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)
A rest area is a Lay Bye and in some parts of the country they come with the warning signs like you see above. This is the favorite place for a family with kids to take a break from the long road. The African kids DO NOT go out in the bush without the protection of adults. The only people we really see at these stops in animal country are visitors to the area. Ha Ha!
|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.
|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.
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
|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