Saturday, September 27, 2014

New Friend

This is 20 year old Nonkululeko Mseleku. We love her smile (but she wouldn't do it on camera), she  is an orphan and lives with a friend in a shanty in Umlazi K section.  She has scoliosis of the spine,  her legs are not functional and remain tucked under her to support her upper body.  One day Ed and I were in the area and he spotted her going down the street and noticed The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints printed on the back of the wheelchair.  He stopped to talk to her and  she said she received the wheelchair two years ago from her school.  Ed asked her how was it working and she said it didn't work well anymore, which wasn't a surprise considering the dirt roads in her area.  We took her name and phone number and did some checking to find out if we might be able to have it fixed for her. The Church sent us to CE Mobility and they said they could have it repaired in two hours.  While we were waiting for the repair we asked her what she would like to do and she wanted to go to a mall.  It's very difficult for her to travel anywhere because the taxi's do not accommodate handicapped people. She said she is pretty much stuck at home all day.  We went to the mall, had lunch, had her nails done, but the best part was looking at all the shops.  Every where we went people were very sweet to her. She has a bubbly personality with hopes and dreams like any other young adult. Her challenge is money and getting to and from school or a job.  When we picked up the wheelchair it looked great! They installed new bearings, arm pads, new back and seat,plus they added side panels for greater comfort.  Next we took her to the beach and walked along the shore and down the pier.  It was a very pleasant day and we will check up on her from time to time. I'm so thankful Elder Cinquini took the time to stop and talk to her.  This has been a sweet experience.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Zulu Brothers

Tonight we had Family Home Evening with the senior couples. Since Wednesday is Heritage Day some couples dressed up. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Indian Dress

Saturday all the senior couples in the Durban area worked on a service project in the Indian area of Durban.  Afterwards we all went to lunch and then shopping at the markets. I bought a Punjabi which is a Indian suit that has a top, pants, and a scarf. They can be plain or colorful.  I chose a fancier style to wear at couple functions ( like FHE ) :)  A Saree is also an Indian dress that usually is a long piece of very decorative fabric that is wrapped around the body.  Often the mid section of the body shows, but the LDS sisters tell us you can have them made so the top comes all the way down.  Often the shop keepers will encourage young girls to wear the Saree with the short tops telling them they are young and must show their skin while it is still beautiful.  We had an enjoyable day with the couples and Monday we will be together again for FHE where we will celebrate Heritage Day and Elder Cinquini and I will wear our Zulu outfits.  We love the cultural diversity here in South Africa.

The sacrament meeting talks today were very inspiring.  Brother Khyndile spoke about the importance of using our time wisely.  He said, " it is easy to be on the bottom, to do nothing.  Perhaps we stop progressing because it becomes painful or too hard.  Facing our faults, letting go of pride, is not easy.  Don't run away from your pain, embrace it, it means you are moving forward." Serving a mission as a senior couple has not always been easy.  We are learning and growing and discovering things about ourselves just like the young missionaries.  Some days it is painful, hard, unproductive.   I hope and pray I can learn new things and use them to better myself, and help other people.    Helaman reminds us we are free to choose to sit and do nothing or use this gift of life for good. 30; "And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free ye are permitted to act for yourselves, for behold God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free." 31; "He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you, or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you."

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Radio Spot for the Church

Today we accompanied Bishop Magaqa to Ukhozi FM radio station as he presented topics on the church for a radio station in Durban, South Africa.  Ukhozi FM is the largest Zulu station in all of South Africa.  Below is the article we wrote for

Bishop Charles Magaqa of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Durban South Africa joined with Reverend Sabelo Mkhathini on Ukhozi FM radio’s “Ikhaya Methu” (Our Home) to present important family topics in today’s society. Bishop Magaqa, the Regional Coordinator of Seminary and Institute for KZN, spoke on two main subjects, The Family – A Proclamation to the World and Family Home Evening, a weekly program to strengthen families.
Rev. Mkhathini was impressed with the preparation of Bishop Magaqa.  His topic on marriage and family pointed a good way for people. He was most impressed when Bishop Magaqa pointed out the pillars of marriage such as praying together, respect, compassion, and forgiveness.
“I wanted to emphasize some selected themes,” said Bishop Magaqa. “That men and women are equal partners in marriage. I was trying to discount that one is above the other, I wanted people to know that men and women are on the same level.” 
Over the next several weeks, Bishop Magaqa will discuss topics that he feels will make a difference in people’s lives.
The program will begin airing every Thursday, beginning September 18, 10:30 pm on Ukhozi FM, 90.8.

The Family- A Proclamation to the World

Family Home Evening

Friday, September 12, 2014

Special Evening

Yesterday we drove to the airport to pick up two members of Ukhozi FM who were hosted in Johannesburg overnight.  They had a tour of the Area office and saw all the programs of the church, such as humanitarian, self-reliance, family history, and CES.  They toured the Temple grounds, met President Hamilton, and had lunch with some key people.  When we picked them up they were very happy with their experience.

When we dropped off Mr. Lindelani Ngema (Promotion manager for the station) he asked us if we would like to come inside and meet his family.  He lives with his wife, two daughters and a grandchild.  After we visited and laughed and got to know each other Mrs. Ngema served us cake and juice.  We were invited to stay for their family prayer.  I can't remember the name of the church they attend, but he said it was just around the corner from the Mormon Church in Umlazi W.  They passed out bibles and hymn books for everyone.  They sang the most beautiful, and I mean beautiful, Zulu hymn.  The whole family sang different parts and seriously they could have been on tv or radio.  One daughter read from the scriptures and the mother presented a message saying she knew it was God's timing that we should meet.  Mr. Ngema gave a closing prayer and it was one of the sweetest experiences that we will treasure from our mission.

Road Construction Sign

This is my favorite road construction sign.  It clearly speaks to all the drivers on the freeway that speed by the men and women who work along the freeway..

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Ottawa Shelter

A couple from the Phoenix Branch asked us to accompany them to an area of Ottawa where the people are in desperate need of tarps to cover their shelters before the rainy season.  The people pay the landowner R500 a month ($50.00) but must build their own shelters.  There are 60 shelters with 140 people including 25 children. The area has two community water taps and outhouse style toilets. One of the outhouses has no top on it. "when it rains", the mother said, "what's the use of the toilet, the children get soaking wet if they use the toilet or not." she has 4 daughters. Lolly, who showed us around the community, has lived there with her family for 10 years.  She said it is a good community and the people help each other.  One women earns R2 (20 Cents) by carrying water up the hill for the elderly folks, another women sews clothing that she sells for R20 ($2.00).

The Phoenix Branch held a HH project two years ago in the community.  At the time they provided tarps and built a latrine, but they were quickly overwhelmed and unable to complete the needed help for the community.  The men living in the community joined the Helping Hands  to help place the tarps on the rooftops of the homes. This community is 95% Indian population and 5% black.  The Phoenix area is predominately Indian.  During apartheid this area was designated to the Indian people. 

The goal is to send in a proposal to the Area Humanitarian to help with purchasing tarps for these people.  Thank you to everyone who pays their tithes and offerings that makes humanitarian work possibly throughout the world.

The rainy season is right around the corner and these people need tarps to keep themselves dry.

This lady makes and sells little girl skirts to earn extra money.  She only uses her electricity for sewing and cooking.

One of the shelters in the community

Some of the shelters have more then one room.  They use material draped on their walls to cover the wood and cardboard.