Monday, September 26, 2011


Goat on the Braii!! 


Missionaries having their goat Braii (bbq).  Boys will be boys!  They are having too much fun!!  The live goat cost them 6000 kwacha (about $40). 

Monday, Sept. 26th

Bad news!!  We found out that we don't have a couple coming to Malawi in December afterall.  :(   The couple from Moab was going to Zambia as Public Affairs but it sounds like they have some medical issues and may not be coming at all right now.   So.........  We still need someone to come and help us!!!!   Any takers???
Jim is over sitting in a diesel queue but he is second in line so as soon as the fuel is offloaded he will get some.  We have 3/4 tank but will need diesel for going to Lilongwe with Padovich's on Saturday.
Yesterday we went to Liwonde for church.  Maria was not there as she is in a lot of pain with her cancer.  We went to visit her. Her husband, Petros, was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood and made a Priest.   They did it at the house so that Maria could be there.  The daughter, Maria, is really having a hard time coping with her mom's situation.  We talked out on the step and I held her in my arms while she cried (well, while we cried).  A week or two ago her mother was given a blood transfusion (drip of blood) and she perked up for a few days.  I explained to Maria that it is only prolonging the inevitable.  She said her mother says she wants to die but of course Maria doesn't want her to.  Anyway - lots of tears!  It was hard.  Maria is such a sweet girl.   She is the kind I would love to take home with me but...
The missionaries are here using grill for their braii. (bbq).  They bought a live goat this morning (cheap) and watched as it was butchered.  Now they are cooking it outside.  I wonder what the new Elders are thinking about that!!  :)    I better go take a picture.
Have you seen the October Ensign/Liahona???  It is REALLY good!!   I want to see if we can order some extras because really every member should have that one. 
I got my financial ledgers caught up today and last night I was up doing up the Immigration applications (TRPs) for the 11 Elders we got last week.  We took them in today.  I had one TEP application but found out that they now require 2 additional documents so had to bring that one home and will get the extra paperwork.   We have a couple of days to catch up hopefully before Padovich's arrive. 
Better go check on the braii and see how the goat is looking. 
Love,  Sister Bullock/Nancy/mom

Saturday, September 24, 2011


These kids seemed to be sifting some grain or maybe rice, that had been left, from the dirt.


We wanted to buy some rice (50 kg. bag) so we ask Mike Bandazi (the one with his arms folded) to come with us as he can get a better price than we can and he also knew where to find the rice.  It is for Sister Chisambo's rice business that we are helping her with.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday evening, Sept 23rd

Guess what????!!!!!  A couple has been called to our mission and will serve here in Malawi with us.  They are from Moab, Utah and will come sometime in December.  That is all we know so far.  That is good news!!

We lost 4 missionaries this week (1 went home, 3 transferred to Zambia) and picked up 12 more from the airport Wednesday afternoon.  There was a threat of demonstrations that day and the city was pretty much shut down except for a lot of policeman patrolling but everyone seemed to just stay home and there was no problems at all.  We brought all the missionaries to our place and had them sign the Immigration paperwork and we fed them some pasta casserole and cooked carrots.   The missionaries were all kept in that day due to the threat of demonstrations so I ask the 2 Sister missionaries if they would come and help me at the house.  I was very grateful for their help -- I couldn't have done it without them!  They cleaned and cooked and washed all the dishes. 

Some of our new Elders looked a little nervous but they will be okay.    We got the ones in Blantyre to their flats Wed. evening and then we had the seven that were going to Lilongwe sleep at our place.  We were up early and put 5 of them on a bus at 6:30 and then two rode with us in the truck.   We got to Lilongwe ahead of the bus, picked up the Elder's truck here (now that we had a missionary who can drive) and went to the bus depot and picked up the five.   We bought some hot dogs/buns/chips and fed them lunch and then took them to their flats.  The electricity at the Kauma flat had a problem!!  We called Bro. Collins who works at the US embassy and he made a call and got one of their electricians to come by and look at it.  He found a wire that was not quite right and fixed it for us.  In the meantime we took the Elders to the grocery store so they can eat!!

Today we had a meeting with them and figured out their exact areas etc. and gave out phone time and transport money.  We decided we need to buy 6 bicycles.  We went to the "Game" store (closest thing to a Walmart, that we have here) and bought the bikes plus a few other things we needed.  A little while later some Elders called to tell us that when they opened one of the bike boxes (the cardboard was a bit torn up) they found 6 "nice" Sony cameras, a camcorder, memory sticks and a couple of other things inside the box with the bike.   They brought them to us and we took them back to the store.  We got there just as they were closing.  We ask to talk to the manager and we showed him what we had.  We got ushered in and he called the head manager.  Needless to say they were extremely grateful for our honesty.   They had suspended an employee last week for trying to steal a couple of computers by hiding them so it sounds like it could be the same person.    Anyway -- we are definitely in their good books now!!  He said when we shop there we should come by his desk and get a discount!  Hmmm-- he doesn't realize that we need to buy a fridge and stove in a couple of weeks. 

