This morning we walked in the park next to Stethan Place and then spent an hour with “The Life and Teachings of Jesus & His Apostles.” After breakfast we delivered items we had bought for our young elders -- cleaning supplies, light bulbs, pillows, etc. We had to stop at Macro to buy a microwave oven, bicycle tire pump and two combination locks. We also checked the broken window at Elder Ingram & Sheward’s flat and damaged the iron grill. The District Leaders could not get the key to work so they had to break in since the land lady was on holiday in Egypt. It looks like we will have to pay for repairs. They are having problems with a blocked drain that’s the land ladies problem and not ours.
We came home and had to have Jessica, our cleaning lady, let us in as we had forgotten our keys. We collected our scriptures and “Preach My Gospel” for District Meeting which started at 10:30. But did not get there until 11:00. As there was carrot cake left over from my birthday party on Tuesday, I thought the new elders who had arrived on Wednesday would enjoy it. Elder Balmforth when home to Taylorsville that day and Elder Ssemanda was off to be Elder Farley's new companion in Cape Town.
I love Ssemanda. Every time I’ve seen him lately I’ve felt that he will be an awesome leader in Uganda someday. I told him so and he confided that the first counselor in the bishopric there keeps e-mailing and asking about his release date. Elder Ssemanda lost the memory card to his digital camera Tuesday. I ran into him while shopping for the party and he was feeling rather sad. It had all the photos he had taken on the mission. I gave him 200 rand and told him to buy another. Luckily, after a prayer he found it and was overjoyed to tell me so when he came to our party.
The party was a huge success. All the Afrikaners sat around eating, laughing and sharing memories of growing up in P.E. These included Tracy and Stan Banister; Phillip and Mariam Clarke; and non- members neighbors, Cheryl & Peter Clark and Wendy Peterson. Janette Lake also came. Nine young elders were there along with Nathan Banister. Elder Dale was being transferred so drove over from Port Alfred. He said part of the N2 highway washed away as well as a new bridge which is also gone All the elders transferring from East London will be taking alternate routes.
Elder Ingram and his two sisters have an Irish dance studio in Wyoming with ninety students. So he danced. Elder Wolfgramm performed the hakka. Elder Stokoe played the guitar and sang a Maori song. Cheryl remarked that the young elders were such nice clean cut, confident young men. “They are such a credit to your church.” Peter, her husband, thought the fried chicken was better than KFC. (Actually it was KFC.) Janette came early, brought a bean salad and helped set up. We had fruit salad, tossed green salad, rolls and cold cuts–beef and ham. Also ice cream and carrot cake.
After the meeting I served what was left of the cake. Then Elder S. and I went to guided Circular Road and bought two chests of drawers for the Elders on Prospect Road and the delivery man there. The elders helped unload. This took place before another down pour. Tom took everyone out to lunch but Elder Andriamanenteina who had a doctor’s appointment. Elder Andri. . . has back problems and had to have a MRI. So he and Critchfield, missed lunch. Tom felt so bad about that he invited them to dinner. As they had a 7:00 p.m. appointment, they suggested we come along. Their investigators, the DeWall family, are coloured. They have experienced a lot of trials lately. Brother DeWall was out of town but we were able to visit with Mrs. DeWall and their thirteen-year-old son. Elder S. and I testified that the gospel can help one get through trials and bring peace to your life.
Sister DeWall thanked us for coming. She said she had been very depressed that morning but our visit had brought her a lot of comfort. Then we took the elders to dinner at American Grill and got them home before 10:00 p.m. -- the magic hour for these young missionaries.
We asked Elder A. why people from Madagascar have such long names. He said that it’s to honor the grandparents. They names of the grandparents are added into all surnames. We love having Elder Critchfield back here. We last saw him in Ntata when we were in East London. Critchfield was in P.E. when we first arrived but he’s has been gone for about three months. We love being with these young men. They are such an inspiration. It’s been a good day. Love and Blessings, Sister S.