Monday, August 31, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

It has been a busy 10 days or so since I last reported our happenings. I will start with this weekend and then go back.

We had Elder Holland here and it was a great experience for everyone. He arrived Friday. The area president, Elder Kolliker and his wife were also travelling with Elder Holland. They had a meeting with all the missionaries for about 45 minutes before the devotional started. Elder Bullock was there for that meeting and I wanted to be but I needed to also be with the choir as they were doing sound tests with the organ and choir to get ready. They did have to make some microphone changes etc. to make it all work. There were about 200 in the choir and they sounded great. I played the keyboard (organ) and I guess I did okay – not perfect but, okay. I did get several good comments afterwards. (I was all they had – no one here really plays). It was a good meeting and Elder Holland gave a good talk and an apostolic blessing on everyone in the congregation. Merci was there and loved the whole thing. Zvikomberero (our investigator from Epworth) was there too – also the X-boyfriend, Gift (but not together). They both loved it. Our x-pastor, Seka came to town for the meeting too. We were so glad that they were all there.

Seka told us that his wife’s parents are elders in the church that he just quit recently and they are not at all happy with his decision so consequently they have taken their daughter (his wife) back and left him with the two children until he comes to his senses. He feels really bad but he says he plans to ‘press on’. He still wants to move to Harare so he can get baptized and be close to our church. He is studying the material that we gave him. We are just waiting for someone to get back to town this week that may give him a job. He is a really good man.

Gift, the guy who beat Zvikomberero, asked to talk to us last week so we went to see him. He did admit to beating her but said, “I’ve only beat her three times since 2006”. YIKES – what an answer! Elder Bullock explained the church’s stand on such behaviour and told him it was unacceptable and that he has some repenting to do. He is still coming to church and wants to continue with the discussions. It will take some time before he could be baptized. Zvikomberero is doing okay. She is staying at her brother’s father’s place for now and looking for a way to make some money. She will likely do some type of street vending.

Back to Elder Holland - After the devotional we hurried over to the mission home where we had supper pretty much ready beforehand. We served a potato bar, garlic loaf, jello salad and apple crumble with ice cream. They really liked the meal and thanked us for making “American” food. It turned out well. After the meal I got a ‘big’ hug from Elder Holland and a thank you for what we are doing here! Nice! He was really tired so they took him to the hotel and we stayed and cleaned up and were all done by 8:00. We had to get up early Saturday to head down to Mutare. I rode with Elder and Sister Deppe and we left about 7:00 a.m. and took food down so that we could have a light lunch set up and ready for them at the church when they arrived. We served chicken salad, a bun, carrot sticks, tomato wedge and pumpkin pie for dessert. At the last minute they decided they needed a bag lunch to eat on their way back to Harare on Sunday after the district conference – so Sat. we got the stuff and we made tuna sandwiches on left over buns, cookies, apple and a drink for them. It worked out good. The conference in Mutare was really good. There was training and an adult meeting on Saturday afternoon and the district conference this morning (Sunday). Elder Holland seemed relaxed and gave an excellent talk and again gave a blessing to the congregation. He said it was if he was laying his hands on each person’s head and giving each a blessing. It was really special. The people here in Zimbabwe were so thrilled to have a visit by an apostle and went to a lot of effort to make everything ready for him. It was wonderful to be part of it and to spend 3 days close to him. Saturday evening we had supper in a private room at the hotel with the missionaries from Mutare, Pres. Chadembuka (district pres.) & his wife. It was nice. While we were waiting to go down to the supper, we were in the hallway and Elder Holland invited us to come into his room for a visit (Elder Bullock and myself, his security fellow, Clint, and Pres. Dube). We just visited for 10 minutes or so. He had been to Cameroon on this tour and said that they stood on a hill and dedicated it for missionary work as no one seemed to think that had ever been done before. I told him that my parents were the first missionaries sent into Cameroon back in 1991 to get things going there. He was interested in that. (Hint for mom: He might be phoning you! I gave him your number ;)).

Elder & Sister Kolliker and Elder Holland wtih Dube children

Elder Holland with President Chadembuka and President Dube

Mutare missionaries with Elder Holland

Some Mutare Elders (Elder Knudsen is Elaine Edmonds' nephew)

Elder Holland with Clint, his security man

Remember the fellow we found out at the Refugee Camp a few weeks ago? Well he was at the conference. Apparently he has been into Mutare 3 times since we found him – once to church, and then helped with the service project last weekend and then again this weekend. It was good to see him and he sure seems happy to be involved in church again. I think he just didn’t know where to find it before we met him and told him.

