|Whose been working out!|
Monday, August 29, 2011
|Sister Bullock with Maria after her baptism|
|Baptism in Liwonde|
|Elder Bullock with Bob Kwale|
|Elder Bullock with the Namabande family|
We took President and Sister Padovich to Lilongwe this past weekend and stopped in Liwonde for the baptisms of some wonderful people. They were baptized in the swimming pool at the Hippo Lodge and it was a nice private spot to do it. They were so excited to finally get baptized and it was a great morning. I will attach some pictures. Bob Kwale was baptized first, because he wanted to be, and deserved to be, the first baptism in the new Liwonde Group. Maria Namabande introduced her parents, Petros and Maria to the gospel and they were thrilled to join the church. Maria, the mom, has stomach cancer and was so worried about getting baptized before she dies. She is in a lot of pain a good share of the time. They are wonderful!!
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
We then waited for the security company to show up and didn't see them. They were here fairly quickly though but did a check around the outside wall first and found a hole through the brick wall that the thieves had made. The alarm company answers an alarm with 6 or 8 very well trained security men. The thieves also had cut the razor wire that is along the top of the wall and had likely done that to climb over and work on making the hole from both sides. They did steal 1 jerry can of diesel and one empty can and also 3 lawn chairs. That is really all there was outside to steal. We are grateful for the alarm system or they would most likely have broken into the house as well. We also called the police and two of them came.
The night guard saw them and pressed his silent alarm that he wears around his neck. They saw him and he ran out the gate to try and get some help from a guard up the street. A thief with a gun then stayed at the gate and our guard waited for the security to warn them that he was there. The company really didn't need warning though as they are trained to deal with whatever they come across.
We are just fine. We just didn't sleep much after all that. We went with our guard to make a report at the police station this morning. They wanted to come and see the crime scene but had no transport and wanted to know if we could give them a ride here and back. Elder Bullock ask if they were going to pay for the diesel and they thought that was pretty funny!! They were CID officers (criminal investigation dept).
The head guy for our security co. came this morning also to check things out and got a report. He suggests putting 3 floodlights in to light up the BIG dark yard that we have here. We just met with the landlady and she will pay for that so we will have it done tomorrow. Her man will repair the hole in the wall today and next week they will plaster (stucco) the bricks and that supposedly makes it a little harder to break through. She is really good about wanting to help us. She doesn't want us to leave here but we may have to if it happens again.
Apparently crime is up here and we heard that it is also worse in Harare, Zimbabwe now too. We will also have a second security guard here during the night time. With these measures things should be okay. The problem with this place is that it is a single house on a big plot and no one has built on the plots on either side of us yet and at the bottom of the plot is a pathway along a stream. We are rather vulnerable.
We are just so grateful for the security system that has saved us. Things could have been much worse if they had gotten into the house. No one was hurt.
The place that we came across in Lilongwe that we want to rent for a couple will be much better than this one as far as security goes. It is in a compound with 4 units so they won't be isolated by themselves. We don't want to scare anyone from coming to serve here in Malawi. The church also does all it can to keep we missionaries safe. We couldn't look inside the flat because someone rented all 4 of them until January but we left our name and will try and get one then. They are new flats and look like a really good possibility.
We are totally fine. The Lord continues to watch over us, thanks to the prayers of our family and frineds. Love, Sister Bullock
Sunday, August 14, 2011
|Liwonde Group of members|
|Bob Kwale - Liwonde|
Pres. Matale had a good visit with Raymond Chisambo, our group leader there when he was in Liwonde a few days ago. He gave him some ideas about how to start a small business selling rice, as his wife is doing that. He also talked to them about their situation - they are the ones who didn't even have a tsp. of salt when we were there on Wednesday and we bought them a few things. Pres. Matale felt like the church should help them out so yesterday we went out with Christopher Sitolo (because he can get better prices than us since he is black) to the markets and bought some basic foods - maize, dry beans, rice, salt, sugar, oil, a bit of hand soap and a big bundle of charcoal (that is what they cook with here). We took it to them after meetings today and both Bro. & Sister Chisambo broke down in tears and were sooooo grateful.
