Sunday, February 1st to Saturday, February 7th, 2015
Our week started out with our first Sunday as the assigned MLS couple to the Seshego Group of the Polokwane Branch of the Tzaneen District of the South Africa Johannesburg Mission.
This is a group of about 35 families and about 100 +/- members that live in a township away from the urban part of Polokwane which has an overall metro area with a population over one million. In the group, most of the adult members are first generation converts who are learning and feeling their way along their path. Our assignment is to strengthen them and the group leadership so they can continue to grow and perhaps become a sustainable branch on their own.
We are meeting them and finding out what wonderful, humble and faithful people they are. We are very excited for this opportunity to work with them and to love them and serve them.
We also enjoy working on the 'front-line' more closely with the young Elders and meet with them regularly to correlate our work and have some joint training time.
This week I've spent some considerable efforts to work with the 1st Counselor in the Elder's Quorum Presidency who serves as the Group Leader for the Elders. He is a returned missionary from Zimbabwe who is also a newlywed and is unemployed and in need of work. I've been coordinating some prospects with him which I found from the Area Employment and Self-Reliance staff.
Melanie and I met with a young woman at the Athletic Club down the street from where we live and had a great conversation about the Church. Gave her a Book of Mormon with some pictures of temples. She hopes to go to the States to get her MBA and maybe stay with her older sister who is a medical doctor in Kansas City.
I hooked up with a gardener in our housing complex who was helping me with a few yard chores. He was very receptive to talking about families and our Church as well. I gave him a DVD Families Together Forever and invited him to watch it and learn more. He's about 40 and has four children and lives about 10 miles out of the city in a township to the east of us. It will be neat to see how he goes forward now.
We love how the Lord puts people in our path every day to share the restored Gospel with them and let the Holy Ghost touch the Spirit of Christ they brought with them to this earth.
We also spent some time in our 'finding' work this week by setting up a basketball activity at the one-and-only basketball court I could find in this metro area. It happens to be right in the middle of our Seshego Group area so it's convenient. We had the young Elders assist and before long we turned two young BB players into about a dozen including some with great natural ability and a couple of little guys who just wanted to participate. We'll do it again next week. The Elder's got an appointment out of it right away. Sister Hansen got to visit with some Mom's who were at the play area with their kids too. It was some great fun!
The week ended with our Tzaneen District Conference (sort of like the Stake Conference at home). Wow, what a gathering from the Branches located up here north in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Many had quite a challenge just getting to the meetings with transportation. The messages were very spiritual and on target about strengthening these members so the Church can grow from a District into a Stake some day. The members gathered before hand with warm greetings of each other. After the Sunday meeting many of them had a picnic type meal before returning home. A great social activity on top of a very good spiritual feast!
|Ready, set, go!|
|Aside from us Missionaries, only one YM member here. All the rest are good prospects for us. Some are even good BB players, some would sooner kick the ball, ie. soccer.|
|I was helping the guy (about 30ish) in the green shirt learn how to shoot the BB. He agreed to have the Elders come and teach him.|
|This one was really fun showing this little man how to dribble the ball. He even had sneakers, they were on the wrong feet, but he had some sneakers. He had a lot of fun too.|
|At a dam on the way to District Conference we observed these two warning signs. Not a good idea to fish in close proximity to Croc's and Hippo's. They are mean and very dangerous!|
|Can't wait to pick my own banana off of a tree and eat it fresh just like a monkey! These are still quite green and not ready.|
|This YW from our Group was wearing this headband jewelry to match her dress. I told her it would look good on my bald head, she thought so too!|
|Me on the front right singing with the Priesthood Choir at the Adult session. It was about 90+ degrees in this room and the humidity had to have been that or 100%. Wow, a challenge for a cold-weather guy like me who begins to melt at 70 degrees.|
|This is on here to see which of my kids is first to see it. I can understand the black man icon, it is Africa after all. And, it is more than amusing to see the pose the artist chose for this restroom sign!|
|Our beloved and most friendly and kind Sister Dunn at the Conference. She's truly amazing!|