27 September 2009 – Sunday
Â A very good and a very busy Sunday for us. We were out early to Esikhawini to pick up a couple of the leaders and attend their PEC meeting. Before the meeting I had a chance to talk to President Malinga about the Presidency Meeting they held in the dark on Wednesday. He was excited about all they got done and the counselors had given him lots to do today. It is exciting to see them start to understand the importance of holding regular presidency meetings – now if they could understand that PEC is just as important I could almost relax. I think they will soon start holding Branch Council meetings which will really help. While I attended PEC, Mary had a meeting with Sister Kumhalo about the up coming Relief Society Conference.
We then left and went to Engwelezane for Sacrament meeting so we could see how they are doing before the Barts left. They seem to be well organized and started only about 20 minutes late. I would guess that they can cut that down to 5 or 10 minutes if they try. The Primary put on their program and it was quite good Ã¢Â€Â“ especially for their little branch. I must say I got a little teary eyed as they sang their songs. I closed my eyes and realized that I could not tell by their voices that we were not in some small ward or branch in the US. How wonderful is the only true and living church on the earth Ã¢Â€Â“ no matter where you are for sacrament meeting, no matter what language is used, you feel comfortable.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the Mickelsens after the meeting. They had come up from Durban to meet with some of their PEF students. It was then that sister Mickelsen asked me about my not posting on the blog. She was afraid I was sick or something. I told her why I had stopped and then said since she asked, I would start again. It will be a good way to spend a quiet P-day.
The BÃ¢Â€Â™s and family left after the sacrament meeting. They leave so the branch does not depend on them to teach or lead. They are preparing them for their going home in just three short weeks. We decided to also leave to go back to Esikhawini for the baptisms. We arrived soon after SS should have been over but of course it ran long.
I took the time to talk to President Malinga. He told me how busy he had been making callings. He mentioned he had called Percy Zibani to be a counselor to President Nkosi. It did not register as he said this but a little later I realized he did not have the authority to make the call. President Nkosi should suggest his own counselors and then the Mission Presidency should make the call. When I told President Malinga the problem, he quickly spoke to Percy and got it straightened out. He really is a good man and will develop into a strong branch president.
After sacrament we had the baptismal service. Three converts and three children were baptized. As usual, because of missing people, there were some changes in the program. But other than a couple of the candidates needing to be done twice, there were no other problems. I was happy to Sazi Mthalane do one of the baptisms for Esikhawini. It is good to see a Priest use his PH. It should help him decide to go on a mission.
After the baptisms and confirmations were finished we came back to our boarding where I quickly ate my leftovers from FridayÃ¢Â€Â™s lunch at MaxiÃ¢Â€Â™s. I had about 25 minutes to eat Ã¢Â€Â“ and no time to nap – before I had to head out again for the Richards Bay chapel and finishing the audit.
I arrived early and took the few minutes until Calwyn Baldwin came to close my eyes. Once Elder B arrived we pretty quickly finished the audit of the Richards Bay branch and the District. There are a couple of problems but nothing big. The memberÃ¢Â€Â™s tithes and offerings and the LUBA are all handled and used properly. I am not sure who reviews the audit sheets we fill out and sign but hopefully they are not just piled together in some file cabinet until someone gets around to throwing them away.
By the time I got back to the boarding, it was getting on 4:30 and I must say I was exhausted. So after looking to see how Tiger Woods was doing Ã¢Â€Â“ he had not teed off yet Ã¢Â€Â“ took a short nap.
Later in the day we went over to the Barts to have dinner with the Elders. I think it will be the last one we have there but perhaps they will want to hold the one on the 11th at their house. It will be the last chance before they go home. As I have often mentioned it is one of the blessings of the mission to spend some time with the elders.
Since it was Elders Petersen and WeaverÃ¢Â€Â™s birthday, sister B had a cake for them and we all sang Happy Birthday. Later Mary and I were sitting around the table talking to the two birthday boys and heard how neither of them had really planned to go on missions. Elder Petersen said his mother asked him if he was going on a mission and he did not commit until she mentioned that if he did she could go to the temple with him.
It turned out that his father was an inactive Aaronic Priesthood holder and so his parents had never been to the temple. When his father signed the paper allowing Elder Petersen to go on a mission, he wrote to his bishop that he felt that he was ready to commit to being active. So it turned out that Elder Petersen and his parents all went through the temple together. So in one way you might say that the first Ã¢Â€Â˜convertÃ¢Â€Â™ that Elder Petersen had was before his actual going to the MTC. The Lord does bless his missionaries.
We did not leave the BartÃ¢Â€Â™s home until well after 9:00 and so by the time we got home it was late. I checked again to see how Tiger was doing and found that he was not doing very well Ã¢Â€Â“ but he was hanging in and had a chance to win the tournament and even if he lost he should win the Fed-Ex cup.
It was a wonderful Sabbath day. The most important part was of course taking the Sacrament so I could renew my covenants but all the other events added to the spiritual beauty of the day. Although I can not say it was a perfect day for me Ã¢Â€Â“ are any of them Ã¢Â€Â“ it certainly ranks close to being a 2 mite day.