As we arrived back to Blantyre we saw a fuel station pumping and they had diesel. We were able to fill up our truck (we were down to 1/4 tank). We only had to wait behind two vehicles. We continue to see that the Lord blesses us with the fuel we need to do His work. We know it is Sunday and we wouldn't usually buy on Sundays but under the circumstances we have been told to buy fuel regardless if we find it. We had to use one of our jerry cans of diesel to get to Liwonde and back.
On Wednesday when we were driving back from Liwonde/Lilongwe we saw a 'dust-devil' blowing and it blew the grass roof right off one hut - not all in one piece but lots of grass flying in the air (like a mini tornado). Because of their beliefs here in witchcraft etc. etc. we were told that the owners will think that someone was angry with them and caused that to happen, especially since theirs was the only house effected.
Our gardener Davie went with 4 of his relatives to go visit his 'wife' and her relatives at their village today. They wanted a meeting. Davie and his relatives were going to tell them that he does not want her to come back and that the marriage is over. His relatives are very angry about what she was doing to him. He said that after that is done she will come and collect her things. We suggested that we could give him some boxes and that he should box up her things and give them to her at the gate rather than let her back into the house. He is afraid she will try and take his things too. We told him to let us know when she is coming and we will be sure to be home. We haven't seen him since we got home so I'm sure we will hear about it all tomorrow. This is a second marriage/relationship for her and according to Davie some women do this to try and take the man for all they can get. They make a business of doing this and he seems to think that is what she is doing. They have been together about 1 1/2 yrs and have no children - just her little girl, Hannah, from the first man.
That's our excitement for the day!! Tomorrow we will take the Sisters to the grocery store and the Elders will go together and buy food for the next week or two. They are to get some extra staple items just in case the demonstrations planned for Wednesday last longer than expected. Apparently the Malawi President is saying he want to talk and try and reason but..... The army is also demonstrating against him that day too so who knows what will happen. We hear different stories so we will just all stay in at least for Wednesday until we know what is happening.
We had a good day today and love the people we are serving. The gospel is true and we are happy to be here doing our part.
Love, The Bullocks
Friday, August 12, 2011
|Elders Dickson & Owens with family being taught in Liwonde|
|Moms and kids from nearby village coming for clean water|
|Carrying water home|
|Kids coming to Kauma Church Bldg. for water|
Monday, August 8, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
From: Reeve A.Nield <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, Jul 23, 2011 at 6:28 AM
Subject: A LOVELY STORY ABOUT HELEN KELLER
To: "Reeve A.Nield" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A LOVELY STORY ABOUT HELEN KELLER
This is an excerpt from A Place of Knowing by Emma Lou Thayne (Emma Lou also wrote Hymn # 129, Where Can I Turn for Peace ...)
Many years into my adulthood, when asked by a Jewish poet friend why I stay in my Mormonism, I explained it with a story, the details recounted by my mother. It is my mother's story transposed into an allegory about my believing.
When I was a little girl, my father took me to hear Helen Keller in the Tabernacle. I must have been about eight or nine and I'd read about Helen Keller in school, and my mother had told me her story.
I remember sitting in the balcony at the back of that huge domed building that was supposed to have the best acoustics in the world. Helen—everybody called her that—walked in from behind a curtain under the choir seats with her teacher, Annie Sullivan. Helen spoke at the pulpit—without a microphone—but we could hear perfectly, her guttural, slow, heavily pronounced speech. She spoke about her life and her beliefs. Her eyes were closed and when it came time for questions from the audience, she put her fingers on her teacher's lips and then repeated for us what the question had been. She answered questions about being deaf and blind and learning to read and to type and, of course, to talk. Hearing that voice making words was like hearing words for the first time, as if language had only come into being—into my being at least—that moment.
