"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

Monday, March 30, 2015

Wash, Wax and Braai with the Mdantsane Zone

We had the Mdantsane Zone over to our house today to Wash, Wax and Braai with us.  We were somewhat lucky today because we had three new vehicles show up this morning.  I had the missionaries meet me down at the site where Mercedes ships out all their vehicles and we picked up our new Chevy Aveos.   We had the opportunity to wash and wax the Elders’ brand new vehicles.  They drove away very pleased and happy with their cars.  Even our problematic silver Toyota looked good today.

Sister Thomas cooked all the hamburgers while Elder Thomas provided some direction on waxing and buffing out of small scratches.  Later, we all had the hamburgers for lunch and all the Elders went away happy and full.

It was also Elder Sanders birthday this week so Sister Thomas also baked a cake and we had it with ice cream after we all sang “Happy Birthday” to him. 

This was a warm sunny South African afternoon.  It was a bit heart breaking to know this was the last time we would do this with the Elders. 

The East London Zone Help Repair a Brick Wall

We met the East London Zone this morning at 7:00 at the site where one of the Elders had an accident with his vehicle.  We wanted to see if we could fix the brick wall that had been pushed aside and broken in the accident.

With the help of the Elders with the required muscle work and some cement caulking and some industrial exterior glue, we were able to piece the bricks back together.

It was like a big jigsaw puzzle that took time to figure where everything fit together.  Elder Chamberlain proved to be very good at figuring out where even little pieces of bricks fit together.  You can see the “Bent Brick Wall” in the lower right and the fixed walls on the left and right of the middle picture.

When we were done, it was not perfect but it was a big improvement compared to when we started.

In the center picture in the back from left to right: Elders  Kekezwa, Chamberlain, Johnson, Nzama, Chapman, Pope, Du Plessis, Malatji

Front row left to right: Elders Muller, Mmusi, Soko, Thomas, Katwana, Hyera and Stratton

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lunch with Elder and Sister Wheeler following Branch Conference

We had the Branch Conference at Port Alfred today.  We had the Mission Presidency speak along with their wives.  This was first weekend of school holidays so there were several families and members away.  The building was still fairly full which was nice.

After the meeting we went to the Wheeler’s for lunch.  It was enjoyable to spend a couple of hours relaxing with them.  Their son and daughter-in-law had arrived a few days earlier to spend a week with them.  We twisted Ryan’s arm  (the son) to share some family stories with us about his parents.  We enjoyed hearing a bit more about the Wheelers from their family.

After lunch we left Port Alfred and drove President Merrill to the East London Airport.  We were having such a good time with the Wheelers, we left the time a bit close in getting President Merrill to the airport.  We made it with time to spare.  We sent Pres. Merrill back to Cape Town with our set of golf clubs and made him promise to make time to use them!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Dinner with Elder and SIster Taim, Elders Carnieletto & Banda, and President Merrill

On the way from Sada to Port Alfred we stopped in Grahamstown in order to set apart the new Elders quorum President and his 1st counselor.   After that was done, we went to dinner with Elder and Sister Taim, Elders Carnieletto and his companion Elder Banda.

Once dinner was over we drove on to Port Alfred.  It was a full day and we all slept well that night.  We were finished.

Celebrating Bonga Mango's mission departure, Elder and Sister Thomas departure and the Stapley's move to East London

We had the opportunity to visit with the Sada Ward today.  They had a special function for Bonga Mango who is departing on a mission to the London South Mission.  Amazing.  Sister Thomas and I helped Bonga as he made the necessary preparations.  Of course, there was a great deal of help from the Stapley's who follow us in Sada.

The function was also for Elder and Sister Thomas as well as Elder and Sister Stapley who will be relocating to East London to take out place there.

It was a joyous celebration and it was well planned and well executed.  They really know how to have party there.  Bishop Xalabile and Sister Xalabile are simply awesome leaders in the Ward.  It has been wonderful to see sacrament meeting attendance grow from 43 the first time we attended to over 120 today.  Dedicated service from the members, with the support from the Stake in calling Stake Missionaries to work in the ward, along with the service of the missionaries has made a difference.

About halfway through the celebrations, they came and took Sister Thomas away and dressed her up.  It was cute.  Only later did Sister Thomas realize that Sister Xalabile made the dress for her.  When she realized this she had tears in her eyes for more than just a moment.

We had President Merrill with us for this and he enjoyed the lunch provided by the ward.

