March 29, 2014
Lets see, where should I start? We only had Monday and Tuesday before leaving to go to Joburg for the Senior Couples Retreat and our Branch Temple trip. Here’s a quick run down. Nolo had a swimming meet last week, but failed to get what she really wanted, a trophy. Mom fixed that with word of encouragement and a trophy.
We needed to see Bernard before we left, so I took Elder Winward with me. He was great. He had a severe stoke a year before coming into the mission field and knows first hand what it takes to retrain your brain, how to walk and do a lot of other things.
Bernard is doing a lot better with some of the tough love dished out by Elder Winward. Bernard had pretty much given up before we started the visits. His leg was stiff , he could not even bend his right knee and he could not move his right hand. The two strokes have really taken a toll. Elder Winward took a rope, strung it around Bernard’s home, about chest high, to steady him as he walked. The walker he was using, was not helping him put the weight on his leg and all he did was drag it. Not sure if Elder Winward was in the Army, but he should have been. Bernard is up out of the chair and working very hard every day.
Tuesday finished off with some teaching and a little brush up on some temple questions with Brother Andres. He will be attending the temple on Saturday.
We drove about 30 miles south to Mokopane to meet Elder and Sister Brammer. We decided to drive together to Johannesburg. They are always fun to be with. On the way to Joburg we decided to stop at a place called Mystic Monkeys. Check it out. There were every kind of monkey imaginable, plus a few other animals thrown in. Anyone want to hold a new baby lion cub? It was a fun break, in a long drive.
The retreat was great. President and Sister Omer really went out of their way to show us a good time. We started with a breakfast at the Mission Office and some fun introductions of each of the 15 senior couples. We then went to the Temple as a group. The day finished up eating out at “Mikes”. Great food, good company.
The next day we spent the day on the “Red Bus”, and toured both downtown Joburg
Soweto is a one of the poorest parts of Joburg where more than half of the 15 million people that make up Joburg live. Check out the old coal burners and the guy collecting cardboard to make money. Soweto was created as the white people moved all blacks out of the central part of Joburg. This group of Politian’s decided that “there should be a clear line through the nation to divide black from white.”
We visited the home where Nelson Mandela grew up with associates. They were the driving force that fought against the apartheid. After some 27 years in prison, Mandela was released from prison. He became the leader of South Africa. Our visit to the Apartheid Museum and the monument to celebrate “The Freedom Charter” the new Constitution of South Africa was interesting.
We stayed an extra day so that we could attend our Branch Temple day . What a sweet experience to see Brother Andries and Macheru attend the temple for the first time. We rented a 14-passenger taxi for the Seshego Group. Everyone was excited to go to the Temple. The taxi started picking up everyone at 3:30 am to drive the 3-½ hours to Joburg . LESSON LEARNED: The House of the Lord (Provo Temple) is about 10 minutes away. Go there often. Use it weekly, no excuses.
Brother Mishishi’s 88 year-old mom, went to the Temple for the first time. His grandparents were sealed to each other, his mom sealed to her deceased husband and all the kids, both living and deceased. Mom and I got to be proxies to see the binding of this family together. Not sure of the words, except GRATEFUL .
Well, we got our new “flat”. We will move in starting Monday. It is secure, has lots of green and trees and we are excited for everything, except the actual move. We will have lots of help on Tuesday, so we are going to get started on Monday with the small staff and the 6 Elders will help us on Tuesday. We will send you some pictures when we are settled in.
Well, best go for now. Thanks for all you do. Please go see Grandpa. From what we can gather, he started off a little rough, but is getting a little stronger each day. He is staying at the Stonehenge Care Center in Orem. Please take the time to go see both Grandma and Grandpa.
We love you. Keep up the good work.
MOM & DAD