Saturday, August 25, 2012

August 12 - August 26

      Tom advised Telcom on August 14th  that we would be moving but he did not specify a date because the date was subject to the internet and telephone landline being hooked up at our new intended flat.  The woman he talked to told him it could take up to 21 days to get our internet switched over.  What we didn't expect was that in applying for this service to be installed at the new flat , our landline and internet would be cut off the next day. Consequently, we spent the next nine days without any service.

Monday, Aug. 13th  Tom picked up the key to the flat at 11 Stethen Place.  It has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and is larger than #17 Turnburry so  we  needed more furniture.  We went looking for a living room and dinette set but could not find anything in our price range.  So we went shopping at Macro.  I ran into Sister Spear there and asked if she knew anyone who was selling used furniture.  She said Traci and Stanley Bannister were emigrating with their family to Canada and had two houses of furniture to sell.  She gave me Traci’s cell number.  I called about 4:00 p.m. She was at her law office but agreed to meet me at the town house at 5:00.  Nothing in her home would work so Traci drove us out to her vacation home near Addo, an elephant park, to see a dinette set and and living room furniture.  We bought a beautiful striped couch with two matching chairs, an entertainment center, a buffet, a dinette set that will seat all three senior couples, three sets of curtains, and several very beautiful African pictres; all for just $625, the price of a new low-end dinette set.  What a blessing.  We were pleased to see that everything matches the earth tones in our new flat.  I’m so glad all the walls or not off white like most of the rentals here.  So from being in the boarding that nobody wanted we are in a comfortable and beautifully decorated house now.

Tuesday, August 14,  We started packing as we must be settled by August 25.  We are having dinner with President Wood and other senior couples the evening of August 30.   The three senior couples here in P.E. are preparing lunch for 45 (leaders and the young elders) in this zone on Friday, Aug. 31st.  We are having stake conference on September 2nd  and a new stake presidency will be sustained.  The new couple replacing the Taylors arrive on September 22 and will stay in our flat until the Taylors leave on September 24.   

Wednesday, Aug. 15th, We celebrated Tom’s birthday with a dinner for eight young elders, two neighbors, Verushka and Janette Lake, and the Clarkes. I surprised Tom with a ukulele purchased from a second hand store.  The Polynesian elders bought it.  The Polynesian elders presented a song, Tom sang some Maori and Samoan songs, and elder Wolfgram did the Maori haka. I made yummy potatoes and we bought lemon herb chicken from Nandos, which the elders claimed was better than Kentucky Fried Chicken, and I made a carrot cake.  It was farewell to our neighbors in Turnburry and turned out to be a very nice evening.

Thursday, August 16th,  We painted the office and walls and floor of the garage.  Now the garage is my dance studio. The young family who lived here before us used the study as their baby’s room.  It was white with a blue fence as a border.  We painted the room a soft satin, off yellow which compliments the framed water-color paintings of birds we found in storage when we arrived in P.E. 

Friday, August 17, Tom and I went to district meeting with the Lorraine Elders.  Then they returned with us and helped unload the truck that brought the furniture in from the Bannister's vacation home.  Afterwards we took Elder Alexander and Ssemanu to lunch along with Jessica, our maid, who had cleaned both flats that day.  We mentioned our internet problems to  these elders and Ssemanu suggested we contact Brother Mshumu, who had just been baptized.  He is the manager of the Telcom office in Sherwood.  Tom stopped at his office and Brother Mshumu had an installer come out Tuesday and set us up.  What a blessing to have our service restored as we need it for our PEF assignment.

Saturday, August 18,  We went to the SOS Children’s Orphanage with members on the Port Elizabeth Ward to do a “Helping Hands” service project.  We planted four vegetable gardens for the orphans as part of this church wide "day of service."  I donated lots of seeds.  Kevin Fourie remarked, “You have enough seeds for a small farm.”  Tom took pictures.

Sunday, August 19, We attended Port Elizabeth Ward and then drove out to Cleary Branch to talk to Joshua Mosiah and schedule his truck in order to move the rest of our furniture on Wednesday.  We arrived there just in time to witness the baptism of Sikelelwa Wellem, the wife of a member.  Then we returned to P.E. where we had lunch with Gale and Kevin Fourie and their daughter, Elders Cowey and Balmforth, and brother James Chemuti and his two sons.  Brother Chemuti is 1st counselor in the PR bishopric.  The Fourie's are both practicing attorneys. They own the complex at Prospect Road where the Port Elizabeth Elders live in a nice flat that we inspect regularly.  Gail is the daughter of Pearl Ek, who hosted us for dinner with Elders Critchfield and Sutherland at Easter.  The food was great and we had a very enjoyable afternoon.

Monday, August 20, Senior Activity zip lining.  Taxing on the stomach muscles as we had to swing with legs outstretched and body practically parallel to the land.  Eight stations with steep steps leading to some of them caused loss of breath and leg muscles to slightly burn.  Overall, a fun activity followed by lunch at a nearby eatery.

