Monday, July 30, 2012

Flowers for my Mom's 90th birthday and more

Welcome to the July 29,2012 addition of the lynn and miriam missionary news.  This blog is a tribute to my mom, Olive Beth Kimball Mack who turns 90 on the 31st.  She is having a 3 day celebration in Salt Lake this weekend with family and friends.  Of her 157 posterity 150 are in attendance at her celebration.  The ones who are not in attendance are on missions (4) military, school,work or triathlon.  I think that is a great tribute that so many of her direct descendants would come from all over the country to be with mom, grandma and great grandma.  Mom happy birthday from South Africa, it was so good to talk to you on Thursday.  I know that flowers are your favorite so I wanted to share some pictures of flowers we have seen.  Some of them are very easy to recognize others are new.  We hope everyone enjoys!  I do have the news of the week which will follow the flower show.

These 2 pictures are taken along the freeway.  Purple and white everywhere you look.
Elder Richins had me take this one that he enjoys every morning on his walk.
A beautiful hedge

This was an amazing tree.  The fruit at the top and the roots at the bottom
On our Sunday walk yesterday.
Bird of Paradise

Bottle brush

Trumpet flower

MOM, enjoy the flowers - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW

The best surfing we have seen

Peaceful Victoria Bay houses to rent on the right and  grassy area on the left to picnic and enjoy the sun and to watch the surfers.
 Most of my best cultural pictures come from Thembuletu
This guy was driving right down the middle of the main road.  It looks like it is something you would see 100 years ago.
These are just huge rock rodents we saw in Mossel Bay on the cliffs.  They were everywhere.

Elder Sheward does not like spiders.  This one was big and he was glad he was in the car.  I let Elder Richins take this picture.  I stayed inside.
Can you see the MAP of AFRICA? To the right is fresh water and to the left is salt water coming from the Indian ocean
On Wednesday Elder Richins finally decided after hurting for a couple of weeks to go and find a chiropractor. He got a recommendation from someone in the branch and the lady was very good.  He can almost stand straight when he gets up from a chair.  While he was there the receptionist asked if he had every been to the Map of Africa.  No was the answer and because it was a clear day we took the 30 minute trip.  It is amazing to look down and see African right there in front of you.  If you turn to the other side you can see the Indian ocean.  It was well worth the time.

In the summer they say there are many hang gliders here
Saturday we had a braai in Mossel Bay with some of the members of the church.  It is about a 45 minute drive to George and many of them do not have cars.  It was a great day.  I know I say how cold it is but I do need to let you know that the temperatures fluxuates quite a bit. This morning it was 6 degrees celcius 45 F but on Saturday when we had our braai it was warm enough to take off your coat and the kids even enjoyed getting in the water a bit.

Elder Sheward was the chef

Playing catch with the Rugby ball

Some of the Mossel Bay members getting to know each other.  It was a fabulous day.  After the braai we went to the Mawindi's for reading lesson.  Elder Richins on Wednesday had been reading the Book of Mormon with Brother Mawindi,  he was struggling so to read.  Elder Richins went to the drug store and got him some reading glasses.  He said that it made such a big difference.  Now he can see what he his reading.

We went to the photo shop and got copies of the pictures we have taken of the families we do FHE's with.  We took the pictures to church so they could have them.  You would have thought we gave them something really big.  Pictures are important to these people and they love them.  To end our week we had some people over after church.  Elder and Sister Van Sickle had come from Port Elizabeth to do employment training presentation during the 3rd hour.  Mrs. Wani from the government came to see if it was something they could also use.

Brother and Sister Nel, Mrs. Wani, Elder and Sister Van Sickle, and of course Elder Richins

Have a great week.  We love you all.
Elder & Sister Richins

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Christmas in July

Poinsettia's in July

Everyone in George was so excited to see the "snow" on George peak.  To me it looked like a dusting.  I felt lucky to get the picture since it was gone the next day and the clouds where covering the mountain most of the time.

Welcome to winter in South Africa,
  It as been a most unusual 2 weeks in George.  As you can see by the picture in snowed on a Friday and was about 8 degrees C, about 46 degrees F in town.  It was very cold to me, we enjoyed our 2 small electric heaters and especially our electric blanket.  It rains very hard here and the wind is something else.  Marshall who lives in a small shack (bungalow) said he was afraid that his house was going to blow down.  Last Saturday we had a huge boom and we didn't have internet until Thursday.

Marshall Bongo is getting ready to serve an LDS mission and this is his missionary photo.
School was out for 3 weeks for their fall break.  I said that it seems that since we have gotten here that the kids are on holiday quite often.  They assured me that their kids go to school many more days than the kids in the US, about 200 days compared to our 180.

