Dear Family & Friends:
This week we are drifting slightly away from finding, teaching and conversion, and into personal histories. This is allowable because journals, genealogy, and getting ready for the temple are all part of the gospel. But it's really happening because a few weeks ago Sister Holder, the Durban Stake Relief Society President, asked me to do a workshop - 5 times! - at their Women's conference.
It was on personal histories, and here's the interesting part (for those who don't know me very well): Sister Holder knows nothing about my background, and the presidency just "felt" I would be a good choice to teach that workshop. I don't know how good I was, but was easy to do: I majored in genealogy at BYU, worked with youth at the Genealogical Library in Salt Lake, and used to teach this kind of lesson in wards and school classes. Go figure!
So, welcome to the class! If you are senior couple material, and haven't decided to come out on a mission yet, you can get your personal histories up to date while you're waiting; everyone else can just do it because it's a good thing to do.
So, here we go...
SECTION I - Catching up on your past
Think of your earliest memory, or experience. Write it down. Now, if you haven't done it already, add WHEN it happened, WHERE you were living, and WHO you were living with (I know it's whom, but that sounds funny).
From the WHEN, figure out the most likely year it happened.
Get a piece of paper and write that year at the top. Then write the experience on that piece of paper. Using a computer for this is great, but PLEASE print out or back up all your entries: the Klinglers had their laptop stolen in Ladysmith, and lost most of their mission journal and pictures. It was devastating.
Now try to remember other things that happened that year.
Think about another memorable event, and repeat the process. Hopefully this will start another page, with a different year at the top. This process can continue practically forever. I explained to the sisters that when Steve asks me for someone's name, I immediately blank out and can't help him. But if I try to remember for a minute, then relax and forget about it, the little person in my head goes over to the filing cabinets in my brain and pulls out a drawer and brings me the name - usually in the middle of the night. You'll be amazed at the domino-effect of recalling experiences, and how remembering one leads to remembering another.
SECTION II - Appreciating and sharing yourself
Get a piece of paper and write your name across the top.
Ask yourself some of the questions listed above, or ask yourself the questions you wish you had asked your mother, or father, or grandparents about themselves and their lives, but never got around to.
Write the answers! Be honest, and feel free to say nice things about yourself.
SECTION III - Paying attention to your present
Write 2010 across the top of a page.
Set aside a particular time at least once a week to write a little about your experiences and feelings the past several days. In fact, you could write a little every Sunday in each section - but if that's too overwhelming, just do one section each week. Even a little is better than nothing!
NOTE: You can organize your pages or files by age (childhood, teen years, university) or location (Umlazi, Johannesburg, Durban) or Section (then, me, now), on a computer or in a binder with dividers.
Right. Now it's time to move on to the next workshop...
There was, of course, also a lot of missionary work, skills training and interviewing going on this week. As well as the Johnsons training the Davises in the office - which is going very well, I might add! Steve interviewed Elder Adams in Bethlehem (Free State) and learned that his stake president used to be Des Wilson - who was our first bishop when we got married aeons ago. Lynda Sue was one of my best friends, and her two youngest boys were Torry and Hayley's ages. We all moved away and have kept only a little in touch, so I was delighted to hear about them. I love the way everyone is connected in the Church!
We skyped Morgan and he showed us his new learner's license - against a background of 6 girls getting food together for a big party he was having! He's lucky he's staying with Marilyn, who loves having kids over almost as much as he does! Hunter and I have had a very complicated time trying to get his learners license.
First we were advised to go to the Westville Police Station, to get his Traffic Registration Number, as he doesn't have a South African ID number. We went there, and they didn't know anything about them. They sent us to the Pinetown Police Station, which also houses a Transportation Department.
They didn't give the numbers out there, either, and sent us to the RTI in Marionhill. We found it, filled in the appropriate form, and sat in the queue for 1/2 an hour, but ran out of time when we were within 2 of the window, as Hunter had to go check in for his surgery. (The queue is very energetic, by the way: you sit in a row of chairs, and every time someone goes to the window everyone one else stands up, slides over one chair, and sits down again.)
We went back to Marionhill a few days after Hunter's surgery. He sat and waited while I did the up-slide-downing for an hour. We finally got to a window, where we were told that they "don't do Westville here" and that we'd have to go to the RTI in Durban. OH, and did we have the 2 required photos? (What photos??)
So that's where it stands at the moment. We need to find out what kind of photos, and where to get them, and where the Durban RTI is - and go sit in the queue! Once he gets the Traffic Registration Number, we book him as soon as we can (a few weeks at least) for his written test. Then we put a big red L on the back window of the car to indicate a learner driver, and off he goes to practice driving with Steve. Because it takes months to get a booking for the actual driving test, he'll have to be contented with flashing around his South Africa learner's when he gets home, and learning to drive on the right.
Westville played Kearsney at Kearsney in rugby this week - on TV. We trounced them 31-7. Hunter had a great time spotting his mates on television. I had just gotten home from the Women's Conference, so Steve and I went to Woodcutter's and had lunch while we watched the game there. I hope we aren't turning into sports pub junkies!
This week is transfer planning - and Elder & Sister Allred will be arriving on Tuesday! They will be heading for Bloemfontein, which has been needing a couple for several months. Don't you wish you were flying over with them? I'm sure we could find you a place to serve...
ps We had a practice today for the stake Easter concert, in which I was invited to sing. We usually divide up for part of the practice, and the sister who was picking out the piano parts for the women had to leave early. Brother Rob asked for someone to help, and when no one else volunteered, I did. Only I had entirely forgotten that my middle finger is still totally numb and my second finger partially numb - so my fingering was VERY creative! But it worked out alright, and no one knew. I think there's a talk in this...