Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Time is Far Spent...

The Time is Far Spent, There is Little Remaining...

Sunset captured from parking lot of the Mall of the North, Polokwane

As the sun begins to set on our mission we have very mixed emotions; excitement to see and be with family and friends again; melancholy over what we will be giving up. We will be home in the middle of August. We have a lot of work to do before then.

For God So Loved the World

This Easter we enjoyed showing the church's Easter video as we visited with members. It was surprising to us that some of the faithful saints here, even though deeply spiritual, still did not know exactly what happened during the first Easter, particularly what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Elder Mungoni Manzini

Elder Manzini - Johannesburg Mission

We enjoyed teaching the missionary preparation lessons to Elder Manzini. Once a little rough around the edges, he has found the light and will be a great missionary for the Lord. He has graduated college and has the maturity to be a leader in the field and in the church in the future. When we were teaching him we asked where he hoped to be called, and he said "Anywhere but Johannesburg." So he was called to Johannesburg! We told him it was the first of many signs that he would receive showing that he is not in charge, but He is in charge.

Tzaneen Institute Class

We aren't assigned to the Tzaneen branch, but these young adults requested that we teach them the Institute lessons. How could we refuse? These are great young people, and two of them are still "investigators" due to family issues, although they have testimonies and are rapidly learning the gospel. The elders add their support.

Sister Hall always bakes a birthday cake for any of the youth and members we work with in the branches. If we forget a birthday, they will remind us!
Average 1 per week = a lot of cakes!

Sometimes they're Birthday Cupcakes
Phetole, Maite, Sister Hall, Pontsho

Mission Tour

At the end of April we were blessed to have Elder Mark Palmer, 2nd Counselor in the Area Presidency, visit our zone. Elder Palmer gave a great talk in the April general conference. He was inspiring for all of the missionaries.

Elder Palmer with Elder Flake
Sister Palmer in background

Elder Palmer and Elder Griffin

Elder Palmer and Elder Yosi

Elder Palmer hugging Elder Moletsane

Elder Palmer and Elder Mathanjana (who couldn't look him in the eye)!

Elder and Sister Hawkins, Sister and Elder Palmer, Elder and Sister Brammer,
Sister and Elder Wrightson, Sister and Elder Hall, President and Sister Chadambuka

Elder Ruben, Nicky Shai, Elder Critchfield


Family of Nicky Shai

When the water tank runs out, improvise!

Mahlatse and Mom

Elder Ruben, Donald, Mom,  Mahlatse, Elder Critchfield

Brother Mahlatse's "family" - all members or soon to be members:

Bongane, GoGo, Maggie, baby Olga, Mom, Donald, Mahlatse, Clifford, Boy

Young Single Adult Activity and Dance

They love to dance. They have rhythm. Pictures worth a thousand words of course.

Mapitsi, Daphne, Lottie, Thaboho


Humphrey, Modjadji, ?, Mamu Matlou
Matlou, Daphne, Thaboho, Ntabeseng, Lottie, Humphrey, Mapitsi


Elder Griffin - Event Organizer


The Bright Star Gospel Church of Jesus Christ

The Senior Couples went back to Phalaborwa for another session with the church group that has received over 3 cases of Books of Mormon during the past year. The people are lovely. The pastor seems sincere. The church is taking some flak because they are letting the white people bring evil into their village! They are trying to raise money to build a new church - therefore we are still not sure if they are interested in the Book of Mormon or if they hope the "rich, white Americans" will donate a large sum of money to their cause.

Acts 3:6 - "Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee:..."

Miscellaneous Shots

Braai (BBQ) for the Elders on P-Day

Naomi is the best piano student so far

Onika - Traditional

Nodius - Manages a large shop

A Part of Me Will Always be in South Africa!

Elder Hall will leave part of his heart, figuratively speaking, in South Africa. But literally speaking, he will leave a part of him as well. In early May, Elder Hall had to check into a local hospital for severe abdominal pain that he self-diagnosed as gall bladder problems. Sure enough the scans verified the diagnoses, and he had to be transported to Johannesburg for surgery to remove his gall bladder. They gave him a marble sized gall stone as a souvenir to take home. But the gall bladder will remain in South Africa.

Surgical Center for Removing Gall Bladders
(Ok, Just Kidding)

Elder Hall is recovering just fine, back to work, and 100% in 6 weeks. He asked the Dr. if he would be able to play golf by the end of June. The Dr. said yes. Elder Hall said "Great, because I was never able to play golf before the surgery!"

The Flowers of South Africa

Famous Jacaranda Trees

Latest Trip to Kruger Park

We lucked into three herds of elephant headed to the river. Over 200 elephants crossed the road directly in front of us.

Hard to get a foursome selfie

The Sun's Going Down on Us

Now for the best Africa Sunset we have been able to photograph:

Plus This

Two photos taken at approximately the same place, but a few minutes apart. Tracy says it counts.