Our South African Journal

Sunday, April 26, 2015

On Sunday, April 19, I was sustained and set apart as a Young Women's advisor. I went into the YW class for the first time and was surprised to find about 12 girls in there. That is a lot of girls for such a tiny branch. I am going to enjoy this calling. In Sunday School we had a new teacher. He must have been a preacher before he converted because I ain't never had a sunday school lesson like that one! Wow! The doctrine was spot on, so more power to him. I wish more teachers were that enthusiastic. We took a young woman and little boy to church today. The young woman is an investigator. When we dropped them off at home the little boy patted me on the back and said, "Good bye, Gogo." Gogo is the word for grandmother specifically and for old woman generally. It is a title of respect. It really touched my heart to be called that. Elder Hind gets called Baba all the time. It means father and is a title of respect.

I made sweet rolls for Family Home Evening this week and I was just waiting for the people to arrive when we got a phone call telling us that the 4 Madadeni missionaries were in a car accident. It was too late to cancel FHE so I called the Newcastle Elders and asked them to come right away to play hosts at our house. Then we jumped in our car and headed to Madadeni. It seems a drunk driver had cut them off. Everyone was alright. The seat belts and air bags had done their jobs. Except the elder that was driving complained that his pants were burned. I think it must have been from the air bag explosion. The drunks in the other car all ran away before the police got there.

poor little bakkie

The next morning we went to the panel beater (body shop) and took some pictures for the insurance company and to arrange for a bid on repairs. The man we talked to seemed to think it was a write off but we will see. It only had 30,000Ks on it. "

We went to our first and I hope last funeral on Saturday. We did not know the woman who had died but she is in our branch and well loved so it was right for us to attend. The funeral was mostly conducted in the Zulu language and it lasted two hours. The highlight was a duet of "How Gentle God's Commands" sung in Zulu. It was amazing. The rest of the songs were in english. Then we went to the cemetary. The family rented two buses so people without cars could go to the cemetery also. The cemetery was so crowded because most funerals are held on Saturday. We weren't sure which group was ours, then we heard people singing, "Come, Come Ye Saints," and we figured that was our group. The women stay back from the grave and sing while the men dedicate the grave and lower the casket into the grave. There is no vault. Then the men (family and friends) covered the casket with several wooden poles to protect it from the falling soil. They put the flowers in the grave also. Then all the men take turns shoveling dirt into the grave. Elder Hind took a turn also. The dirt is mounded about 3 feet high over the grave. After the burial everyone left. We didn't take any pictures of the actual burial because no one else was taking pictures so we felt it was not the thing to do. Although we did take a couple of pictures at the cemetery.

After the burial we went to the family's house for the funeral meal. The family had set up a tent in the yard. They treated us like VIPs, it was a little embarassing. The food was good and there was a lot of it. We enjoyed being there.

This is the VIP table. Everyone else had to hold their food on their lap. We are in a tent set up in the family's yard.

 Starting at the top and going right: Beef cubes in gravy, beets, mashed pumpkin,
chakalaka, potato salad, coleslaw, yellow rice.

Then we went with the elders to another home in Madadeni. They are sending their son off on a mission Wednesday. He has been called to Johannesburg. We have been arranging his travel because he has to go to Bloemfontien to be set apart and then to the MTC in Joberg. His family was having a party for him before he goes. I was invited to help in the kitchen, so I peeled and chopped tomatoes for the Chakalaka. This was the first time Elder Hind and I have been in a home in Madadeni. (We have been in several in Newcastle.) This was a VERY humble home although it was very neat and tidy. I feel reluctant to describe it anymore than that because it is someone's home and is therefore a sacred place. Anyway we ate dinner (I gave most of my food to the missionaries because I was still stuffed with funeral food.) and then had a short program. They asked us to speak and we talked about how hard it was to send our children on missions but how much our family was blessed by their missions and how our children grew during their missions.

We sat I the yard and ate dinner and talked.

The mom and her missionary

We ended the day by going out to visit a new member family with the Newcastle missionaries. Then we went home and literally fell into bed.


  1. Sounds like a very full day with a lot of emotions! I love hearing and seeing the details of it all.

  2. Sounds like you aren't bored at all!