Thursday, March 23, 2017

"The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruise of oil fail..."

One of our favorite stories in all of scripture describes the prophet Elijah receiving food and drink from a widow in the town of Zarephath, during a severe famine in the land. (1 Kings 17). Sometimes as we make visits Elder Hall looks for the opportunity to show the church video depicting this event - an example of great faith:
The 10 minute video can be viewed from the Gospel Library app, videos section, Old Testament Visual Resources.

It can also be found on youtube:

This story is called the Widow of Zarephath. We'd like to share another story:

The "Widow of Motupa."

A few weeks ago we showed this video to Sister Julia in Motupa. She, alone, cares for her severely handicapped son Steven, and also for a relative boy, Pontsho, who lost his parents at a young age. We have mentioned them in nearly all of our previous posts.
Anna, Michael, Larato, Jane, Pontsho, Julia, Stephan
A week after showing the video and again visiting with Julia, as usual we asked her to pick someone to pray. She asked Elder Hall to pray. During the prayer Elder Hall made a request of the Lord that he has never before made, and which seemed very odd the moment he had said the words: "Please bless Julia that she may be able to survive."  Elder Hall thought, why wouldn't she be able to survive - those words were  just odd!

When we opened our eyes after the prayer there were tears running down Julia's cheeks. She then told the story. During the week she had run completely out of food, and it would be a while before she would receive her government allotment (she receives government help to care for Steven and Pontsho - she can't work due to the burden of caring for Steven). The subsidy often runs short, but this time she was completely out of food.

She didn't know exactly what she was going to do, but remembering the video, she prayed that her faith would sustain her until the next allotment came in. Then the missionaries showed up, and they asked her if she could feed them (they are not suppose to ask this)!  Julia had one onion and one tomato, which she cut up and made a stew for them to eat. After the missionaries left, Julia's brother came to see her, and he did something he has never done before: he gave her 200 Rand and a box full of groceries. This is why she was able to "survive" and also explains the tears.

Welcome to Brammers

The Brammers, who served an 18 month mission here in 2014-15, have returned for a 6 month mission to help strengthen the Tzaneen District. They live in Orem, Utah. They serve on the Polokwane (western) side of the Tzaneen District - We serve on the eastern side of the mountain.
Elder and Sister Brammer

Fantastic Hair!

Absolutely amazing hairdos we have enjoyed for the past year:
(Some literary license, as usual, taken with the names and spelling)!

Lisa - Age 3 (daughter of Tumelo)
Sister Manzini
Sylvia and Margaret Molele

They tell us it takes between 1 and 4 hours to weave the hair.

You can do it yourself (with help from friends) ....
......Or go to one of many roadside salons...
Divine Favor
Stay Awake
Touch of Classic
Sister Hall asked if they could do her hair, but they said it wasn't the right kind of hair!

And some don't have enough....
They say a missionary can wear his hair three ways:
1. Parted, 2. Unparted and 3. Departed

Worldwide Missionary Broadcast

The Elders gathered at our flat for dinner and to view "live" the worldwide missionary broadcast from Salt Lake City on January 25, 2017. Broadcast at 10:00 AM Salt Lake City time, it was 6:00 PM here in South Africa. .
Elders Mathanjana, Molemo, Clark (Layton), Masondo, Moletsane, Khopoche
Elders Ruben (Murray) and Shorthill (Orangeville)
A new, more flexible, daily schedule was introduced. A new emphasis was placed on teaching repentance and ensuring conversion prior to baptizing investigators.

Chapel Enhancements

Cutting and installing new curtains in the Motupa chapel:
Elder Hall and .....
Brother Sekobella hanging curtain rods
Sister Hall cutting and ironing new curtains
Motupa Branch Chapel with Nice Curtains!

