Sunday, July 27, 2014

Week 8 - Jul 20th - 26th, 2014

July 20th - July 26th

Sunday after church we had a nice dinner hosted by our trainer couple the Taylor's.  Happened to have another couple come too from their Botswana Mission, the Gubler's from Santa Clara, UT. who've been out 22 months.   Very nice food and visiting.

Monday was a very long busy day preparing for Elders transfers.  Melanie has new bedding to buy for each of the 10 incoming new Elders along with assembling a package of information for them.  Also, the Zone Leaders distributions are early this week because of transfers which means getting other things sorted and prepared for them to pick up.  This was a very busy day especially for Melanie.  Because of the holiday coming up and the lack of computer support from the Church employees who take that day off I had to work late (10:30 p.m.) to get support payments done for the housing, utilities, etc.

Pillows, bedding, linens, and boxes of items Melanie puts together for transfer day, T-Day.

Tuesday was transfers, or T-Day as our new Pres Dunn wants to call it.  He and Sister Dunn are very busy with interviews, airport, dinners, etc. for the 10 new incoming and 15 going home.  It is quite a day for them, actually more than one since the American Elders fly out on Tuesday and the African Elders fly out on Wednesday.

Bags are packed and ready for service or to go home.

The hand-off meeting and the training that follows for the new Elders.  A great experience for them and us.

Melanie and I got our first dose of teaching and training the new Elders about how things work to sustain their lives in their flats.  So we took turns teaching them about flats, utilities, phones, supplies and furnishings, etc.  Tried to keep it very positive and not badger them about what will happen if they don't keep up on their housekeeping duties.

Melanie with Sister Taylor her trainer getting ready to teach the new Elders what their Mother's would want them to do.

Being transfer day brought many of the Elders into the office even though we try to keep it closed.  They always have some reason or issue that needs our support action so we try to be accommodating.  The work they brought in kept us busy until 8:00 so another long day.

Wednesday was a major day because the MTC is taking over our office space to accommodate the expansion of dorm rooms so more missionaries can be called to train here.  Our new office space is on the same property and is adjacent to the CES building where they handle Institute, Perpetual Education, etc.  We had some moving support from a crew of black Africans who seem to have to do all of the heavy labor while being supervised by a white boss.  

How do eight Africans move a 500 lb. safe?  If their white boss doesn't get them a dolly or hand truck, they tie a rope around it and drag it across the offices to the door, then....

...sort of like the ancient Egyptian's, when they get it to outside they would 'roll' it along moving these pipes as they go.  Fortunately for them, when I saw this going on after I took a picture I offered to let them use our mission hand truck that I had in the storage garage.
They and we both worked very hard and long to get things moved over.  Now it will take a week or ten days to get it sorted and arranged so things will work again.

Larry's office before.

Larry's office after. (Had to hang garbage bags on the window until we get blinds.)

Melanie's office before.

Melanie's office after.

Thursday was a continuation of the move issues.  Melanie worked so hard at helping get things moved and rearranged.  I went out shopping for shelving since they didn't move any of that for us which left us in a mess of piles.  

Shopping for shelving at a store like Sam's called Makro.  Check-out line is really long.  They have you stand in a queue so everyone has a chance at the next available clerk.  They put signs like Disneyland that say how long your estimated wait is from different points in the line.

We made some good progress though.  The main thing was that we were able to get our computers and phones working again.  Pres. and Sister Dunn had some good leftovers from the transfer meals they hosted so they invited us and the Thompson's over to the mission home to have dinner with them.  It was nice, the first dinner we've had all week so far.

Friday was focused on catching up however we could with the highest priority urgent matters that had come up while we were disrupted.  The important things we were working on just had to wait.  In the midst of this I got a call from some Elders who had been mugged at knife-point and had their cell phone stolen so I had to get the number blocked and arrange to send them out a new phone with a new SIM card.  Then back to work on important stuff which kept Melanie and I both busy until after 10:00 p.m.

Saturday we had a little project to get some supplies and furniture loaded up on a trailer to go up north.  Afterwards, we went for a quick trip to get a couple of grocery items.  In the afternoon Ben and Jill came and took us to a favorite shop where they sell African memorabilia.  It was an interesting trip.  Then we went to dinner at a nice restaurant in Joburg and then to their flat to see where they live.  Their flat is in a 5 story high-rise.  There are many Area couples and Temple couples that live there too.  Ben and Jill are blessed with a very large and nice 3-bedroom 2-bath flat.  They even have a maid that helps them!

Last but not least we called our dear daughter Wendy on video and had a nice birthday visit with her.

This was another busy, long-hours week probably about 60 hours, but the time goes by quickly and we are really enjoying being able to serve here.

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