January 11, 2015
We had mixed feelings today in Sacrament meeting. We had George, Priscilla and their kids show up to church today. They came on their own and it was thrilling. They have not come for almost 3 years. Everyone greeted them warmly and they seem happy to be back. We have been working hard together with the Elders inviting everyone to come back, with lots of visits and teaching. Maggy was able to be a church today and very happy to be there. She has been working at her new job which is out of town; there were lots of hugs, tears and tender feelings everywhere. Maggy came over for lunch today so we could spend some one on one time with her. Mom and her could talk for hours.
We are running out of chairs again at church. We had a record high of 79 today at Sacrament meeting. “The field is white ready to harvest.”
On Tuesday, we were able to have a Family Home Evening with Simon, Ouma and their children. Simon called me to let me know what day he had off. We are always excited when we can teach the whole family. We knew this would probably our last FHE visit these next two weeks, so we were anxious to teach exactly what the Lord wanted. We had prepared a video of the group pictures with music including lots of pictures of their family.
We decided to show the group pictures first and then follow up with a video of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After the pictures and the video, we shared our testimonies. We told them that this is the message we came half way around the world to share. Mom and I told them how much we loved them and our love for the Savior. While Simon is not a member of the Church, he is a very good man. The Spirit was strong, and he shared his feelings until his emotions got too close to the surface. Ouma and Momie then followed with their love and testimonies of the Savior. Khomotso shared his love silently, he was afraid he would cry. Words cannot express the powerful feeling that filled the room.
Our week has been filled with finishing up piano lessons with both Sister Ruth and Wilmer, training Sister Martha, the new Primary president, and doing what we could to give Elder and Sister Hansen, our replacement couple, a sneak peak at Seshego and their new assignment.
While Mom was teaching, it gave me a time to prepare for some training for the new District Presidency on Saturday in Tzaneen. President Dunn is coming up and wanted me to help with the training. My topic was “Leading the people with love”, and District Budgeting.” You know the rules, dividing your wants from your needs and starting with the needs.
Nigel was having a terrible time getting registered for school, so two mornings early this week, we made our way down to stand in the long lines before 8:00 am at the university registration office. I’m not sure why me being there helps, but it seems to.
We used our spare time both mornings to get some other things done so Nigel could head back to the Zim Embassy this week, to have his South African Temporary Residency permit processed and issued. He was not too anxious to leave and Nelly had a hard time letting him go. Nigel gave her a blessing, and the crying stopped. The process of getting everything completed for this permit takes a couple of weeks, and he is anxious to get back from Zim before we leave. We are keeping our fingers crossed that he makes it. It was hard giving him a hug knowing this might be our last, for now. We took this pix the day he left.
Nigel and Nelly are so happy. They both talk openly about the many and on going blessings that have come from a loving Heavenly Father to them. They can’t really believe they are married and have each other to love and take care of. It is wonderful to watch.
Sister Mary’s remodel turned out really nice. Mom helped her put some colors together, recover 3 chairs and get just the right rug to pull it all together. (However, I did put the kibosh on pillows!) Mary was thrilled and Mom was pleased except she really did want some more pillows to finish it off.
Everyone keeps asking us if we are “trunky.” Are you kidding? We don’t have time for that. We still have a lot left to do, and not much time to do it in. The job is not done, until it is done. We want to get on that plane knowing that we have done everything we possibly could to show our South African friends the Savior’s love for them.
Our 3 days with the Hansen’s went great. During our training meeting, Mom and Sister Hansen sat in the other room watching the monkeys run along the church fences. Sister Hansen said, “ I feel like I have been let out of a cage and have finally arrived in South Africa”. Their first assignment was working in the mission office for their first 7 month. After our training meeting, we stopped for lunch and then back to Seshego to introduce them to Bernard and Batsirai in the village. The Hansen’s were touched with the humility and faith they found.
Our mission has been 18 months of blessings and miracles. If everyone just had a glimpse of our experiences, they would be fighting for the opportunity to serve right here in South Africa.
We love you all so much. See ya soon.
MOM & DAD