Well this month has been full of changes and saying goodbye to some wonderful friends that we have grown to love. We have been transferred from Newcastle to Ladybrand. We still live in South Africa but we are about 15 Kilometers away from the border crossing to Maseru, Lesotho. This is the capital of the nation of Lesotho and it is where the King and Parliament reside. Elder & Sister Van Blankenstein had a farewell where many of the nation dignitaries were invited. There were about 66 people in attendance, including the King and some of the Government Ministers. It was a very nice gathering in which the Church was introduced and there was a review of what the Church has done for Lesotho. Mom and I spoke for a few minutes. This occurred on May 6. We didn’t move in permanently until May 14. Ladybrand is a small town (around 17,000) and we are isolated from all of the other Missionaries where we lived very close to the missionaries in Newcastle. We miss the close interaction with them. Now we cook a dinner and carry it to the 8 missionaries when we DDM (District Development Meeting) that we have on Monday at 6:00 pm in Maseru. We have another District of missionaries that meet on Thursday at 10:30 in Harrismith (about 3 hours away). We go to both DDM’s when we can. We have 14 missionaries that we support and help in any way that we can but we have to travel a good ways to get to them. We have 3 branches that we support and 2 “twigs”. These are also spread over the same distances so we leave early on Sunday to help out where we can.
Ladybrand gets down to about -4 C (about 28 degrees Fahrenheit) but it gets up to around 65 degrees in the day. We are at about 5,200 ft. elevation.
We have been asked to teach a computer class (actually 2 of them) for older people that have never used the computer before. We teach them on Monday and Wednesday for an hour. We are also teaching the Branch Presidency and the Branch Clerk how to use the Church’s MLS system. All of this is being done for the Maseru Branch. We are teaching an English Class on Saturday and that is followed up by an Institute & Seminary Class for Masianokeng Branch. We will probably be doing more with Masianokeng because they are smaller and need more help. We are still trying to see what we need to do for Leribe “Twig”. They baptized four people on May 30 and another person on June 5 and confirmed all 5 on June 6. That brings their membership up to 7. They have 16 people scheduled for baptism on June 27 – this ought to be a cold baptism outside.
We are getting settled but things are going a little slower here than in Newcastle but we are sure that they will pick up. The Branches seem to be functioning well and that takes some load off of us as Senior Missionaries. We dearly miss all the wonderful people we were working with in Newcastle, Madadeni and Osizweni. We hope to see some of them at the Johannesburg Temple on June 19th. We feel like we left home “Newcastle” to come on another mission.
2 years ago