September 28, 2014
It was a thrill last Sunday to baptism Sister Joyce Molepo. She is a sister to both Gwen and Martha Molepo. They are active with their families. Joyce has been coming to church for some time and has been taking the necessary steps to build her testimony. Her son
, Thabo is in the presidency of the Teacher Quorum. He is a really good young man. He is a kind and devoted son. He has been sharing his feelings with his Mom for some time about the truth of the Gospel.
I think the Lord expects us to share with our families’ and those close to us eternal truths, all the way to the Temple. We love this family and are so happy for them. Other family members came to the baptism to support Joyce. Everyone, including Joyce’s mom felt the feelings of the Spirit. It was obvious as you watched their faces and the tears in their eyes, while all the time at least verbally making it clear that they were members of other churches. God know us and loves each of us. It is not by chance that we find ourselves at times and in places where we can be His hands and feel the thrill to watch the ones we love often change.
Pearl earrings seem to be everywhere. Thank you John & Chris Beesley and Trent and Angela for supplying the pearls! Your influence for good is being felt around the world.
Jimmy says hello. He is always such an inspiration as we visit him. We always laugh, have a spiritual message to talk about. He is so grateful for all he has. When he prays, I find myself looking around to catch glimpses of God. His texts to us are always long and heartfelt. Considering he cannot use is hands to type out each letter of the words, it mean even more to us. We don’t ever talk about leaving; it is too hard for all of us. We love him. On the other side we will see Jimmy again. However, he will not be lying in bed, but running and playing soccer with his family. This picture was taken a while ago with Jimmy holding a picture he painted. Try that with very little use of your hands.
We have been transporting the YSA to Institute for some time. We have maxed out one car and then two, so it’s time to teach everyone how to fish, or in this case, walk to Institute. To make this change easier, we have moved Institute to Seshego.
Well, faith before the miracle, so here we go. Here are a few pictures of a little pizza party, at our church location (Peakanyo School). It was a success, and many are now making the long trek on both Saturday, for Institute, and again on Sunday for church.
Want to see a really big tree? How about this 1700-year-old Baobab Tree. We traveled North on our P-Day to have lunch with the other Senior Couples and then went exploring to check out this tree. Not sure if the bar inside is really intended to be used, but it was really cool. Over time, the inside of these trees hollow themselves out. You could see daylight up through the tree.
Wednesday morning the Relief Society celebrated Heritage Day ending their Branch fast with a testimony meeting and breakfast. The women are strong. They face lots of challenges straight on and are remarkably humble. I took a few pictures of some of the traditional dress.
Saturday morning we went over early to watch “Nolo” at her elementary school Heritage Day Festival. Everyone was encouraged to wear their traditional clothing of their African tribe. It was fun to watch, and the music was great. As you can see some of the cultures that were represented were Zulu, Sepedi, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Venda, Afrikaans, and India. The costumes were all so colorful – – very interesting. It was evident that the children felt a real passion for their heritage.
After Nolo’s festival was over (10:30) we hurried and left to make it to Venda to teach the children there. We arrived at 12:30 and the children had been waiting half an hour for us. The kids came running from everywhere. Makes us kind of feel like the “pied pipers”.
Mom did not disappoint. Their eyes were as big as saucers has she told about the lion’s roar when greeting “Jerry the giraffe” at the watering hole. The lesson today was on being thankful for all our blessings. Jerry the Giraffe had always been grumpy and complained about everything instead of looking at the many blessings he had. That particular day Jerry learned to be thankful for the lion not eating him! From that day on Jerry began noticing all his blessings. A great little story and sweet spirit was felt in that small room. Mom also taught them a new song “Thank Thee Dear Father” – – it always surprises us how quickly they learn these Primary songs. It truly has been one of the sweetest blessings to be able to teach and serve these wonderful little people.
Wow, they have so little. When Mom gave each of them their own “My Blessing Book” a coloring book along with a package of crayons, you would have thought it was Christmas. The children don’t have crayons – – even in their schools. Mom asked them to find things this week that they were thankful for and draw some pictures. It should be interesting with what they come up with.
We finished up with a long ride home in order to do some training with President Mashishi and our new assistant group leader, Brother Sefara. He seems thrilled with having someone teaching him about his new calling, together with lists, agendas, and handbook. I will meet with the two of them weekly. I hope Seshego will be a branch within the next year. I want leaders that know what they are doing and have the confidence to lead. They are both anxious to learn.
I guess watching everyone celebrate their heritage this week makes me think about an experience the President George Albert Smith had when he was young. He said that his deceased grandfather George A. Smith appeared to him in a dream and asked, “I would like to know what you have done with my name”?
I guess each of us will have to answer that for ourselves. I am grateful and proud to be a Harward. I think of Grandpa and his straight forward approach to life. He had his rough edges, but his devotion to the Savior was undeniable. Grandma on the other hand, was as sweet and loving as any Mother on Earth. Your Mother is the same.
Have a good week. We love you.
MOM & DAD