Saturday, May 19, 2012

May 13 -19, 2012

     This has been a very busy week.  We have had something going on every day.  We spent Mother’s Day at Kwa-Magxaki Ward.  We went there in order to get some PEF papers signed.  Monday night we enjoyed a fireside at Lorraine Ward presented by the BYU Young Ambassadors.  The talks were very spiritual.  We particularly enjoyed the songs as they sang several we had sung in the Utah Polynesian Choir.  Elders Pack and Acton had invited us to go along with them the next morning.  We met these young elders at 8:00 a.m. at the church and followed the touring bus to Motherwell Township where the Young Ambassadors presented a program to some high school  students.  That was also very inspirational.

     Randy Boothe, the artistic director, talked to those kids about staying away from alcohol and drugs.  He encouraged them to study hard and support their families.  Brother Boothe has directed this group for 34 years.  He was hired away from Disneyland to come to Provo and take over for Janie Thompson.  She is  an icon in BYU dance and variety shows.  Janie is now 90 years old and in a wheel chair but still plays the piano and sings.  Tom enjoyed running into the brother of one of his Mountain Ridge Students.  I had a discussion with two young men who asked about our church.  I gave each a pass-along card with a picture of the Savior.  One asked who the man in white was.  I said, “That’s Jesus Christ.  He died for us.  You probably heard about him at church.”  One boy answered, “I’ve never been in a church.”

     The assembly was held in Motherwell because we have members out there and the principal of the high school is LDS .  Church members are mostly inactive because it’s too far for them to walk over to the branch at Kwa-Magxaki.  So the stake is trying to open up another branch in Motherwell.  Our leaders hope that the Young Ambassadors would open doors.  I think it was the principal of the high school that got the Young Ambassadors scheduled.  Two other high schools were invited but were confused about the date and came on Monday rather than Tuesday.  Since they could not miss two days of school in a row they missed a truly awesome assembly.   

    We missed the freeway entrance and drove home thru the townships on the way back to P.E. which is why there are photos of shanties.  Unfortunate.   President Wademan asked for pictures of students interacting with performers and the only thing I had was the a.m. Smilebox.  Brother Ntshebe who teaches the “Planning for Success Class” in Kwa-Magxaki, was delayed at work last night so we only showed the BYU evening performance while we waited for him.  I suggested we also show the a.m. pictures but Tom did not want to because it’s not a fair representation of the township. There are some nice houses in Motherwell and I only took photos of the shacks along the way. 

     We took Elders Pack and Acton to lunch in Port Elizabeth on the way home.  I learned that Elder Acton had worked in furniture repair and delivery.  So I made a deal with him.  I told him I’d do their wash this weekend if he would repair my couch.  It looks okay but the springs are shot and you sink to the floor if you sit on the wrong side.  Our washer and dryer are quite old and it takes a long time to run a batch.  So we’ve been doing wash all afternoon.  The elders need a washer so I’ll give them mine when we move and bill the mission for a new one.  I hope to get a refund for the upgrades we made to this flat.  With that money I can replace the desk which is huge and old and takes up half the study.  Don’t know what I’ll do about replacing the dryer yet.  I’ve seen many that are much better at the second hand stores I’ve been checking out.  Since rent on the new flat is much more than on this I don’t want to run up too many bills.  

    Janette had surgery last week so I’ve been running over each day to visit and check on her.  She is doing much better and expects to return to work on Monday but is still having headaches.  I just borrowed her drill so Acton can repair my couch and Elder S. can take a frame to Elder Martin.  His frame broke and we found another at a second hand store.  We must get it there tonight as we are flying to Jo Burg on Monday for more PEF training.

     On Tuesday we sponsored a dinner with 8 senior couples at the Radisson Hotel before the evening performance.  Tom forgot all the tickets so had to return to the flat for them and so missed that event.  He met us at the Nelson Mendela University Theater.  Elder Wademan asked me to take some publicity photos during intermission so I moved to the front row and took several but nothing has appeared in the newspaper yet.

     Wednesday night Evita opened in P.E.   Tom had to pull strings to get tickets.  We went to the Savoy theatre in the afternoon to find its location using the GPS and to get tickets. A lady told him there were no tickets available they were all gone to dignitaries, invitees and the press.  Tom said, “I am a drama teacher from the United States, I’ve taught drama for forty-one years and directed over 130 major theatrical productions.  I really would like to see the show.”  She immediately got on her cell phone, called the president of the theatrical company, and we instantly had two reserved tickets on the front row. The production was outstanding, very well directed and the talent excellent.

     Thursday and Friday nights we had “Planning for Success” workshops in Kwanobuhle and Kwamagxaki.  We also did a short “PEF Fireside” for Catherine, the granddaughter of President Bray at Uitenhage Branch.  And wonder of wonders, we got thru the gate.  It helps if the meeting is scheduled with the president’s granddaughter who wants to qualify for a PEF loan.  We’ve been stood up there on two other occasions. Tomorrow we are meeting with President Barendse of the Cleary Estate Branch and we have a fireside scheduled in Grahamstown on June 2nd.  The biggest problems we face now is how to use the fax and getting the Internet and our land line working when we move on May 31st.   We enjoyed talking to our kids and their spouses on Mother’s Day and it was fun to Skype with Neil and Corrine. 

     Thursday morning I attempted to make crapes but misread the receipt.  I used four cups of flour rather than 400 grams (about 1 3/4 cups) which was called for.  Rather than dumping everything out and starting over, I called Janette,  who rushed over to help.  It took some time to figure out what to do as there is quite a difference in names.  Our crapes are South Africa's pancakes.  Our pancakes are called flap jack here.  Our scones are called "fat cakes."  Our biscuits are called scones in S.A. and our cookies are called biscuits.  At any rate, Janette and I made South African flap jacks out of my crape batter.  We had a good laugh and enjoyed eating breakfast together.

   Good News:  Elder Stokoe has opened an e-mail account at to replace the account that was hijacked.  

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