Sunday, September 16, 2012

Birds, Monkeys, and Baptism

Hello from South Africa, the Garden Route.
I know you have all seen a peacock before  but he was putting on such a show I thought you might enjoy it. 

Spring has definitely arrived.  Today we thought it must be summer with temperatures in the high 80's.

Sunday was such a special day.  Elder Richins had the opportunity to baptize Brother Richard Mawindi.  His wife has been a member for about 5 years but he wasn't interested for a long time.  The senior  sister missionaries over the past several years have been teaching Sister Mawindi to read English while the senior Elder's have been getting to know Brother Mawindi, helping him with projects that he had going and becoming friends.  He said he observed the goodness of the people and how they treated his wife.  Elder Richins and I were at the end of a long line of wonderful senior couples and Elder Richins had the privelege of being the Elder to see all the hard work of the senior missionaries come to fruition, with the addition of the Elder's who taught him the discussions.
At Brother Mawindi's  baptism he had the opportunity to bear his testimony. He read Alma 5: 13-14 and the mighty change that has come to his heart.  It was a powerful and simple testimony of his journey to do as Jesus did.   The branch was very supportive and stayed after church to witness this most important ordinance.
Elder Richins, Sister Mawindi, Brother Mawindi before his baptism
Now after the climax of the week we are going back to Monday where we enjoyed a day visiting Monkey Land and Birds of Eden.  Both are sanctuaries that came into being because their were monkey's and bird's being abandoned by owners or the zoos had to many.  Each is helping the monkey's and birds feel like they are back in their natural habitat, thought being in your natural habitat with food put out for you everyday isn't quite natural but none the less it both were remarkable.

Monkey Land - We had a guided tour for this one. We walked among the animals and as you can see from the pictures we got real close, ONE TIME a little too close for my comfort.   

Black and White Puffed lemur.  He kept getting closer

and closer

and really close.  See how narrow the swinging bridge is?  We were in the center of the bridge.
Ring-tail lemur.  To mommies had 5 day old babies clinging to the chests.  They were feeding at one of the many feeding stations so I was able to get some pretty good shots.

A full view of the tail

See the little head sticking out?

I loved the little ring tails.  All babies are cute.
Can't tell you what his name is?  Anyone out their know?
So many pictures to choose from. I took 385 pictures and used up 2 batteries, so you are only getting the few I really liked, and I might had it was hard to pick them.

Gibbit Monkey

Grey Langur

Lar Gibbon golden ape
2 of the human's who invaded the monkey habitat and enjoyed every minute
Bird's of Eden:  We walked across the parking lot down a wooden walkway into an unbelievable aviary.  The canopy was so extensive and I didn't get a picture to show you. We spent about 4 hours walking around and just enjoying the birds.   One thing we learned was that if you just walk through you miss so much.  If you just stop the birds will often come to you otherwise you would miss so much.  Here are 10 of the 100's of pictures I took.

I couldn't resist the beautiful eye.  Green Turaco 

Mandarin Duck

Golden Pheasant

Proud mama / Carolina Wood Duck

Pastels/Alexandrine Parakeet

We loved the black beard

He just shimmered in the sun / Royal Golden Breasted Starling

The Hyacinth Macaws, look at the details around the eye.  This guy kept
taking chain down that said "employees only"!
Scarlet Ibis / our favorite color

The blue bill caught my attention/Eurasian Wigeon

Mute Swan / She might not talk but she can swim as fast as a motor boat and leaves the same wake.  She was after a black swan. It was amazing to watch.

Crowned Crane
 So there was our Preparation day adventure.

It is very fun to have adventures but please remember we do know why we are here and so Tuesday it was back to missionary work.
We had a busy week with transfers.  We lost Elder Dladla and Elder Pearson went home just in time to go bow hunting.  We have Elder Mkwezalamba from Zimbabwe and Elder Hughes from Mesquite Nevada.

Elder Pearson on his way home.  He was a great Elder and worked hard til the end.
Elder Jones, Elder Richins, Elder Morris, Elder Hughes, Elder Raharizoandrinirina from Madagascar,  Elder Dladla on his way to Cape Town, Elder Morris and Elder Mkwezalamba
Nothing else new this week.  We are enjoying this opportunity to share the gospel and to be of service to the George branch.  Look next week for your Spring Fling!
Love, Elder & Sister Richins

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