Monday, April 30, 2012

This is Africa

      After the meeting with President Wood and the Elders for training on April 20, we have been more diligent with our scripture study.  We are reading “The Life and Teaching of Jesus & His Apostles”  and hope that by being obedient we will be blessed to know what to do.  However this is Africa -- nothing is certain here.

Fire Side:   The Fireside in Kwamagxaki on April 22 was a success.   Tom gave an awesome presentation.  We gave the workshop teacher 15 student manuals rather than just five.   We came home to an e-mail from  Catherine in Knysna Branch, near George, asking for PEF training.  (She has not been called to work with PEF.)   However, she did schedule a PEF fireside for us in March.  Then cancelled it.   Tom suggested we could do a fireside for her on any weekend in May.   Catherine answered that she did not want our Fireside only workshop training.  (She received manuals from the Smiths, a senior missionary couple, who have since been transferred.)   Tom answered that we received our training in SLC and in Johannesburg and that we must follow the PEF program as outlined.  He advised her to talk the branch president when he returns from holiday in the U.S. sometime in June.

Educational Opportunities     Elder Van S. tells us he can get students good jobs and an education paid for by the state, if we help them pass their Matric (graduation) exams.  The colored teacher Tom sat by when we went to ABBA told him that he spent many hours after school helping the kids in the black township finish assignment and with tutoring, they succeed.  (See Tom's e-mail on Education.)  We are both prepared to do whatever is necessary to help kids--black, white, or colored-- in whatever way we can.  However we were told in PEF training to only work through the priesthood.  Most of the white Afrikkans leadership here believe that the black kids expect a free ride and are not smart enough to succeed in school.  Van S. met with President W. about his plan for tutoring young LDS black kids in the townships.  The only outcome of that meeting was that W. wants us to help sell tickets and house the BYU Young Ambassadors when they come to P.E.on May 15.  The other senior couples have room but we don't.

New Flat:  Yesterday Cape Town called.  The mission office has approved our moving next door to Flat # 17.  They are aware that our landlord refuses to make improvements.  The mission office needs to know what our new rent will be.  The flat next door has 3 bedrooms and is the nicest in our compound.  I talked to our neighbor who hopes to move to a small farm on June 1st. Talanna  told me that she had met with the buyers who expected to rent #17 to us.  The husband is ready to sign but the wife wants to close in July.  (Our lease here ends on June 1st) Talanna's offer on a small lease hold expires on April 30th while the paperwork has sat on a desk somewhere in Cape Town for two weeks waiting for an official stamp.

Sharing the Gospel:  People notice our badges and ask what we are doing here in Africa.  Tom talks to them about the gospel and takes referrals.  We talk to a young Afrikkan by the name of Jacobus Johannes, who works at the pharmacy in Kings Court where I go to get my hair done.  He just had his third discussion.  He said he found the information about “David Smith, in the 1820’s was very interesting.”  Jacobus a quiet sincere young man who meets with the missionaries regularly now.

        Elders Penman and Elder Doxie invited us to meet with Zina, an investigator on April 24.  This  attractive 20 year old is a black model.  Her mother Peace, and sister Beauty also sat in along with Zina's little son Gift.  (It is typical for young black girls to have an out-of-wedlock child by they time they reach 20.)  The Elders gave a a wonderful discussion and bore heart felt testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel.  We enjoyed being with them and hope to visit the family again.  The women live next door to one of the high councilman in P.E. stake.  They seemed sincerely interested in learning more about our church.

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