Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mail from home, Service & PEF Work

I've spent the last two days going through all the mail that Dean sent in an effort to collect information in order to file our taxes.  It was fun seeing all the Christmas cards and reading some holiday letters.  We learned that Leo's son Landon and wife have two children now-- a boy named Dax and a girl named Koya.   I got the new drivers license and everything I need to file.   Curtis Rasmussen, our tax man, told me to save all receipts while on the mission which I did.  Including all those for food and clothing.  It was hard going through all of that.  I got so confused I had to called him. Curtis suggested that I add  everything up but not include any of our day to day expenses like food or clothing.    We sent this off today.  I hope it will arrive before the deadline.  I discovered that we have seen more than twenty movies and that I've read more than 50 books including African fiction, biographies and some historical and political publications about Africa. 

Tom's been busy with two service projects.  He spent most of the day on Monday with Michael Toise driving him around to get his verifications for a welding program.  Hopefully PEF will approve this one. They denied his application for a driving program and for and for a different welding school because it was not certified.   Sister Toise starts her nursing program in April.  She called today because they claimed they have not received her tuition which PEF paid on February 28th.   There are so many problems in S.A. related to education including getting students into programs and getting these programs paid for.  I can see why they need a senior couple here even though we are not very busy with this work. 

Yesterday Elder Moangare was here most of the day trying to get his online application to BYU-Hawaii filed.   He is the elder with the beautiful singing voice.  I want him to play Joseph.  But there is a huge problem, Elder Moangare is from the Gilbert Island, where the official language is kiribati.   English is his second language.  He's only used it since he came on his mission.  He does not speak or write English well.   Tom had to help him with the "Why I want to go to BYU Hawaii essay."  

I asked if he knew, "Close Every Door to Me" and he asked if it is in the LDS hymn book.  I told him that the song was from "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat."   He had never heard of that musical.   So Tom brought up a clip on the Internet of Donny Osmond singing that song and Elder Moangare sang along with Donny.  He would make an awesome Joseph.  The Africans would love him if he could just speak more clearly.  He will need a lot of coaching--both speaking and acting.  Dean has just sent nine "Joseph" scripts that we had stored in the garage.  Tom used them in his 2010 Mountain Ridge production.   Tom insists that he isn't going to direct the musical but seems to be more interested in the mail that usual.   He's volunteered to do a play at a local public high school in Motherwell but has yet to hear from the principal. 

Tom paid for Elder Moangare's application to BYU-Hawaii but the elder has other problems.  ie:  How to raise the air fare from the Gilbert Islands to Oahu, and how to cover his expenses until he gets a job and settled in a flat on Oahu. (PEF only pays for books and tuition.) Elder Moangre has a May release date.  He wants to start school in Hawaii this September.    Elder Slabbert, from S.A. is looking forward to getting the sheet music for "Joseph" so he can practice the songs.  He said at least we could use the music to entertain the patients at the Lorraine Care Center sometime.  See photo below. 

 I bought a guitar for Tom and he has been putting it to good use lately.  Tom has composed two songs about Samoa.  He is playing it even as I write.  We have had no success in finding a left handed golf clubs so have not been back to the Walmer Wood's driving rang. 

We went for a walk this morning and once again ran into Jo whose husband has the same type of cancer that Ron recovered from.   However his is much more serious as the man has a large growth along his aorta between his thorax and spine.  The only thing they can do is chemo. Jo is a deeply religious woman.  She worries about her husband.  He is a lapsed Anglican.    Jo comes to the park every day to meditate and to pray for his recovery.  She and I have had several gospel discussions.  Today I told her that I would bring some religious material for her when we come tomorrow.  Alan Balmford invited our neighbours, Peter and Cheryl Clarks, to come to church with us.  However, I have not followed up because have been out in the bush all month promoting PEF.  Perhaps I'll invite them to join us on Easter Sunday.  Tonight I'm teaching an institute class for some Nelson Mendela University students.  We will review Chapter 12.  Friday night Tom will teach the first PEF class in Uitenhage and then he will turn over the class to the newly called teacher.

We had a nice visit with President Kenneth Voskit (a brown from Cleary Ward) on Sunday.  He told us that PEF will soon be focusing on returning missionaries.  Evidently this is what the stake wants us to do starting in June.   This was news to me.  President Voskit also mentioned that there were 47 people who attended the branch in Motherwell last week.  (Up from 18 when the group was organised.)  Concerning PEF we have covered all units in the stake now and have gotten one Planning for Success class up and going.   So we are finished promoting for the year.  We are not going to East London or to Cape Town.  So our main responsibility is to answer calls, process loans and help when needed.  We expect to process about the same number of loans this year as last and that's not many.  

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