Last weekend we went to Bulawayo to help them with their service project at the two hospitals. They did a lot of work and really made a difference with their cleaning inside and also on the grounds outside. We gave out ‘new-born’ kits to the new mothers at both hospitals. (about 130 kits) There were a lot of premature babies and there were several sets of twins. The babies were so tiny but only 2 were in an incubator. One mother had lost her baby so I went back and gave her a hygiene kit. I felt so bad for her. There was another girl who was crying because her baby had just been born and it was premature and they weren’t sure if it was going to live. It seems weird that they would let us wander around among all this but they do. Quite a bit different than at home.

Monday we met the World Vision people in Bulawayo and they took us north on the Victoria Falls road about 80 km. and then about 45 km. on a dust road. We went to the home of the little 4 yr. old girl that my friend, Florence, sponsors through World Vision. They were expecting us and there was singing and dancing as we drove up. The little girl was shy and seemed to know she was the center of attention, but she seemed to relax and smile after a little while. Her mother, father, brother and grandmother were there along with a few other relatives. Other people showed up as well. We had some blankets, soap, a few hygiene kits and some toys and balls that we took with us. Luckily there was enough for everyone to get something and they were thrilled. We were there for an hour or so and someone had to translate as they didn’t speak much English. We enjoyed our visit and I took lots of pictures for Florence. There is no work for them out there and they mostly just work in their gardens/fields to grow enough food for themselves. There were boreholes along the way for their water. We saw no vehicles out there except for carts pulled by donkeys or cattle/oxen. It was dry and dusty. Their little homestead/yard area was clean and looked nice.

Road to village

Going to bore hole to fill water jugs

On our way to visit Florence's World Vision child, Sithatshisiwe

Welcoming us

Sithatshisiwe's home

Singing and dancing as we arrived

There she is!!!

Mom with Sithatshisiwe and her brother

With her mom, brother and grandmother

Me with the family in front of their hut

Their yard with kitchen (left) and grandmothers hut (right)

Child with quilt we gave her and her brother with a ball

Sithatshisiwe and family

Sithatshisiwe with doll

Grandmother in her hut -- showing me her supply of maize corn

Elder Bullock wtih Sithatshisiwe (holding a doll we gave her)

Waving Good-bye
Monday afternoon we went with Pres. Makasi (Bulawayo stake pres.) to a center for handicapped children of all ages. Children come there for the day to give parents a chance to go to work or have a break. A lot of the children have cerebral palsy. They had a lot of needs at the centre – soft foods, mattresses, toys, hygiene needs, etc. etc. We had a case of soap and case of school kits in the truck and we left that with them. We also had a couple of balls that we gave the kids and they were thrilled. They would like $200,000 so that they can build a new center on some land that the city donated to them – however, we can’t do that. The people running the place are doing a good work with what they have. There are a lot of good people in this country trying to help the less fortunate in whatever way they can but they rely almost completely on ‘well-wishers’ for donations.

We are back in Harare now and will get back into our regular routine. Our garden is now producing tomatoes, cabbages, spinach and onions. We sell 20 big bundles of spinach to a near-by restaurant (50 cents/bunch) every Tuesday. We will sell onions and cabbages to Bishop Spencer who owns a SPAR (grocery) store hopefully (he gets back this week from his U.S. vacation). The gardens look good. I will go take a picture to send you. Huseni takes care of the gardens and also several members and non-members have plots where they can grow produce for themselves for their family or to sell if they want. We will likely be turning the whole garden project over to the ward to be directed by the priesthood leaders once this crop is finished and before the maize is planted in a couple of months. Zvkomberero is working in the garden for a couple of days helping with the weeding so that she can earn a little money and hopefully it will help her start her vending business. She needs $30 to start. We pay about 75 cents an hour for garden work.

Must run. We are doing fine. I have had a cold but it is better now – other than a bit of sniffles.
Love you all. Sister Bullock

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday, August 30th

Hello family,

We have had a very eventful month. We finished teaching Masalina Mugadza the discussions, and held her baptism and confirmation. She is a lovely lady, and we have come to love her tremendously. They ask the new converts to share their testimonies follow baptism. She did a
wonderful job.

We continue to work on some clean water projects around Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. The municiple water is mostly shut off. The estimate that 50-60 percent of the water runs down the streets from broken water mains. That means there is not enough pressure to have the water reach the outlying areas. We have not had water for the most part of the last two months. We heat up borehole water on the stove, pour it into the bathroom sink, and clean up with a wash cloth.

