27 December 2009 â€“ Sunday
We decided last night that I would go to the branches alone today. So I bid my bride goodbye and headed for Esikhawini. I picked up president Nyawo and we had a nice 40 minutes to talk about his calling and what was going on in the branch before we were joined by President Thusi for PEC. The elders arrived 30 minutes late â€“ something about the shower and the iron â€“ just about the time I was leaving for Port Durnford.
The weather had made a 180 degree turn and it was even misting. It felt so good but I am afraid it kept a few more people home today. Actually about the regular number showed up at Port Durnford â€“ mainly because there were a lot of children with sister Chirwa. Esikhawini had about 45, Engwelezane had only 29, but Richards Bay had 52!
With so many back at their homesteads, the missionaries did yeoman duty in three of the branches. In PD they spoke in Sacrament and taught the classes. In Esikhawini one of them spoke in Sacrament and they taught everything from Primary and Sunday School to a combined third period meeting. Elder Maremela did an excellent job teaching the four primary children that showed up. In Enseleni, the elders of course set everything up and then conducted the meeting. President Vilane had to stay in Matubatuba because his father had a stroke on Saturday that paralyzed his left side. Of course I did not find this out until after 10:30 but I called the elders and found they were prepared to handle the meetings.
I got off easy. About all I did, beside going to meetings, was to ordain Percy Zibani to the Melchezidek Priesthood and help President Nyawo do the same to Musa and Solo. But I must say that this was a very rewarding experience as the spirit was strong as we did this. Soloâ€™s mother and Percyâ€™s wife and child were there and you could see the happiness in their eyes â€“ especially sister Mthalaneâ€™s.
She shared a touching story of how when she was very ill she asked Solo to give her a blessing. She said he had the priesthood so he could give her a blessing to help her feel better. Solo explained that he did not have the authority to give her a blessing because he only held the Aaronic Priesthood. What a blessing it is to see a family where the gospel is taught in the home.
When we were finished with the ordinations I headed for Richards Bay so I could ask Calwyn to enter them in the Church records and get him to make a duplicate baptismal certificate for the sister in Engwelezane that I have forgotten to do for a couple of weeks. I did not realize that the Baldwins had planned to leave right after the block for a family get-together but Calwyn agreed to stay long enough to get my needs taken care of. I felt slightly bad about inconveniencing him but not enough to say we could do it later.
Came home to find that Maryâ€™s hip was feeling better but she was still hacking away. I told her I had asked the Richards Bay elders to please come by and give her a blessing and she felt good about that. Elders Reeder and Weaver came and anointed and blessed her â€“ once again our lives were blessed by the restored Priesthood that earlier today we conferred upon the three men at Esikhawini.
The rest of the day was spent doing nothing really productive. Some paperwork got done, the newest puzzle got worked on, we read some, sent some e-mail and the best of all caught up my journal and the blog both in word and picture! Yeah.
So a busy morning was followed by a quiet afternoon and evening â€“ hopefully Mary will be better tomorrow so we can do something interesting for P-day. I would like to go to the beach with the elders but that can only happen if Mary is feeling better.