Daily Archives: November 30, 2009

29 November 2009

29  November 2009 – Sunday

We decided not to go to Enseleni today because Mary wanted to have piano practice at Esikhawini. She had missed yesterday because of the Youth activity and next week is District Conference. She did not want to go three weeks with out any lessons.

Once everyone got there, there was a good turn out for PEC at Esikhawini. I was especially happy to see that the Elders are bringing completed missionary reports to the meeting and encouraging the presidency to act on giving new members callings. President Thusi was worried that asking new converts to accept callings might drive them away and the elders pointed out that there were many callings that did not make any great demands on their time but did make them feel needed and a part of the branch.

We then headed off to Port Durnford where of the speakers were all the youth reporting about the Youth Convention yesterday. Lindani gave a great review and others did OK but for the most part the thing that every speaker talked about was how great the food was. I guess the way to a youth’s heart is through their stomach.

We stayed for part of the second hour but once the classes got a little settled – not an easy task – we started back to Esikhawini. As we approached the buildings, I saw President Malinga walking towards us so I stopped and offered him a lift back to his home. He had just got off of night shift at 7:00 and so he had not had any sleep. We found the branch presidency had spoken at Sacrament meeting and that was just what was supposed to happen. President Baldwin wants the branch presidencies to speak one Sunday a month. Later we found that the same thing had happened at Enseleni – it is reassuring to know that the branch presidents do listen to our coaching.

After sacrament meeting Mary worked with two of her piano students and found that Sazi Mthalane has been asked to play a solo for the Christmas social. Mary thinks he will be able to do it…it will certainly give him a good reason to practice each day. While she was doing that I tried to help sister Khumalo with her computer skills but found that she had a book that would help her much more. She just needs to carefully follow the steps in the book and she will gain a good basic knowledge.

I then talked to President Nyawo about a number of things. He mentioned this morning that he wanted to have branch goal of having an actual building for them to meet in. I told him that this was a great goal to work towards but it had to start with the keeping of the basic commandments of family prayer, family scripture study, FHE, full tithe paying, home and visiting teaching, and being involved with missionary work. As the branch did these things – starting with the leadership – the build will just come. The longest journey starts with the first step.

After the last of her lessons we dropped president Nyawo off at his home and came back to our boarding. After lunch and a nap – we got things ready for the missionaries to come for dinner. Mary cooked BBQ Beef, corn, mashed potatoes, gravy, toasted rolls, green salad, jello salad, and drinks. For dessert they had brownies and ice cream. I thought we had cooked way too much food but other than the green salad there was little to take home. We took pictures of the new elders in the zone and zone pictures. also had the new elders fill out information sheets so we can put them in our mission book.

As always we enjoyed having the missionaries in our home for a couple of hours. It is fun to see them chow down, talk to each other, and share experiences. Elders who came out together but are not companions especially seem to enjoy a few minutes of relaxing together. I took a number of pictures and it is great to capture their enthusiasm and friendship. All too soon it is time for them to leave for their boardings so they can be obedient to the mission rules. They of course take any extra food with them.

16-18 November 2009 – Durban Trip

 For some reason I completely forgot to post any pictures of our trip to Durban earlier in the month. I had promised Sister Mickelsen that I would share the spice pictures below so I will take the opportunity to post a few others that I think are interesting.


They take their hot spices seriously here – Mary is glad they do not sell this spice in the US. I am sorry that we did not buy some of the KFC Spice to see if they really have the exact formula.


While we were at the B&B we saw these nests. The birds strip the palm branches and weave them into this really nice closed nest. Unfortunately they do this right over the swimming pool so the Rawlings must knock them down so the bird dropping do not disturb their guests. The last picture is our view out  door.


Sister Swazi-Wilson enjoying swinging while her husband is off bird watching. The Mickelsens do not have to go far for their morning fruit. This bunch of bananas is growing about 15 feet from their front door. Talk about fresh fruit! Tika is not at all shy about sharing the shade of our room.