Sunday, June 28, 2015

Week 56 - June 21st - 27th, 2015

Sunday, June 21st - Saturday, June 27th, 2015

Sort of had a different Father's Day this year.   I was sick and recovering from being 'snarfy' with the symptoms so we only attended Sacrament Meeting.

Melanie and I are both truly blessed to have had wonderful fathers.   We love them and know they are happy and enjoying family life in the spirit world with loved ones.

C. William Stone
June 26th was the 89th anniversary of my Dad's birth and now he has been gone for over seven years already.   In some ways it doesn't seem so and in other ways it seems a very, very long time.

LaVarr Morrie Hansen
So, all in all, beginning with Father's Day a great week!   Very nice to have video calls with the family at home as well.

We got to meet our new Elder Diogo from Uganda.  He is brand new to mission and is Elder Tumarae's companion.  I keep a few balls in the flat and without prompting or encouragement it is never long before they pick them up, hold them, and play with them.  It's fun!

Also, Elder Van Heerden joined Elder Togiatomai as the new ZL.  That makes four Elders all from different countries working here now, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Tahiti, and New Zealand.

We had a special lunch with Pres. and Sister Dunn on Friday along with the Winwards.  It is always good to see them and to be with them.   More on this on next week's post.

We had our weekly BB at Seshego with a good group again.  It was a new experience for our two new Elders, Diogo and Van Heerden.  They seemed to enjoy it and we know the kids love to have the young Elders around to play with.

As usual our week would not have been complete without a visit to Brother Jimmy Letsoalo at the care center.   He does as much or more for us as we do for him, I'm sure.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Week 55 - June 14th to 20th, 2015

Sunday, June 14th to Saturday, June 20th, 2015

A couple of weeks ago we passed the one-year mark on our 18 month mission.   This week we passed the one-year mark of being here in South Africa.   We arrived in Johannesburg on June 18th of last year.

We went to Joburg to see Ben and Jill and to say goodbye to them as they will return home on the 22nd.  We had a nice lunch together and then accompanied them to their Family Home Evening meeting with the other Area Senior Couples.  They each gave very good reports of their mission service.   We are thankful to have some wonderful shared memories with them here in South Africa!

We enjoyed stopping by the Mission Office and to say hi again to our friends there before returning to Polokwane.

Our RS President, Mary Lamola lost her car key over a week ago so Melanie and I went to the Nissan dealership to see if we could assist her in getting them to replace it for her, no small task as we would learn.   Their dealer has an interesting way for people to rate the service on a scale of 1-10 he shows the following which sort of insures a misleading final score on the high end, makes 9 look questionable and 8 look unhappy?

Spent some more time in the Area visiting while delivering pictures and flowers to some who had been ill.

Melanie and I were able to take Elder Menendez to a departing dinner at the local Cape Town Fish Market restaurant.  He and Elder Tumarae really liked the all you can eat sushi dinner!

Friday we attended a funeral for one of the Polokwane Branch members, Sister Elizabeth Pohotona.  It was quite an experience to behold with the music, singing, chanting, traditional and cultural parts.   The Church funeral part was highlighted by a talk by her friend and member Sister Mimi Rametse (a member of only six years) who gave one of the most powerful funeral sermons I've ever heard about the Plan of Salvation and the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We had another large turnout this week again for our Seshego community BB activity.   Lately we've been getting 25-30 kids there and now thankfully with four Elders to assist with 'crowd control' and teaching and training.   Today we had three member kids show up from the Molepo family too!  One of the Elder's investigators a mother with two boys showed up again for the second week in a row.   She had a good visit with Sister Hansen while the BB was going on and when it was over the Elders had another appointment scheduled with her.

And, as usual, one of the biggest highlights of our week as it concluded was the weekly visit with our friend and brother Jimmy Letsoalo at the care center.   He is a wonderful faithful man and brother, we love him!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Week 54 - June 7th - 13th, 2015

Sunday, June 7th to Saturday, June 13th, 2015

Some favorite pictures and activities this week.

Sonia Kekana and Gwen Molepo from our Seshego Group after church wearing 'the hat'.

Monday morning we woke up to a fairly cool flat 61.1F.  The lowest so far this winter.  The hottest in our flat was our first night here, 89F.

Monday, p-day, we got to take our departing Elder Menendez and his companion Elder Tumarae over the hill to Tzaneen to the Agatha Croc farm for a fun visit, tour, see and hold etc. good time!

While there we stopped at our banana farmer friend Donovan's store to say hello and buy one terrific box of his fresh bananas, man they taste good!

Out in the Seshego area this week over in Letulie Park Melanie wanted to get a picture of this Dr's sign.   He'll do surgery, whatever, just like Dr. Nick Rivera.

At our Friday BB this week we had 25-30 kids again plus this week one of the Elder's contacts Georgina came with her son and his friend from Zone 4 across the township.  She visited with Melanie and was very friendly.  These kids swarm Melanie more and more to see themselves on her ipad along with their pictures on the primary songs app she's downloaded.  It's fun!

Also got word Friday that our daughter Annie who was here with Wendy in February had to have emergency surgery for appendicitis.  All went well we're happy to report.

Saturday we visited at Molepo's and had to get a picture of Gma Molepo in her special dress (she was going to a wedding).  She was very flattered and quite proud of her dress.

All in all, another terrific week here in South Africa!  God bless.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Week 53 - May 31st - Jun 6th, 2015 - Start of month 13

Sunday, May 31st - Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Our little Seshego group finally got to view the Sunday Sessions of Gen'l Conference!  Great and inspiring sessions all.  Now to do as we've been counseled.

Both of us have had to overcome some symptoms that interfered with our regular MLS activities, but now we've been blessed to overcome the more difficult stuff and we're grateful to the Lord!

We made it to the District Meeting where after a good lesson they had one of their favorite things, Roman's pizza.

By Friday we were able to head over to be with our kids of the community for basketball.  Thankfully, we had our Elders and the ZL's there to assist.   We had a very energetic bunch of nearly 30 kids there this week.  Oh, what fun we have with them.   Each step of the way now we are trying to find ways to impress upon them the name Jesus Christ, the badges, the Elders, everything we can so when their time comes they will remember and respond to an invitation to learn some truth from heaven.

On the other hand, it is true I suppose, that all around the world many more young people know of Michael Jordan than is imaginable.  This is evidenced here where we meet by some graffiti painted on a board on the court. 

We gathered them up for a group shot today.  Oh what fun it is to get to know them more and more each week.   We are now four months into this and going strong!

On Saturday we headed over to Tzaneen for Zone Conference which is always a special treat to participate with the Elders, the other Seniors and the Dunns.

What would, could, should you say to someone in 30 seconds or less to capture their interest or attention enough for you to be able to share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with them?   Sister Dunn's presentation helped us practice this more effectively.