Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Rainy Season

 Dear family and friends, This is another open letter and entry to our blog that we hope will give you a small taste and idea of the culture of Botswana and the awesome experiences we are enjoying every day of our mission. As we begin each day with a prayer that Heavenly father will send us inspiration and courage to find and do the things that will further the establishment of Zion in this land, we are always blessed with great people being placed in our path and a few challenges to keep us humble. The President of the country wants all people to be kept busy and when the weeds and bushes grow fast and tall they are out in force to use their "slashers" to knock it down. Then it is burned after it dries out. There are hundreds of these gals out everyday for several hours.

 The BDF or Botwana Defense Force is very present in this area and is a good career for many of the younger people here. In this district of about 120,000 people we have at least 7 military bases where they all work. Whenever there is a natural disaster or a threat of any kind they are called out to actively show their strength and be a force along with the police department. We were driving into this parking lot to pay water bills for the mission flats and were stopped by this armed group at a local bank. We never learned exactly why but, the whole area was locked down for some time.
 Sister Davis plans to pack these two little guys in our bags when we return home. Well maybe she will just encourage their folks to travel to Utah to visit instead of stealing them. Their Dad is 1st counselor to the Branch President and their mom is primary Pres and teaches the seminary class on wed and sat.
You can see that our missionary force is very small at this time, but they really make up for small numbers with terrific attitudes of working hard and using members to help with the missionary effort. Elder Sithole from Zimbabwe was on his way home and was able to get one more baptism and a fun send off with a P-day experience in the donkey cart. Our little Zone was treated to 2 days of very inspiring and uplifting messages and training with Elder Carl B Cook and his wife of the Seventy. He is a counselor in the area Presidency too. I am sure some of you are familiar with this fun man from the Ogden area. We became fast friends over the short time together and have much in common and some mutual friends.
 Last Friday on February 7th we woke up to see a lake in the open area where we stay in the apartment complex. We knew it had rained all night long and has been raining of and on for several weeks, which is very much needed as all of Botswana has been praying for it. We hurried to go see the Tati River as it was full for the first time in the 9 months we have been here.

This is the intersection of the highway near where we live and it was impassable for most of the cars and for all the people walking. It stayed like this for several hours and then went away just about as fast it it came.
 We have told you about the dry river beds all over Botswana that we see in our travels. It was a fore gone conclusion that with the dams and such we would never see much water in these Rivers. The people use them as travel paths and playgrounds most of the time. But, when these rains come as they have this year, WOW it is something to behold and many things are just swept away. All of our members are safe and not affected much except for the Hassan Nekati family who has a brick molding and sand and gravel business on the banks. They lost a lot of valuable cement and equipment. We missionaries have all been to their place and tried to help out as much as possible, but found much devastation there. They will recover, as some of the only members in the area with full time work and a thriving business. He was baptized just a few months ago and is second counselor in the Branch Presidency.

 Today we found that taking a morning walk on the fairways of the Pomegranite golf course would not work out. As we took this picture of the teeing ground and our car parked there, the water was still rising and we soon needed to move out the gate to the roadway. This is the second time in just 8 days that the course flooded. Two little ponds turned into a massive lake that covered at least 1/3 of the course. The green is actually elevated with the ponds below, and when it came in from the river it raised the water at least 8 feet.

 The owner of the course who is a friend of ours now came a while later to rescue some of the people on the other side and to begin assessing the damage for the second time. After visiting with many people we learned that this is very uncommon and they think the last time the river came out of its bank like this was 1972, so many of these people have never seen this before.

 The pool area and the grounds at the Cresta Marang Garden hotel is nearby. This is a picture of during the flood and after the water receded  at the pool area. Many of our special guests like General Authorities and humanitarian missionaries etc. stay here. We recently found that they have the very best evening restaurant in the whole area and we go there for a beef filet dinner about once every two weeks.

The river just a few hours after the flood waters came through and within a few more days it will be nearly dry completely. Those trees in the center were nearly all submerged in the morning hours on Friday.

We continue to be blessed with many new members of the church in the four branches that we visit with. We feel so lucky to have been asked to serve here in Francistown and be part of the growth and discovery for these awesome new saints. Our family at home continues to grow and to send us great news of things in their lives and we love each of them so much. We want to take a moment and thank every single one of you reading  this blog for the friendship, support, and prayers in our behalf. We also really appreciate those of you who keep us informed of happenings at home with emails and letters and such. May God bless each of you in all of your worthy pursuits.

Elder and Sister Davis
Francistown Botswana
Botswana/Namibia Mission


  1. We love reading about your experiences in Botswana. That is a lot of rain!!! Summer in Australia is December through February. We don't see a lot of rain. We have golfed in "the bush" here. It looks like your golf course is quite nice. May you continually be blessed in your service. We send our love and prayers for you and the wonderful people there. Elder and Sister Feil, your Australian fans :). If you don't know our blog address, here it is:

  2. Sister Davis,

    My son, Colton Williams, was called to the Botswana Mission last September. He is now in South Africa, serving in the Capetown Mission, awaiting a visa to get to Botswana or Namibia. We are hopeful that he will be able to serve there. Do you have any information about residency permits? Have any of the missionaries that were moved out been able to return? Colton is in Port Elizabeth (where my husband served) so he is fine, but I know he would like to get to Botswana. Are you and your husband from Cache County, Utah? Brother Davis looks like the Brother Davis who was in my bishopric when I was at USU. He ran a car dealership there.

    Thank you for your blog. I love reading it and seeing your pictures. Our prayers are with you.

    Suzie Williams

  3. My e-mail address is - Suzie Williams

  4. Hello Bro. and Sis. Davis! We are getting great reports from Ceci about you, she loves you both so much! I love the blog up date, and seeing my beautiful Ceci! Always an adventure in Bots!
    Kris Faux