Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fourth Sunday in South Africa and 30 days into our time!


Part 4

Hello again!

This is part 4 and I’m so excited I have learned to transfer photos from the iPad to the computer.

Now if I learn to take descent pictures you’ll see what I’m talking about!

One note of importance thanks to my friend Maegan Langer who spent some school time here in South Africa… the Africans who are called Afri -cons are spelled Afrikaans. Makes sense.  Thanks Maeg!

On the Saturday that we drove to see two families in the Branch (see the info above about Hazyview) who live a great distance from Nelspruit, we drove past the largest man-made forest in the world. Evidently they plant these pine-type of trees that grow 40 feet tall and harvest them for wood products. You can tell they have been planted by man as opposed to Heavenly Father because he doesn’t plant in exact rows. I tried taking photos of them but from a distance they just look like rows and rows of regular ole trees… also, Heavenly Father tries to add a bit of variety to the forests. These trees are all the same kind.

We returned again to Sabie and got to see a bit more of it. I have taken pix of the Weitze family and their place so you can see the beauty that surrounds them. We are going back often to breathe in the surroundings and also to see the falls (not to mention we are the Weitze home teachers) after it rains. It has not rained and it should have by now. It is getting hotter with today being in the upper 80s. One day last week it was 92… I’m not happy about that since we only have fans circulating the hot air.

Last Monday we were in the Mopani Pharmacy trying to get our prescriptions filled and a tall, Afrikaans man spoke to Elder Scott saying, “Elder Scott. How are you? I have just moved here from ???? and am looking for a church.”

Elder Scott thought he was a member who had just moved into our area and was looking for the Branch to attend… Well, as it turned out he was a man searching for a church to attend. Sadly, we didn’t know the address of the Branch and even sadder than that no one we contacted did either. We tried to explain how to get there but to no avail as he was new to the area. Content with giving us his phone number and email address we left him determined to find out the address of the church building.

We tried everything we could think of to find the Branch address… the church doesn’t even show a listing for the Branch and we must pay the rent on something but our Mission Office only had coordinates for the location. (Some people travel by coordinates) So, Elder Scott and the Jr. Missionaries drove to the church building, hit our GPS for the location and it told us the address of the downstairs office building which is the same as upstairs which is where we meet. No one has mail boxes so it really doesn’t matter that we are the same as the businesses downstairs.

So our address is #10 De Waal Street, Upstairs, Nelspruit, South Africa!

Yay!

The last week was highlighted by going to Zone Conference in Pretoria 3 ½ hours away from Nelspruit. We had to leave the day before and get a room in Pretoria so we didn’t have to leave at 1 a.m.

I have pictures of where we stayed. It is a guest house … a B&B as they have very few hotels and no motels. We had a King-sized bed and air conditioning! We were in heaven. We stopped at this amazingly good fish restaurant in a town without a name…at least to us and drove to our lovely get a way resort. Felt like a VIP staying in this place… about a $100.00 a night which included a full English breakfast.

We learned a few Afrikaan words. Here goes… Ja Neer = Yes, no… or whatever! It’s pronounced Ya Near…  To say thank you very much you say something that sounds like… “buy a donkey” Only its really “danke” almost like the German “danke “ for thanks… a bit softer sound.

I also gave away 3 Book of Mormons… Only in Swati, one in Zulu and one in English. The next day, the guy I gave the Swati book too asked for one in English but Elder Scott has notched his belt for that one. I was able to give the first discussion about who God is and who Jesus Christ is and about the restoration of the gospel. I think I have planted seeds only since these humble people live a long taxi ride away from the Ward building in Pretoria and mostly due to the hotel business will probably work on Sundays but seeds have been planted. Who knows… if they read the Books they may become converted and make the sacrifice to attend. We will definitely stay there again for our next Zone Conference.

Zone Conference was great and quite laid-back… Didn’t feel pressured. Our Mission President is such a great man who is filled with the Saviors love and it was evident at this Zone Conference.

Sunday was back to church again. Our 4th Sunday here. It doesn’t really seem possible that time is passing so quickly. We have passed our 30 day mark. Before we know it we will be coming home. Wow!

I had a phone call last night from my team-teacher asking if I could teach the lesson to the youth. Of course, I said I would be delighted. She is a doctor and had to work last night. I only had 6 in class this week but what a fun, dedicated group this was. We are learning about commandments. I taught how the 10 Commandments could be grouped into the 2 great commandments… See it for yourselves. It’s really cool.

Then as I entered the Relief Society room, I was asked to teach the lesson today on the Sealing Power. Wow. I glanced at the book, said a prayer in my heart and the Holy Ghost took over. I told several stories and explained why we do family history and why we are sealed together. Not one person in the class had what we would call an “ideal family life” so I explained why we teach the “ideal” even though most people really live that way.

After we came home, I fixed a traditional Scott family (Elder Scott’s favorite meal) of hamburger steak, mashed potatoes (from real potatoes mind you) and gravy, canned corn and fresh carrots and rolls.

