Daily Archives: November 7, 2009

Other Pictures


The view out the Nzama’s back door – I thought it catches a lot of what Port Durnford is about. The yellow daisies and the Esikhawini chapel. This taxi travels around the area where we have our boarding. Therefore a number of times we have found ourselves behind it and I can tell you it is well named.


Joe Marais is a wildlife painter who works in the Richards Bay mall. He is doing a very large mural to be auctioned off with the proceeds going to charity. We see women carrying loads every day – we caught these ladies as they were walking along the road to Esikhawini.


A week ago we finally went out to the Port Durnford beach by ourselves and the next week we took the Mickelsens out to see it. Great sand dunes, beautiful white sand beach, and a river runs through it.


We had a good laugh at this sign warning about walking on the non-existent lawn. Elder Mickelsen introduced me to Spur’s chocolate milk shakes. A big mistake because now I order one everywhere we eat – the best I have found so far is the double thick one at Maxi’s.


Gogos -grandmothers and great-grandmothers – seem to always have children on their laps. This great-grandchild of sister Nzama never seems to smile – my goal is to get a picture of her smiling before we go home. Mama Zulu from Enseleni with her grandson.


We drive by an aluminum plant almost every day. We often see truck lots of ingots – as seen here – and sometimes we see trucks that is hauling hot aluminum. We are not sure where the trucks are going but they head towards the harbor. We had to laugh when we saw this speed limit sign on a Port Durnford sand road in the middle of no-where. I finally got a picture of my plain looking, yellow beak bird in flight. The great looking white under-wing does not show when it is hopping around the Esikhawini lawn.

07 November 2009

Branch Social at :Port Durnford


It would not be a social with out a braai – Siya, Quinton, elder Maremela, and president Machaka did the cooking – mainly the president. Chicken and worst – standard fare.

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After the movie I went into the chapel and found these two young men singing into the fan. The blast of air made their voices sound strange. I have a video that captures the sound and the smiles on their faces. Two man – young men – basket ball without goals and a very small court. Elder Wengert, Ayando Madondo, and Zehile’s little sister.


Mary sat in a chair in the shade and gathered up children, talked to Bungumusa and elder Wengert – among others – and had her hair styled by Ayanda and Zinhle.


Fufu picked up a couple of guys – that girl is a guy magnet and lots of fun. I could not pass up a picture of this young man and his yellow hat. Every time he sees me he says the only thing that I think he knows in English ‘How are you?’ It is now a standing joke between me and the children.

07 November 2009 – Saturday

We received an e-mail from Bob and Denise Cox saying that they were coming to our mission as CES missionaries. I called President Mann to tell him we had friends coming and he said he had just got their paperwork. He was glad to have a couple coming but wished they were coming as an office couple. A hour or so later the President called to say that he just got an e-mail saying that an office couple was called and will be here in January – about the same time that the Coxes will be here. So part of the pressure is off but it would certainly be great if he now heard that a couple was coming to replace the Bartholomews.

Since we are having dinner for the missionaries tomorrow, we did a ton of shopping this morning. We always cook what we think is too much food so they do not go away hungry. We know we were successful when there are any left-overs of any kind. Of course they are always more than happy to take any food home with them – meat is especially welcomed.

We went to Eskhiwini so Mary could give piano lessons and I could help sister Khumalo with her computer skills. It is interesting to work with someone who has little if any experience with computers get started. I have to think about what I do without out thinking and then explain it to her so she can understand it. This time she took notes so that she would be able to get into programs without any problems. While I was doing this Mary gave two piano lessons – both of the students seem to be practicing and progressing.

After the lessons we went to Port Durnford for a branch party. I must say that President Machaka and the elders did all the work. We just provided some advance cash for the food and then showed up to enjoy the company and the food.

While we were there a couple of the young sisters had fun working on Mary’s hair. They tried a small corn row but decided it was not for her. There were a number of non-LDS there and Bungumuse – our young artist friend – asked if we would pick him up tomorrow for church. As mentioned Thursday, Zenhile and her sister was allowed to come to the activity and seemed to have a good time. For once I remembered to take pictures.

By the time we got home the sun was setting. I spent much of the night editing pictures and ended up posting them on the blog. I still need to go back and add text but at least they are there for people to see. Hopefully Cindy will get to see them.

06 November 2009

06 October 2009 – Friday

Read on Facebook this morning that Mike and Cindy’s house was burglarized and among other things both of their computers were stolen. Also the burglars trashed the house. We are hoping that there was some back up for all the pictures that Cindy took so much time scanning in this summer. We read this too late to call this morning but will tonight and learn more.  As this is the second burglary in the last couple of months of people we know, I am thinking that we may need to put an alarm system in our house when we get home.

It was a morning of paperwork. Mary made the baptismal program for Engwalezane and a recommend for the Youth Convention. I typed up a letter to the branch presidents explaining all the things I am giving them, telling them who will speak in their branches this Sunday, and announcements for Sunday. It is a good thing we are living in the middle of huge pulp tree farms, because a number of trees are going to be used up this morning.

Our first stop for the day was the Richards Bay Chapel where we made lots of copies of the different things that we needed to give to the branch presidents. We then went home to use our paper cutter and to assemble packages for each branch.

