Daily Archives: April 30, 2010

30 April 2010

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.

Musa Mkhonza Gets His Mission Call


Musa could not stand to wait until tomorrow to read where he was going so he jumped on a bus in Durban and made it home just in time to catch us before we left Esikhawini. He had to wait until sister Mthalane to come home and he was so nervous he kept getting up and looking to see if she was coming down the street. The whole family was there to share in his joy.


Finally he got to open the envelope and read that he is going to the Harare, Zimbabwe Mission. He was so excited that he forgot to read when he was to report to the MTC. He is to report in August. The long lead time is partly because he will not turn 19 until June.

What a wonderful experience it is to be part of helping these young men send in their papers and then to be there when they open their call. It is much like when our own sons got theirs.

29 April 2010

29-april-2010-rb-district-and-us.JPG29-april-2010-cows-coming-home-1.JPG29-april-2010-cows-coming-home-3.JPGWe got a chance to take a picture with the Richards Bay elders at KFC. Elders Lemmon and Zondi – the end two on the right – will be leaving the area on the 6th. Elder Lemmon heads home to the US and Elder Zondi goes home to Durban and at the end of May will report to the Joburg MTC for his mission. We will miss these two fine elders. You have heard of the saying about being out until the cows come home…well today as we were about to turn on our street we almost ran into the cows coming home.

29 April 2010 – Thursday

We again spent much of the morning just doing odds and ends. Mary worked on things for her English and music classes. I posted a lot of pictures to her Face Book account – I did not take the time to write any headings. I will do that over the weekend if I have time. I was still posting pictures when Melissa Hoyt (ne Fernald) commented on how great they were. Talk about a quick response.

Elder Kitili has been having headaches for a long time and nothing seems to help so I contacted Sister Mann and got permission to make an appointment for him at Spec Savers to see if it is a problem with his eyes. I took pants to the cleaners, visited our mail box – a piles of bills, and dropped the clean and folded (thanks to sister Mickelsen) baptism clothes off at the RB Chapel.

As we drove into the parking lot at the chapel we saw the elders’ cars and realized we had completely forgotten about the RB DDM! Talk about a senior moment. We stopped long enough to apologize to the elders for missing their meeting but we did have a number of other things to do. We stopped by Spec Savers and paid for elder Kitili’s exam as we can not be there when he comes in for his appointment.

As we were ordering our lunch at KFC, I called the RB elders and suggested that since we had not brought them any treats for their DDM and two of them are leaving the area – elder Lemmon is heading home next week and elder Zondi will go home to prepare for going to the MTC in late May –that they join us for lunch. This not only gave us a chance to give them a goodbye meal but also to have our picture taken with these four fine missionaries.

The rest of our day was spent in Port Durnford where Mary taught English to just two of the usual four women, having an excellent meeting with the youth, and Mary giving Lungani a piano lesson. I taught the lesson from Jacob chapter 4 about the importance of scriptures and got each young person to commit to reading the scriptures each day this coming week for 15 minutes. We will see what comes of this.

As we were driving around today and yesterday we noticed that there were cane trucks back on the road, so the harvesting of this years crop has begun. Soon the sky will be filled with clouds of smoke from the burning fields and we will be following more and more cane trucks as they take their loads to the sugar factories. We have now lived here for a full year’s cycle of life. What a marvelous time we have had and how much we have learned about the land and the people. It is an experience we could never have had – or at least we would not have taken – with out the opportunity of going on a mission together. The Lord truly has blessed us through our membership in the only true and living church on the earth.

28 April 2010

28 April 2010 – Wednesday

The first thing I did today was get the car washed. Two days of driving over gravel roads had turned our usually blue car to a shade of rusty red.  I was lucky because there were no cars in front of me so I was in and out in 30 minutes instead of the usual hour.

We went to an excellent DDM up in Empangeni. It was Elder Kitili’s last DDM but he did not show any signs that he is trunky. He did take a lot of pictures but that is understandable.

When we came out to get in our car, I saw that the passenger front tire was dead flat. Luckily there were three strong, young elders right there to change it for us. Talk about a Tender Mercy for us if not for them. But they are always happy to help us as we are to help them so everyone is a winner.

I did not want to take a chance on a second flat without any spare, so we went back to Richards Bay and dropped off the flat to be fixed while we had lunch.

After lunch we picked up the repaired tire and then it was back to Esikhawini where Mary taught an English lesson and I went to meet with President Machaka about a number of things. Just as I was getting ready to leave, the elders drove up and we took care of some more business.

I got back to where Mary was teaching before she was done and used the time to make a number of telephone calls. I found that President Vilane was going to Swaziland for a funeral and that President Mngadi was working on his reports that are due on Saturday.

We then had a number of errands to run including getting a new microphone for Esikhawini. It seems we have to replace it about every 6 months. I am going to tape this one in place so that they can not pull on the plug which seems to be the problem.

By the time we got home it was growing quite dark – I had forgotten how early it gets dark here in the fall and winter and we are still almost 2 months away from the shortest day of the year.

I spent most of the evening working on pictures from our drive. Elder Mickelsen had downloaded what his to one of our thumb drives so I had his 130 plus our 80 or so to go through. After about 3 hours of staring at the computer screen and making adjustments I called it quits for the night.

It was a good day for us and as usual we were blessed often by the Lord.