Last week we had the opportunity to travel to Bulawayo for a service project. All of the Church units are asked to perform acts of service on the 22nd of August. This stake chose to work at two hospitals, cleaning the inside, and outside, of the buildings and grounds. We brought some new-born baby kits to give to all the new mothers in the maternity wards of the two hospitals. Unfortunately, one mother lost her child. We did not want her to feel left out, we we gave her a
hygiene kit. It did not ese the pain of losing her baby, but I think appreciated Sister Bullock's gesture.

One of our friends in Airdrie sponsors a child in a village about 80 kilometers North and 50 kilometers East of Bulawayo. We spent an extra day down there and drove out to her village. We took blankets, toys for the kids, hygiene kits, and quilts. We started out with the little girls family, and ended up with lots more. That's the way it is. When someone gets something, they all think they need it, too. Luckily we had enough for everyone to get something.

This weekend, we had Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, for the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in Harare. He conducted a special devotional Friday night in Harare. We had about 2,500 people at the devotional. Before that, he spoke to all the full-time missionaries for about an hour.
Following the devotional, the senior couples and been asked to prepare a meal for him, Elder Kollicker (Area President and his wife). We all got to sit down with him, and enjoy the evening. The next morning, we all drove to Mutare, for their district conference. We were there while they instructed the Priesthood, then the adults for two sessions Saturday. We all had dinner with them at the Holiday Inn. While we were waiting for dinner, Elder Holland invited Sister Bullock and I, and a couple of others to sit in his room and just chat. He is a very kind man.

Sunday morning, as we were eating breakfast, he came to our table and chatted for a minute. Following breakfast, we all drove to the chapel where the Sunday General Session was to be held. The building was full, the choir rivaled anything we had seen, and the messages were
wonderful. Elder Holland said that the scripture the first shall be last and the last shall be first had particular meaning for Africa, as they are some of the last to have the gospel preached to them, but they will be among the first in the munbr of baptisms that will be the result of the Gospel coming to them. They are a very receptive people, a god loving people. It is not every day you can sit with and eat eith an Apostle for three days.

We have driven many miles in the last few weeks, and we are happy to be able to be at home, if only for the week. We love the people of Africa! We encourage all who are at that point in their lives where they can go serve to go and do it!

Love to all.
Elder Bullock

Friday, August 21, 2009

Quick Hi

We are just getting ready to got o Bulawayo and are leaving later than planned. We got 5 packages of white shirts in the mail this morning from Crapo's in East Stake. They arrived safe and sound. It will be great to give them to members.

Will write when we return. Love, Jim and Nancy/mom and dad/etc.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Hi again, We went with the Elders today and met up with the 'bishop' of the apostalic church. He had his wife with him. Their names are Jeffrey and Tambudzai Muzondo. He said he was hoping he could persuade us to go to their home (which of course, that is what we want). The Elders taught them part of the 1st discussion. He has read all of 1 Nephi and did a good job of telling us about what he had read. He is doing well and wants to keep learning. We will meet with them again next Wednesday.

After that we went to check on Sis. Kureva in Epworth as we hadn't heard from her yesterday. Her neighbor informed us that she did leave yesterday with her things in a cart and that she said she would come here to the office to see us. So we were relieved to know that she managed to get away okay. The neighbor said that Gift was angry when he came home and found that she had left. We will wait to hear from her.

Everything is arranged for us to go to the home of Florence's "World Vision" child on Monday when we are in Bulawayo. The World Vision people will meet us at the hotel and take us there. We are excited to do that even though it is about a 2 hr. drive over dust roads to get to their village. Hopefully there will be room in their vehicle to take a few things to give to the family.

All is well here. We are getting accustomed to having no water in our taps again. We did have a brief period (about a week) when we had some and managed to actually have a bath in the tub but we are back to none, not even a trickle so that we can flush the toilets. We flush with a bucket of water. Thanks goodness for the borehole tap outside. We run a hose through the window and fill up the tub and Jim keeps the two buckets full for washing ourselves and dishes etc. The borehole motor does not work if the power is off so we have to make sure we fill everything up when we can. We have actually had a little more consistent power lately. When we drove into the complex last night the gate guard told us the power was on but by the time we got in the door it was gone! We fired up the generator and cooked supper and then we made a fire in the fireplace because it was rather chilly and had another candle light dinner. This is life in Africa!!

At least we sometimes have water and power - a lot of people here never have either one. They haul water long distances from the nearest source. As we drove home out of Epworth the other evening - it was getting dark and there were 'little' fires all over the place as people were starting to cook their sadza for supper. A lot of Zimbabwe is just like a dirty campground. That is just the way they live.

