Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Couples Retreat

All the senior couples and the mission president went on a couples retreat. The first night we stayed at the Nambiti Game Reserve.  Our accomadations were tents, but Wow! I've never been tenting like this before! I never get tired of game drives.  The guides are so knowledgable and make it so interesting. Everytime we go out I learn something new.  It was the first time for some of the new couples and the bigger animals made them nervous.

This was so cute.

This was our tent!
When we returned from the game drive about 6:30pm we were cold and hungry.  The resort had a hot bath ready for us.

These are some of the senior couples.

Poachers hunt the Rhino for their horn. This reserve lost two so far this year and now cuts off the horn to discourage hunters. The horn grows back like a fingernail, however poachers kill them because they want to take more of the horn and want to get in and out quickly. It's a sad situation. Elder Ciqnuini and I are going on a Rhino capture in June where we will locate a Rhino and help put a chip in the horn.  Sean Donnely arranges three of these hunts every year. He and his wife both have a passion to save the Rhinos. 

 This lion was very agitated because his two brothers were coming down the hill to challenge him for his pride.  He was roaring and digging in the dirt.  He didn't pay any attention to us.  The guide noticed that all the other aniamals had left the area.  She was sure there was going to be a fight.  When they finally met up there was a small scuffle, but the two younger brothers decided to back off for now.  This lion came so close to us he brushed the side of the truck.


Bluff Ward Family Home Evening

We were invited to a group Family Home Evening with our home ward.  It was so nice to get to know the members a little bit better.  We had a nice lesson by the ward mission leader and then Elder Cinquini and I taught them how to play spoons. It was an enjoyable evening.

Bishop Ngidi and Elder Cinquini

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter

We heard some great talks today on Love and the atonement. What a wonderful gift the Savior has given to us. In the afternoon I participated in a Easter musical festival. I was one of two white people that sang. There are other white folks in the church, but I don't know where they were. The choirs that sang and the messages spoken brought much joy to the day. 

Oh and we enjoyed some chocolate too!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Rugby Game

Today the senior couples went to a Rugby Game. The Durban team "Sharks" and the Free State team, "Cheetah's" were playing eachother here in Durban.   Rugby is part volleyball, part football, and part soccer.  It seems a bit hectic especially if you don't understand the rules. The Sharks beat the Cheetah's 18-8. Thousands of fans turned out.  The tickets are only $9.00 per person.  It was nice to see so many making it a family activity.  It makes me sad that in America tickets are so expensive to these types of events that people can't afford to go let alone take the whole family. We enjoyed the experience and I would consider going again.

They huddle and push eachother until someone comes out with the ball.

I thought this was interesting when they lift their team mate in the air.

Our missionary friends

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chastity and The Word of Wisdom

I accompanied two Elder missionaries and a senior couple today as they traveled to a secondary school to give an assembly on chastity and the word of wisdom.  Yes, they do allow the mention of God in the public schools and also reading of the scriptures. As we were waiting for everyone to arrive the students started singing a spiritual, immediately my eyes were filled with tears, their voices were so beautiful.   The school just opened up in Janurary, they didnt have an auditorium or gym so they stand outside in rows for their assemblies.  The principal was very pleased with the presentation and said, "Often parents are not comfortable talking to their children on these topics, but these are things they need to hear."  The missionaries spoke about keeping your body free from alcohol and drugs.  They also talked about reserving sexual intimacy for marriage and the blessings that come when you obey this law from God.  The missionaries bore their testimonies of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, they reminded the students they are loved and important. After the assembly we all returned to the principals office and he said, "I have been elevated today." 

Elder Doane

Elder Ngandu

Elder Andrus bearing is testimony to the students

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


The amadumbe is the potato of the tropics. When we were in the countryside Monday our Zulu friends saw women selling these on the side of the road and wanted to stop and buy some so we bought some too.  They are boiled first then peeled. They can be boiled, fried or baked. We found them to have more flavor then a potato. They can not be grown everywhere in SA so we felt lucky to come across them. 

Elder Cinquini's email to Sipho Duma

Sipho Duma said if the car made it to the gas station he was going to buy it.  Elder Cinquini reminded him in an email what he said and this is his response.

Dear Elder Cinquini,
Well, regarding your vehicle I realized that it wasn't really about the car but was faith behind the driver and his ability to drive economically.

At the time we absolutely knew that we had no fuel to travel further we noticed that we had to travel about 30KG to get to the fueling station the vehicle was giving no chance to travel even a kilometer but we traveled 30KM if not above.

I believe that this would have happened to any vehicle that would have been under your control at that time and on that note I am not going to buy the car but I appreciate the Miracle I observed on that day.

You can see why we enjoy being here!  We have really great people to work with.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Long, Satisfying Day

Elder Cinquini and I were up and out the door by 7:30 am with two PA directors to met the Area Humanitarians Ken and Phillip at the airport. We all drove North to met with a company involved with agriculture projects that help families and farmers to become self reliant. They wanted to show the farms they are working with.  We drove and drove and drove.  We didn't realize it was going to be such a long drive but we saw some beautiful countryside and lots of sugar cane.

Walking among the butternut squash 

The women sit and wash the squash before they put them into a bag.

Then a women carries the bag to the end of the road for pick up. 
This food is going to a local school. 

The women were friendly and even let me try to carry 
A bag on my head, but my iPad battery went low and 
We didn't get a picture. 

