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).
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.
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
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.