We really love this place and and the people.  We will leave a portion of our hearts with these members.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Scripture repairs, District Meeting broken cars and Cleaning Supplies.

A busy day in the mission field begins with fixing two sets of scriptures for the Elders early in the day before District Meetings. Then we attended the East London 3rd and 4th Ward District Meetings.  I have had this picture on the wall in every business office I have worked in for the past 20 years.  It reminded me every day that my life was not just about the manufacture, delivery and sales of explosives.  I had the Elders take our picture next to it in the institute building where the District Meetings were held.

After that we attended to some errands to pay some bills and to get to the Telkom Store to get some queries answered for some other Senior Couples.  When we were done at the Telkom store, we received a call from East London 2nd ward Elders that their car was making noises.  We drove to meet them and I drove the car.  It was making a wild screaming sound from the right front wheel.  We managed to get it to the church and arranged for a tow truck to come and take it to the dealer.  We will have to check on this Monday.

By the time the tow truck came, we had to rush to make it to a dinner with the East London Stake Presidency.  We were invited to their social, which was a very nice jester by them.  We have had such a wonderful working relationship with them and it has been a blessing to us. We spent a wonderful evening with the Presidency and their wives.  We went to the Cape Town Fish Market restaurant for dinner.  The food was great and the company excellent.  We have come to love and respect President Bell, President Van Heerden, President Mangwane and Brother Welsh.  Unfortunately, we forgot to get a picture of the event.

After the dinner we went and dropped off some cleaning supplies to the Mdantsane 2nd ward Elders.  These Elders were pleased with the supplies.  In truth, it does not take much to keep Elders smiling.  They are always grateful for what we do.

Shown are Elders Smith, Shabalala, Martinez and Mashigo along with Sister Thomas.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bicyles Repars, Mops and French Fries

At the end of this day we dropped back in to help Elders Malatji and Hyera install new headlights and taillights on their bicycles.   We also helped the Elders Mmusi and Muller fix a mop and watched as Elder Katwana taught Elder Chapman how to make chips (french fries).

Flat Inspection with the East London 3rd and 4th Ward Elders

We inspected the boardings of the East London 3rd and 4th wards.  Both of these boardings were in very good condition and Sister Thomas gave them both very good scores.

Once the inspection was completed, we reviewed both vehicles for any scratches or dents.  The cars were still looking good from the washing and waxing we had done on Monday.  We took this picture in the parking lot and is not the best picture of the Elders.  You can see from Left to Right: Elders Kekezwa, Mmusi, Katwana, Nzama (in the back) Chapman, Muller, Malatji, Hyera and Sister Thomas.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Big Burger Night with the Zone Leaders

Big burger night with the Zone Leaders took place this evening.  We try to do this once in a while so we can review with the Zone Leaders and find out some of their struggles and to let them know what we need help with.  We discussed at length the issue the Zone Leaders are wrestling with in respect to the MSF and how it is to be used.  We followed up on some common problems that they are facing.  It was a good working meeting over dinner.

From the pictures you can see just how big the burgers are.  It is a fun dinner as you end up seeing just how much the Elders can eat.  Sometime even the smallest Elder can finish the burger.

In lower left beginning with Sister Thomas going clockwise: Elder’s Thomas, Stratton, Sanders, Stegelmeier, and Chamberlain.

Nice evening.

A Visit to the Mercedes-Benz Plant in East London

A visit to the Mercedes Benz plant took place today.  We had arranged this so we could go prior to our departure from the Mission Field.  As luck would have it, Elder & Sister Wheeler and Elder & Sister Stapley were able to join us.

This was a wonderful to see the entire production line from start to finish.  The robotic machines were simply amazing.  The entire body is assembled and welded by automated robots.  They are producing 450 vehicles per month and about 35 to 50 trucks per month.

After the visit to the factory we had the opportunity to go to lunch at a restaurant that overlooked the sea along the esplanade drive in East London.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Elder Thomas Buffs out Some Scratches

Elder Thomas takes some time to buff out some scratches on one of the Elder’s Cars.  There were a couple of deep scratches that did not come out but all of the smaller scratches came out.  This took a bit of elbow grease and several grades of buffing and the rubbing compounds.  I was trying to show the Elders what is possible in the care of their cars.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Elder Johnson tries to hit a Golf Ball

We had a special treat when Elder Johnson asked to hit a golf ball off our back lawn out into the valley.  His first swing topped the ball and it rolled along the grass for 5 yards.  His second swing was a massive whiff where he missed the ball entirely.  You can see the concern about this and the laughter of his companion at his questioning of what in the world went wrong.

