Our South African Journal

Thursday, July 9, 2015

We attended two Sacrament Meetings, Madadeni 1 and Madadeni 2 this Sunday. Madadeni 2 had some visitors from the Area Office that were participating in a meeting with the Madadeni 2 leadership after church. That meant that I got to sit and wait for Elder Hind while he was in his meeting. I think I had to wait about 3 hours or so. It was made bearable by the fact that one of the wives of the men in the meeting was stuck waiting with me. So we had a good chat. She is a missionary in the Area Office in Johannesburg so we traded mission stories and family stories.
It was also made bearable by the fact that the Madadeni 1 Branch Relief Society was serving treats to the fathers in the ward (a belated offering because we had District Conference on Father’s Day). Anyway they served us some of the treats so we didn’t starve to death waiting. I was glad to get home and take a nice Sunday nap.

We had FHE on Monday and used the opportunity to let Elder Tibbitts bear his testimony to the FHE group and to the other missionaries. He will be leaving to go home on Friday. He has been a great missionary and just an all around nice kid. The other missionaries love him and we do too.

Trying to get a picture with Elder Tibbitts. Try number one.
 Try number two.
Don't you get the feeling someone is not getting enough attention?

Elder Hind had meetings one day so I stayed home and baked and cleaned and worked on my Young Women’s lessons. I like baking the quick breads because they are easy and they can be frozen. Then I always have an offering when I go visit. I tried a lemon bread this time. It is so good. I will try it with cranberries or blueberries some time. Any way you can find the recipe on my Breads board on Pinterest if you want to make it.

We had boarding and cars check this week. I only found one refrigerator with bugs in it. I didn't pass out treats this time. After all they should be able to do some things without being bribed.

Checking Elder Martin's refrigerator
We had one of the most amazing days of our mission on Thursday. We went out with the Osizweni missionaries for the entire day. We visited with returning less active members, new members and some stalwart members. We packed our lunch and ate it in the elder’s bakkie which was parked under a big tree in a member’s yard. It was fun and interesting and inspiring. We came home dusty and tired but happy. We wish we could do it every day however we are not 19 years olds so we would give out pretty quickly. But we want to do it more often.

Many women use blankets to tie their babies to their backs

Taking a break for lunch
The Madadeni and Newcastle districts were going to an all you can eat pizza place for dinner and asked us if we would like to come along. We had a good time watching the elders stuff themselves with pizza. I think Elder Welling was the winner of the eating contest.

Happiness is all you can eat pizza

We checked Facebook when we got home and noticed that there was a private message waiting for us. We have been worrying about my sister all week and her family has been trying to keep us informed. The message said that Yvonne was going to have exploratory surgery. I did not like the sound of that. A few minutes later we got a call from another sister telling us that they were calling the family together because they didn’t think Yvonne was going to live much longer. A short time later we got a call from our daughter telling us that Yvonne had died. After that we just sat there for a long time and cried. Finally we went to bed but neither of us could sleep that night.

In the morning we spent some time with the elders as they prepared to send Elder Tibbitts home. I didn’t tell them I had just lost my sister. I didn’t want to put a damper on their activities. And frankly I don’t think they would know how to act if I told them. They are 19 years old boys, their life experiences and their social graces are still somewhat limited. I did not want to submit myself to their awkward condolences.  Elder Hind has been my angel. He has held me in his arms and cried with me and prayed with me. He has cleaned house and made me lunch and dinner. I so grateful for him. The next few day are going to be tough.


  1. I want to make the lemon bread with blueberries!
    I'm so glad you and Dad have each other.

  2. Even now, reading the words "Yvonne has died" hits me in the chest. I am very well aware of it but it's still just so unbelievable in many ways. I, too, am glad that you both have each other. Love you