Sunday, May 16, 2010

Transition to LeSotho

What a special time we have had for the past 11 months in Newcastle. As we have transitioned from Newcastle to Ladybrand and LeSotho we have been blessed with some special experiences. We were able to take a family to the Temple in Johannesburg to be sealed for time and all eternity. Brother Mhdaweni was baptized a little over a year ago by Elder Ang'ila from Kenya and he was allowed to go through the Temple with the family. In addition we had the opportunity to see a number of Elders that we had served with in Newcastle and attend the Temple with them. Here are three of them with Brother and Sister Mhdaweni. We attended a special function in Maseru, Lesotho and then left for Johannesburg.
One of the best parts of being a missionary is seeing these special people that we have come to love be sealed in the Temple. Here is the entire family outside the Johannesburg Temple. How much we have grown to love these wonderful people that we have served in South Africa. We also met about 8 other members from Newcastle that came to the Temple that evening. It was great!
Here are the missionaries that we left in Newcastle. We served them dinner each Sunday (or their predecessors) for the past 11 months in our home. Barb did all of the cooking (Thank heavens) and the missionaries cleaned up all of the food that was served (and more sometimes). We had dinner around 8:30 pm each Sunday as they would return to Newcastle from the areas they served.
We had a day between the Temple, meetings in Bethlehem and the apartment being available in Ladybrand so we visited Bloemfontein and bought some warmer clothes. It snows here in the winter and gets very cold. We also visited a place that helps cheetahs and other animals recover if they have been injured. We had the opportunity to get up close and personal with these animals. The larger animals we did not get to pet but we were right up next to them as you can see from the pictures. What a choice experience this was. This is a full grown cheetah that sleeds with the owner after he mended from his wounds. The natives sometimes attack cheetahs and kill them, but what beautiful animals. Normally we have seen them in the wild but this was special to get up close to them. Their fur is very soft (like cat hair)

This cheetah had a broken leg and will have a hip replacement.

This was the most fun, We got to play with some lions and leopards that had lost their mothers. We have a video of them where you can hear them communicating with each other and playing with Barbara's shoes. Apparently the leopard cub really liked the leather in her shoes and kept biting them but not causing any serious damage.

We love these pictures of Barb with the cubs. It gives you and idea how close and personal the experience was. Barb would like to go back and do it again. You can see the web site if you want more information (

This one is one of our favorite pictures. Barb is holding a leopard cub. The only other thing she would have liked would have been to have all the grandchildren around her with these playful cubs.