December 7, 2014
The Temple Wedding and Reception for Nigel and Nelly are all behind us now. At times we were not sure that we could really make this happen. We had to help the bride arrange Nails and Hair, and buying all the meat for Sister Ouma to cook for the reception. Here in South Africa, everyone expects to have the “full meal deal”.
The week has been full of “tender mercies” and as promised by the Lord, “mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” One of those angles was Andrea, our very good friend from “The Dish.” She did everything she could to help us. In this picture, she decided she could save Nelly some money and do her nails .
After a hectic week we finally got on our way on Thursday morning with only one stop at the florist to pick up the brides bouquet and then on our way to JoBerg. Surprise, the flowers were not even close to what Mom had ordered. With no time to correct things, we took what they had made up and Mom held the flowers in a container of water and watched the tips of the roses turn brown as we made the 3-hour journey. This happy day was not starting out so well.
Mom called Andrea to see if she could help us. Since the florist was Andrea’s friend at the very least we thought we could use the flowers we had for the Temple and buy a second one for the reception. Maybe even one that looked like the original one that had been ordered. To make a long story short, the florist got offended, and refused to finish any of the flowers that were supposed to be picked up on Saturday morning for the reception. Gee, this is a problem.
Since Sandton City Mall is about 15 minutes from the Temple, Mom wanted to get Nelly’s ring cleaned at one of the jewelers. The first one we tried said they only cleaned the rings that they had sold, but she told us there was a jeweler in the business tower at the mall that would probably do it for us. Her referral was inspired. As he cleaned and buffed the ring, two of the stones come out. I could tell, by the look on his face that something was wrong. – – -Panic – – – he had all the tools to reset the stones, polished everything and with the exception of a 20-minute wait to get the elevator, we still made it to our 2:15 appointment at the Temple. Well, barely.
Have you ever tried to herd cats? Well, that was what it was like to try to keep track of all our guests, all eleven of them in 3 different cars, get them fed, checked them into patron housing at the temple and be in the right place at the right time. Mom and I are just too old for this!
Our first missionary appointment here in South Africa was with Nelly. The Elders wanted to introduce her to us and have us help with the teaching. The lesson was to be on Temple and Family History work. She had only been recently baptized. Because both her Mom and Dad were deceased, she had lots of questions and was anxious to try to help her parents if she could. She had planned to do just that.
Not only were Nigel and Nelly getting sealed, but by the time we went to the Temple, she had the work ready to also seal her parents, be sealed to them and have her mother’s parents, also sealed. Oh, by the way, Mom lost the pink temple card for Nelly’s mother’s work that Mom needed to finish up. She went up and down this hill three different times looking for the card that she had just had in the Distribution Center – – after praying for help they finally were able to reprint the card so Mom could finish her temple work so the sealing could take place the next day. Do you think that just maybe someone was trying to prevent this from taking place?
Nigel acted as proxy for Nellys’ father, and Mom acted as the proxy for Nellys’ mother. Mom said even though the day had not gone well, so far, the feelings in the Temple both Thursday and Friday were so emotional, that tears came easy and were uncontrollable. The problems of the day seemed to fade compared to the sacred feelings in the Temple.
Several temple workers that had been with Mom, each commented that they knew the person she was going through for was very special. One even waited to talk to Mom. They both shared tears and the strong feelings each had felt. The joining of families together is sacred. How wonderful it was to be a part of our Father in Heaven’s plan for Nelly’s family.
While sitting in the sealing room, I looked in the mirrors that are hung opposite each other. Considering that we were there to witness the connecting of three generations, we felt overwhelmed with gratitude. Here are a few of the pictures I took at the Temple. (8-pix #3)
While Mom was getting Nelly’s make-up on Friday morning before the sealing she had forgotten some hair spray. It seemed like a simple task at the time to go out in a city of 15 million and find some. Not so simple. At my fifth stop, I finally used my GPS and it guided me to a scary little store with bars everywhere, even around the one end were the cashier was with a few of those things that were easy to steal. I was so thrilled to find anything, and get back to our room. The can looked like hair spray, the label “Oil Sheen” did not seem to register until I tried some and then Mom used it and her hair turned from light and airy to limp, sad and oily. I mean really sad. Mom and I just looked at each other and started to laugh. What in the world had we put on our hair? I can best describe it as maybe buying a quart of Valvoline motor oil and dumping it on your head. So sorry about the dripping down your forehead. We didn’t have time to wash and redo our hair – – – so the whole day we went around with oil soaked hair! I found out when I asked one of the sisters at church what this can of “Oil Sheen” was for. Everyone uses it to keep their hair shinny and moist. She was happy to accept my can of “Oil Sheen” as a gift.
With the Bride and Groom delivered to a hotel in Polokwane, now it’s time to see how we fix the flower issue. Andrea kept saying don’t worry. Ya Right. Oh, by the way, she could not find any florist that would help us for a reasonable price, so she decided to make up all the flowers herself. She and her friends wanted to decorate. Mom was really worried about what the decorations would look like, but Mom is learning to adapt and be OK with whatever people do to try and help. She’s come along way in that department.
Did I mention that this week, one of the members had her mother pass away. With lots of pressure from her family, they decided to have the funeral on Saturday morning at 6:00 am – – – the same day the reception was to start at noon. Guess who was asked to speak. Me. They have lots and lots of funerals in South Africa. Most of them start at this time, with prayer meeting every night starting about Wednesday. You put up a big tent in your street, have lots of food prepared for everyone in the community to eat, the after party usually concludes on Sunday. It was a very nice service, just a little rushed along with everything else that was going on.
Andrea had stayed up all night on Thursday night finishing up all the table decorations and spent all day Friday trying to find a florist. The plan was to meet her Saturday morning after the funeral at 7:30 am to decorate at the church. She had lost her phone, so she did not hear the frantic phone messages I sent up until 10:30 am Saturday morning. She had slept in. Mom just kept working on her cupcakes that were to be used for the wedding cake and covering the tables. Once Andrea got there she and MJ started decorating. Check out their work.
Mom sent me home at 11:00 am to pick up the wedding dress so she could go help Nelly get ready. There was only one problem. When I got home, the city power was off. The garage door opener would not work, and the only key I had to an outside door fit the slider that also had a dowel in the track to keep the bad guys out. OK, now what? I decided to climb over the wall leading to my back yard. I thought that perhaps I could get in somewhere in the back. Everything was locked tight. Wow, now what are we going to do. I said quietly, “Father, I need some help, and I need it quickly.” I climbed back over the wall and decided to try the garage door opener just one more time. The door slowly went up. Tender mercies were everywhere this week. Our Father in Heaven cares about everything we care about.
The reception turned out wonderful. Everyone had so much fun, even with the make shift music with no power for part of the time and a wedding march for the ring ceremony played from an iPhone. We planned on serving 60 – – – we had over 100 at the reception and I am not sure where all the food came from, but I can guess.
We are so looking forward to your “Gift of Service” for our Christmas. Kids, please be sure to share the experience with us and the feelings you had of serving our Father in Heaven’s children.
We love you. God does hear and answer our prayers.
MOM & DAD