Allo, Ma Dahlings! (go up a few notes on “-lings”)
Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a P.G. Wodehouse novel (google him). For example, today I dropped Morgan off for rugby practice. As I’m leaving, a boy in a school uniform says (I will try to convey this phonetically): “ Ahftanoon, Mawm. May I awsk the tahm?” “You may”, I respond (I can’t help it!). “It’s twenty to four.” “Thenk yu, mawm.” Then as I’m walking away, I hear another boy ask, “Whawt’s the tahm, Reginald?” Honestly, has this ever happened to you? (Just a little aside on non-missionary life in
I’m getting pretty used to some of the vocal patterns, such as “Ha yu?”, which if it were played on the piano could start on a G below middle C, then the “yu” slides from C# to D. The answers is “Fahn, n yu?” but the “yu” doesn’t slide so much this time. You can also respond “Ah’m well, n yu?” In the townships, if you don’t greet in Zulu, it’s more likely to be “Are you well?” which is a translation of the Zulu greeting. I’m actually trying to work on a South African accent, to try out when I get home. The South Africans won’t recognize it, but since most of you have never heard one, it’s worth a try!
Hunter and Morgan are now officially 15, which is handy, because Hunter has been claiming to be 15 for 3 months. Morgan celebrated by getting in a minor altercation at school, which led to 2 hours of after school detention. However, since the next day there was a scuffle among some matrics (grade 12) during which a row of lockers (in the walkway outside the classrooms) were knocked over, and later a boy in Morgan’s class accidentally(?) pushed another boy through a glass windowpane, sending the boy to the hospital for cleanup, I’m not too worried about his little event. Morgan says there will be LOTS of people in detention of Friday: I’m afraid he’s going to enjoy it.The rugby coach is talking about training Morgan to be a "prop" instead of a "wing". This position wouldn't take as much advantage of his speed, but would capitalize on his bulk and strength (as if I knew what exactly a prop does...) And Hunter's team won their game this week - he is now a point guard, and made 12 of their 30 points. Nice! The coach of the older 1st team is taking Morgan up on his offer to bring a missionary basketball to play the 1st team and a few of the coaches on a Preparatin Day Monday. The players will wear the mission t-shirts, and their companions will be in their whites - way to break down the gates of Westville!
We also celebrated with a 2-1/2 hour power outage in the evening, so all the people we planned to Skype – sorry! The boys feel very rich, by the way: money makes a very good birthday present here. Grandma’s present exchanged into 250 rand! That doesn’t sound as good as a million
This all doesn’t sound very missionary, so back to business. Sister Tanner, the general YW President, and Sister Matsumori, 2nd counselor in the general Primary presidency, were in
I forgot to share a great visual Elder Hill used in his zone conference training. He was talking about how Satan likes to work on us one-on-one; the illustration is in the photo above. It's good, eh?
Another nice mental visual was looking for investigators like a needle in the haystack...and the Spirit is the magnet. I wish I were a cartoonist so I could draw all these images as they come up. Any volunteers? Katie?
We’re starting to hear from our sisters-in-a-different-mission. They are teaching a lot, and having to adjust (beautifully, I’m sure) to different approaches and leadership styles. In addition, a few have to cope with running into people they know on temple trips (good job hiding in the locker room, Sister Wileman!). Just when you think you know all the challenges a mission can bring...
Steve got back from his mission loop through Swaziland last night - there are two news items to add to the Swazi legends. One is their new "babas and babies" program. When they spot a man with a small child or a baby, they go out of their way to talk to him. They are finding lots of married men (not always the case) and starting to teach their families. The second is the new "Swazi Dirt Shirt". Swazi has very red soil, and Sister Baum made some dirt shirts (like Crazy Shirts in Hawaii?) for the elders, and now a member is going to start making them and try selling them to tourists. We plan to make our 2008 mission t-shirt on a Swazi Dirt Shirt.
We had a great fast for families (with transport!) to teach. I'm assuming the numbers will start rising this week! Thanks to those of you who joined with us. And if any of you are doing the 40-day ward fasts I'm starting to hear about, feel free to sneak the Durban Mission into your prayers. We can use all the help we can get (as can every mission).
Love to everybody!
Mom/Grandma/Sue/Susan/Sister President Mann
ps This week's guilty thought: If you're not sharing the gospel...then you're hoarding it! So if you "don't know anyone to share it with" it may be time to go somewhere that millions of people have never heard of Joseph Smith. Application forms are available online.