Our South African Journal

Saturday, May 30, 2015

One of the missionary districts decided to have their picture taken for a district activity. This is the result. Aren't they all tough and manly? Two of these guys have now been transferred.

Men In Black
On Sunday we spoke in the Newcastle Branch Sacrament Meeting. We also attended the other meetings and then drove an investigator home. He is married and the father of two children. It would be nice to see him progress.

Sunday afternoon was quiet but in the evening the Zone Leaders came by to get the transfer itineraries and then things got busy. Most of the time the elders travel to their new areas on Tuesday but this time many of them had to travel to Ladysmith Monday night. So the Zone Leaders were calling everyone to let them know when they had to be ready to go. Tomorrow is going to be hectic for the elders.

Monday morning the elders in our area decided to play one last game of soccer together. They seemed to enjoy the opportunity to let off some steam but they weren’t too competitive. They let Elder Hind play with them. He is a little slow compared to the young elders and he doesn’t know soccer but he loved running around the field and the elders were patient with him.

Saying good bye to these elders.
We had FHE planned for Monday night so we had to go ahead with that. Meantime the elders were all meeting here to say goodbye and to organize the ride to Ladysmith. One was catching a bus Monday evening, two were picking up a bakkie in Ladysmith and driving to Durban. We still managed to have FHE and see the elders off.  They all said, “I love you”, to me in Zulu. I can’t believe how attached I have become to them in just two months.

Elder Holman and some of our Family Home Evening family
On Tuesday we had to take a missionary to a doctor’s appointment. While we were waiting an older couple asked about the badges we were wearing and we started a nice little conversation about our beliefs. Just then the elders came out and we introduced them to this nice couple. Elder Hind and I were asked to step back into the business office for a few minutes. When we came out of the office there were our hardworking elders, one talking to the husband and another sharing a scripture with the wife. I wanted to take a picture. (But I didn’t) We left this nice couple with a pass a long card and the Newcastle elders’ phone number. 

 We called the top manager or owner (I am not sure what he was) of the Meadowlands Flats where our Madadeni elders live. I talked to him about the fact that the elders don’t have hot water in their flat. He said it was not his fault that people use too much hot water in the cold weather and so it runs out fast. When I asked him if he should have warned us the hot water is not reliable he got really mad and told me there are plenty of people who would want to move into those flats and we should just move our missionaries out. I told him I did not have the authority to make that decision. But I can’t believe how rude and angry he was. He could not have a business-like discussion. I had to remind myself that I was representing the church and so I could not say what I really wanted to say. Anyway that left us feeling really upset and pretty much ruined our day.

Just as we were sitting down to dinner a couple of the elders dropped by because  they needed our help with a minor problem. Normally when I make dinner I only make enough for Elder Hind and me. It just so happened that I had made an extra-large salad and lots of chicken and rice. So we invited the elders to have dinner with us. They readily accepted and were soon on their way back to work with full stomachs. Elder Hind commented that feeding the elders had cheered me up. He was right. There are so many problems to work on and most of them won’t be solved during our time here. For the most part our victories will be small ones.  It is nice to be able to do some small thing that is so appreciated. And no one can say that the missionaries don’t appreciate being fed.

We have been asked by the mission president to look for the tender mercies in each day and we are encouraged to share those tender mercies in order to lift each other’s spirits. It was no accident that I had made enough food to offer dinner to those elders. I think Heavenly Father sent them by just to lift my spirits and to help me feel useful after a trying day.

We got a call to administer first aid to one of our elders. He fell in the shower, broke the ceramic soap dish and cut his knee on the fragments. A bandage and a pat on the head was all he needed. The soap dish, however, is deceased. Elder Hind had to replace it.

Don't worry Sister Tibbitts the look of agony is fake

Just a little gratuitous gore
We have met two of our new elders. One is from Kanab, Utah and within 5 minutes we discovered we were related. Something like second cousins twice removed. That is just a guess I haven’t looked at it closely. The other elder is from Botswana and he will be part of the Newcastle companionship.  I am looking forward to getting to know them and working with them. We have two other new elders that have been here a couple of days but they are in Madadeni and we haven’t been out there since they came.

The District President asked us to participate in the District Leadership Training Meeting on Saturday. Elder Hind was asked to teach the Primary leaders and I was asked to train the Young Women’s leaders. We did some serious studying in the handbook. We both enjoyed the opportunity to get to know people better. I loved visiting with the Young Women’s leaders in the branches. They have some challenges that we don’t have back in Utah. But the concerns are all the same. How to raise up a generation of righteous women. We all want that.


  1. Yay! I'm so glad I finally found your blog!! Thank you so much for looking after, and loving our son! You both are a tender mercy to this missionary mom! I've never even met you, but I love you!!

  2. Awww Kim your son really is in the absolute BEST hands!