fun here!

Love to all, Nancy

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

God's 26 Guards

I got this a while back and only just read it now. I thought it was such an incredible story that I would post it here. I don't know if it is actually true, but it is touching, nonetheless.

Love, Kim


A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan.

'While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point.

On one of these journey's, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine, and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital.

Upon arrival in the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time talked to him about the Lord.

I then traveled two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident....

two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines. He said, "Some friends and I followed you in to the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs, but just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards."

At this, I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone in that jungle campsite. The young man pressed the point, however, and said, "No, sir, I was not the only person to see the guards, my friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone."

At this point in the sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day this happened. The missionary told the congregation the date, and the man who interrupted told him this story: "On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was preparing to go play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong, I called men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you. Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?" The men who had met together to pray that day stood up. The missionary wasn't concerned with whom they were, he was too busy counting how many men he saw. There were 26.

This story is an incredible example of how the Spirit of the Lord moves in behalf of those who love Him. If you ever feel such prodding to pray, go along with it, you don't know what it can mean to that person.

Tuesday, May 26th

I can't believe it is the end of May already.

Yesterday we went out to Epworth because I wanted to take a picture of a little 3 yr. old boy we saw there recently who has two club feet. Pres. Nield has a dr. friend that he says may be able to help him. The process takes about a year with several operations. We will show the pictures to Pres. Nield and see what he thinks.
3 year old boy with club feet

3 year old's feet -- he walks like this

more of his feet

We saw our baby Edson today. Pauline, his mother, says he now weighs 2.5 kg and that when he was born he was 1 kg. He does look small still, but better, and seems to be filling out a bit.
Baby Edson - looking better

We had a busy morning with people coming into the office to ask for assistance. Still not container though so....

A lady came in this morning asking if we could help her get plane fare to Johannesburg so she can take her 6 yr. old son to the hospital there. He has had cancer and received chemotherapy and then went to J-berg where they removed one of his eyes. He spent 2 months there. Now the other eye seems to have the same problem and they did tell her to bring him back if there were further problems. We again called Pres. Nield who is involved with his daughter in an organization called "eyes for Zimbabwe". He will contact a doctor to see if he will look at the boy here. I will try and scan a picture of him (from a couple of years ago) - WARNING it is hard to look at!

(Picture still to come)

Elder Bullock's back has been sore so we broke down and went to a chiropractor this afternoon - cost: $40 and $30 for each visit from now on. I wonder if Blue Cross will reimburse us??? We go again tomorrow. Hopefully it won't take much more than that. This all goes back to his football playing when he was in grade nine.

Anyway - that is about it. The work carries on. Thanks for the emails we have been receiving - we enjoy hearing from everyone. We know we are in the right place and hope we can do what the Lord wants us to do. We have a poster on our office wall that says: " It is the Lord's work, and when we are on the Lord's errand, we are entitled to the Lord's help." We are counting on that as sometimes we feel like we are in way over our heads - but we are learning. We know we are needed here and wouldn't be here doing this if it wasn't for the fact that we know The Church is true and want to carry on His work.

Elder Bullock will be baptizing a man possibly this week if we can get through to the branch president on the cell phone. This man was excommunicated about 4 years ago and is more than ready to come back. He has worked hard for that privilege. He has had his interview and it is just a matter of working out a time to do it. He is a very happy man.

We meet with the Highlands stake president today at 5:30 to talk to him about the member garden plots here by the mission home.

Elder Bullock showing the kids how to juggle

more kids goofing around for a picture

She looked way too young to have a baby, but it's hers

African Trees
This kind of tree is all over, here and there. These particular
ones are by the road on our way to the flat.

That's it for today.
Love, Elder & Sister Bullock

Friday, May 22, 2009


Last night we had a nice supper with the Besters and other missionaries. The food was very good. The restaurants don't open here for dinner until 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. and then they take a long time to serve. It is usually at least a 2 hour affair if not more.
Trying to get organized to get our picture taken!
Elder & Sister Taylor, President & Sister Bester, and us

Harare Zone missionaries with President & Sister Bester

Some of our missionaries

Today our container DID NOT come! They say maybe Monday. It is here in Harare though on the rails and since their computers were down nothing could be processed so.....

We went with Tabeth to a place called Caledonia Farm. It is a high density community of displaced persons. 340 families have arrived in the past 4 days that have been thrown off some farm land several kilometers away. What we are hearing is that some of the farms are being given back to the white farmers and so the police are kicking all the native people off the farms and sending them to Caledonia Farm (we aren't sure if they stay there permanently or if it is a stopping off place until they can get back to their villages etc. where they originally came from). They are putting up some temporary housing made out of plastic and whatever - kind of a tent city. Someone must have donated the plastic for them. They were digging holes here and there for latrines (small square plastic covered outhouses).
Caledonia farm houses

More of the tent houses

Plastic tents town at Caledonia Farm

Tabeth said it was a worse situation than Epworth or Hopley Farm but I am not sure that it is. We will check into it more next week. I don't know if we would be allowed to distribute anything there - Pres. Neild seems to think that they would only allow goods to be dropped off to a central place and the authorities there would distribute. However, the question is whether or not the right people would get the things or if the authorities would take it for themselves.
Borehole at Caledonia Farm

Kids on way home from school

It can be hard to get the help to where it needs to go sometimes. We did stop and give a couple of hygiene kits to a man who looked like he really needed them. He said he had 7 children. He was really grateful - seemed like he was going to cry. I think we gave them to the right person!! Tomorrow we have an all day meeting with the Stake/Branch presidents throughout the mission and the public affairs people. There will be training given from a couple coming up from South Africa.

