May 30, 2014
This week has been like a freight train, as we get ready for our big temple trip on Friday and Saturday. Recommends all completed (check), taxi money all collected (check), family names all printed and temple ready (check), 2 -14 place taxi’s hired and paid (check), rosters ready & pick up order for pick up at 3:00 am (check), instructions and temple schedule ready to get everyone in the right place at the right time, with a lot of help from angels.
We will be driving down on Friday with Gwen Molepo, Wilmer, her son and Thabo, her nephew to the Johannesburg Temple. It will seem like a day off. Everyone is so excited. I mean jump, and kick your heals together excited. Of the 22 going just from Seshego, 7 have never even seen the temple before, mainly the youth. We drove out for Mom to give Paulina her pearl earrings, before going to the temple. She can hardly wait for Saturday. I did not get a final count of family names they have prepared, but we have members doing work for parents, grandparents, and other immediate family. What a wonderful blessing this will be to go to the Temple.
We drove out and picked up Nelly on Thursday morning and brought her to our flat to use our internet to get her “family names” ready. Sister Winward came over and did her magic. She was great as always.
Nelly was baptized in early 2013. Her mom and dad are deceased and she is living with family, but has to move around a lot. She told us that she never thought she would ever be able to go to the temple. She will be doing her parents work on Saturday.
We finished up last Sunday getting the Young Men’s organization all organized together with Quorum Presidencies. Now its just lots of training to show them how everything works. With everyone’s help, this last month we had 95% of our members contacted, both active and those that are not coming.
We have also been sorting out records and moving them to where they need to go. Next step is getting all the membership records corrected and everything updated. We know that will be ongoing, but really needs to be done. There is lots of things that need corrected.
Brother Mashishi told me today in training that council meeting used to be just a time to get together and complain. Last night for our PEC and Council, it was an actually a people meeting, with assignments and counseling together. As Brother Mashishi always says, “we’re catching the wave.”
Patrick’s visit this week was different in a good way. We studied Alma 32 a couple of weeks ago and this week we talked about Alma 34, with an introduction of a video message on the importance of the scriptures. There were lots of times of long silence during our visit. We could see that Patrick was thinking about things we were reading and talking about. As hard as it was, during the silence, we kept still and let the Holy Ghost teach.
As our visit was about to conclude, I could hear a ruckus outside; the neighborhood children were starting to gather for treats. This always happens before we leave. The good news was we had a bag of suckers, the bad news was, and the bag was not big enough. With the tears starting to mount in the eyes of a couple of the kids, Mom quickly rummaged the trunk for a solution. She found the FHE treats neatly wrapped for our next visit with Ouma’s family. Well, not what we planned, but at least it took care of the immediate problem. Where are all these children coming from?
Check out the Poinsettia tree on the dirt road near Patrick’s home.
Our Family Home Evening with Ouma and family about the scriptures was great. We re-packaged the treat from the kids raid at Patrick’s and we were ready to go. Ouma is going to the temple to do Baptism’s, but wants to be endowed on our next trip on August 23rd. She told us that something is missing. She was baptized a year ago now, and this last year of waiting to go to the Temple has been a long one. We will start our next Temple Prep. Class shortly.
Before leaving for the Temple we wanted to see Jimmy. As we sat there while he watched a new video “Scriptures Legacy”,
I looked around at his small humble room. On the walls and small shelf was a picture of the Savior, the Joberg Temple, a picture of the First Presidency and some assorted friends and family.
Also on the wall hangs a calendar with pictures of notable places around the world. We always make a big deal about our travel to a new interesting place at the beginning of each month. Since it was only a day away of the end of the month, we turned the page to see where our journey would take us. This month we are going to the Great Wall of China. Last month was the Aztec temples of Mexico.
Also on the wall hang two maps, one of the world and the other of South Africa. Besides his hospital bed, he has a small TV, a radio, a microwave, a couple of cabinets, cluttered with stacks of stuff, and two stackable chairs. On front of his rolling cabinet he has taped his Home Teaching list. This is a sacred privilege to him. His phone has a tether attached to it so he can hold on to it, pull it to his face, and dial as best he can with his hands, but more often with his nose.
We always laugh together and look forward to our next visit. Jimmy’s jokes take him so long for him to say in English, but it is always worth the wait, just to watch him laugh with delight, even if we don’t get it the punch line.
We will be friends forever. One day he will be out of that bed and he will walk and run. The bedsores will be gone and he will be able to bear his testimony in person instead of having the Elders write it done as he dictates it to them. The Elders take it and share it in church each Fast Sunday.
Mom has fussed over him with some new bedding; some new drapes and replaced the flat pillow. She thought fourteen years with the same worn out stuff was long enough. And finally, as we hear his humble prayer of thanksgiving it is more than a little humbling, Mom and I can hardly hold back the tears. He has been in that bed for 14 years, and now, mostly 24 hours each day. We feel his love and the love of the Savior as we serve. This is a sacred place.
Gwen had to gather the kids from school before we could leave, so we hung out with Koko (grandma) and part of the family while waiting. They are great, great people. I also put in a few pictures at the Temple.
As soon as they arrived, we hit the road with Gwen, Wilmer and Thabo. Wilmer and Thabo have never been out of Polokwane, let alone all the way to Joberg. Our eating out in Joberg was a hit. Patron housing at the Temple was also a hit. The family rooms provide each person a bed of their own, not something they experience in the room they all share with Nolo, Gwen’s 8 years old daughter. The Church does all it can to encourage Temple attendance right on the Temple grounds.
The two taxis arrived at about 8:00am after starting picking up members at 3:00 am Saturday morning. We were able to reserve the Baptistery for 9:30, so the challenge of the day was just keeping track of everyone and helping them get where they needed to be. It was wonderful. Everyone was so happy. There were smiles every place you looked. Keeping everyone’s family name cards busy was a real job, but so rewarding.
Gwen was able to have her deceased husband’s work completed. Her son, Wilmer (14 years old) did the baptism and I did everything else to complete his endowment. The Temple was short handed, so it was a miracle to get it all done. Mom went through for Great Grandma, Brother Mashishi went through for Grandpa, and Gwen went through, including baptism for the other Grandma. The Lord’s Church is all about forever families. We could not have been more pleased.
MOM & DAD