Thursday, January 31, 2013

Grahamstown Branch


In the Grahamstown branch it seems they have a tradition of announcing baptism dates over the pulpit but not the person's name.  The 1st counselor has announced for two Sundays now: "We will be having a baptism on Saturday the 2nd of February at 12 noon and invite everyone to come.  This is a special occasion and we invite you to come and support the person being baptized."  I asked, "How come the name is not announced?"  He said in the past when the name has been announced ahead of the baptism date the person has quit coming to church.  I asked why and he said they are embarrassed.  Why the embarrassment I do not know, unless it is harrassment or ridicule by non member family, friends, relatives or enemies of the church, or plain chickening out through peer pressure or otherwise.  The young woman (about age 21) has been attending church every Sunday since we moved here but yesterday she failed to show up. I wonder if it's because she is fearful her name will be announced over the pulpit being the baptism date is just two weeks away. Or, is it not announced to "protect" her. I really don't know. Anyway, once she is baptized what can the  preventive sources do?  The event has occured, she's a member. 

We have four missionaries currently serving from this branch who are the only members of the church in their families.  There are others in this branch who are also the only member of the church in their family. We have four young boys age 8-12 who are non members but attend every Sunday.  One had a white shirt but three did not, so I went to Woolworths and bought three white shirts.  Now they are wearing them to church.  Another young non member boy is showing up in a brown T shirt each Sunday.  I'll buy a white shirt for hiim.  In going over the branch directory I found an interesting name.  The name of this male is Sheriff -- Sheriff Johnson.  How about that?  A Black male by the name of Sheriff Johnson.  Also, we have a male high school teacher in the branch by the name of Solomon Nathan Johnson.  It seems the Johnsons get around.   Well, today is P Day and we have some business to take care of, some washing, and a bit of driving around for enjoyment and becoming more acquainted with the area.  Have a good day.

Elder S. 

Note:  The Seventh Day Adventist people who attended our Sacrament Meeting the day that Lional spoke want him back.  The missionaries report that since his talk they have been putting a lot of pressure on him to return.  But it's too late.  Lional is rock solid.  He has just been called into the Young Men's presidency.  Alan Bamford (pictured above) has accepted a call to teach the Elders Quorum.  He and Sister Audery Thomas are the only white members in the branch.  Alan was baptised in the 1980s and has a complete library of church history books in his flat.

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