Time to head home.
Love to all, The Bullocks

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hi, We went to see Sis. Kureva yesterday afternoon. She had asked the missionaries to have us come. She is one of our family that was suppose to be baptized last Saturday.

She told us the truth about what has been going on. Gift, the so-called husband, who is not really her husband, had told her to lie and threatened to beat her if she didn't. He has beaten her badly at least 3 times - one time he knocked 3 teeth out on the upper side. She wants to get away from there as she is afraid for her life. She has made plans to move tomorrow and wanted to let us know. We think her plans sound like they will work. She took us to meet her 'father' (actually her brother's father, but her father since her's is late (late means that someone has died here)). Her father has been telling her for a long time to get away from Gift. We were impressed with him - he wants to help her. She can take her things to his place but he doesn't think she will be safe there as he works nights and can't be there all the time. He said, "She needs to just disappear for a while." She will go stay with an aunt in a different town - not far from Harare. She says Gift doesn't know where this aunt lives. Panashe, her son is there at the aunt's now.

She cried while she told us her story (people don't cry here very often). She said Gift does not want her children there as they are not his - so the two younger ones are with an aunt some distance away and since school was out for 4 weeks vacation Panashe has been with another aunt in Ruwa. She got upset when talking about how he is keeping her children from her as well as her family and she wants her children back with her.

We are glad she finally told us the truth - we knew something wasn't right. I had tried to get her to tell me before but she wouldn't. I had told her that we were afraid that it wasn't robbers that had beat her - that it was Gift that had done it, but she denied it (as he had threatened more beatings if she told). When we went out one day she had a bad cut on her arm and her arm was swollen where he had hit her with a chain. She also had knicks on her shoulder and face. We took our a bandage and some antibiotic cream and cleaned her up and she is healing okay now. She now tells us that Gift was threatening her with a knife that night but a couple of neighbors broke down the door and helped her. Gift had been drinking.

I asked her why he wanted to be baptized and she said because he thought after he was that we would give him money etc. (Don't know why he got that idea - we have told him that we cannot give money, etc.). She and Panashe still want to be baptized (for the right reasons) but we will wait for a while until all this is settled. There is a branch in Ruwa where she is going so we will see if she and Panashe continue to attend church. Wellington (who helps here at the office a lot) is the branch president there and he is a really good guy.

We went out this morning to see her - Gift was suppose to be gone to work - but he wasn't. He was leaving soon. She whispered to me that she was still planning to rent a cart and move her things to her father's place. We told her we can't help her as we don't want to be in the middle of this and the neighbors would tell Gift if we did and then he would be showing up here at our office furious and we don't want that!!! She will call us when it is all done. We will pray that all goes well and she gets away from there safely.

We had an experience yesterday where we know the 'spirit' was speaking to us. A man came in and wanted some blankets, etc. etc. We talked with him and decided to give him a couple of blankets. I ask him to wait in the entry and as I turned to come into the office I had this impression or picture in my mind telling me that he is a man we already helped about a month ago - & I knew exactly what we had given him. I ask Jim if he was the same man we had given to at the gate recently but he didn't remember him so he just outright ask him. Yes, we had, but of course he wanted more. We said , no. It is nice to know that the Lord is watching out for us and helping us!!!! It was a -"wow"- experience!

Must get on with our day. Love to all.
Love, Elder & Sister Bullock

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hello family and friends,

Merci was baptized today and it all went great. She bore a great testimony at the end. The water was rather cool but she was brave! Tomorrow Elder Bullock will confirm her at the Highlands Ward here by the mission office. It was a good day. She is a fantastic lady!
Merci's baptism

Our other family has some issues and so their baptism needs to be postponed. Sis. Kureva was rather disappointed but it is for the best right now. The missionaries talked to them this morning and we will go out and talk in the next day or two.

Tomorrow afternoon we have to a meeting at the Celebration Centre to make some final plans for the meeting there with Elder Holland. After that there is choir practice - and I need all the practice I can get for that on the keyboard. That will about take care of our day.

Our golf/squash friends are back in town for 10 days or so and so we (myself and E/S Deppe) met them this morning and played squash. I told Sis. Deppe she needed to learn how so that we can play together. This morning they had me playing against a guy that they train with - he is #1 in Zimbabwe at playing squash. He was nice to me and let me get a few points but I did get a good workout. Reeve and Lolly have these guys play with them so that they get a really good workout - and then they helped teach the Deppes. I thought I did pretty good, considering I haven't played for a few months. It was fun and really good exercise -- I will likely have some stiff muscles tomorrow.

