Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The New Madadeni 3 Branch

The Madadeni 3 Branch was just created! We had the opportunity of attending the new branch on Sunday, and being asked to speak. President and I often get asked to speak wherever we attend church.

 Sacrament Meeting is held through those doors of this school. One of our missionaries!

 Our missionaries who serve this branch.

 The children were sitting reverently several minutes before the meeting.
There is no piano to accompany the hymns, but the women in the audience will take turns singing the first measure of the music to get the key, and the conductor counts 1-2-3 and the congregation starts singing! Even this congregation of nearly 50 people would put any Utah ward to shame with their loud, vibrant voices and harmony. It's amazing!

 Classes were held in different classrooms at this school.

 This man just got called to be the Elders Quorum President.

 President meets a couple of the young men.

 A discussion was held regarding the oath and covenant of the priesthood. The one in the middle said he had it memorized.

 The newly called Elders Quorum President, and the Branch President.

Getting a drink of water!

Young Single Adult Fireside

President and I were asked to speak at a Young Single Adult Fireside in Newcastle.
They had just finished a day of swimming and a picnic.
After we spoke, they held a dance. It was an honor to speak to them.

More Scenes

The women fascinate me as they carry things on their heads!
I've seen many of them turn their heads without a problem - and whatever they carry stays in place. 

 She is carrying a water bottle on her head! How does she do that?

 Not sure what this way - but it seemed interesting enough to take a photo!

 The bucket is full of water! Wouldn't that be heavy?

 Children carrying buckets of water. In some communities, the houses have no running water. They have to collect it in buckets and take it home!

 Kids playing!

 We asked if we could take her picture! She giggled and said yes! She is carrying sticks of wood!

 She was carrying the straw on her head, but took it off just before I snapped the picture.

 We just happened onto this pick-up truck that had crashed. It started to flame and people came running to put it out.

 The people tipped the truck upright after they'd called an ambulance. There were four young men seriously injured. One had his skull smashed in on one side, yet he was still walking around. We started putting the injured in our car because the ambulance was taking too long - but after we got one man in our car, the ambulance came. So he was able to get out, and the people were praising us in Zulu for trying to help. I hope the young men were okay!

 Not sure what this woman has in her basket on top of her head, but it looked heavy and like a lot of long twigs!

 On our drive back to Durban we encountered rain and fog as we drove to a higher elevation. It was still pretty scenery.

 Though many of the homes are humble, the landscape of South Africa is very beautiful.
We are learning about the family dynamics more and more. It's common that children go live with a grandmother or other relative while growing up if the mother is working. Lot's of children are raised by the grandmother, a cousin, and sometimes a friend. Often, father's have children with different mothers and are not around. There are members of the church, and some of our own missionaries, who are the only person in their family - no mother, no father, or grandparents. I especially worry about our missionaries that leave the mission to no home or family! 

 It's common to see animals along the sides, and in, the streets!

 These women were shy to have their photo taken.

A common tuck shop where they sell convenience store type items in most of the villages.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Zone Conference Newcastle

The Zone Leaders were in charge of Zone Conference, from assigning speakers to topics, to writing the agenda! They did a fabulous job and we learned a lot.
We always start with a song!

 Almost every speaker had the missionaries do role playing! A very effective way to teach certain principles.

 Teaching in the Saviors Way was our theme for the conference.

 The Newcastle Zone is fantastic!

 We are blessed with some fantastic missionaries!

 One of our Zone leaders!

 President Brown talking with our missionaries!

 I asked the missionaries if they wanted to get ice-cream at McDonalds! (President's favorite! - not McDonalds food, he loves McDonalds ice-cream!!!)
Guess what we did after Zone Conference?

 Everyone says a resounding yes to getting ice-cream.

 We didn't know that one of our church members works at McDonalds! Always fun to run into someone from the church!

 Some of our missionaries had a long drive home - we decided to give them a budget and they could get what they wanted!

 Our church member that works at McDonalds took me aside and told me that when President and I spoke at the first District Conference, he took President's invitation to read the Book of Mormon everyday. He loved doing it! At the last District Conference President invited everyone to think of someone they knew (a church member) that was not there, and to invite them back to church. Willy said he had two friends that were less active - one of them he did not get along with. But, he went to visit both of these young men and invited them back to church! He was glad he listened to the promptings of these two, because they both are coming back to church! He said he was grateful for President's invitations!

 One of our missionaries getting information from a McDonalds patron to teach!

 No one went home hungry!

 The missionaries sang a couple of hymns and the workers danced, clapped, and the high pitched yelp that is common in Zulu culture!  The missionaries gave out two Book of Mormon's and got five referrals while at McDonalds!

 Time to say goodnight!

President and I love all these young men!
It was a good Zone Conference from morning until evening!