December 29, 2013

Dear Family,

Mom has been under the weather for a couple of days, so while she rests, here is the recap of the week. Everyone missed mom at church, no one to play the piano, I lead the singing and Maggy stepped up in Primary and with mom’s written instructions and all the materials ready, she did great.

Most of the members walk to church, so when it rains, as hard as it has been all day, there are lots of people that don’t make it.  I made a few deliveries to take members home and as you can see, if the oiled roads weren’t pooled or covered with mud, the dirt roads were like making your way up a stream bed.                                                       bLyE6UbgX7FtOW8nghNirWd-3W6RmVtVh3SCKrp_Ges l1ZfD3-t6TzxSKSOZCfUlo_ylzWKZmPfWOoAYxs8OKE

It was the 5th Sunday today, so I took part of the time and shared my feeling about what we could accomplish this next year with everyone’s help.  Hastening the work is about everyone stepping it up a little.  This year is about “doing” our part, not just talking about it.  We really want to become a branch of our own.

Yesterday, I went out with Bernard, our group mission leader to visit some of the members who we have never met.  We have been trying to locate a family by the names of January.  We tried the only phone number we had and no luck.  We then drove to the last address we had for them and ask  the people that now lived there if they knew the January family.  They knew of the family and gave us the best directions they could.  We then drove to the area and both went from house to house asking if anyone knew a family by the name of January, no one knew.

As I sat there in the car, a little discouraged, I knew we needed some help, and then I started the car.  As I looked up a young women came up the road in our direction, followed by a man.  I rolled my car window down and asked, “ Do you know where the January’s live?” She looked at me puzzled.  I then asked her if her name was Florence. “ Yes,” she said.  They were the January’s, and we had parked right in front of their home.

We are each on the Lord’s errand.  We are to just do our best, open our mouths and then the Lord will take over.  I am humbled to see the miracles as the Lord gathers His children.

Last Sunday, the Primary children sang jlZQD0dxACuoLM7QM96825maqrMVoRTa0IJpmmH8RlAtwo Christmas songs in Sacrament Meeting and then followed up with their presentation of the Nativity in Primary.  Mom gathered up everything she had, towels, our two throws, a little strand of garland and two old broom handles without the broom, and all the rest to make it happen.  She had so many kids that they had enough for two different casts.  As I watched, I understood why the Savior had such a love for the little children and ask us “to become as a little child”.  Their voices were sweet and pure and their excitement in Primary to represent Joseph, Mary, the angels and the shepherds was contagious. bNK6ZkiPfnj9LsFoTx-MZLyFALxozPPOW6K9o17oFmg zVqTw_mOYzEQhgiexB3K14kzf2BRyXDxCwd-TWvJZEI

The agenda for the week was full.  Mom started on Monday by going to pick up Nolo and Thapelo, to help her make cookies.  She then had them trace their little hands and then made slits in the palm to insert XlF6Jmqx0JhrkIeJqPSg_8BRrItAybFBeUv-WASr38ocandy canes.  These cards were to be presents for their little friends or a family member.  Mom had decided to make 14 dozen cookies (with a little help from Nolo and Thapelo) I’m pretty sure there was a faster way, but I don’t think Mom was just making cookies.  They had so much fun and of course afterwards the trip to McDonalds for lunch was just “icing on the cake”.  We worked on the balance of the cookies after we took the children home.   On Tuesday morning the Elders came over to finish up frosting and putting on sprinkles.XJFaJ3B0ULKlmYXOkxZCgVsKtkQtpSU407hzkWsOXI4 xg2fBS2anPkCBmiSVkT53DQDYVjxBWFHea5kok05VFQ

Now packed and ready, we headed out with four Elders, Mom and I to do our best at delivering a little Christmas Spirit.  Wow, what a success.  As we went up to each door, usually the back door, as soon as someone answered we all sang, “We wish you a Merry Christmas.”  We were a little overwhelmed with their response.  Several people put their hands over their faces and started to cry.  We even got texts from parents of those that we left with their kids thanking us for bringing the sweet Spirit of Christmas into their homes.  This included some of the members who are not very active.  We all had a great time and now on to the Christmas Eve events.

For Christmas Eve, we had the six Elders together with Elder & Sister Winward over for uvDRRQeWGTUPU4ZMk4gbz5iauuWnGiNBcp9ue3WllXEdinner.  Mom had prepared bread bowls with 4 different kinds of soup. I’m really not sure how many bowls each Elder would eat!  She had made hot corn salsa and another kind of salsa with chips, vegetable plate, carmel popcorn and Marci’s Aunt Wilma’s Liver (fudge) with all the extra trimmings.   We bought a race tack to bring out the little boys in the Elders.  They had a great time.  Even though they were not at home, we did our best to make it feel like it.  JF304vvLS2sx6swLI_JRqniLBqiliK6ULle8W6ZI8WYHm23vOY9ze9tUpA2AvV9ywCQemiQbtMJs8UUrIRxfcs

As we watch the sky and especially the sunsets, we see God’s handy work all around us.  We are grateful to serve is such a magnificent place.                       twCAy0lhjO-hwEpe1im8LoXLkmlq1XiaUt7gtwc4GcA C4NJwbEorQGm5RE9IIhPsgxPHdhkjDvnI6-y9h8QJUs

Driving down the road the other day, we saw someone making the best of what they had.  See, there are no limits to what you can do if you just put your mind to it. IGOjCyFDFwTVxvJuev-3f2WqB1oQq-swJ1YId-akZxU

For Christmas day we drove about 45 minutes south to Mokopane, and had a big JeX_v9jKNB53tnxewzxJDUF_v3sJ_A6453P4n9D7DhwChristmas Dinner with Elder and Sister Brammer, the Winwards, and the eight Elders. The food was great, and the company better.  Elder Brammer read us a great Christmas story and really invited the Spirit.  We went over to their chapel, checked out the Branch garden and played a little volleyball.  It was relaxing and we all had a good time.  It was a nice day.

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The magic hour was 7:00 pm.  The Elders had everything divided up so they could call home.  We had Elder Wadsworth on Skype in the Living Room and Elder McClellan in the Study on Face Time.  Mom and I went outside on a patio for a while, and had our own face time while they talked to their families.   It was fun to see their excitement as they watched the clock for 7:00 pm to come.  Little did they know we felt the same and were anxious to call home as well.

It was so great seeing and talking to everyone.  The kids are all growing up.  It looks like all of you had a great Christmas.  We know that the Lord is watching over each of you.  We love and appreciate all you do.  Tony and Angela, thank you for sharing your gifts of service with us.   Adam and Nick we are looking forward to sharing your experiences.

As we approach the New Year, the Mormon Message “Look Not behind Thee” has a good message.  It always makes me laugh.

We love you all so much.




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3 Responses to Christmas

  1. Jen says:

    This entry brought tears to my eyes. I can visualize the love and service you are extending and how it is impacting so many. You are the best of the best!

  2. Aaron Jolley says:

    This is a little late but it sounds like you had a very a Merry Christmas, have a Happy New Year!!! Take care!

  3. I so love reading your experiences. What a great Christmas you had, sharing it with so many. That’s Christmas in its very essence. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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