Oct. 31, 2013
Conference is a little different here. In our area we have to wait for DVD’s of Conference and then work out a time when we can all enjoy them. They had a TV set up this last Sunday in our little school, and then we watched the first two sessions. We had a good turn out and as always, conference leaves you feeling good and wanting to do better. In between the sessions, we had a 45-minute break to have lunch. We finished up the “sloppy Joes” from the party and everyone brought their own drinks and chips. Mom baked 6 dozed no-bake cookies, Rice Krispy squares, and Angela’s wonderful chocolate chip cookies. Wow, where did they all go? It was a nice day and finished the day off by spending some time with Jimmy.
That planned P-Day adventure to the Crocodile Farm fell through, so Mom and I went to the “Bakone Malapa open air Museum.”
accommodations for the tribes. The first wife gets the big hut with three openings. Both the first and second wife’s are chosen by the tribe and number 3 get to be chosen by the Chief. This still goes on today. One of my assignments in the Missionary Presidency is to do 2nd interviews for those wanting to be baptized but have some affiliation with polygamy, among other things.
After going there, we went and bought a PINK & WHITE cake for Koodzie’s 1st birthday party. We had all the fix’ns with cake of course, party hats and the party whistles. No one knew what to do with the whistles – – we had to show them how they worked.
I spent the best part of the morning getting ready for training for the Relief Society Presidency tonight. I had an agenda, lists; I had identified all the Visiting Teaching problems that needed some attention. I did a great job telling them what I thought they needed to do and how to do it. As you might guess, the training did not go so well. Gee, now what? (See inspiration from Elder Bednar, later in the week)
Yesterday we had our appointment with Patrick. As we drove the 1½ hours to the place we planned to meet, I wondered, what was ahead of us. Was this an ambush? Moranne, our referring member who lives in this area, said she had seen Patrick at her work and he was carrying the Book of Mormon that we had given him.
Well, we showed up at the shopping area in the center of town. Patrick showed up on time and told us to follow him to his home. Good thing he took the lead and we followed. Directions, just go around the corner, onto a dirt road to the right, dodge the big mud puddle, around the car wash, keep left for a few streets, dodged big rocks, bricks from the big wall they are always building around their homes for security to Patricks’ nice little home. Was that a run on sentence? He pulled in the garage and had us drive up in his little driveway instead of leaving the car out on the dirt road.
He was warm and inviting. We sat around a dining room table that nearly filled the little room, started with prayer and I asked him how he was doing and asked about his reading of the Book of Mormon. Immediately he started talking. “I know this book is the word of God. It talks about Jesus Christ just like the Bible. I am a little confused about the names and the different groups, but I just need to know more,” he said.
I sat at the other end of the table and looked at a humble Son of God who was anxious to learn. He was a different man from a week ago; no laughing about our message, no condescending remarks, just the sweetness of wanting to know more. A “change of heart” makes each of us a different person, and always comes as we seek our Father in Heaven through humble prayer.
As I listened to the Elders teach, I could not believe his thoughtful questions. We taught, the love of God and the fact that we are God’s children. We then taught the need for prophets as God looks after His children, the Apostasy and the Restoration of the Saviors Church.
I shared Alma’s experience he recorded in Alma 32 about growing our faith and compared it to planting of the seed and how to know if the seed it good and growing. The seed has been planted and Patrick is feeling the evidence of a good seed.
Our meeting was filled with the confirming feeling of the Spirit. I am grateful that I know the truth of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. This knowledge is available to anyone. It comes from God as we humbly ask our Father in Heaven. God loves us. What a thrilling experience. Please keep praying for Patrick. I am sure his family will be involved soon.
Today is a big day. We get to drive up to Tzaneen and hear Elder David A. Bednar, an apostle of the Lord. This will be awesome. Morning starts off with a small problem, flat tire. This is the third one in three weeks. They have all been on a different tire. Oh well, just adapt, go up to Tzaneen with the other Elders. The lady at the tire store has seen me so often that she told me she would start praying for me.
I learned today as I listened to Elder Bednar, at our Mission Training Conference, why the Relief Society Training, earlier this week, was a bust. An apostle of the Lord taught us that our calling is to invite others to ACT. We are to ask questions, observe and listen to what those we are teaching have to say. From there, teach as directed by the Spirit. Don’t give the answers, just help them find the answers.
“You can’t do that by talking them to death,” he said. It is not about us, it is about them. You have to get others to Act, and then get out of the way and let the Holy Ghost do the teaching. The meeting was an inspiring 3-hours. We watched the conference by telecast with the other missionaries that live in this part of the mission. We are too far away to have everyone drive. The drive in the mountains up to Tzaneen was beautiful. Tall trees, green everywhere and lakes in some of the valleys. What a day!!!
The ride home was a night to remember. As the clouds gathered and the sun went down, things grew dark and it started to rain. You have never, ever seen lightening until you have been to South Africa. It filled the sky for over 30 minutes, together with all the trimmings. Thunder , right on top of us and rain coming down so hard that we had to pull off the road for a while. The wipers could not keep up with the rain, and we could barely see the cars and trucks with the flashers on. I’m not sure what scared me the worst, the storm or the 18 year old Elder who was driving. We have had three huge rain storms this last week.
For Institute here in Polokwane, we had a little pizza party Friday night and watched a church movie. Everyone had a great time, good feelings, with great friends. It was just like being back at BYU. We loved it. Mom’s cake was a hit. I thought some of them were going to overdose on the chocolate.
We finished up the week at Rubens with his little grandkids. The 2 hours up and back was well worth it. Where are all these kids coming from? Today we had 12. Four are getting ready for baptism. Mom taught with the Spirit, so powerful and yet with such sweet love. I imagined just like the Savior would do. Mom and I both had a hard time holding back the tears as we looked over the children and listened to their sweet voices sing about their love for the Savior. I know He was pleased just as we were. I know Mom was thinking about Abbey, Savanna, Ryan, Ceciley, James, Christian, Briton, Chandler, Jude, Nicholas, Oliver, Griffin, August and Winnie as she tenderly taught them about “Faith is Like a Little Seed” and “Repentance: A Gift from the Savior.” We can really feel their love for her, as each one of the kids needed at least one hug from her before we left.
The lesson included coloring a picture of the Savior with the little children. (pix of Christ with Children) I HAVE FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. Mom helped them understand (Alma 32:21) “If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.”
She told them the importance of making good choices and if they do make a mistake how the wonderful gift of Repentance works. Mom told them that by Choosing the Right their faith would grow. She gave each one a CTR ring. They were so proud to put them on their little fingers. Mom had them repeat the things they had learned about FAITH and REPENTANCE as she helped them put on their rings. Today was priceless!!
We love you.
MOM & DAD