March 28, 2010 Sunday
We have a new grandson, Daniel, thanks to Kimberley and Andrew. We are glad all went well. That is #3 since we have been gone. We are happy to hear that it was a wonderful day at the temple when Curtis went through for the first time and was able to be supported by three of his brothers, sitting there together. We are sorry to miss all these good things but it does make us very grateful that our family is being blessed as we serve here in Zimbabwe. We understand that a new couple has been called to replace us. Elder and Sister Bean who will arrive here about July 31st. They are from Washington and previously served a humanitarian mission in Uganda (I think) so they will know a lot of the basics. Our release date is somewhere around August 14th.
This week we were busy “watching” as Bruce and his crew repaired the 4 bushpumps in the rural areas near Chegutu (Danangwe Schools). It was interesting to watch as they pulled out all the pipes and then put them back. While doing this he was training local men how to do it so that they can maintain their own wells. On the final well they stood back and let the trainees do all the work. We did buy tools for the projects that they will keep and share. They didn’t have any previously and so could not very well do the necessary maintenance. We really stressed the importance of keeping the tools safe and signing them out only for borehole use. They will be kept at the school (locked up) by the head master. The tools and equipment they needed cost about $750. Two of the pumps needed some cement work done and so they cannot use the pump for 3 weeks while it sets up around the shaft. They took the handles off so that no one would be tempted. The other two wells are fine now and the people applauded and were excited to have water closer to their homes. It is so great to be able to do this for them.
We also went back to the clinic this week while ZESA put in the 175 amp MCB that we bought for them. We couldn’t test the electricity though because two fixtures (globe holders) in the clinic were missing and they had no globes for the ones that were there as they have had no electricity for more than 2 years. There are some problems at the nurses residence too so we are having them get a list of items and an estimate of what it will cost to get things back in working condition. We can’t turn on the power with wires hanging loose! I guess we should have thought to check that before hand. We are learning as we go.
This week Bruce will go to the clinics and get the boreholes functional again. Gradually we are getting the projects done. It will be exciting to see the water running into the clinics.
This week we will go to Muzarabani again, now that it has stopped raining, and tour some of the possible borehole sites there. We will stay overnight but are a bit nervous about the accommodation! It should be interesting. We will take our own quilts and pillows, just in case. We found out this week that we get a STS (short term specialist) to help develop water projects around the end of April (at least we hope it isn’t before then). We were planning on May but...
We saw our two school teachers from Danangwe and they expressed again how they had enjoyed church, however, the branch missionaries cancelled their appointment with them for last Saturday and said they would see them on Sunday. The teachers thought they meant that they would come to their home on Sunday morning and so they didn’t go to church, like they had wanted to. Too bad for the misunderstanding. I’m sure they went yesterday – we will follow up. Another teacher commented to me that these two teachers had enjoyed their visit and I told him that he was welcome to go as well. Perhaps this will lead to a branch in Chegutu one day as there are already 10 or so members there that find it difficult to get to Kadoma. The head master would sure make a good Branch president.
Bigboy and his family were planning to go to church again in Bindura yesterday. He emailed us and thanked us for taking them and said it was the first time he had been to a church for a long time and that they had really enjoyed it. We will try and go teach the family again on Saturday.
We decided we had better make a list of all our investigators so that we don’t lose track of anyone. We have 20+ people on our list. We have lots to do before August. We really don’t do any proselyting as humanitarian missionaries but.... we do have contact with a lot of people and we use the opportunity to teach wherever we can. Sometimes we wish we had more time that we could teach and work with our investigators. We seem to get such great contacts.
Dzikamai’s 18 year old cousin, Wayne, was all smiles when we dropped by Friday, and told us that he had been visiting someone in Kadoma last weekend and decided he would go to church. We had taught him some of the first discussion one day. We suggested that we could bring the elders by to meet him and that they could teach him. He was agreeable. We will take Elder Nixon and his companion over as they have just been assigned to Highlands ward. Elder Nixon is a nice young man who is new here. He is good friends with my cousin, Karen Knorr’s family in Utah.
Monday: We just arrived home from our weekend in Masvingo. We ended up staying over Sunday night because it was too late to travel back after President Bullock finished with the Branch business there. He was able to get a couple of things done that have needed to be done – not necessarily pleasant things! (His role switches from Elder to President and back again, depending on what we are doing).
I want to get this sent off quickly as I have a list of things to do before tomorrow morning when we head to Muzarabani (like buy extra containers of diesel for our truck since we can’t get it there and also make sure we have food to take with us because there is no suitable place to buy any there either). The Assistants just informed me that they need a report with pictures of the things LDSC did in 2009 and they need it today!! I also need to reconcile by March finances for LDSC. I better get to work.
Love to all, Elder and Sister Bullock
p.s. I am having trouble with getting pictures off my new camera and also figuring out how to email them since it seems to need a different system – when I have time I will get it figured out – better yet, I will get Reeve, CC or Lolly’s help with it as soon as I can get together with them. There will be a bunch when that happens – I have some good ones!