January 25, 2014
Sunday was a nice day. Temple Prep. Class turned out well. They had lots of questions about God’s Plan for us. Everyone left class with some scriptures to study, ponder and pray about. Primary was a hit. The theme this year is “Families are Forever” and Mom has been spotlighting every week two or three children that are in her PRIMARY FAMILY TREE.
Mom was thrilled with all the teachers, new and old. They all came prepared. Each went about sharing God’s tender love with the children. Mom thinks they are finally really getting their callings. She couldn’t have been more proud of them and thankful for these wonderful sisters.
Sister Mpho covered most of the gospel topics in her 40-minute talk but Brother Mashishi delivered a powerful testimony in the remaining 5 minutes and saved the day. Gee, I have seen this somewhere else before.
The Elders have been having major car problems over the past 3 weeks. It has been really hard for them and hard for us to pick up the slack and keep everyone busy doing the work of the Lord. We really can’t walk from our flats to Seshego. It’s about 20 – 25 minutes drive in a car. We have forgot the Elders a couple of times and had to turn around and go pick them up from a dinner appointment.
We have a mixture of languages here. Most of the white people speak Afrikaans. “Thank you” in Afrikance is “bau a dankie” and sounds like “Buy a donkey”, and we always laugh when someone says it. The other night we went by to pick up the Elders in Seshego from a dinner appointment. We got this text from Elder Wadsworth: “Just sending a reminder! Don’t forget us! Ha-ha.” Obviously he has not forgot we left him out there last time.
My response: “Hey get serious . . . .we are parked out front when you are ready!” His response: “Bau a dankie”! (Thank you) My response: “Why would I need a donkey. You’re the one without a car. You buy a donkey. Sorry, I thought it was really funny.
The Elders have used up their money for the month and still no car … the car quit again 2 days after being in the shop. After church we came home and Mom had prepared a fabulous dinner so we invited the Elders to stay and have dinner with us.
We opened the sliding glass doors and listened to a killer storm. It rained really, really hard. The thunder and lightning was closer than we have ever had before. I’m sure all of our members were hiding under their beds. They hate the thunder and lightning storms. I’m sure the fact that many have leaky metal roofs does not help either.
After eating lunch we all went back out together to teach, but it was a “no show.” So we dropped them off in one of the areas and mom and I went over to visit Sister Bambi and her family. She and her family were baptized in 2005 but were offended some time ago and stopped coming to church. We really wanted the Spirit to teach them what they needed to know. We took the white board and all of the cutouts to teach “The Plan of Salvation.”
Sister Bambi has her 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren living with her. She is going into the hospital to have one of her kidneys removed on Wednesday. We shared our love for their family. Everyone came in to listen to what we had to say. They listened carefully to God’s plan to come back to Him. They understood the love that they had for each other as a family.
I asked them if they thought members of the church would be so unkind as to gossip or say unkind things about other members. Quickly they said, “ yes. “ I told them the best thing to do with those that have lots to say about everything and everybody is just let their lips flap until they just flap themselves to death. Don’t allow anyone to keep you from God’s greatest gifts by staying away from church because of someone else’s actions.
We are going to get everyone in our group involved to show this family how we really serve others and that we really do care.
We finished up the evening with a trip to visit Jimmy. He is back from his family holiday visit. We laughed and he told us how much he missed us. He told us about trying to find a 2014 calendar and after couple of day of getting around in his motorized wheel chair; his last hope was at a stationary/office shop in town.
The owner of the shop had very little to show Jimmy, but in a leap of desperation, He said, “wait, I have a calendar you might like. It is rolled up in the back room and it has beautiful girls on it.” Jimmy told us that now he faced a new problem. He could not be rude after all the help he had received from the shopkeeper, but how was he going to cut out the girls on the calendar before we came to see him. He does not have scissors and even if he had a pair, he couldn’t hold them. We laughed so hard, we almost cried.
Jimmy said while he was resting in his bed at his Mother’s house that he realized how much he was going to miss us when we left to go back to America. He started to say, “What will I ever do without you?” We cut that off quickly. We told him we didn’t want to even think about any of that now. We really love these people.
P-Day was exactly that, PREPARATION DAY. It’s Ok. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. We did make it out to Bernard’s for a visit. After some conversation, we decided that their big back yard would be perfect to plant a garden. Batsiri was thrilled at the prospects. When she lived in Zim, they grew a garden. They plan to have a set of local donkeys come and plow up the soil. With the new wheelbarrow and a couple of tools, they could get started. We hope hauling water will be much easier with this new wheelbarrow. When the ground is ready, the Elders are going with us and we will all have a day of service planting the garden. Mom can hardly wait to get her hands in the soil!