Hope everyone is doing okay.
Love, E/S Bullock

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


A family - all helping out

Ladies carrying grass for thatching

Elder Bullock and Malaika (Merci's daughter). She had her 4th birthday yesterday.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday, August 11th

Good day,

We have had a busy morning. We went out and met our Bishop from the Apostolic Church - well actually he says he is a prophet and got his call from Peter in a dream. Elder Bullock talked to him for about an hour and you could see his eyes light up as he understood what the Book of Mormon is. He taught him about authority and our living prophet on Earth today - I think it did give him something to think about. He says he wants his people to have the true church and he does want to talk more and learn. We told him we would have the missionaries call him and set up a time to meet him and that we will come along as well. He will continue to read the B of M and it will make more sense now that he understands more about what it is and where it came from.

Pastor Seka (no longer Pastor) was in again and wants to talk some more. He has to head home but will be back again in a couple of weeks and will come for Elder Holland's fireside on the 28th. He really is hungry to learn more but understands that it takes time and that we always are learning. What a great experience to be able to teach him and see the light in his eyes.

We walked this morning with E/S Deppe. They are eager to walk each morning and that helps us - she is a good inspiration to me. She just lost a bunch of weight with Weight Watchers so we have something in common and we can work on it together.

We are having a good day and must get on with it.

On the way home from Kadoma on Sunday we passed a field burning - seemed a bit out of control but no one seemed to concerned. We could feel the heat as we drove by this fire.


We had a nice visit this afternoon with this family.
Li, Cathy and Ali with Elder Bullock

He works here in Zimbabwe at the Chinese Embassy and his wife is here to visit him for 4 weeks, with their child. She teaches English in Beijing with a couple that we met at the MTC and they were hoping that we would be able to meet the family here and have a chance to talk to them about some eternal things. We were able to do that and gave them each a book and some pamphlets. They are a really nice family. We
will keep in touch with him while he is here.

We have had a full day. It is a holiday here (yesterday and today) so shops are closed and the internet is working much faster than normal as no one is working - except us.

We will head home and stop to see Merci on our way.

Love to all, The Bullocks
Love, E/S Bullock

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hi, We had Zone conference this a.m. and it was really good, as usual. They fed us a great lunch - we won't need to make supper. We will just have a home evening snack.

This afternoon Pastor Seka came to see us as he is in town. He has resigned being a Pastor and had to move out of the house that they lived in and moved to an apartment. As they were moving, taking the bigger stuff to the apt., he hired someone to watch the other stuff but they fell asleep and someone stole a lot of it, including all his money ($500). We gave him a few clothes and some blankets to take home. He is really wanting a job in Harare so he can move here and be part of the church and get taught and baptized. What an amazing guy to do what he is doing. He has no job, no nothing. Things will work out for him though. When he gets here and gets baptized he is a man who will make a great bishop or branch president.

Must run. Will write more tomorrow and send some pictures.

Love, The Bullocks

Saturday, August 8, 2009



We went to the rurals this a.m. and distributed some clothes and blankets to some elderly people. It went really well as the Pastor had things well organized. We helped about 100 people. As each group came in and received their clothes they sang a thank you song to us before they left. It is kind of fun. They were very grateful.

Last night we went to Merci's restaurant for supper and she had some special African musicians there. The food was really good and so was the entertainment. Merci is working hard to get her business going. I think she is well on her way. Taylors, Deppes and ourselves went as well as the 2 security men that were here from SLC to check things out before Elder Holland's visit. They all enjoyed the evening.
Elder & Sister Deppe - the new office couple

African music band at Merci's Restaurant

At Merci's Restaurant

She has a great singing voice

African instrument - sorry, can't remember the name. This girl could play it really well.

Merci had her baptismal interview today and she did great. The Zone leaders told us afterwards that she was the most prepared person he has interviewed for baptism and that we had done a great job teaching her. That made us feel good but it wasn't us - Merci just learned things so easily and well. Her grandfather was in a polygamy situation so she has to be interviewed by the mission president and get approved still but it won't be a problem.

Carol and Ellson - friends we meet on our morning walks

I guess we need to head home so I will cut this off.

Love, E/S Bullock

Friday, August 7, 2009



We had an interesting day. We sorted clothes this morning that we are going to take to the rurals tomorrow. Deppes will go with us - it will be an 'experience' for them! We were here early waiting for a fellow who was suppose to come and do some work in the garden so he could earn some money that he needed badly. (He had come in yesterday and we agreed to this). He didn't arrive until noon as he walked here (from miles away) as he had no money for transport. His wife is almost 8 months pregnant with very high blood pressure. They won't treat her at the clinic until they pay $50. Once they pay the money they will take care of her, deliver her baby etc. and give her a 6 week checkup. She supposedly has fainted a couple of times in the past couple of days.

