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.