May 10, 2014
Mom and I were just sitting here talking about our feelings after Fast and Testimony meeting. Christina, a sweet 62-year-old sister we took to the temple in March, shared her testimony. She is a single mom. Her husband died some time ago. Her children are married and she lives alone. To support herself, she works 6 days a week in a butcher shop. She walks to church which takes about an hour. She is very faithful and always comes to church, rain or shine.
As I think about her temple experience, Mom and I will never forget sitting in the Celestial room sitting across from her. We watched her, as she seemed deep in prayer. Her short gray hair was neatly braded and her worn hands were clasped reverently in her lap. She sat for such a long time with her head bowed. Mom and I both watched her and knew we were observing a very sacred moment of Our Father in Heaven talking with one of His daughters.
Ruth, Christina’s older sister, lives in Seshego and also goes to church with us. Mom is teaching Ruth to play the piano and they always have such a good time. As I sit out in the car studying and waiting, I can hear them. There is always laughter that comes through the window. They truly are good friends. Oh, back to the point, during one of their lessons, after Christina had gone to the temple, Ruth thanked mom for taking such good care of her sister and helping her have a memorable experience at the temple. Ruth is wearing the lighter blouse.
Ruth told mom that Christina was so frightened to go to the temple because she has such limited English. Christina explained to Ruth how mom was there every step of the way, holding her hand and explaining everything until she understood. With all the tender care, Christina’s anxiety went away.
Christina said in her testimony that her 2 day experience at the temple was the best two-day of her life. She also told of the miracle that happened regarding her daughter a day after returning home from the temple. This daughter she has been so worried about. This was the same daughter whose name she had put on the prayer roll of the temple.
The love that we feel as we watch miracle after miracle is unexplainable. This fruit is really the most desirable above all.
Check out the sunset’s of winter. It is a little confusing with the temperatures in the mid 70’s.
President Mashishi was out of town this Sunday, I conducted Sacrament meeting and watched one of the members came into the meeting about 15 minutes late. It was Batsirai with Kudzai tied to her back. Bernard is still trying to recover from the strokes he had and was home with Luckmore. During Sunday School, Kudzai was giving her mom a bad time and so they went out into the courtyard. I followed them out to see how everything was going at home. We had just been out to their home the day before, but found only Luckmore home. He said that his dad was out and his mom was working in town. We left the things that we had brought for them and went back to Polokwane.
I asked Batsirai about the day job she had picked up. She told me that the day was long, with Kudzai tied to her back. After the taxi fare to work, she was however, able to bring 65 rand home ($6.50) for the days work. She said she cleaned a lady’s home and then spent the rest of the workday killing and cleaning chickens. Proudly, she said I was able to finish 20 chickens, but it was hard. She spent 20 rand ($2.00) of the money to come to church.
I am sure the “the meek will inherit the earth”.
Just before church, I asked Nelly, a convert of about a year, if we could help her get to the Temple at the end of the month with the group. She is the only member of her family and both her mom and dad have passed away. Her eyes lit up, but not as much as when Mom pulled her aside and gave her a set of pearl earrings to wear to the Temple. She is such a special young lady.
Mom has been working for some time studying, praying and preparing for her talk on “Mothers Teaching Children in the Home.” Thank you for your help sharing with her those personal things that you remember about her teaching. As she has read your notes of love, her perception of only teaching you life lessons changed as you told her of those small things of love and service she had done for each of you. Just know of her tears of love and gladness as she read your remarks.
We were able to take Nolo, Thapelo, Wilmer and Thabo bowling for a little bonding time. They had never been before. The look on their faces was priceless. The bowling balls were moving so slow, and I was not sure they would even make it to the end of the lane. All in all the day was a big success and we topped it off with McDonald’s for lunch.
We spent all afternoon doing a little member missionary work. I sorted all those that are less active into 3 groups and off we went. The Elders went with Brother Macheru, 2nd counselor in the Elder Quorum, Mom and I went with Sister Mary, the Relief Society President, and Brother Mashishi went with Bernard, our group mission leader.
Our goal was to locate, update phone numbers and addresses and then see if we could come and teach. What a great day. Between the 3 sets, we contacted 9 members and got invited back to 5 of them. We also got lots of new contact information to pass on to home and visiting teachers. The Lord’s work rolls on. We are going to continue this every week. This really is the Lord’s work. The people we found home, were really suppose to be at work, but came home early. Gee, wonder why?
After Ruth’s piano lesson, Mom shared a special gift from America, a pearl necklace. Thank you Angela, Trent and family for your efforts making all that happen. Is there a word that is better than thrilled?
We spent some time with Jimmy. He is always fun to visit. His attitude is remarkable. We always leave grateful to know such a person. Frequently, after we leave, we get these long messages on our phone from him. He is grateful for everything single thing.
My training meeting with President Mashishi, was productive as always. We used our newly gathered member information to update the home teaching and made a few suggestions for changes. We got the agenda for Sacrament meeting ready, reviewed necessary interviews and other changes needed in the Aaronic Priesthood. We then arranged transport to make it all happen.
President Winward and I spent the afternoon doing some visits. The time was well spent, expressions of love were shared and invitations to come back were extended. Knowing just what to say is an exceptional experience. We love being missionaries.
I thought you might like to check out a real African piece of casual ware and maybe even some sandals for school or work.
Every Sunday morning is the same. Show up at the church with hopes of an open gate and doors unlocked. On occasion the large room we hold Sacrament in has been swept and chairs set up. Most of the times not, . . . so it’s a frantic push as everyone joins in with a variety of duties to make it all come together.
Even the loud prelude music, from the neighbors, as we come into the parking lot kind of get the juices going to get to work. Last minute preparations are always an order of the day.
Our day trip to Venda was great. The children are always so excited to see us. They come running from the little shacks and down the road when they see our white car starting down the bumpy road. Often we feel like the pied pipers.
We had 19 in Grandpa Rubens little kitchen/front room area – – we are putting 2 to a chair and if you’re small a lap or two is needed – – Ruben doesn’t have any more chairs. It truly is wonderful to have so many little ones coming to learn about their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
Mom taught these children about David and Goliath. They loved the story, sang some songs and then of course we had to set up the Philistine army and let them all have turns using the new flipper crotches that we bought (these are real good ones!) to knock them down. They were supposed to hit them in order to get their “stone cookies.” Mom finally gave in and just started handing out the cookies to everyone. Some things don’t change.
She then took the older girls in to start having Young Women with them. She has felt for sometime that she needed to start this program for them. She handed out their books and started to introduce the program. They were very excited to get started on the requirements for their values so they can receive their ribbons.
After the lesson, Mom pulled out the “Friendship Bracelets” that Ceciley had made and sent over for the children here in South Africa. The girls were so excited and wanted to immediately put them on. They wanted to tell her thank you so they made signs to let her know how much they liked them and how fun it was to know they had a friend in America. A BIG THANKS TO CECILEY!! Notice the bracelets.
It has been a great week. We are real tired, but P-Day is just around the corner, and we can rest, kind of, then.
We love you. We hope each of you have a great MOTHER’S DAY tomorrow. We couldn’t be more proud of you. Have a good week.
We love you,
MOM & DAD
P.S. If for some reason you don’t get the link to the Mormon Message #It was Mom, go to lds.org and watch it.