Our South African Journal

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

On Easter Sunday we got up and put several pounds of chicken pieces in the crockpot and then went to church. In the states and some other countries it was Conference Sunday but here conference won't come for about 3 weeks and it will come in the form of DVDs. So we had a nice fast and testimony meeting. It was wonderful to hear the member's testimonies of Jesus Christ. Last week a young couple asked Elder Hind to bless their baby girl today. So he had the privilege of blessing little Zanokuhle Ariana Nxumalo. He had to have a missionary whisper the name to him. The vowels in the Zulu language only have one sound but some of the consonants blends are tricky.

We had the missionaries show up for dinner about eight oclock. They are busy teaching until then. We served them chicken, rice with gravy, roasted vegetables and rolls. They got cake and ice cream for dessert. We had managed to find some Easter candy. It was expensive and there wasn't much variety but we filled some little bags and passed them out. When we said the Easter bunny might come most of the elders did not know what we were talking about.

The rest of the week was very busy. We did our first boarding and car inspections Monday morning.We have to inspect the missionary’s cars and flats every six weeks. For us that is 3 cars and 3 apartments. Elder Hind found one dirty bakkie and wasn't afraid to tell them so. I on the other hand had a hard time being as firm as I need to be. However I did not buy the notion that the bug in one of the refrigerators was a protein source for the missionaries. All three flats failed in the refrigerator department. I walked into one kitchen and spotted two really dirty dishcloths hanging on the rack. I asked them if they had any clean ones. They told me those were the only good ones, the rest they had to throw away. If those were the good ones I would sure hate to see the bad ones. Needless to say, I went out and bought them new dishcloths and dishtowels and some bleach.

On Monday night we had our first Family Home Evening. We had about 15 people come, a mix of elders, investigators and members. I taught the lesson, some elders shared a game and I served pop corn, cookies and soda. I absolutely loved it! We will be doing this every week.

Playing a game

We have gone out with the Newcastle elders a couple of times. They like to bring us when they are teaching a family. We usually get a chance to bear our testimonies. It is wonderful to see the missionaries at work.

We did another walk through at the Meadowlands Flats where the Madadeni elders will be living. We arranged to rent a pick up truck. Some of the elders that work in the townships drive "bakkies", small trucks. So we had two bakkies and a regular pick up. On Friday all the missionaries in our area helped move the 4 Madadeni missionaries to their new flats at the Meadowlands. While they were taking the first load out, I stayed back and cleaned out their refrigerators. Bleeck!!!!

After two loads we took all ten of the elders to lunch at a tuck shop in the Madadeni township. A tuckshop is a tiny food shop that someone sets up in a shack in their yard. (Capitalism at its most fundamental) I don't think the health department is involved. The elders assured me they have never gotten sick eating at a tuck shop. They love to eat there because they get a lot of food for their money. We fed ten missionaries and ourselves for less than $25. We each had a Kota and a soft drink. A Kota is a 1/4 loaf of bread which has been hollowed out and filled with fries, a couple of kinds of meat and cheese and then a chunk of bread on top. Our kotas had a sausage and some kind of lunchmeat and cheese. You can get them with hamburger, and fried eggs and I don't know what else. The more that is in them the more you pay.

The tuck shop is the tiny building on the other side of the elder's bakkie

Cross section of a Kota

On Saturday we got up early to work in the community garden at the Newcastle Chapel. After working for 4 or 5 hours the Relief Society fed us lunch. We had chicken polony sandwiches, apples, cheese puffs, cookies and punch. Polony is a kind of lunch meat that comes in a roll that you can slice. They just spread the bread with margerine and put on the meat, add another slice of bread and there you have it, nothing fancy. But after working several hours in the garden everything tasted good.

We got a nice write up in the local weekly. There were a lot more people there but by this time they were serving lunch

That evening we went out to visit a new member family with the Newcastle missionaries. They consist of a mom and her 4 girls. Her mother and her aunt also live with her. We had a FHE with them and they served us a coke. The missionaries wanted to have their pictures taken with them and that made the family realize that transfers were coming up and that one of the missionaries might be leaving. The little girls started to cry. It was really a sweet moment to see how much the missionaries are loved.

We met the some of the other missionaries at McDonald's for ice cream and then went to the chapel to access the computer to see who was leaving and who was staying. I was surprised at how much tension was in the room until the transfers were announced. The were only 2 transfers among our 10 elders. Elder Mabetha is going to Bloemfontain and Elder Clayton is going to Lesotho. They were both happy with the changes.



  1. I am so proud of my Mom And Dad. You must be having the time of your lives. Even if sometimes you have to clean out the elders yucky refrigerator.

  2. Love that you're in the newspaper! You guys are truly doing the Lords work! ❤️