Our assignments in South Africa are two-fold: we will be in the mission office during the week, and primarily on Sundays we will meet with members of the Church that constitute the Mohlakeng Cluster. Mohlakeng is a small community south and west of where we are located. The cluster concept is fairly new and is being implemented in a small number of communities in South Africa. A cluster is simply a group of ward members that holds Sunday meetings in a location within walking distance of their homes. In this case, the meeting place is a small building that is used primarily for a pre-school. The meetinghouse for their ward is far enough from their homes that frequent travel to it is cost-prohibitive. The cluster members will still participate in ward activities. The bishopric of the parent ward will alternately attend and preside at the cluster meetings and is responsible for the cluster membership as it is for the rest of the ward. We think the concept is excellent - it takes the Church to the people when such a need exists.
Our first opportunity to meet with the cluster was Sunday, 14 September. What a wonderful experience it was. There were just over 40 members in attendance and we were warmly greeted. The bishop invited us to introduce ourselves and to share our testimonies during sacrament meeting. It was touching to hear the others who spoke after us in that meeting - they are humble and they hold a deep love for the gospel, just as we found when we attended the cluster's parent ward, the Randfontein Ward the week previous. We look forward to developing friendships with these good people.