December 1, 2013

Dear Family:

This week was full and rewarding, but with some disappointment.  We have been preparing for Elder and Sister Winward to move into their flat here in Polokwane. We bought them some groceries, and put fresh flowers on the table in anticipation of their arrival on Tuesday evening.  We were excited to help get them get settled, so they could join in with Thanksgiving, turkey and all.  Unfortunately, before leaving Joburg she blacked out while at a Zone Conference, fell and broke her ankle.  We feel so bad for her.  They operated on her ankle on Saturday.  The doctors don’t know yet how this will affect her mission, or ability to get the necessary rehab she needs.  I guess we will have to wait and see.

On a brighter note, the Elders thought they had died and gone to heaven with the Thanksgiving dinner.  Mom is a genius. Have you ever tried making pumpkin pie without yvlmw62MVImF4M9qNPWAORaHhZ4VnbvmHS1uQkInpOoany pumpkins? Mom spiced up the Butternut squash she found and you really could not tell the difference.  Grandma Audrey’s copper pennies turned so, so good.  They were a hit!   The only turkeys we could find were the size of large chickens. We had a 9 pounder and a 12 pounder.  Mom was worried about seasoning everything because there was absolutely no sage to be found in all of South Africa.  With the small size rxd86fwtzBE6THcCbu0PC8xx0JsHyzpX7fwsrUrUM-Aovens over here, we had to cook one in our flat and the other one over at the Winward’s flat.  That was exhausting running back and forth to keep checking and basting both turkeys, but the smiles that night made it all worth it.


PEC and Group Council was a success.  Everyone came and was willing to listen to some suggestions and training.  Things really work when all the parts are moving.  I think given some time, we can turn this “Group” into a “Branch”.

Mom is working with Luckymore, on his reading skills.  She had noticed when he was asked to read that he was embarrassed because he could not read as well as the other children.  So last Monday she went and found a library and signed up to have her own library card so she could check out books to help Lucky learn to read better.  She goes out to the village and reads with him.  8mfrM6knPjthpsoTgkv_eJer67FdzGHUH_pyKTKi3AkAlready we can see improvement.  He just needs a little one on one time.  He seems to enjoy reading with her and she has set up some rewards when he reaches certain goals.  You know how much Mom loves Books!  She said she wants to instill a love of reading with Luckymore.  What a blessing it will be for him throughout his life.

President Omer asked us to prepare for Zone Conference by reading and studying the nature of the Godhead.  Elder Bednar told us last month in a special meeting that our Father in Heaven spent His time doing two things: 1) God is a creator, and He spends His time creating, 2) He lovingly listens to our prayers and spends His time helping His children. God is our Father. We are His children.

The testimony given in April 1985 General Conference by Elder Bruce R. McConkie makes me want to do those things necessary to know and love my Savior… He said, “I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day, I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears.  But I shall not know any better than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer and salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way.”  Knowing the Savior is a daily matter.  May we all invest the time and obedience to know the Savior.

And what about the Holy Ghost?  He is a Teacher, a Comforter, and the agent of personal revelation.  What a blessing to have access to a member of the Godhead and have it so constant if we live worthy of it.  Each time I feel those special feeling of confirmation, I am grateful.

The early drive to Tzaneen for Zone Conference was beautiful.  The mountain lakes and fog was so picturesque.

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President Omer, our Mission President, and Sister Omer were kind and gracious as always.  They are inspiring and motivating.  Zone Conference was great.  Afterwards, the Senior Sisters treated us to another great meal.  Mom’s fruit salad was a hit.



Patrick is doing well.  His next big challenge is what to do with his congregation.  He really loves these people.  Pray for him.

This morning after a killer rain and lighting storm, we traveled out to a village to help Bernard and his family get to church.  Water was running everywhere.  The dirt roads wash onto the few blacktop roads and it really makes a mess.   The advise of the day is don’t get stuck your not driving the Mog.

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On the way out to the village, we noticed a recycling place.  The people do not waste or throw away anything.  They gather it up, and either use it or sell it.





Trent and Adam, check out this new development going up just off of the main road leading out of town.  There is such a need for housing of any sort, that those with little or no money, they just gather what they can find and make due.  This area was clear of any buildings a couple of weeks ago.  By the way, there are no utilities anywhere near this property.

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The rain and mud kept about half of our members away from church.  It did not however, dampen the Spirit at Fast and Testimony meeting.  We are so grateful to be serving, and for tender mercies that we notice everywhere.  Dad bore such a powerful testimony today.  I couldn’t be more proud and thankful to be serving with him.  This has been such a blessing for the two of us to serve as missionaries.

To those sweet sisters in our Home Ward – – thank you so much for the love notes.  We so appreciate you taking time to write and giving us your support!

We love you all so much.  We see your strength and love for one another.  It allows us to look beyond the missing you and focus on the abundant blessings that are being poured out upon the family  – – D&C 100:1 “your families are well; they are in my hands . . .

We hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Have a great week.



If you did not watch the Mormon Message “Wrong Roads” by Elder Holland it gives some real insight of God’s love for us.

P.S.  After 11 days without water – – we are so grateful to finally have water.  Oh, spoke too soon, we are without it AGAIN tonight!!  I can’t believe this is happening!!

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3 Responses to Thanksgiving

  1. Susan Palmer says:

    I love reading you letters each week. You are such awesome missionaries ! I am sure that the people love you more than you will ever know.
    Your example makes me want to go on another mission. Being in full time service to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ is such a choice experience. Enjoy every day because the time passes by ever so quickly. You are giving the greatest gift you can give this Christmas season and we pray for you to continue to see the fruits of your labors. Happy holidays to you. Susan Palmer

  2. Terry says:

    Thanks for the note. We really are having a wonderful experience. There is so much to do. Everyone is so kind and willing to help.i hope this finds you welll and happy. Tell everyone hello. Happy holidays. Terry

  3. Amy says:

    Love your blog so much. I wish I could be there serving too! Thanks for all of the inspiration you give us.

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