Our South African Journal

Sunday, July 24, 2016

June 26-July 2

The branch conferences continue. This time we went to Dundee. What a sweet little branch this is. Dundee makes our Madadeni Branch look huge. Elder Hind spoke in Sacrament Meeting again about the importance of family. He can never resist a chance to brag about his own family. President Mashego talked during the combined meeting we had later. He is fun to listen to. He is such a great story teller and he knows the scriptures so well. Elder Hind also spoke for a few minutes in the combined meeting too. He is getting used to speaking at the last moment. He knows he always has to have something prepared.

After church, Sister DeKlerk, the branch president’s wife served the entire branch butternut squash soup and rolls and fruit. That was so nice. I asked if she always does this and she said “no” just for special occasions. I always wanted to attend a ward that does a “linger longer”.

Elder Baumgartner and Elder Diehl

On Sunday evenings we always have a devotional with all the elders in our immediate area. It gives us a chance to talk about mission business. We also talk about the “tender mercies” of the day or the week. We sing a song and have a prayer. And of course we have to have a little treat. Because it is cold right now I like to give them hot chocolate or hot cinnamon milk. They really enjoy it.

We played Bingo for Family Home Evening. Sometimes it is nice to not have to plan a lesson because we do so many other lessons. The members and the missionaries seem to enjoy it even though the prizes are not much.

One day we had to drive to Ezakheni and then we drove to Dundee for our Seminary and Institute classes and then home. We are doing a lot of driving around now days. We laugh when we think about the first couple of times we drove out of Newcastle. We were a little nervous. Now we don’t give it a thought.

The new mission president came in this week and he is really hitting the ground running. He is trying to meet all the missionaries in the first week. So he is having two meetings in the Durban area and then one meeting out in Bloemfontein. Our zone was asked to drive to Pinetown (near Durban) to meet the president and his family. He and his wife brought their 18 year old daughter with them.
So we drove to Pinetown early one morning and got there just in time for the meeting. I had baked brownies and Snickerdoodle bars (a missionary favorite) for the lunch. Sister Stevenson made cupcakes and ordered the pizza.

The chapel was a little over decorated for a Zone Conference
I guess they were having a wedding the next day
Our zone with President and Sister Thompson

Outside the Pinetown Chapel with Elder and Sister Sorensen
We had a meeting where President Thompson and his wife introduced themselves and then the missionaries were introduced by their Zone Leaders. We had two zones there. The mission president then asked all the missionaries questions. He asked Elder Hind why he fell in love with Sister Hind.

After the meeting we ate lunch and then cleaned up the chapel and went to the Stevenson boarding. They live in a high rise apartment. We decided to drive down to the beach so we let Elder Stevenson drive and that was a good thing because the city traffic was crazy. There was a big horse race called Durban July (think Kentucky Derby) going on that same weekend.

We went shopping at the Ushaka mall and got to see some Zulu dancers. We each bought a painting. Elder Hind paid for his with a five dollar bill that Cydnee had sent us. It was funny because Elder Hind is always trying to pay for things with it just to see what people will do. Most of the time they just look at him like he is crazy. But this time someone actually wanted it.

I liked this picture of a township
Sister Hind also bought a vintage wooden food bowl. The Zulus serve meat in these large bowls or troughs. She may have paid a lot for it but it was not much more than Elder Hind’s drum.

We walked along the beach for about a kilometer. We watched some surfers and walked out on to a long pier. We saw the sun go down behind the giant hotels that line the million dollar mile. Then we headed back to the boarding.

In the morning we went to the Shongweni Market. We have gone there before and it is always enjoyable. Sort of Midway Swiss Days Afrikaans style.  I bought a butter dish from a potter there. We had hot chocolate and steak and onion wraps for breakfast. They were huge. I think we got at least two meals out of them.

We left the market and started home. We stopped for a break in Howick and saw the waterfall again and looked through our favorite antique shop. I bought two old Zulu-English translation books.
We were home by early evening and we were glad to be there.
Howick Falls

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