June 7, 2014
Fast Sunday, was a feast of the Spirit. Sister Mpho said it all when she told about their experience 3 years ago with the split of the Branch into 2 parts. Those that lived in Polokwane would continue to meet at the Chapel on Oost Street in Polokwane and those that lived in Seshego would meet in the “Honeymoon” lodge.
She said she had been a member the longest, so during Fast meeting, no one would say a word, after the move, and they would just look to her. Since that time, things have changed. She said today as she stood up to bear her testimony that she knew the time was up, but standing where she was, she just had to share her feelings. She said, everyone today was getting up one after another, with no end in sight. She was afraid that at this rate she would not be able to share her testimony for another 6 months.
The testimonies were filled with gratitude for the blessing of the Gospel and particularly the Temple and families. A flood of feelings filled their faces and voices as they expressed how they felt. Those who have recently been to the Temple have changed. Their countenance is different; they speak with more determination and conviction. The look in their eyes is filled with light. Wow, to sit and listen to not only the things they say, but also the tenderness with which they speak was powerful. Know of our love for the Savior and the joy we feel in doing our best to follow the Savior and live as our Father in Heaven would have us live.
Prior to church, we arrived early to get things set up and Mom wanted to give Sonya, Rebecca, both YSA girls, and Betty Mashishi, the Primary President that Mom works with their pearl earrings. Mom also gave Mpho a pearl necklace after church. Mpho was thrilled. By looking at the pictures, bet you can’t guess how the other three felt.
On Monday we were off again to Joberg. This time for Zone Conference. President and Sister Omer go home at the end of this month, so we wanted to go and share our gratitude for their great service. Both President and Sister Omer have worked tirelessly for the past 3 years. They are the best. President and Sister Dunn, from SLC, will take their place.
It is always fun to see some of the Elders that you have served with and hear the stories told by the Senior Missionary staff. Sister Brammer reminded me from her blog entry about one of the stories told at the Senior Missionary Retreat.
One of the companionship had complained to the mission office that their front door was sticking. The mission office staff was killing themselves trying to keep up with the “To Do” list that continued to get longer each day, so they told the Elders they would get to it. A few weeks went by, and the Elders called again. After some discussion between the mission office staff and the Elders, the priority changed. The Elders said it wasn’t just sticking; they could not even open their door and had been crawling in and out of a window of their flat all that time. Most of the windows in South Africa have bars on them. These guys must be really good.
The first order of the day at Zone Conference was to help with car inspections. This conference was only 3 of the 10 zones in the mission, it was not too bad. We worked in pairs and checked the cars out from top to bottom. As you can see, from time to time, the Elders have a few problems. Most of the Elders that serve from Africa do not have driver’s licenses, so we do have some issues if we have someone that either does not know how to drive or is not careful.
Conference was great. Everyone just finished the challenge to read the Book of Mormon front to back in 89 days. President Omer promised great blessings and as always, the Lord always keeps His part of the bargain. In his concluding remards, President Omer pronounced a blessing on all the missionaries. It was powerful and filled with the Spirit. It makes as proud to be missionaries and work hard to do our part.
We have about 180 Elders that serve in our mission and no sisters. We also have 15 couple Senior Missionaries. More than half serve up North with us in the northern most part of the mission. Everyone loves to come out of Joberg and the surrounding areas to come up north. We have a lot more open space and a lot less people.
We had FHE this week with all of Sister Bambi’s family. All 8 of us crowded into their small living room and we showed a video of the Restoration. Mom taught the children as well and had something for them to color during the video. It was a nice evening and Lebo said she would like to come to Institute this week. She is a young single adult and goes to the university.
Our Institute continues to grow, and Lebo came as promised. We had 15 there this week. For most, this is really the extent of their social life. I love teaching the Book of Mormon and teaching them how it relates to them. Mom’s chocolate cake was a hit as well.
We showed Patrick “Treasures in Heaven- The John Tanner Story”. It is a tearjerker and a good lead in to our lesson on obedience and sacrifice. He has such a desire to be baptized, but Mary is still not there. We asked him some hard questions, but he is committed and has the faith that they will become an eternal family. We will continue to pray, teach and invite the Spirit. Everyone needs to get online, go to LDS.org and watch it. It would be great for Family Home Evening.
Today was interesting. We set out at 10:00 to head up to Venda to teach Ruben’s family and most of the neighborhood kids. It takes us about 2 hours to make it by Noon. About 90 minutes into our drive, the police had closed the only road to Venda to provide a venue for a cycling race up the canyon. I pulled over in a cluster of car and trucks to ask where the detour was. Oh, the police officer she said, “we don’t have one, she said I needed to just pull over and park somewhere until the race was over. This is the only road to Zimbabwe. What a mess. Well, after about an hour, we called and told Ruben we would not be coming up. We then turned around and came home.
Well, tomorrow we will be watching the last 2 sessions of conference. We have everything ready, so we just pray again for power. It has been a little iffy this week. We lost the power other night at 8:00 pm until morning. I can’t remember the last time we went to bed that early.
Check out the sunset from the other night.
With winter coming on, it is getting a little colder, but I am getting to wear the sweaters I brought over. I guess it is about time, we have been out 10 months. Our daytime temp is in the mid 60’s. Not too bad. Nights and early mornings are a little cool. We only have a space heater. Mom filled the rice bags last night and that helped get the bed warm.
As Mom and I have talked about what it is that make the most difference as we share the message of the Savior. The answer is love … the love we show to each other, to our families and to the Savior in our actions.
This Mormon Message “Enduring Love” shows the kind of undying love that we are talking about.
Well, time to get some shut eye. Church comes early. Be sure to check on Grandma and Grandpa.
We love you. Thanks for the posts on Facebook and Instagram.
MOM & DAD