Sorry everyone, I forgot to post this one last week...
Last Saturday, but one (that means 2 Saturdays ago), Feb. 27th, was Panashe’s 12th birthday. We went to see him because we have been saving a basketball for him that Reeve gave us. He was so excited when he opened the box and saw it!! We saw his mom, Zvikomberero, as well. She was excited to tell us that she has a ‘real’ job for a bus company. If we understand correctly, she writes tickets. We were really excited for her too as jobs are not easy to come by here.
Sunday the 28th, we went to the Epworth Branch – it was just made an official branch the week before. Before it was just a ‘meeting’ for 2 hrs. (sacrament meeting and Sunday school). So the week we went was their first time for the 3 hr. block. They have the cutest, young Relief Society president, who is quite nervous. Just before Relief society started she leaned over and ask me if I could teach the lesson. I ask if she had a book but she did not. She wanted me to teach about pray. When I started she suggested that I should tell them what Relief Society is. I didn’t clue in at first that most of them, if not all, really had no clue as they are mostly new members. So I explained R.S. and also visiting teaching. As I was explaining it the president was making a list of all the ladies and assigning them a companion and a couple of others to go visit. At the end she got up and read off the assignment and told them they had to visit each other during the week and she would be asking for a report the next Sunday. She was so cute! I took some pictures but that is when my camera decided to quit working.
Jim was at priesthood meeting and he was also ask to teach a lesson. This branch meets in 1 room of a school so when they split off for primary, priesthood, R.S. etc. they took a few chairs and set up under a tree. The spirit was there and that is what counts. In priesthood meeting Jim (Elder Bullock) ordained Panashe a deacon and also Gift (who was baptized a few months ago) to the office of a priest. For some reason that had not been done at the time. He was glad to do that though as we had taught them and been involved with them for quite some time. They are some of our special people here.
This past Saturday we went to Gweru to help with their district training. Pres. Paradazi is a good man and tries so hard to keep his district running smoothly. We are really impressed with him. He is worried that things aren’t as good as they should be but we told him that his concerns are really no different than anywhere else in the church. We taught about being worthy and preparing to go to the temple. I think it all went really well. I spoke first and then Jim. We ended by showing a 10 min. DVD clip called “Between Heaven and Earth”. At the end of that you could have heard a pin drop and the spirit was really strong. They all would like a copy for their branches so we said we would try and do that for them. Afterwards one sister told me that she has a date set to go to the temple and she is just praying that nothing will happen to her before she can go do that. She does not want to die without those temple ordinances. These people want to get there so badly and they are really working hard to make it happen.
We stayed overnight in Gweru at really quite a nice new lodge. They told us that there were two places to eat supper, one Western food and one Chinese food. We opted for the Chinese and walked over to where we thought it was. When we got there and ask we found we were in the wrong place. A fellow said he was the “food and beverage’ man and was headed that way and would give us a ride. We squeezed into his truck and it was further than we had thought and wished we had driven our vehicle over but figured we could walk back okay with our flashlight. After eating (it was an ok meal) we were walking away and the fellow came running to catch up and said he was giving us a ride back to our room. He had borrowed a different truck so we would be more comfortable. We were glad for the ride as I was a little nervous to walk back in the dark and it would have taken us 10 minutes or more. We tipped him a dollar!
Sunday we left and headed to KweKwe for church as it is on our way home. We left after Sacrament meeting and drove for about an hour when suddenly I realized we had left our computer at the lodge in Gweru. YIKES! We called the missionaries there and ask them to go see if they had it and it was there safe and sound!! Whew!!!!! We decided we had to turn around and go back and get it so our 3 ½ hr. trip home ended up being about 6 ½ hr. instead .
Today was Zone conference and we had Elder and Sister Merrill, the mission doctor here. They gave some excellent counsel and we will all get a handout of it soon. They are from California but originally he is from Alberta – in fact his ancestors are from Mountain View and Hillspring. He is related through the Wests somehow and says that we are related – I didn’t really understand how but he did refer to “Uncle Billie”Payne!!! The Merrills are in their 70’s and this is their 5th mission (medical). They spent 3 in Western Africa, one in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands and now here. They have sold their house and have only a few boxes of possessions. She said by the time they cannot serve missions they will be ready for a senior’s home or to be living with one of their kids. They said that there was 2 months between the last missions. I thought you had to wait 6 months between but apparently that has been changed now.
Mayfields have arrived for Home evening so........ we will give them a small version of our temple presentation.
Tuesday morning: We played squash this morning and got a good workout even if I never win a game playing against Ishmael and Melvin. I am lucky to even get a few points. We got home and had no power, but that is normal for Tuesday. We used the generator and had our shower. We have a couple of meetings today – one at a clinic and one with ZESA (electrical company).