We have officially passed our 8 month mark. Time is marching on. Next month we will hit our “hump” day and will have been in mission ½ of our time or 9 months. We will speeding up our activity because time seems to speed up as you roll downhill.
This week has been filled with amazing events. I know, you say! Another amazing event! Sure! Well I’m not sorry to report but it has been another amazing week. The first of the week was spent trying to get ES back healthy again… Yes, again. This time it was a parasite. We bought some nuts from a street vendor a few weeks ago and apparently you should not do this. He got an intestinal parasite. Nasty buggers but easily killed with antibiotics. Thank Heavens for good drugs. So, he was doing a bit of resting and lots of feeling really lousy. He finally relented and went to the doctors after much nagging on my part. He has completed the course of meds and is completely cured…of both the parasite and of buying nuts from street vendors. Eish!
The rest of the week was spent teaching some pretty amazing people. We went to Lydenburg and taught Simon and Lindy and then when that amazing lesson was over we walked down the street and taught the Masinga family (I spelled it wrong in the last post) again and had dinner at their home. As the lesson concluded, each member bore their testimony about what they had been taught. We came out of there flying high on the Spirit.
The next day was Saturday so I taught Seminary with only 2 in attendance. It has been Easter vacation and that decimates schedules for everyone. But, two is better than none. Afterwards we took a detour to the mall to purchase pillows, blankets and a comforter for Calisto and Christine. When we were at the Masinga house they were both shivering from the cold. Esther was wrapped up nicely but I must admit it had gotten rather chilly. Neither Christine nor Calisto have much in the way of fat on them so their insulation level is rather sparse. They were freezing. Lydenburg is in the mountains and even occasionally snows. It had been raining off and on all day and the “shack” they live in was cold indeed. They had one cotton blanket to cover the bed and nothing else. So before our return, we bought them some warmer items.
Simon and Lindy have 3 children and are friends of Calisto and Christine. I am sure they are going to accept the challenge to be baptized in May. They have been to church several times and really understand the doctrine… so… we’re praying for them.
We didn’t get to Lydenburg until about 2 pm so we were only able to teach Christine who is anxious to be baptized on the 24th of April and then onto Margaret who is a friend of the Siguake family. She accepted the challenge to be ready for baptism on May 10th. We are excited for that one as well. She is a little quieter but when I first met her I thought she was already a member because of her comments in Relief Society. She has such a great spirit about her.
Today, (Monday) the Assistants to the President stopped by. They were delivering a new car to our Elders. It is just like our car. I’m glad they have a white one or we’d have a hard time telling the difference. Anyway, while they were here, we plead our case for a full-fledged independent Branch in Lydenburg. They have the Priesthood leadership, they have the member base and all the missionary contacts are member referrals. That’s amazing in and of its own self. They heard our pleas and promised to discuss it with the President but apparently he’s not the problem…it’s the Area Presidency. So Pray for Softened Hearts… either theirs or ours. Theirs if it is to be and our understanding if it’s not what Heavenly Father wants right now. Sigh.
Two days in Lydenburg, Seminary, teaching on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, overcoming my ear infection and battling ES and his illness, making 3 batches of cookies and feeding Elders makes me a little tired come Sunday. We went to church, taught lessons and then came home and crashed. We barely moved until dinner time. We invited the elders and I made a chicken stir-fry that all could eat. It was pretty good. After dinner, we chatted with the Swans until about 9 pm. They are a fun couple to hang out with. They had arranged to take a couple of women from their Branch who have lived here all their lives and have never been to Kruger or seen wild animals. They have been gone all day. I’m excited to hear how it went.
Today is now Monday and ES and the Jrs. have gone off to teach Tulane who is Sister Lorraine’s husband. I was scheduled to cut the Jrs. hair but I was so tired and they really needed haircuts so I paid this new barber shop to cut their hair. Elder K. really liked his new hair style.
Our power was turned off about an hour ago and will probably be off for another hour. Crazy. But, I must be grateful because in KaNyamazane they turn off the power every day at 6 and do not turn it on again until 5 the next morning. They also turn off the water 3 days a week. Talk about mistreating the poor. But alas, I digress. I am very grateful for the blessings and miracles that we have been privileged to be involved in. I was reading about Ammon the other night and I read about his “boasting” of God. I could really relate to his reveling.
this is exactly how I feel.
