Daily Archives: November 13, 2009

13 November 2009

13 November 2009 – Friday

I went to bed late because I was not really tired and so woke an hour later than usual. Even the sun shining through the windows did not bother me.

My reading for the morning was again from Church magazines. The story about the Cosme family of Paraguay and how their baptism almost 50 years ago affected their extended family of now 60 shows that missionaries seldom see the true affect of their efforts in helping others accept the restored Church. The same issue included an article about the annual temple trip of the youth in Aberdeen Scotland, how it affects their lives and how they prepare for it all year. The final article I read was about the 70s and how their organization has changed over the years – line upon line – until they now minister and administer around the world. I remember how excited Elder S. Dilworth Young was when the First Quorum of the 70 was reconstituted in 1976 – he said he had prayed that he would be alive to see it happen. Elder Hartman Rector Jr. was also a member of that new Quorum and was the one who ordained me a bishop.

It is interesting that since at the time I was called only a General Authority could ordain bishops so I had been serving for a couple of months without being ordained. Soon after I was ordained the policy was changed and Stake Presidents could ordain bishops.

As we planned for the day we found that somehow we had left the boards for our BofM Bingo at Port Durnford. Since we thought we needed it for Youth at Enselini we made a quick run out to get it. Of course when we got there we could not find it. Hopefully someone found it and is storing it for us. We wondered if Friday the 13th was to blame.

After that things went well until we arrived at Enselini and did not find President Vilane waiting for his English lesson. When we called we found that he was not feeling well and had gone to the clinic. We went over to see his wife and found out that he had not slept well and had gone for some pain medicine.

We tried to visit sister Seoka, the Relief Society President, but since the houses did not have any numbers on them we were not sure which was it. Later we found out that we could have knocked on almost any door in that block and found an LDS family. Someday we will learn the town and the members.

With still time on our hands we decided to do a little exploring so we followed the main road out of town until it became a dirt road. We continued along the road until we got to the top of a hill where we could look out across the rolling hills. We were surprised to see every green hill supporting two or three homesteads. It is a very beautiful area once you are outside the city.

The Mickelsens had called earlier to say they were coming for the weekend and when they found out there was Youth at Enselini they decided to come and try to meet with two of their PEF loan applicants. We were sure glad they did because they were a big help when it came time to play games.

As usual about half of the youth arrived nearly on time and by the time we got to the games close to 20 were there. We had decided to take pictures of each of the youth and have them give us their names and addresses so we could find them in the future. I am thinking that we should create a page for each of the youth and have them tell us about themselves, their birthdays, telephone numbers, etc. We could then make it into part of an area book for future missionaries.

Elders Otieno and Tsegula came and also helped out. Since no one had prepared spiritual lesson I spoke for a while but I think I was too preachy. I am going to have to correct that in the future or they will not listen to me. They need stories that build them up, not lectures and preaching. They need lots of love and attention like any young people. I am just not all that good at this but Mary is sensitive to their needs.

We played three different games with the youth rotating from one game to another. They seemed to have lots of fun and I think played all afternoon. We asked Sister Mickelsen to run the bingo game while Mary and I over saw two BofM Match games. After the games we had treats – they are called pillows and are made of soft dough with cream centers. The youth – and the elders – really like them.

After we had semi-cleaned up, we left the Mickelsens talking to their two applicants and hurried home for a few minutes to take care of a couple of things. We then went down to the Arterial to wait for the Mickelsens to come by so we could go to dinner at the harbor. As we were almost to where we agreed to meet them, Mary discovered she had left the phone back at the boarding. Since we did not have time to go back and get it we just had to sit and hope that they found us. When they pulled up along side us Mary was very happy.

When we got to restaurant row at the harbor we were surprised to find that everyone was booked up. It seems that just like in the US everyone goes out to eat on Friday night. We must have looked very disappointed because one of the restaurants brought in an extra table to accommodate us. That is what I call an excellent manager.

