Monday, May 26, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Our blog has evolved into a once a month newsletter and mostly for the pictures because that is what you all love to see. We are able to communicate with our kids now through imessage, instagram and facetime so well, it is not really necessary for email on a daily basis. For the rest of you, please keep the emails coming as the homesickness never ends and we need your support and prayers. This was a huge day for our six Elders and Sisters and for all their hard work to help change the lives of these great people. Even I, Elder Davis was asked to perform my first baptism for a sweet girl named Bianca. What a treat and a blessing for me.

You may have known that from time to time the mission cars need to be surplussed and we Senior missionaries are allowed to advertise, display and accept the bids from our members only, who can buy the cars from the church at a very affordable price. We traveled to Gaborone where there were six cars to auction on this Saturday and helped the other couples with the logistics and manpower to help accomplish this for the Church and the local members. This was the crew that cleaned and presented and negotiated with all those who came to  make offers. It really brought me back to home as if we were conducting an offsite sale at the dealerships in Utah. All were sold and each person who bought them had great stories and felt blessed to get a car. The following Saturday I conducted the same type of sale in F town for our members here. The mission cars are getting down to a manageable number. It was just in December when we wondered how to get by with the cars we had. Go figure!! This is the Gaborone Ward Chapel building that we visited for Mothers Day Sunday. So far it is the only actual Church owned and built meeting house we have been in for Sunday. We were greeted with such enthusiasm and were introduced in Sacrament Meeting, only to learn the Bishopric thought we were there to stay! I actually attended a High Priest meeting for the first time in Africa.

It was like Christmas and a great reunion to have these guys step off the plane in Francistown Botswana to visit. We had a great two days here together meeting all the members possible and then went to find some artist carvers in the bush. Bret found a really nice carving from Ironwood of the "Big Five" with the shape of Botswana for a base. Their shop was very crude but they were a lot of fun to deal with. Most of their work goes to a gallery in Fort Lauderdale Florida.

The six of us then traveled to Victoria Falls Zimbabwe to visit one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and had such a great time together there. The water is at its peak and you get within a couple hundred feet of it in many places. As you get close it is just like being in a downpour and there is no way to stay dry. Doing it again I think it would be best to simply wear a swimming suit! If some of our friends or other family come we will visit again and take a Helicopter ride over the Falls.

The Zimbabweans love to make noise like music and dance their traditional tribal ways. Of course they always like a few dollars for their trouble to involve you. By the way, if you did not know a funny fact: Zimbabwe uses U.S. dollars for their currency. To finish the day we all went on a Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi River. The history of David Livingstone and the discovery of Victoria Falls (named for Queen Victoria) is really an interesting adventure over many years. Oh yes, African sunsets are spectacular!

Sister Davis and I sent the others off on an airplane to South Africa and we drove across the border back to Kasane Botswana where we have a small branch to visit once in a while. On Saturday evening we took our friend Cornelia and rode up and down the Chobe River and along the shores of the Chobe National Park for a relaxing but very eventful picture taking time with the WILD animals.

Our host on the trip loves to get pictures of all the birds and the animals too. I only remember the names of some of the birds, but they are really unique and beautiful. Some of these are expert fishers.

The Hippos are really entertaining to watch and facinating too. They can stay under the water up to seven minutes without surfacing for air. They have actually become the cause of more human deaths than any other African animal because they accidentally overturn boats so often.

Crocodiles seem so quiet and slow as you get close to them sunning on the shore. Our camera is pretty good but it does not have a big telephoto lens, we are just close to these guys.

These last two pictures are from the roadside on our drive back to Francistown on Sunday afternoon. Sister Davis was just this close to the big Bull Elephant and the picture was taken as she sat in the car and I drove right up to him. We were within 10 feet with the motor running and my foot on the brake and the gas in case he turned to come toward us. She was a little shaky but got a couple nice shots in.

We concluded the trip with a wonderful Sunday with our small branch in Kasane and just love to be with them as they learn and grow in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We had 9 adults including us and 14 children in our Sacrament meeting. We love to visit them and to see how they change from time to time. Each time we go it is important to help them with their learning of the Preach my Gospel manual and to give them support in their callings. Of course they always want us to speak and teach lessons too.We pray for all of you at home and want you to know that we are doing great. Love Elder and Sister Davis

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the wonderful photos of places visited and people in your lives. Say, we could have used those cars in New South Wales, Australia! Oh, that wouldn't work out-transportation costs:). Your sunsets are at least as spectacular as what we see here. The animals you get to see up close are amazing. While we have lots of birds in Australia, the animals are quite different compared to Africa. It's hard to believe that we will be home in about 5-6 months. We plan to do some travel around the area before we head home. It would be great if you could join us :) :) :). Or we could just meet up in Utah somewhere for dinner. We wish you well and success in all your efforts to strengthen the church membership there. Love from Elder and Sister Feil