Last night Bro. & Sis. Collins invited us to dinner at their house and made some Mexican food.  We had a nice evening with them.  We sure appreciate them and all they do here.  They have 2 little girls and a baby boy who just started walking. 

Time for bed!  We are tired and must be up early to finish a few things here and then will head back to Blantrye about noon.   I am behind AGAIN on posting to my financial ledgers so need to get that done and also have lots of paperwork to fill out for the Immigration to make these new Elders legal in the country.  It never ends but it is good to be busy.  September has just flown by.  We wonder where it went!

Love to all.

Friday, September 16, 2011

So busy!!

It has been an extremely busy couple of weeks and isn't going to let up any for another week or two, at least.  I know you probably get tired of hearing this BUT.... we need another couple here in Malawi so badly.  We will even have a nice flat in Lilongwe for a couple soon.  We have a positive attitude and are renting a place!! :)  We will stay there when we go up.  It should be ready in a few weeks.  
We have 12 missionaries arriving this coming Wednesday (7 brand new ones).  We are losing 4 (3 transferred to Zambia and one going home).  Our numbers are increasing by 8 and we have been busy getting things ready for them and even still there will be 6 in the flat in lilongwe for a week or two.   We will head back to Lilongwe this weekend IF we get diesel.  Yes, diesel is still a huge problem - even worse right now.   A lady who runs a nearby station said she thinks they will get it tomorrow and will call us when she knows.  There were several queues today for diesel but it didn't seem like any ever arrived.   We bought 6, 25 ltr. container yesterday and will try and fill them - she did say we could.  We have two other empty ones as well.  
 DHL brought us 32 boxes today from Church Distribution   I was busy sorting out orders but still have a lot to do.  Some will have to wait. 
Maria in Liwonde is doing better.  She ended up in the hospital and Bro. Chisambo told us they gave her a drink of blood and that seemed to help perk her up.  Her daughter, Maria, said they gave her a drip of blood (maybe that is what Bro. Chisambo said and I just misunderstood him).  We are glad she is feeling a bit better.  They say her cancer is at stage 4 (not sure what that means) but it isn't good. 
I have been busy catching up - getting my financial ledgers done and sent in. It takes longer than usual because of some new codes we now have to use.   The missionaries were suppose to start using their JPMorgan cards (credit cards that their weekly allotments are put on) the 1st of September but it hasn't happened yet.  They say perhaps on Monday but....  we won't hold our breath.  I am prepared in case we need to give them the cash.  We will still need to give them phone cards and transport money for now anyway.  
There is talk of demonstrations again on Wednesday, Sept 21st, but we are praying they don't happen.  Most people don't think they will but a few aren't sure.  There are talks supposedly going on and the United Nations is trying to keep them talking so they can work things out.   If there are demonstrations it could be a problem getting the missionaries from the airport.  The Lord will look out for his missionaries and they will arrive safely.    When they arrive we will get their paperwork filled out for TEP's and TRP's and they will spend the night in Blantyre -- 6 here and the others in Elders flats.  We will put 5 on a bus and take 2 in the truck with us and get them to Lilongwe.  There are no Elders in Lilongwe right now (with our one going home) that can drive the vehicle there so we will go up and get them all where they need to go. 
At the Kauma meeting house in Lilongwe we have been letting people from the village come and get water.  We calculated the cost of it and it only adds up to about $60 a month and it is helping a lot of people.  After discussing it with the mission president we decided to continue to let them have clean water.  This time of year (end of dry season) water is harder to get.   PROBLEM:  We got a phone call tonight from the Branch President there and he has learned that the gate guard has been charging the people for the water!!   I guess he saw an opportunity and so he took it!!   We called the company that supplies the guards and told them we would be up there Monday and would deal with it.   So much for us thinking that we were being good samaritans to these people!  He isn't charging a lot but I'm sure it adds up for him as there are a lot coming for water.  These are very poor people he is taking advantage of.  He will likely lose his job --- well at least he won't be working at the church anymore. 
It is getting hot here now.  We have the fans going and will be glad when we move to the new place that has air conditioners.  October is the hottest month and we won't move until at least Nov. 1st.   Spring is here and the leaves are coming out on the trees.  Some trees lose their leaves in winter and some don't.  Soon we will be seeing the jacaranda trees blossom!  
There were other things to report but I guess I am tired because I can't think!!  If it's important I will remember next time.    We did get some of the white shirts that our stake contributed.   There is a boxful of brand new shirts and we decided we will use them for missionaries in need, - ones that are serving and ones that are leaving from here.  Some go on missions with only 2 white shirts and that isn't enough.  We will take some pictures when we start giving them out (when it is appropriate) so you can see their happy faces.  
I'm going to head to bed.  Love to all.  Mom/Sister Bullock/Nancy

