Saturday, August 31, 2013

Update on Members

Buzelwa/Mineka/Beautiful Day's old blind aunt told her she would accompany her to Human Affairs to testify in her behalf so she can finally get her national I.D. number.  So Tom drove out early Thursday morning to pick them up.  However the old woman refused to go.  There is still no word from her Uncle Cecil Rhodes. So Buzelwa has decided to contact a social worker who can insist that one of them testify in her behalf.  This has been going on far too long.  She has been working on this for seven years.  Hopefully it can be resolved before we leave South Africa.  
Elder Zitsu at Siya Willie's baptism on July 24th

Siya Willie is interested in her.  He has visited with the aunt  she lives with in order to find out more about her.  He has also had a serious discussion with Buzelwa about his intentions.   She would do well to consider him as he has a good job, is mature and also ambitious.  He is a veracious reader.  Siya's read everything in Brother Zitsu's library.  So when we were with him Tuesday, I gave him my copy of Mormon Doctrine, Vol 1.  I'm a lending library and often share my books.   

Siya Willie is the youngest of 12 children and now he lives with his brother's family in Motherwell.  He moved here after taking care of his ailing mother until her death late last year.   He left a good job in Cape Town and started a window replacement business in East London to support himself while taking care for her.  He came to Motherwell to began a new life and became interested in the church while attending Institute with his friend Bushle.   We taught three follow up lessons to several people on Tuesday.  Willie attended two of of them.  

Tomorrow the leaders will start interviewing the priesthood at 9:00 a.m. in order to select the branch presidency.  Of course Elder Zitsu, who started Motherwell Group, will be the branch president.   Elder Mdlele will likely be called as a councillor.  It's unfortunate that Siya Willie was confirmed and made a priest only last Sunday.  Otherwise he would likely be part of the  presidency.

Eighteen year old Sifundiso is now the branch mission leader.  He has never missed a meeting.  He goes out fellowshipping with the missionaries several times a week.  He held his first correlation meeting on Thursday afternoon.  Elder Zitsu asks him to brainstorm and talk to us about why some of the newly baptised are not attending their meetings.  We discussed Tomzana, a 15 year old boy, who has attention deficit disorder.  He is easily bored and often does not even join his family when the missionaries come to visit.  We asked Sifundiso if he could fellowship him since they are close in age.  The elders explained that Tomzana went to the bush when he was 17 while Sifundiso has never been to the bush.  So in Xhosa tradition Tomzana is a man. Sifundiso is still a boy.  Why would a man listen to a boy?
Tomzana's Baptism with Elder De Carvalho & Elder Wilde

Sifundiso graduates from high school soon.  He is an excellent student and turned down an opportunity to apply for a government scholarship since he wants to go on a mission.  He is the only member in his family and they are none too pleased with his decision.  Young Africans must pay their expenses to get ready including obtaining a pass port, having dental & medical exams and buying their own clothes.  After reporting to the MTC the church covers all their expenses.  So we will told Sifundiso that we will buy him a suit and give him some ties.  Perhaps we will also give him one of our suit case since we are limited to what we can take on our Holy Land trip.  We gave the big suitcase that Jan gave me to Bulelwa Kewuti, Aya's twin sister.  She will leave Grahamstown for her mission in the near future.    

Other problems related to inactivity includes Wendy Landu, a teen age girl who was baptised on May 4th.   According to the missionaries she was offended by one of the young women and has not been to church since.  She has been avoiding the missionaries.   Another new members has a job and must work on Sunday.  A third cannot afford the taxi fare to bring his family to church.  

It's very cold today and the elders have just stopped in to pick up their post.  Elder Ramshaba was wearing the new wool jacket I bought for him.  He also wears it to District meetings as there is no central heating it's rather cold in Walmar chapel.  His parents divorced when he was five. He was raised by his father who took him to San Francisco.  That family are all members.   He returned to live with his non-member mother in Johannesburg and was called to serve a mission in  Oakland.   However his mother put up such a fuss about his being so close to his Mormon father that he declined the call.   Then accepted another to the Cape Town, S.A. Mission, a year later.  I am often cold so relate to him.  There was only one black jacket that worked with missionary attire at Walmar Mall. 

I just sent an e-mail to all the senior couples about our September activity.  We are going to Daniell Cheetah Breeding Camp on September 16th where we will see cheetah's from several age groups up close.  We might even have an opportunity to pet one.  At noon we will go to a buffet lunch at Georgious, our favourite cafe in Uitenhage.  After that we plan to visit the Volkswagon plant provided the workers are not on strike and the plant is back in operation by then.

The workers are always striking here for higher wages while the people who live in the townships are demonstrating for better "service delivery."  They want improved infrastructure including better sewage lines, clean water, electricity and regular garbage collection.    Here in Lorraine our garbage is collected every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. sharp.  This does not happen in Motherwell.   We have observed people picking up garbage along the road in blue plastic bag but the bags never seem to be picked up by the city.  We cleaned up at the school's grounds on Helping Hands Day and now that yard is a mess again with plastic bags and other debris being blown all over.  

On the way out to Uitenhage yesterday we noticed that people from the townships had dumped garbage on the highway in protest for lack of services.  While garbage is routinely collected in the white communities, townships seem to go for months without garbage being collected.  So much for "everyone is equally in this rainbow nation." 

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