On our way back to Durban we had one more meeting
at Ukhozi FM regarding their trip to Salt Lake. We finally got home at 5:30 pm

We had a small miracle during our drive today. We had not anticipated driving so many kilometers and our gas was running very low.  Just as our gas light went on we found a rugged gas station. We were so happy, then the attendant said they did not have any unleaded gas. We were in the middle of nowhere. We kept driving, already late for our second meeting, but still several kilometers to the nearest town. My anxiety level was beginning to climb. We went up and down hills expecting the next corner to reveal a town, but instead it was nothing but farm land. Everyone in the car was getting very nervous. Every time Elder Cinquini went downhill he put the car in neutral. Now the gas tank says empty and Sipho says I don't think we're going to make it. Then we see a sign that said the nearest town is 30 kilometers!  Sipho said if this car makes it, I'm going to buy it!  That car went another 24 kilometers on an empty tank. We couldn't believe it. We all shouted for joy when we pulled up to the gas station. Then we all started laughing and joking.  

We were so thankful that the radio station kept our meeting even though were 1 1/2 hours late. Many things were worked out for the trip.  A woman named Yvonne saw us in the lobby and gave us a big hug. We thought maybe she was a member of the church, but she saw my name tag and said she knows our church. She was so happy to see us and we had a friendly chat. She was there to talk on the radio about heart health. As we came out of the meeting we saw her waiting to go on the air and she asked us to wait.  When she finished she said she was nervous to go on the air but when she saw us she knew everything would be ok. she loves the youth of the church and what they stand for. We didn't get to know her whole story so Sipho took her name and number and said he wanted to have lunch with her. Brother Sipho Duma asked her for a magazine that she had so he could read it, later he said I have a gift for you as well, and he gave her the My Family booklet and explained to her what it was.  Zanele asked her to speak at an Enrichment mtg about healthy cooking for children. She said she always wanted to know what was in that church building, she wanted to see for herself. Sister Zanele Hlongwane agreed to give her a tour of the building, including famly history, library, and employment. She agreed to all the meetings, they set a date, and that my friends is Public Affairs in action. You can make a new friend just that quick. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My Family Booklet

The church has put out a booklet called "My Family".  It's to help people begin to record their family histories and encourage them to work on their geneology.  The missionaries in the Durban area are using it as a missionary tool and helping people discover their roots.  Today we interviewed two of our missionaries as they were showing some newly baptized young men how to use the website.  It is very difficult for black Africans to trace their family since it is usually an Elder in their village that keeps all the records in their head.  By getting them started on their family records they can begin to get this information written down.

Elder Faganello from Canada is showing an investigator the My Family booklet

Elder Faganello helping Sikhumbuzo who was baptized in August the website.

Elder Thale makes me laugh.  As he is posing for this picture he is actually saying all sorts of silly stuff, like someday you will have children and a beautiful wife .......


Elder Faganello who resides in Canada is serving a two year mission in the Durban area. “My family has been traced back to the 1600’s, said Faganello, “I am happy to pay it forward by helping others discover their ancestors.”  When asked how it made him feel to help people record their histories Elder Thali from Johannesburg says, “I am learning as well, it is awesome how people love to learn about their families. It is nice to see people of all ages doing this work.”

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ministry of Public Health Appointment

Left to Right: Jerome Shongwe ( Well know and respected man of his community), National Public Affairs Director, Elder & Sister Eggett, Humanitarian couple, Elder Cinquini, Public Affairs, and Dr. & Sister Madsen, Humanitarian Medical Specialists.

Church in Swaziland

We enjoyed our Sunday Service in Swaziland.  We were surprised how many young single adults attended church.  They've joined the church with an amazing love of God and a strong testimony that a Prophet lives today. Why arent they getting married I ask? They cannot afford the Labolla that is still a tradition throughout all of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Many church leaders try to talk persuade parents to disregard or lessen the Labolla, but too many hold on to this tradition. While in Swaziland Jerome Shongwe our National Public Affairs Director gave me my Swazi name which is "Lomalanga" which means person of the sun.  I arrived in Swaziland on a sunny day, but I like to think that is also means I am a sunny, cheerful person. 
We visited Scott hospital who seemed very anxious to accept the Church's program of Helping Babies Breathe, which should happen in early fall if all paperwork can get completed and equipment sent in to South Africa.
This is what we take with us when we travel in order to hook up all our electronic devices.

Ezulwini Branch in Swaziland

Sisters in Swaziland studying their scriptures

Jerome Shongwe and his daughter



Richards Bay

  Richards Bay is located North of Durban.  A lovely, breezy little coastal town.  We met the senior couple at our hotel to drop off some missionary mail and packages and prepared for our dinner with Sister Vezi and her husband President Vezi to talk over Public Affair events in her area.  Our dinner was a success, and what was impressive was while we were eating dinner several people came to greet them at our table.  They said the church is well respected in Ricards Bay because of their Helping Hands activities, Round Table discussions, Family History Fairs and other activities that involve the community.

Sister Vezi is the Relief Society President of the Port Durnford Branch and Public Affairs director for the district.

The chairs and tables in the background are sitting in water.  Ohh, it felt so good on my feet.

View from our hotel room

As we were checking out the young man behind the desk asked us where the church was located.  I was embarrssed to say I wasn't sure because we only arrived yesterday were leaving today.  He said he'd seen the young missionaries and would find them again and go to church with them.  I learned a valuable lesson that whereever we go we need to be able to tell people how to find the church in their area.