Hello! To ALL
This has been such a crazy weekend that I forgot it was my turn to write. We’ve had the privilege of going out teaching with the missionaries, talking at firesides, teaching lessons at church, doing Auxiliary training in another one of our branches and helping with a U-Nite, which is a new member’s missionary tool being used here.
I’ll just tell you about our missionary teaching opportunities, I think they will be the most interesting. On Friday evening the Sister missionaries asked if we could come with them to teach a family (dad, mom, and 3 girls ages 10, 7, and 3). They have been working with them for a while but just couldn’t get them out to church so they thought we could be of help in that department. We picked up the Sister at 6:50 PM which is pitch dark here by then. We drove into the area of town that this family live in and there weren’t any lights in the neighborhood and we thought “oh no, power failure” only to be told that there wasn’t much power used in this neighborhood as most of the people couldn’t afford it. We got out of the car and held each other’s hands so we wouldn’t trip on anything that we couldn’t see and made our way to a nice little cinderblock step path and found our way behind the main house and to the little tiny house behind. We knocked and they opened the door and invited us into their humble one room with a bed for them to set on and a bench for us to set on beside the bed. The dad (his name is Makesure) went outside and brought in two plastic chairs for he and Dad to set on and the room was lit by a small little bedroom lamp with one probably 25 or 40 W. light bulb and no lampshade. The mom’s name is Balimoji and the daughters are Anna, Notando, and Mpho and they are all pretty quiet, the dad did most of the talking. The Sisters had given them some scriptures to read and be prepared to talk about. Makesure had read all of them and was prepared to compare everything he read to scriptures in the Bible and had a whole page of very well written explanations of the whole thing and all were quite correctly understood by him. We were amazed and thought he could have given it all as a talk in Sacrament meeting. We were able to bear our testimonies of the truthful of the gospel, about Eternal Families, and dad did a wonderful job of explaining the need and the rights of the Priesthood and bore his testimony of the Restoration of ALL Things. The father said he knew everything Dad said was true, and that he could feel the Holy Spirit testifying to him that it was true. We then asked if we could pick them up at 8:40 for church Sunday morning and they said “yes”, they would be ready. I forgot to mention that right in the middle of our discussion, the power went off so we just continued in the DARK!. The mom hasn’t been participating very well before for the Sisters so we were afraid she wouldn’t come on Sunday, but when we pulled up at 8:40 she and the two oldest girls were waiting outside for us and they ran back and got Makesure and ran their little 3 year old to their relative living next door and the 4 came to church with us. We really aren’t suppose to give people rides in the mission cars, but Dad felt like it would be helpful this first time to help them find the church (a 15 minute drive from their house) so next time they can take public transportation or walk. They said they will probably walk as they don’t have the money for transport! We asked how much the Combie (public transport) would cost and found out it is about 3 Pula (or 50 cents) each for them and I’m sure that is a lot out of their weekly budget.
Last night we went to a U-Nite for our Mochudi Branch and we met the missionaries at the local grocery store and followed them to some members home way out in the village. We drove for about 10 Kilometers to their home, and again it was pretty dark out in the village, but they did have electricity in their home. It was a fairly nice home too and had a living room (with cement floors) big enough to fit a couple of sofa type chairs, a love seat, and several plastic stacking chairs which they had all set up. I took the two Wacky Cake’s for dessert and the missionaries brought the juice, we never ask members to furnish anything and this is the first time we have gone to any branch activity that wasn’t held at the church. Anyway, they showed the “Together Forever” video and had a few of us bear our testimonies of Eternal Families. Two families there have been married in the temple and even they had interesting stories to tell. One young couple have been married 3 times: first a traditional wedding where they have ceremonial type dancing, a feast, and pay the Labola (Bride Price) and then a week later they got married civilly, and then just earlier this month they went to the temple and took their tiny baby girl and were all sealed. The Branch President has only been a member since 2006 and he is married to a lady that has been a member for almost 10 years and has a 16 year old son that is not active, they have 2 young children together and they have been married 3 times also. We actually gave them a ride home from the activity and the Elders took the other people home. No one had cars and it was FAR out to their activity. Anyway the most interesting thing about the house is that when we went into the kitchen to cut and serve the cake, it was just one big room with a long narrow table (church type) with a fridge and propane stove inside. There was no sink and no running water, just a tub with a little tiny bowl of water for us to clean up with. Needless to say, I packed up my soap, my dish cloth and dish towels and all the dirty dishes and we just stuck them in the box and came home. There wasn’t a crumb of the wacky cakes left, one young man kept asking for seconds and he actually ate 4 pieces and would have had more if there were any more. It’s fun to take the treats and the ladies always ask for my recipe.