When he finally hit the ball, it went well but was a low flying hook.  He went away shaking his head.  I reassured him that it would all come back when he needed it to come back.  Hitting a 3 wood off Elder and Sister Thomas back yard is not his area of focus right now.  We love Elder Johnson and his commitment to be an obedient missionary.  His parents would and should be proud of what he is accomplishing here in the mission field. 

Washing, Waxing and a Hamburger Braai with the East London Zone

While had an overcast sky, we were still able to have the East London Zone over to our house to wash and wax their vehicles.  There were some that we had to work hard on their cars as they required some buffing compound to clean take out scratches.

We also cooked hamburgers and had some veggies (with Ranch dip) and chips. It was Elder Chamberlain’s birthday this week so Sister Thomas made a red velvet cake with ice cream as dessert to celebrate.  It was a wonderful afternoon made all the more special because we simply do not have that many more with the Elders.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

We Pick up and Deliver Elder Martinez to his First Companion Elder Smith

We were able to go tot he airport and pick up Elder Martinez who just arrived in the mission field on Wednesday evening.  He spent two days at the Mission home being training and being interviewing with President Merrill.  I can tell he is and will be good addition to our mission.  He has an infectious simile.

As he shared his story with us we came love his family who we have not even met.  Perhaps when we go home we will find the time to run them down.

Elder Smith has been so excited to get his new companion and was excited when we pulled into the church.  We found him there with three other fellowshippers and he was doing split offs with them.  Elder Martinez fit right in and then went directly to work.  We took Elder Martinez suit cases and his suit coat jacket and put it in the Elders Boarding.  On his first day in his first area Elder Martinez was off and running.  As he should be!

Windmill in Stutterheim where we were meeting up with the Stapleys

Today we drove up to Stutterheim to switch a missionary vehicle with the Staples’ who had driven one down from Queenstown.  We met up at the Engine Museum to change vehicles.  While we were waiting we took a picture of a windmill that was in the field next door.  We took one with us in the picture as well but this one seemed a bit more peaceful and show the passing of time with the old building in the background.  You can’t help but love the country side South Africa.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Mdentsane Zone District Meeting

We attended a joint District Meeting with the Mdantsane Zone this morning.  There was some Zone Training by the Zone Leaders and an excellent training on how to run and hold counsels by Elder Shabalala.  The Zone Leaders then provided some good instructions on the Priesthood Ordinance of Baptism. They also provided training on the correct way to have and run a counsel meeting where Elders counsel together and all are edified. It was a good training all around.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

East London Stake Missionary Correlation Meeting

We had a wonderful opportunity to meet with the East London Stake President, President Bell and Brother Human, the member of the High Council who is responsible for Missionary work along with the three sets of Zone Leaders in the Stake.  President Bell expressed his love for the Elders and his gratitude for the increased obedience he has see in the mission.  This was truly a counsel meeting where opinions were expressed and concerns raised.

President Bell has a missionary heart.  He knows and understands the value of obedient missionaries and the value they bring to his Stake.  I am sure with this new focus we will see our combined resources become more aligned and Heavenly Father will bless the missionary work and the Stake as a result.

Seated in at the table from left to right: Elders Stegelmeier, Sanders, Thayne, Freitas, Stratton and Chamberlain.
Back row: President Thomas, President Bell and Brother Human.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Stapleys join us for Transfer Day in East London

Transfer day - WOW! We woke up only to hear that we had some Elders in a vehicle accident the night before.  The car is totaled.  We are glad that the missionaries are safe and sound.  We began the day meet at the church at 5:45 so we could get to the airport and drop off the group that are flying to Cape Town. 

Then it was back home to do a bit of office work and then to the bus station to pick up the inbound Elders from PE.  We then dropped them back at the Church and picked up those that were departing by bus and took them to the bus stations.  Sister Thomas gave the departing Elders a hand hug. I missed getting a picture of that but there is a picture of Elder and Sister Stapley practicing the Hand Hug on each other.  It is a nice thing to pass along to the next Senior Couple. 

Once we delivered these elders to the bus we were off to the airport to collect the arriving Elders and delivered them back to the Chapel.  Finally, after a long day, we had a nice relaxing dinner with the Stapley at Grazia’s restaurant.  I am glad that we had the Stapley’s down here so we could show them the “ropes”.  They are a wonderful couple and I am sure they will provide exception service after we depart.  Heavenly Father always finds someone and qualifies that someone to step into the void that is created when a Senior Couple depart the mission field.  The void never lasts for long.

