Monthly Archives: May 2014

8 Days In May 2014

Although I have to be careful about over doing things we had a rather busy week. On Friday the 23rd we went to Klerksdorp for District Meeting. Elder Kelem, the DL, has asked different elders to conduct the meetings – something I can not remember happening before in any district where we have served. At the 30th DM elder Harris conducted.May 14 - elder Rogers - DM May 2014 - Elders Perkins and Harris

 

Elder Rogers conducts District Meeting. Elder Perkins leads the music while elder Harris sings. Elder Harris says that everyone thinks he is Afrikaans because he is built like them.

May 14 - Elder Perkins leading May 14 - Elders Flynn and Ryan - ZL Singing

Elder Perkins did his best to lead the music for DM. Elders Flynn and Ryan – the ZLs in the Vaal Zone got into the music! I really should have taken a video because the single picture does not do their singing justice.

May 14 - Elders Flynn and Ryan - ZL      Elders Ryan and Flynn are the zone leaders. Elder Flynn is from St George via Alpine and elder Ryan is from England. As I mentioned before hey did a very good job with zone training a week ago.

May 2014 - Sister Bobbi May 2014 - Sister Kujane

On Monday we down to Parys for our monthly visit with sister Bobbi. She is a lifelong member and we always come away with lots of good stories about the church in Africa. Sister Kujane is our RS president. We met her at the school where we have our offices and church. She was waiting for us next to this painting on the wall and I could not pass up taking her picture. She is doing a great job as President and loves serving the sisters of the branch.

Yesterday we had the first baptisms since we came here. Two wonderful sisters entered into the gate and started down the path to Eternal life.

31 May14 - Baptisms - Sisters, Kwaikwai, KelemSister Louisa on the left is 72 years old and since the second time the elders came to teach her she has wanted to be baptized.

31May14 - Baptisms - Elders Rogers, Kellem, 31 May14 - Baptisms - Us sis Motha  31 May14 - Baptisms - Sisters, Elders, Kwai, Kujane 31 May14 - Baptisms - Me and others 3

President Anderson’s Letter – May 25 2014

Dear Missionaries,

 

We will start interviews this week with Fort Lauderdale Zone on Friday May 30th, Miami and Homestead Zones on Saturday May 31st , and Stuart on Tuesday June 3rd. The Zone Leaders will give you the times that we will meet at the Chapels. Please bring with you your 72 hour kits and your Area Books.

Friday before the dedication of the Temple, Sister Anderson and I, along with the Temple Open House/Dedication Committee, Stake Presidents, and dignitaries from Salt Lake, went inside the temple to observe the insertion of items that would go into the Corner Stone Box of the Temple. We were able to witness the names and signatures of all of you missionaries, along with our promise, placed in the Corner Stone Box. That promise being the personalization of D&C Section 4:

“Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.

Therefore, [We will] embark in the service of God, [We will] serve him with all [our] heart, might, mind and strength, that [we] may stand blameless before God at the last day.

Therefore, [we] have desires to serve God [and we] are called to the work;

For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, [we will] thrusteth in [our] sickle with [our] might, the same layeth up in store that [we] perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to [our] soul;

And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify [us] for the work.

[We will] Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.

[We will] Ask, [so we may] receive; [We will] knock, [that it may] be opened unto [us]. Amen.” (D&C 4)

And the blessing from it as pronounced by King Benjamin to his people after all we can do:

“Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen.” (Mosiah 5:15)

Sister Anderson and I were very humbled as we were able to help carry the Corner Stone Box to the Corner Stone, place it into the cavity, and help seal it up (see enclosed pictures). Our names will be in that Corner Stone as long as this Temple stands.

Christ is our Chief Cornerstone and others recognize it immediately:

“We were harvesting and her answer [questions] to the approach [was] ‘Do you have a place I can go to pray? How did you know I needed a prayer? Where is the church? Can I come? Can my kids come?…’ We slip in a card between her words [and she says]… ‘Tomorrow at nine?  I will be there.’ [We then say]: ‘awesome!! Can we say a prayer here?’ her reply ‘yes! …[we invite] will you be baptized?’ her answer: ‘yes, yes, Yes!’”  

