Daily Archives: November 22, 2009

22 November 2009

22 November 2009 – Sunday

35 at Port Durnford, 88 at Esikhawini, and 62 at Enseleni – a good turn out on a nice sunny Sabbath. We had a normal Sunday morning with PEC at Esikhawini, Sacrament at Port Durnford, and a visit to Richards Bay to get a second signature on the checks that I could not get cashed on Friday.

While we were at Richards Bay I found out that Calwyn Baldwin had fallen and broken his left wrist. It was serious enough that he was being operated on this morning. I thought how hard it would be for him to keyboard with only one hand. Later in the afternoon we learned from President Baldwin that he fell while he was putting up Christmas lights for a neighbor who did not have a husband. I remembered the adage – ‘No good turn goes unpunished.’

We then went to Enseleni for Sacrament. The elders came early enough that they had everything set up by the time the members started to arrive. It is nice to have the room ready, but I thought that it would be better if they young men got there early and helped with the set up. When President Vilane started sacrament only about 4 minutes late, there was not enough AP there to fill the sacrament table. Mainly there were investigators and non-member Primary children who were on time. The elders had 7 investigators to church including a young couple they are teaching. The branch is doing well but there is a need for families headed by strong priesthood fathers.

Between meetings President Vilane and the two elders gave heath blessings to Baba Justice and another man. It is good to see the priesthood being used. It is also good to see the branch have YW – which includes many of the YSA sisters, PH, RS and Primary. I made sure that after the meeting I told the Primary teacher what an excellent job she was doing. But we do need to get the children to learn more songs.

Speaking of songs, while people were gathering at Port Durnford for sacrament, a primary aged young man sat quietly singing hymns to himself. It was sweet to hear this young voice singing hymns of the restoration.

After the meeting we said goodbyes and drove to our boarding for lunch and an hour of rest before we drove to Esikhawini for a meeting. President Mann came up from Durban for some interviews and we were there to help where needed. One of the highlights of the day for me was listening to President Baldwin talk about how the gospel got started in Swaziland when four LDS families came together to work in a pineapple plant near Matsapha just outside Manzini. He told how when the unit grew too large for their rented building and they moved to Mbabane. He said they fasted and prayed about it because this meant the members in Matsapha – where almost all of the members lived – had to drive 30 to 45 minutes to church where if it was in Manzini it would have been only 10 minutes away. But most of them knew this was what the Lord wanted and the branch quickly grew.  

Our evening was spent with dinner, cooking the meat we bought so it would not spoil before we use it next Sunday, and watching two episodes of the second season of Numb3rs on the computer. It was a good day.

21 November 2009

21 November 2009 – Saturday

We had a busy Saturday with Seminary graduation in the morning and piano lessons in the afternoon.

We went to Seminary graduation to make sure the taxis got paid and to fill in where needed. When we arrived at 9:30 most of the people were already there but we were the first with keys. So we opened everything up and got people settled in.  Unfortunately President Maglaca to lost and the meeting started 40 minutes late. Mary played prelude music for about an hour. I found out that there was no provision for plates, cups or napkins so I ran to Ken Trade to get them. I should have known enough to have them in the car – the Bartholomews would have been prepared – but we are still learning.

Once they got started President Van Thiel conducted the meeting and once started it went well. Sister Khumalo and President Van Thiel  gave talks and then three younger members spoke about the importance of Seminary and Institute.

While the program was going on I put out drinks, signed for the pizza, and got everything ready to feed 40 hungry youth. Sister Khumalo and Mary helped serve the food and everything went well. Unfortunately we had to leave before the taxis came to pick-up the youth so I left money with President Van Thiel to pay for them.

We had to go to the Empangeni elder’s boarding to drop off sacrament cups – the order came in this week –and the announcements. We stopped at a small store to buy sandwiches and just made it to the Esikhawini Chapel in time for piano lessons with a young lady who called and asked if she could come early. Of course after all the rushing, she came 45 minutes late and by that time some of the other students had come.

