Be thankful for the shoes on your feet


April 12, 2014

Dear Family:

This week was full and rewarding.  Monday, P-Day, started off with the following quote: “ You know, the pattern in those sheer drapes is really wrong.  I think they need to be moved to the office, then we need to move the office sheers to the living room” and on and on.  You’re kidding me right? I said.  Mom never kids about things like that.

At lunchtime, we met the Winwards at the Dish for Brunch.  Andrea, one of the owners, could tell that I was not very happy.  She was betting that a small reminder on the water glass would swing the mood just a little.  Well, at least I was able to talk about it after the reminder.

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I will admit after all the switching around was done, it did look better.  Don’t tell Mom I said that.

After brunch we went and picked out a new chair for the Winward’ s flat.  There was really nothing in their flat that was comfortable to sit in. He is now really … really happy.  Mom got the approval from the mission office so everyone is good.

Our weekly missionary coordination is always fun, helpful and filling. The Elders always love to come here.  I wonder why?

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Baking here is South Africa is a lost art.  Mom made “Nephi wilderness cookies” last week for Oma and her family for FHE.  They loved them.  So, this week for our activity, Mom brought all the ingredients and she had a little training lesson on how it’s done.

Things went well, but the mixer was something out of star wars to them. “Help, how do you shut it off?”  Mom came quickly to the rescue.  With the switch pushed to the off position, now for the good part.  NOTE:  Always leave some of the dough on the beaters.  Mom says that is the best.  I think they agreed.

Our lesson on the Restoration and how to use the scriptures went well and everyone had an uplifting evening.  What a great family. Simon Peter is still a little cautious about the church, but loves to have his family involved.  He comes to church once in a while and we always feel welcome in their home.  Oma, the mom,  Mommie, the daughter, and Khomotso, the son, have been members for about one year.

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After spending some time training Brother Mashishi, our new 1st counselor in the Branch Presidency, I picked up Elder Winward and we headed over to Bernard’s.  General Winward is really good for Bernard. Lovingly, he is able to help Bernard get his knee bending and weight on the right leg.  His stroke has really done a number on him.  Without a therapist to bring tears to your eyes, it is a lot harder to push yourself to the same point, but he is coming.

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Well, it’s time for piano lessons.  Mom is thrilled with the students that have hung in there.  As I sit out in the car and listen to them laugh, then play followed by an  occasional squeal I am not sure what they are doing, but everyone always come out of the house with big grins on their faces.  I spend the time I am waiting usually studying to teach Institute on Friday evenings.  Mary, in the picture, is our Relief Society President. She is practicing lots and it shows.

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When we drive up to Patrick’s home, the little children come running for their “Sweet.”  Mom always has a bag of lolly pops for the children.

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Our meeting with Patrick was great.  We are going through “Our Search For Happiness” by Elder M. Russell Ballard.  It is one of the four books in the Missionary Reference Library, that each missionary brings with them on their mission.  If you have not read it, it is an easy read and a real treat.  I had a good private visit with Patrick after our lesson and gave him some impressions that I have had of things that may help Mary.

It was Elder McClellan’s birthday, so as soon as we drive the 60 minutes back home from Patrick’s it’s off to “Yummy Kitchen” with the Elders.  I know, the name needs a little work, but the Chinese food is good, and the Elders love it.

It is starting to cool off, especially in the mornings.  Mom always builds her a little heat tent and curls up with her scriptures.  I use the office desk to funnel the heat as I study.

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The Institute kids are great.  They faithfully come every Friday night and share their experiences and feelings.  I believe this is about the only real social experience most them ever have.  Their answers are honest and sincere.  We are at a point where the lesson is really a discussion. I love to teach and feel of their desire to learn about the Savior through the Book of Mormon.

Mom decided on Friday morning that her lesson on the Book of Mormon needed some additional visual aids.  “I think we need to make some Golden Plates she told me.  “For tomorrow,” I said?  I remembered the smile sign on my glass from Monday, so I said sure, good idea. Well, here are the results.

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They turned out pretty good, but needs a little work on the rings.  We will work on the revision before they need to be used for Primary.

Going to teach the children in Venda is always rewarding.  As we drive down the rocky dirt roads, the kids come running from everywhere.  We are greeted with friendly waves and today we stopped to pick up a few. Wow, a new record.  Nine in the back seat.

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The song “Book of Mormon Stories” with actions of course, was a big hit.   Last week we were unable to travel to Venda because we had a funeral we had to attend.  We really miss them when we don’t get to see them each week.  The children expressed how much they missed us this week. Our visit is about all the church they get.  Grandpa Ruben has the sacrament and a short lesson on Sunday, but with us coming up, he can just sit back and smile.  This week is smiled a little bigger when we sang Happy Birthday to him and passed out the cupcakes.

To go along with the lesson on Enos, Mom passed out some journals and pencils so each of them could start keeping track of special things that were happening to them and special feelings.  The kids are wonderful. They are learning quickly and love, love, love to come learn, especially sing, and play games.  There are always lots of volunteers to say the prayers.   Mom makes it easy for everyone, even if his or her English needs a little work

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I have thought this before, but everyone here just does the best they can with what they have, with no complaints.2014-04-12 04.48.41  About half of the 17 kids at our meeting ran home without any shoes.


We are working hard to do the Lord’s work.  We love being missionaries.  We feel of your prayers and appreciate your goodness. Our hearts are full as we see miracle all around us.

Let me share a quote from Elder M. Russell Ballard, page 8 of  “Our Search For Happiness.”

“… when Jesus Christ becomes a reality in your life…you find yourself wanting to do what He would do and respond as He would respond in an effort to bring your life into harmony with His. And an interesting thing happens whenever you attempt to place your feet in Christ’s footsteps. If you really concentrate on trying to walk the way He walked – loving, caring, serving, and obeying each step of the way – one day you’ll look up and discover that His path has led you directly to the throne of God.”

We love each of you so much.








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2 Responses to Be thankful for the shoes on your feet

  1. Amy says:

    You are inspiring as always! You make me wish I could go and serve a mission tomorrow!

  2. Susan Palmer says:

    I always look so forward to reading your emails. You are everything that a missionary should be and indeed I admire you both for the great love that you have in your hearts for those that you are serving. These memories that you are making will live with you forever and bring an extra richness to your lives.

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