Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It is time to do battle with the wily mosquito.  Note the steely glint in the eye of our hero as he prepares to administer the coup de grace to the stealth version of the mosquito world.  This species is noted for its ability to disappear from open view, even with several sets of eyes watching.  They seem to rotate into the next dimension and vanish.  Not only that, but they don't make any noise on approach. Various attempts to dispatch them with bare hands only lead to frustration.  In an effort to even the odds, he procures a 21st century electronic weapon--the "BUG ZAPPER" capable of discharging 2,750 volts across the grid.  At last, a sure means of eradication is at hand (no pun here, it's all in the wrist).  The best part is the blue flash and sharp report which accompanies success in the hunt, not to mention the applause by his spouse as he dispatches another of his sharp-nosed assailants.

Did you know that anopheles (the species he is hunting) means "good for nothing" in Greek?--an apt name if I every heard one.  The only use we have for them is to feed the swallows, swifts, and martens which patrol the skies by day and by the dozens, searching for the elusive prey.  And by night the bats are about with the same aim. Need I tell you that this is our chief sport and entertainment each evening before retiring?  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sorry if some of the pictures have disappeared.  We were reminded that we are not allowed to post any pictures of individuals unless we have their express permission to do so.  The privacy laws vary from country to country, so to avoid any problems, we will have to forbear.  "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, and in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

However, we have really good news.  Our local immigration office OK'd our TEP visas for the next two years, so we should be able to stay in Blantyre for the whole time (until March 2015).  Sister Reynolds heaved a sigh of relief.  After a rocky start, it is nice to have a sense of permanence!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Today was quite a day.  We got a call last night from one of our Elders, who apologized for not inviting us sooner.  He and his companion were expecting to have 10 baptisms on Sunday and wanted to know if we wanted to be there.  Of course it meant getting up at 4:00 so we could leave Blantyre at 5:30 and drive two hours, but we were excited to be invited.  Our missionaries are only working in the area for two days each month, so all of these people were taught and fellowshipped by the members.  We would love to have a mission couple work in there, which would give us an opportunity to put four elders in the area full time.  We keep praying for someone to answer the call to Africa.  The area would be a neat assignment if we didn't already have one in Blantyre.

The branch is located in an area where we had visited three weeks previous, so we sort of knew the way, but elected to follow the missionaries, who had another couple with them.  It was a great trip.  It turned out we had nine baptisms, which were performed in a swimming pool.  The owners have been very gracious in allowing us to use their facility in the early morning before the guests will be up and about. 

I will include a couple of photos of the meeting house which is under construction.  It is basically a longhouse with two offices in the back.  They are currently meeting in a large house on the property, which will continue to be used for classrooms.
We had 56 adults in attendance at Sacrament Meeting, with another dozen or so children. It would be like having over 50 people in your living room/dining room of your home.  It is exciting to see the church move forward.