Monday February 18 started transfer week. Elders usually find out if they are being transferred on Monday or Tuesday so whether they move or not they will usually spend Monday (P-day) cleaning their flats and catching up on everything in preparation. If they have been in an area 3 to 4 transfers, they typically have a good chance of being transferred. Transfers are every 6 weeks (church wide) After these transfers are confirmed they get their itinerary as to how they will travel to their new areas. Distances can be far here so they usually take a bus or fly.
Elders who are being transferred are dropped off in the morning at the bus station or airport for their departure, their companions take care of that. Then in the afternoon we go, with the Elders who are staying, to the airport to pick up the Elders that are being transferred in. We generally have food for everyone! That is one of our main responsibilities - BRING FOOD EVERYWHERE WE GO! Elders were born hungry! There are typically 30 - 40 Elders at the airport. They love to see who's coming in and they will run and hug an Elder they haven't seen since the beginning of their mission. It's funny and touching at the same time. After all the new Elders get here and settled in, we left on the 22nd for Port Alfred, Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth, George and Knysna - all beautiufl port cities except Grahamstown (it's a college town inland). Ren had to do audits with the branches in all areas except Port Elizabeth. However, Port Elizabeth is the largest city and it has a store called Makro - it's like Costco! We had fun buying Elders supplies there! We also bought a mix master - for us - I've become a cookie chef and it's too hard to use a hand mixer!
In Port Elizabeth we went to dinner with the other senior couples. We also stayed with one of the couples in Port Alfred. They have a 5 star flat! We took some pictures the morning of our walk on the beach just outside their back door! The third one at the sunrise. The fourth one is their condo complex from a distance on the beach. They live on the second floor.
We arrived home on Wednesday night and got up the next morning and drove 2 hours to Queenstown to help 4 Elders move from one flat to another. They worked so hard to get moved and then they had to clean the flat they moved out of - . . . . OK . . . . I have to admit I clean the flat they moved out of! We had to wander home in the dark, but Elder Boyce is an excellent driver (on the left side of the road)!
On Friday the 1st we had the 6 Zone Leaders of our area for breakfast and a Skype Conference with all the other Zones in the Mission with the Mission President. They are all very cute and wanted to take a picture in our backyard while they were here together so this is what they did!
We have the opportunity to work with wonderful, humble, sweet and loving people in the Mdantsane 3rd Ward and love working within the confines of this ward boundary. It is a ward of about 400 members and only about 30% attendance. There is a tremendous amount of ministering that needs to be shared with this 70% of the ward members who do not attend. We visit several of these members and we are having some wonderful successes in inviting and getting them back to church participation. These pictures are the grandchildren of Brother and Sister Ngangalizwe, A couple that have fallen into inactivity, but have committed to return. We gave them school kits and a soccer ball and they absolutely love it. Most of these children have very little and even gifts of pencils and toothbrushes are choice presents that bring incredible smiles and hugs.
With a little bit of Young Single Adult experience, we have also been focusing on YSA's and their rescue. Some 40% of the membership within our Stake are young single adult age (18-30 years old).
We are attaching a video of a 2 ward (Mdantsane 2nd and 3rd ward) YSA choir. So the choir consists of young single adults and 2 old married adults (Elder and Sister Boyce). We love singing with these young men and women and I really think they like our attendance (not our singing) to the choir. We are practicing for the Easter Program. This video is at a practice and these kids are singing an elementary school song they all learned many years ago. They are singing in Xhosa (Kohsa) which is their native language but the song is called "We are Marching in the Light of God". Remember they learned it and sang it at elementary school. The older woman is the conductor mom. They are a fun bunch of kids!
This is an option we could have for dinner - if we wanted - roasted chicken feet!
On Friday the 8th we had a Zone Conference for all 3 zones in our area. We received teaching from the Mission President, his wife and his assistants. The assistants consist of Elder Tuckett and
ELDER ZARBOCK! (2nd row, 2nd from right)
The conference started at 9:00 am and went to 4:30. Elder and Sister Boyce are in charge of providing a snack in the morning, then lunch, and a snack as they walk out the door to go back to their areas. There were 54 of us, we had spaghetti, (not roasted chicken feet!) bread, salad and Sheepherder Brownies and ice cream.
Here is a picture of all the missionaries that we assist in the work - you could say that we take care of their wants, their desires, their needs, their wishes, and their requirements!
They are the cutest Elders and are so grateful for everything we do for them!
Besides the Mission President and his wife the picture also includes a Branch President from Port Alfred and a new couple from Grahamstown, two other cities in our area.
President and Sister Wood are in the center of the second row - the empty chair next to me is for Elder Boyce but he is taking the picture!
Sorry this is way too long and way too much information!!
Next entry we will wander thru our days quicker!
Go Well! - we appreciate your prayers and support!
Elder and Sister Boyce