Sunday, October 5, 2014

The week in review

Here are some of the activites that we were involved in the week of September 29:

September 29 - We traveled with Elder and Sister Hansen to assist in moving two missionaries from one flat to another in the same complex. We arrived at about 9:00 a.m. to find that the elders had not begun to organize or clean in preparation for the move. We assigned them to move their belongings to the other flat, with the assistance of the elders that live in the flat that the items must go to. While they were doing that, the Hansens and we cleaned the apartment that was being vacated. Hats off to Sisters Hansen and Allred - they were the ones that did the deep cleaning of the kitchen and bathrooms and they were involved in cleaning every other room in the flat. Our work was complete around noon. We senior couples learned from this experience and will be better prepared to deal with similar tasks in the future.
On the way to shut down the flat, we passed a massive shanty town. It breaks our heart to see the sad circumstances that a few of our brothers and sisters live in. The missionaries that have worked in these areas tell us those that live there are very humble and work hard to put food on the table and provide the necessities of life. 

Someone, we don't know who, lays out clothing for those in need to pick through.

Photo of the elders whose flat we cleaned. We will move them all out to another location that will be closer to their working area.

September 30 and October 1 - We spent most of these two days at the office, doing whatever needed attention. Primarily, we were occupied with emailing flat inspection assignments to other senior couples throughout the mission. Not being familiar with the location of the 88 flats occupied by young elders, we had to make some corrections in assignments. We have assigned ourselves 19 flats to inspect, with the farthest being a two-hour drive from the mission office. Each flat will be inspected every 6 weeks maximum.
In the afternoon of the 30th, we visited a missionary flat that had to be deep cleaned after a hot iron was left on the ironing board while the elders were away for the day. Smoke and soot were in every imaginable nook and cranny of the flat. Our purpose for the visit was to review the cleanup work done by the contractor.

A typical day at the mission office. Elders are in and out of the office daily for various reasons.  

Celebrating Elder Davies (one of the AP's) birthday.

The elders are fun to be around!

Elder Stephens (AP) and his doggie Roody from Roodepoort where we are.

October 2 - President and Sister Dunn invited us to participate in an orientation for new missionaries, which was held at the mission home. Sister Allred baked some delicious chocolate chip cookies and we were given time during the orientation to encourage the elders to keep their flats clean and in good repair. The orientation went from 9:00 a.m. to noon and then we wrapped things up with a rousing game of ping pong, where 10-12 people circled the table and we all took turns hitting the ball. When one missed the ball on his turn, he was out. The game went on until there were two competitors and the final winner was decided from that. We very much enjoy our association with the Dunns and with the elders. They all bring a wide variety of personalities into the picture and that interests us a lot.

October 3 - Sister Allred and I attended the weekly meeting of the Randfontein missionary district, which is held at one of the missionary flats about 30 minutes from the mission home. Elder Raymond is the district leader and he makes sure that our time in this meeting is well-spent. We open with a hymn and prayer, and then we engage in an exercise that will sharpen our missionary capabilities. Lastly, we read from Preach My Gospel and discuss what we have read. The meeting usually lasts about 1.5 hours, and then we go to lunch together. This week was the first where we were able to dine with the elders. Their favorite spot is Roman's Pizza at a shopping center in downtown Krugersdorp. We are getting to know these elders much more and it is a joy. There are four elders in the district, one from Phoenix Arizona, one from Brisbane Australia, one from Accra Ghana (West Africa) and one from Port Elizabeth (South Africa).
Our district meeting in Munsieville.

The elders have a spotless flat! So proud of them!

Their office

Elder Raymond and Elder Adjin 

Roman's Pizza. Crazy good stuff! Two medium pizzas for R60.00, about $6.00.

October 4 - We took another exploratory walk in our immediate neighborhood area. We found that there are many roads to follow and we are part of a very large residential area. Some of the houses that we saw on this walk are larger than the ones we showed in pictures from the previous walk. They are on a hillside and consequently, the driveways are very steep. It is fascinating to see how the houses are situated to fit the terrain.

This tree has a monkey face on it! 

For sale. Get it while it lasts!

Gates are very attractive! 

Thatch roof

Took photos of driveways. Most all driveways are a work of art. Can you imagine the hours that go into just one , and 99.9% of driveways are made this way.

This evening at 6:00, we were able to watch, live, the first session of general conference. The second session and the priesthood session began at 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., respectively, so we did not not tune in for those.

October 5 - We attended the meetings of the cluster today. It was fast and testimony meeting and when it started, there were only 11 people there. We wondered what we would do for an hour and ten minutes when there were so few to bear their testimonies. As time passed, more people trickled in and our peak attendance was 26. Normally there would be around 40. Almost all adults bore their testimonies, and a few youth. The full time was consumed. It was an excellent meeting. The members are so impressive; they have a good basic understanding of the gospel and they cherish their testimonies.
After meetings, the wife of the bishopric second counselor volunteered to schedule appointments with families that have stopped attending cluster meetings. She will go with us next Sunday as we meet these families and encourage them to begin attending again. We need this guidance from active members of the cluster - the township is very large and we have not ventured into it yet. It is divided into extensions and the extensions are in no logical order. There are no addresses on the houses in the township. Also, our getting acquainted with these families is much more effective if we are accompanied by active members of the cluster who already know the families.
This afternoon, we were able to listen to the second Saturday session of general conference, thanks to the Internet. We are grateful for the technology that affords us this capability!
This evening, the senior couples that work in the mission office went to the mission home at the invitation of President and Sister Dunn, to watch the first Sunday session of general conference. We enjoyed a very good dinner prior to the conference and during the conference, we partook of a delicious dessert - Sister Allred's trifle. It was a very pleasant get-together.

Dinner at the mission home and watched Sunday 10 am  General Conference with our new friends, eating yummy food and hearing the word of God from living Prophets.

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