It was really great even if I did use all my pots and pans and half the dishes I own. It also took me 1 ½ hours to make that dinner. And the rolls were store bought- left over from Zone Conference.

Also… just by way of fun things. Last week when I went grocery shopping, I bought some already mixed and raised bread dough and made scones for the Elders who had never had them and for our housekeeper who had never even heard of them. They all want to learn how to do it.

Another thing of note. We had to switch bedrooms. It has gotten warm and due to the Eastern Sun exposure of our bedroom that room was hot from morning until night with it being unbearable to sleep in. I noticed that our second bedroom with 2 twin beds and an ironing board in it was 10 degrees cooler. So being the creative people we are, we duck taped the beds together, turned our mattress topper sideways as well as our bedspread and we now have a summer bedroom which is quite cool…temperature wise. We’ll move back into our other bedroom in the winter when we desire a bit more warmth… but that extra-large bed is sure nice…  We moved our desk into our living room entry hall… and I’m sitting here in the cool breezes enjoying the Hawaii-type temperatures sans the humidity right now anyway.

And I am happy to report that I still do not have monkey’s in my kitchen.
The following are just pix. I'll learn how to put them where I need them next time. There were just too many to try to maneuver. I've captioned them.

the stairs to our flat in Nelspruit

they pick up garbage daily. Our door is the one on the right

Our car on the right

One of our security guards

a couple of tropical plants that grace our gardens



a few neighborhood children



I think Dr. Seuss designed this tree

Our front gates

the back of our upstairs flat

we have screen on the opening to stop the pest and the birds from flying in... yes they do. Already had one come in.

Our view and behind our flat

front door with the security door

front room

kitchen and door to broom closet

stove top

patio

screen on our terrace


Living room


Summer bedroom

bath

South Africa we are up in the right hand corner

Our first flat in Johannesburg...the bedroom and back door.

the other side

the wardrobe and desk

kitchen

living room

front door with security door

ready to leave

 bathroom



very strange shower

typical wall switch that operates the plugs

notice the three kinds of plugs... 3 different ones and you use all three for various products

another angle of the living room No its not a fireplace

outside the front door


Our handyman, Dennis, the housekeeper (not ours) and her grandson

the alley to get to our flat in the back

 the front of the house...not ours the owners


their swimming pool


Now we are in Nelspruit with Elder Ah Wong... How's this for unusual... He's from New Zealand. He is part Chinese and part Samoan. He said it is very common. Thus the Ah part is Samoan and the Wong is the Chinese part. Really.

Those two are our Elders and the blond is our mission Mom, Sister Dunn. This was taken our first Sunday in Nelspruit Branch.

This is the baptismal font a the end of our building. We also had a birthday party for the baptized boy. He is also our neighbor living behind our flat in the same complex.

This is Sean who turned 8 and was baptized

 Par tay time

 Another friend of Seans

 A member of our branch named Nelly

 Our Branch. I'm in there somewhere


 Another party to say Good-bye to our former Branch President


 Elder Ah Wong and Sister Jennifer, the RS President

 from the car window


 A view on the road


 the local 7-11 type of store

 a township house with a water Jo Jo (the green thing)

a few township houses under constuction


another car view or two or three




a school

 a view

towships


Sister Jennifer and her granddaughter. A grandmother is called a go-go... yep as in boots and dancers...

 She charges the local kids money to use the tramp...



her view of the fruit orchards and her neighborhood in Hazyview



the next door people are building a house

Cinni inside the only wooden house we have seen in SA

Banana trees


the blue bags hanging from them catch the ripe bananas and protect them from the birds and monkeys

the forest... with its man planted trees which cannot be seen but it stretches as far as the eye can see

car view

No idea what this is????

Where I bought the basket

views



Sister Weitze

Sarah Weitze

their house and view


the Swan's flat kitchen

Elder Swan (the ones from Canada)

Elder Scott lounging

Swan's corner of paradise...their patio with a built in Braai (BBQ) We also have one but probably will not use it...

the fish restaurant we stopped at. They ordered a bottle of water and it comes in a 1.5 ltr. fancy bottle. You have to order ice separately as they do not usually serve it with your drink 

Elder Scott being hungry

Our room in the Guest house in Pretoria



fancy huh?

Outside view of gardens and the like





our patio by our room

right outside our door

the lobby


dining room




the man, Elias, who I gave the first discussion and the relaxation room

Yay! Our building and our Elder McClellan who is from Washington State... Only member of his family. He joined 3 1/2 years ago and his grandmother kicked him out of her house... she was raising him as his parents abandoned him at 12 years old. Great guy! Strong testimony.

Here's Elder Ah Wong again

both of them and our sign

Our members


Primary room

the building from the top of the stairs. Yay! #10 De Waal, Upstairs, Nelspruit (pronounce the W as a V)
That's all folks!

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