Sunday, September 28, 2014

Part 7

Part 7...sorry some of the pix didn't post.... donno why

Apparently, I need to proof read a little better… but in case I don’t, just do an auto-correct with your brain and put in or take out the missing letters…deal?

This week has been pretty amazing. We did get to the Temple in Johannesburg which was a marvelous experience. The temple is older than I thought. It was dedicated in 1985. It’s a very small temple and yet very nicely appointed. The grounds are lush and fitted with gardens full of small bridges, pathways and water features. I really wish my back yard could look like the grounds but then I’d have to move here permanently.

Elder Scott is finally starting to feel a little better. He’s down to a horrible cough and occasional moments of dragging. I expect a full recovery by tomorrow…really, he wants to start back to the gym so he’s anxious to get back to normal.

The drive to Johannesburg is quite long…4 & ½ hours, then add another 45 minutes to the mission office. About an hour into the drive, I was stopped by the police for crossing over a double solid line…who knew? It’s so interesting as the police drive small cars marked with green and yellow. They do not pull you over with lights and sirens—they park on the side of the road and flag you down by waving a clipboard at you. The officer was very nice and after we talked and told him about the church and where we were from and where we were going—to the temple—he let us go with a warning. That’s twice now…once on the way to Zone Conference and now on the way to the temple.

Church was wonderful today. If you’ve never had the opportunity to live in a small branch you should at least find one and attend once or twice. The Primary program was scheduled for today. Wow! Did they do a great job! Lots of little smiling faces who sang their hearts out. We only have about 14 children so they had to sing with gusto and they came through. It made me cry it was so sweet.

I taught Gospel Doctrine, Elder Scott taught the youth class and the missionaries taught Gospel Essentials class which is usually what ES teaches.

I think my class went well and I know ES’s did. We had two investigators: Combi and Violet.

Combi (I promised I would let you know regarding her progress) is enjoying attending and was really welcomed today by everyone. She’s going to Swaziland on Tuesday so the Elders are going to sacrifice a bit of their P-day to teach her a lesson before she leaves. She told us today that she wants to return before Sunday so she can attend church again.

Violet is the daughter or another investigator, Ezra, who started bringing his granddaughter to Primary when he started to attend a few months ago. The granddaughter loves Primary and was in the program today. Violet wanted to see the Primary program and to attend church. She told the missionaries that she knows the Book of Mormon is true and at last week’s lesson, she bore her testimony to her father about prayer and the Book of Mormon. During Relief Society, I shared an experience I had in the temple when Christy and Will (my kids) were sealed. The RS President had asked me to share some experiences about the temple and it just came into my mind. It’s one thing to share with endowed members…or just members who know about Priesthood blessings and etc…but it’s a totally different thing to have to explain those things to investigators. I chose my words very carefully. After RS, Sister Violet told Elder Scott that what I had shared really moved her. She felt very different as I was relating what happened to me. Then she asked him, “What must I do to go to the temple?” Is this person golden, or what?

Earlier in the week we went to the pharmacy (our favorite Mopani) and while there asking a pharmacy tech a question about medicines, she asked us if we were “the Hunts replacements?” We told her we were. She then told us how wonderful they were and how happy she was to see us that day. She then explained to us that she was having a problem with trying to decide whether she should stay the course on her new decision or not. She said she’d changed her employment recently and given up a high paying job due to having to work on Sundays and be away from her husband so much. She’d decided that she needed to pay more attention to “God and doing what he wants me to do instead of pursuing wealth and fame.”

Well, we were in complete agreement but didn’t have any Pass-along cards with us…oddly as we always have stacks of them so we told her we’d be back with something just for her.

We spoke for about five minutes and then she said, “I am so glad you came in today and spoke to me. I am committed to do what I’ve resolved. I know God sent you to me to help me with this decision.”

So, this week we are going back to drop-off home baked cookies and a Pass-along card about the family.

When you wear name badges missionary work is easy.

While in Joburg, we picked up a new car…not a New car…just a new to us car. It’s really nice and I can almost guarantee that no Jr. Missionary ever drove that car. It’s a 2004 Nissan something or other. Happy campers here.

That’s about it from South Africa. It has been a great week…rather a short one and rather a quick one.

However, while at the temple yesterday and watching the Primary children sing today I found another reason to rejoice over the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Speaking for myself—one who has never been out the States before coming here—I forget sometimes how diverse the world is and how select we think we are. Truly, white people are the minority in South Africa…it’s not that there are not any because actually, there are quite a few—but in the temple yesterday when there were only four pale faced people among an entire session of chocolate colored people it puts it into proper prospective. The Gospel of Jesus Christ levels all fields. With everyone wearing white clothing and participating individually in their own salvation it is evident that no one is superior and no one is inferior. Sadly, there are still a lot of whites here who treat the blacks as their servants. But in the temple and in that wonderful Primary Presentation there is no difference in Heavenly Fathers children. It makes me weep tears of joy for the truth of the Plan of Salvation and how it can work in each and every one of us. I know that we are all from the same Eternal Father and I could not love these brothers and sisters here more than if they were my own by mortal blood. I hope you will one day get the chance to love the people of South Africa as they are very special children of Heavenly Father.
And there are still no monkey's in my kitchen.

This is Elder Swan fixing Alfredo's roof in KaNyamazone

This is a view from Alfredo's home

Another view

This is another view of their house. Alfredo and his wife built this by hand with items they found around the Township. However the roof leaked quite badly so Elder Scott, Elder Swan and President Banta went to help Alfredo fix his roof.

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