That's about it for our day!!
Love, Elder & Sister Bullock

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I wonder where all this bad economic stuff will end up. I hope it doesn't get so bad that too many of people are out of work. I would hate to see it be like it is here in Zimbabwe - the unemployment rate is about 85 - 90% -- that means only 10 - 15% of the people are working. Lots of people sell newspapers on the street corners and tons of people have their little stands on the sides of the roads and streets selling a few vegetables and fruit. They might make a few dollars a day. We stopped with our friend Tabeth one day because she wanted to buy some fire wood on the side of the road - no one appeared to be there and then all of a sudden 4 guys ran across from the other side of the road where they were sitting in the shade. Each one seemed to own one pile of wood and they were all at her trying to get her to buy theirs.

Speaking of buying wood -- lots of people do not have electricity here so they cook on a little bonfire. They really are burning up a lot of the trees and I guess it is becoming a concern. Everyone is always gathering wood. There is smoke from bonfires a lot - it usually smells like a campground here. Now that the rainy season is over and the grass is drying out they burn the grass. It hasn't really started in a big way yet but apparently it will start soon and people say that they burn the whole country practically - a lot of smoke. To quote someone: "That is the way it is done in Africa". They don't really get the grasp of composting and putting back into the soil. They say the burning kills the bugs/pests in the fields - perhaps that is their only way they know of to do it. It just seems weird that they can start a fire in the ditches or fields and it doesn't turn into a wild fire like at home -- but it doesn't. It just burns itself out and no one seems concerned at all. When the burning get underway I will have to get some pictures. Right now we have just seen a few smaller burns. The problem is that when things are burned then you can see all the garbage - cans, etc. that are in the grass.

Speaking of garbage - that is another issue. There really is no garbage pick-up to speak of so there are piles here and there. They burn it too but there are still cans and glass left. It can get kind of gross. I guess we get used to it because it doesn't bother me like it did at first. I suppose they don't have as much garbage here either since they really don't waste anything - they have so little to begin with. We might think something is garbage but they can use it for something. If I offer our housekeeper Beauty a cardboard box or egg carton or bottle etc. she is really happy to have it. She loves getting the extra fat off meat because she can use it in her Sadza. Boy! We waste so much in America!!!

Anyway, I wasn't planning on going on this much. Have a good day.
Love, Mom

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Just a quick note before we head home. We have been doing paperwork again today and actually feel like we accomplished something.

Tomorrow is zone conference so that should be good. Our truck is making a noise and the general opinion is that it is the fuel pump so the South Africa people said to get it fixed. We will take it in
tomorrow since we will be tied up most of the day with zone conference. We are suppose to be getting a new truck sometime soon. We also heard today that we will get a new laptop - the one we have now that belongs to LDS Charities is pretty old. We will get it when we go down to Johanesburg in July for the couples conference.

We will head home and figure out what to make for supper. Beauty has been there today so our house will be clean and the laundry will be done and pressed. Nice!

Love to all, Elder and Sister Bullock

Monday, May 18, 2009


Good morning to you, (afternoon to us)

Just wanted to tell you that this morning when we went for our walk a man stopped us and said, "Do you remember me?" I said no, but dad said yes - even though he didn't remember him. Anyhow, he reminded us that he was with the girl that we helped a few weeks ago. The one that we saw on the side of the pathway when we were walking and she was hurt. We went home and got the truck and went back and took her and the two guys to the court building because she couldn't walk and had to be there.

This morning the guy thanked us for helping them and told us that when she went to court and told what had happened to her that the Human Rights people got involved and took care of her for 3 weeks while she healed and recovered. The policeman that had tied her wrists and beat her was charged and is now in jail.

We were really glad to hear about it as we have wondered how she made out.

We have been busy today sorting paperwork and cleaned out some shelves out in the garden office. We need to go home and look for some paperwork that the auditors need and some stuff that we need to close some files on past initiatives.

This afternoon we drove out to Epworth to visit Pauline and our baby Edson. She wasn't there and her neighbor said she had gone to town. She said the baby is doing okay - so at least he is still alive. We will try and get out there again in the next day or two and see him for ourselves. The kids out have gotten to know us and want attention. Jim touches fists together with them (that is the Cholera handshake!) and they like it. There are so many of them. If there were only a few we could give them a 'sweet' but if we start then we get swamped and they get a little crazy.