Monday, March 16, 2015

We take the Stapleys around to see all the Missionary Flats in East London

We have had the Stapely’s staying with us for a few days.  They came on Sunday evening.  This morning we took them to all the Missionaries flats so they could get these marked in their GPS.  It was enjoyable to introduce them around and help them get aquatinted with East London.

Elder Malpage Departs from East London to Cape Town

We had the opportunity to pick up Elder Malpage on Monday morning as he was catching a flight to Cape Town to become the New Assistant to the President.  However, as we begining to depart there is a major panic as he cannot find his wallet.  You can see his companion giving him a bit of a hard time.  Eventually Elder Freitas goes off picture to look in their car which you can just barely see.  In the end Elder Malpage finds it in his backpack securely zipped where it should have been.  Such is the stress of a missionary getting to serve very closely with the Mission President.  Sister Thomas was giving him moral support as he was looking. 

We certainly will miss him but we have been truly blessed by being able to serve with him.  It is still a bit surreal that this young man was in Primary when I was his Bishop in South Africa.  Now so many years later it has been very special to be able to serve in the mission field with him. Perhaps more special because we know his parents so well.  Brother and Sister Malpage you should be very happy and proud of the way your son is serving in the mission field.  He is a wonderful young man. 

We were successful if dropping him off to catch his flight on time.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Church in Grahamstown dinner with the Stapleys and the Zone Leaders

We began the morning by having breakfast at our “Bed & Breakfast” -  a nice start to the day.  We spoke in Church in Grahamstown.  Sister Thomas spoke on Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy and Elder Thomas spoke on the necessity of having Hope and Faith to be able to experience Miracles.  After Church Elder Pahulu and Elder Carnieletto both baptized investigators that they have been teaching. 

Once Church and the Baptism were completed, we headed back to East London.  The Stapley’s arrived about 30 minutes after we did.  They dove down from Mthatha after they had attended Church there.  They are staying with us for a few days so we can show them around East London. 

Later, after the Zone Leaders were done with their teaching appointments for the evening, they came by to complete the planning process for the coming transfers.  It was nice to have them here along with the Stapley’s to plan for the transfer.

Around the table beginning from the lower left: Elders Stegelmeier Sanders, Malpage, Freitas, Chamberland and Stratton.  Sister Thomas, Elder and Sister Stapley are in the background.

We Enjoy the only Pie we could find on Pi Day

We began driving to Grahamstown this morning only to get a call from the Mdantsane Zone Leaders informing us that Elder Dryer had locked his keys in his car.  We had to turn around and go back to our home to get the spare set of keys to that car and take it to the Zone Leaders in Mdantsane.  Once that was done we continued on our way to Grahamstown in order to complete the financial audit for the Grahamstown Branch.  I was able to complete that around 6:00 PM.  We had Elder and Sister Lundberg bring a vehicle over to Grahamstown from Port Elizabeth to replace the vehicle that was wrecked in Mthatha on that same morning.  It has been a very exciting week.

Then Sister Thomas and I went to the store to purchase a pie.  We were looking for a proper pie but could only find a melk tart to celebrate PI day (3.14). We had an enjoyable evening at Bartholomew’s Loft Bed & Breakfast finishing our talks that we were going to give in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday.

Friday, March 13, 2015

East London Zone Conference Lunch

Lunch at the East London Zone Conference.  You can see Elder and Sister Taim sitting with Sister Thomas for lunch.  Sister Thomas served the same lunch as was provided to the Mdantsane Zone.  The Elders were full and pleased as always.  You can see Sister Thomas serving the Elders in these pictures.  Some of her happiest days have been in this type of service to the missionaries.  She is truly the Mother of all Senior Sister Missionaries.

East London Zone Conference

East London Zone Conference was a spiritual feast.  President Merrill asked us to come and bear our testimonies for the last time in a Zone Conference.  The reality of our returning home is become more real.  It was with tears in our eyes that we bore testimony of the truth and the joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our gratitude for the relationships that we have developed with the Elders here in the mission field.  It’s a wonderful experience and a blessing to be associated with the missionaries.

Front Row: Elder Mchunu, Elder and Sister Taim, President Merrill, Sister and Elder Thomas and Elder Lund.
Second Row: Elders Hyera, Stratton, Soko, Si’ufanua, Pitsoane, Chamberlain, Katwana and Mmusi.
Third Row: Nzama, Carnieletto, Chapman, Johnson, Thayne, Pope, Pahulu and Muller.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mdantsane Zone Lunch

The Mdantsane Zone Conference was today.  Sister Thomas and Sister Wheeler organized a wonderful lunch of 1/2 chicken and Potato Salad along with two rolls.  The Elders are always happy with Chicken and to get 1/2 chicken was special.

