Evening we served meat loaf to our missionaries and Aya who will leave for his mission on February 21st. Then we each shared a Christmas memory. Tom played the guitar and sang Island songs. Alan Bamford, a former Anglican, provided information on the service at the Cathedral which we will attend on Christmas Eve. Alan is a childless widower. We always usually include him in our activities with the missionaries.
|Aya & Masixoli, Brother Alan and our four missionaries.|
Tuesday, Dec. 25th, Christmas Day
I made turkey soup and then Elder Stokoe and I went to the Brookshore Home Retirement Center. Alan had invited us and our four young elders to join him for Christmas dinner. We were served sliced beef and ham, potatoes, red beets, salad and milk tarts. Alan added a sparkling fruit drink and minced pie with cream. At 2:00 p.m. we returned to our flat so our missionaries could use Vonage and the landline to call home.
It's Christmas Day and we just had lunch with Alan at Brookshore Home, in the retirement center's dining room. We are now back at the flat with our young missionaries who are excited to be calling home. At the moment we have Elder Swensen, from Sandy, on Vonage and Elder Khumalo, from South Africa, talking to his family on the land line. Tom's outside visiting with Edward, our Indian landlord, who owns the local laundry and I'm trying to put together another Smilebox but seem to have forgotten how to do it on this Apple. We are taking Masixole to East London on Thursday to fly off to his mission. It's been wall to wall activities since we arrived here.
Wednesday, Dec. 26th There is a lot to do in this branch including reactivation work. On December 18th we went with Elder Olyabo to visit Sister Bumela Athemkosi and her two young children, ages 3 and 6. She and her nonmember husband own a hair salon which is open on Sunday so she has not been attending church. Elder Stokoe promised her that she and her children would be blessed if she started attending regularly. Elder Stokoe is working on the branch calendar today.
|Being set apart by Elder Fowers & President Bell|
|Arriving at the Fowers Flat in East London|
We left Grahamstown at 1:00 p.m. to take Masixole to East London to be set apart for his mission. I asked him to share his conversion story. He said he began attending church with his friends when he was thirteen. His parents were divorced so he lived with his grandmother and cousins. The family were all Seventh Day Adventist. His grandmother was opposed to to him joining the church so he had to wait until he was eighteen to be baptised.
Sister Nye helped Masixole, Ayabulela and Sivuyile make muffins to sell at the Grahamstown Art's Festival to pay for their passports and other expenses. Aya will leave for his mission to Johannesburg February 20th. Ten members of Masixole's family came to his grandmother's home to say "Good Bye and wish him well. His mother flew in from Durban to see him off. We stopped at a local gas station so Masixole could give away his fist Book of Mormon. One of the attendants had asked Elder Stokoe for religious material. In East London we joined the Fowers and Stums for dinner and then we drove Masixole to the Stake Centre to be set apart.
Two other young men were there to be set apart for missions. All were going to Uganda. A fourth elder arrived while we were there to pick up his mission call. He has been called to Uganda as well. Early the next morning these three flew off to the Missionary Training Center in Johannesburg.
It is such a privilege to support Masixole and these young men. We enjoyed representing his family. What a great blessing these dedicated young African Elders are to the church. They are leaders of tomorrow.