“My brothers and my sisters, behold I say unto you, how great reason ES and I have to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we started from the land of Utah that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?
And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?
Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren and sisters, the Lydenburgites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.”
“Yeah, I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God!”
Read Alma 26 for the full account.
Still no monkeys but I saw a bunch the other day… one large baboon ran across the street right in front of our car. I had to slam on my brakes. Eish!
Another week has past and I’m just getting my blog written. Hopefully, I can also post this today. We have been busy but we’ve also managed to squeeze in a bit of relaxation in the way of studying and eating out a bit.
Today, Sunday, we watched General Conference as we also did Saturday. On Saturday we had only President Manjate, President Maleka, the Jr. Elders, ES and I and Khetsiwe and Laherie…our two investigators. But, it was a great spiritual meeting. Sunday, we had more members and more investigators… some of our Lydenburg people. Christine is set for baptism next Sunday and we are super excited. We even made sure she had clothes to fit for the ordinance.
It was a wonderful experience to see Conference through the eyes of someone who has never seen the prophet (even on television) or heard the choir or even knew about them. Khetsiwe sat captured as the choir sang. And what an amazing choir the YSA afternoon session choir was???? We were stunned at the arrangement of their last hymn. Wow. The Nkosi girls were still talking about it today. We introduced the Nkosi sisters to the Masinga kids and they bonded instantly. All the girls sing and Syabonga plays for them. When it was time for them to go home we discovered them in the Primary room singing and playing. Laheri, Charity and Khetsiwe have all announced that they would like to be baptized but not until June. I’m not sure why that particular month but it will work time wise as they must attend church for about 3 months since Mom is not being baptized. I only hope they can continue to attend after we leave as transport around here is such a problem. Hopefully, Mom will attend more regularly and drive them.
With our chapel full of investigators—we had 8 not counting the children—I was sure glad to see the world wide church represented during the conference sessions. It was great to see Elder Sitati who I am assuming is African. (He sure sounded like all the other Africans around here) And the Councilor in the Bishopric who was from France, Gerald Causse. Not to mention those who spoke Spanish and the Asian Brother who said the Benediction. I loved it. As I mentioned previously, it is amazing to me how the Spirit transcends the time, and the method of viewing so that even when we are watching conference 2 weeks later via DVDs, we can still feel the testimonies, hear the truths taught and witness the transformation of lives as we and they heed the voices of our leaders.
I also learned something from my daughter Christy. Well, in truth I have learned TONS of stuff from her but I’m going to speak of something specific… I have been sending out this blog now for nearly 9 months and relating some of the marvelous experiences we have been involved in. Several posts ago after I told of a miracle Christy wrote and said, “gee wiz Mom. Why are you so complacent when you are involved in miracles?” I really should erase the quotes since I did paraphrase her but that is the message I received from her comment. I said in my head, “She’s right. The things that are happening are miracles. I’m going to start recognizing them as such and telling my “fans”—you guys—that they are really miracles.”
I was so happy when one of the speakers, I think it was Elder Anderson, talked about the hand of God in our lives. ES and I have been wrapped around by the Lord’s miracles. This is an amazing place filled with people ready to hear the gospel—prepared even. I can see it. I hope I express my gratitude enough—and even then I know I will still be unprofitable—to my Father in Heaven for allowing me this season of my life to see the guardianship of His hands in the lives of my brothers and sisters and to be on the borders of their miracles.
Still no monkeys in my kitchen. Oh, and I should mention, The WEATHER has cooled down considerably. I even wore shoes to church and a sweater.
|Sorry... not head but it is Elder K. He and Elder L celebrated their hump day last week. I made them mini cakes with rubber camels on top. Can't figure out how to turn this photo so I guess you have to turn your head.|
|This is Khetsiwe celebrating her 18th birthday. I made cupcakes for the entire class. I couldn't find any matches so she is faux blowing out her candle.|
|the rest of the class|
|this is Elder Pulley. He and Elder X made a flag then challenged the Nelspruit Elders to do the same. So far nothing on this end.... |
I have a few more photos but I'll just post them as soon as I can grab the phone from ES...