Christ is our Chief Cornerstone and they will do all they can to keep commitments as they recognize Christ in you:

 

“We have an investigator who found a ‘Finding Faith in Christ’ card on the ground, picked it up, and called the number on the back. Over the past couple of weeks we have been working with him, he has become so happy! We taught him the Word of Wisdom so that he can start making the steps to living that commandment. He sold his cigars and used the money to take the bus to church yesterday. He loved church and is being baptized on Sunday!”

Christ is our Chief Cornerstone and the influence of His Spirit and Atonement will bring them to Him:

“It started last Friday… , we had talked about following promptings of the Spirit, especially with OYM’ing.  We were towards the end of the day and we had met a lot of people through our efforts, we had just locked up our bikes to go and see a scheduled appointment that we had, we were running a little late, and so we were hurrying.  A few doors down from our investigators house there was a couple outside on the front porch, we both felt like we should keep up with our OYMing and we both felt the Spirit telling us that we needed to contact them… we knew we couldn’t deny the Spirit.  We approached them and told them that we were representatives of Jesus Christ that we were there to say a prayer with them.  They accepted, and we prayed.  After the prayer they both were quiet and peaceful, we explained to them the Holy Ghost and that those good feelings were from the Spirit; we then challenged them to be baptized.  They at first weren’t sure, and started to back down, but we testified and used doctrine to help overcome their concerns.  After that, the husband said, ‘If you get me a ride, I will be ready at 9:30’.  We got him a ride and he came to church, we continued to teach them, and the husband was baptized yesterday, and he was so happy.  I was very grateful that I took that opportunity to open my mouth, when I could have just passed it by, and said that we were late to our appointment.  It was a miracle.”

President Hinckley goes on to describe the importance of Christ being the Chief Corner Stone and the other three essential cornerstones of the Gospel that we testify of every day:

“We have basic cornerstones on which this great latter-day Church has been established by the Lord and built, “fitly framed together.”

They are absolutely fundamental to this work—the very foundation, anchors on which it stands. I should like to speak briefly of these four essential cornerstones which anchor The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I mention first the chief cornerstone, whom we recognize and honor as the Lord Jesus Christ. The second is the vision given the Prophet Joseph Smith when the Father and the Son appeared to him. The third is the Book of Mormon, which speaks as a voice from the dust with the words of ancient prophets declaring the divinity and reality of the Savior of mankind. The fourth is the priesthood with all of its powers and authority, whereby men act in the name of God in administering the affairs of His kingdom. “(President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign February 2004)

The power of these Cornerstones with Jesus Christ being chief among them is a tremendous foundation of this Glorious Gospel that we have to share and declare to the entire world. Christ lives and loves us. As we access His Atonement, we will also live again with God, Him and our families. God has spoken to us today and has revealed His Gospel to the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon is truly another Testament of Jesus Christ and another witness of His divine purpose. The authority of God has been restored so that we may know of His love as we are able to receive and participate in his holy ordinances such as baptism and Temple blessings.

Every time you missionaries see this Temple, I pray you will remember that your names are sealed in the Corner Stone similitude of the Chief Corner Stone of Christ, and reflect on your promise and the great blessings that God has and will give you. This also signifies our calling as “Representatives of Jesus Christ” and no one in the world knows that better than all of you missionaries in this mission. Let us show Christ that we know how to keep a promise by proclaiming his Word with all our “heart, might, mind and strength”.

 

President Anderson’s Letter 18 May and Pictures

We can help others in their infirmities and partner with our members to embrace them with the Gospel:

“We were harvesting on Saturday right before [a] baptism, and we saw this lady sitting outside in front of her house. We went and prayed with her and she really felt the spirit. She said that she would like to be baptized and come to church with us the next day. That is when the real miracle was. She came to church and after sacrament meeting when we asked her how she felt she said ‘I feel like I was just in a spiritual realm.’ And she immediately accepted a date to be baptized. Then she especially loved relief society. She felt like everyone cared about her and she was part of a family. When we followed up with her that night and taught her for the first time, we found out that her desire was to belong to a church where she feels like she has a family. She doesn’t have any family close by, and she really felt like she gained a new family yesterday!”

