Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tender Mercies

Hello Everyone from South Africa,
It has been a different week.  More on that in a minute.  My daughter sent a wonderful email from
"Daily Closer to Christ"  the article is entitled Tender  Posted:23Aug2012 12:53 AM PDT.  It is an insightful article regarding Tender Mercies which the Lord sends to us daily if you look hard enjoy or just stop to reflect on the blessings in our lives.  What I wanted to share and encourage each of us to do daily is to "WATCH FOR THE MERCIES" "REMEMBER THE MERCIES" (write them down), and PONDER them in your heart. Christ is the TENDER behind the mercy. And lastly "To minister" means to tend to the "tender mercy".
I hope that each of you will remember and write down your tender mercies so that you will always remember that Christ is in your life and does love you and care for you individually.

As for our week:  For "Preparation Day" it was a day with the other senior missionary couples here in the East Cape and George.  We decided to enjoy a day doing the Zip line.  Elder Richins and I were wondering if we were ever going to get there.  We didn't know exactly where it was and to be perfectly honest  NO ONE IN SOUTH AFRICA gives addresses.  It's more like it is past the bridge, past the Engen petro station, look for the white wall and the orange roof.  Later in the week Sister Richins had a hard time finding a sister that was going to a Relief Society activity on Saturday.  She is on Daffodil off Hibiscusl,but of course all the road signs are missing. This is how most directions go when you talk to someone, turn left at the cactus, then go a ways and turn right at the ShopRight store.  Then take another left at the big pine tree.  HELP!  the GPS even failed me.  It couldn't locate Daffodil in Pacelstdorp.  Finally Sister Moyo and I resorted to asking some people in the area, Elder Richins would have been furious that I got out of my car to ask a stranger, but eventually Sister Moyo and I  found Sister Lucille and Sister Flora.

Back to our "P" day.  We did find the zip line and the other senior couples.  It was a beautiful winter day.  The sun was shining. It was perfect weather, I would say about 60 degrees.  About like a normal Ventura winter day. The water falls we passed over where beautiful.  I had to take a deep breathe as we went screaming down the cable.  You didn't dare break or you would end up in the middle of the run and have to go hand over hand along the cable to get to the other side.  Here are a few pictures. So you watched the guy at the end tell you exactly when to break.

Waiting for our turn on the zip line
Excilerating and it got my heart pumping for sure. It was way out of Sister Richins comfort zone, but Elder Richins he was the pro, feet up and brake just in time.

I  never enjoyed the breathtaking views until after I was on solid ground.  My eyes were riveted on the guy that told me when to brake.
Now if you thought this was an  adventure well just read on...

Monday night we had our last Family Home Evening with the Ngcanga family.  Several times a week we have been doing FHE with members of the branch showing them how to have a FHE and also it has helped us get to know the branch members and their families.  Sister Richins gave a lesson using an empty bucket. Each person was to think of something that would make them happy or "fill their empty bucket".  We used the visual of adding potatoes to an empty bucket. We then wrote down their responses so that when
one is down or needs a lift they can look at the list and see how really blessed they are.  For the last part of the lesson we asked them to look through the churches Gospel Art Book and pick out a picture and tell about it.  I would say the favorite pictures were Christ at the Door, and Jesus helping Peter as he was sinking in the water, but we had some wonderful discussions about their favorite pictures in each home.  We noticed they knew about Jesus and his ministry.  These are a wonderful people who know Jesus.  After the lesson we introduced the game Don't Eat Nephi and of course refreshments were served after the closing prayer.  We then presented each family with a bag of potatoes, a Gospel Art Book to help them with future FHE lessons.

Empty bucket
Filled bucket with wonderful ideas when you are feeling down

Gospel art book, Don't Eat Nephi game, and of course refreshments, in this case biscuits (cookies)

Tuesday morning we received a call from Elder Morris saying that Elder Dladla was feeling poorly, and what was the name of the doctor they should go to.  They ended up going to the hospital, and using all their excess money so they could go to the private hospital.  Elder Dladal had his appendicitis out about 3:00 pm.  The doctor said it was inflamed and that they caught it at a good time.  Elder Dladla has never had surgery before or been in the hospital, which he decided that he doesn't care for.  He was a trooper, though as you can see by the smile I got just before he went into surgery.

Well maybe not his biggest smile but he is smiling.
Elder Richins and I have had Elder Dladla at our flat since Wednesday.  His companion is with the other 2 Elders.  Though on Thursday Elder Richins went out with Elder Morris and Elder Richins acted as his companion as they did missionary work.  Elder Dladla and I have been spending a lot of time sharing insights that we have been studying.  I have also spent the week cooking.  We have to make sure Elder Dladla gets his strength back quickly.  We, President and Sister Wood, Elder and Sister Richins and the 4 Elders (which includes Elder Dladla) are working hard to have him ready to go to Zone conference this Thursday and Friday.  He is a great patient and does just what he is told, cough, take your pills, go for short walks. take naps any of you that have had surgery know the routine.

Elder Richins and Elder Morris going out to do missionary work
Elder Richins preparing for institute, since someone needs to stay with Elder Dladla and it isn't a good idea for Sister Richins to be going to the township alone.  Did you know that the Ten Lost Tribes are going to bring back their own scriptures when the time comes?
Saturday was exciting to say the least for Sister Richins.  She was going to drive without Elder Richins to Mossel Bay to a Relief Society activity.  She picked up some sisters which took a long time because she got lost as she mentioned earlier in the blog.  We were merrily going along the N2 when all of a sudden she knew she had a flat tire.  Many tender mercies came.  1) She was in the left lane (right line if you are in the states) and just easily pulled off to the side.  2) Elder Richins had the phone but Sister Lucille had one so we could called Elder Richins,  3)all the Elders where at our flat preparing to go out on appointments.  The Elder's immediately got in their car and came to their rescue.  It only took about 40 minutes to get to us.  4) Elder Morris new how to change a tire 5) We were on an incline and there was a large rock, the only rock in sight, which Elder Spencer was able to put behind the rear tire 6)It was the front left tire (the one on the passenger side for those of you in the states) so the elders where away from the traffic  6) It was a regular tire they put on, not one of those emergency tires 7) we made it to  the RS activity to enjoy seeing everyone and of course in time for refreshments.  You might say that  is just life but I see it as an answer to prayer.  The Lord watching over his missionaries.

Everyone helped.  Sister Moyo provided the baby wipes to clean the hands, next picture, Sister Lucille Morris and I are good watchers, Elder Pearson got the good tire and put the flat tire in the boot, Elder Spencer found the rock. 

The Elders love to have their picture taken
Our Relief Society activity, Sister Skhosana and Sister Pangel making a floor mat

Sister Nthabi and Sister Voycaski and Sister Zanele also working on a floor mat
Today is Sunday and Elder Dladla and I stayed home from church.  I found a favorite missionary scripture Moroni 9:6.  Let me know if you think it is a good missionary scripture?    Elder Dladla and I went for a walk around the block.  His pain has gone from a 7, 10 being the worst pain, to 5 and today it was at a 1.  He is on the mend and is anxious to get out and back to work.

Pictures being sent home to Elder Dladal's mom so she can see he is doing well.

Look for the tender mercies in your life, write them down and ponder how much the Lord loves you and is looking after you, especially during the trials of life.

Have a great week.  We love each of you and appreciate your notes of encouragement.
Love, Elder & Sister Richins

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