Sunday, November 30, 2014

Week 26 - Nov 23rd - 29th, 2014

Sunday, November 23rd to Saturday, November 29th

Monday the 24th, our dear little Plain City, UT granddaughter Marlie (Jimmy and Amber's oldest) celebrated her 11th Birthday.  She turned us into Grandparents when she was born!  Happy Happy Day.

Tuesday, the 25th was the biggest transfer day in the history of the mission only a handful of the Elders were not affected by change this week.   It was a wonderfully spiritual experience in the meeting and a very electric and excited parking lot afterwards.

These twelve are going home now and are waiting to walk the new Elders over from the MTC to the chapel.
Ready, set, go to work!
Some real excitement follows the transfer meeting in the chapel.

Thanksgiving Day and Friday Senior Couple's Dinner

Aside from the nail prints and lest we forget, He has the whole world in His hands.  (Well maybe for some parts of Africa, South America, etc. but He's got them covered too.)

Melanie's thankful tree filled with leaves written by all of us and many of the Elders.

At the mission home with many other senior couples.  No turkey though.  A small one over here about 7-8 lbs costs about $40.

Christmas Decorating African style with some things Melanie got from a Carver and a couple of shops.

Carved nativity - closed then opened.

Carved gourd - closed then opened.

On a sad note we were informed of deaths in the family this week.  The first was our Daughter-in-law's maternal Grandmother McKinley.  The second was my cousin DeLone Smith Haye's husband Roger.  Our heart-felt condolences and regards to them and their family as they deal with their loss.  God bless them!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Week 25 - Nov 16th - 22nd, 2014

Sunday, November 16th to Saturday, November 22nd

Taught our YSA SS lesson on Daniel and Esther.  We enjoy being able to teach and associate with these YSA's here.

We moved some Elders from a sort of bad situation to a better flat hopefully.  Their old one wasn't exactly a healthy setting.  Now they have clean water flowing through their pipes also with enough pressure to shower.  

Trip one with p-day help from the Elders and the Ward YM's presidency.

Trip two with a little help from the Senior moving couple!

Had a little down time due to sickness this week, but it sure does make homemade chicken soup taste wonderful and feels so good.  Better than the fate of this guy though:

So while we still got some office work accomplished it was sort of a week of rest and recuperation with some meds too.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 24 - Nov 9th - 15th, 2014

Sunday, November 9th to Saturday, November 15th

Big things of this week:

  1. Our 44th Anniversary was on Thursday.  It was a fairly regular office day but we did take a break for lunch at a Pizza Hut place not far from here.  
  2. The Temple session on Friday was a very nice way to follow-up on our anniversary celebration.  Afterwards we had a nice lunch with the Joneses and Allreds.
  3. Bid farewell to our friend Elder Martin who finished his mission and returned to his homeland in Switzerland.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Week 23 - Nov 2nd - 8th, 2014 - Start of Month 6

Sunday, November 2nd to Saturday, November 8th

In matters of taste swim with the current and compromise as you will, but in matters of principle stand fast on the rock of your foundation with unfailing courage!

Melanie stays busy at the Mission Office reception desk when she's not out buying and preparing furnishings and supplies for over 100 apartments.

This week Melanie made a 'thankful' tree for the Elders, etc. to fill out on a leaf what they were thankful for.  Sort of a Thanksgiving Day activity mainly for those who will miss this holiday at home.  But, many of our Elders are from countries in other places of the world where this is not celebrated.

I am thankful that we have running water available so we don't have to find alternate means of carrying it around to where we need it.

We are thankful to have each other to help load, lift and move furniture etc when we need help (and all dressed up with badges on too).

We are thankful for a car and a truck to drive so we don't have to run across dangerous highways where drivers might not pay close attention to the signs warning of running pedestrians.

We are thankful to avoid hitting these street vendors 'hawkers' who try to make a living while dodging cars and trucks on freeways and busy highways.

We are thankful for Public Safety warning signs to help us know we are entering in or passing through a dangerous crime area.

We are thankful that PETA doesn't exist here in South Africa or how else could we get a picture of these lovely 'dead' animals of all types and variety.

But most of all we are thankful for the Savior, Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice and resurrection that gives us meaning in our service as full-time missionaries and that also gives us hope, along with all of the rest of the people ever to have been born on this earth, for an opportunity to return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father as eternal families to enjoy each other forever!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Week 22 - Oct 26th - Nov 1st, 2014

Sunday, October 26th to Saturday, November 1st

Another busy and happy week in Africa for us two missionaries!

First off close one flat where the burglaries were and turn the keys over to the landlord.

Watched a great video that Pres Dunn wrote the screenplay for "Only a stonecutter" about Moyle the amputee who walked twenty miles back and forth for years to work on the SL Temple.  Talk about dedication to your calling, he set the bar very high.

Melanie spent some time making dozens of great donuts for the Elders treat when they came in for Zone Leader's pick-up day.  They were a big hit and got gobbled up quickly.

Went over to the west a ways from Joburg to Randfontein to find a new flat for the Elders there whose place is less than healthy and not the best weekend environment.

I spent some time this week working on an assignment for Pres Dunn to prepare a draft Emergency Operations Plan for the Mission and some Safety/Security/Emergency policies and guidelines for the Elders.

Friday, was Halloween.  The only one that came in costume was Pres Dunn, the rest of us were dressed up as missionaries.  He was wearing some SF Giants gear in celebration of their winning the world series, his favorite team.  Of course he had a shirt and tie under it we found out quickly after we got a couple of pictures. 

They don't really celebrate this nor Thanksgiving either. Everything has been building up towards Christmas though for some time already.  But back at home the Grandkids had a ball.

We did our usual shopping and support work in the office all week for the Elders.  We love getting to see them come and go and to be able to help them.  We also enjoy getting to hand out pass-along cards everywhere we go and to people we meet.  

As we were getting groceries Saturday we were in the store at a very busy time and a lady I passed by saw my badge and said Hansen was her maiden name as well.  I stopped her and gave her a warm 'well hello cousin' greeting.  Her family traces to Norway.  That led to a conversation about why we were here and what we were doing and the Church, the Choir, and a good pass-along card for her of the Savior.  She said she is a Methodist, loves our family history focus etc.  Another example of the many conversations and opportunities to share the Savior's love.  Try it some time, you'll love doing it and feeling good about sharing and inviting people!