Others are looking for relief from their infirmities and you will be their sign from God:

“We went to harvest and we had a lot of energy and excitement. As we approached the building my companion said ‘hey, look at that door up there it has a cross on it. Let’s go knock it!’ We prayed then went straight to the door with the cross. The woman that answered the door was really excited to see us. She explained to us that the missionaries used to teach her and her family 15 years ago in North Carolina. She talked about how much she loved the missionaries and how well they explained everything. She said that us showing up at her door was a sign from God because she has a friend that’s a member of the church in Orlando who had e-mailed her that morning telling her she needed to come to church with her. Before we could even say the harvest blessing she was asking us where the closest chapel was. After the harvest blessing she felt the spirit we testified that God had sent us to her so that she could be baptized the 18th of May. She went back into her apt. grabbed her calendar and wrote down her baptismal date for the 18th and set and appointment for us to come over at noon the next day!”

We can help others recognize their infirmities and that God is the answer to their desire for “real happiness”:

“… we promised Heavenly Father that we would talk to everyone we see as we asked Him for someone who is willing to receive us to be placed into our paths. We OYM’d a couple of people and talked to a guy learning that he has been wanting to change. He not only accepted baptism etc… after the prayer because he felt “so amazing”,  but he stepped out on faith afterwards and did something remarkable. He told us that he knew God sent us to him specifically at that time because he was getting ready to light a marijuana joint to smoke. We testified, taught doctrine, asked him inspired questions letting him teach us what he knew inside for himself… After about 10 minutes of persuading him he went inside, came out with the rest of his marijuana and walked with us to the dumpster. He hesitated and laughed a little at how he couldn’t believe what he was about to do and sure enough, he threw it deep in! He did it, I asked him to march with joy back to his place because he just kept a commandment from God and he did so. Joyous and all!  His countenance definitely changed!

Zone Conferences were held and below are the pictures from the different conferences. All the missionaries are there but you may have to look close to find your son or daughter..enjoy. We were released from the FFLM some 13 months ago but we were happy to see E/S Singleton, E/S Ellis. and E/S Sommerfeldt are still faithfully serving. We were surprised not to see the E/S Collins who have so well for over 4 years.

DSC_0792 DSC_0796 DSC_0794 DSC_5065

An Attitude of Gratitude….

The last three weeks has been a trial for me – Bill – and because of that it has also been a trial for Mary, Two weeks of headaches and shingles, one day of just feeling tired and then a week of severe double vision caused by an infection in my left eye. It has been bad enough that I can not drive so Mary became the designated driver.

I have to confess that when I woke up with double vision on Monday I had a moment where I felt like I was suffering more than my share of bad health. But then I remembered President Uchtdorf’s talk in conference about having gratitude under any circumstance.

I then weighed my problems against all the blessings we have in our lives. Basically other than the shingles and double vision I am very healthy and Mary is feeling fine. As the pictures in the post before this shows we have been blessed with wonderful children and grandchildren who we love. We have friends from all over the world who care about us. We have plenty to eat – I am gaining weight because I am not exercising enough – money for our needs – and we have the blessing of being able to serve this mission in South Africa, and lots of other things to be grateful for. A little tender mercy was discovered this afternoon when Mary found that KFC here does sell her favorite bowl – little things means a lot.

On Thursday night President Omer and other PH leaders in the area gave me a wonderful health blessing promising me that this would all pass. I went to the optometrist today and she found that I have an infection and she gave me a prescription that should clear it up in a couple of weeks. She thinks this will take care of my double vision problem.

