Friday, March 18, 2016

Missionary Goings and Comings - Carole's Post

Transfer days - they are exciting, filled with anxiety, and sometimes painful. There are tears and big smiles.  Last week was a big one for the Blantyre district.

On Tuesday we drove out to pick up Sister Frimpong, bringing with us Sisters Motsi and Kinikini.  
Sister Frimpong completed her mission and was heading home to London, via Lusaka where she would have a final meeting with President and Sister Erickson.
Since Sister Kinikini was being transferred to Lilongwe, we got to keep Sister Motsi and Sister Kgwetiane.  Of course, they are wondering about their new companions, who will arrive later that night.

With Sisters Kinikini and Frimpong at the AXA bus station where we have said good-bye so many times.

At the station we were met by Elder Jena, who is also completing his mission and heading back to South Africa (via Lusaka) and Elder Chawaguta who was being transferred to Zambia.
It was time to start loading but there was one problem.  Where were the zone leaders who were bringing the other two transferring elders?

Ah, at last, here they are!  Elder Brewerton and Elder Kobyana brought with them Elder Hollingsworth and his soon-to-depart companion, Elder Mpofu - in the nick of time.

Oh, we will miss Elder Mpofu with his positive spirit, big smile, and graciousness.  He is heading to Lilongwe to be a zone leader.
The bags are all loaded, they have their seat assignments, and off they go...

We knew the new missionaries would be arriving that night from Lilongwe and even joked that they should wave as they passed the bus driving in the opposite direction!
After dropping the missionaries off, we decided to go make some visits and in the late afternnon, we went to see the Tsegula family.
Many fields of maize are filled with withering stalks because of the drought, but the Tsegula fields look great by comparison.  Brother James Tsegula showed us how tall it is, along with a grandson and son-in-law George.

Another George stands to compare.

Sister Tsegula wanted us to see another field, so she took us down across the creek to other healthy-looking fields and this time we were the photo subject.

It was getting to be dusk and as we headed back, we ran into the elders, the very ones we were with at the bus station. 
 Elder Brewerton had Elder Hollingsworth as his companion for the afternoon, while they were waiting for Elder Hollingsworth's new companion to arrive that evening.
There are always people to teach at the Tsegula compound.

In the evening, George and I went back to AXA to pick up the incoming new sisters.  The three new elders also arrived, along with Elder Banda the next day.
I could see that there were going to be some new names to learn, but it wasn't till the following Tuesday at the zone meeting that we really got to visit with the new Blantyre group.

Following the meeting, we all ate scones and got to know one another.

Meet Sister Bingham, another Idahoan.
Sister Bingham and I were excited to meet each other at the bus three evenings earlier since I had communicated with her parents soon after she received her mission call.  Her sister lives in the same ward as our son Seth and daughter-in-law Kara in northern California (sometimes it's a small LDS world).  She arrived in the Zambia Lusaka mission last June and finally got to the "garden of Eden", Blantyre.
She is the new sister trainer and companion to Sister Kgwetiane, who we get to keep a while longer!
Sister Newey (from Ogden, Utah) is the new companion to Sister Motsi.  Perfect name - she had just left the Joburg Missionary Training Center and was a brand-Newey missionary.

Elder Brewerton welcoming Elder Mabe (from Botswana).

He is the new companion to Elder Hollingsworth.
Elder Lewis (from California) is right out of the MTC.  His first companion and trainer is Elder Chiliza who is serving his last month before going home.  We will sure miss him!
Elder Maele, on the right,  has a new companion from Zimbabwe, Elder Zhuwankinyu.  That name took a little practice, but he says I have it down!
Elder Majekodunmi (another name that required practice!) is not showing us his new companion because he does not come for another day.
When he does arrive the next day, we welcome Elder Banda, who is Malawian! (from Lilongwe). He is only with us for one month while he awaits his visa, since his calling is to Ghana where he will first attend the MTC.

There were only two companionships that didn't make a change.

Elder Tshabalala and Elder Alexander remain together, though Elder Alexander is shrinking.  He has lost 50 pounds since he first arrived!
 Our zone leaders, Elders Brewerton and Kobyana, are just the best - performing service to the other missionaries, planning meetings, and meeting with George regarding finances, in addition to being great missionaries!