Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day 4 Ladysmith and New Castle

We arrived in Ladysmith Sunday evening and stayed in a senior couples flat that recently finished their assisgnment and left to go  home.  The mission home is not sure when a new couple will be arriving, so they keep paying rent so as not to lose the apartment because they are hard to find. WE NEED MORE SENIOR COUPLES! 
  Our purpose was to check on a story that we had heard from some missionaries.  We received permission from the family to come and hear their story.  We met at another members house in town.  Brother Kapenda was born in The Republic of Congo(French speaking)and Sister Kapenda(Lozi, English) was born in Zambia. Brother Kapenda's father sent him to Zambia to relatives to escape the war. The couple met and married in Zambia where Brother Kapenda was a barber. They moved to South Africa to improve their lives and find work. They settled in Ladysmith and have lived their since 2009 with their three children. 
  After Bro. and Sis Kapenda joined the church (that's a story all by itself), their neighbors told them that they joined the church of the devil.  The pastor of their church went around telling people that they were witches.  This was very upsetting to the little family who lost friendships because of their new faith.  The young couple remained strong because they felt the Holy Ghost guiding them and it was making a difference in their lives. Their son Joseph was very excited about being baptized.  His father taught him everyday about the gospel to prepare him.  Joseph loved to talk about the gospel to his friends and he often brought them to church. Unfortunately, once the pastor found out he would go to the friends house and tell the parents not to let their child play with Joseph.  Joseph remained a happy boy, getting good marks in school and he especially enjoyed having the missionaries over to his house. 
  Two days before his baptism he complained of a headache to his parents who kept him home from school and gave him medication.  The headache kept getting worse and finally the next night at 2:00am the father took him to the hospital.  A few hours later Joseph was gone.  The family was in shock. They had no idea why their son had died, to this day it is a mystery.  The ward members tried to comfort them and help them the best they could.  The pastor with such hate in his heart told all the neighbors that the reason their son died was because they belonged to the devils church. Brother Kapenda knows this pastor cannot be a man of God when he treats others who are suffering so cruely.
   Three months after Joseph's death Bro. & Sis. Kapenda and their  children went to the temple to seal their family for time and all eternity.   It was a beautiful day for them. Bro. Kapenda said he could feel Joseph there with them in the temple.      
   Elder Cinquini and I could feel the hurt in his voice as he told us the story, but he said he and his wife are finding peace and the temple has given them hope for the future.  They are so grateful for the love and concern of the church members.  It has been 5 months since eight year old Joseph passed away.  When I look at his picture I can see that God has a work for him to do. Perhaps not on this earth, but where is resides with his Father in Heaven.

Joseph Kapenda
eight years old



Kapenda Family with missionary
This was the last picture taken of Joseph

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