Since our last entry, we have made a trip to the Copperbelt region, mostly to Luanshya and Ndola. One of the Elders being transferred there, needed a ride (O'Neill), so he provided company for us. He was excited to be going there. We stayed in a house rented by the Mission, with another couple (the Lookharts-Office and renovation people). It is a little bit too rustic for us, but one can manage. We spent a lot of time sorting old Seminary and Institute materials and related materials (taking an inventory). Some is still usable, but a lot is not.
We did not have time nor access to deliver the out dated materials to the Branches, as they some times are happy to get it. The drive to the Copperbelt, is tedious and take 5 - 6 hours. Our main contact there spent most of the time doing other things, so we did not get as much done as we would have liked. One road back, is so full of deep and large potholes, that serious damage can occur if one is not extremely careful. A new Toyota Hilux 4 door truck went zooming by us and just as he pulled in front of us we noticed that something was dragging on the road from under his truck causing sparks to fly everywhere. A second later his left rear tire went off into the ditch, there was nothing we could do for him, so we slowly kept on going down the road. We see many of these car issues every week (it is never just a flat tire), it is usually a whole axle, or more.
We have spent the rest of the month, up to today, continuing to put in place classes, teachers, and materials. In addition, we had a visit from our supervisor President Makasi. He came to town and spent parts of two days training and holding meetings (which we arranged for him). We had him come to a seminary class one afternoon and he spoke at an Inservice meeting, a Branch leaders meeting and a Fireside for the youth. It was a busy day. He was a missionary here, 15 years ago and really enjoys coming back to visit people he helped bring into the Church.
Our latest news is that the Church wants to hire a full time Director/Coordinator for Zambia, which probably moves us to the country of Malawi, some time in the next few months (if they are successful in hiring someone). We can go wherever we are needed, but we have become quite settled here. The move should be to a new flat with a new truck.
Life never rests as we were contacted a few days ago about taking "Auditor" training. We had the Howells from South Africa, for parts of three days this week, trying to teach us about that future assignment. This assignment could continue in Malawi. Malawi does not have the Perpetual Education Loan program yet, so that might be one less job. We are getting close to finished with the current round of PEF renewals. Tomorrow, we start a new "Planning for Success" class though so there could be more students in a couple of months.
All in all, it has been a fast month - when you are busier, it goes quicker - right? We keep learning as we go so that is a great concept. It beats just getting older but not any wiser. We appreciate each of you at home and your efforts in keeping your families organized and on the right track. We have just read the Children's Friend (February Issue), and the New Era. What powerful magazines. They are not only good for the children but so good for us all. The messages are profound and TRUE. Enjoy them and think of the messages they are asking us to consider. We have planning meetings (with each other) almost every day here. It helps us focus on what is important over what we may want to do. I wish you could all be here in a month to help me throw a BIG birthday party for Dad, Burton, Grandpa. It is a big one - I think we'll have to make other arrangements and celebrate his 70th when he is 71. He thinks that's better anyway. Take care of yourselves. We love each and every one of you.