Are We Not All Beggars? (G.C. Oct. 2014 Elder Holland)


November 12, 2014

Dear Family,

The last 10 days have been kind of a blur. President Dunn asked me to take care of the calling of a new District Presidency. The brethren are scattered all over the providence of Limpopo. We called Elder and Sister Butler to make the appointments and drive us to the interviews. As you can see, we had to trade with the Elders for their bakkie and headed for the hills. We were in luck, the stream was down, and the roads were not muddy.   Just as we were returning, it started to rain. The stream usually turns into a raging river and the roads are almost impossible to travel on but we got down off the hill and everything turned out okay.

Everyone grows fruit. You can see the bananas and lemons everywhere. On the way out, a couple of lady’s were happy to stop for a picture. This is really the way they carry their stuff. What a beautiful valley. The homes were modest, but for the most part, well kept. It was fun seeing part of South Africa we had never visited. We got home late, but it was a wonderful day.

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We did have a little break on Monday with a trip to the bowling alley with the Brammers and the Winwards, both senior couples. Man could I have used my Monticello team bowling shirt and bowling ball. I am a little out of practice, but on a brighter side, I never once got my thumb stuck in the ball and had it drag me down the alley. You remember kids; I did that once on our annual Thanksgiving Day trip to the lanes. Sorry boys, I know that left you a little embarrassed.

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Nigel’s and Nelly’s flat is coming along, but not without the usual building snags. I think I oTQX5zhM4g0XdoAwSMbd789yd1-NoX0kvSOgBNw9mfQhave everyone happy right now, so in a couple of more weeks, it will be done. The Elders have agreed to help us paint next Wednesday, and it is turning out really nice, small, but nice. Johanna is pleased, so I took her picture in the back yard with the “gizzer” (hot water heater) behind her on the ground. I talked Jonny and his little sister to get in the picture with Mom in the kitchen. The big room is really the bedroom and living room all in one.

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Everyone that can build a little something behind his or her home tries to rent it out. Sometimes it is quite nice, like this flat; usually it is just a one-room shack.

We watched 4 hours of General Conference on Sunday. Try that out with a 30 minute break for a snack. Everyone loved it and only a few left before the end of the second session. As you can see, the school needs a little tender love and care. We have an assortment of broken windows and large portions of the soffit either completely missing, or just waiting to fall on your head. We have our own safely rules here, none.

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I could not help myself but take a picture of Judith with Mom. Judith is heading for the HBhNlOZLt3IqwUqOqiDq5JH8MJbRmxjfWCLpFClvQbMmission field in Atlanta. Wow, will that be a shock for her. She lives up in the hills where we were just at in the bakkie. I asked her about the “tracting shoes”, and she said they had to stay home. Is she tall or what.

Conference has been so good. The messages are powerful. I think we are starting to realize that we are coming home in the not to distant future. As we ask the members to write down some of their feeling for us, in our journal, we often get “I just can no do that right now”. The Lord has blessed us to be able to really get to know and love our South African friends. We do love them, and they really love us back. Mom and I just don’t think about that. It makes us cry.

Our week ended with a great temple trip. What a meaningful and spiritual experience. We had a total of 22 in the taxi and 5 more drove down from Polokwane and Seshego. The members were all prepared with family names, and so anxious to just even be on the Temple grounds. It is so peaceful there. The members leave at 3:00 am Saturday morning and get home about 8:00 pm Saturday night. We try to go every 3 months. Most of the members cannot save the $32.00 each quarter, but they go as often as they can.

We were thrilled that Bambi wanted to go. This was her first time and she was scared to death to do baptisms. She did great. She had prepared over 80 names ‘TEMPLE READY” of her immediate family and she did baptisms for 6 of them. She is in the picture with Mom and I. Nelly was able to get her Patriarchal Blessing while she was at the Temple. We will be going down with Nelly on December 4th for her and Nigel to get married. She is more than excited.

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We arrived at the Temple on Friday afternoon. On the way down, Mom got deathly sick. She had a terrible headache and could not keep anything down. She was a real trooper, but by evening, she was so sick she was flat in bed, and very disappointed to say the least.

We are not able to get to the Temple very often, and here we were, and unable to go. We count on our Father in Heaven daily to guide and protect us. This day was no exception. I gave her a blessing and we turned it over to the Lord. The night was long, but by morning, Mom was hungry and anxious to enter the House of the Lord. We were grateful to be able to enjoy the blessings of heaven. I know that our Father in Heaven hears our prayers. I know that He loves us. If we are concerned about something, so is He.

Watch this new “Bible Video”… “The Feeding of the 5,000”. The heading says “ALL THAT YOU NEED, CHRIST CAN PROVIDE”. I know that is true.

We love you, we pray for you and we think of you each day.



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