Of Friday we went up to the Vereeniging Chapel for the first meeting of the new Vaal Zone. We were able to participate in a great two plus hours of learning and sharing where our experiences from other missions came in very useful. The Vereeniging chapel (Stake Center?) is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. It was interesting for another reason. Our daughter-in-law (I really would rather write just daughter because that is how we think of her) Shauna went there some 30 years ago when she was in South Africa for study abroad.

On Friday evening we had dinner with E/S Dummer who are serving as a temporary office couple until the two new couples arrive in June and July. They were passing through on their way to the Klerksdorp/Jouberton area where they hope to go back to serving as their temporary duties.

May14 - Vaal Chapel - Outside 2 May14 - Vaal Chapel - Outside 4 May14 - Vaal Chapel - Outside 5 May14 - Vaal Chapel - Outside 7 May14 - Vaal Chapel - Outside May14 -Vereeniging Chapel

The Vereeniging chapel is beautiful inside and out. The landscaping is both beautiful and mature. They do not build chapels like this anymore and it is less than an hour from our flat. We are hoping that they will hold the multi-zone conference here in June.

May14 - Vaal Zone May14 -Vaal Zone Crazy

The Vaal Zone – name of course for the Vaal River that skirts the West side of the zone – was formed at the time of the last transfer. We will get to know the missionaries better when we do flat inspections sometime this month.

May14 - N12 Fire May 14 - White Roses

On the way home from our meeting over in Klerksdorp Thursday night we drove along a major grass fire on the South side of the N12. Grass fires and trash fires are always burning here but this one was the largest we have seen. They do not try to control it and there was only one fire truck protecting some structure but other than that it is just burn baby, burn. The villa we live in has lots of white rose bushes – this one is in our backyard. Right now it is especially beautiful for me because I see two versions of it…

May14 - Puzzle 5

 

We have finished our 5th puzzle – 1500 pieces. When it was done Mary said that she would like to buy a simple 500 piece puzzle that she could just enjoy putting together rather quickly.

Pictures for the Day

Browsing the web this morning I came across these pictures. The first if from an LA Times article about the 9 wildfires that are burning out of control in the San Diego area. I went looking for the story when our grandson, Tyler Mitchell, wrote that he could not go to work because of the fires.

la-1872658-me-0515-carlsbad-fire-20-ajs-jpg-20140514 1506014_854686764558434_271226926996003570_n10154406_647642461989200_6755857460899992363_n10167996_10202361333527411_2396818166435535905_n

The next three pictures are of some of our grandchildren – Kelli Pier who is growing up much to fast, Sierra Pier who loves to ham it up, and Olivia, Charlotte and Colin Pier in their Easter finery.

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 8.11.08 AMScreen Shot 2014-05-15 at 11.10

The last two are from the Tembe Elephant park website and makes us jealous of those who live near game parks and get to see these beautiful animals in person.

 

May 12 – A Week to Recover and a Scare

Not a very productive missionary week for us. I was diagnosed as having the shingles on Friday May 2nd and the doctor immediately started me on anti-biotics and pain pills. The shingles themselves were just annoying but for some reason I have had headaches since conference and that was the reason for the pain medicine. So for most of the week I did nothing but lay around our flat reading but also doing a lot of sleeping.

Mary did go to Church on the 4th so she could play for all the meetings. By the middle of the week I felt good enough to go out and drive Mary so she could hold some piano lessons. On Saturday we had another missionary street display set up. About all I did was to do transportation and give encouragement. It went well and the elders are filled up with appointments for the next 10 days or so.

Sunday as we were getting ready for Church Mary noticed a rash she had not seen before and we were sure it was the outset of shingles – talk about a unwanted Mother’s Day present. She decided it was not a good idea for her to go and expose everyone so although she was to speak during Sacrament she stayed home.  She was really missed because we are not really good at singing with out the keyboard. I got to speak in her place and for 15 minutes preparation it was pretty good. I count it as a real tender mercy.

