Enseleni branch arrived before we did so I took their picture. The other groups came one after another and quickly mixed and were impossible to gather together. Each branch made a banner depicting one of the virtues that are part of the theme for the year – here are four of them. 50 – 60 worthy youth and their leadersÂ came to the convention.
Each person who came got a T-Shirt. Ngeniswa, the District YW President was one of main organizers and conductors of the event. It was a great experience for her and the other District and Branch leaders as they put together a full day of activities. Nonhlahla is a YW leader in Enseleni and pretty much organized the branch for the event.
The youth were divided into four groups for the games and instruction. As you can see I asked for one or two nicely posed pictures and then let them have a wild one…they really can do wild!
The elders pitched in through out the day, but were especially helpful when it came to serving food. The water balloon toss was one of the favorites. If you managed to get wet, the warm day quickly dried you off.
One of the main reasons that the activity went so well was that there was an excellent turn-out of adult leaders. This shows three leaders from Esikhawini and Ngeniswa enjoying the food and the shade. President Vezi and his lovely wife provided the food. On Sunday at Port Durnford, the one thing the youth mentioned in each of their talks was the quality and quanity of the food. Just to show that elder did get to taste of their labors of serving, here is Elder Reeder chowing down.
It was a wonderful day Ã¢Â€Â“ we got to see how couple missionary work paid off in Richards Bay. It was not us who did the work Ã¢Â€Â“ it was the Bartholomews and the Hafens. We just got to see the results and share in the joy.
The event was an all day Youth Convention where worthy young men and women Ã¢Â€Â“ over 50 – in the Richards Bay District came together. Those who came had to have a recommend from their branch presidents and a permission slip signed by their parent or guardian.
What made it so great was that the District Young Men and Young Women leaders, a member of the District Council, and the District Presidency, did all the planning and ran the event. All we had to do was help Port Durnford youth paint a banner – they designed it themselves – and show up. Every other banner, all the games, all the speakers, all the food, and all the transportation was done by the YM and YW committee or the branch presidents. They did use the outline of a program that Sister Bartholomew printed off the internet not long before they left for home.
Our main contribution was to bring a few things Ã¢Â€Â“ sticky putty for putting up the flags, pens to sign Book of Mormons, three table cloths and extra Book of Mormons in case they were needed. We did help with the serving of food and I took a lot of pictures. But other than that we basically could sit back and just watch everything work. There were of course a couple of problems Ã¢Â€Â“ they had to break up a fight and breakfast arrived a little late, etc. but none of them were the fault of the committee.
Not only that, but every branch except little Port Durnford had either their YM and YW leaders or a member of the branch presidency there to help. Esikhawini had four leaders there to help. Two of the missionaries were deeply involved for most of the day. I think Elder Weaver and Elder Reeder had as much if not more fun than the youth.
Everything ran so well that Mary and I were even able to get away for a couple of hours for a quick nap. I have decided that I am not as young as I used to be.
When President Baldwin started his talk at the end of the day, he mentioned that this was the first Youth activity that was all home grown and how proud he was of those who organized it.
After the Convention was over and we were in the parking lot paying the taxisÃ¢Â€Â™ and making sure that everyone made it home, Sister Ngeniswa Matanzima, the District Young WomenÃ¢Â€Â™s President came up and started thanking us for all we had done. I stopped her and told her that we had done almost nothing but that she and the rest of the committee had done it all. She broke in to a big smile and said it was the first time that she had been in on the complete planning of an activity and that the next one would be even better. That smile and confident statement was worth a whole mission.
We did not even have to lock up Ã¢Â€Â“ we drove off with the Richard Bay elders were still getting in car and would close the gate behind them.
A perfect day was capped off by a delicious dinner with the Mickelsens and their visiting son Nathan at our favorite Thai restaurant at the harbor. We somehow spent the better part of two hours eating and talking. By the time we got home we were happily exhausted Ã¢Â€Â“ the end of a great day.