Friday, August 29, 2014

Week of August 25 - 29

Monday -  We attended a Religious Forum, with another senior couple, that included ministers of several different faiths.  When we arrived the gentlemen that helped organize the event recognized the name of the church on our name tags.  He said he'd been listening to Ukhozi FM and they talked all about their trip to Salt Lake City.  He was so curious that he looked it up online and read all about the Mormons.  We stood out because we were the only white people in a crowd of 350 pastors.  THREE times during the event they mentioned the full name of the Church, calling us their guests from America.  Once they had us stand up and wave to the crowd.
Mpontshane Sibongile and her husband.  She is the new Chairperson for the Interfaith Committee 

Walid Elsaadi Skeikh is the new Project Officer. Seemed like a very gentle, humble man.

Tuesday - We accompanied the Humanitarian to a  meeting with the Health Department  to work towards a wheelchair donation for the people of South Africa.  It was a very productive meeting with the Church being in complete agreement with the criteria required for wheelchair placement.  The Church also offered to supply qualified teachers who would train Physical Therapist to properly  assess and measure wheelchair recipients.  While waiting for the elevator to go up to our meeting a gentlemen was standing with us and noticed Elder Cinquini's name tag and repeated the name of the Church and said, "you work with education don't you? and I said, "yes, but today we are here to visit the Health Department.  "Are you in Education." I asked.  "No, that's too hard I work with medicine". After we got off the elevator he was kind to take us through the locked doors and pointed at his picture and said, "That's me".  Well.... he WAS the Minister of Health!  He escorted us to his personal boardroom to have our meeting.  It was not just coincidence that we ran into him.  It is good that he knew we were in his building attending a meeting.   

Wednesday - Cleaning in the kitchen and found a small nest of baby cockroaches.
I Immediately called the exterminator.  After he sprayed the house we thought we should leave for couple of hours because of the smell. At our next stop a friend noticed our tire was low so we went to have it filled with air and the attendant said there was a nail in it.  We go to the tire shop and they said we needed two new tires.  While we were sitting waiting for service, two missionaries came in to have some tire work done on their car.  We took them to lunch which helped pass the time.  In the evening the senior couples all met at the Mission Presidents house for dinner to greet a new couple to the mission, Elder and Sister Snell from the UK.  They will be working with self-reliance.

Thursday - We traveled to a township to participate in an interfaith prayer meeting in Umlazi K section.  We were invited by a lady pastor who we met at the Interfaith Summit on Monday.  Elder and Sister Rowberry and Zanele Hlongwane accompanied us.  First we met in a garage and sang together and then all of us walked to the community hall.  There were at least 200 people in attendance.  We were guest and asked to sit on the stage along with the other pastors who came to worship.  Most of the meeting was in Zulu, but we could tell that the loud preaching (yelling), excited everyone.  Four hours later they served lunch to everyone.  People seem to be glad that we came to visit. We made some nice contacts and it was a real experience to witness a traditional African prayer meeting.  Zanele thought it was good to experience these types of traditions because it would help us understand the people better.  

Friday - Today we went to a school to measure the length needed for a hose to reach the community garden.  Ed and I miss our garden so we thought we would help these young people who are learning skills (they are 18+ years old) for future employment.  The school donated the land and water but they need tools to finish the project.  Afterwards we worked on the focus group. The Area Presidency has invited  different groups to come and participate in a forum where church media will discuss the needs for South Africa youth, young single adults and young married couples.  

Saturday - Lots and lots of paperwork, some house cleaning, and grocery shopping.

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