Wow! We have been here almost 4 months. Some days it seems like it has flown by and other days it seems like we have been here forever!! :)
We had a good day. We attended Sacrament meeting at the Ndirande Branch and all the chairs were full. In fact that is one branch where the members seem to get there in time for the most part. As I sat there and we were singing "I Believe In Christ", I had the thoughts (and got teary) of how the church is the same everywhere, whether we are singing with a big organ or accapello, whether we are meeting in a beautiful chapel in Airdrie or on plastic chairs in an old house used as a chapel. It is the same whether the faces are black or white, rich or poor. These people are the pioneers of Malawi where the church has only really been here for a few years and they are doing so well. I felt so proud of them today for the sacrifices that they make and their desires to share the gospel with others. They truly have strong testimonies that come right from their hearts.
We left after Sacrament Meeting and went to the Blantyre Chapel where I attended Relief Society with blantyre 2nd branch. The teacher did a good job. Then we attended Sunday School and Relief Society again at the Blantyre 1st Branch. They are always happy to have us come to their Branches and wonder why we aren't there every week. We have to explain that we have 6 Branches and 2 groups that we try to visit and some need more help than others. We just need to clone ourselves OR get another couple to come and serve here. Any takers??? Just let us know!!
Wednesday we fly to Lusaka, Zambia for some financial training etc. At least two people are coming up from the Area office and will do some training for our mission (us, Taggarts in Lusaka and President and Sis. Padovich). We will fly back here on Sunday.
Tomorrow we are getting up early and picking up the 4 Sister missionaries and meeting up with the 8 Elders so they can have a Zone activity on their P-Day. They are hiking up to the top of a mountain here in Blantyre where there is a big Catholic Cross. There is a steep pathway up to it and it takes about 45 minutes or more to get to the top. There is a beautiful view up there. They will start hiking about 7 a.m. There is a rough road going up also and we will drive up and meet them at the top. After the hike they are playing some sports at the church parking lot and they have Christopher Sitolo, a returned missionary, preparing a braai (bbq) for them for lunch.
Getting diesel or petrol is still a huge problem here. We will need some this week so will be on the look-out for any queue that is forming and may have to join in and wait our turn. It seems like diesel comes one week and then petrol the next. There were huge queues this week for petrol. It really is beginning to hinder us somewhat because we hesitate to travel to Liwonde or Lilongwe when we don't know when we can fill up again. We have extra jerry cans full but the gov't has made a rule now that no one can fill jerry cans (too many selling it on the black market). If we use our jerry cans we can't refill them so we really need to save them for emergency only. We thought we could syphon from our truck in to the jerry cans and then try and fill up the truck but our tank on the truck has a screen in there (for our protection).
The demonstrations have stopped and things seem to be back to normal. We will just hope it stays that way. There could be a repeat August 17th I suppose as they have given the President until then to come up with some solutions to the issues. If he doesn't do it who knows what will be next.
Time to head to bed since we have an early morning. And I just remembered we need to count out the money for their Allotments for the next two weeks. Better get on that as they need to buy groceries tomorrow afternoon.
Love, mom & dad/Elder & Sister Bullock