Spirit of Elijah & Tender Mercies

FRIDAY

MAY 17, 2014

Dear Family,

Mother’s Day was exciting and exhausting. It started early with packing everything in the N8JG1XcFWfPrxA633-05QBzQ_P1mEHvMKZe8AmH8yGUtrunk that we needed for the day. We need a bigger trunk (boot). We had to drive out quite a ways to pick up Bambi, Labo and 3 grandchildren. We needed to arrive back at the church by 8:15 to help with the clean up and set up of the church.

Bambi got offended a long time ago and has not been back to church since. We have been working with her family for the last 6 months. We were thrilled when she finally accepted our invitation to come to church.   The members did a great job in making them feel welcome. I’m sure they had a great experience because the lessons were outstanding.

Mom and I spoke in Sacrament meeting, the Primary children sang to their Mothers and as always, there were lots of big smiles from the parents. Mom had made large “Mrs. Field’s Cookies” and bagged them with a special poem about Mothers for each of the wives and mothers. It all went very well. We were pleased.

For Primary, Mom ended up doing singing time and teaching as well. The other leaders g8FtgvyUn7T_e-mMlDuDhdVw-l03rndVgFG50XtHZNgwere there, but they got so excited about doing the art project for themselves, they seemed to have checked out. Not sure how that happened. Mom had all the art materials, paint and flowers so that the kids could make “hand-print” flowers for their moms and all of kids, up to 60 years old, had lots of fun. What a great day

 

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After church, we took some of the members into town to get their temple recommends. It looks like we will have about 23 going to the temple on May 31st. We are trying to get all the young men and young women to go do Baptisms, it looks like we are well on the way.

Activity in the church must include some going and doing. The faith of doing always precedes the miracles in our lives.

While waiting for President Winward to do the interviews, Mom gave both Oma and
xy_lblcBH1k59khL71Ybqm1nr_JpbJFG9RpueZJq_roMamie their pearl earrings to wear at the temple.  What a thrill. This has been such a special experience for Mom to be able to give these pearls to the girls and women when she feels that it is the right for them.

She always expresses her love for them, tells them how special they are to her and to their Heavenly Father.  It opens the door for a real heart-felt feeling that will remain for an eternity.  (Thanks to John Beesely, Trent, vzWFLRU5etFseAPqSlGWDNT4MABF2l96SA-7nd5U9M8Angela and family)

Now the hard part, is getting everyone to the temple. The fare to and from the temple is $32 (320 rand). These faithful saints are willing to get up and leave at 3:00 am to make the 3-½ hour drive. They don’t bat an eye about doing whatever is needed to have a chance to go to the temple. This is a big part of their monthly budgets.

I hope each of you are taking the opportunity to let the Lord tutor you each week at the temple, only 15 minutes across town, and go at your convenience.

After the temple interviews, we dropped everyone off and stopped off for a visit with Gwen and her family. They are so pleasant. Gwen is just one of the three families that live with Grandma and Grandpa.

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 Lots of the members have caught the Spirit of Elijah and are excited to do work for their family that has passed on. We have arranged to have one of the senior couples from the Family History training center come up from Joburg to train and help us get everyone registered with ”temple ready” cards. We want everyone ready for the temple trip on May 31st.

 All the planning for the Family History training was really worth it. We gathered everyone up and started at 9:00 am. As I watched the members entering their family names into the computer for temple work, it was thrilling. They were so focused and excited.

They are first generation members, so they were entering their grandparents and great grandparents for the blessings of the temple. People they know and love. Once they got started no one wanted to leave. We got about 60 “Temple Ready” cards completed. Great day!!

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 Had lunch over at a local casino with the other Senior Missionary couples. As you can see, we were greeted by a local band. wjd5Pw_1FdkQcAjsAPl_1JkW-6d4E5O4a9vAw8JIudk

Family Home Evening with Simon and Oma’s family was great. Simon is not a member, but has been willing to have FHE with us. We watched the DVD “Together Forever”. The family was baptized just over a year ago. It was powerful as we asked everyone how they felt about what they had seen, including Simon. The evening could not have gone better. It is always wonderful when the Spirit does the teaching.

Let me introduce my barber and mom’s hair stylist, Dave. He does a real good job, Lhph5FkzBX_L1XIvHGmKM1iulkWxRS_fL_d1XuHbm4oalthough I have had to develop hand signs to tell him when he has cut enough. He just loves to cut. I appreciate getting my moneys worth, but I’m still old school and like to have hair in the sides of my head and no sidewalls when he is done. I’m OK with getting my hair cut more than once every 3 months. He has a cute little shop with kind of the antique setting.  They have antiques sitting around in the yard waiting to be finished, and a cute place to eat.

 

 

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We read Alma 32 this week with Patrick this week. We posed the question of where he thought he was in the growing his faith. He recognized that some of the elements necessary to grow his faith were missing. You cannot just read and pray, you need to go to church and be of service. Extra watering of the seed is no substitute for the sunlight.

I testified boldly and l felt guided while speaking plainly and lovingly. We are now going out and teaching in the afternoons. I’m done with the white- knuckle drive on dark narrow road coming home after our appointments. Too scary.

After Institute we took some of the kids back to Sesehgo. Maggy was the last one to take home and she wanted to talk. As we sat out in front of her home in the car, she asked Mom, “do you know how many people seem to know you and ask me about you in our neighborhood”? Everyone, she said, and some of them are people I don’t even know.

Konke is our most active 6-year-old, non-member, primary girl. She lives across the street from Maggy. Her only English words are, Sister Harward, and the words she has been QfzD4xP2TLUkggVt1iGTKomrjAnShOagCzUeIykraXItaught to the Primary songs. After we had been in South Africa for about 2 months, we asked the members who she belonged to. Oh, someone said, she was invited once to Primary by one of the Primary children after you came here as missionaries. She gets up every Sunday, gets herself ready and walks the 4 or 5 block to church. I guess she talks about Sister Harward non-stop. Konke tells her brothers, her parents, and all the neighborhood friends about her favorite person, Sister Harward. So… Sister Harward, “you are enough”.

May is full with Family History training, District YSA activity in Mokopane next Saturday, and our Branch Temple trip on last Saturday of the month.

With the Saturdays full, Mom left Chaza, Ruben’s oldest granddaughter, with 3 lessons to teach the kids in Venda for the next 3 Saturdays. Here is Mom’s idea of a game to give the kids an idea to go along with the “Iron Rod” lesson.

I am a little worried about the glasses. The “Mist of Darkness” in Lehi’s dream must be toxic. I blacked out the lens with duct tape so each of the children would have to hold onto the “Iron Rod”. The flexible “sky rope” that meanders around the yard, but I’m sure they will get the point.

Hay, don’t laugh we adept and use what is available. We are anxious to see how the kids like the game.

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Abby and Savanna, you know it will be little awkward now going golfing with you. State Champs … that is great. Well, we need to gather everything ready for church tomorrow, so I need to go. We hope everyone is well and happy. We are proud of each of you. Thank you for your faithfulness, love and prayers.

Love,

MOM & DAD

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One Response to Spirit of Elijah & Tender Mercies

  1. You two are such awesome missionaries! I am so impressed with the love you show and feel for these South Africans. I think love is the greatest missionary tool there is. Thanks for sharing your experiences and thanks for showing me how. Love you!

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