January 25, 2015
Well, as Christian asked in his prayers the other day, today we “wrapped it up” and are more than a little emotionally spent. Oh, but what a week it was. Tender moments, lots of tears, and blessings from heaven.
Bernard and family were so excited to see us this last Monday. Kutzie and Lucky came running and this week we even got kisses blown to us by Kutzie when we left. Mom checked Lucky’s schoolwork and then fussed over Batsarai’s new Sunday outfit. What a great, humble family. Our stay was not too long, because we were trying to get Jimmy to the Temple on Thursday and the week was filled to overflowing. We will really miss them.
As we taught Jimmy about the Temple, he had so much anxiety. But lots of gentle time, Monday, Tuesday, and also on Wednesday made a difference. Questions were answered, arrangement were made for transport, and even a member nurse to ride down with Jimmy to the Temple. Without help from the Temple Assistance Fund to pay for the van and other expenses it would not have been possible. What a blessing this fund is for first time temple goers. It took a lot of help from many to make this all happen.
The Temple workers were so kind and careful taking care of Jimmy’s every need. Watching Jimmy do his best to participate was a gift straight from heaven. Jimmy is completely helpless with the exception of slight movement in both his arms. I could tell that he was listening and watching everything. We cannot express in words the feelings we felt. I could not help but wonder if the angels mentioned in D&C 84:88 were some the earthly kind that surrounded Jimmy.
Today we went over to visit him after church to say our goodbyes. I put a little video of the temple trip together with some music to show on his TV. As he watched it, he told us that it brought all those wonderful feelings back. That was a hard good bye for all of us. We are so glad that Elder and Sister Hansen will be following up with everyone, to keep things moving.
I had my last group training with President Mishishi and Brother Sefara this week. They are doing so well, and always anxious to learn. I wanted to make sure they got every ounce of training I could possibly give.
The Relief Society had a little surprise for us yesterday. We showed up and everyone danced out to greet us in their traditional clothing. As you can tell from the outfits, each tribe has a unique dress depending on where they come from. It was so fun. They entertained us with kind words and lots of dancing and singing. Everyone had put their money together to buy Mom and I our own Sepedi outfit. We felt really honored.
We gave our farewell talks today and we followed up the block of meetings with a slide show of all our activities of the group since we arrived here. They sat and watched while eating some brownies and ice cream and loved it. Elder Dye helped me put the music behind the pictures and the computer did the rest. It was really powerful. Mom and I have been crying all week every time we watched it. We had hoped that the tears would be all gone by today, but not so.
We thank our Heavenly Father for letting us be here and serve these wonderful people. Our lives will never be the same again.
Well, I need to close for now. I need to go pack. We love you more than you will ever know. We are so excited to see everyone this week. See you soon.
MOM & DAD