Someone asked her, "Do you feel colors?" I'll never forget her answer, the exact sound of it—"Sometimes. .. . I feel . . . blue." Her voice went up slightly at the end, which meant she was smiling. The audience didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
After quite a lot of questions, she said, "I would . . .. like to ask. . . a favor of you." Of course, the audience was all alert. "Is your Mormon prophet here?" she asked. There was a flurry of getting up from the front row, and President Grant walked up the stairs to the stand. She reached out her hand and he took it. All I could think was, "Oh, I wish I were taking pictures of that." "I . . . would like . . . ," she said, "to hear your organ . . . play . . . your famous song—about your pioneers. I . . . would like . . . to remember hearing it here." All the time she was speaking she was holding his hand he had given her to shake. I liked them together, very much.
I remember thinking, "I am only a little girl (probably others know) but how in the world will she hear the organ?" But she turned toward President Grant and he motioned to Alexander Schreiner, the Tabernacle organist who was sitting near the loft. At the same time, President Grant led her up a few steps to the back of the enormous organ—with its five manuals and eight thousand pipes. We were all spellbound. He placed her hand on the grained oak of the console, and she stood all alone facing us in her long, black velvet dress with her right arm extended, leaning slightly forward and touching the organ, with her head bowed.
Brother Schreiner played "Come, Come, Ye Saints," each verse a different arrangement, the organ pealing and throbbing—the bass pedals like foghorns—as only he could make happen. Helen Keller stood there—hearing through her hand and sobbing.
Probably a lot more than just me—probably lots of us in the audience were mouthing the words to ourselves—"Gird up your loins; fresh courage take. / Our God will never us forsake; / And soon we'll have this tale to tell— / All is well! / All is well!" I could see my great-grandparents, converts from England, Wales, France, and Denmark, in that circle of their covered wagons, singing over their fires in the cold nights crossing the plains. Three of them had babies die; my great-grandmother was buried in Wyoming. "And should we die before our journey's through, / Happy day! / All is well! / We then are free from toil and sorrow, too; / With the just we shall dwell! / But if our lives are spared again / To see the Saints their rest obtain, / Oh, how we'll make this chorus swell— / All is well! / All is well!"
So then—that tabernacle, that singing, my ancestors welling in me, my father beside me, that magnificent woman, all combined with the organ and the man who played it and the man who had led her to it—whatever passed between the organ and her passed on to me.
I believed. I believed it all—the seeing without seeing, the hearing without hearing, the going by feel toward something holy, something that could make her cry, something that could move me, alter me, something as unexplainable as a vision or a mystic connection, something entering the pulse of a little girl, something that no matter what would never go away. What it had to do with Joseph Smith or his vision or his gospel I never would really understand—all I know to this day is that I believe.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
I guess we should give up on trying to call -- I could hear your voice good but you can't hear me.
We are glad to be back home from Zambia -- even if it did take us forever and numerous flight delays. The Airlines here aren't very efficient and seem to be getting worse and worse. When the plane finally came in to Lilongwe last night the people aboard were not happy. They were hours late on their flight too. They were suppose to fly from Jo'berg to Blantyre -- but instead went to Harare, Lilongwe and then Blantyre. They had to all get off at Lilongwe and check their luggage through customs and then go back through the scans and back on the plane. While we waiting for several hours both nights the airport was cold and we weren't dressed for cold. It is good that we did wait it out last night and get home finally because today all flights are cancelled for a few days due to some pilot strike or something - not exactly sure exactly what.
When we spent the night in Lilongwe and our flight was delayed the second day it did give us a chance to visit one of the Br. Presidents and Jim talked to him a long time (the one who had been accused of witchcraft etc., which he NEVER did). There will have to be some changes made in the branch but he will remain the president. Jim was made a counselor in the mission presidency so he can deal with such things better now.