Mdanstane Zone Conference

We had the Mdantsane Zone Conference was today.  The training at the Zone Conference was focused on Pamphlet Teaching and being able to teach with any missionary in the mission field quickly.  It was a very beneficial training and the Elders are excited to use this new technique.

Those Attending Zone Conference:

Front Row, Elder Mchunu, Elder and Sister Thomas, President Merrill, Sister and Elder Wheeler and Elder Lund.
Middle Row: Elders Smith, Sanders, Matini, Mukonda, Dryer, Weber, Radebe, Rasmussen and Faitau
Back Row: Elders Jenner, Oswald, Stegelmeier, Gurney, Richards, Okeny, and Shabalala

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Plumbing fixes, Dinner with President Merrill and a Hair Cut

Beginning the day early trying to fix a plumbing leak. Elders Jenner and Elder Mukonda are giving me a hand to get it fixed.  In the end it was beyond my tools and we had to call a plumber in to get it fixed.  We then had President Merrill in our home for a few hours as he worked through some emails using our internet.  We also had a relaxing lunch out on our deck with him.  Later, we went to dinner with the Wheelers and President Merrill.  Once that was done we went to give Elder Richards a hair cut.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Teaching with Elder Johnson and Elder Soko

We went to work with Elder Johnson and Soko today.  We had the opportunity to compete a baptismal interview with an investigator that they were teaching.  That was a special experience for Elder Thomas.  We are shown here after the interview with Elder Johnson, the baptismal candidate, Elder Soko and Sister Thomas.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Helping the Elders on a Monday

This morning we went to the East London Third Ward Elder’s flat to check on their white shirts which we noticed needed some buttons sewed on while at church on Sunday. We also hung some poster boards while we were there.  Sister Thomas sewed on a few buttons and then took a couple of shirts home to try to alter them.

We did this during our Monday afternoon.  Sister Thomas worked on this while Elder Thomas finalized the Knysna and George paper work for the Centers of Strength project.  All we need now are the correct numbers from the Branches.

We returned the shirts and some post when we met up with the Elders at the Church later on Monday afternoon.  They had come to play some sport at the church for an hour or two prior to going back to work.  You can see in Elder Chapman getting his shirt back and Elder Mukonda and a fellowshiper going to the end of the parking lot to race back.  Elder Mukonda won this sprint easily.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Collar buttons and the Elders Ties

Today we attend the East London 3rd Ward.  I was asked to go there to interview someone for baptism.  While there I took the time to speak to the Elders about their appearance.  I asked them if I could take a picture which they were very happy to do.  I then spoke to them about the top button on their shirts.  Three of the four did not have their top buttons done up. 

You can see Elders Pitsoane, Chapman, Hyera and Katwana in this picture.  Elder Pitsoane had a button missing on his shirt, Elder Chapman’s neck was simply to big for his shirt.  Sister Thomas is going to see if she can help him some way to get a bigger collar.  Elder Hyera was very apologetic.  He did not know it was not buttoned up.  The newest missionary of the group, Elder Katwana was buttoned up and looked good.  We will be fixing some shirts and replacing buttons this week.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Preperation Day Afternoon at the Africa Open Golf

Elder Thomas worked on the Center of Strength Project this morning.  I am close to having all the maps and have begun the process to fill out the required Church forms. I am seeking to get this all done prior to us leaving in April.

We went and spent some time at the Church because all the youth from the Stake were in East London for a Youth Activity.  It was fun to see the youth from Sada and Mthatha, Port Alfred and those that we know in East London.

Once we were through there, we went and ordered the chicken for the Mdantsane and East London Zone Conferences.  Each Elder will be served half a roasted chicken.  They should like that.

Then we took a “Preparation Day Couple of Hours” and attended the African Open held at the East London Country Club.  This is an event on the European Tour as well as the Sunshine Tour.  It is always amazing to see so many good shots all at once.  We walked the final nine holes and watched the tournament leader, Trevor Fisher.  We will watch with interest how he does tomorrow.  Not many times you can go to a professional golf tournament and only pay R 25 or about $ 2.50.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Taking Elder Black and Elder Tennant to the Airport

As you spend time in the mission field, you simply cannot help but come close to the Elders that you serve with.  The longer you are together, the closer you become.  Elder Black and Elder Tennant have spent a large part of their missions in the Eastern Cape and we have been happy to associate with them when they were Senior Companions, then District Leaders,  Zone Leaders and now, Traveling Assistants to the President.  They have served their last transfer moving from boarding to boarding, every day/night teaching the missionaries how to pray with earnest intent and then act with faith to fully test the promises of God. 

