We went to Liwonde for the weekend (2 hours away). That is where there is a 'group' that was started in February after a Branch nearby at Stima Village was shut down several years ago. We went to meet some of the people who are investigating the church and want to learn more. There are no missionaries out there although the Zone Leaders go out now and then. The Zone Leaders went on Saturday as well and we split up and they taught 3 lessons and we taught 2. We also visited a couple of other people and arranged to teach them next time we are there. There are some excellent investigators that will be an asset to the church there. We had 58 at church today including the investigators. Elder Bullock and myself gave talks today along with a 9 year old girl who did a really good job. She talked about agency, I talked about honesty and Elder Bullock talked about tithing.
During the Sunday School lesson a couple of the people we taught yesterday made some really good comments. So many of the members there are just so young in the gospel that we are really pushing teaching very basic principles. We felt like today went well. The only thing is - if we could just get African people to come on time but when a lot of them don't have watches and rely on the sun I guess we can't be too picky about it. The problem is that too many of them miss taking the Sacrament.
We have 5, eight year olds, that need to be baptized and we have at least 5 investigators (likely more) that will be ready hopefully by July 16th. Pres. Dube said to have the investigators come into Blantyre (the church would pay transport) to be baptized but when we discovered that we also have the 5 children and of course their parents etc. that is a lot of transport money. So today we went to the Hippo Lodge and checked out their swimming pool and ask if they would allow us to have a baptismal service there. After explaining it all they agreed that it would be okay if we do it in the morning (8 or 9) on a Saturday. The pool is really quite private (mostly surrounded by bushes) and they said that a guard could be posted to keep people away. It isn't that we don't want people around but we don't want anyone causing any kind of a disturbance. We don't know yet what it might cost to rent the pool area and it was suggested that it might even be free. We will find out later. We have sent an email to Pres. Dube with our suggestion, hoping that we can try it and see how it works out.
We stayed Saturday night in Liwonde at "Hippo Lodge". We didn't think there would be a place for us to stay in Liwonde but it is pretty good. It is on The Shire River (3rd largest river in Africa). There are crocodiles and hippos in the river and also lots of fish called Chambo. We had some Chambo for supper last night and it is a nice mild tasting fish. It was interesting because we saw them out in small boats casting nets into the river and pulling the fish up the the nets. There were some fishing onshore and we thought they were brave as there are crocodiles around and apparently some people go fishing and never return!!! There must be a lot of fish because the kids we were watching fish just dangled their hooks (with a minnow on it) straight down from where they were standing near shore. Actually they were standing in a hollowed-out log canoe. I took a picture and will post it. There were also some ladies finishing some laundry and some kids nearby. Jim called them over and let them look across the river with his binoculars. They thought that was pretty amazing (even though they don't speak English we could tell they thought it was amazing). :)
I got a few bites on my bare legs while we were eating on the patio last night. I have discovered that rubbing some deodorant on the bites make them stop itching. It is great. If I don't scratch them they go away much faster. FYI I use Secret but I think any kind would work. I read it on the internet and have been doing that this mission. Mosquitoes, etc. are not really too bad right now but about Sept./Oct they will be a lot worse. We do faithfully take our Doxy (malaria pill) each and every day with no side effects. I hope we don't get malaria ever as it is pretty nasty.
We sleep with a mosquito net for extra protection too and we need to remember to use bug repellent when we know we are going to be out.
Happy Father's Day to all the men in our lives! We just realized it was Father's Day on our way home -- there is no mention of such things here.
Love to all, E/S Bullock/dad & mom