Our South African Journal

Monday, October 12, 2015

A cactus in my succulent garden has decided to bloom

We had a long day on Sunday. We were gone all day except for about an hour and a half in the late afternoon. Elder Hind had his usual early morning meeting.  And then after church we had Branch Council Meeting. Elder Hind was supposed to come in with me but instead ended up running around helping branch 2 with finances and driving a member who wasn’t feeling well to the hospital and dealing with all kinds of things. Then he had a District Council Meeting and I had to just wait for him while he had that meeting. Good thing I had my tablet with me. We were finally able to go home for a little while and then we had to go back out to Madadeni to visit a family. We were anxious to visit this family because the wife called us and told us they hadn’t been to church in a long time and wanted us to come and teach them and help them come back. Yes!!

We arranged to meet the young elders out there so they could help us find the house. They had scouted it out earlier in the day and so we were able to go right to it. This is a family with a mother and a father and four children. One is an adorable 3 month old baby. The children sang several Primary songs and some hymns to us. Even though they haven’t been coming to church they have been teaching their children. They have a lot of challenges but we are eager to help them accomplish their goals.

Pretty good for children who have never been to  church.
The one in the green shirt is a neighbor
Sorry about Elder Hind's finger

We had FHE on Monday and tried to show a video of President Uchtdorf’s conference talk. We thought we had it downloaded but it hadn’t downloaded properly. So then we tried to play it off the internet but it just kept buffering. Oh well, we had a good discussion and played a game and ate popcorn. It was all good.

Elder Mavinqi is trying to catch popcorn in his mouth

On Tuesday we went back out to visit the family in Madadeni we are working with. We knew the husband would be at work but the wife had told us she gets lonely so we are going to try and visit her often until she makes some friends.

We had the elders over for cake and ice cream one evening when they were done for the day. It was Elder Benissan’s birthday. He is now an elderly nineteen years of age.
Elder Benisson after blowing out his candles
Our lesson in our Eternal Marriage class was on maturity. We decided to stage a small argument to begin our class. I pretended to be missing some papers that I needed to begin the lesson and I blamed Elder Hind for not remembering to bring them. So he stomped out of the room. I didn’t think I could pull it off without bursting into laughter. But the class totally bought it. Suddenly they were looking at their phones or talking to each other. They were trying hard not to look at us. When Elder Hind popped back into the room with a big smile on his face they were so relieved to discover we were just role playing.

We had DDM with our new District Leader. It was great! He actually kept the lesson at about an hour. We have had some DLs that would teach for a couple of hours. These missionaries are taught to keep lessons short when teaching investigators but go on for hours when they are teaching their fellow missionaries. Have mercy! After an hour I can feel my ankles swelling, my back aching, and my knees stiffing. I am too old for long meetings.

Elder Hind helped Elder Taylor with a branch audit this week so I enjoyed a nice long visit with Sister Taylor. We talked about our work here, our children, our husbands and just about everything else. Girl talk is good.

One evening we went to visit a family of six in Madadeni. They live in a 12x20 cinder block home with no indoor plumbing. We went from there to another family who lives in a large brick home with big beautiful rooms and indoor plumbing. The contrast was stunning. Not everyone living in a township is poor.

One morning I was lying in bed trying to decide to get up. I noticed a strange whooshing sound that kept coming and going. My first thought was, “Oh, great the geyser (hot water heater) is acting up”. Then I noticed all the dogs in the neighborhood were going crazy and barking their heads off. Slowly my brain began to operate and I remember that earlier in the week Elder Hind had seen hot air balloons above a nearby park when he was out for his early morning runs. So I got up, got dressed and went outside and saw several beautiful hot air balloons in the sky above my neighborhood. Meanwhile Elder Hind jumped in the car and chased after them. He got some great pictures.

Beautiful things keep blooming everyday. I love all the new plants and flowers. Even my tomatoes are starting to set fruit. We have had a few hot days this week. Hot enough to make us realize our air conditioner does notwork. A repairman is coming Monday.

Look at the gorgeous color on this tree

I have been admiring these trees ever since they began to bloom.
Then I found a whole street of them not far from our home.


  1. What is DDM? Is it basically just zone conference? I can't imagine my mission president being okay with the zone leaders going off for hours! What???

    1. We have Zone Conference about every 3 months. We have Zone Training Meeting about every 6 weeks and we have DDM(District Development Meeting) about once a week when we don't have the other meetings. Our district consists of us and the 4 other Madadeni elders. The president wouldn't know how long our district meetings were unless one of the other missionaries complained.

  2. I can't believe you pulled off the little argument for your eternal marriage class. I don't think I could do that. Your poor class must have been so uncomfortable for those few minutes. Those little kids were so cute at the beginning, I hope this family can start taking their little kiddos to church. I think I would feel somewhat lonely if it wasn't for my church associations and my calling.