We were early enough that we did not have an over long wait for the delicious food to arrive. It was also quiet enough to talk to each other. But then the crowd arrived and the volume of noise increased greatly. There were two or three large parties including one right behind us where 15 or more women were celebrating one of their birthdays. They came in strange costumes and my picture of them does not do the actual scene justice.

The swordfish was very good. The fillets were thin but large where we are use to thick smaller ones at home. So while they were not as juicy, they were still tender and tasty. All in all it was a very nice meal and even with 14% VAT and a generous tip the whole meal was about $25.

When we got home I almost immediately started on editing the pictures I took today. This ended up taking over an hour to finish but we can now get them printed and ready for the Youth by next Friday.

12 November 2009

12 November 2009 – Thursday

It was hot today! But not nearly as hot as they say it is going to get come December and January. Looking at pictures of snow does not seem to help. Luckily we spend a good part of our time in our lovely air-conditioned car. At least enough to cool us down between visits and classes.

I got the car washed this morning so the hand-prints that had been decorating the sides for the last few days have disappeared. We spent part of the morning getting everything ready for our English class and PD Youth. It is amazing how much time is needed just planning and getting things together. Then of course half the time you get to the class and you find you left something at the boarding.

We were bunked by the Richards Bay district for DDM. When I called elder Weaver he apologized and said that he woke up this morning thinking it was Wednesday. I must say that is a new excuse. With no DDM we had time to take care of a few errands that we had been putting off including paying our water bill.

We were just finishing lunch at Maxis when Sne Mthalane came in and we talked about the Youth Convention on the 28th. I had talked to him about getting more information out to the branches as to what kind of banner they were to make. He was on his way to buy material so everyone would have the same size and quality. Since we met with President Vezi on Tuesday while we were eating and today Sne, maybe we should just get an office in the mall so everyone could come in.

Our English class is growing. Today sister Chirwa brought a neighbor. Unfortunately Temba and gogo Nzama were not there – we have not see Temba for two weeks now. The new sister who came knows almost no English so I ended up taking her to another area and working with her one on one. It was rather fun and she taught me the Zulu words for tree, bee, sleep, sweets, foot and feet. Hopefully I will remember them so I can show off next time.

Youth at PD was pretty good. We challenged them to read the Book of Mormon before we are released. They need to read about 2 pages a day and they said they would.  We will see how they do this coming week. Siya and Fufu are speaking this coming Sunday and I said we would come on Saturday and help them prepare their talk so they do not just read it from a Liahona. After our lesson, we played games: Book of Mormon Bingo and Book of Mormon Match Game. They truly enjoy games but are a little competitive. It is just a shame that there is not more family support for the youth – that is a home with a righteous PH leader. However a number of them have strong gogos and perhaps we can get them to start holding FHE, Family Prayer and Family Scripture reading.

Neither the Nzama’s home nor the PD chapel have even a fan to help cool things off. Mary seems to hold up pretty well but I have to continually wipe my face and neck to keep from drowning in perspiration. It would not be too bad if the breeze that seems to come up in the afternoon would move through the chapel but lately it has been blowing the wrong direction.

We were only home a few minutes when the RB elders called and asked if they could come over and make a baptismal program for Sunday. Of course we invited them over and Mary showed them how to use the template to make one. They did an excellent job and it is good to have them do it instead of just doing it for them.

As they were leaving Elder Weaver told us that they had an unhappy landlord because they keep setting off the alarm when they come home. For some reason they can remember how many rings means it is off. They are set it off twice in the last two days and it is waking up the landlord’s baby. Elder Weaver is afraid he might ask them to move if they do it again.

This morning as I was waiting for the car to get washed – a 45 to 60 minute task – I re-read most of the July Ensign. I really should re-read the Church magazines more often. Almost always some article that did not really connect with me the first time I read it, is just what I need to read later. Although the articles in the Church magazine can not be considered scripture, often they seem like they are.