Our South African Journal

Friday, March 18, 2016

March 6-12, 2016

Our Sabbath Day got off to an interesting start. We had decided to attend Newcastle Branch because the missionaries were doing a special presentation on member missionary work and needed our lap top for the projector. While we were there the Madadeni 1 branch president called to tell us that no one in the branch presidency would be at church. He asked if Elder Hind would please conduct the Fast and Testimony meeting. We just smiled at each other because we know that the unexpected happens all the time. It makes our mission interesting. So we left our laptop in the care of the missionaries and we headed out to Madadeni.  Elder Hind did a good job conducting and the meeting went smoothly.

We went to a baptism right after church. Then the branch president of Madadeni 2 asked Elder Hind to help him count money.  After he finished that job the branch president of Madadeni 1 showed up and asked Elder Hind to help him count money too. They had some problems so all this took a long time. I hate waiting for Elder Hind while he is in meetings and such. There are no comfortable chairs in the buildings so I just sit and read but it is not relaxing. It is particularly uncomfortable on Fast Sunday. I just sat there getting more tired by the second. Finally they were done and I could go home. I think next time I will have Elder Hind just drive me home before they start counting money.

We had transfers this week Elder Weiler and Elder Tshuma said good-bye and we welcomed Elder Kaitoo and Elder Cook. We also got a couple of new elders in the southern part of the zone but we haven't met them yet.
Saying good-bye to Elder Weiler
We are going to miss Elder Tshuma
Elder Kaitoo
Elder Cook

One day this week we had only one morning appointment and the rest of the day was pretty open so we decided to go for a drive. There is a large reservoir nearby called Chelmsford Dam. We knew it was a recreation area so we thought it might be an interesting place to visit. We drove around the reservoir and found a playground and picnic spot near the water but no one else was there except some zebras. We got out of the car and walked down to the water. The zebras were about 100 yards away. They just ignored us.

The reservoir is surrounded by a game reserve but there are no dangerous animals in it.
These are Springbok. They are Africa's national animal. They are also the mascot of
the national rugby team. They are very quick and hard to photograph.

I believe this is a Blesbok. He was not so afraid of us.
We drove down some dirt roads and saw a bunch of different kinds of antelope. We really enjoyed our drive but worried a little that we would get stuck out there. There was no one out there. When it
started to rain a little we decided to head back because a little rain can turn into a down pour very quickly and then we would be in trouble. When we got back on a tar road we drove around a bit more. We love to explore. It was a fun day.

Cattle drive on the high veld

Children coming from school

We went out to the Ncandu Combined School again this week. We passed out “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlets to all the kids in grade eight. Sister Hind talked about choices and had a student pick between a shabby cardboard box and a beautiful gift wrapped box. Of course the gift wrapped box was chosen but it had garbage in it and the cardboard box was filled with candy bars for everyone.

Elder Hind talked about education and the Newcastle elders talked about choosing good friends. It is fun to spend time with these kids. They are getting to know us and are always happy to see us.

Elder Hind talking to the children about the importance of an education

The children looking at their Strength of Youth pamphlets 

I had a busy Saturday. Madadeni 1 had a Relief Society picnic at a park in Newcastle. We met at the chapel and we all rode in a taxi (hired 15 passenger van) to the park. We had a lesson on health and a braai. We each payed our way to ride the taxi. It cost R20 per person. That is about $1.35. I had to leave early so Elder Hind came and picked me up at the park because I had a Young Women’s Personal Progress activity I needed to go to.

My first taxi ride

At YW’s activity we worked on making cookbooks and we also learned how to make Snickerdoodle cookies. There were about 12 girls that came so I was happy with that. While I was with the girls Elder Hind helped to clean the building. It was the priesthood's turn to clean and only one member showed up so I know his help was welcome.

Mixing up some Snickerdoodles

Making our own cookbooks

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