Friday, November 25, 2016


leaving the airport in Gabarone
Our farewell picture to all of our friends in Botswana
Having a fun day with the missionaries
Our great friends the Taylors who are taking over for us in Francistown
Pictures of Cape Town on our way home

 Here we are finally home from our long but amazing journey! What a great welcome party!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

We are home!!!

Family and friends,

The past few weeks have been filled with many hugs, tears of sadness and of joy with lots of our friends in Botswana and also our family and many of you here in the states. We have been caught in a flood of emotion as our last few days in a Francistown raced by and our travel plans to return home began to unfold.

October was really exciting in the branches we have been serving as the new branch Presidents have been busy filling the presidencies and callings to organize the members and create a real unified effort in establishing Zion within their respective areas. As we attended each congregations meetings one last time, everyone was so loving and grateful for the time we had spent with them and the growth we had all experienced it was truly amazing. It was our pleasure to speak in three of the four branches and say goodbye to them during October. With renewed enthusiasm for learning and leading in the Lords way, all of the members seemed to say: now we understand how service to one another and caring for those in need does indeed build the kingdom and continues to establish Zion here where we are.

Our travel plans for coming home included a few days visiting Cape Town South Africa and experiencing this beautiful part of the world. Each time we have been outside Botswana in the past year and a half it's a real culture change and like being in a European city.  We felt as though this was a vacation following our work in the mission and really loved all we saw and did in this resort town. The history and the sightseeing is both inspiring and breath taking and we would recommend this as a must see to everyone.

Our Mission President and his wife drove us to the airport in Gaborone and helped us get our bags checked through to Dallas. The flight home took us through Johannesburg to London and then to  Dallas Texas wher we claimed our bags and went through immigration and customs. We arrived in  SLC at about  8 pm on Wednesday the 29th of October with all our children and spouses and grandchildren welcoming us with signs and cheers as we came from the airplane to the baggage claim area. Our parents and some siblings were also there, it was great. The hugs and tears of joy and happy reunions lasted a long while. Most all of them were able to stay a few days and get reacquainted as we moved back into our small townhouse in Smithfield. Our young grandchildren are all so awesome and have grown a lot while we've been away. The youngest who was born about a year ago took to us just as if we had been with him the entire time.

Thanks so much to each of you for the prayers and words of support shared in our behalf. So much of the success of our mission came through strength received from the love and kindness of our family and friends.

We have been asked to speak in the Sacrament meeting of our ward in Smithfield on November 16th. The building is located at 451 South 250 East Smithfield Utah, and the meeting begins at 11:00 am.

If we ever get a good computer set up and can put together some last pictures of our adventure, we may post again. Thank you for following us during the past eighteen months as we hope some of you have been encouraged to step up your efforts in your own way as missionaries for the church.

Happy to be home,

Charlie and Mary

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Interesting signs

 Greetings Family and Friends,

Time just continues to go by and week by week we have once in a lifetime opportunities to associate with and learn from our great friends here in Francistown Botswana. At least since our last blog entry we have been able to stay here in F town and work directly with the young missionaries nearly daily. They are teaching several great couples and some other singles that are really close to Baptism. If all goes well we will enjoy the marriage of a great couple and then their baptisms along with 6 others on the 11th of October. Their growth and progression has not come without many challenges but through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and with Priesthood blessings, each obstacle has been overcome and their commitments are strong.