Stuck in the Mud

With the heavy rains nearly every day since mid-November (a blessing to the people), the difficult roads are sometimes impossible (a curse to us), and the brave elders sometimes get stuck. Having friends around helps!
Elder Moletsane
Elders Molemo, Elder Moletsane, neighbor, Elder Mathanjana
Elder Molemo, Elder Moletsane, Bro. Minnie, Elder Ruben, Neighbors (2),
Elder Mathanjana, Elder Mesondo, neighbor
Are we having fun yet?
Elders Ruben, Mesondo, Molemo, Moletsane, Mathanjana, Shrothill (driver - thus clean)


Elders Mathanjana, Clark (Layton), Moletsane, Molemo, Khopoche, Griffin (Lehi), Ruben (Murray), Mesondo

Drummer Boys

Homemade drum set with cymbals.
Phetole (Motupa)

Elder Hall took a turn.

Motupa Baptisms

In Motupa, Creselda's brother Edgar was baptized by Elder Ruben.
Family and Johanna, Edgar and Elder Ruben

Elder Ruben and Edgar
Baptism by immersion in the rain!

Lenyenye Baptisms: Memello and Buhle

Mamello, age 15, in Lenyenye, baptized by Elder Molemo
Elder Griffin, Austin, Mamello, Elder Molemo
Buhle, (age 8), sister Thatoe, and sister-in-law Christina Kekana
Sister Kekana with her girls

FHE in Lenyenye

Sister Hall teaching about "spiritual crocodiles"
They love to sing
Blindfolded Obstacle Course
"Spiritual Crocodiles"

FHE in Tickyline

Tickyline FHE meets Tuesday evenings at alternating members homes
Bicycle toy - the rider moves up and down as the wheels turn

Mangos in Motpa

Get them by climbing...
... or knocking them down....
...taste great either way.

Ring Around the Rosies...

A pocket full of posies...
They all fall down!

Institute "Live" CLUE

In February Elder Hall made a "Live" Clue game for an Institute activity. 14 of the 17 institute aged students attended the activity (as compared to an average of 7 attending class)! We think perhaps we should just have an activity every week and forget the lesson!
It was the first time any of these young people had ever heard of Clue, or had tried to figure out "who dunit, with what, and where?"
Margaret, Lottie (hidden), Nthabeseng, Thabojo, Tumelo, Desmond, Cypriel, the Butler
Various rooms in the church were assigned as the Locations, and clues were hidden in each room. The "suspects" and "detectives" also had clues they could share. Detectives moved from room to room discovering clues, and a suspect was assigned to host each room.
The butler helps Nthabeseng mark her detective sheet
Only one detective was able to correctly determine the Dining Room, with the Lead Pipe, by May Bell Kaykanus
Desmond, Elder Molemo, Judas, Kebelo, Tumelo, Thabogo (winner - won a magnifying glass), Elder Griffin (headless)
Background: Suspects - Pres. Kekana, Bro. James, Sis. Kekana
If it's an activity, and the deed was done in the Dining Room, then there must be food!
(Prepared by Sister Hall)
Margaret, Lottie, Nthabeseng, Humphrey, Cyriel, Austin, Desmond, Elder Molemo

Brother Glade's Visit

It was wonderful to have a visit from brother Glade and his son Richard.
Where are the rest of you? 😊
Glade, Sister Hall, Richard
Halls at the Falls
Game Drive - Courtesy Glade and Richard
White Rhinos
Our first Cheetah
Love this pic!
Namibia Lion - black mane
Eagle...but what kind? Can't find it in our books
Baboons not photogenic....
unless carrying their young!

Orphanage Updates

The kids enjoyed Glade and Richard

Nearing the End Game

Matching wits with school chess champions Naomi and Friend (age 11)

Not our photo but we are looking to take one like it of our own...
...Next time -- some sunsets we will never forget.


  1. Love Love Love hearing about your mission and seeing these great pictures. So glad that you updated. I know that it is hard to keep up on all of it but just remember about all of us who love reading and looking. Love you and miss you and talk about you often. Time is flying by!!!

  2. Loved all of your comments and pictures. Loved the story of the Widow of Motupa