We walked in the park this morning. Then visited Janette Lake. Her daughter Bianca left on Thursday and is back in the bush as a dessert chef for an upscale Safari Company. Janette had received an e-mail and a photo from Jane Taylor of her the new grand-baby. The Taylors had the flu when they left P.E. and as everyone in the mission field flies back through London now, it was a long flight for them after a stop over at the mission home. Later, when I had my hair done, I told Carmelita I would likely be going to Cape Town so did not make another appointments. Actually I wanted to avoid another disastrous hair cut so will try another opperator.
I think our trip to Cape Town is off. Tom called and offered our PEF services to Duncan McMillian, with Seminaries and Institutes after Khumbalani, our administrato, suggested we contact him. But Brother McMillian said he did not know how he could use us. No matter! Sister Wood is hosting Thanksgiving Dinner for us seniors at the mission home so we will be back in Cape Town anyway. As senior couples may take a ten day vacation from the mission, I’d love to go to Jerusalem over winter break. School will be out then. Everyone leaves town and most all our loans for the new year will be in process.
I’m not happy about not being able to use Smilebox and since I will likely be transcribing a mission history as a service project here, I bought a MacBook Pro Apple computer and a book entitled, “How to Do Everything Mac.” Elder Balmforth is coming by on Monday night with his companion for dinner and to set it up. Sister Fowler has a Mac. She convinced me that after I master the Mac operating system, it’s easier to use than a P.C. My son Matt owns a printing company and has been telling me that for years.
This afternoon Cheryl, one of my neighbors, came by to collect my donation for charity and since I’m celebrating a birthday next week, I invited her to my party for the neighbors and some of our young elders on October 23. She asked how old I was and was surprised to learn that I’m turning seventy-one. She guessed I was about fifty-two. Rose, my Thai massage therapist, thought both Tom and I were in our early fifties. She was surprised when I told her Elder Stokoe just turned seventy-two, “I would not have been so hard on him, bending him this way and that, had I known,” she confided.
The last time she worked on Tom as he sat, she tried to lift him up by his arms with her knee in his back to crack his back saying, “Relax.” Apparently he didn’t relax enough so she said, “Give me your body. I want your body.” She tried moving him and in the process they both fell over sideways laughing. Rose speaks broken English with a strong Thai accent. Tom gets a kick out of her choice of words. Rose is the 38 year old owner of Sabine Thai Massage and she does really good work. My hip flexer muscle is greatly improved. She and her Afrikanse husband are both devout Christians. They read the Bible regularly. I want to give each a Book of Mormon but one must be in Afrikanse and the other in Thai. When we talked in P.E. Ward one of the elders told Elder Cowley that I was seventy. “She looks good!” he said. If sixty is the new forty then seventy must be the new fifty.
Actually we are both in very good health. Tom has not had any problems with arrhythmia or gout. However, we both have trouble remembering things like nouns and where we parked the car. It takes both of us to be very effective in the mission. And we can't remember where we put things but perhaps living in three different flats is part of the problem. We eat lots of fish and have given up red meat. It is rather tough and hamburger does not taste the same as it does at home.
Tom is very good with African names. Likely because of his Samoan. I can neither pronounce them nor remember them. After being here for seven months I still have trouble pronouncing the wards out in the bush.
Since returning from East London we have been attending the P.E. Ward and both bore our testimony in Lorraine thanking the Lord for being back in P.E. We love this area, the people, the missionaries and are better able to do our assigned work. We enjoyed two live General Conference telecasts. The taped sessions of the general priesthood meeting will be shown on October 20. And the other sessions we missed will be aired at the ward at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. next Sunday. It was such a thrill for us to participate in conference, almost like being back in Salt Lake.
Tuesday we are going next door to Lorraine Frail Care Center to help the Port Elizabeth Elders plant a vegetable garden. Tom has been trying to find a rotor tiller to rent. But discovered that there are none to be had as this is a pick and shovel country. The rental agency knew of just two: one in Port Alfred. But it’s broken and parts are unavailable. The manager said he knows of a farmer near here who owns one and promised to contact him. The problem is that South Africa does not import rotor tillers nor manufacture them. There are too many people out of work and need this kind of employment. Our young missionaries are willing to serve but those from Utah and Idaho are not too keen on digging up the grass with a picks and shovels.