Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 28 - Best of Both World

We have the best of both worlds each Sunday.  We attend Port Elizabeth Ward's  Sacrament meeting at 8:00 a.m.  Then drive to Motherwell where the meetings begin at 10:00 a.m.  P.E. Ward was the first to be organized here in the mid 1940's.  It is made up mostly of white Afrikanner second and third generation members.  There are a few black families.  I always learn something new from members like Herman Van Thiel who is an excellent teacher.  His Fireside on the What, Where, When, Why, and Why of the Book of Mormon last Sunday night was simply outstanding.  He had a mock up of the different plates that make up the Book of Mormon.  He suggested we begin by reading the the Book of Ether since the large stone that was translated by Mosiah using the Urim and Thuammim is the earliest book in the collection.   Then we go out to Motherwell where we find ourselves on the other end of the spectrum.  Since everyone is new we have lots of opportunities to teach and serve.   Yesterday Elder Stokoe led the singing and gave a talk at the baptism.  He was also one of the two witnesses.  Our baptisms in July included Brother Sonwabo & Sister Mzini on July 6th and the two Flakie's yesterday. 

Elder Nyophe and Elder Wilde baptised Nandi Voyokasi, 29, and her son, Silindokummle Flakie

  The Flakey's have five children including two sets of twins.  Nandi is their eldest.  I have three of the Flakey girls in my Sunday School class.  Twins Sinazo & Sinovuyo, and another sister who also has a twin brother.  That young man only came once.  He is the rebel who arrived in a white tee shirt and red pants.  His sisters always dress beautifully.  He is bright and asked a lot of questions.  He challenged me on some of our doctrine.   The next Sunday I asked his twin sister if there was anything he found appealing about Mormonism.  She said, "My brother thinks it's cool that we don't have paid ministers nor do we hassle people to make cash donations."   

Elder Stokoe taught my Sunday School class today and did an excellent job.  We handed out copies of, "For the Strength of Youth" and began going through that pamphlet.  Many of our 12 to18 year olds are investigators.  The others have been members for only a month or two so this material is rather new to them.
Twins Sinazo & Sinovuyo with newly baptised Nandi.

I find it amazing that so many of the youth who join the church here are the only members of their families to do so.  They are very devout, attend seminary and come to church regularly.  After graduating from high school, some like our Grahamstown missionaries, choose to serve missions rather than go to college.  Sifundiso who was baptised May 4th, has turned down a scholarships as he is preparing for a mission and his mother is none too happy about that.  Sifundiso was made an elder at last Saturday.  Today he was called to be  Motherwell Group's mission leader.

Elder Kenneth Wildskut, 2nd counsellor in the stake presidency spoke in sacrament meeting today.  He said that "the eyes of the stake are on you.  Many of you were called in the pre existence to bring the church to Motherwell.  Your are the pioneers."

Since these members have not been in the church very long they do not know the hymns well but they love to sing.  "How Great Thou Art" has become the favourite song of my class so we sing it often.  I have never told them that this hymn has always been sung in the most spiritual moments of my life.  It always reminds me that my Heavenly Father is mindful of me and that my parents are near.  They love me and know what is happening in my life.
Elder and Sister Van Sickle conducting their last Career Workshop in Motherwell before going home August 12
The Career Workshop we arranged was a big success.  Thirteen people participated.  Many were surprised that the church promotes these kinds of classes.  They liked the idea that our leaders are concerned with our temporal as well as our spiritual lives.  We are looking forward to Stake Conference which will be held on August 10th & 11th and our stakes annual women's conference which will be held on August 9th.  The Relief Society President asked me to help plan Motherwell's musical number.  I told them that most units prepare numbers that highlight their local customs and culture.  So Sister Zitsu suggested that each woman wear a native costume.  Since President Vosket called our group the "baby of the stake," I suggested that we sing "I am a child of God."  We practiced that number to get ready for the conference.

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