Our South African Journal

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

We went to church on Sunday and it was so nice, because the Madadeni elders have their bakkie back they were able to get themselves to church. Always before Elder Hind would drop me at church and then go pick them up. It is nice not to worry about that anymore. When we got home that afternoon we were taking a nap when the Newcastle elders dropped by. Don’t they know that Sunday afternoons are for naps?

Elder Hind had to go to a meeting with the Branch President on Tuesday. They decided to do some visiting. They visited an old man that can't get out any more. This man is a former professional soccer player. He has had an interesting life. He has been a member for along time since before apartheid ended. This man had two old cars in his yard. One was an old Jaguar (1964) and an old BMW from the 60s. He told Elder Hind that the Jaguar still runs. Those of you that know Elder Hind know that he wanted to buy that car right then and there. Won't happen.

I stayed home to work on lessons and some other things. A young man came to our door and asked for money. This young man used to wash the former senior couples car and Elder Hind has paid him to wash our car a couple of times. I am usually a pretty soft touch for people wanting money but I didn’t want this kid to think if he came around when Elder Hind is not home that I would give him money. I asked him to come back when Elder Hind was home. He was very persistent and got a little angry because I wouldn’t give him anything. I finally had to shut and lock the door. It left me feeling a little uneasy. I called the Newcastle elders and asked them if they would like me to feed them lunch. They were just heading to their boarding so they were happy to come to my house instead. I called Elder Hind and he headed home also. From now on I will lock the gate when I am home alone.

We moved the Madadeni elders into their new flats this week. They did most of the work themselves using both of the bakkies. Elder Hind went with them for some of the work and I went over to supervise the hanging of the curtains. These elders went from tiny little apartments to great big spacious apartments. They are happy. I warned them that big apartments are more work to keep clean. Some of them don’t clean so it probably does not matter if the apartment is large or small. But they are enjoying having hot showers again.

We had Zone Training Meeting this week. The Zone Leaders introduced new Standards of Excellence for the elders. There is going to be more focus on families and on getting people to the temple. We made lunch for the 16 elders in our zone.

Those brownie looking things on the pan are Pioneer Woman's Texas Sheet Cake.
They turned out darker and more chocolaty because of the cocoa I use here.
They were still really good.

On Thursday we went out to Osizweni with the elders. They drove us around and we taught the lesson. The branch president asked us to help some members prepare for the temple. So we showed a video and went over some material from the Sunday School temple prep class. The president gave us a list of names to visit.  It was great. We did the same thing on Friday with the other Osizweni elders. What fun and wonderful days! 
This is an Osizweni kitten. He is named after an elder that recently went home.
His name is Tibbitts. 
While we were driving around Osizweni we saw a group of men tossing a huge piece of meat in the air with a tarp. I asked the elders what was going on. They told me it was part of ancestor worship. They were offering the animal to their ancestors. It was a giant piece of meat so it must have been a cow.

After a dry spell that lasted a couple of months we finally got rain this week. It really thundered and and the rain poured down. It kept us awake on Thursday night. It brought some cold temperatures with it but it also cleaned the air and dampened down the dust.

After teaching on Friday everyone came to our house for a 24th of July braai. It was late because the elders don’t take dinner breaks, they eat dinner at the end of the day. But we fired up our grill and had a good meal.
Our pioneer celebration
We went out to teach a family on Saturday night and when we got there the house was dark because the power was out. (load shedding) We started the lesson and eventually the lights came on so we were able to finish up with light.  I am so grateful for our tablets. They not only have all the church publications on them but they have light. So many times the homes we visit are very dimly lit or there is load shedding going on. We can always read because we have our tablets. Best investment we have made.

Family Home Evening by candlelight. That is Elder Welling doing the spooky face.


  1. I wouldn't want to hire that guy to wash my car anymore if he's going to be so demanding. Kind of scary!

    Glad the elders have their bakkie back and hot showers in a roomy apartment. Ah the luxuries of life!

  2. I agree. Don't hire him anymore.
    Maybe just don't answer your door when dad is gone as well. :)