They are wonderful missionaries and will be missed.  Brother and Sister Black and Brother and Sister Tennant, someday we wish to shake your hands and thank you for raising such wonderful sons.  Thank you for sharing them with us for a season.

East London 2nd Ward District Meeting

District meeting with the East London 2nd Ward District.  The meeting was lead by Elder Thayne.  He provided instruction on the power the Book of Mormon has in conversion.  All were challenged to try to use it more.  Get it into the hands of those you are teaching quickly.  Read it with them.  Follow up boldly, Testify strongly of the truth.  Good training was provided from a good District Leader.

From Left to Right: Elders Pope, Black, Thayne, Tennant, Sister Thomas, Elder Johnson, Soko, Chamberlain and Stratton.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Elders Black and Tennant Come for a Meal and to Stay the Night

The Traveling Assistants came to stay overnight with us and collect the stuff they have stored here during this transfer.  They had to come back and pack their bags because they fly tomorrow night to Cape Town for the last two weeks of their mission.

Elder Tennant on the left and Elder Black have been wonderful missionaries.  We have been able to work with both of them in different cities here in the mission field: Queenstown, Mthatha, Mdantsane and all the way to Port Elizabeth.  We wish them well as they return to their way homes.  It is a long shot but it would be nice to run into them someday in the future.  It would be a very long shot because Elder Black is from Alabama and Elder Tennant is from Australia.  May Heavenly Father watch over them and bless their future lives.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Our Last Senior Couple Skype Call

It is hard to believe it but Elder and Sister Thomas led their final Senior Couple Skype call today.  It was a melancholy event for us.  At the end Sister Wheeler spoke up and asked if this was out last meeting.  We ended up bearing our testimonies to the group.  Oh, how we have come to love the other Senior Couples we serve with.  We hope to be able to keep in touch with them in the future.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Vehicle Repairs and our Mission Leadership Skype Call

Early this morning I had to drop our car off to get it serviced.  I had to be down town in line at the Chevrolet Dealer by about 7:00 AM.  That is me with Brandon who is one of the two service people we use at Meyers Motors.  I have come to know them well.

The Mission Leadership Skype call took place today.  We had the Zone Leaders over for brunch. Elder Stratton (being the most senior Zone Leader) requested Breakfast Burritos today. The brunch was wonderful as usual.  Sister Thomas’ magic was appreciated by the Elders.  Clockwise from the bottom of the picture are Elders Stegelmeier, Sanders, Sister Thomas, Elders Chamberlain and Stratton.

This Council covered several subjects but the highlight was a lengthy discussion on the proper use of MSF which are the funds given to the Elders to live on while in the mission field.  In some cases these funds have not been used correctly.  This will be a challenge for our missionaries to change to become more aligned with the proper and acceptable use of these funds.

We enjoyed having these Elders in our home for this meeting where we act in a supportive role to the Mission Leadership in these meetings.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sister Thomas Performs her Nurses Function

This picture shows a small part of what Sister Thomas does in the back ground in the mission field.  This is a phone call from an Elder who has a sore tooth.  He went to the dentist and the result was an abscess.   This is Sister Thomas speaking to the Elder and then reporting back to Sister Halversen, who is the mission nurse.  She always manages to speak to the Elders with love and patience in her heart.

We had a lovely sunset tonight. For once we were home to enjoy it this evening.  Our small house in Gonubie has such a wonderful spirit and is a safe haven once our day is done.

Attending Sunday Meetings in Mthatha

We attended Church on Sunday in Mthatha.  They had 100 people in attendance at Sacrament meeting, a continuing improvement.  After church we caught some pictures of Elders Best and  Castro with some members and investigators and Elders Young and Banda in discussions with the Elders Quorum President on the right and the Branch Mission leader on the left.

After Church Sister Thomas and I met with the Branch Presidency and we discussed some issues that Brother Welsh had asked me to follow up on.  We also reviewed the paper work required for the application to convert the Branch into a Ward.  This is something that needs to happen in order to support the opportunity to split the East London Stake at the end of this year.

We ran into rain clouds and rain on the way home.