Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together


November 21, 2014

Dear Family,

Sunday I was assigned to speak in Sacrament meeting and sing in a quartet.   That was a bit of stretch. As always, the last speaker either has no time or all sorts of time. The time left to me was shorter than I had planned, so as I watch the clock tick away, my next question was where do I cut.

I went fasting and was anxious for this to be a time to be clear with the Savior’s message, but do it without offending. You know, no fist hammering, but not losing the message in fluff either.

Our members are young in the Gospel, and even those that have been members for a while, like all of us, have a lot to learn. I had been preparing thoughts, scriptures and stories for a couple of months. I wanted to compliment everyone on the things that were looking up, and maybe try to inspire them to work on some of the problem areas. Everyone is so anxious to become his or her own branch, so I used that as a springboard.

Mom said it turned out really well. Elder Bednar gave us counsel to get out of the way and let the Spirit do the teaching. I felt like that happened and I am grateful.

I watched “Glorious” by David Archuleta – Fan Supercut video on the internet. It is the theme song from “Meet the Mormons” the movie. Watching different people sing the song from different parts of the world is inspiring.

The month of December is real different here. School is out and everyone leaves and goes back to their home villages for the month. Our challenge is to make the time meaningful with visits, Christmas cookies and some Christmas carols. Mom is planning a get together for a few of the sisters to teach them some cooking at our place and of course lunch to follow.  Everyone who has tasted Mom’s cooking is anxious to learn how she does it.

In her spare time, Mom has written a script for our Christmas Sacrament meeting.  Those involved in the special musical numbers are busy learning their songs.  Mom and I go every week to the different houses to help them get ready. And to say the least, we are in full swing.

For those you that want some flavor of South African garden boutique ideas, check these out. This is where David, our hair dresser, has his shop, as well as a great dress shop, a nail place, and a nice place for lunch. If you are out of storage space, Adam and Trent, here is a new idea for storage of garden tools and almost everything.

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Next week is Thanksgiving and on Friday, Mom is having a little pajama party (just a late night) for 3 of the older primary girls with a movie, games, doing their nails, and treats. The girls are so excited, and I think Mom is too.

We have a couple of game reserve visits planned for two families who have never been. We have a great reserve here on the outskirts of Polokwane. We think they will have fun.

By the end of the 1st week of December the wedding and reception for Nigel and Nelly will be completed. We have a lot of people helping, and they seem to be excited. We are grateful for all the interest and help. It has been a bit overwhelming.

We had the 5 Elders in our District come on Wednesday and give us a little help with the LEweTzWK4JGJBwG3OtCSUAllgsSook8FcwpXFCoRCy8new flat (Nigel & Nelly’s). We were excited when we showed up to see that the painting was already done, so we spent our time cleaning everything, especially the windows and window frames. We bought the Elders lunch, so everyone was happy.



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Nigel will be here next Tuesday, so we are a little stressed. We want him to move directly vfzWIIZK4E0aS6qDrsjn1jWt5asTOwcM4KLlTr-0uy8into his own place. The builder has promised he will be finished with the remodel on time- – – we’ll wait and see. The standards here are more relaxed than at home. No one seems to mind, so Mom and I have had to tell ourselves that if they are OK, so are we. We are learning how to adapt.



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We have been leaving a special journal with each of the member families for a few days to write some thoughts about their experiences while we have served here. We wanted to start early, so they had enough time to think about what they wanted to write and not be rushed. We also thought that it might be easier to write now than later. We have read the completed ones. They are priceless.

We have made it through all the personal visits for the callings and releasing of the new District Presidency. Now, all I have left is to do is finish things up at church in 6 Branches. I will be working this week on saying the names of the 6 brethren the correct way so that everyone will know who I’m talking about.

I don’t want to be like the 2nd counselor in the first singles ward I served as counselor in the Bishopric. Every time it was his turn to conduct and he had sustaining and releases, he would mess up all the names so completely that you could watch from the stand and see everyone looking at each other trying to figure out who he was talking about. It always made me smile.

In the middle of the week we got invited to awards night for NoLo at her school. She was as proud as can be winning the award for the most improved person in sports. x88ADuqxBFAsqKYTbTvmIMgmdBlNC1ZtlBJNF8B1_Dk n9EEelQ5L8OcQktAznMDGOqxn8zNuI9BoQoNj9Z_j0s

Today we spent some time with Jimmy. He was able to spend some time in his wheelchair Unknown-186today. It was nice visiting with him outside for a change. He has so much trouble with pressure sores that he isn’t able to be in his wheelchair very often. He is such a tender man and so thankful for every little thing. We always leave grateful for his example and love.

With the help of one of the Board of Directors’ of the care facility, an attorney, he has agreed to help Jimmy with some legal matters. The attorney is blind himself, and willing to help others that have disabilities. With the money in his accident trust, Jimmy pays the portion of his care that is not covered by the government. I have been working with the trustees for more than a year with no success. The trust has not paid any money to the care center for over a year now. The attorney will be able to help both Jimmy and the care facility. He another “tender mercy” provided by the Lord.

Just before our message today with Jimmy, Ranae, one of the older patients came over and sat down at the table, and joined in the discussion of sharing her blessings of the week. We listened for quite some time, and then Jimmy said he would give the prayer. After the amen, Ranae did not miss a beat, she said, “Oh, by the way, Lord I have a few things to say.”

She prayed, and prayed, and prayed, for about 15-20 minutes. During a pause, Jimmy opened his eyes and said in their language, wrap it up. Awkward, but after a while she concluded. I’m sure we would have still been there. Thanks, Jimmy.

Here is something you all need to watch. You will want to click on the link below.  A wonderful video just showed up on the LDS youth website!!!

“Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him.”

President Thomas S. Monson

We hope you are all well and happy.  Be thankful for the bounteous blessings we all have.



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