When he got here to go to work and we talked to him we felt concerned for his wife and told him we would take him home and wanted to see his place and go to the clinic with them. They live in an area that isn't very nice (worse than Epworth, I think). We got the wife and 3 yr. old child and went to the clinic. They deliver the babies right there. We paid the $50 for her so she could get care --- with the husband, Emanuel's promise that he would come and work it off. He is
a good guy and he has done a little work here at the garden in the past so we feel like it will be okay.

Emanuel saw some cardboard boxes that we have here and ask if we needed them. He said that he hasn't been able to pay his $30/month rent and his landlord has ask him to move out but said he could erect something in the yard to live in and pay $10/month. He wants to put up some poles and use cardboard for walls. I wanted to just cry for the little family. The landlord has someone else that wants the room who has money. Anyway, we paid the $30 and he will work it off. We feel okay about it so I think it was the right thing to do. I lay in bed last night and thought that he can clean up the weeds, etc. around the edges of the garden area and in the trees so that it will look nice when Elder Holland visits. I also gave him $5.00 of our own money and told him to use it for transport. His reply was that he would spend $1 for transport
tomorrow to come and start doing the job, $1 for some cooking oil (they have some maize and vegetables but no oil) and $1 for some firewood to cook on.

I thought I was getting used to seeing things here and not be too effected but today I shed a few tears after we left this family. So sad and yet there are thousands in the same circumstances.

This afternoon we met with a couple of people from "Prisoner Fellowship of Zimbabwe". They will make arrangements for us to visit a couple of prisons in September and invited us to their Children's Day on Oct. 31st (children of prisoners). There are 17000 prisoners in 64 prisons and 29 satellite prisons in the country. A lot are there because they have no money to pay bribes or to pay a lawyer and they don't even understand enough to help themselves. There are some children there because mothers are pregnant when they go in or have small children and no one to care for them at home. Earlier in the year a lot died due to lack of food but the Red Cross got involved and things have improved. Anyway - I guess we will get a first hand look.
I don't know what we can do but perhaps we can look at doing an initiate that might help a little.

The 2 security fellows are here from SLC checking things out. They wanted to see our flats today as there is concern about safety in Africa after Elder Nelson's experience. Apparently they have had to pull missionaries out of Nigeria and close the Temple there about a month ago because of a lot of kidnappings. They seemed to think our flats were pretty much okay and made a couple of suggestions - one that we should perhaps lock our bedroom doors at night. There is a bathroom in the bedrooms so that wouldn't be a problem.

Tonight we are going to Merci's restaurant with Deppes and Taylors and we also invited the security men to come along. Merci is having a 3 course meal and some music entertainment on an African instrument. We think it will be interesting and hopefully the food will be good. The
meal is $10 each and $2 for entertainment - sounds like a pretty good deal!

Yesterday we went with Wellington to the Celebration Centre, where Elder Holland will be speaking when he come to Harare on the 28th. They have a 'lovely' keyboard hooked into the sound system that I will use for the music for the choir and congregation. I must admit I am
rather nervous but will continue to practice and just pretend that I am playing for church in Airdrie and not for over 3000. Can you believe this? I wish my talented son-in-law, Andrew was here to do it!!!!! I was hoping Sis. Deppe would be a better pianist than me and could do it but..... I guess I will just pray a lot and, of course, practice, practice, practice.

Love to all.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Hello everyone,

The new office couple, the Deppe's, arrived yesterday afternoon. They are from the Ogden, UT area. This is their 2nd mission - the first was Canada Toronto West procilyting mission. They are really nice and I know we are going to be good friends and neighbors. We are having supper tonight with the Taylors and Deppes at the Taylor's flat (potato bar).

We have been to World Vision this morning and filled out the forms so the Canadian World Vision people can do a police check on us and give the okay for us to visit Florence's child in Bulawayo - probably on August 24th. The World Vision lady from Bulawayo was there this morning and will meet us when we go. We ask if she could let us know what we might bring to help out the family and perhaps a few close neighbors. They said they generally live in groups of 3 or 4 families so that will work out well as we can't help all 600 in the village. We are looking forward to doing that. We will be in Bulawayo that weekend for a service project and also we are hoping to check out a school for disabled persons there (they sent us a request for some help).

