September 18, 2013
Dear Family & Friends,
Wow, what a week. Sister Moorane Mogale, lives one and a half hours out of town and she has a friend that wants a Book of Mormon. Anastasia Nkana and her sister want to know about the Church. So, yesterday we started the journey early, 2 hours early, since we had no address. However, we did have a Google map to get to Bochum and a phone number of Sister Mogale. That’s the good news. The bad news is that after the Nelson Mandela became the President of South Africa, all of the communities got a new African name. Some communities got new road signs, some did not.
The new name was Senwanabarwa. That would have been good to know before we started out. We found ourselves out in the bush, 30 miles of dirt road and a poor cell phone connection. I really think we were on a safari road. Sister Mogale called to see where we were. She said, “ just look for the mall, I will be standing out front.”
“Are you kidding,” I said. “I haven’t seen a car, any animals or people, for over an hour, let alone a mall”. We had been driving on a really bad dirt road. I’m sure the angels assigned to us are working overtime. If it’s not turning the wrong way on a one-way street, it is being lost in the bush.
Oh, the lesson on the Restoration went well, we gave them both Book of Mormons, and a commitment to read. We will be teaching them again next Friday.
Sunday service at the school is always spiritual, but what an adventure. Everyone in the neighborhood must have the big music speakers, you know, the type that stand about five feet high. Service starts with the music from the neighbors around the school rocking African music, really, really loud.
Sunday, it was stepped up a bit with the rally for the President of South Africa in the soccer stadium, two blocks away. We had a killer marching band, heavy on the drums, lots of chanting in the background, and all the rest. As they marched around our block, the closer they came, the louder it got. We closed the windows, our air-conditioning, but the only thing that changed was the temperature inside.
The world tries really hard to drowned out spiritual things or at least off set any feeling of the Still Small Voice.
Mom‘s fold of little lambs continues to grow in the Primary.
She has the “Primary Program” ready to go for late October, and now it’s getting the kids parts memorized and songs learned.
She is amazing and the kids love her. I have considered getting a trailer to haul all her stuff but
we have no trailer hitch.(see picture)
The one little girl that is with Mom is Mahlogonolo Molepo.
Mom had a hard time pronouncing her name so she said, “Sister Harward, it’s okay you can just call me “Nolo”.
She is the sweetest little thing. Mom is working with her so she can sing a solo in part of the Primary Program. She will do well – – Mom says she has the voice of a little angel! (she is the little girl dressed in white with mom singing)
I can’t believe how quickly we have been able to develop a connection with the members.
When we go into their homes, it’s like we have known them forever. They are all so warm and inviting.
President Omer is opening 5 new areas. Elder Chindra,
one of our Elders here in Seshego was asked to open one of the new areas in Joberg. We had to say good-by to him on Sunday. Both Mom and I had to choke back the tears. This is really hard to have him leave. He was so helpful when we arrived – – -very patient with two old senior missionaries.
Sister Mary Sethosa was wearing her tribal celebration dress on Sunday
so we were able to get a picture with her. She and her husband were sealed in the temple last November.
We found a quaint little restaurant just a few blocks from our flat – – -we love to take the Elders there for lunch once in awhile. We have gotten to know the owners, Karen and Andrea. It is always fun and not too expensive.
Here’s a stretch. President called and asked me to do the 6-month audit for the Polokwane and Mokopane Branches. So today, after church, we drove to Mokopane, one-hour south, and completed the first one. Miracles are an everyday thing here in South Africa, we are asked to do. I told the President, who by the way is a CPA, I am no auditor, but if that’s what you want me to do…OK. Boy where is Alan Creer when you need to know about church finances.
Tonight was Institute at the College of Limpopo.
It is about 15 miles out of town. We only had four young ladies, but it is always worth it. We meet in one of classrooms. We take the first 45 minutes and are teaching the New Testament. They talked mom into staying for a while longer and teaching a class on Marriage. For those who are living in town, we teach again after church on Sundays.
The organ is coming along. Mom practices at least one hour each day. She is doing great. She says she is getting help from above. I know she is committed. She had her nails cut real short so she could play.
Connie Bauer would be really proud of her.
As we visit the members, we ask if we can close with prayer. Mom is getting plenty of practice. Everyone we ask wants her to do it. I shrug my shoulders and tell her I’m not in charge here. She is a good sport and very in tune with the Spirit.
Last night, I had an Elders Quorum training meeting here at the flat. We are having a hard time getting home teaching even started. One of the problems is that we need more Priesthood working. We have a lot of either less active or not active that are not assigned to home teach. I have been pondering and praying about a solution.
As I was reading about Alma’s experience with Amulek teaching the people of Ammonihah, and the thought came to me. Amulek went from a less-active, non-committed member of the church to a powerful missionary. How did that happen? The change in Amulek came by being taught by Alma, and finding that testimony that just needed to be put to work. Everyone needs to be given a calling, given some encouragement, and just serving the Lord.
We love being missionaries. We feel good and are doing better on getting around.
The Lord has blessed us with feelings of love for the people and seeing that love returned to us very quickly.
We need to get to bed.
We love you.
Elder & Sister Harward