Sunday, April 13, 2008

2008 04 01 - posted the 14th!

Dear Everyone:

I’m so-o-o-o sorry I’ve been so absent from this blogspot! We really are still here, and still involved in missionary work. Maybe you can assume that when I’m late on making a new entry, I’m REALLY busy! (Come to think of it, that’s true!)

The most unusual and exciting thing that has happened lately was a surprise (to Steve and Morgan, anyway) visit from Hayley. Hunter and I were in Cape Town for Morgan’s Rugby Festival (won 1, lost 2) and she flew in on Easter evening to join us. After a whirlwind day and a half of rugby and sightseeing, we flew back to Durban, where Hayley walked in to the mission home, said Hi to Steve, and we all watched his jaw drop. (You’ve read about it: well, it really happens).

We had already scheduled a few days of family vacation while the boys are out of school, so we threw Hayley into the mix, and went off to Oribi Gorge, where she threw herself off a 33-story cliff, swinging through the air at the end of a rope. Very exciting! (See pictures above.) Then we went up to Karkloof where we all ziplined through the tree-tops. That was fun – and even Morgan, and heights-hating Hunter did it! Elder and Sister Dalebout came, too, and we all had a great time.

A little curio shopping, and sticking our feet in the Indian Ocean, and Hayley was off home again – only to leave her luggage in London – not by choice – on the way home. Hopefully it has arrived by now. We are hoping Hayley will be just the first of many visitors???

I’ve been tweaking our training powerpoints over the last few weeks: as an amateur powerpointer, it takes me a lot longer, and I find myself doing things over and over at times, but it’s fun. The hardest part for me is finally saying “OK, I’m done.” There’s always one more picture that I find that would be even better… But Steve is making frustrated noises, so I guess I’m done…

The sister missionaries are still on the move: Sister Essma has been transferred from the Kenya Mission to the Uganda Mission. She is really getting around! I know she’ll do great there – and will be joining some of our other sisters again.

We had another month of a good amount of baptisms: the elders are discovering that baptizing a family takes a little longer, but it’s nice to have a baptism of 4 or 5 instead of 1! Just about all the companionships are teaching families now, and we hear of branches with 80 in attendance: 21 investigators. It’s pretty exciting! The Church needs families SO much here – the cultural traditions and habits of having children out of wedlock, and living together without getting married are really strong. I don’t think we’ll see a big change even with the Church members until children start growing up in active families.

I got a wonderful birthday card from the sisters in River Heights Ward – thank you! And LouAnn Hoffman is a great visiting teacher – she emails my messages every month!

Love to everybody –

Grandma/Mom/Sue/Susan/Sister President Mann

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