We are enjoying springtime in South Africa. Every day we see something new and beautiful blooming. I can’t believe how many trees they have with beautiful or interesting flowers on them. We also have had a couple of rip-crackling thunderstorms. Pretty sure "rip-crackling" is not a real word but sometimes you just have to make up your own. The storms are a sign of spring also. Winter is the dry season here.
|Pretty yellow flowers on a bush|
|Unusual orange flowers on a big tree|
|Red flowers on a tree. Looks like a bottle brush.|
Elder Hind has been training for an 8k trail run sponsored by the local mall. A couple of missionaries wanted to run the race too. So Elder Hind got permission from the Mission President for them run also. There were about 700 people running and walking in the race. One of the elders came in about 25th and the other came in about 41st. Pretty good considering they hadn’t been training for the race. Elder Hind came about 150th. But he was 2nd in his age group. In addition to his participation medal he received some prizes, a back pack and water bottle and insulated mug. He had a great time.
September 24th is a big holiday here. It is called Heritage Day and many people dress in their traditional costumes and they have parties and celebrations. The 8k trail run that Elder Hind participated in was part of the community celebration. All the branches here had their own activities. After the trail run we went out to participate in the Madadeni 1 Heritage Day Activity. We danced, and laughed and ate a ton of food. We had a good time.
|The women and children were decked out in traditional African and Zulu clothing|
I didn't see a lot of men dressed up that day.
|Our dinner was cooked in giant pots over a wood fire|
|Indian style rice, beets, creamed spinach, steamed bread and yes that is a chicken foot.|
And yes we tried it.
And no, we did not like it.
On Friday we put Elder Gant on a bus to Durban. He is meeting his Dad in Durban and they are going to tour around a little and then he will be going home. He has been a great missionary and will be missed.
|Waiting for the bus|
|Saying good bye to Elder Gant|
Later in the week we went out to Osizweni to participate in a Strength of Youth activity. Sister Hind was asked to speak for a few minutes. And then of course we were fed. They always insist on serving us and they always give us too much.
After that we stopped by a farewell party for a missionary leaving from Madadeni 2, then we went to visit a Newcastle family.
|The Shanga kids love to play "fish" with the missionaries.|
Saturday night the elders all met at our house for transfer news. It was a really interesting transfer this time around. We knew Elder Welling would be leaving us, he has been here for 6 months. He has been here almost as long as us. He was surprised to be called as a Zone Leader and will be working the Bethlehem Zone. We are really going to miss him. Elder Leonard, who has been here only one transfer is going to a coastal zone. He needs to be near Durban because he recently had eye surgery and needs to be near the top eye doctors. Elder Faganello received an inter-zone transfer from Madadeni 1 to Osizweni and he will be made one of our Zone Leaders to replace Elder Gant. We are receiving 3 new elders. Elder Merile, who was here serving in Osizweni when we got here, has come back and will serve in Madadeni 2. Elder Payne will be serving in Madadeni 1. And we will have a bright and shiny new greenie from Bountiful named Elder Weiler.