We enjoyed Sacrament meeting in P.E. and then drove to Motherwell. Sifundiso conducted the meeting for the first time. Brother Mdledle, the 1st counsellor, gave an outstanding talk on Reverence. Later I asked Sifundiso how he liked conducting? He said he was "very nervous" but he did an excellent job. His story continues to intrigues me: Sifundiso survived drowning when seven members of his rugby team were swept out to sea. He was baptised May 4th after being introduced to the church by his English teacher. He became an elder two months later. He is always going out with the missionaries. He is determined to go on a mission although his family want him to apply for a government scholarship and continue his education.
We would not have known about his dental problems which would have prevented him from serving had I not decided to buy him a suit. We asked the elders to bring him along when Elder Hlophe came to P.E. to see the dentist. While collecting Hlophe, I asked if the dentist could see Sifundiso even though it was time for the office to close. I had no idea that Sifundiso was in pain and needed antibiotics. He said nothing about his teeth hurting him. It would have taken years for him to pay for all the dental work. Young men and/or their families, must cover all their expenses as they prepare for a mission. The church picks up the tab when they enter the MTC.
Sifundiso received a copy of his patriarchal blessing Sunday and asked if I wanted to read it. Of course I did. We read over it together. Then he asked if I could get it reduced and laminated so he can keep a copy in his scriptures. Consequently I have it to quote from. It sheds lots of light on what's been happening. It reads in part,
"Brother Beja, you lived with Heavenly Father for a long time before coming to this earth. You are one of the choice spirits who have been held back till now because you have the potential to perform a great work in building the kingdom of God. . . you are of the Tribe of Ephraim. . . You will help prepare the world for His Second Coming by testifying of Him and so leading many souls to Christ. This is the purpose of your existence to search for and rescue those seeking the truth.
You have once again accepted Christ as your Savior as you did in the pre-existence. Your decision to serve a mission is pleasing unto Him and is in line with what Heavenly Father has planned for you. . . There are people out there who have been prepared for you to teach. . . Wonderful callings await you. .. Be assured that they are all from above. . .
You have a great responsibility to show your parents and your brother what the gospel does for you. Let your life be a living testimony of your love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. . . Help them to realise who they really are and what their potential is. . . Contact your mother and loveingly help her to understand that she is a daughter of God. . . You have ancestors who are anxiously waiting for you to do the work in their behalf in the temple that will free them from spirit prison. . . I send you forth now knowing that you are a beloved son of Heavenly Father with a great work to perfom for him. . .
Like most Africans Sifundiso lives with relative including his father, aunt, cousin, grandmother and her boyfriend. When he and Paul came to our flat they were surprised that only two people live in such a large flat. Sifundiso's father calls him "the pastor." His aunt says he is very loyal to the church. Recently he helped convert Bachle & Sindiswa's family, relatives who will be baptised October 12th.
As for Paul he is so excited about his fire arms class that he has already finished the first of three books. He wanted to come to P.E. and take the fire arms test today but the school suggested he review the material for another week. He missed the Young Adult fireside on Sunday afternoon because we did not have room for him in our car. We planned to drive three young adults to Kwa Magxaki but when we went to collect them five jumped in. Which made for an interesting drive. We took one of Brother Mdlede's daughters. She had to drop out of her program at the NMU for a lack of funds. The Mdlede family continue to struggle financially. Libby graduated and will likely be able to help her when she gets a job. Too bad she cannot qualify for a PEF loan until she has been a member for one year.
Tom and I were asked to bear our testimony in sacrament meeting. I said we would tell the Saints in Utah about the strength and courage of these new members. We will speak again next Sunday. P.E. Ward will be viewing the Saturday sessions of conference live however Motherwell will be seeing it on DVD later on President Zitsu's T.V. which he provides for such occasions.
The branch has no technology beyond a computer and printer which just arrived. We asked Dean to send the Book of Mormon and Bible tapes which I ordered and Brian paid for when Alex and Andrew were little. It took a leap of faith to have them sent. They have been stored in the garage for over twenty years. I didn't know if they were still good or if the TV/video tape player in our flat would work with them. It does. We look forward to donate them and the TV to the primary.
It's hard to keep the kids occupied with only a few laminated photos, chalk and a blackboard. There are so many young kids in the branch. Some of them non members who come with friends because they feel loved. Sister Zitsu, Nikki and Buzelwa have their hands full trying to keep them occupied. Neither Sifundiso or Paul knew the story of Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, so I know the tapes will help.