For the next few hours we visited presidents Malinga, Machaka, and Mngadi and went through all the forms, lists, letters, etc. Then after a break for a late lunch we headed to Enselini where I did the same with his package of goodies. Mary then gave him his English lesson.

We finished with that just in time to start welcoming the Youth for their activity. I remembered to bring hymn books so everyone got to sing. After a short lesson we played games. Since we did not come prepared with games we had to make them up as we went along. First we played Musical Chairs, then hot and cold, and finally ‘Fruit Salad.’ Everyone seemed to have fun – actually the youth were continually going in and out during the games which made Musical Chairs difficult.

When Youth was over a group of them, President Vilane, the missionaries and ourselves went over to the home of a woman who was investigating the church when she died. It seems she had set a number of baptismal dates but was never baptized. At the home we sang some songs, I gave an opening prayer, and there was a brief talk by elder Tsegula in English that was translated into Zulu. I was very pleased that so many of the young people – about 30% of those who came to Youth – gave of their time to show their respect for the dead non-member sister.

Elder Tsegula talked to me a little about funeral customs in his country and it seems that the men spend the night before the funeral at the family’s home singing until dawn when the women come and sing until the burial. It would be interesting to write a book about the funeral customs in the different areas of the world.

We spent a quiet night at home. We called Cindy about the break-in and was sad to hear that she had lost most of her jewelry including her wedding ring. But they did not lose any pictures because the thieves did not steal the Mac hard-drives. That was a tender mercy among all the chaos. We later chatted with Fae Dahl who is serving in the Dominican Republic and found out that one of our friends – Ron Haller – was dying of cancer. That is sad news and I just realized that his mother died of the same disease some 40 plus years ago. We also got the news that another couple we have known for many years have received their mission call to South Africa. Fae thought they were coming to Durban but was not sure. She sent us their e-mail address and I wrote to find out if they were coming here and if so when.

Close to a 2 mite day.

05 November 2009

05 November 2009 – Thursday

I like to take part of the morning to read articles from the Church News site. Today there was an excellent article on the reaction of the members in Japan to the announcement of a new temple for Sapporo. It was touching to read the stories of these faithful Saints who have been praying for a temple on their island. A number of them said that they prayed for a temple while trying to attend the temple in Tokyo more often.

Another article from the archives had the “directions for singing” were included in the preface to John Wesley’s 1761 hymnal. I loved 3 and 4.

III. Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a slight degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up, and you will find a blessing.

IV. Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. . . .

I like the part about singing as a cross to bear and the promise of a blessing.

In the morning we went to a good DDM at Richards Bay – the elders focused on how to set baptismal dates. When we were done there it was time for lunch and then we had to hurry to Port Durnford for English class and then Youth. We have a new member of our English class – Sister Mlondo. Unfortunately Tembe did not show up as he said he would – I am not sure he will ever be baptized.

Youth was short but good. Almost all the youth came to the meeting. It was so hot in the building that I suggested we hold it outside. I do not think that is a good idea so in the future I think we will come early and open up the building before English so it might cool down by the time for Youth.

We shared Bishop Burton’s comments on learning the 13th Article of Faith and then worked a little on their talks. Next week we will break it into smaller groups so we can work on individual talks. I also promised them lots of time for games. I gave them a short talk about some of the concerns we had for them and all the youth in the district as they are faced with so many worldly things each day. We left them talking to Thandi Nzama about Seminary – she wants to teach it but no one wants to stay after Church.

We had a quick trip back to our boarding so there was time to heat up some of the left-overs before I went to District Meeting. President Baldwin runs a good meeting and we got a lot done. After our meeting the District YM and YW met with most of the council to discuss the YM and YW convention on the 28th. While that was going on I went with Calwyn and got the tithing sheets for all the branches, corrected some records and got new branch lists for the presidents. I also got the interview list for the branch presidents so the can know who they should be interviewing each month. Hopefully this will help them get closer to their members.

After the meeting I drove Sne Mthalane to the bus stop so he could get a ride home. I would have driven him all the way to his house but he did not want me to go to the trouble. Because of his job at the mall, he is use to using the bus to get home at night.

I am thrilled about the fact that the District YM and YW leadership is doing all the planning and assignments for the Convention without any help from us. We continue to remind them that we will be happy to help in any way we can, but they – along with Brother Mark Deploy of the District Council – want to do it themselves. It is a big step for them and hopefully it will be a great event so the next time they can have it over two days instead of one. The Hafens and Bartholomews should be proud of how well they trained the youth leaders to a point where they are capable of planning and carrying out a major event on their own.

While we were at the Nzamas for English Zinhle Khanyile came to pick up her sister and surprised us by saying she will be at church on Sunday. She is the young lady whose family stopped her from coming to Youth and Church just after the Roadshows. They felt she was drawing away from the family church. Hopefully this means they have softened their views and perhaps we can even get her back to coming to Youth.

As I was writing about Zinhle I remembered at DDM yesterday when Elder Kekana was using the section on Christ Like Attributes as part of his talk, I re-read about patience and how the lack of this attribute show a lack of faith that the Lord really is in control of His plan. At the time I was reminded about how upset I got when none of the branch Presidents showed up for the training meeting. But as I think about the same attribute this morning (Friday) I relate it to how sad and upset I felt when Zinhle had to stop coming to our meetings. But the Lord knew her and worked on the hearts of her parents.

It was close to being another 2 mite day.