August 30, 2013
Dear Family & Friends,
We are back in from date night and wanted to share an experience from yesterday afternoon. Mom has been working, without many resources, to get ready for Primary. The six children have been sitting listening two hours straight from the lesson material. They are reverent and listen with no complaints. Mom on the other hand was looking for “sharing time” and maybe a little “wiggle” and singing time. Two hours is pretty long for all of us to sit still and just listen.
So, for Sunday everything is ready. The “popcorn tree” will be in full bloom, service pictures ready to color and scripture markers are laminated with scripture references from the Savior on what to do when I feel afraid, when I need courage, when I feel happy, and when I feel alone. The kids are all going to be excited. I guess maybe we will be too. Its just coming out of winter and into spring here in South Africa. I guess that mean the temperate will go from the 60’s to the mid 80’s. Are we are in San Diego or South Africa?
While down to the office supply store, getting the bookmarks laminated we had an interesting experience. As I stood waiting at the counter, a young man about 35 years old asked me if he could ask me a question. I said sure. He said, “I noticed you two walking up to the store holding hands. Your wife is beautiful and she has no scars on her face. You must treat her good. He said, all of my friends don’t get along with each other and the men all beat their wives. You can tell by looking marks and bruises. You look happy, he said, and I want to know your secrete.” “I want to be married to the same women when I am your age and holding hands.”
I though for a minute and then pointed to my badge and said, it is because of Him…Jesus Christ. He has shown us the way. We just need to be as kind and loving as He is, and follow Him.
He said, I go to church, sometimes three times each week, but most of the people there only follow him on Sunday. He said, I don’t know how to be a good husband or father. No one ever taught me. My mom had 8 children, all from different men and I never knew who my father was.
As I visited with him, he told me that the night before, he was out with his wife for a special occasion and it ended up in an argument. He got mad, said unkind things and now he felt bad. He said he knew he should apologize, but the custom was that for men that was really out of the question, and even if they did appoligize, the men should do so with their back turned to their wives. I told him that if he really loved his wife, they way he said he did, he should face her, apologize to her face and mean it.
I gave him a pass-along card on families, told him to call the phone numbers on the back for additional information and that I would call him so we could meet with he and his wife and answer more questions.
I called him today, while the Elders were at our “flat”. He told me he had already called the number to get some material and they told him they would send someone out to deliver it. I told him I was sitting with those who would be delivering everything and we set an appointment for next week to meet with them. There are those who are looking for the truth, but do not know where to find it, everywhere in the world.
I guess the things I learned from this experience were; (1) hold your wife’s hand (2) staying married means that we have to talk about and work out our differences, (3) open your mouth and let the Spirit do the teaching, (4) depend on the Lord to put people in your path and provide opportunities to share His message. We are all on His errand.
We are doing well, as per instruction from the Mission Office, we fill our cars up every night, because the gas strike will start on Monday, and we have the selves filled with food if there is a shortage.
You have never seen a sunset like in South Africa. The sun was red-orange and hugh. The moon is also bigger than you can imagine. With the coming of spring, the storms start. The lightning is dramatic and inspiring. Just don’t get caught out in it.
We are so excited about the arrival of our precious little granddaughter, Winnie. Nick, get well soon.
Well, we love you. Be kind and loving to each other. Hold hands a little more often.
Elder & Sister Harward