Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving, Christmas & Farewell Dinner with Lesotho Zone

On November 29, 2010 we invited all of the Lesotho Zone Missionaries to our flat to have Thanksgiving Dinner. They don't celebrate Thanksgiving in South Africa so we have had fun with the missionaries introducing them to our holiday dinner. Barbara also purchased some gifts for the Elders so we celebrated an early Christmas with them as well. They also shared some special times with us and gave us a beautiful set of wooden carved bowls and a carving of a leopard. So it turned out to be a Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Farewell celebration.
We wanted the missionaries to have things that they liked to eat as well as our more American food so these two missionaries cooked traditional chabatas that they served along with the Turkey, dressing, gravy, potatoes, and fresh fruit salad. We have never had the ability to have fresh strawberries, peaches, grapes, apricots, and cherries for Thanksgiving but that is the blessing of serving in South Africa where the seasons are different. This is Elder Amirikau and Elder Howard. This is a picture of Elder Amirikau while he is cooking. Elder Amirikau is from Kenya.
After dinner we let the Elders shop from our pantry. . This is similar to what we used to do when our children returned to college. They would shop for food in the pantry and then take it with them back to school. We had fun letting each Elder and then each companionship go through the pantry and pick out one item. They seemed to enjoy it as well. Apparently they don't shop for things the same way Barb and I do.
Here is the entire Lesotho Zone. It comprises missionaries from Phuthaditjhaba, Bethlehem, Leribe, Masianokeng, and Maseru. We have really come to love these special young men and we love being with them. Barb put up some Christmas decorations on the wall to help celebrate the season. We have such a love for these Elders and fortunately they love the Senior Couples. Many of them now express the desire to serve as Senior Couples with their wives.
Our hearts are so full as we prepare to leave this wonderful experience with all the miracles, daily spiritual experiences and love of the land, people and of cource our Elders. The Elders are from right to left: Elder Kapande - Zimbawe, Elder Gondo - Zimbawe, Elder Ellis - Australia, Elder Howard - Wyoming, Elder Ikahihifo - New Zealand, Elder Sichinga Sr. - Zambia, Elder Schwartzberg - South Africa, Elder Castleberry - Utah, Elder Lepheana - South Africa, Elder Bielefeldt - Utah, Elder Amirikau - Kenya

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Burning of Africa

During the months of August through October, people burn the land and much of the tall grass that exists, even in the towns. The fires are set and allowed to burn in many cases without anyone watching the fires. They burn around the houses first and control that (out in the country) but just let the fires burn throughout the night.

We were returning from Church in Phuthaditjhaba and we saw the fires buring along the road and over the entire mountain range. Because it is so foreign to our experience we took some pictures along the way. EPA would have a field day with all the pollution but it is accepted here as something that is natural. Notice that there is no one around the fire line.
Here is what it looks like after the fire has passed through. Many of the trees don't make it and are killed in the process but notice that the fire has gone up and over the mountain (as well as the ones in the distance).
Some of the tall trees survive but everything close to the ground is burned. However within a few weeks you will see the grass starting to grow and within a month or so most of the black is covered with green grass. The tall grass is used for thatch on the houses and it is gathered in June and July for the most part.

The fires are very hot in some places. In the towns the fires are set and just allowed to burn along roads. I never would have believed it and the first time we saw it in Newcastle, I was shocked

It burns in both directions, against the wind as well as in the direction of the wind.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Famous Mountain

This is the mountain that the Lesotho hats are fashioned after. It is on the National Flag and that roof top is designed from it.Posted by Picasa

Senior Couples and Border Crossing

Left is a building in Maseru the shape is taken from the mountains around the area.
Below is the Leribe class room that is used for church. Sister Wittver is with us and the two young men are members.

(Left)We are in front of the building where Masionakeng Branch meets for church. The Hooks are on both ends. They young man in the middle is Solamon who is getting ready for mission.

The two greeting: Sawubona from South Africa and Lumela from Lesotho mean hello.

Typical sight as we cross the border from Free State, South Africa to Maseru, Lesotho. Below we are with Sister Wittver, the Chamberlains and the Hooks. These couples are from Johannesburg who came to our area to help with Perpetual Education Fund and Solar Ovens.

Randy and Elder Chamberlain are getting ready to demonstate the making of a Solar Oven. They are in front of our boarding (the apartment where we live).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Typical Lesotho Pictures

Here are some ladies that were selling their goods (fruits and snacks) to people in kombies (small minivans used to transport people since they don't have their own cars). They are wearing a Lesotho blanket around their waists over they pants because of the cold. The ladies have the ability to carry heavy loads on their heads. They have amazing balance!

This is a horse rider moving at a fast clip down the road. Notice he is wearing a blanket for warmth. Over half of the people in Lesotho wear blankets instead of coats.

The young child below is filling a bucket of water from the well that the village uses for water. This is a twisting pump.

The young men on the right were taking a rest returning from the fields at the end of the day. Wheelbarrows are used extensively to carry anything that is needed from water to fruit and food from the stores where they buy or harvest their food.

This man on the donkey is going through the center of town (Leribe). They use them for transportation, carrying food home from the store and for fun.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

July 2010

We heard that some didn't have our email address so here they are: Randy@rbknudsen.com and Barb@rbknudsen.com ...we hope you will use them.

