Saturday, February 16, 2013

Well, Valentines Day has come and gone, President's Day weekend is here and the Parade of Homes has begun in St. George.  It's time for all of northern Utah to come to St. George!

We have been serving for 2 months now and we are finally getting accustom to the area and this wild and crazy driving over here.  Everybody either drives really really fast or extremely slow. It's pretty wild.  People walk everywhere, there are always many people walking on the roads.  They walk even on the freeways!  They walk up and down on both sides and even in the median!
This is a typical sight on the roads -

We saw her as we were driving down the road and I had to get her picture.  So we turned around and pulled up by her.  I got out of the car and walked up in front of her and held up my camera and a 5 rand coin.  She got a big grin on her face and shook her head - yes.  I took the picture and gave the R5, which is like maybe $5, yet with exchange rate it's like 75 cents in US$.  Women are always carrying something on their head . . . men rarely do.
I call this picture  - "All in a day's walk!"

Anyway, we have been extremely busy and there is so much to do.  We are so tired by the end of the day, we seem to just fall into bed and it's morning.  Morning is usually up at 5:00 am and we go to the gym and work out from about 5:15 to 6:30 am every morning. (Not Sunday).  We then try to get some study time in, but usually have to take off early and assist Elders, do inspections or have meetings.  Our area is very large and there are 3 areas that we have to travel to monthly.  Queenstown is about 2 hours drive to the west.  Mthatha is about 3 hours drive to the North and Grahamstown and Port Alfred are about 3 hours drive to the south.

There are Elder's serving in all these areas and we inspect their apartments and vehicles, attend their district meetings and try to meet their needs.  We are their mission parents while they are here in our area (about 40 elders).  The Mission President is some 500 miles away, so we assist him in caring for these young men.  We have had accidents, sickness, fires, family deaths, and even an Elder put in jail for excess speeding.  We had to attend to an Elder that was down for 10 days with a back problem, an Elder who snapped his Achilles tendon (required surgery and he is out for 3 months).

By the way - to all my dear friends in PACU - here in South Africa an operating room is called a "theater".   So think about your day's work as being at the theater!! :) :)

We had an African Elder, this last Tuesday, that had an infected wisdom tooth and had to have all his wisdom teeth removed!  He was in sad shape, but is recovering well.   The other night we had down pour rain storm and one of our driving Elders swerved to miss a dog and crashed into a high curb, causing about $2500.00 in damage to his car - it can't be driven till it's repaired.

We are also serving in the Mdantsane 3rd Ward.  I serve in the Primary.  I do the singing and sharing times.   I've made a board with all the kids pictures on it.  They are very excited to see their pictures.
Ren is teaching Gospel Doctrine this week and then we sing in the YSA Choir.

We have also attended our first group of Zone Conferences.  We have 3 Zones here in East London so President Wood comes to East London and trains each Zone for about 3 to 4 hour for per day.  We do the conferences on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Then after the training,  Ren and I feed them lunch.  It's usually between 18 to 22 elders per zone conference and include the adults and AP's if they come.  I've made dozen's of cookies over the last 2 months.  6 - 7 dozen at a time for various functions!

We have also been visiting less actives in the ward.  We have one family, that we have been visiting, that has come back to church the last 3 weeks.  It's great because it's a whole family - husband, wife, son and daughter.  So we  are happy about that.  Then another single sister who has come with her daughter and her grandson.  There are others that say they will come, but then don't, but they are making progress.

Well this is long enough - here are some pictures of our flat - we really are blessed to live in a very nice home in a gated community.  This mission is really the BEST of all missions!

Congratulations to President and Sister Carrie Henderson for their call to Brisbane!  Are those missionaries in Brisbane ever lucky and bless to have you two coming to guide and direct that mission!!

Have a great weekend and as they say here in the South Africa Cape Town Mission - "GO WELL!"