Monday, June 24, 2013

We have now been in Johannesburg (Jo-burg)for almost two weeks and are still not sure of our status or destination. We were asked where we would like to serve in case we did not get back into Zimbabwe, and Bro. Reynolds said we would be glad to serve in the Jo-burg Temple until we could return or be reassigned to another area. So now we are installed in the temple missionary housing and working full-time in the temple, possibly until it closes for some extensive renovation from July 15 through September 9. We are happy to be serving in the House of the Lord again. It has been especially gratifying to just be a worker, since the coordinator positions we held in the Seattle Temple took us away from serving directly. Elder Reynolds has had opportunities to serve in many assignments in the last two weeks, and is really excited to be back in the swing of things again.
The temple senior missionaries take their Mondays off and go adventuring.
We are authorized to use the temple buses, and today we loaded both of them up and went to the temple president's home for a light breakfast of muffins, juice and meat rolls.
Then we visited one of the animal parks and got to walk right in with the animals. There are no predators, so it was really neat to walk up fairly close to the animals and take pictures. You asked for some pictures, so here's a sample of what we saw.
The impalas were quite shy, but some of the other antelope were inquisitive.
The zebras (say short e, not zeebras) were pretty tolerant.
The ostriches came right through the group on their way to and from the fountain.
Sister Reynolds got a picture of Sis. "Tata" in the trees.
Then we had lunch at a tea garden, out on the grounds by the duck pond. It was all by way of saying goodbye to those who will be going home when the temple closes next month.

Monday, June 10, 2013

This has been a topsy-turvy week, indeed. On Monday we were told there was a possibility that our Visas for Zimbabwe might not be approved. On Wednesday afternoon, we were told that we would be leaving the country at noon on Thursday. So by Thursday afternoon 6/6/13 we were in Johannesburg, SA, with no assignment or idea where we would end up. We spent several days in the Sunnyside Park Hotel, and finally on Monday we found out we would be temporarily assigned to work in the Jo-burg Temple as temple missionaries until the Brethren decide where we may be re-assigned. We are still hoping to be able to return to Zimbabwe, but hope is dim due to the unrest and confusion attending the elections there. We were joined by another couple on Saturday along with three young missionaries, and there will be an additional couple tomorrow. The next contingent of missionaries who were to arrive next week will be diverted to other missions, with the exception of two native Zimbabweans. This is a difficult time, but we are not discouraged, just disappointed that we may never see our beloved Zimbabwe again.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

This is our initial branch, Dombotombo, assignment, in Marondera. The building has both branches meeting here. It is only about two years old, but both branches are now close to 100 members in attendance. The picture of the next missionary to go out from the branch is of soon-to-be Elder Gumbodete and the branch mission leader.