In a few minutes we are going to visit the Malawi Embassy ambassador and talk about needs in Malawi and perhaps get some possible partners that we could work with there for wheelchairs, etc. Wellington, our National public relations director for the church is going with us.

We also talked to a girl yesterday in our office that is going to arrange for us to go see some prisons. We told her we have heard bad things and have been afraid to go there. She told us a few things and said it would be fine if we go with someone who is already doing things there to help. She may be coming back today with her boss and we will talk. It sounds like there are a ton of needs there, of course. Maybe we can help a little.

Bishop Chris is still sending pleading text messages but we haven't given in yet. He did tell us once that if he keeps asking eventually he will get what he wants. However, we can't. He's like a little kid that just keeps at you until you give in and that makes us all the more determined to stick to our guns. We think there are more needy people than his right now. One of his messages today was: "I am 53 years of age, 10 years with your LDS Charities. I have worked with 6 elders and you are the 7th. You represent the church and there is no church without people. Judas hanged himself, why? I am ashamed before the people. Shame killed Judas, Elder. He chose than live. I have adjusted. Give my people 2 boxes of newborn kits, and one bale of clothes."

We told him it is time to quit asking. The newborn kits are going to a hospital. It is time to be happy and get on.... O brother! He is driving us crazy. He is a nice guy really. He just can't take 'no' for an answer.

Later... we are back from the Malawi Embassy. It was a good meeting with the Acting Ambassador (that was at our lunch meeting with Pres. Dube last week). She is a very nice lady and will help us all she can to have contact and arrange some projects in Malawi for wheelchairs
and possibly water.

We are on our way home to start supper for the couples.
Love to all, The Bullocks

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Good morning,

We are in the office most of the day today attempting to write us some projects that we have been working on: 2 grinding mills projects and a water project. We are slowly getting some of the information that we need. We may also go over to World Vision today and fill out the
paperwork so that we can go see Florence's child that she supports here in Bulawayo.

Several weeks ago we were driving by a congregation of Apostalic members having their meeting. They meet here, there and everywhere out in the open fields or under a tree. There are a lot of them here. They dress in white robes. Anyway we stopped for a couple of minutes
and the bishop (leader) of the group came over to our vehicle and invited us to join them but we declined. However, we did tell him who we are and gave him a Book of Mormon and our phone number. Last night we got a text message from him that he has read the book and he wants to meet with us and talk about it - we set that up for next Tuesday. Should be interesting.

Elder Bullock gave a B of M to a fellow he met at the vegetable store (FAVCO) last weekend and just called him. His cousin took the book because he was interested and so we told the fellow we would bring him another one today. We can buy some more apples while we are there - the
ones we bought on the weekend were excellent.

I planted some lettuce (romaine and head) here in the garden by the church and it has turned out quite lovely, except only 1 head of the iceberg grew. I will plant some more since it did so well. The radishes did not turn out good at all nor the zuchini - for some reason it doesn't do well here. The carrots and onions are good. Huseni gave us a bunch of spinach from his garden yesterday and it was really nice too. They do have to use a lot of pesticides and fertilizer here so there is really no such thing as organic. They burn the fields instead of plowing it in (some say it helps to kill the pests). The burning starts pretty seriously in August - we have seen a lot more of it in the past few days and we hear it gets worse. Not great for the air quality!!

Yesterday when we were in the rurals (Goromonzi) with Pastor Wonder looking at their water needs (and there are many) we stopped to see Jean Mitchell at her farm. We met her once before. They are doing well - have had a golfing vacation in South Africa. Her brother with downs syndrome passed away while they were gone (he was 61 yrs. old). These people have had their farm taken from them (about 2000 acres) and are left with just the homestead. They had a beautiful dairy farm and were forced to sell the cattle. They just hope and pray that they won't kick them off their homestead too that has been in the family for years and years. Very sad! She is a nice lady and seemed glad for our visit.

I better get to work. I will send a few pictures.

Panashe Kureva and Elder Bullock
Panashe is getting baptized with his mom and dad on Aug. 15th if all goes as planned.

Our two friends with great smiles that we meet on our morning walks.

Young Women's class at Marondera Branch.
They have their class outside due to lack of space.

Love, President & Sister Bullock

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hi to our family and friends,

We are about to wind up our P-day. We went grocery shopping and bought a few things - oranges, apples, cabbage, potatoes, butternut squash, yogurt, cheese and eggs.

