We finished the day of District training on Saturday with the new Blantyre District. We had a good turnout of at least 110. It started at 9:00 a.m. and went until 4:00 p.m., with an hour break for lunch. I did the lunch which consisted of a bun with either polony (like bologna) or egg salad, a choice of an orange or a banana and a drink of SOBO (concentrated punch that we mix 1:4 with water). I wanted to see what kind of sandwich and which fruit was the favorite. Well, it wasn't hard to tell because the polony buns went quick and also the bananas - the others had no choice. So next time I will know to just do those two things, which by the way, are the least expensive. We bought about 15 bananas for 150 Kwacha ($1.00) from the street vendor and the polony was cheaper than doing eggs. At least now I know!!
I thought my part of the training went well. Thanks Debbie for sending me the info you did -- I used some of the role plays for visiting teaching and they liked that and we were able to discuss. The training was on "Councils" and I think they learned a lot. They are eager to learn the right way to do things.
Pres. Dube had a few of the leadership bear their testimonies at the end. There was one man who said that he used to be a 'cadet' (I think that is the word he used) and he was taught to kill and shed blood but now he is a member of the church and has learned to love and serve. His life is MUCH different now. He is so grateful for the life he has now and to be a member of the true church. It made me teary!
Sunday we went to the Liwonde Group for church. It is about 21/2 hrs. away. We hadn't been there for church yet so it was interesting. They meet in the Group Leader's home and there were 60 people there and we were in their pretty tight and it was hot. Bro. Chisambo wanted to cancel the assigned speakers and have us speak but we told him we hadn't prepared and that we really wanted to observe how they were doing things. We did bear our testimonies. We told him we would come prepared to speak next time. They do need some pretty basic gospel teaching there. They are teaching the New Testament lessons for Sunday School but we talked to Pres. Dube and we will have them change to 'Gospel Principles' which they normally use in an Investigator class and that is the level that most of them are at there. It will be much better for them. Each week they get more people coming. They have 5 or 6 that need to finish the missionary lessons and want to be baptized and there were 6 - 8 new faces yesterday. There are no missionaries out there in that town. We plan to focus more on that Group and give them the help that they need and we will teach some discussions there.
After the meeting we went with Bro. Chisambo to look at a school where we did arrange to rent a couple of rooms for them to start meeting in. It will be much better for them. We are to meet the fellow tomorrow morning here in Blantyre and sign a 6 month lease and pay for it. (11,000 MK/month - about $75). We will have to arrange to buy and take some chairs out to them before they meet there in two weeks. Almost every branch keeps asking us for supplies like more hymn books, etc. etc. so we are working on an order from Distribution.
After we left Bro. Chisambo's place we went to check out the "Hippo lodge" in Liwonde to see if we would want to stay there sometime. We were surprised to find that it is not too bad and the prices are reasonable. We will go to Liwonde next time on a Saturday and help with the institute class, do some training, and teach some discussions, stay overnight and attend their church meetings on Sunday. It is a 2 hr. drive there so staying overnight will give us more time. We suggested to Pres. Dube that we would do that and he is all for it. The mission pays for the overnight stay. While at the Lodge we met the receptionist and gave her a couple of church pamphlets and she seemed like she wants to hear more. We will follow up with her. She was a pretty sharp girl who knows 'good' English and we sure need that there. English is a problem. We did take down some "Ye Shall Have My Word" books - for teaching English and hopefully they will start teaching some English classes. If not, we will get them going when we go there next.
This next weekend, Elder & Sister Howell, serving in South Africa, as financial/audit trainers will be here for the weekend doing some training in the Blantyre branches so we will be with them. The weekend after we need to go to Lilongwe, as we have not been there for a few weeks and we have things we need to do there. That is where we are praying that we can PLEASE get another couple to come and serve!
Today we took allotments around to the Sisters and Elders and checked their flats for cleanliness - (only one had cockroaches under the fridge today). The Zone leaders are in Lilongwe for a couple of days so after the misionaries finished their grocery shopping we picked them up and gave them a ride to their homes, otherwise they take public transport (minibuses packed to the brim). They appreciated that. I have been doing some computer work -- O Yes -- we took the computer and printer to the IT shop up the street, and within a couple of hours they had it all set up properly again and we are back in business. He didn't even charge us anything. Nice!! His name is Rafik.
Anyway - I got a chart/spreadsheet of sorts made up that I can keep track of missionary Visas and TEP applications so that I keep on top of it. I am learning a little more about computers - slowly!!
It is kind of hot out today - warmer here than in Zimbabwe. There is a fountain/water fall cement pond in our yard and the owner had a couple of guys here today and they painted the inside of it blue and apparently she is going to put in a pump and get it working. Nice! We will like that.
Pres. & Sister Dube were in town all weekend for the District training and we were able to spend a couple of hours with him when we got back from Liwonde discussing issues and getting some advice. In another month he won't be our mission president any more. We will have Pres. Padovich from California.
I can't think of too much else to write about so will go relax for a couple of hours. We were up early as Dubes' had to be at the airport by 7 a.m.
We love to get emails so feel free to write!!
Love, Elder & Sister Bullock