Sunday, February 15th to Saturday, February 21st 2015 - with a little bit extra to include our daughters week with us.
Our turn to speak in Sacrament Meeting at our group. Melanie did a wonderful job of delivering just the right sermon they needed to hear from her and in her own personable way. She has connected to them very well. My talk sort of took off from her's letting them know of their 'pioneer' status since many of them are 1st generation converts. They are truly a wonderful group of people and the more we get to know them the more we love them and are so grateful to be given this opportunity to be with and serve them.
We were supposed to drive to Joburg to collect our daughters, Wendy and Annie from the airport on Sunday evening. Their flight from Atlanta was diverted due to a medical emergency. So their plane turned around out over the Atlantic and landed in Puerto Rico where they spent one of their trip days until they could resume their travel to Joburg. So we picked them up on Monday about noon safe and delivered here full of excitement, love, and anticipation!
Ben picked up Alleson and Curtis as well. We had some real fun together and then went different directions for part of the week as well.
Thanks to Pres Dunn's permission we began a week with them to see and do things here that will hopefully be retained as wonderful memories of this great country and people.
Tuesday we took them to a Mission Transfer meeting with all of it's attendant excitement and spirit. We had a special Elder Stephens returning home to Roy which gave us an additional excuse to take the girls to see how this happens here each six weeks.
We ended up doing quite a lot of driving back and forth, but the highlights of the week were:
- Tzaneen the beautiful tropical valley.
- The Crocodile farm where they got to hold a baby croc and Annie and I each got to 'catch' one on a pole and line with a chicken tied to the end of the string.
- A special embroidery place 'Kaross' which is famous for it's unique African style of art work.
- A visit to the largest Baobab tree in the world that is large enough to have a small pub inside it. Not as tall as the Redwoods from home, but much bigger in circumference.
- Some safari game drives at the Black Rhino reserve which is a part of the Pilanesburg National Park. Fun to see these animals in a more natural habitat than a zoo for sure.
- Dinner under the beautiful stars in the southern hemisphere each night of our safari.
- Church with us at our Seshego group sacrament and block meetings held at a rented primary school. The daughters were very warmly welcomed and even asked to speak in RS so the sisters could hear them talk with their 'funny' accents.
- A night at the mission home provided so graciously by the Dunn's including a nice dinner and an early breakfast.
- A trip to the Elephant sanctuary where the girls got to touch, feel, feed, and ride elephants. It was a fun time and a neat experience.
- Lastly, a quick trip to Nelson Mandela Square and the beautiful Sandton Mall which is adjacent for a parting lunch before the airport and their return flight back home.
All in all it was a wonderful week! A memorable week! And a great week just to be with Wendy and Annie and share some good times and a lot of talking and visiting. We're so glad they were able to come here.