Sunday, August 12, 2012

Change of plans

Hello everyone,
Book of Mormon in Afrikaans, Xhosa, and English

This has been a week of change in plans.
Change of plan #1....  As the picture above indicates.  The Book of Mormon is printed in 55 languages.  This week as we were visited with the Jansen family they asked if we had a Book of Mormon in Afrikaans?  We said yes and the Elders furnished one for us to give to his lady.  She speaks English but her native tongue is Afrikaans.  It is important that each people have the opportunity to read and understand in their own language.  Xhosa is also a prominent language in this area.  There are about 9-11 languages spoken in South Africa but English is the common language, that is why in church we speak English. To read and understand the Book of Mormon and gain a testimony of its truthfulness having it your own language is best.  So our change is plans was to get and deliver an Afrikaans Book of Mormon.


Tuesday in our back yard

Tuesday on the way to Mossel Bay

Tuesday entering Mossel Bay

Change in plans #2...  Rain, wind, rain, blue sky, rain, wind, blue sky, rain, cloudy, ??? what's next I don't know.

The weather... Oh my! As you can see above it as raining very hard.  On Tuesday until we got to Mossel Bay we had heavy rain. Then as we entered Mossel Bay we could see blue sky. As we were finishing our last appointment it started raining again.  This has been going on all week.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.  The wind has been blowing so hard especially during the night.
I often think of the people in those shacks in the township, how are they surviving?  Our door mat is constantly being blown from our porch, and it is quite a heavy door mat.

Change in plans #3... Elder Richins received a phone call Thursday morning that a family from Port Elizabeth were stranded on the freeway and could he come help.  It was a mother and daughter going to Cape Town to deliver this car to her daughter who is in her last year of medical school.  The father, a member of one of the stake presidency's in PE had been working on it and thought it was ready to deliver.  Come to find out they need a new clutch.  After towing the car to a petrol station Elder Richins brought them to our flat.  We are going to put them up for the night.  I was preparing dinner, because we were having company, the Danjean's to dinner.  I was so greatful that we were having a soup that I could extend.  Deseree was bringing pate' and smoked trout.  So with that and a Lemon cake roll we were in business.  I have never not had enough when I have been feeding people.  I do believe with all the heart the Lord is looking out for us.
Dorothy the mom is a translator for the church and Joanne her daughter has just received a scholarship to go to Germany to get her Doctorate in Environmental Science focusing  on marine life.  The next morning it was off to the garage to get the clutch fixed.  It is now Friday.  They call about 3:00 and say they can't fix the car until Monday so they had to take a bus back to PE.  Many plans where changed this day, but everything worked out OK.

Joanne and Dorothy in our little office.

Change #4:  The weather is so warm we don't even need coats.  When the sun comes out it is so wonderful. We even enjoyed a walk through the George Botanical gardens.

I was trying to capture a picture of a huge bumblebee, this is what I got.

The green stems on this plant were so interesting to me.  A beautiful warm day to enjoy the sun.  It did get cold by evening again.

Not everything is change.  It is Friday and our trunk is always full of food.  This is the fare for district meeting.  Then later tonight we will have chocolate chip cookies for institute.
Change #5 ... Fire after days of heavy rain???

I got up and went to Curves on Saturday as usual.  I was walking into the center I looked up to the mountains and their was a ring of fire around Craddock peak.  Of course I didn't even think I would need my camera to exercise so I didn't get the picture.  It was a picture perfect photo too.  The wind wasn't blowing and you could see the fire very clearly.  So I hope I explained it well. Here is a picture about 1 hour later showing the smoke.  Craddock peak is the higher peak behind George peak which is in the  foreground.

Change #6... Well this might really not be a change, just status quo for governments the world over.

Elder Richins has been working on the Helping Hands (a world wide day of service that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does each year) project for George for 3 months and as of Saturday we didn't know what we were going to do.  He had been working with the George government and they said they had something but were very slow to return his phone calls.  He started looking at Rotary, an orphanage, and also the Botanical gardens.  No one would get back to him.  Then on Friday Wani from the government got back to Elder Richins and we had a breakfast meeting on Saturday morning.  WE HAVE A PROJECT FOR NEXT SATURDAY IN Thembuletu at the high school.  We will send pictures next week.

Mrs. Bangile, Wani, Sister R, Elder R, Mr. Banglie breakfast meeting.

Change #7 ...  Why not start out how we ended.  Saturday.  You saw the burning mountain with the blue sky, well while we were eating breakfast it starts pouring outside.  None of us were prepared for rain, we got soaked going to the car.  It was so cold I went home and got my coat and raincoat to go to the store.  By 3:00 p.m. it was sunny again.  All night  the wind just howled.

CHANGE #8  In sacrament meeting the Branch president had been in Johannesburg all week and he was so excited to share that he saw, felt and stood in snow for the first time in his life.  He was like a little kid going out to play.

To end with for those who have never had the Mack family traditional open faced enchiladas.  Well today I fed them to the Elders.  Only 2 stacks high and they were full  and 2 of them couldn't finish them.  We topped of the meal with homemade Cookie Dough Ice Cream.  Thanks to Stacey.

Along with all the CHANGES we have  some wonderful missionary experiences:
We visited with the Janson home.  The whole family where their to watch a church video.  We felt the love in this home.  Lucinda is dying because of kidney failure.  She looks so frail but always has a smile.
Took dinner to the Meyers and I am going to help her eat on a very small budget so they can save money to go to the temple next year.
Visited the Frans family,  Sister Frans gives us food, I fill the containers with cookies to say thanks, she has more food for us to take home.  She is a wonderful giving person.
Visit Glorious, Elder Richins answers her concerns and she is ready to come back to church.  As we are having the discussion she is talking in Xhosa to her daughter in the back, come to find out she has never cooked before and Glorious was giving her instruction during the discussion, very interesting.  Just as we are ready to leave the daughter comes in with Brockworst and gravy for us to enjoy.  What do you do when people are so willing to share what they have with you.  Just say thank you and enjoy what is put before you.  It really was good.
Spend Wednesday and Saturday with Noxolo Mawindi as we continue to learn to read and write.  She just sent her 1st letter and has received replies from those she wrote to.  You should see her smile of accomplishment.

We love you , hope this wasn't' to much of a travel log.

Love, Elder & Sister Richins

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