Dear Family, Friends, and Missionary Supporters:
Winter has hit, but we can't complain too much: it gets down to 50 or so (10 Celsius) at night, then usually warms up during the day. The buildings stay pretty chilly though, as they are built of brick, and often have no heaters. Hunter and Morgan are enjoying the "goose bumped" knees of the 8th graders in their shorts!
I'm including a lot of pictures this time - if you are reading this, you have obviously scrolled your way through them. Here's a little more explanation:
Our poinsettia are a LOT bigger than the ones at home - unfortunately, they bloom in the winter (now) instead of at Christmas.
On a dark rural road a taxi hit and killed a cow. Shortly thereafter, before anyone started flagging motorists to go around, the zone leaders hit it, flew up like a ski jump, and landed with air bags inflating. No one was hurt, although it didn't do the car or the cow any good.
When our Sister Boyd was transfered to the Columbia South Carolina Mission, she was accompanied by Sister Japson of the Johannesburg Mission. Together, they created the South Africarolina Mission.
The boys are preparing for exams, and most classes have large projects (which they could have started weeks ago...) I caught Steve starting to help Morgan with his electric circuit - and Elder Eddy having helped Hunter (who likes to do hands-free work) with his.
Rugby is continuing to take it's toll: Hunter's friend Jubz is out for the year, too. He got concussed, kept playing and being knocked down, and a few days later went in for a CAT scan which showed swelling and prompted the doctor to speak VERY seriously to him! On the flip side, Morgan's team won against Pinetown Boys, 32 to 10.
Steve is working very hard on the new "Neighborhood Walkabout" program that will be officially introduced at our July 2nd all-zone conference. It is being piloted in some zones, with great success. They tried it in Newcastle, and found 8 families they are scheduled to teach. That's equal to about 2 months tracting in Newcastle.
This is how the program works:
1. Walkabout the neighborhood with the missionaries
2. Discuss, and record: each family, the family type and possible actions, tools & activities.
President Monson families
Deaths & marriages
Families who might have an interest in:
Can families be forever?
Family Home Evening
Families who may have asked the Questions of the Soul:
Is there a God and what is He like?
Are there prophets today and what do they have to say?
Where did we come from and what is our purpose?
Why is life so hard?
Identifying homes where members have moved out, or died; less-actives live who have been "forgotten"; people who have or might like a Book of Mormon.
2. Introduce the missionaries to people in the neighborhood as you go along
Steve went "walkabout" with one of the elders, and they met an Indian family the elders will be teaching, whose 9-year-old son took them all around the neighborhood, introducing them to people. It makes a lot of difference to the people if they feel like they know you.
Sister Smith, of our Seminary & Institutes couple, has also come up with a terrific little flyer based on Elder Ballard's "Faith, Family, Facts and Fruits" talk at October 2007 general conference, to leave at the gates when elders are in a really difficult gated community.
So things are moving along on many fronts!
Love to everyone, and remember to tell your friends we REALLY need couple missionaries - we lose some great ones this fall (South Africa spring) and we need some new great ones to keep the momentum going.
Grandma/Mom/Susan/Sue/Sister President Mann
ps If you plan a neighborhood walkabout yourself, here are a few useful ideas on what to share and do:
Strength of Youth
Ensign / Liahona
Book of Mormon
Answer a question
Invite to cottage meeting
Invite to church
Invite to YM / YW
Invite to Primary
Invite to ward/branch party or activity
Invite to Institute or Seminary
Invite to Family Home Evening
Invite to scripture study
Invite just to invite
Invite to meet the missionaries
Ask if the missionaries can come by
Invite to neighborhood service activity
Invite to Helping Hands