Elder Richins and I are having your palets delighted and challenged

Paw Paw, it looks a little like a cantaloupe in color but isn't has juicy.

Now for the challenging food.  Elder Speed and Elder Dladla wanted to experience a "true" African dish and Sister Mawindi was more than happy to oblige.  We met the Elders on the road and with a huge smile the Elders said to enjoy and a coke was a good friend.  These wonderful Elders decided that the Richins should also enjoy a "true" African dish.  We had just eaten our meal for the day and were full to begin with so, when we arrived Sister Mawindi went into the kitchen to dish up the "true" African meal.  She fetched Elder Richins from his car and this is what was placed before us.

Sister Mawindi and Elder Richins
The dish it goat innards. The white is "pop" a maize base which is very much staple in the African diet.  Sister Mawindi said that she got them from the butcher and she cleaned them very well.  She didn't tell us what it was we were eating and at first Elder Richins thought it was noodles but as he kept chewing and chewing he began to wonder.  Sister Mawindi said we would have to ask the Elders what we ate when we say them. I'm afraid we weren't the best guests, each of us got down about 4 bites, but we did take what we didn't eat to the Elders, lucky them!

Elder Richins giving out lollipops to all the kids in the area, and each week we come there seems to be more, surprise, surpries.  As we drive up the hill they just come flocking to the car. Whenever we are in the township we see kids out in the streets playing and always have big smiles.  Never do we hear any crying.
Last night we had our monthly activity which was a Family Home Evening.  The Pangels demonstrated a  FHE, their son Houston was a crack up and it was so much fun to see a "real" FHE in action.

After the "lesson" part of the FHE we went downstairs and played games.  Everyone who came had a great time.  This game was spoons.
I had to put these into my account of Africa.  ONLY brown eggs are to be found

Until I get tired of seeing these gorgeous sunrises and sunsets they will be part of my blog.  They are truly awe inspiring to Elder Richins and I.

Isn't she a cutie, we had a FHE with Balangila family and their daughter and I were singing.
The Wise Man Built His House Upon a Rock

After all the Elder's had finished their work for the day everyone came over to  drink  hot chocolate  and play the Tim Tam game, which isn't a game at all.  Tim Tam's are a chocolate cookie.  Two wafers with chocolate in the middle, then coated with chocolate.  You bite off the tip of each end, dip on tip into the hot chocolate, sip until it starts to melt and then pop it in your mouth.  WOW! what a rich chocolate rush.  The Tim Tam's are imported from New Zealand and Australia.  The Elder Pack with the grapefruit and the Elder Acton in the red tie are the Zone leaders and were in town to do splits with our district elders.  NOTE:  Elder Speed in the overcoat is from hot Austraila and he is always cold.  Sometimes he is wearing, long johns and his sweats under his suit to keep warm.  
We were invited to Knysna for their district conference.  As you can see we just followed the Zone leaders.   I am learning to take a picture with the timer and my camera is on the hood of our car.  Elder Jones did it for me so I didn't have to run so fast.
Elder & Sister Richins, Elder Acton, Elder Pack, Elder Andrianamanatia from Madagascar and Elder Jones from Canada

We enjoyed a nice lunch at the wharf. Elder Richins is telling his Elephant story, ha, ha,  He has gotten a lot of mileage out of that one, especially here in SA.

Today is Sunday and it has been quite a day.  We got up early to drive to Knysna, about an hour drive from George.  We were asked to speak in sacrament meeting.  This assignment was given to us about 3 weeks ago when Elder Richins was planning to come and do the quarterly audit.  On Tuesday when we were in Mossel Bay Veraqouis asked Elder Richins, if he would baptize her on Sunday.  How can you say no to such an honor.  So after we spoke in Knysna we headed back to George so he could perform this sacred ordinance which was after George's meetings.  After we were finished with the baptism we headed back to Knysna so Elder Richins could conduct the audits.  That is where we are right now.  I am sitting next to the window with the sun shining in to keep me warm and Elder Richins is doing his thing with the Branch presidency.

Their were 2 baptisms today.  Elder Richins, Veraqauzi, Stanley, and Elder Dladla

What a good looking group.
It was a fabulous day.  Elder Richins talked about sacrifice and I talked on the Sabbath day and the sacrament. I just took pictures from my window of the setting sun looking at the clouds.  They look like they are on fire.
Quarterly church audit with the Knysna branch

I took these 3 pictures as I was finishing up my blog today.  All I did was look out the window and shot.

We hope all of you have a great week.  Life is good.  Life is challenging.  Life is worth living.  We love you all and appreciate so much your notes.
Elder & Sister Richins

I wanted to show you some pictures of braided hair, which is just a small sampling of what I see.  Even the little girls get it done.  It takes about 2 hours for these to be done and I have heard it also hurts.