One more thing, this past Saturday we did our Auxilillary training (also in Mochudi) and Dad and I taught the first part for everyone together on “Teaching”, then we divide off the women and the men and we each teach our people all we can about Presidency meetings and how to function in our different areas and then I actually take 2 Sister Missionaries with me. One take the Primary ladies, one takes the YW leaders and I meet with the Relief Society Presidency. In my department with the Relief Society, they asked for ideas for their week-day activities (better known by their old name of Homemaking Day’s. I had gone with several ideas like getting back to the basic and teaching the sisters how to bake bread, make casseroles, share recipes, sew simple things like apron, and several ideas of how to save money by canning and etc. They loved my ideas but then told me they don’t have a oven, stove, a fridge, or ANYTHING in their church kitchen (they just meet in a house). I just assumed since there was a kitchen in the house that they would have a stove and fridge. But so much for my assuming mind, I was brought down to real humility fast. I asked them if any of them had a kitchen large enough to invite the Sisters to their homes to do some demonstrations; only to find that one of them lives 23 Kilometers away (out in the toolies where there is no public transport so she Hitchhikes to church and back), one lives 20 Kilometers (she does have public transport) and the other one has no kitchen in her home at all. I also discovered that the Branch President’s wife that asked me for my Wacky Cake recipe doesn’t have an oven, she wondered how long it would take in the microwave. I wasn’t really sure what to say, but I’m sure she will experiment and make it work.
Well, it’s time to start into another week and I’m sure this week will also bring some humbling and interesting things for us to learn from.
We are thinking of all of you constantly and we praying for those of you who are moving, taking care of a new baby, “on tour”, those of you who are enjoying a great summer with your kids, those of you are studying hard in school, and those of you who just work, work, and do more work. I’m sure the “work” part is more real than anything for all of you, but we thank you for being such wonderful examples of strength to us. We love our Heavenly Father and we are trying to do our best every day. This is Africa’s time and we are thankful to be involved in the work of saving souls.
I have a thought for the day: “Learn how to live so that a weakness that is MORTAL does not prevent us from achieving the goal that is ETERNAL!
Also I want dad to attach a picture from my camera that I thought you’d all enjoy. Quite often around here you’ll see a person sitting along the roadside selling small bags of chicken manure. They usually have a sign that says something like “Chiken Karral Manyur.” We’ve chuckled about a few of these but just lately this one (picture below) has appeared just around the corner from our house. I’m not sure exactly what they are selling, but I don’t think it’s an advertisement for our favorite Chinese food, “Mandarin Chicken.”
The picture of the donkey’s and carts we see quite often as we travel in the different village. If they don’t have a donkey and cart, they usually use wheel barrows! I’ll send one of those sometime, they are amazing as to what they can haul with a wheel barrow!
The other picture is of Kgosi and Maipelo, our friends that just got engaged and come over for Family Home Evening (or any other excuse they can come up with, usually just for advice) quite often. Kgosi is exactly to the day, the same age as Bryce. They are a great couple and we love them. They plan to marry in January, but have a Labola problem (!6,000 Pula) and Maipelo’s mother is insisting on payment before she will let her daughter marry Kgosi!
Have a great week!
Love Ya, Mean It!!!Mom & Dad, Granny and PaPa Lynn, Lynn and Lorraine
PS Remember “Happily Ever After” is NOW!!!