Tuesday was full of taking care of the Elders. They had worked hard to get everything cleaned on Monday for their monthly flat inspection. We gave them a gold star for their cleaning but the place really needed some help. They needed drapes and some repair on the curtain rods in a bad way. The couch had to be older than dirt. It was disgusting. Not to worry. The mission office was more than willing to have us help them get the place back in order. So with the office credit card in hand, we did a little bargain shopping.
The new drapes are hung, rods repaired and the 2 new couches and chair look great. The deliverymen were more than willing to haul off the old stuff. Their boss said they could have it if they wanted. Packing everything up and then down the three flights of stairs was a big job.
We finished the evening with PEC and Group Council meeting. The leaders are not there yet, but they are learning.
Today we went finding with the Elders, located some less active members addresses and went with the Elders to do some teaching. Good day, great people to teach.
Adam bailed me out today and we are ½ way around the world. He talked me through getting everything working again with the computer and my iPad. Thanks Adam. I really, really appreciate your ability to keep things working, even in South Africa. We love to look at Instagram and watch the family.
Patrick’s lesson today went well. He is like a sponge, and now the only thing is to help Mary, his wife feels more comfortable and learning. Patrick is so excited and wants his family to all be baptized together. Mom and I are going to start having Family Home Evenings with them, besides our lessons when we bring the Elders. We hope a different environment for teaching will help her be more relaxed. She is so shy.
After our lesson, Patrick asked if we had any more pamphlets. He said, “all of my friends are wanting to read them, and I only have one of each.” His copies of the last two conference issues are looking pretty sad. They are worn, tattered and all marked up, so I got him a couple of other older issues and he was a pretty happy man. He is following the prophet’s council to read, reread and ponder the words of the prophets. The sky on the way home is always remarkable. Can you see the flying bird or the old man in the clouds?
Every Friday we go to District Meetings. They are always good and we leave feeling inspired. Institute was really good. We had a couple of investigators there and it was fun to hear their questions and see them interact with the members. Mom provided a great refreshment, it was a pineapple, coconut cake sort of thing with lots of whipped cream – – we certainly were not disappointed!
We went up to teach Ruben’s four grandkids today in Venda. It seemed like we just did that a couple of days ago, but it has been a week. They are getting ready for baptism on the second week of February, so we are trying to get everyone ready. The new Zone Leaders went with us. They have never been that far north in the mission.
The drive was beautiful and Mom’s lessons were even better. After the lesson she went through the interview questions with each one separately to make sure they understood the questions in English. She didn’t want any of them to be frightened when the District Leader comes next week to interview them. We are so excited for these children because we can tell how excited they all are.
The kids must let everyone in the village know that we are coming. Today we crowded 13 kids, 4 missionaries and Grandpa in the same little room. It was so hot today, the chocolate candy bars that mom had for prizes for the game were melting before we even handed them out. But, not to worry, we bagged them back up and put them in the freezer to firm up in their new melted shape.
It always brings tears to my eyes when I watch these children look at Mom and sing the very best they can. Even the kids that really don’t speak English look at mom’s pictures with the words on them and do their best. The afternoon included teaching about the Savior, songs, games, some coloring time and of course prizes. No wonder everyone in the village comes.
Mom is very close to the Spirit. She always pays attention to the thoughts she gets. These really are our Heavenly Fathers children. He does not want a single one to be left out. Last night Mom was packing everything up to take up to Rubens and she had a strong feeling she needed to prepare more of everything. So she printed off more sheets to color and added extra prizes for the games. Good thing, there were 5 new children that came today. She had exactly the right amount for everyone. On a trip home we noticed everyone out to their favorite swimming hole. As it turns out, it is also the place to wash your clothes. Mom and I are really not getting older, I think the sun is making my hair look a little whiter.
The week finished up with the Elders asking us to come teach our neighbors with them. Wow, this family is really prepared to be taught the gospel. They are all coming to church, prayerful and willing to learn. I know we are not living in this complex by accident.
We love you. Mom and I are going to go on a little 43 year anniversary “get away” in South Africa on Monday for a couple of day. Motiatse Canyon Provincial Nature Reserve is located about 3 hours from here. “God’s Window” and some other great things to see are there. We are staying in a really cute B&B, so it will be great.
Love each other. Take care of each other, and share with others your love of the Gospel.
Love, MOM & DAD