Sister Khumalo called and said she could not make it to our computer lesson so while Mary taught piano for two plus hours, I got to read and take a nap. After her lessons we went to President Malinga’s so I could meet with him, do a little training, and see how he is doing. He is a very fine man who has more than his share of problems but does not dwell on them. He just keeps doing what he feels is right and trusts that the Lord will bless him. 

We had dinner at Spurs. It was rib night so we both had them. They turned out to not be as good as Mary said they were and I wondered if they use a lesser quality rib on their special night. It does not seem like a good idea to me and perhaps it was just an off night. Either way next time I will stick to my rib burger which is always good.

20 November 2009

20 November 2009 – Friday

Tires rotated, bought food for Sunday dinner, food order for Enseleni, met with President Vilane, English – 2 students, youth – well organized without much help from us, Mary stayed while I rushed home for pictures and clip board. Slow bus going. Home for evening watched Numb3ers.

19 November 2009

19 November 2009 – Thursday

Spent morning doing chores that did not get done on Monday. Rain – lots of rain. Afternoon teaching English and then Youth. Youth was excellent as we reviewed the first 14 pages of the Book of Mormon and talked about what was happening.

18 November 2009

18 November 2009 – Wednesday

Goodbye to the Wilsons and Knudsens. Victoria Market with the Mickelsens and Markums. Lunch at Ocean Basket. Drive Home and collapse.

17 November 2009

17 November 2009 – Tuesday

We went to Marko to give them our broken printer and found that we had a on-site service agreement and gave us a number to call. At least now we have our receipt so we can get service once we get home. By the time we were done, it was too late to really do anything with the Mickelsens and we knew they had lots of office work to do with all those Patriarchal blessings they down-loaded yesterday and the PEF paperwork that never seems to stop so we called the Johnsons to find out if they would like to go to lunch. The restaurant we went too was very slow in service and while the food was OK, I would not go back again. The best part of the meal was sitting and talking to the Johnsons about our mission experiences and family. 

Back at the mission office we were soon joined by the two sets of Wilsons and the Knudsens. Everyone was interested in which missionaries were moving in and out of their districts. As they look at the ‘I’ll Go List’ it is kind of like opening Christmas presents as missionaries they have learned to love move on to a new zone and perhaps a new calling, while others move in. We had seen the list yesterday so we already knew that Elder Babeeyo was moving to Swaziland to be Zone Leader where his younger brother was also serving. We also knew that Elder Nare was coming to Enseleni. He will be a strength there and he may be able to sing duets with Nonhlahla.

Mission Presidency meeting went for two hours and we covered many subjects. Some of them like tithing settlement, seminary and institute enrollment, etc. do not seem to be directly tied to missionary work but since President Mann is the PH leader for all the districts, he is responsible for all programs of the Church. We also talked about how to have a productive Holiday season. Since many of the people go back to their family homesteads and towns for much of December and into January, the missionaries in the past have at times used it as an excuse to slack off their efforts. If they do, not only is December and January affected but so is the first quarter of the year as they build the teaching pools back up.

This year the President is using this transfer and All Zone for training aimed at committing the missionaries to keep up the excellent work they have been doing. If things go as is indicated, there should be about 50 baptisms in November and 50 in December, with the year ending at about 450 baptisms for the year.

As the meeting approached 6 p.m. there came a rather loud throat clearing outside the door of the office. Not quite like the coughing sound a lioness makes when moving through the brush, but close. It was sister Mann reminding us that we had 6:00 reservations for dinner.

Dinner was at the French restaurant that we had gone to with the Sessions and Bartholomews a couple of months ago and I think a good time was had by all. After dinner we took Sister Mann’s friend Carol Draper back to the mission home so that the Manns could go to the hospital to see an elder who is quite ill and will need to go home to the US to serve out his mission. He has only been here for one cycle but in that time he has had the joy of working in the township and feeling the spirit of the mission.

When we arrived back at Little Haven we were invited to join the two Wilson couples and the Knudsens in a game called ‘Five Crowns’ that was a lot of fun and we managed not to be last – but also not the winners. It was a nice way to end a day of service and fellowship.