We came to the office to meet a girl who we had given a wheelchair and it needs a new front wheel (we think she must have banged into something and bent it). We couldn't find a ratchet anywhere to fix it so we took her to her friend's house not far away, only to find out that the friend had passed away this morning. (We had met the lady before too as she works for the minister of health - apparently she had a stroke. - Too bad she was a lady that did a lot of good here in Zimbabwe). That, of course, was upsetting to her. We then took her to her uncle's place and left the replacement parts with them and hopefully he can fix it. We were late for an appointment so couldn't hang around. She will call and let us know.

We then went to meet Linda. She has a sister in Canada that works with Darwin Hawryluk (Kimberley's father-in-law). She is a really nice lady. We talked about our mission and what we do and a bit about the church but she didn't seem interested in learning more. They go to the Salvation Army church. She has two young daughters. Her husband was not there as he was working. We will have to try and meet him sometime.

This past Wednesday we went to a lunch where Pres. Dube was introduced as the new mission president to Gov't ministers and some ambassadors of other countries. Everyone felt like it went really well. One minister gave the closing remarks (at his request) and said he didn't
realize the church was even here and did not know about all that we do here. He offered his assistance if we ever need anything. That was a really good thing!! Someone was there to take pictures of the event so who knows, it could end up in the church news.

Yesterday we taught Merci another discussion and she is excited still for her baptism date and we are excited too. Our other family from Epworth, the Kureva family, are doing well and are postponing their baptism 1 week so that they can all be baptized together. It will be on the 15th of August, the same day as Merci. Won't that be a great day for us - 4 baptisms. We went to visit the Kurevas on Thursday afternoon and the son, Panashe, ask Elder Bullock if he would help him with his testimony. Elder Bullock ask him what he knows and Panashe bore his testimony just fine on his own. He's a smart young man - seems older than his 11 years sometimes. We asked him what the missionaries had been teaching him and he said chastity". We asked him what that meant and he held up his hand and counted off 4 things: 1) no kissing 2) no sex before marriage 3) no pornography, 4) don't go naked (dress modestly). :)

We have a new office couple coming this week to replace the Taylors. We will help Taylors get a flat ready for them with a bit of food and a fresh bed etc. They are the Deppe's. Sister Deppe doesn't know this yet but she and I have been asked to prepare supper for Elder Jeffrey R. Holland the night he stays in Harare, after an afternoon fireside that he will do here. The supper will be at the mission home. I have also been ask to play the keyboard (organ - hooked up to the sound system) for the fireside and for the choir. YIKES! I guess I will practice all month and then pray a lot!!! Elder Taylor played for the choir at their stake conference last month but he won't be here so I guess I am next up.

Elder Holland will do a fireside here on the 28th and then got to Mutare early on they 29th and do some District training there on Saturday and then conference on Sunday. We will be going there with him (probably not in the same vehicle). Sis. Taylor is working with the District president's wife, Sis. Chadambuka, to find a place for everyone to have supper in Mutare -- there are not a lot of options to choose from and no place to really be able to fix a meal ourselves. The missionaries will likely to invited to eat with us as well. (We will meet Elaine Edmonds nephew on that trip as he is serving there.)

Mutare District is one of our new assignments as Elder Bullock is now a counselor in the mission presidency. We will be going there fairly regularly (probably once a month at least) and attending meetings and doing training. We will also be assigned Masvingo branch. The
branch president was just released there last week (after 14 years) and the new one is feeling rather overwelmed and some new callings have been and are being made so they will need help with training. It will be a stretch for us as well - we will spend lots of time reading the handbooks!!

President Dube is out of town right now so Elder Bullock had his first situation to deal with yesterday with a missionary that wanted to go home. He has already been sent home from one mission but Pres. Dube felt like he is a good young man and decided to keep him here to
finish his mission. (his home is only an hour away). The AP's had talked with him and he was walking out to go home when Elder Bullock went after him and sat on the grass outside and talked for a while. He came back in, hugged his companion, and they left together much happier. Today we haven't heard anything so we are assuming that 'no news is good news'.

Tomorrow we are off to Marondera for church and Elder Bullock has to do the branch audit. Next week he will do the one in Kadoma too. Hopefully they go smoothly because I am suppose to be at the choir practice at 3:30 p.m. with my keyboard.

We are hoping some of the white shirts that have been sent to us arrive soon as we really would like to give one to Panashe and his dad when they gets baptized on the 15th. We will cross our fingers or try and search for some in the clothes we received in the container. I know there is one there that will fit the dad but nothing for Panashe and he would be so pleased to have one. I think there are some ties in Pres. Nield's container.

That's about it for our week. Hope all is well back in America with our loved ones!