Tuesday, August 21,  We met Andre, the installer for Telcom, at our new flat and got our Internet up and running.  however, with moving, I had no time to check my e-mail or update the blog.  We made several trips back and forth in the car to bring clothes and other items.  It’s a good thing that Turnburry is only a mile away from Stethen Place.  We worked until about 8:00 p.m.  I was very tired.  With zip lining and moving, I was so sore I could not sleep and had take a warm bath in the middle of the night to sleep.

Wednesday, August 22,  I organized our goods while Tom with two Polynesian elders and Joshua Mosiah moved the rest of our furniture over in his truck.

Thursday, August 23,  I painted a small table for the patio purchased at a second hand store and a book shelf we use for storage in the garage.  We picked up the elders mail from the airport and distributed it stopping only to buy other items we needed.

Friday, August 24,  Tom blew a circuit while making toast and we had to call Brenda to send over an electrician.  We missed district meeting.  We got all the pictures hung and everything put away.  We went with the Lorraine Elders to visit the Mshumus and thanked Brother Mshumu for getting our Internet restored  so quickly.  We made an appointment to go with the Lorraine Elders on Tuesday to the Frail Care Centre next door.  We will help the physical therapis plan and plant a vegetable garden.  The people who live there need a hobby and gardening will  bless their lives.

Saturday, August 25,  We are speaking in Sacrament meeting in Port Elizabeth Ward tomorrow.  Our subject, the parable of the talents.  This is our first speaking assignment.  We were asked to speak on Thursday which has not give us much time to prepare.  Also we must shop for the dinner we are hosting tomorrow night.

Sunday, August 26,  Sacrament meeting is at 10:00 p.m. then we are going out to Kwa Maxagi to take new petrol cards to the elders there and give some volley ball equipment to the elder’s quorum president for their sports day in September.  Tom is donating the equipment.  At 6:00 p.m. we are hosting Sister Van Sickles birthday.  The Taylors and Janette will join us.  We will probably invite the Clarkes for Family Home Evening on Monday night as this is the last time we will be able to get together until October.   Hope you are all well.  We are in a very beautiful flat now.   It’s amazing how things have turned out.  Love and Blessings, Sister S.

Tom's Report


After 9 days with no internet we are now moved as of today and back in internet communication.  Two Tongan elders, Elder Wolfgram of West Valley and Elder Tukuafu of Arizona, helped along with a good Zulu brother with a truck and his assistant.

Monday we Ziplined through the jungle as a senior couples activity, 8 of us total, which was fun though slightly strenuous on the stomach muscles as we had to fly parallel with the ground with outstretched legs.  Climbing steps taxed our breathing and leg muscles  as we walked between flying stations, but an enjoyable activity overall.  Add to that packing over a 3 day period, 8 carloads of possessions relayed from old place to new place, plus 3 truckloads of furniture and accessories and Sister S. was completely wiped out.  Her body ached and she felt miserable so I booked a 1 and a ½ Thai massage for her and now she is feeling better.

Now 3 loads of furniture and accessories may sound like we are basking in affluence.  Not so.  The truck was a pickup truck a little larger than Everett’s.  We initiated our newly acquired kitchen table in our new home with the 6 of us eating food bought at a home-made cooking establishment.  We were blessed to receive some new furniture.  A family is emigrating to Canada so we purchased some of their furniture.  It looks quite nice.  Our old stuff we gave away – some to our Zulu friend and assistant, and some to a member in a ward who hosted us for lunch last Sunday.   Our flat is quite nice and Sister S. is genuinely pleased.  I am too.  She would not enjoy living in squalor so it’s a good thing we were not assigned to a mud hut somewhere in the jungle though I think that would have been fun. 

We’ll be heading out in September to a totally new location called East London, about a 4-5 hour drive from here.  We’ll stay there for a month and try to get some PEF action going.  There are 11 wards and branches.  Our senior couple friends, the Taylors are leaving for home in 4 weeks.  They are from Wyoming and we’ll be sorry to see them go.  They have helped us immensely and we would not be able to technically do this job had it not been for their computer assistance.  So much depends on computer savvy in doing this job.  

It’s enjoyable driving through this country.  Parts look like Idaho and others like Hawaii, some like New Zealand.  Drivers fly past the police who never pursue.  There’s no issuing of tickets, it’s all robot camera.  Twice in one week we were stopped at a police blockade.  They were searching cars for weapons and drugs.  Upon showing my license on both occasions, the policemen proclaimed, ”UUUUUtah.  Where is UUUUUtah?  They had never heard of UUUUUtah but they had heard of California.

They were very friendly.  Sister S. has now revived and is unpacking boxes and putting stuff away.  I’m sure she will issue a documentary about everything in the next day or two.  Aloha,

Elder Stokoe

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