Our South African Journal

Sunday, January 17, 2016

We had a busy Sunday. Went to church in Newcastle because Elder Hind was assigned by the District President to do some District releases and sustainings. We stayed for the entire block because one of the investigators in our FHE was getting baptized after church. We love baptisms!

Sleeping baby in Newcastle Branch
The man holding the jacket is the one that got baptized
Then we went out to Madadeni so we could talk to the youth in our branch about an upcoming regional youth conference. We made savings banks out of some little jars we bought in order to encourage the kids to save a little money for the conference. They will be able to go even if they have no money but we are trying to teach self-reliance so we want them to put a little money towards this activity.

On Monday Elder Hind spent time fixing a lock on a door at a missionary boarding. They had also complained that they didn’t think their refrigerator was working. Elder Hind checked it but it seems to be ok. We think that the extremely hot weather we had for a few days may have overwhelmed their cheap little refrigerator. Thank goodness it has cooled down now. Don’t know how long it will last. We are sure the hot weather is coming back.

We went to our usual Monday cottage meeting and it was great as always. 

In Madadeni
Then we went back to Newcastle for a braai at the branch president’s house. It was held in honor of the kids in the branch that just “passed matric” (graduated from high school). Many of them will be leaving soon to go to school in other areas or to go on missions. This is going to put a serious dent in the Family Home Evenings at our house.

Elder Hind playing a game called "signs"
Even though it was a braai we all ended up indoors because it was raining.
Elder Hind spent a big chunk of Tuesday in a meeting with the District President and also spent some time being trained in his District Clerk job. Sister Hind spent the day, working on her blog and writing her talk for District Conference, studying and being bored. We don’t have many days that we just spend at home but it was that kind of day for Sister Hind.

We went to DDM on Wednesday. Elder Hind had to go to both DDMs because he was assigned by the car guy in the mission office to give them all fire. (Mission slang for a serious lecture) Our zone went way over on Ks this last month. The elders need to park their cars and walk their areas a little every day.

After the meetings we went out shopping for new dining room chairs. The chairs in our dining room are falling apart. We have put a couple away in our garage because we are afraid someone will sit in one and fall and hurt themselves. It is apparent that someone has tried to repair these chairs in the past and Elder Hind has tried to fix them too. But the seats would need to be taken apart and rebuilt and he just does not have the tools for that. We are looking for basic, sturdy wooden chairs. We found one possibility but we need to do a little more looking.

Thursday we went out with the 1st counselor of Madadeni Branch and did some visiting. We visited with one family living in a tiny rented cinder block home. They told me they have a piece of land and they were going to build their own home. They just need to get some money together to buy some corrugated metal sheets to build their house with. They are looking forward to not having to pay rent.

On our way home from visiting in Madadeni a very heavy rainstorm moved in. There were moments when we had almost zero visibility. By the time I got my tablet out the storm had lightened up a bit. 

We are going to another funeral on Saturday. A young man that grew up in Madadeni 1 branch was living and working in Cape Town when he was murdered. The killer then tried to cover up his crime by burning the body. We have known about this for over a month but they had to do some investigative work and also DNA tests to confirm his identity. They finally sent the body to the family a week ago. On Friday evening we went to the family home to mourn with them. They are not members of the church. His family consists of his sisters, a disabled brother and some aunts and uncles. This is actually the second time we have visited with this family. We went to them when the murder was first discovered. The mourning consists of condolences, prayers, scripture readings, and singing, lots of singing.
We went to the funeral on Saturday. I bet there were more than 200 people there. It was very well attended. It was a Mormon funeral but the family who are not Mormon participated also. There was a lot of spontaneous singing by the nonmember people but it was all ok. We sat there for three hours while all the family took some time to speak. Ninety nine percent of the funeral was in Zulu so we didn’t understand much. Still it was an interesting experience. We went to the cemetery. It was a different one than the one we had been to before. We did not go to the dinner afterwards as there were just too many people and we were afraid they might run out of food.

At the cemetery 
In the evening we went to visit one of our favorite families and we taught them how to make bean burritos. It was fun and they loved the burritos. Even the Go Gos (grandmothers) liked them.

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