Greetings to all from Botswana. It has been a while since we could add some pictures as we have lost all our good computers and are using this old PC. But we do have our camera and have taken some fun stuff for our memories. Most of you know that a great part of our work here is with a bunch of young adults of which we plan to send several missionaries. Many of these shots are of the first two we have been able to help through the application process and the supply and get ready for their mission.
This is Kabo Khumoetsile who was one of the very first young men to greet us in the Monarch group 7 months ago. He is twenty one and has been a member since 2010. His call is to the Sierra Leone Freetown mission. As we first got to know him it was evident he had kind of given up on the idea of a mission. He is small and quiet and has very little support as he has never lived with his dad. But, he has a tremendous knowledge of the scriptures and has studied the general handbook of instructions of the church, along with study of the restoration and all the prophets. He had a lot of temporal challenges to overcome pertaining to birth records, immunizations, scholastic graduation certificates and etc to find and accumulate in order to be eligible for a calling.
This has been extremely rewarding for we Davis', as his adopted parents and advisors through this whole process. His example is having a profound effect on several other young men in the area that we pray will continue with their mission prep and temple prep plans.
Janet Fani left for the Ghana Cape Coast mission on Oct 31st. She also is part of this great young group of Latter Day Saints here in Francistown to accept the gospel and use the Seminary, Institute and YSA programs we are involved with to strengthen her testimony and become a real leader and a missionary. She is the first ever Sister missionary from Francistown Botswana, and we have been very lucky to be part of her preparations to serve.
You wonder how these women change their hair so often and if its the same person dont you? We can tell you that it is very confusing as many of them have very short hair and either have several wigs or do extensions regularly.
Janets family and friends on the day we picked her up to drive to the airport. Pictures of their meager habitat simply cannot describe how humble they live and how little they have. Absolutely none of these people have cars or may ever drive. The Fani home rarely uses electricty and has an outside privy. Three generations live together in most of the families we know.
We have spoken of the FHE group which we have adopted and meet with every Monday at 5:00. It goes from 5 members to 9 depending on whether they bring investigators too. The other two young men are Onalenna and Herold who are both beginning the mission paper process now. We have lots of fun with these guys in every aspect of the gospel and all around the town. They go on exchanges with the young Elders very often or just accompany a companionship to teaching appointments.
We Botswana missionaries were all enlisted in a once every four year humanitarian effort by the church to notify the whole population of a measles vaccination campaign co-sponsored by the church in tandem with the Ministry of Health, Unicef, Red Cross and the World Health Organization. Of course the Church did most of the work and supplied the lions share of the volunteers through members and missionaries. The church also provided the t-shirts, hats and door to door education for all of the country.
We all knocked ourselves out on this for several days and it was a booming success as the system ran out of the vaccine every single day and needed to extend the time period three extra days to care for the thousands who brought their 9 month to 59 month old children. Many of these pictures are in and around the clinics where moms, dads, grandmas and babies were waiting their turn. Mary and I visited at least 7 public clinics and wow did we hold a lot of little ones.
The Monarch group is small but growing fast and these missionaries were being transferred the next day. It is always hard to leave an area like this.
Moving day for two sets of sisters and the elders helped us to look like the Beverly Hillbillies going through town. Fleming, Mabuza, Ngubane and Stegelmeier.
Our zone and mission President and wife at our home for the last get together before our latest move.
It was planned to teach the young missionaries how to prepare some easy to fix meals and eat healthy and inexpensive. They all learned a few things to take to their own flats and we ate heartily. Mary and Charlie are doing very well in the new flat, we are both feeling well and have energy to visit three groups of saints from week to week. Many of our opportunities revolve around the needs of the Branch President and group leaders and the auxiliary and Priesthood leaders. You may know that we are a bit of an outpost from the Mission Home and Office and are the only couple in northern Botswana. We also have the pleasure to visit Kasane which is further North once a quarter which has a a small group but no missionaries. We did send some missionaries up there to work the measles campaign and give the church members there some support. On the 19th of November we got great news that Davis Brent Mitchell was born to Jamie and Justin in Rupert. As he is only 4lbs and 3oz and 6 weeks early, we were shocked and very worried for him and his mom. Even though he will be in the NICU in Pocatello for several weeks, they assure us that he is doing good. We are so grateful for our family and for those who live near the Mitchells for all the support and the help in times like this. This is the sort of thing we worried about taking place as we are here in Africa, and can only pray that all will be well for our 14th grandchild and only 4th grandson. We send our love to everyone and tell our family not to worry about us. The mission is great and our time is short everyday. Elder and Sister Charlie and Mary Davis.