Thursday, April 17, 2008

2008 04 17 - Load-sharing, transfers and zone conferences

Dear Everyone Who Doesn’t Have Their Power Turned Off For Two Hours Every Other Night:

Yes, load-sharing is back. We have candles placed strategically in most of the rooms, and a few rechargeable lanterns that come in VERY handy. I actually kind of like it – it gets a lot quieter, and sometimes we even talk to each other! (For really meaningful conversations, we would need the power outage to last longer than the laptop and cellphone batteries.)

Last week was transfer week, and we lost 4 elders and gained 6. Then this week we got a new couple, the Sessions, from Rexburg. They were absolutely exhausted from the flight over, so we very sympathetically took them directly to a zone conference. (They were very good sports about it!) They’ll be working in the Durban Zone, in KwaMashu. It’s the first time they’ve had a missionary couple there, so everyone is very excited.

If you remember, we demonstrating “exploding” scriptures at last zone conference, and developing scripture chains. This time we’re having elders share their own exploded scriptures and chains, as well as talking about how to use the Book of Mormon as a second witness of Christ. The talks and scriptures have been awesome. It’s hard to believe these are the same young men who were goofing off in priest quorum a few years back!

We are also hearing some pretty interesting stories over our pizza lunches each day. For instance, in Empangeni there is a member who owns a bar near the Church. (He owned it before he joined the Church – we’re hoping he can make a change of jobs one of these days!) On one occasion, they were about to start sacrament meeting and discovered they were out of sacrament cups. This member raced out, and returned with a box of brand-new, never-been-used shot glasses, which did very well!

Did I already share the lightning strike? Two elders were out on their bikes, when lightning struck a nearby tree. The lightning ricocheted from the tree to the nearest elder’s hand and handlebars, then from him to his companion. They felt a little buzz (thank goodness for rubber tires!) and their hands felt a bit sore so they kept working for awhile, and then headed home.

Esikaweni Branch, which meets in portables like the overflow classes at schools, had a record 84 people at sacrament meeting last week – and 21 were investigators.

Our elders are now teaching 3 pastors, and 2 congregations.

We have an “Ammon Project” going, which simply means trying to improve the work in original ways, like Ammon tending King Lamoni’s sheep. One of our South African elders, a very quiet young man, received a “Most Ammon-like” missionary award this week. He was tracting with his American companion, and heard a crash behind the house. He went to investigate, and saw a man running from a broken window with a TV and other household goods. Our elder chased him down the alley, where the burglar stopped and pulled out a knife. The Elder used his leg to sweep the burglar’s legs out from under him, and the bad guy went down and banged his head. While he was woozy, the elders took all the stolen items back to the house. They are now teaching the family. (By the way, we are not encouraging this sort of thing, it just happened!)

We got word this week that we have a new Seminaries and Institute missionary couple coming in September, when the Smiths leave, but we haven’t heard anything about an office couple for July when we lose the Dalebouts. Anybody looking for a great experience? Call your local bishop and specify Durban...

The rugby season is in full swing. On Saturday, grades 8, 9, 10 & 11 are required to wear their uniforms to the games at Kearsney College, a private high school in Hillcrest, and watch all the games (10:00 am to 6:00 pm). They sit together, and cheer, and sing the school song, and generally make their presence known. I think there will be field hockey games, as well. Morgan is getting pumped – he made the A team for the season, and will be starting every game. He goes to training twice a week at the gym and comes home absolutely aching. He’s going to be pretty muscle-y when we come home!

Please keep thinking about those missionary applications!
Mom, Grandma, Sue, Susan, Sister President Mann

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