"And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." D&C 84:88

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Attending Church with the Stapleys at Sada

We attended the Sada ward today so we had an early departure from East London.  The Stapley’s met us and we departed with them following us to their new area.  It was such a blessing to be back among the ward members.  When Sister Thomas and I first attended this ward there were, if I remember correctly, 43 in attendance in sacrament meeting.  Today there were over 110.  What a wonderful change has taken place.  Of course, the Bishop, with a loving slap on my back told me it finally started coming right after we left for East London!

There were some Stake Leaders at the Ward today because they came to call Bishop Xalabile two counselors (Brother Jaantjie and Brother Jabanga) and Brother Kevin Otieno, who has moved back to Sada, as the Elders Quorum President.  What a blessing for the Bishop to have the extra help.  The Stake leaders were there to also ordain two of the Prospective Elders that I trained to the office of Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood.

You can see President Bell in the lower left picture as he leaves Church.  He is a wonderful leader and has such a powerful vision for the Stake.  Of course, you can see a bit of “where in the world is Waldo”, AKA Elder Labrum, in the background. You can also see Elder and Sister Stapley as well. 

That is me with Aluve Skepe who certainly took a bit of time to warm-up to me when we first came to the Sada Ward, but now I do get a warm hug when I come to Church.  Also, I was able to get a picture of Sister Wendy Miselo’s family at Church.  I missed her mother who was still busy in the church.

The highlight of this church meeting was a discussion at the end of the services.  We were able to hear a story as told by Sister Xalabile as she described her intense worry for her son with the Ebola virus breakout in Sierra Leone.  Her son has been there just under a year.  As she was riding in a taxi, she received a call from someone claiming to be her son which she did not believe that it was him.  He was calling her from Johannesburg.  Only when her son handed the phone to his new Mission President did she breakdown in tears of gratitude and joy and the relief of a loving mother.  Then she reconfirmed her strong gratitude for the brethren and that they acted to make sure that her son and the rest of the missionaries were safe. 

Her son told her of going to a members home where the member was sick and was in tears asking for a blessing and the missionary was specifically given instructions not to give any administrations.  Her son describes being in tears with his hand folded firmly inside his folded arms from the far edge of the room giving a prayer and asking for a blessing for the member.  This member later died of the Ebola virus.  Heavenly Fathers leaders and a Mission President who acted on inspiration keep the missionaries safe and then evacuated them in time.  At this point as Sister Xalabile told us the story she was in tears along with Sister Thomas and me.  We were grateful to her for sharing this heart warming story.

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