After Church the branch held a Mother’s Day/Farewell luncheon. Sister Florence Tsunke is leaving the branch after being a leader here since she was baptized in 2008. By the time I got home I was completely wiped out and slept for about 12 of the next 16 hours.

This morning it looks like Mary does not have shingles because she has no headache and the rash has started to fade. We will see how it is in a couple of days.

May14 - Florence FW - New blanket May14 - Florence FW - Trying it out

The sisters in the branch gave sister Florence this beautiful purple comforter to take with her as a memory. She looks good in it!

May14 - Florence FW - Kujane May14 - Florence FW - Members

Sister Kujane was one of those who spoke about how Sister Florence was like a mother to her when she joined the Church. Most of the members stayed after the meeting to honor mothes and sister Florence.

May14 - backyard in sun May14 - CC - Sign

This is what Autumn looks like in our backyard. I felt after sleeping so much I needed to take a walk so I decided to visit the memorial to those who died in the British concentration camp set up here in Potchefstroom during the Boer’s War. All told some 26,000 Boer women and children dies in various camps set up to try and stop their men from fighting.

May14 - CC - Memorial May14 - CC - list of deaths

As I walked around the memorial – there are two the first is just in honor of those who died and the other lists all the deaths in the camp. As I walked around reading the names I came across 18 Swanepoels and I immediately thought of our own sister Bobbi Swanepoel. I called her and told her of my find. She did not know about this but she did tell me that her genealogy goes back to the original Dutch settlers in the 15th century. I told her I would take pictures of the name so she could check them against her genealogy. There is a beautiful Dutch Reform Church  on the same grounds. BTW the green roofs you see in the background are those of our compound – we are just two houses away from this memorial but I had to walk around the block to get there.

May14 - CC - Swanepoel May14 - CC - Church

President Anderson’s Letter – 11 May

“They are praying for us to find them and bring them access to the Atonement:

“We had the most miraculous experience harvesting. We saw a young woman with her head down through her kitchen window. She invited us in to pray for her, a young single mom struggling to find a job. After the prayer (before we even said anything!) she said, ‘I feel so good. I know God sent you to me. I was in my kitchen so sad, and I prayed to God. Then you knocked on my door and I feel so happy now!’ She will be baptized on the 18th!!”

As we declare our purpose and who we represent, God will confirm that power and authority to them that we can help them to the Atonement:

“At the beginning of this week we went to see our investigator, with the plan of following up on his commitment to keep the Word of Wisdom. When we got there it was evident that he was still struggling with it. My companion and I immediately began to teach doctrine, but he really wasn’t getting it. After several minutes a question came to my mind. I asked him ‘…  who are we?’ and he responded with, ‘ Some great friends that are trying to help me out. And missionaries too I guess.’ Then I saw where the spirit was going with the question I had asked. I responded with ‘Yes we are all those things. But we’re also something else,  we are Representatives of Jesus Christ.’ My awesome companion jumped in and testified to him that we were called by God to stand in Christ’s place. I then told him that when we ask him to do something, it is because Jesus Christ wants him to do that thing. I then told him that Christ wanted him to keep the Word of wisdom. And he said in a very firm voice, ‘It’s Done!’  We asked if he believed what we had said and he responded that he knew we were telling the truth. He said ‘ I understand now, and I will stop smoking. It’s done.’”

God will lead us to those who will recognize the truth and embrace the Atonement:

“On Monday, we decided on what place we wanted to go to harvest. As we arrived at the place, we decided on a street, and then started to lock up our bikes so that we could start to harvest. I felt the impression that we needed to walk down the entire street too, I told my companion about it, so we started walking. As we walked down the street, we did not see anyone that we could contact, but we knew that for some reason, we needed to be on that other street. At the very end of the street we were walking down, there was a guy sitting out on his front porch smoking a cigarette. The walk down the street took a solid 2 minutes, and he was watching us the entire time. It felt a little awkward, but we were supposed to be there! We contacted him after walking down the entire street towards him. We went inside and blessed him and his family, and they were very receptive. When we came back to teach them for the first time the next day, they said ‘We’ve been thinking about that baptism, and we’ve decided that we want to do it!’ We were soo excited. On Saturday, it was their 14 year old daughter’s  Birthday, so we bought cake and ice cream and then had a ‘birthday party’ chapel tour at the church with the Father and daughter. They loved it. While on the chapel tour, the mom called the Father because they were supposed to be at their house for the daughter’s birthday. The Father’s responded ‘We’ll be there in a little bit-we’re visiting the new church that we’re going to join.’”

