Our South African Family


July 6, 2014

Dear Family,

What a wonderful day. The testimonies were so heartfelt and close to the Spirit. I got to conduct and share my testimony. How blessed I am to watch my relationship with the Savior grow. I can’t describe how grateful I am for a personal Savior. I see and feel His influence as I allow Him to lead the way. I love the Savior and I am in awe of His love for me and the tender care He shows me.

As I sat and listened today to everyone, it was thrilling. The feelings of those members that shared their testimonies were the same as mine and so personal. We are amazed as we continue to love, grow and share with these wonderful people. We miss all of you so much, but have a hard time even thinking about leaving our African families. I guess that is what the Savior knows will happen as we serve each other. We build love that goes into the eternities.

Here is a recap of the week:

Last Sunday we had Nelly and Nigel, as well as Elisabeth and her son, Letabo over for Dinner. Everyone said it felt like being home, so we were happy they enjoyed it. Mom did her Sunday magic, so no one left hungry.

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We went with the Elders to the Crock Farm in Mokopane. They had 36,000 crocks in all li-vAnXelJ36d1uJveJXph2653dbaxmyYd-vQw1_m-Y,r7O2azhvZyTh17wMEHM3BLf9eDtBHAsdxfVvvw2m0XIstages of growth. Some of the crocks are kept for breading, some for food, and the rest for their skins, which are sold all over the world. With it winter here, they are not quite as active, but lunchtime for them seems pretty aggressive. Their menu for the day was whole chickens. Not so sure about eating the feathers, but they did not seem to mind.


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The crock burgers were really pretty good. The meat is more dense than hamburger, but still pretty good. It was a good full day with a drive of about 2 hours each way.

Nelly celebrated her first year of church membership this week. We ate out at Mike’s. Great food and great company.

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Four sets of pearls found new homes this week. Just prior to a FHE with Doreen and lmWUhhDFXMyTYKQ6am-7mf9KqGJNnAfzeEeQX9gMSCEBridgett, Mom shared here feelings about them and gave them each a pair of pearl earrings. As with those in the past, no one has been shown such kindness and never in their wildest imagination would they have thought that they would own something like this.


After a half-day of cleaning our flat, so they could earn some money to go to the regional YSA Conference, Lebo Manamela and Lebo Maja showed over the top excitement over their pearls. Mom served them lunch and they left the flat satisfied with the money earned, a full stomach and Temple pearls.

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Our teaching this week was great. We continue to teach Tumi and Mashedisho to prepare them for baptism. Patrick is a little stymied with no movement from his wife, but hopeful. Our visits to members are proving to be successful. We are trying to strengthen their testimonies and help them along the path. Evidenced by their willingness to come to church and make some changes, things seem to be working. They are 1st generation members, so they just need to be taught and shown how to do things.


Nigel got all dressed up in his new wedding suite. He was pleased and so were we.  He looks like a million bucks.


Lunch at The Dish was fun for all of us. You look for yourself, they seem real happy. They are spending as much time together as they can. Nigel has to go home this next Saturday, but our “to do” lists are getting shorter.

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While picking up Nelly at her Grandmothers, we took this picture of a family walking up rjsHXFipcICW3C2t1DTn08dCcaWJ22V8Bf_np5ixmogthe road. Check out the bathrobe outfits and slippers. They are everywhere. From the looks of some of the slippers, I am not sure the folks are getting much mileage on the slippers outside in the dirt.

We have been looking forward to meeting President and Sister Dunn, our new mission president and wife. We did that yesterday. All of the Senior Couples in this part of the mission had a short meet and greet together with lunch. The Dunn’s are awesome! They bring a new excitement and enthusiasm to move the mission up a few notches. They seemed real down to earth, but organized and precise in their direction. Gee, my kind of guy. We look forward to working with them and helping wherever we can.

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He asked me to continue to serve as one of the counselors in the mission presidency, so I iDgTdPh3xHwU_TG3MzwNfBSctv6wa14fWDakzBPQRfk,0NWD1tgq7Z52UFe7Txgxp_4QyaNfYUqncl03ZoEhjV0will be driving to Mokopane this week to conduct second interview for a lady that wants to be baptized. I have already done a few, so I should be fine. Check out the lemon tree behind the church where we met for our meeting.




We hurried home from Tzaneen to go to a birthday party for Nolo, 9 years old, and Thabo, & Wilmer, both 15. They would not start without us, so the party was outside under a canopy in the dark.        32rfW1jyGG-vaFXg5tjkBjiXEPpkqJJ0YsTl9NNCf6Q wVwyXiBvAzGX7ZDJemxFixxS9B1ampnxF_S17RCxeLQ X9Fc2dGakyjnQ9x4QBdpwP4MnRRhoekiaz9KTYiEhs0 UoDr1yTsY51oWOD53clQuGv-LokT90oQniBRaLpxHG8 H-VKeEbOg-IgAEKtRjFFZytNuTQPzTqmgZqPhX4ScOA S8JPCMp6PkR2nO6grMzBh1huJCdtncJPs3IqJjjgdR8 xxqu2VMg5s0ApWEXpKr7t5_J1FYbsDkgLt3PCtFwMHE

The party and meeting the new President made up for some of the 4th of July celebration, but I still really missed it.

It was fun visiting with most of you this last week by Face Time. Everyone is growing up right before our eyes. We know the Lord is taking care of you. Make sure you take care of one another. Thank you for all you do.

Know that we love and miss you.



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2 Responses to Our South African Family

  1. Angela Beesley says:

    We read your letter tonight as a family and loved all your stories. The kids thought the croc pictures were cool. Awesome that you ate a croc burger!! Wow!! We missed you too on the 4th, but we are happy you had a party to go to. You both look so happy and we are proud of you! We miss you too! Love, Beesley Family

  2. Betty says:

    Man, Gayle–you are right in your element with this assignment (little kids and cooking). YA are an easy spot for you guys too. Perfect mission–perfect missionaries! Love R & B

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