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.


  1. Great pictures and comments. We love seeing your blog. See you in 51/2 months.

  2. Miss you both, but Africa is blessed to have you there, they will miss you when you come back to us. Grateful John has recovered so well. Take care. Love the flowers, thanks Marcia. The elephants wow... can't get that at a Zoo. The sunsets the sun sets on your mission you will have left a lot of beauty and an engraved image of God's love imprinted on those lives you have touched. Love you.

  3. Thank you for your service....and your blog (which has surely been part of that service).

    On that last image: What did you use to superimpose the one image over the other?

  4. Your blog....along with others....has helped us decide to request the Botswana-Nimibia Mission. We see our stake president tomorrow.

    1. Hi, we don't read our blog comments very often, but thanks for your note. We hope you can make it here. As for the sunset picture, someone in IT who works at Provo City did the combination - from my sister Tracy who works there.

  5. Excellent and helpful post… I am so glad to left comment on this. This has been a so interesting read, would love to read more here…
    Halls in UAE

  6. Sister Hall, thanks again for your blog. We'll be working in the mission office in Pretoia beginning about February 1st, reporting to the MTC on January 22nd.
    Sometime after you return, we'd be delighted to speak to you on the phone. You can reach us at 541-543-9991.