We have home evening tonight with the Taylors. That is about it for our day. We have lots of paperwork to get done over the next week or two. It always seems to take longer than we think it should.

Love to all, Nancy & Jim

More Pictures from Malawi

African Landscape

Boa Tree
This is an interesting tree. As you can see from this picture - it is all beat up near the bottom. That is from elephants. Eventually they will tip it over.

Jim at Boa Tree

Interesting Tree

Jungle - interesting trees and vines
Just a note about the Boa tree -- I think that must be the kind of tree they used in the "Lord of the Rings" movie where the tree come alive and go to battle.

Sunset - Malawi

Sunset - Malawi - near river with palm trees, mountains, etc.

These weird vines wrap around the trees - go up and then come back down

We drove across this bridge!


Can you see the Papaya?

Pictures we took when we visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. We are looking at doing an initiative here to give them some much needed equipment. It will only be a small portion of what they need, but every little bit helps. Each patient has their own caregiver who must be there to assist and take care of them. There is 1 nurse for two units. When you look at the hospital pictures - don't just look at the people - look at the equipment and the beds, etc. Not very good stuff. I hope I don't ever have to go there.

area for caregivers to wait when not helping

broke both legs in a fall - he was crying a lot until we came along

children's ward

I think they could use some wheelchairs

Kids wanted their pictures taken - it made them smile!

over crowded women's ward

These people are sitting beside a box (crib) where sick child is

women's ward

Women's ward - each patient in hospital must have their own caregiver with them

Love, Nancy

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday, May 17th

We went to the Marondera branch for church today about a 45 minute drive). They had a full house as usual and were happy to see us. They always are so welcoming and most want to shake our hands – even the little kids (except a baby or two who cry with fright at the sight of a white person). We should be more like that with visitors at home (in Canada).

The branch president announced the speakers – a youth speaker and then us (YIKES!) – followed by a couple of others. That is all the notice we got! Being that I am not an ‘on the spot’ speaker I did some quick thinking about what I could say. Jim does better as another branch had done that to him about 3 weeks ago so he kind of gave the same talk again (on tithing/fast offering). Anyway – I quickly looked through the hymn book and chose “Have I Done Any Good In The World Today” and looked up the scriptures at the bottom. I read the words to the hymn, read and talked a bit about the scriptures and then I told a story from my life where I felt like I had done some good for someone (Gladys). I encourage them to do good for each other etc... WHEW! I did it. I guess we better smarten up and get a few talks prepared for such instances. Often here, they don’t have enough to fill the time.

After sacrament meeting is over everyone goes outside for 10 or 15 minutes and then the next meetings start. The kids haul the chairs to different areas. I attended primary – which is held outside. There were about 20 kids and they all stay together and have the same lesson by the primary president. (no teachers). Part way through the little girl next to me – touched me and pointed to my skirt to show me that I had little ants crawling on it. I think my chair was on an ant hill (of sorts). I quietly brushed them off, with the girl’s help – there were quite a few, not just on my skirt! I went to Young Womens for the last 45 minutes and there were still ants showing up on my shirt and skirt. I just picked them off and got rid of them. They are very small. Note: There are a lot of ants here – usually in our kitchen on the cupboard or wherever. We put fabric softener sheets around and that helps as they don’t like that for some reason. I have gotten used to it and just wipe them away and wrap food up good! I guess I am getting used to the crawly creatures and don’t go crazy at the sight of them. I just look carefully at my cereal in the mornings to make sure that there is no ‘movement’ in it!!

We are invited to Taylors (next door) for supper – which reminds me – I was suppose to take the chicken out of her oven 15 minutes ago. We will go to the mission office and check our email and ‘skype’ to see if anyone is there!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pictures from Malawi

Zebra & Girraffe @ Nyala Game farm

Impalas & Wildebeest @ Nyala Park

It is amazing to see all they can carry

This is a pigpen where COPRED (the organization that we may partnerwith if we do this project) has a pig that has 9 piglets. Pretty rustic pen but it seems to work.

Houses near COPRED in Malawi

Borehole water pump at COPRED

Making Dinner

COPRED helps train people with skills of sewing and shoe making

The backyard at Bouwhuis' in Balantyre, Malawi. They have done a nice job on this garden. There is also a river just behind the fence at the bottom that we could hear all night! Nice spot.

E & S Bouwhuis with Sisters and Elders in Blantyre, Malawi

Bullocks & Bouwhuis'

Malawi jungle - up a hillside

He lost his load! On our way down Zomba Mountain we came across this guy and so we
stopped to help him.

Helping him reload

Amazing - they push this load for miles down to the town

Hauling wood down mountain - we counted 24

View from top of Zomba Mountain - we were up pretty high!

View coming down Zomba Mountain

Stream on Zomba Mountain

Waterfalls on Zomba Mountain

Ouch! It is just unbelievable what they can carry on their heads.

How do you like this footbridge? We crossed it on our way to see some pigs.

Love, Elder & Sister Bullock