We had three other senior missionary couples come to Lesotho to conduct Perpetual Education Fund overview with the people there in Lesotho and one couple had specialized in building solar ovens. He had developed a process to make them out of cardboard and line it with foil and put a clear vinyl sheet over it to keep the heat in. He demonstrated the process and the group made a solar oven on Saturday and he cooked a cake and some potatoes for them to eat. This is especially helpful for the people here because electricity is so expensive and many can't afford it so being able to cook many meals without using electricity or gathering wood (there isn't much wood in Lesotho as you can see in the background of most pictures.

Later we took them to out into Lesotho and showed them a small section of the country and took the following pictures at a shop where they were selling the hats that they wove so we tried them on and took a picture...just so you would remember what we still look like.
This picture is of Barbara with one of the typical hats that are woven as well. You can see the thatched roof of the area that we were visiting. Isn't she cute?

On July 17, Lesotho celebrated the birthday of the King. Each year it is celebrated in a different area of the country and this year it was celebrated in Thaba-Tseka. This is a small town that is about 4 hours away from Maseru where the King lives. We drove our pickup (bokkie - in South African terminology) and took 2 other people with us. We went in a group of 8 from the Church and we were invited to this event and the lunch following. Barbara was sitting on the front row outside of the tent and took the pictures of the King & Queen. (They have been invited to attend General Conference in October but we aren't sure whether they will be available to attend).

Here is a picture of the King and Queen as they entered the area and walked down a red carpet as well as a picture of them leaving the area following the celebration.

There are two flags showing in this picture. One is the flag of the country and the other is the flag for the King.

Here are two people dressed in traditional Sotho attire (out of animal skins and we took a picture of Barbara along with Joseph Moekena (from Johannesburg)

This picture is of the security contingent that road on horseback in front of and behind the vehicle carrying the King and Queen into the celebration area. The young children standing in front of them are just some children from the area with a special band of beads on their heads.
This is the entire group from the Church that attended the celebration standing in fron of the two vehicles that we drove. We went on some very rugged terrain and along the ridgeline of the mountains in Lesotho. About 40 kilometers was on dirt/rock roads but it was very beautiful. The people are from left to right: Joyce, Joseph Mokoena, Mpolai Caribo, President Monesa (Maseru), President and Sister Hlalele (Masianokeng), and Barb and I

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Blessings Continue

We continue to have some exceptional experiences here on our mission. Our Leribe twig is having such success. We marvel at Elder Smith and Elder Babaayo who are doing such a marvelous job. Yesterday they had seven (all their new members) and seventeen investigators in attendance. Since it was Fast Sunday they took a leap of faith and held the first testimony meeting. According to them the spirit was overwhelming and the investigators were bearing testimony about this being the true church and it was now the only church they would go to. We had DDM at our boarding Monday morning so we were able to get a first hand report. The Elders were still glowing. We served a full breakfast of eggs, hash browns, pancakes and french toast. The Elders decided to meet here each Monday for their meeting. Since they all have to cross the boarder to get here we have not seen them as often as we did the Newcastle Elders and we have really been missing that closeness. Elder Maramela is now serving in Lesotho and I think he had a bit to do with having them come here.

There is nothing quite as exciting as watching a new area open up to missionary work. We are able to go with the Elders on some of their teaching assignments and attend Sacrament Meeting with them. This way you learn to love the people one by one as they come into the fold. Two weeks ago we took President Monisa to Leribe and he interviewed four of the new male members for the Priesthood. They were then sustained and ordained. A true beginning for this Twig to become a Branch.

We attended Bloemfontein District Conference where Randy spoke in the main session and I spoke in the women's session. I can only do this because of my commitment to be a missionary and relying on the Lord. I do not like to speak in meetings. We saw President and Sister Mann for the last time at Zone Conference in Bloemfountein. We will miss them so much. They are having a reunion in October and we will miss meeting up with all the senior couples that were here when we arrived. These couples will be friends forever.

We are ending our computer class for the adults until we get an Internet connection. We have so enjoyed getting to know these choice members but we need the time to visit the inactive. We need to split the Maseru Branch so we are needing to find where all the saints live in order to make this happen. No one in Lesotho has an address so we are going to use the GPS and work off of the co-ordinates. This will take some time but there is a sister in the branch that knows where most everyone lives. I think it will be an exciting project.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Missionary Moments

June Joyful Happenings

Today these four new members received the Aaronic Priesthood in the new Leribe Twig. The Twig now has seven members and growing. Pres. Monesa went with us from the Maseru Branch to interview and ordain. He was thrilled with the testimonies and depth of each these young men.
This was the total attendance at church today. The first day for our church sign.
Saturday at Masianokeng Branch teaching Seminary, Institute and the English Class.

Johannesberg Temple - Lucky, Zoma and Prince Mhkize from Madadini were Sealed. We attended temple with Masianokeng Branch and were blessed to have Madadini and Osizweni from our prevous area there also. Needless to say it was more than exciting. We so love and miss everyone in first area.

Pres. Mann's Last Zone Conference in Bloemfountein. All the Elder's are ready to play soccar after a wonderful meeting. We are privileged to serve again with Elder's from Newcastle, Madadani and Osizweni.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Leribe Baptism

This is the group of four people that were baptized on May 30 in Leribe. They just opened this area to missionaries about 3 months ago. It is one of our "twigs".
here are all of the people that attended the baptism except the missionaries. You can tell by the coats that it was still fairly cold outside. The font was filled with a garden hose and the water was cold. People were shaking as they got out of the font.