Monday, October 14, 2013

Farewell Activities

Friday night Susan Rank hosted a dinner for Elder Stokoe and I.  A single lady and retired nurse, Susan has invited us, along with the Lorraine Missionaries, to her home for dinner on many occasions.  Once she took us out to a restaurant.

First Counselor Elder Mdledle with wife saying Good Bye
I'm wearing a traditional African crown,
Elder S. was given  Xhosia head gear.
Sister Cwele - Temple preparation teacher.
Saturday afternoon Motherwell branch surprised us with a party and pot luck dinner.  We enjoyed the best African dishes we have ever eaten.  All the women wore beautiful native costumes.  The Relief Society sisters sang and danced.  My young women insisted that Tom and I join the dancers. Several gave tributes and then sang "How Great Thou Art."  I cried.  We received many gifts.

Sifundiso gave me a purse and flip flops made from Spring box leather.  I received slippers from Sister Sneke and bracelets from Sister Blaauw, the Mdledle family and others.  The best gift was the food and entertainment. We enjoy such an outpouring of friendship and love. These Africans remind us a lot of the Polynesians.  They are so warm and loving.

At 7:30 p.m. our four Port Elizabeth missionaries brought over a South African dinner prepared by  Von Brughen and Alexander.  It included punpkin and melee and a wonderful sweet spicy gravy.  As we parted they sang the mission song.

In Sacrament meeting I talked about Motherwell pioneers who are "children of light" in Africa.  I gave my last Sunday School lessons to fourteen youth--my largest class to date.  Nomtunzi Xozwa, the stake Relief Society president, gave an awesome lesson on sharing our talents to the R.S. sisters.  Tom's talk was on the parable of the talents.  She quoted him several times during her lesson.  The primary is growing very fast.  Many non-members come.  Buzelwa tells me they are there because they feel loved.

Elders Alexander, Von Brugen, Dale and Parkin
We were back in P.E. at 3:00 p.m. for dinner with Sister Janette Lake.  She had Tom to give her a priesthood blessing.  Janette is will be talking next Sunday.  She hopes to encourage the Relief Society sisters and members of the ward to be less judgmental and have more charity for one another.

Then we drove back to Motherwell for dinner and a lesson with the Nyqoutsti family.  They are going to be baptised a week from Saturday.  It will be great to have another father led family in Motherwell branch.  They have six children. Four are old enough to be baptised.  An area councilman, Bahle is politically influential.  He is a leader in his party.  This family came in contact with the church because the wife works with Libby Mdledle and she invited them to church.  Elder Stokoe gave everyone a hand out and they seemed to enjoy his lesson on "How to give a talk."

Bahle will run for re-election in 2014.  He said he will use the material in preparing his speeches.  The two Motherwell missionaries (George & Hlophe) and Stifendiso joined us.  We had a nice dinner with the Nyqoutste family.  Tom feels a special connection with Brother Bahle.  They exchanged e-mail addresses and agreed to stay in contact.
Photo shop employees.  The owner is the one in lime green.
These people have been helping senior missionaries print
photos for many years.  What a blessing they are honest.

After going to the Kodak shop Saturday,  I could not find my lap top.   I was awake all night wondering if it had been stolen from the car.  We were distracted when we went out to Motherwell for the party.  The wind was so strong you could not open the car door easily and Tom thought he had forgotten to lock it.

The photo machine was down so we had to pick up the last prints for the album on Sunday morning.  When I arrived at 9:00 a.m. the owner handed me my lap top saying I had left it on the counter.  What a blessing I still have it as  I hope to continue posting to this blog on our trip through the Holy Land.  I'm not sure I could do it with Tom's ancient H.P.  It's hard to use.

The handsome young man on the left always helps transfer pictures from my laptop to a thumb drive so they can be printed.  I told him that when the young women in Salt Lake see how handsome he is they will all want to come here to meet him.  "I'll be waiting," he replied.

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