Congratulations Brian on your ability to continue running marathons and success in your weight division. You are such a great example of staying fit for the rest of us. We have been very busy since returning to Port Elizabeth. We attended the 8:00 a.m. sacrament meeting at Lorraine Ward Sunday and then returned to the Stake Center at 6:00 p.m. that night to watch General Conference. Shortly after the live broadcast began the Richins arrived with seven of the elders from the town of George. The Richins stayed with us until yesterday afternoon. They helped host dinner for a training session for new missionaries Monday night and lunch for Zone Conference with President and Sister Wood on Tuesday. The four of us spent most of P day shopping and cooking. I made potato salad and brownies, Sister Miriam brought cookies and we made pulled pork. That took most of the day to prepare. It’s so nice to have an extra bedroom. We enjoyed the visit. Today have spent the morning washing their towels and bedding while Tom is out doing “Elder care.” Our missionaries at Kablejous road have a plugged sink which he will try to fix and another needs a new tire for his bicycle.
Being with Elder and Sister Wood, who arrived on Tuesday, is always a treat when we have Zone Conference. Sister Wood told me that her husband retired early so they could serve a mission. They were originally called as temple workers in Johannesburg but they were reassigned as President of the Cape Town Mission. They come to Port Elizabeth every seven weeks for interviews and Zone Conference and we look forward to these visits which sometimes includes dinner at the Blue Wave restaurant down by the beach for us seniors.
Their A.P.s (Assistance to the President) conducted training at 9:00 a.m. Elder Balmforth & Elder Madagascar (he has 16 letters in his name so Tom just calls him Elder Madagascar because that is where he comes from) presided and taught while president interviewed the George Elders. Then the Port Elizabeth elders arrived for a combined meeting at 11:30 a.m. President’s lesson was on honesty. He told of an experience he had as a new young attorney. He was representing a man in a divorce case. His client owned the only pink pickup truck in Anchorage and it was parked in front of his office when a process server, representing the wife, arrived and asked if the man was in his office. President Wood said “No.” The server looked as if he did not believe him but left without serving the papers.
This bothered him so much that he immediately went and apologized to two secretaries that overheard the conversation. He felt so bad that he called the stake president and offered to resign as his counselor. He confessed this to his law partner who said he should have claimed “confidential client information.” The hardest call he had to make was to apologize to the process server. From that day forward he determined to tell the truth no matter what and he did this throughout the rest of his career. He did not want to be a crooked lawyer. He gave us this test for truth: 1. Is it the truth? 2. Is it fair to all concerned. 3. Will it build good will and friendship? 4. Is it beneficial?
At the end of the meeting those elders leaving the field bore their testimony, we sang happy birthday to five missionaries celebrating birthdays this money (me included) and had a group picture which I hope to forward when I figure out how to access Sister Woods face book page. They Tom and I and the Richins served lunch to everyone. We cleaned up while the A.P. did training for our P.E. elders. They the Richins went back to George, a four hour drive, with their missionaries.
I talked to President Wood about my concern for the elders who leave the mission field here in Africa that can’t find jobs. He suggested that we talk to the bishops and ask them to let us know when the missionaries in their ward return. Then we can contact them individually and help them explore their options. Sister Wood keeps in contact with these young men via face book. She reported that those who return in Africa get depressed as they spend months trying to find employment and are unsuccessful. Many have tried to start their own businesses. They all have 2 or 4 church callings but most get discouraged when they can’t find work. For those who return to the U.S. they complain that their biggest problem is not having a church calling. We love President and Sister Wood and always feel energized by attending Zone Conferences, enjoying their enthusiasm and hearing them talk. Meanwhile our visit to East London is bearing fruit. We have been asked to return to train the PEF teachers from Nov 7 – 11. We are also exploring the possibility of presenting some firesides in Cape Town.
We love our new compound and feel secure here. Several missionaries have experienced break ins in including the Van Sickles. Someone went into their flat in the middle of the night while they were sleeping and stole all their computer equipment. We hear that break-ins increase during October, November and December so thieves can get money to go home for Christmas.
Love and Blessings, Mom
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2012 3:32 PM
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2012 3:32 PM
It’s been a little while, so I thought I would update you on what’s happening here. Dayna and I got back yesterday from the St. George marathon trip – we spent Friday and Saturday nights in St. George, and the marathon was Saturday morning. I ended up running 3:29, which is slower than I I’ve done in past years, but still good enough for 6th in the weight division. The interesting thing was that the last 8 miles were probably the easiest I’ve done in a marathon – go figure. We went to Mesquite on Sunday to hang out by the Casa Blanca pool and did some gambling, which wasn’t not profitable this time around with losses of $150.
We are all back to work now, and it’s very busy here. That’s probably a good thing as banking jobs appear to be diminishing overall. Anyway, good luck with the work you are doing. Love, Brian