Our South African Journal

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Whew!!! I am glad this week is over. It has been a crazy busy week. It has also been a wonderful week. But I am glad it is over and we can get back to normal. We had Zone Conference this week and also District Conference with all the usual meetings and trainings plus a couple of fireside meetings. And we were in charge of three different meals. Zone Conference lunch, Saturday leadership lunch, and Sunday dinner.

A member of the District Presidency asked us to go with him to visit his grandmother after church. He also took us to see three other gogos (grandmothers). We enjoyed visiting with these wonderful ladies in their humble homes. A couple of them asked for blessings. We said prayers with the others. Not all were members but all of them were sweet and welcoming. They are all in their eighties and don’t get out much anymore. I am going to have to bake them some bread or cakes. I don’t think the men live very long here. There are many widows but very few old men. I think it is a combination of smoking, drinking, fighting, and AIDS. In Zulu culture the women do most of the work. I think it helps them live longer.

We had our carpets professionally cleaned on Monday. The previous couple left us a note apologizing for not getting them cleaned before they left. They had just run out of time. The carpets didn’t bother me too much so I figured I would get them cleaned sometime down the road. And then we got word that we would be entertaining a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and his wife, the mission president and his wife, the district presidency and their wives and the other senior missionary couple in our home. So I got busy and planned a menu for dinner on Sunday the 21st and got my carpets cleaned.

Because there is lunch and some meetings planned at Madadeni Chapel on Saturday as part of the District Conference we wanted to make sure the chapel and grounds were looking nice. We went there on Tuesday and Wednesday to spiffy up the grounds and to make sure the chapel looked good. We had some members and some of the missionaries help us.

There was a Young Single Adult activity going on at the same time so we concentrated most of our work outside. At one point we popped in to watch some traditional Zulu dancing that was part of the program. We love to see anything that shows the culture of the people in this area.  It was so much fun. The dancers were young girls and they were so cute and talented. They spotted Elder Hind right away and kind of singled him out while they danced. That made every one laugh.

We celebrated Elder Hind’s birthday this week. We went out to eat at an Indian restaurant called “Food Garden.” They not only had Indian food but they had Chinese food. Elder Hind had a chicken and shrimp chow Mein.  It did not seem very Chinese to me but it was very good. I had “bunny chow” which is an iconic African/Indian dish. I had heard a lot about it so I had to give it a try. It is a half a loaf of bread set on its end and hollowed out. It is then filled with a chicken and potato curry. I ordered it mild but it was still a bit spicy for me. The menu said it came with sour milk. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be drinking that. But the sour milk came in a small dish and tasted like an herbed sour cream. It is a little thinner than sour cream but it tasted good with the hot curry.

Elder Hind's good but not so Chinese chow mein 

Bunny Chow   I could not eat all that bread
After dinner I had the nearby missionaries come by for cake and ice cream when they were done for the day.

Celebrating Elder Hind's birthday. Some elders can't resist hamming it up when a camera is pointed at them.

We had to order pizzas and make cupcakes for Zone Conference, shop for the food for the Saturday lunch with the Branch and District presidencies, Elder and Sister Ellis and President and Sister Zackrison. We also had to shop for the Sunday night dinner at our home.

Thursday was the beginning of all the activities for Zone Conference and District Conference. We made a green salad and then drove down to Ladysmith to have dinner with the Taylors, Ellis, and Zackrisons. It was nice to meet Elder and Sister Ellis, they are wonderful, kind and smart. They have 9 children and 30 grandchildren so they are our kind of people. It was a very nice evening. I have to admit I was a little nervous driving home at night. It is about an hour and a half drive but the road is good and we weren’t too tired so it was a good drive.

Zone Conference was Friday morning. Elder and Sister Ellis and President and Sister Zackrison all participated in teaching the missionaries. We had some good lessons. Sister Ellis told us that her family has matching t-shirts and a family cheer. F-A-I-T-H, F-A-I-T-H, F-A-I-T-H, faith, faith, faith!!! I think I need to think of a family cheer for my family. We served lunch to everyone after the meeting. We ordered 18 pizzas from a local pizza place. The missionaries love pizza. We had cupcakes, brownies and ice cream for dessert. As you can tell we made no effort to serve a nutritious meal, just things the missionaries like.

Elder Hind and I received mission pins because we had birthdays in the last 3 months.
This is not a good picture which is too bad because this is a really pretty pin.
Elder Hind is not in this Zone Conference picture because he is taking the picture.

Friday evening we had a fireside out in Osizweni. When we got to the “Chapel” which is a room in a school there were no working light bulbs in the room. So we had to move everything to a room that had about 4 out of eight bulbs working. Ahhh….life in the townships. They had some people share their conversion stories. One lady said she was looking for a church to join and came to our church a few times. She didn’t like it because it was just too quiet. (No hand clapping and movement). But she realized that it was in our church that she felt the spirit of the Lord. These Saints may not clap hands and dance but they can sing out. It is a thrill to be in their meetings and hear them sing.

Ready for the Saturday lunch
Sister Taylor and I waiting to serve lunch. This week I sometimes wondered am I a missionary or a caterer?
On Saturday we got up early to prepare the lunch food. Then we went to Madadeni chapel to set up it up for the local and visiting leadership lunch. Everything went well. So two meals down, one to go. We had Priesthood and Auxiliary training meetings following lunch. And then we had a fireside that evening. It has been a good day. There is a lot of teaching going on but it is all needed. They don’t have the communication resources that we have in the States so everything is taught in person.

 Tomorrow is District Conference and another busy day. It is good to be busy.

1 comment:

  1. It seems like they sure like their bread in SA.
    My kind of country :). I'd like a loaf of your whole wheat bread right about now.