Friday, July 26, 2013

Xhosa Members & Cole's Pen Pal

I asked Ambesa Tokwe if he would like to be Cole's pen pal but he did not know what a pen pall was.   I said, "It's someone you e-mail or write to.  It's a friend who lives in  another country."  I think Ambesa is a good choice for Cole as he speaks English fluently and writes well. They are close in age and they have a lot in common.   We see the Mdledle family every Sunday and at least once during the week when we pick up Brother Mdledle, Ambesa's grandfather, to translate for us when those we visit can only speak Xhosa.
Hi Ambesa,
This is Cole, thanks for your email!  I am excited to have a pen pal in South Africa.
Can I please get your mailing address?  I will be 8 yrs old on Aug. 29th.  I am getting baptized in September and I am very excited.  I live in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States.  I like to play soccer too!     From, Cole
Hello Cole,

Ambesa is Cole's new pen pal
My name is Ambesa from South Africa. Thank you for being my pan pal. I am very happy.  I want to tell you about my family. I live with my grandparents, 3 aunts and 3 cousins. That is a very big family.  I hear that it is very cold in Utah and I would love to play with snow one day. There is no snow here. I saw a picture of the Salt Lake temple and I would love to visit one day.

I take a bus everyday to school. We live by the ocean. I love to play in the water. We go there when it is warm.  My cousin is Busisiwe Angel, she is 9 years old. We were babtized on the same day. Her little sister is Ruby but we call her pumpkin.  Achumile (Tuma) is the little boy.
Brother Mdledle with Thandokazi, Pumkin & Achumile

Sister Stokoe writes,
As to the family Ambesa's father is the son of Sister Mdledle but he seldom visits.  Ambesa's mother died when he was very young. 
 Grandfather Mdledle has had several management positions over the years and was working as an executive in an automobile company  until the company changed hands and the new managers fired him.  Mdledle had spent years building up that company. Now he worries about providing for a large family of nine. 
All three Mdledle sisters went to private schools in Port Elizabeth paid for by their father's company.  Libby and Thanokoizi (Zim) where going university when they came in contact members of the church.  They were the first to be baptized.  The family live in a comfortable home in NU #5.  There are 33 native units in Motherwell.   There is a huge potential for growth.   We take Brother Mdledle with us when we go fellowshipping as he knows the areas well and speaks Xhosa.

Ambesa is ten years old, very friendly and gregarious.   He attends Swartkops Primary School and is in the 4th Grade.  His soccer team is called "the scorpions."  Steven Sika is his favourite movie.  It's an action story about "police shooting people. Steven Sika is the good guy." Brother Mdledle explains that his name means  "covered over" or "covered with goodness," in  Xhosa.   All the clans give their children names with special meaning.  Two cousins live with them, Ruby (called pumpkin) and her sister Busisiwe.  They are children of Sister Mdledle's sister, who lives and works in Johannesburg.  But Sister M. loves the the Angel children so much that their mother gave them to the Mdledle's to raise. Little Archimile, orTuma, is the son of Libby, the Mdledle's oldest daughter. 
We also visited Buzelwa Norongo who we helped apply for her national identification number.  We discovered that since doing more research she is now calling herself  "Minieka Toban," -- not the name on her baptismal certificate or on  any school records.  When I asked about this she explained that Minieka, (meaning beautiful day)  is the name her mother gave her at birth.  Her grandmother told her that her was "Buzelwa Norongo." I hope all this can be sorted out.  Having two different names and no national I.D. number will cause huge problems.

We also visited Brother Sonwabo, a single man who was baptised on July 6th. He lives with his sister and her children.  He speaks good English but he is very shy.  His niece explained that he was abused by an Afrikaans family who imprisoned him on their farm.  He worked for many years without wages.  Until his sister, a high school teacher, found him.   His niece, a member who teaches Institute, is completing her degree in civil engineering.  In the group he is simply known as "uncle."

Elder Stokoe is none too happy about all the people who have been asking for money lately.   Church policy is that we should not hand out money.  If a member should ask, we are to refer them to their bishop.   Elder S. did make an exception for the Toises, who are both PEF students.  He bought them groceries and drove Michael around to look for a job.  Whey they asked for taxi money to attend Charlene's graduation from nursing school he provided it.  Since they are among the few who have actually applied for a PEF loan, he wanted to help them through their programs.  Another member called three times wanting to borrow money to repair his truck.  He promised repayment in Sept.  We are not a bank.  
Ambesa and cousin,  Busisiwe Angel
 When we were in Grahamstown picking up the curtains from Edward and Lalita's laundry, Tom visited Lional, who was existing on rice until he received a check for work done at the Art's Festival.  A member of the branch presidency happened to be at Checkers while Elder S. was buying his groceries.    Later he suggested to Elder Chase that if he would not pay for the branch temple trip, that he would call Elder Stokoe and ask him to since Elder S. has lots of money.  Every member should pay their own way according to the church hand book. We normally adhered to the rules but have found that Motherwell Group has no budget.  They are a group and not a branch.   So we have been generous in providing for them.   We bought curtains to replace the ones that were stolen for the Relief Society room.  He purchased waste baskets, a weed whacker for Sifundiso to use to earn money for his up coming mission and we bought lots of cleaning products for them.
Ambesa's cousins, Pumkin & Achumile
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There is more I would like to share but I must get this out now as my g-mail account is having problems and I cannot post anything to my blog.   However, I'm still able to post to face book.  Janette Lake has promised to stop in Saturday morning and fix this.     
In S.A. you buy electricity at the super market and enter the amount into the meter in the garage.  When the electricity goes off you know you are out of watts and must buy more.  When we got home late Saturday night we had no electricity.   I lit candles and use a flash light until Elder Stokoe went to  the store.

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