Monday, October 31, 2011

It is HOT here!

October is the hottest month and yes, it is hot and humid.  We are okay if can sit in front of a fan.  Our new place will have a couple of air conditioners so we are looking forward to that in a couple more weeks.  Until then we will do the best we can.  We sleep with no covers on at all.  It is hotter here than Zimbabwe. 
We have a missionary from Zimbabwe, whose father was in a car accident a couple of weeks ago.  He was improving but is now having some complications and our missionary is wanting to go home.  We are trying to keep him here as we know that is what his dad and mother would want.  We knew this young man when we were in Zimbabwe (Masvingo) and we know his parents.  They are really good people.  His dad was the Branch President for 15 years.  We are praying that he will get well and that the missionary will be strong enough to stay on his mission.  He has been allowed to call and will call his mother again tonight. 
Diesel continues to be a very big issue and difficult to get.  We are very low right now and have told the Elders in Lilongwe to park their truck and take transport and walk.  The Elders here are about to do the same.  We gave them 1 jerry can full and said that they don't get anymore until our supplies are replentished.   The guy who is building the flats here where we will move to -- told us today that he brings it is from Mozambique and if we want he can get us some and it is clean.   It will cost more but we need to go to Lilongwe this week and cannot with the amount of fuel we presently have.  Pres. Padovich said to go ahead and get some from him.    We continue to watch for diesel to come in but the queues are so long it is just ridiculous and often a station will only get about 4000 litres.   We do have our contacts that have said they will call as soon as they know they are getting some here but they never know until the day.  We told them we would come and park early and sit all day if we need to.  Wish us luck!
We are getting two new Sister missionaries in a couple of days.  We wonder if one is from Raymond -- she is coming to the mission this week.  Our Sisters are excited to get the new girls to train.   We have found a new flat (house) for the Sister missionaries but cannot have it until January 1st.  It will work out really well for them -- two bathrooms :). 
The new couple's flat in Lilongwe is ready and we need to go up and sign the contract and give them some money.  We also need to get it set up and furnished.  We have some things for it but still lots to do.    We will go do that and then come back here and get ourselves moved into our new place.  Good thing we have lots of able bodied missionaries to help us.
Our time with Elder Russell M. Nelson was great.   Nice to be around an apostle and hear what he has to say.  It was a quick trip and the missionaries were disappointed that they didn't get a group photo with him but ....         You can see the write up that is on -- click on that link and it will send you to the article.
We have 3 rentals from a man named Mr. Aboobaker.  He has lived here forever but the family orginally comes from India.  He ask if they could bring us supper tonight.  Should be good, I'm sure.  They are very nice people.  We enjoy dealing with the Indian people here.  He says there about 2000 of them now but that there used to be 20,000 but a lot were told to leave so that Malawians could run the businesses and that hasn't worked out well.  Most of the Indians have ties to Great Britain and that is where they went and do well there.   They own a lot of the shops and businesses here.   
Our security has been fine here since we added the dog and dog handler, however, it seems that some of the neighbors are now getting the thieves at their places.  Our guards told us that a house two down had thieves again and that they beat up the guard and he was still crying when the police got there.  Our dog handler saw the thieves go over their wall and he called the police.    We were also told that the thieves were calling to our dog handler the other night asking, 'Why don't you ever sleep?'  'You are always walking around."    They are obviously constantly watching and we are grateful for a good guard.  We have two others besides him at night and they seem to stay pretty alert.   It is costing the church a lot of money each month to keep us safe but we appreciate it.  The new place will be better -- we will still have our monitored alarm sysem though and the compound will provide 2 days guards and 3 night guards.   The location is better there and has a higher wall with razor wire and electric wire around the top. 
We had a call from one of the renters from the new Lilongwe flat and they were meeting about security but we didn't get enough notice to go up.  It sounds like there are a couple of high profile people that will also be renting there so they will want good security.  In that compound the renters have to get together and decide on and share the cost of the security.  If necessary we will also put in a secuirty system but we may not need to.
We have a meeting on Wednesday with the Chief Immigration Officer.  We want to make sure he understands what our missionaries do here and get his cooperation.  We have 5 applications for TEPs that have not been approved and we need to have them.  We heard the the applications are on his desk because he is wondering about what they do.   We have had TEPs approved since then so not sure why he is holding on to those.  We hope the meeting goes well.  We will take him a packet with information about the Church.  They gave those to gov't officials that came to a luncheon with Elder Nelson.  Two from Immigration were invited to the luncheon but they never came.  
We are still struggling with issues at one of our Lilongwe Branches and continue to get phone calls and pleas for help.  We will go up and try to make them feel loved.   The problems just seem to grow and grow.   The mission Presidency is figuring out solutions to the problems but it isn't easy.  There are some plans in the works.  Even the Area Presidency is aware and will send some help if necessary.  We want to save the Branch and get everything running smoothly again.  It is a young Branch where most members have not been in the Church for very long.  Constant leadership is needed -- so with the new couple coming (The Prete's) there will be someone right there all the time to give them some guidance and support.   Hopefully unity in the Branch can happen again soon.    When we go up later this week and take possession of the new flat we will stay for a few days.  We can't go though until our new Sister missionaries arrive, we meet with Immigration, and we get some diesel --- so maybe Thursday or Friday.
I haven't written for a while and was thinking I had a lot to say but now my mind is drawing a blank.  Will add more later if something comes to mind. 
We should be getting a new grandson very soon and will be anxious to hear that all is well!!   That will be #18.
Love to all,  Elder/Sister Bullock,  aka Jim and Nancy or mom and dad   :)


Michele said...

Thanks for forwarding the African pictures. They are great. The security issues you have to deal with are incredible. Fancy taunting the guards like that. I hope the Prete's can straighten out the branch you are having troyble with. They will get it eventually and learn to support their branch leaders. Nice to hear from you again and what a joy it must have been to have Elder Nelson there. You are doing a wonderful job.

Darwin said...

That was neat to see your picture on LDS.ORG