We are home at our flat and there has been no electricity here for more than 24 hours. We are hoping it comes on soon so we don’t lose any food in the fridge. We did turn on our generator for about 1 ½ hrs. this evening to cook supper and let the fridge cool off some. We do keep jugs of ice all the time and put them into the fridge when the power goes off. We went to Masvingo yesterday morning and just got back about 5 p.m. today. We had a nice time there today at their meetings. The branch president has shuffled people around in the branch and there are new Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary presidencies. My friend Elizabeth is the new R. S. President and will do a great job. Change is good!!
Saturday about 5 p.m. we decided to go for a drive up passed the Inn where we stay. There is a dam up there not far that we can see from the Inn. It is quite the sight but I left the camera behind and got no pictures. We drove over the dam and a fair ways up the road on the other side. It is beautiful up there. When we left Harare yesterday morning we put in several hygiene kits, T-shirts, a few stuffed animals and 1 soccer ball (a really nice soccer ball that Reeve Nield gave us to give away). As we drove along we stopped and gave Tshirts to some kids that looked like they could really use one. Some kids were scared of us and would just run away – too bad. We gave hygiene kits to the moms we saw working in their fields/gardens or walking along the road. They are all so appreciative. BUT the best give-away was the soccer ball!! We saw two boys about 12 yrs. old walking along the road and I asked Elder Bullock to stop and go back. We asked if they were brothers and they said they were so we handed them the soccer ball. Well, my goodness!! – you should have seen them!!! I have never seen anybody so excited. It was so fun! It made tears come to my eyes to see their joy and excitement. As we drove away they took off as fast as they could towards their home with their ball.
This past Tuesday the new school term started here for the kids. They go for about 3 months and then have one month off (3 terms per year). Zimbabwe really had a good school system in the past but with all the troubles here schools have suffered. A lot of kids don’t go to school because they can’t afford the fees. While we were driving yesterday there were 3 or 4 kids that came to the truck window asking for school fees because they really want to go to school badly. Anyway – Tuesday morning as we were driving down the road from the office to an appointment we saw Panashe (our 11 year old boy who was recently baptized). We pulled over and ask what he was doing and he said he was coming to see us. I ask why he was not at school and he said he couldn’t go because he didn’t have the school fees ($30). Big tears started running down his cheeks even though he was trying really hard not to cry. His mom had told us that his uncle was going to pay his fees but Panashe said that he wouldn’t but that he did agree to pay for his school uniform. Panashe had left home before day break and had walked to our office which had taken him about 5 hours (it takes us a good half hour to drive to his home). We had him stay and work in the garden by the office until we got back from our appointment and then we brought him some food and took him home. We paid the $30 school fees for him (my friend Ruth had ask before Christmas if she could send money to help someone). We explained to him where the money had come from. He was one happy boy!! He knows how important it is to stay in school and wants it so badly.
Wednesday we had Zone conference and we had Elder and Sister Renlund from the area presidency here. They are going on the zone tour with Pres. and Sister Dube as they tour the mission (as they do every six weeks). We had a great conference and supper with all the missionaries.14 Jan 2010 - Girl bringing maize to the new grinding mill at Kadyamadare School
Then on Thursday night Pres. Dube took we three couples out to supper with the Renlunds. We had a really nice visit. Elder Renlund has had a lot to do with the young people (YSA) in the church and has done of thinking and research in that area. He said it seems like as these young people are dating and looking for a spouse that generally they know fairly quickly when they meet the ‘right’ one and so it is important to have activities and regional get-togethers so that they can mingle and meet. He talked about keeping them active and getting them back into activity. He referred to Moroni chapter 6 where it talks about how we need to 1) number them, 2) name them 3) know them, and 4) gather them. We need to realize that “It is NOT all about me” and teach that to our young people. We don’t go to church and to activities just for ourselves, but we should go to fellowship and help others. If we can teach this and assign these young people to go and friendship someone it will help those who are shy or reserved to reach out to others and have a purpose. It brings them out of their shells and suddenly we start seeing results.
On Friday we met with the sister missionaries as they gave a discussion to the Dzikamai. He has a baptismal date for Jan. 29th. He is feeling a little unsure as he thinks he needs to know ‘everything’ before he is baptized but we explained that baptism is just a start and there is a lifetime of learning ahead. He is doing well and we can see him feeling more positive about life. He has been kind of depressed, knowing that he blew the chance of a lifetime when he didn’t finish school at MIT in Boston. He had a breakdown while there and had to come back. He lost both his parents when he was 17 and still grieves over that loss. He’s had a hard time. He is 25 yrs. old. I told him that he is still young and shouldn’t give up on his dreams. When he came to church two Sundays ago he showed up clean shaven and looking really sharp so we could tell he is feeling better about life. I don’t know if there is any way he could go back to school or how he managed to get to MIT in the first place or who sponsored and paid for him to go. He must be a pretty smart guy to have been given the opportunity.
Monday morning: Still no electricity at the flat!! We ran the generator again for a while this a.m. It usually isn’t off this long so hopefully it will come back on today. It did rain a little on the weekend in some places. The country is in desperate need of a lot of rain. Usually they get a lot in December and January but have not received much this year and there is a lot of concern. They need it for the wilting maize and to fill up the wells. One community member in Goromonzi said that the government should call for a day of prayer. We suggested that they could do that in their own community and fast at the same time and perhaps the Lord would send rain to their area.
I better get this sent off as I haven’t written for a week or so. Love to all. Elder and Sister Bullock