While Jim was talking to him I was talking to the gardener who is doing 'nothing' and the yard does not look nice at all. I told him (with an interpreter) what we expect it to look like. He wanted fertilizer for the grass but I said when the rest of it gets cleaned up we will consider getting fertilizer. For fertilizer they use dirt and spread it lightly on the grass and it really does make things green up. Others also use tobacco stems but apparently that stinks. I said if he got it looking good we would buy some flowers for the yard and that seemed to make him perk up. If it wasn't far away I would have our gardener here go spend a couple of days with him and show him how to make things look good.
We did arrive at the church at a good time because there was a plumber there who had been cleaning out the sewer line from the toilet in the 'boy's quarters' (domestic help quarters). The guards and the gardener use that toilet and since they have no toilet paper they use plastic bags or whatever and that plugs up the system. (We have seen this before at another place). We had the plumber explain to them that they cannot do that and must use toilet tissue. We aren't sure who should supply the tissue because if we do they will likely just take it home and we don't have an endless supply BUT if we don't then they use other things. Hmmmm...
We are going to paint and clean and furnish the boy's quarters so that we can have a set of missionaries live there. It is pretty new but needs some sprucing up. There is no hot water tank (geiser) there and no hot water taps in the kitchen of bathroom sink/shower so we ask the plumber to give us a price on installing those things. If we put Elders in there then the guards, etc. cannot use the toilet etc. and we do have to provide that for them.
There is a shed (under the water tank) and we ask the plumber to price putting a toilet in there for the 'help'. It should work well as the water is right there and he can dig a trench and attach to the sewer line.
When we arrived there were also 3 or 4 young men (19 - 21) doing their laundry in the cement laundry basin. I think they had also had a shower and quickly got dressed when we arrived. They won't be able to get in to do that when the Elders move in as we will lock everything up.
We hope to go back up in the next week or two and spend 2 or 3 or 4 days. We also need to look at another flat that we could possibly rent for a 'couple' that we want to put in Lilongwe -- NOT that a couple have been called yet but we are hoping!!!! If it is an okay place and we rent it for Sept. when it is available we could set it up and we could use it when we go to Lilongwe instead of staying in an expensive hotel. We would feel better about staying up there a bit longer to get things done. We will see what the President says but suspect he will agree with us.
A funny thing I meant to write last week and don't think I did. Gabriel was here one day and Jim walked by with a broom to sweep up something and Gabriel gave a surprised look. Then later Jim started folding up baptism clothes and towels that I had washed. Gabriel just stared with the funniest look on his face and said, "Wow!!!" He was surprised to see a man doing such things. We talked about it and he told us that the men and women here just 'inherit' the things that are expected from each sex. He did say that the church has women thinking that their husbands should help more and respect them more and he is ok with that. He is just recently married. He says he can't do too much, especially in public or others will think that there is 'petticoat gov't." at his house. :) He is really a cute guy!
I better get this sent before we lose power. It is Monday night and we could lose it at any time.
Write to us!!!!!!!
Love, mom/dad, Elder & Sister Bullock, Nancy/Jim
Monday, August 1, 2011
I attached the letter I started last night on 'word'. We are still in Lilongwe and finally gave up and had the zone leaders pick us up at the airport and we stayed at the hotel here. We just called about our flight that is suppose to leave today at 5:15 p.m. and it has been delayed until 8:30 tonight and she said she hopes it goes then. :( Crazy!!! Maybe we will have to drive home with the missionaries when they go to zone conference on Wednesday morning. We just have to laugh or we would get very stressed.
We are meeting with the two Branch Presidents while we are here today. The Elders will drop us off so we can meet with one that needs some instruction and the other Br. Pres. is quite sick apparently so we will go check on him and see what we can do. We do have some things we need to do here but we didn't plan to do it now and aren't really prepared. We need to get a flat prepared for another set of missionaries that will be assigned to the area in Sept. We have to clean it and buy appliances and beds, desks/chairs and table etc. and get it set up. We also have to look for a new flat to rent for another set of missionaries -- if the Elders have enough fuel we could drive around and look a bit this afternoon. We want to make use of the time we have here, even though it was unexpected. :)
Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the summer.
Love, The Bullocks