Catching Up #9 – More Members and Missionaries

 

 

This post is about the missionaries in Ikageng District which we are a part of, some missionaries we got to meet when we did housing inspections, and a few more pictures of members. I am getting close to catching up with my picture taking and pretty much what I will write about the last two months.

Missionary - our first district - Perkins, Compton, Rogers, Browning, Harris, Bird Missionary - Elder Perkins and Compton

The first three pictures are the missionaries in the district when we first got here. Elders Bird and Rogers can be seen further down the blog. From left to right – elders Perkins, Compton, Rogers, Browning, Harris and the DL elder Bird. Elder Perkins with a very strange looking elder Compton.

 

Missionary - Elders Browning and Harris Missionary - Kairu, Sipiri

 

Elders Browning with Harris rounded out the district. When we went apartment inspecting we met elders Kairu and Sipiri – one of them is from Papua New Guinea. I need to take better notes in the future.

Missionary - Ware, BengeMissionary - Whitesides, Iairo -

Elders Kolditz and Mwaba with elders Whitesides and Iairo

Missionary - Rogers painting Missionary - Bird painting

Member service for elders Rogers and Bird as they help paint some rooms in the Williams home.

Missionary - Rogers and Kellem 2Missionary - Ikageng District

Transfers came and elder Rogers and the Ikageng area got a new companion – elder Kelem. The district before last transfer – elders Mdletshe, Harris, Kelem, Rogers, Perkins and Compton.

Missionary - Ikageng District - crazyMembers - Sis Thato Kujane

Everyone loves a crazy picture…well almost everyone. Sister Thato Kujane walks 45 minutes to church and then back again. Usually with her pink umbrella that she seems to have left home when this picture was taken.

Apr2014 - Njabulo and MacyApr2014 - Three generations for Tlotlongs

 

Brother Njabulo is a student at the local college and a counselor in the elder’s quoum. Sister Macy is our Primary president. On a recent Sunday three generations of Tlotleng men showed up for conference.

April 2014 - Mary and NomsaApril2014 - Bongani and mother

Mary with our friend Nomsa who cleans our chapel each Saturday – she is not yet a member. My counselor Bongani Buti with his mother.

 

President Anderson’s Letter – May 5

Increase our faith and their faith, to help them make commitments, like coming to Church:

“One miracle that came was Sunday morning as we went to round up our investigator who has been having word of wisdom problems. We stopped at his home around an hour before church, and he and his wife answer the door saying they are both coming to church, so applying our training we said a prayer with them. Well, half hour later, they both show up to church, and they loved the service. The members, though barely able to speak Spanish, showed so much love for the two of them. After church, we showed them the baptismal font and talked about baptism of water and of fire. We brought up how they felt during church and reminded them of how they felt at the temple, and then we invited both of them to be baptized on the 11th of May. She looked at Enrique with a look of hope and said, ‘yes’.” Increase our faith and their faith as the

Lord compensates from our efforts and diligence:

“We did a very thorough round up and prayed like crazy. Well, the people that we planned for didn’t come, but the Lord compensated. One of our beautiful members brought their non-member mother. She cried throughout Sacrament Meeting and when we went to follow up with her that evening, she didn’t understand why she had been crying so much. We quickly told her what that feeling was that she was feeling. Then we explained that the Holy Ghost testifies of truth. We explained to her how when we are baptized we are promised to have the Spirit always, if we keep the commandments. We invited her to be baptized, and she said ‘yes… I’m going to do it’… We invited her to pray. She did and the thing that touched my heart the most was that at the end we looked up, and her daughter was just crying and smiling at us and then back at her mother. She told us that she has been waiting for this for so long.”

