Forget about yourself and serve others


August 17, 2014

Dear Family,

Wow, we can’t seem to work as hard as we used to. Today, Saturday, was our “Mormon Helping Hands” service project over at our school/church house. We got approval from the Peayanko Primary School Board to give them a little help with washing windows, clean up, putting all the missing screws and bolts back in the desks and tightening all the screws in all the chairs. They bought all the supplies, including some 300 bolts, nuts and Windex for washing the window, and we all went to work. I was so nervous that we wouldn’t have all the supplies that were needed to accomplish this task so I went and bought some packages of all kinds of screwdrivers, extension cords and a few other odds and ends.

It felt good to work and enjoy our service with one another. I think everyone left with a feeling of gratitude and satisfaction. We had over 50 members there, and most stayed until the job was completed.

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This evening we treated Mamie and three of her friends to a movie and pizza. Mamie is sweet “16” tomorrow. When we picked them up they were noticeably excited and ready to go. We dropped them off, bought their tickets and told them they were on their own. Not too cool to take Grandma and Grandpa to the movies with them. 2014-08-16 17.15.31  2014-08-16 19.48.13 2014-08-16 21.01.10

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I mean, how do you explain it to any friends you might see at the mall. Beside that, we don’t exactly fit in very well either. You really can’t miss us.

We picked them up later to get something to eat. It is so fun to get to know people in a personal way. I think it makes our efforts more meaningful for us, and they seem to enjoy our company as well, for the most part.

Dinner was fun. With the staff from “Spurs” singing and doing this little thing they do as you try to follow and eat a spoon full of ice cream, you end up with stuff all over you face, but she loved it. The girls had the time of lives, according to the reports today at church from Ouma, Mamie’s mom and dad.

This Saturday was a different day – – we are usually travelling to Venda to teach the children – – but it felt good to have a change and feeling good about our day of service.

Sunday is filled with lots of fun thing. We start with Church, (I am conducting, and teaching Temple Prep and Mom is taking care of Sharing Time in Primary) followed by getting final permission from Mmashtediso parents for his baptism, a Temple interview, and then we are on our way to meet Elder and Sister Brammer in Mokopane. They agreed to let us go out with then to have a short Sacrament Meeting with the “Shotgun Sisters” (the DeLange Family) who live in their Branch.

They live 2 ½ hours south of Polokwane, way out in the bush. We have heard so many stories about them, sleeping with a shotgun close by to keep the thief’s out, their successes and some of their disappointments, including the recent incident of someone poisoning one of their big dogs, so they could get access the personal property in the home.

From what we know so far, they are some of the most faithful members ever. They would never miss paying their tithing, or having their own Sunday meetings each week. The Mom is 80 and has raised, large faithful family, but they have all moved away, leaving only Mom, two daughters and a granddaughter. The oldest daughter lives with her and the other daughter and granddaughter live in town. Lately, it is a full time job trying their best to keep the ranch going, and keep the rustlers out. The ranch is just too big to even think about staying on top of everything.

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Dick and I prepared, blessed and passed the sacrament. I could tell quickly, that these women were some of the very elect. This was one of those special times the power of the Priesthood was resounding, as I blessed the Sacrament.

It was a spiritual experience, as they shared with us their challenges and their faith in a loving Heavenly Father. We shared some short messages and Elder Brammer closed with prayer. We all got big hugs, and left with an abiding gratitude for this experience.

District Meeting is always a success, with training and a sweet spirit. The Elders wanted to have lunch at the “Dish” so off we went. We usually give them a little space and ate at a different table with the other Senior Missionaries.

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Elder and Sister Winward were missing today. Sister Winward needed to get her stitches out of her ankle where the doctors removed all the hardware. They are such champs. She has been in and out of the hospital for the last 10 months.

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Mom and I have found a new breakfast meal. You need to try a “Sweetie Grapefruit”. They are really big and as sweet as can be. Eating ½ of this large grapefruit is very filling.

Mom and Nelly continued working on the checklist on necessary wedding stuff. This week was sweet. I dropped them off at the “Mall of the North” and I got to go home and prepare for my Institute lesson. They came home, all smiles. It really was a girl’s day of shopping. You remember the slipper that Cinderella lost as she ran to get in her pumpkin carriage. Mom and Nelly found it. I will admit, the shoes are really fancy.

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I guess one of the necessary stops was at the “Mac” counter for a trial run on the make-up. You will have to judge for yourself, but I think Nelly looks awesome. Nigel has found a beautiful daughter of our Heavenly Father to spend eternity with.

Mom was able to pick up another piano on a grant program that supports the

2014-08-14 17.05.47 teaching of members. She seems excited to start teaching Wilmer, our Teacher Quorum President. He is a good young man and has a real desire to learn, so here we go.

If the student completes the whole program and is starting to play for the Branch then they are eligible to apply for their own keyboard from the “Harman Music Grant”. Mom went to work to apply for Mary Lamola to get her own keyboard. It came in this last week and today we took it over to her house. I wish you could have seen the look on her face – – it was priceless! Mary had no idea that Mom had applied for her so it was a complete surprise. I think she thought it was Christmas. She has really worked hard to get to this point. Mary will take over playing when Mom leaves. As a matter of fact Mom is having her play a few hymns now and then to help her get used to playing. She still has a ways to go but she is coming along nicely.

After Church, Mom squeezed in a minute to give Bambi her

2014-08-17 11.54.06pearl earrings. She gave her first talk in Sacrament Meeting today. She and her family were away from the Church for several years, but are now back and happy.

We are excited as we plan to go to the Temple this next weekend. Ouma will be going to receive her endowments and is more than a little excited. We have been teaching her family every week in their Family Home Evenings, and Temple Prep class on Sunday. She is learning a lot and always grateful to have us teach both her and her family. We were excited to have Simon, Ouma’s husband, come to Church today.

Well, it is getting late, and I want to get this off to you. Adam, thanks for the video of Winnie taking her first steps. We love and miss all of you. If you want to lighten your loads, forget about yourselves and serve others.

We love you.


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