Dear Family (due this week to be increased by a new grandson) & Friends:
Elder and Sister Ward arrived last Sunday night to a small African adventure - after 36 hours of travel we took them to their B&B. and no one answered either the bell at the gate or the two phone numbers! We eventually settled them at the Westville Hotel, which I've always wanted to see, anyway, and all worked out well...until they learned firsthand that you can't allow 20 minutes for breakfast and really expect to get it. They already know much more about South Africa than they did a week ago.
Exiting the M13 when bringing the Wards here, we found ourselves in a lake - a pipe had burst, or something, and water was gushing down the road. They dug things up, and worked on it for 3 days, and finally finished it, filled things in and smoothed over the road. I drove out Thursday thinking gratefully about how nice it is when construction is over. I drove back 90 minutes later to find the other half of the same road torn up; I don't know what they're doing down there this time, but my thoughts were not quite so kindly as earlier in the day!
Hunter and I stumbled across a biker convention (or something) Friday. We were returning a video, and at the intersection was a man in a fluorescent yellow vest labelled on the back "KwaZuluNatal MF (Motorcycle Federation) Road Master". A short time later he directed traffic as dozens of motorcycles roared out of the Baptist Church parking lot where they had gathered. [Query: This Baptist Church sponsors a Youth Night every Friday night - could they possibly also sponsor motorcycle gangs?]
This week at our office devotional Sister Davis shared a spiritual thought she heard in the MTC, and I really liked it:
"Life works out best for those who make the best of how life works out." I also think it fits in very well with the talks Elder Foster and Elder Martino gave in the Sunday afternoon session of conference - which we watched Sunday with Hunter, just before Langa Mahaye came over to watch the priesthood session. I removed myself to another room to maintain the required "male bonding" environment.
Sunday I was also simultaneously humiliated and rescued by Hunter. My computer was having problems connecting with the internet, so I unplugged the modem and plugged it back in (as usual). But it didn't turn back on. I tried plugging and unplugging everything I could think of, but after the plug sparked as I put it in the outlet, and it persisted in not turning on, I decided it had died. Steve gave it a shot, too: no luck. So along comes Hunter, wanting the internet. I explained that the modem was no longer working - at which point he reached to the back of the modem and flipped the on-off switch... Story sound familiar to anyone?
I was looking through my zone conference notes and found something Elder Smith said in his talk, that I forgot to include in the blog. He was talking in faith, and said "If you don't have faith, you won't survive: they'll shatter you." Missionaries are really on the front line for the gospel - fortunately ours have been mostly shatter-proof. And they work really hard at it, too.
On Saturday Hunter, Jubz and Anastasia went to Gateway for a movie and to see the queues of people lined up to audition for South American Idol. A few of there friends were trying out - and Wetu made the first cut! We may soon be calling in to help her win!
Elder Davis came up with a new couple recruiting idea - it can be part of either the "guilt" approach or the "challenge" gambit: you take the number of people living in our mission boundaries (VERY roughly 5 million) and divide by the number of proselyting missionaries: 150. That means every single missionary is responsible for 33,333(.3) individuals. See why we need your help?
ps OK, I admit it: the Dutch name for the Dutch East Inda Company is Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compangnie, so VOC makes a sensible acronym.
pps I love reading name tags in the shops; this week I was assisted by Sharm, Sphume, Zandile, Precious...and Touch; fortunately that last is a man's name!