Increase our faith and their faith with that “one more door” and “one more contact”:

“After church we needed to go and harvest. We prayed and God directed us to a street. We were so excited to meet new people. We knocked doors we prayed with people and all was great!! That’s when our time for harvesting was over and we looked at each other and said wait… one last door. We knocked on this house and this lady answers with a baby boy in her arms. We introduce ourselves and tell her we are representatives of Jesus Christ. She then stated ‘no way where did you guys come from?’ We told her that god directed us there to her house through his Holy Spirit. She then began to cry. She cried and cried and said, ‘This is going to sound funny but guys I was actually just barely in the back room praying with my baby boy asking God to get me outta the situation I’m in. Tell him that I needed his help!’ She continued telling us how… things just aren’t going well in her life. We were able to testify to her letting her know that God loves her and he will cause things to get better as she does her part. She agreed and we were able to say a prayer with her. She cried and thanked us. She knew god answered her prayer through us. SHE KNEW THAT WITHOUT A DOUBT! We invited her to accept that help from god by following Christ example and by being baptized. She said without even any hesitation, ‘Yes I will!!!!’ God is real. God hears our Prayers.

God knows us! God compensates our efforts!!” Elders and Sisters, now is the time to unleash the greater power that God has blessed us with. The greater power of magnifying our faith that God will help us bring these souls to him. Urgency is our “middle name” and we must magnify our responsibility, faith and purpose by finding, teaching, and inviting all who God places in our path. Let us do what has not been done this week!!! President Packard teaches it best: “Since baptism is essential there must be an urgent concern to carry the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people … We accept the responsibility to preach the gospel to every person on earth. And if the question is asked… You mean you are out to convert the entire world?’ the answer is, ‘Yes. We will try to reach every living soul.’ Some who measure that challenge quickly say, ‘Why that’s impossible! It cannot be done!’ To that we simply say, ‘Perhaps, but we shall do it anyway.’” (Boyd K. Packer Ensign, November 1975, p. 97)

Catching Up #8 – Sister Bobbi and Parys

This post spans much of our mission so far. Sister Bobbi Swanepoel lives about 50K from Potchefstroom. Due to her health and lack of transportation she is not able to attend any meetings so once a month we travel up to Parys to visit with her and to bring her the sacrament. She is a lifetime member and was one of the 6 members present when the Soweto branch was formed soon after the revelation of the Priesthood. She is rich source of stores about the early days of the church there. For instance she was told by PH leaders that she could not visit in Soweto at night with a PH member as a companion. So she took her 12 year old deacon with her on all her visits.

March 2014 - Us and sister Bobbi April2014 - Mary and the Vaal River 3

Parys is a ranching and tourist town with the Vaal river running on the outskirts. The Vaal is one of the largest rivers in South Africa and is the largest tributary to the Orange river. We first saw it as we crossed over the highway bridge and both remarked how it was a real river. Sister Bobbi later pointed out that it was approaching winter and that it was actually quite low. In the Spring it often overflows it’s banks and floods parts of Parys.

April2014 - Mary and the Vaal River Bridge Apr2014 - Vaal River 2

Mary posed on a bridge over a small side stream of the river. Unfortunately the door on the other side it kept locked so we could not explore the island which is mainly a golf course.

Apr2014 - Vaal River 4 Apr2014 - Vaal River 7

This is a downstream shot and then an upstream shot from the bridge but neither can take in more that about 1/2 the width of the river at this point.

March 2014 - Us and cosmos

 

One of the wonderful experience of going to Parys is the kilometer after kilometer of cosmos that line the road. It stands about 4 feet high and reminded us of how much we enjoy cosmos when we are at home. It is mostly pink and white with only a few of the deep purple blooms we love so much. By the middle of April the cosmos has pretty much died out so we are glad elder Knowles took this picture when we went out in March.