Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

We had a dinner for the Van Sickles and our ten missionaries last night.  Elder Cossey is here now talking to his Mom on our Vonage line.  He is telling her about being chased by the dogs when he rides through the township.  Elder Moangare claims are racist dogs since they only chase white missionaries and don't go after the black or brown ones.  

We went to Sacrament meeting in P.E. ward today and met up with Phillip Clark who was waiting for us.  We enjoyed the three Mother's Day talks.  Then the young women handed small bags of home made candy to each mother.   Elder S. and I met with Brother Van Tiel to discuss PEF for a few minutes after the meeting.   Tom needs to put a report together to present to the stake presidency.   We dropped Brother Clark off and got to Motherwell a little before 10:00 A.M.   We had to wait for several cows to walk through the parking lot before we could climb out of our car. 

 Sacrament speakers included myself, Elder Tucket and the brown (Indian) member of our stake presidency.  Tom led the singing and sang in a quartet which included the group leader and two missionaries.  They sang "Love at Home."  Then handed out chocolate bars and the Mother's Day favours.  I overheard Sister Mfilifii's comment, "It's nice to be in this group where you get chocolate for Mother's Day."   We were at Kwamagaxi Ward last year on Mother's Day.   It's a big ward.  The primary kids just came to Relief Society,  sang a song and gave the mothers some cards they made.  

With the Mdlele Family including those who were previously baptised
Yesterday while singing, "I'll Go Where You Want me to Go, Dear Lord," at the baptism, I teared up remembering that this song was always sung at Missionary Farewells during my youth.  I never imagined then that someday I would serve a mission in Africa. When we go to, "I'll to do what you want me to do"  I realised that this included being a PEF missionary which has been hard for me to reconcile with my patriarchal blessing which implies teaching.  That blessing said,  I would teach those who do not know God nor the reason they had come to earth.  I now realised that PEF has enabled us to serve in Motherwell.  If we had been given another area assignments, would would not have been able to teach in Motherwell Group as it was not organised until December, 2012.

Brother Zitsu also asked us to help Blizeiwa Norongo, a newly baptised member, get her national identification number.   Without it she has not been able to prove her she's a resident, access the health care system or get a job.  So I sat down with her before the baptism and wrote down everything she remembered.  I discovered her father was murdered on October 10, 1994 when she was living with her grandmother and six cousins in Motherwell.   Her mother was murdered in December, 2000 when she was ten years old.   Blizeiwa then stayed with her mother's sister who either lost or misplaced her birth certificate.  Consequently she could not get a national identification number when she turned sixteen.  Now Blizeiwa stays with her father's brother and family and she has no contact with any of her mother's relatives.  I'll contact Celeste in P.E. ward.  She works for Doronginza Hospital where Blizeiwas was born on December 12, 1989 and see if she can help us sort this out.  

I had a nice visit with Dean, an e-mails from Brian and Matt and a phone call from Neil.  At the moment we have five missionaries sitting in our living room eating left overs from last night's dinner and visiting.  There is a black missionary asleep in our extra bedroom who is not feeling well.   Another is on our front porch talking to his mother on his cell.  Elder Washburn has replaced Cossey in the study.  He is Skyping with his family. 

It's such a blessing to work with all these energetic young elders. It keeps us focused.  We love them.  It was Elders Acton and Pack that befriended us when we first arrived and invited us to everything when we were having a hard time getting adjusted to mission life.  We continually run into people that knew and loved them.  They signed their Area Book as "Action-Packed" and they were.  

 Last Thursday we went to Walmar township with Elder's Cossey and Moangare and visited the Senaneay family which Acton and Packs had found and baptised.  They had their photos prominently displayed on the bookcase.  The missionaries encouraged the Senaneay family to prepare to go to the temple.   The father Simpewa, said it will be hard to save 2,000 Rand to take his wife Shila and their three little boys, Spinano, Abano, and Luciano, to Johannesburg on his salary as a cook for Doronginza Hospital.  His transport costs have doubled since the bus drivers strike began three weeks ago.  Luckily the strike has been settled with a 10% pay increase.   It's been a real hard ship on everyone who must hire taxis  to get to work.
With Sister Susan Rank and the Lorraine Elders on Monday -- P-Day.  We have had dinner with her and the young elders four times since we arrived in Port Elizabeth.  On Monday she took us all out to dinner for Mother's Day.

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