30 April 2010 – Friday
Wow – where have the last 72 years gone? It does not seem possible that I am having my 72 birthday today but the calendar says that it is. Mary surprised me with one of Marais picture of a warthog. This ugly critter has become one of my favorite African animals.
It is amazing how many things we do that are not very ‘missionary’ oriented but are still important. This morning we bought some of the hard candy we give to the little children – it is amazing how much we go through. Then it was a trip to the municipal building to meet President Baldwin to pick up Musa’s mission call that came to him yesterday. While we were there I tried to get the map of Esikhawini that the elders had asked for but once again the office was closed with a sign saying they would be open on Monday. As I was walking out of the building towards the car, I heard someone call ‘Elder Pier.’ It was sister Mthalane and so I showed her Musa’s envelope – she was very excited but told me that Musa was still in Durban but she will call him to come home tomorrow so he can open his call and see where he is going.
While we shopped for the makings for Sunday night’s dinner with the elders, I had 6 copies of the missionary application made. I decided I would be positive about the branches needing them soon. If Sandile goes out before sister Nkhule comes home they will have 5 missionaries out from the district – what a blessing that will be.
We have been asked by President Nyawo to help with the Friday Youth meeting so we left for Esikhawini with what we thought was lots of time to get there by 3:30. Little did we know that the Friday traffic was backed up even on secret way so we got there barely on time.
We had a great time with the those who came. Unfortunately none of the YW came but we had a number of YM and some younger boys. We worked on getting them to memorize the theme – including doing a puzzle using the theme cut up. I also got a chance to Sne about the YM/YW in the branch as well as those in the district. All in all it was good to be back with the Youth of the branch. Hopefully we will help build it up again before we leave.
We then stopped by President Machaka’s tuck shop to drop off a missionary application for Sandile Chirwa. Hopefully we will be able to get that turned in before we go. The family will need some help with expenses but there are a number of couples who have volunteered to help.
As we headed out of town we got a call from Musa saying that he had decided to come home today instead of tomorrow and was at their house. So we made a big circle and headed back. We had the wonderful experience of giving him his envelope and sharing with him and his family his finding out where and when he is going on his mission.
While waiting for sister Mthalane to come home we took a poll of where we thought he would go and Mary and I both said Zimbabwe. It turned out we were right – he will leave for the MTC in August and will serve in the Zimbabwe, Harare Mission. What a blessing it is to be a part of these young men and women’s lives. It was almost like being with one of our grandchildren as they open their call.
We were going to go out to dinner for my birthday but I decided I would rather just go home and have corn and tomatoes and relax. It was a good choice and we had a relaxing evening. I spent a good portion of it organizing an album on Facebook and chatting with our neighbor Elaina Wendelboe about how our gardens are growing. When I asked about the tulips she said the deer ate them all. I was glad I was not there to experience that. I can see where it is possible to spend way too much time doing Facebook and other social networking.
So another birthday went by with us in the mission field – that makes four in a row and I am not sorry about any of them. I think being with Musa and his family is about as good a birthday gift as I could possible have. I know that God and my savior love me and that is also a wonderful gift. I also know that my family loves me and that me and my Eternal companion are where we should be at this time.
A truly happy birth day for me.