I seem to have grown lazy about writing for this blog. I wish I could say it was because we have been so busy doing missionary work that I just have not had time, but that would not be telling the truth. I just have not been diligent in writing.
Among the interesting things I have done over the last couple of weeks is going out with the missionaries and helping to harvest a field of corn. Actually what we did was to help shuck the ears. In Swaziland, they only get one ear of corn per stalk. They can not afford the hybrid corn that will produce two or more ears, nor can they afford the fertilizer that would improve their yield.
Speaking of fertilizer, we had dinner with President Mann and the Wilsons just a couple of nights ago. During the meal, President Mann told us about a Christmas when his family was living in Africa and he bought a truck load of fertilizer and they went out and delivered it to some poor farmers. What a great way to celebrate ChristÃ¢Â€Â™s birth.
Anyway back to here in Swaziland. After shucking the corn we went out and tracted. We just walked down the dirt road and in no time we had two contacts and their phone number. One was a home where it seems they hold church each Sunday. I think the man wanted the elders to come and preach but since it is at the same time as church in Ezulwini I am not sure they will do that.
Since over 80% of Swaziland is Christian, we can go almost anywhere with our badges on and people will comment about them. Just last Thursday I went to the car wash and while I was waiting struck up gospel conversations with three men. Two of them were mostly interested in proving that Saturday was the correct Sabbath day but one was really interested in learning more. I got so busy that I called the elders at their boarding and asked them to come over and help. They live about 300 yards from the car wash so they just walked over.
By the time we were done elder Murch had a good contact with the younger man and I had given a Book of Mormon, a pamphlet on the Restoration, and a Question of the Soul book mark to another man who turned out to an evangelistic preacher who is going to hold tent meetings for three weeks starting in early May. When I left he was looking up an answer to one of the questions of the soul in Alma.
Later as I was thinking about this experience I realized that almost everyone who comes to the car wash owns the car they bring, are male, and are Christians. These are some of the attributes we need our investigators to have so they can become leaders in the branches. Since it takes from 60 to 90 minutes to get your car washed it seems to me it would be a great place for missionaries to sit and make good contacts.
The Wilsons also had a good experience this week. They were out at one of the craft markets and got in a conversation with one of the shop keepers. Elder Wilson was negotiating prices and asked the woman if she was honest, if she went to church, and other such questions. When she said yes to all of them he said that they needed to teach her the Gospel. They ended up with an appointment to teach her and her family. All we need to do is open our mouths, be open to the spirit and the Lord will prepare the way for us to be successful.
On our Monday our P-Day experience was to drive through Milwane Reserve and then hike up to the top of Execution Point. The drive was great and we got to see lots of animals including a couple of good size herds of wildebeests. Along the way to the trail head to the Point we passed through a lot of guava bushes and a couple of the elders had a wonderful time picking and eating as many of the fruit as they wished.
The hike to the top of the Point was an up and down and up one. I found it was not too hard to get up to the top, but the walk back to the vehicles was hot and I had to take a lot of rest stops. I am afraid I am really out of condition but I made it. The view went on forever but there was just enough morning haze to keep the pictures from being spectacular. I wish we had time to do it once more but in the late afternoon when all of the haze seems to burn off. But at least I can say that I have been to the top of Execution Point and got safely back down.
Among all these great experiences we also had a sad one. As I have mentioned before there are three Great Danes on the property to help guard against intruders. We have come to love them, especially Jumbo who loved to be scratched and to play. Last week we found out that Jumbo had died. It turned out that someone hit him with something heavy right behind his head and broke his spinal cord. The vet tried to help but there was nothing he could do so we lost a good friend.
Well that is about all there will be from Swaziland. Tonight and tomorrow we will pack everything up and on Monday morning we will start off for Richards Bay and whatever the Lord has for us to do there. We will of course miss this beautiful valley and the high mountains and peaks around us. But I am sure we will soon come to love the area and the people in Richards Bay.