Our South African Journal

Sunday, August 14, 2016

July 31 – Aug 6

We spoke in the Newcastle Branch today. Elder Hind had to sustain and set apart a Seminary teacher. When we got there the Branch President asked us to speak. We have an emergency speaking system so we are always prepared.

After that meeting we went out to Madadeni and attended church there. Then we went to see President Nkosi, the president to the Madadeni 1 branch. He has been very ill and has not been able to attend meetings. When we got to his house a lot of branch members were there talking to him and singing to him. We were told he is getting better. I sure hope so.

After we left there we went to the cottage meeting at Sister Madi’s. We were happy to tell them that all the paper work and maps are into the Southeast Africa Area offices. Then they have to go to Salt Lake for final approval. We don’t know how long before we will hear about Madadeni 3 Branch. It probably won’t happen while we are here. However, we have done everything we can to get this ball rolling and all we can do is wait.

Monday was spent in anticipation of the birth of our newest granddaughter. I waited up to hear about her arrival but I didn't hear anything so I went to bed. I had just settled into bed and the phone rang. She is here all safe and sound. Her name is Caroline.

They had municipal elections this Wednesday all over South Africa. We had a list of about 4 errands to run but we found out that nearly everything was closed because election days are national holidays here. Thank goodness the grocery stores stayed open.

We passed a nearby voting place and noticed that there is no law against campaigning outside a polling place. In fact, there was one group that was passing out free food to the voters.

We have Zone Conference this week in Pinetown. The missionaries are concerned about using their allotment of Ks for traveling this far. If they use them for Zone Conference they may end up walking the last couple of weeks of the month. Most of our missionaries don’t live in their areas so they have to be able to drive to their teaching areas.

So the Mission Office decided to hire a van and driver to take them to Pinetown. The missionaries weren’t sure they would like it but we think they ended up enjoying the experience. The Mission Office was happy because it saved Ks and gas. Elder Hind was the one that had to find the van and driver but with the help of President Mashego he was able to get it done.

We drove down early in the morning and then after the meeting we spent the night with Elder and Sister Stevenson. They don’t seem to mind and it saves us staying at a B&B. The next morning, we went to a shop that sells pictures of African cows. I bought some. After all, I see a lot more Zulu cows than elephants or giraffes.

The Newcastle Zone missionaries in their taxi

Elder Larsen is heading home the next day.

Sunrise over Pinetown
Taken from our bedroom window at the Stevenson's apartment - 13th floor

The snow capped Drakensburg Mountains in the distance
We had to hurry home from Durban in order to get to Dundee in time to teach our Seminary and Institute classes. It made for a long day.

The Dundee elders goofing around with one of  our Institute students.
 He is also a prospective missionary waiting for his call

On Saturday I had a Personal Progress activity at the branch. Did not have a great turn out but the girls that came got some work done. Elder Hind entertained himself by letting a little girl play on his tablet. It was funny because she kept talking to him in Zulu and he kept talking to her in English but they somehow managed to communicate.

After the Personal Progress activity we went to see President Nkosi who is now in the hospital. He has had a stroke. We were alarmed to see how bad he is looking. However, he did know who we were. After visiting with him we dropped by to see his wife. She is very worried about him.

In the evening we had a Family Home Evening with one of our favorite families. We taught a lesson and then we taught them to play “It Came to Pass”. We don't do as much visiting as we used to do because we do so much more administrative stuff. So happy to spend time with this family.

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