Monday, January 7, 2013

Jan. 4th - High Winds & Jan 5th District Meeting

We spent Tuesday, Jan. 3rd, doing paperwork in P.E.   We submitted receipts for reimbursement for the items we purchased for our elders and for money spent on the fridge upgrade.  The mission normally provides  refrigerators so they got a good deal.  Wednesday (Jan. 4th) Tom installed new water filters in all the flats that we are responsible for in P.E.  He also processed another PEF loan.  We visited the Sherberts, another senior couple, and gave them the filters for the flats they are responsible for.  Our P.E. elders promised to keep their flats clean and in good condition until transfers on the 16th.  At noon we left for Grahamstown.  We expected to be there by 2:00 p.m. to meet with an electrician.   Our landlord was finally able to schedule one who lives in Port Alfred but was coming to Grahamstown for other jobs.  Many businesses here in South Africa close between Dec. 14th and Jan. 7th for summer vacation and Christmas break.  Edward was lucky to find one.  

Tom drove carefully through high winds and a sandstorm.  It was quite a harrowing journey.  He had a hard time keeping the car on the road.  The trip took two hours.  We arrived on time.   However, we discover that we had left the keys to the Grahamstown flat in P.E.  My New Years resolution to be more patient dissolved but I lost it!  "How can you be so stupid?" I said to my dear companion.  He had taken the key off the counter where i had left it and hidden it in a drawer in the bedroom just before we left P.E.  Our the landlord and wife had left to visit their daughter in Australia there was not another key to the flat anywhere in Grahamstown.  Since the key ring wasn't on the counter where I had placed it, I thought Tom put it into his pocket when he picked up the cell phone.   He thought it was another key to Stephan Place so decided to put it carefully away.   The key has a camilion on the ring which Tom was always complaining about.  He said it chewed up his pocket.  So I had a hard time understanding how he could make such a mistake.  

We drove back to P.E. through a fierce gale.  We passed a semi tractor trailer on the N2 Highway that had been tipped over by the winds.  The newspaper later reported that 2,000 people in townships were homeless as their shacks had been blown down.  Tin roofs were blown off other buildings. Trees were down. Two fires had been started by these fierce winds.  The situation was even worse in Cape Town where four thousand people are now homeless.  Ships were torn from their moorings and winds wrecked havoc all along the coast. Tom called the electrician to reschedule for the following day.  We were pleased that he did not return to Port Alfred that night as he had planned. Martin hung our new light fixture in the living room and put the old one in the bedroom the next day.  He also hung a large bulletin board above Tom's desk in the bedroom/office.  

We arrived safely in Port Elizabeth.  At 7:00 p.m. we visited Phillip and Mariam Clarke whom we have not seen for several weeks.  Elder Critchfield said they had been asking for us.  The Clarkes, inactive for 26 years, now attend P.E. ward regularly.   When we returned to the flat we watched  "Braveheart" on one of the three stations we can get in Port Elizabeth.  We can get only one station in Grahamstown and many of the programs are in Afrikanse. A few have English subtitles.   When we are in Port Elizabeth we usually watch the 7:00 p.m. news as it is important to keep up with current event in order to advise PEF students about the changing job situation in South Africa. 

We drove back to Grahamstown the next morning and met with the electrician.  Then did the grocery shopping and made it to District Meeting at 11:30 a.m. We were joined by the Stumms, the senior couple from Port Alfred, and their two missionaries, Elder Alexander (far left) whom we knew from P.E. and Elder Clarke (far right).  Our Grahamstown elders include from the left, Elder Khumalo, Elder Swenson, Elder Olyabo and Elder Von Brughan.  Elder Olyabo gave an excellent lesson from Preach My Gospel about "Relying on the Spirit."
District Meeting in Grahamstown with Elder & Sister Stumm and Port Alfred Elders on  January 5th 2013

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