Our South African Journal

Monday, July 13, 2015

A couple of Sundays ago we went out to visit some Gogos (grandmothers) in Madadeni with a member. One was the member's actual grandmother who raised him.  She told us she loves cake. So this Sunday we went to her home and brought her a cake. It was a good excuse to visit her. She was happy. We were happy too.

This lady will turn 90 this year
With her great granddaughter
This is transfer week again. We can’t believe how fast the time goes. In addition to Elder Tibbitts, who already left for home, we are losing Elder Martin, Elder Olouch, and Elder Mogomotsi. Transfers are hard because we get attached to these guys and then they leave us. It also makes us aware of how quickly our time on this mission is going by.

For Family Home Evening this week we had all the departing elders bear their testimonies. We are amazed at the strength of their testimonies, and depth of their gospel knowledge. They will be missed.

Elder Mogomotsi, Elder Olouch, and Elder Martin
On Tuesday we went to the bus stop in Newcastle (which happens to be the Shell gas station) to drop off Elder Martin and Olouch and to pick up Elder Jase and Mvinqi. 
The elders saying goodbye to each other.

We are with Elder Ochaya and Elder Olouch. 

Group picture with new missionaries. They are the ones with hands in the air.

You can't see it but this bus pulls a trailer that holds the luggage.
We spent some time this week working on getting the electricity turned on in the Phoenix Flat. Everything we do is twice as hard as it should be because we don’t know what we are doing and we don’t know how things work here. We are getting better and more patient than we used to be. We will be moving some of the Madadeni elders into that flat in a week or two. We have another flat that the church has leased that is standing empty right now. We need to get that one cleaned and ready to go. 
We also spent some time looking for some fabric and sewing supplies. I have some here in this boarding but I need a little more. I have decided to do crazy quilt samplers for the Young Women Faith value. These girls do not have a lot of resources so I had to rack my brain to come up with something they can do. A simple hand sown quilt sampler should work. I called them crazy quilts because I am pretty sure they are going to be crazy.

We also went and bought a couple of bikes for the Osizweni walking elders. They are pretty nice but we will see how they hold up being thrown in the back of the bakkie every day and be driven on the dirt roads of the township.  

On Friday we drove down to Ladysmith to pick up some mail and some supplies. The Taylors have been to Durban this week so they picked up the missionary's mail and some supplies we needed. We also brought a mission call for a young women in Madadeni 2. This transfer we got a mini missionary. This is a young man waiting for a mission call who came up here to Newcastle to work with the elders for one transfer. (six weeks) The Taylors sent some things that he needed with us. He is from their area so he is not far from home right now.

Elder Hind enjoying the not so beautiful scenery

The dry winter landscape around Ladysmith

Looking down into the town of Ladysmith
Among the things we picked up were some chocolate chips, cocoa, and real brown sugar. Yay!  When traveling through Durban Elder and Sister Taylor stopped at a store called Bake-A-Ton which carries bulk baking supplies. These things are hard to find in Newcastle and expensive so the Taylors were kind enough to bring some to us. Can’t wait to make some real chocolate chip cookies.

On Saturday we drove out to Madadeni for my Young Women activity. We had a good turn out and the girls seem to enjoy working on this project. One of the possible Faith projects suggested was to create something that expresses their faith. They will be able to hang these quilt samplers on their walls at home and have them as a reminder to strengthen their faith. They also are learning fabric, needlework and scissor skills. We are going to meet again next week and continue to work on them.

Yep, I was right, they are going to be crazy.

After the YW activity we delivered a mission call letter to a very excited young woman. She has been called to Zimbabwe.

On Saturday afternoon I baked chocolate chip cookies. They are the best cookies I have made since coming here. I don’t have my Mormon Cookbook here so I had to find a cookie recipe on Pinterest.  I gave some to the missionaries and then took some to a family we visited in the evening.

a street in Madadeni


  1. Love reading your blog, and seeing the pics. Thanks for taking good care of Elder Welling. He's quite the poser, isn't he!

  2. http://itwasamazing.blogspot.com/2010/03/best-ever-chocolate-chip-cookies.html?m=1

  3. Not sure why that url doesn't work but you can google Mormon cookbook chocolate chip cookies!

  4. Thanks Erin, although I make stick with the recipe I used. One of the issues here is their sugar is not as fine as ours. It really affects the cookies. The recipe I found on Pinterest actually calls for course ground sugar.