Friday, January 18, 2013

Sunday, January 13th

We had interesting meetings on Sunday  with several investigators attending all three meetings.  One was a former member of the S.A. defence department;  a  very articulate coloured and an active Seventh Day Adventist.  This man was invited by Lionel, one of the speakers who is a former member of that church.  Lional was baptised two years ago.  He gave an amazing talk.  In his youth Lional was a gang leader who broke into big houses but was caught and served 16 years in a local prison.  He ended the talk with a heart felt testimony on how joining the Mormon Church has changed his life.  Our missionaries have had follow up appointments with the investigators during the week.
There are many different denominations in Grahamstown.  The community boasts fifty-one church buildings including the Hindu Mandir Mosque located down the street from where we live where our Indian land lady worships.
Most of the new comers stayed to attend the Gospel Essentials class taught by our missionaries.  I was very proud of Elder Olyabo who kept saying, "You are all most welcome here.  Thank you for coming.  Please feel free to participate,"  and they did. 
 As we had been asked to teach a "Planning for Success" workshop, we had met with six people after church the previous Sunday.  These potential students asked that this workshops be held after the block so everyone could attend.  Tom made lunches as the participants would have to walk to church and stay for an extra hour and a half after the block.  Then walk home.  Only two girls came.  Neither was eligible for PEF as both had failed two classes and not graduated from high school.  PEF does not pay for Matrix makeup.  We suggested that they find out how much the tuition would be to retake the failed classes.  Perhaps we can help them find jobs to cover that cost.  If they get passing grades, they will be able to apply for PEF loans.  The girls are between 19 and 20 and both live at home.    We will try to help them but there isn't much we can do beyond encouraging them.
This is the fourth flat we have lived in since we arrived here in South Africa and the one with the best kitchen.  There is lots of nice cook wear, a large counter and easy to reach cupboards.  When the Elders were here for dinner that night we discovered that Sister Nye loved to cook and baked every day.  She took cookies to nonmembers, gave muffins to the owners of the bike repair shop and brought goodies to their meetings.  There is  a good stove.  The mission reimbursed us for an upgraded so now the refrigerator is large enough.
Elders Khumalo, Aya, Swenson, Olyabo, Stokoe, Alexander, Clark, and Von Brughan in Port Albert

The Elders washed and dried the dishes and then each of us shared an insight or a spiritual thought.  Then they invited us to join them on an excursion to Port Alfred for P Day as  Elders Alexander and Clark were proposing a visit to Mansfield Animal Park where there is a very friendly Giraffe that does not mind being petted by the visitors.  

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