Monday, June 29, 2009
We are getting to know the people better and to help out in different ways. We were asked by the missionary couple work with the Perpetual Education Fund (PEF) to assess some classes put on by a private college here to determine if it would work for a deaf student that was applying for a loan. We visited a local university and the private college to make the assessment on the computer skills, classes, and instructors. It was interesting testing out their classes in Information Technology and making recommendations. We may be able to meet the needs with it costing much less and provide better training but we'll see.
The people here are so loving and kind even though many of them have so very little in the way of material things. It is evident that wealth doesn't buy happiness because they are as happy as any group that we have seen. We have much to learn from them.
The spirit of the Lord is being poured out upon the people throughout Africa and the Church is growing well. We are helping with a branch (more correctly referred to as a "twig" here) because it is so small in a small town, Dundee. We attend church in Newcastle and then drive to Dundee to attend there. The Mission President spoke at Sacrament Meeting and then interviewed all of the local men to get an idea of how to proceed with the organization of a branch. One of the men he spoke with was an investigator and in the interview the President challenged him to baptism and he accepted so the President conducted an interview for baptism. He will be baptized on Sunday...the missionaries were surprised to find out they would have a baptism this coming Sunday for their investigator.
We went out to dinner with the Mission President and the Klinglers, the other senior couple here and then visited with them for a while the next morning when Barb prepared breakfast. We also had 14 missionaries over for dinner on Sunday. We are staying very busy helping members, missionaries, and others. The plans that we make for the day seem to change as new opportunities for service come up each day, and we are fine with that as long as we are able to assist others.
We went to Nambiti Conservancy (Reserve) today with 4 missionaries and the Klinglers and we had a wonderful time. We had to be there by 7:00 am so we got up at 4:30 am so we could drive there. It was quite cool (around 2 degrees Centigrade) so we had to bundle up and ride in a Land Rover (up high so we could see). I have included some of the pictures that we took so you could see the animals that we saw. We were able to get very close to them and the camera worked wonderfully.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Here is a picture of the car that we are driving. It is a Nissan Tiida and it works well. We drive on the left side of the road and that takes some getting use to. Barb helps me whenever I start to move to the wrong side of the road.
- Visit less active members and found some that were moved
- Went with the Elders to teach a couple about the word of wisdom so they can get baptized
- Met with the Elders (from Kenya, South Africa, Germany, Zimbawa, and other US locations) They are the greatest missionaries.
- Visited a family that lost one of their children and her family (husband, wife and two children) - the funeral will be held this week
- Attended Church in Newcastle (branch) and spoke there as well as attended Church in Dundee (a new "twig") that they are starting up there. Mom had to lead the singing. Oops!
- Another senior couple, the Klinglers, have been ever so helpful at introducing us to people and showing us places, and things that we will need to do. They go home in 3 months and we will most likely cover the areas that they are working with. What special friends they have become to us.
- We met and had dinner with another senior couple who are serving a PEF (Perpetual Employment Fund) mission and had to be in Newcastle for the weekend.
- We have visited with people in the townships
- We have also moved into our boarding where Barb has re-arranged the furniture, gone through every closet and drawer re-organizing
- Grocery shopping and trying to find things that we cook with.third world environment.
- Hanging laundry on the line...new concept.
How grateful we should be for all that we have been blessed with but it is clear to us that the people here are as happy or happier than the people back home. We are amazed how friendly, warm, and polite everyone is. It is wonderful working here.
We are adjusting but love it here and love the missionaries that we work with. There are currently 14 (2 senior couples..including us, and 5 sets of missionaries) in the Newcastle area. We love them and are anxious to know them better