Two really great things have come to fruition for us since we last posted a blog. 1. After over a year of working with the new guy from the FM group of the Church in Joburg, all three of our rented houses we use for church buildings have been refurbished very nicely. The most major change was to knockout a wall and close in a porch to expand the chapel room in Francistown from a narrow hall which would seat maybe 45 to a wide and two level spacious room that will seat 70 very comfortably. Each building was repainted inside and out, new window blinds installed, new tile where needed and throughout one which was bad, shelving built in for the members custodial closets and much more. We had really resigned ourselves to the fact we would not see this happen in our time here even though we had spent at least three visits and tours with the rep from the church and gathered quotations and bids from contractors and even involved the owners of the houses in helping to get them updated. Just when we had given up on the idea and other things like looking for new places to rent or even build came into the picture..... boom..... the contractors were here from Gaborone and going to town on all three. Yes, the construction came with the usual mess and inconvenience for a few weeks but, it was well worth it now. (Oh ye of little faith)

The other great news is that on the 13th of October another missionary couple will move here to Francistown and be able to spend a little time with us and get acquainted with everyone here. These are really great folks who have served five other missions including one here in Botswana and were here when we first arrived. They have been the new test model with immigration over the past couple months and have enough clearance to come into Botswana for at least a few months and hope to get more extensions. It will be such a blessing to get them involved here with these great branches and to shepherd the young missionaries too. We have been praying them here for a long while as it was looking pretty bleak. We have been blessed so much with a great flat that is so well supplied and so safe, clean and comfortable. Now they can just move right in and get to work. We were so hating the idea of leaving this flat empty and unused.

As you know the Davis' have spent many hours and miles in cars traveling about this region in Northeast Botswana. Two of the many things we notice and try to take a few pictures of are the interesting road signs and of course wildlife, but also the many different model names of cars and trucks we have seen here. (Go figure right?) Also, because of the aggressive and sometimes discourteous driving habits of the local people, (mostly taxis) we have become a little cynical and even aggressive ourselves at times. (At least Charlie has)

 These are some of our favorites!

We have driven by this sign of Elephants crossing many times
at 140 to 150 KPH and just not wanted to lose time.
 Our kids know that their Dad is not a (turn around type of guy)
but on our last visit to Kasane it was a priority and a must stop.
We had just hoped to get a live Elephant in with the
picture of the sign.

This is one of my favorites because it looks just like one of the
little boys in the Francistown Branch. He is just a cutie.

This is one of the most upscale Bodyshops in the
area. We love the name Panelbeaters! Many of
these guys are doing business and repairs in the shade of big trees
and all around town.

Highway construction is just a year round activity
on the most major road in and out of the city.
Our friends say that when we come back to visit in a
couple of years the work may be complete. The
blasting sign is about 200 feet from one of the
busiest shopping centers in Francistown

You better believe it too! This is one reason the
mission cars are always in need of tires and wheels
and other suspensions parts. Missionaries love to
drive fast through the Potholes.

Donkey Carts!
You have to love this sign,  it's on a major road going
to Gabs, Donkeys have to cross 4 lanes of traffic,
and the speed limit is 80K. They have to cross when
they see no cars coming of course.

The only place we have visited to see this sign was in
Walvis Bay and Swakopmund Namibia where
the Khalahari Desert meets the Alantic Ocean

Family home evening has always been a fun time for us.
These guys are very faithful in coming and helping with
the lessons. Sometimes we just enjoy playing games.
Last week we cleaned up the yard outside and had a big fire
burning all the weeds, this week we played our favorite game
UNO  and I have to remind them that they are to talk in English
when we are playing with them

These two little guys are so fun! on the left is Porter and on the right is Tebogo.
Elder Davis always has them laughing and playing outside, they of course come
for the treats and want them as soon as they arrive.
 Today  is the fifth and final day of the  Botswana Independence Day Holiday. The country received its independence in 1966. There really are not many local organized activities or events but all businesses close and most of the people go to their home villages to be with family. These times are very hard for missionary work and our young missionaries need to be very careful as most everyone is drinking and not wanting to be visited. We hope you have all enjoyed our adventures, the time is coming to an end as we will arrive in Utah on October 29th and speak in our ward on the 16th of November. The memories we have made will last forever and we will miss this wonderful place and the people. We thank our Father in Heaven every night for bringing us to Botswana to work along side such wonderful members  We are hoping to add one more edition to our blog before leaving Africa but we also will travel to South Africa for a week too.
Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support as we have been away. Love always , Charlie and Mary