Daily Archives: December 16, 2009

15 December 2009

15 December 2009 – Tuesday

One of the things you quickly learn as Senior Missionaries is that things seldom go as planned. A peaceful morning like today was supposed to be can be changed with a few phone calls. First we got a call from President Vilane saying that a family needed a food order. They had not needed one for a while because one of the daughters had a job but she was recently let go and the loss of income had made the help necessary.

While we were adding that to what needed to be done a call from the Engwelazane elders saying that their car died last night and they had to leave it in the township. I called elder Johnson and got the number for the GM service – thank goodness for warranties – and then passed it on to the elders. They later called to say it was being taken in but they wanted to know if we could come pick them up tonight in their area –for some reason the Esikhawini elders who were much closer could not do it. I suggested that instead of us making the long drive over at 8:30 at night they ask President Mngadi or President Moloi to give them a ride home. President Mngadi was happy to do that.

Next up was figuring out what we needed to get three young men on missions in the next 3 to 6 months. A call to President Mann told me what was needed and a call to the office got three sets of paperwork and 3 copies of the DVD ‘Joy to the World’ hopefully on their way to us via the Swazi Elders who are returning Elder Weaver to RB and then going on to Swazi with a repaired bakkie.

We went to the store to put together the food order and as we were arriving we got a call from the Richards Bay elders asking if we had a copy of ‘Joy to the World’ and if we did could they borrow it. We explained we were not at our boarding but arranged to meet them there in about 45 minutes. This meant that instead of eating our lunch at the mall after our shopping we hurried home, gave the elders the DVD and ate peanut butter and jam sandwiches.

Somewhere along the day we got a call from the Enseleni elders saying that they had a flat tire yesterday and when they called elder Johnson he said to talk to me about where to take it to be fixed. That was an easy one – Hi Q gets our tire business. Also later in the day we came across elder Maremela and brother Chirwa, so except for Elders Vinson and Dishon we had some contact with all the elders in the district. Elder Chirwa does not want his mini-mission to end and elder Maremela is going to ask President Mann if he needs anyone of a longer-mini mission.

We took the food order up to Enseleni and delivered it to LDS row. There is a block where something like 5 out of 8 houses are members of the Church. Unfortunately only one is headed by a worthy PH holder. After dropping off the food and giving a hard candy to half the neighborhood children we left for Esikhawini.

I broke a mission rule and picked up a man who was signaling for a ride. I do not know why I did this but it turned out he was going to Engwelezane and we would pass close to it. Unfortunately he did not speak much English but we gave him a pass-along card with a picture of Christ. When we left him off he asked how much did he owe – many people are picked up by private vehicles after negotiating a price for the ride. When we told him it was free he said Halleluiah with a big smile. We will never know if someday he will remember the couple who gave him the ride or look at the card and want to know more. Maybe some day on the other side of the veil we will meet again and find why I felt a need to stop and offer the ride.

In Esikhawini we went to the Zibani’s house so Mary could update his CV. I was very surprised to find that he is only 22 years old and how well educated he is. Why he does not have a job I can not imagine but we will try to help him get one. He needs a income to support his family and get them ready to go to the temple.

We then met President Nyawo at the chapel and we had some training for about 90 minutes. He is a humble man who is just realizing how much responsibility the Lord has given him. I concentrated on him being a leader by example and gave him a book for him to put together a plan that will end with the branch getting a new building.

After our training we took him home. On the way we stopped to drop off a belated birthday card and candy bar at Wenzile Thusi’s home – his birthday was Saturday and we missed it. He was not home but his sister was. She said that the whole family missed his birthday so we did not feel so bad except for him. Later we got a call thanking us for remembering. As she hung up Mary realized that we had given a candy bar to a diabetic…not too bright.

We made a quick stop at Engen to get gas and some scones. Earlier I had stopped in Esikhawini to get air in our slow leak tire. It was really low and I must take the car in and get the spare put in its place tomorrow.

During the evening we got a nice call from Sister Bartholomew. Unfortunately she they still have not figured out what is wrong and so she continues to cycle between feeling bad and feeling terrible. We caught her up on lots of the things that are going on in the branches. She was happy that Khulekani is going on a mission and saddened by some of the other news. Hopefully they will find out the cause of her illness and they will be able to go on another mission. They are a great couple and where ever they go they will touch many lives.

14 December 2009

14 December 2009 – Monday

We thought we were going to drive to Durban to give the things the Knudsens left in our car to President Mann to take to them tomorrow. However when I called the President to make sure he was going to be able to do that, he told me that some elders in Swaziland was brining down a bakkie to be repaired – I imagine this the bakkie that recently ran into a cow – and they were going to met half way with a replacement. The President said that these simple plans became complicated when the elders first had to go back and get a police report so they could clear customs and then took a wrong turn and ended up going through Piet Retief which adds anywhere from an hour to two hours to their trip depending on if they have completed the road repairs that we ran into in April. But that did not matter much because the bakkie they are supposed to get was still being worked on – this one got side-swiped by a drunk driver – and it looks like the Swazi elders will be spending the night in Durban. In any case we will meet them out at the N-2 exit and give them the things for the Knudsens. This will save us 4 hours of driving but we can not do anything interesting until they actually get here. So we are spending the morning working on the latest puzzle, doing our laundry, etc.

We met the Swazi Elders – Binks and Nganda – at McDonalds and treated them to lunch. There is none in their area and Elder Binks does not like KFC so he said that they usually went home for lunch and dinner. Elder Nganda is from Kenya and is rather quiet but very friendly. He was driving when they hit the car. They must have been traveling pretty fast because the front passenger side of the bakkie was quite torn up. The cow did not do well either – it died.

We thought about going to a show but ended up staying at home and doing the puzzle, reading, house work, watched two episodes of Numb3rs and of course napping. So it was a nice quiet day for us. Just as we were going to bed we got a call from Sister Hafen and we chatted about what was going on in the mission. They are trying to recruit couples to come to South Africa and I imagine they will go on another one in a couple of years. They are young – at least compared to us – and have a business to run but I think missionary work is in their veins.