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday, Sept 5th update


We arrived in Lilongwe this evening.  We brought Elder & Sister Howell, the audit couple from the area office, up so they can do the audits and training here with the branches.  They did the Blantyre ones on the weekend.   We have a lot to do here ourselves as we are getting the missionary housing prepared and set up for more that are to arrive on the 20th.  We arrived here at the Crossroads Hotel and for the price we usually pay, they upgraded both of us couples to a Deluxe suite!  Sweet!!!  It is pretty nice. 

On our way here we stopped at Liwonde.  We decided to help Sister Chisambo (the group leader's wife) start a rice selling business.  They desperately need to have a way to earn a little money.  We bought her a big bag of rice and gave her enough to buy some small bags so she can repackage it.  I gave her some instructions and hopefully she will follow them and after selling the rice she has should be able to buy 1 1/2 - 2 bags next time.  At that point she will start to pay us back.  (the equivalent of about $60).   We do not normally do this but.....  decided to help her and will see how it goes.  We think she can make it work.  We will be back there on Sunday and will check and see how things are going.   On Sunday we are taking the Branch President from Blantyre with us (the group falls under that Branch).  The Br. President will interview the two men who were baptized last week so they can receive the Aaronic Priesthood and oversee the ordinations. 

Young Maria called us yesterday to tell us that her mom, also Maria, (the one who has cancer), is in a lot of pain.  We went to see her and she was laying on the couch.  Apparently there is a lot of blood in her urine and her face is swelling.   She was hurting a lot.  We got her little medical book that they take when they go to the Doctor and went to the pharmacy and got her some medication for the pain.  We thought it was going to cost about $60 but it was only about $10 and should be enough for a couple of weeks or more.   We hope it helps.   Jim and Elder Howell gave her a blessing.  What a difference from just 9 days ago when she was baptized.  She was feeling pretty good on her baptism day.   It is hard to describe how eager she was to be baptized and soooo worried about doing that before she died.  Now that it is done we wonder how long she will last.  Was she just hanging in there waiting for that?   I had a hard time controlling the tears today when we saw her.    The daughter, Maria (20 yrs. old) is such a sweetheart.  We just love her already.   She will be one of our special Malawi friends (like Merci, Seka and others in Zimbabwe). 

We hope everyone at home is doing well.  We miss you but stay too busy most of the time to think about it too much.

Love you,  Elder & Sister Bullock  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thursday Sept 1st

All is well here in Malawi.  We had a busy week with President and Sister Padovich and got lots done, even if it wasn't what we had planned to get done.  Things just seem to come up!  
On our way home from Lilongwe we stopped at a spot where people were selling vegetables, etc.  We saw some nice eggplant and decided to buy a couple.  Jim thought she said they were 50 kwacha each and so decided to buy 4 with a 200 kwacha bill.  This is all going on while there are umpteen people trying to push their way to my truck window with other things.  I held up the 200 kwacha bill so she would know to give me 4 but she just kept putting them in my lap and took my money.  I ended up with 13 eggplants (cost: $1.33 US).  Seems like a pretty good deal to me but what will I do with 13 of them.  I gave 2 to Davie, our gardener.
While we were gone we had another attempted break-in at our house here but the guards and alarm system saved us again!  It is a bit of a concern for us.  The Area Presidency told the mission president to do whatever is necessary to make sure we are safe so we now have a dog and dog handler as well as two of our guards at night.  We will do that until we move Nov. 1st to our new place which is much more secure.   President Padovich also said we should have them remove the security system here (since we own it) and install it at the new place.  
I spent most of the day getting my financial ledgers up to date and sent in.  It all balanced!! :)
Saturday Elder & Sister Howell, serving in Jo'berg, arrive here and will do audits and audit training in the branches and District.  They will do the ones in Blantyre Saturday afternoon and Sunday and then we will take them to Lilongwe on Monday to do the ones up there.  They will fly home from Lilongwe on Thursday.  While in Lilongwe we will work on the flat for the missionaries and try to get it finished and furnished so they can move in.  We have 10 additional missionaries coming here about Sept. 20th and need to be ready for them.  We also need to find an additional flat in Lilongwe while we are there and get it set up before they come.   Six of the new missionaries will go there and we will have a Zone.   Now we just need a couple  called to Lilongwe.  The mission did get notification that an office couple have been called for the mission office in Zambia and will arrive about Nov. 1st.  That is really great news!
It's time to go relax and head to bed soon.  Love to all.