Monday, March 30, 2015

Couples Family Home Evening

Tonight Ed and I were in charge of FHE. We tied baby quilts for a hospital and I made this awesome dessert with cookie dough, cream cheese and fresh berries. We will have 40 blankets ready to deliver when we are done. 

Elder Poelman learning to use a crochet hook. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Couples Retreat

Due to some previous PA commitments we joined the senior couples on Friday at the Nambiti Game Reserve for the senior couples retreat.  We enjoyed a Friday afternoon and Saturday morning game drive.  It feels so good to be out in nature and enjoy the beauty of South Africa.  Saturday afternoon we drove to Newcastle and met Branch President Nkosi and PA District Director to talk about Helping Hands.  Meeting members and feeling their strong Spirits will always be remembered as a highlight of my mission.
 Close up and personal with the giraffe

Rare cheetah sighting

 One of the missionaries asked if we could make a banner, we asked the Mission President and he said make 10, so we did.  They will be used to hang on the fences at the churches to encourage people to go to the video and enjoy a message about Easter.

We had a lovely meeting with these people regarding Helping Hands projects for their community.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Our First Wedding

Brother and Sister Gwala were married in the Johannesburg Temple on March 19, 2015.  On Saturday March 21 (our 45th wedding anniversary) they had their reception.  It was very beautiful and interesting.  I'm sure it was the wedding of her dreams.  Brother Gwala is a high school teacher, he paid the family Labolla which I believe helped pay for the wedding. The wedding party arrived
21/2 hours late.  Thats right, we sat in the chapel for 2 1/2 hours on the hottest day of the year.  The talks took 1 1/2 hours and almost all of them were in Zulu only.  Besides a couple of other missionaries we were the only white people in the room.  When everyone began to file into the hall they had snacks waiting on the table, which was a good thing because now it was 3:00 pm and no one had lunch or drinks. Everything was decorated so amazingly as you can see in the pictures.  One course of the meal was tripe.  I couldn't stand the smell, but Elder Cinquini gave it a try and he did not like it at all!  For two days he complained about the taste and smell.   There were hundreds of people but very few gifts.  I heard the party is for neighbors and friends and gifts are not required. They are going to make a wonderful couple and we felt happy to celebrate this day with them.

Relief Society Birthday Celebration

Saturday, March 14th I attended a Ward Relief Soceity Birthday Celebration.  Several of the sisters dressed in pioneer clothing and re-enacted the beginnings of the Relief Society organization.  I wrote an article and it was posted on  I've really grown to love these sisters and it will be hard to leave them.

Ministers Conference

Elder & Sister Rowberry, Elder & Sister Cinquini and Zanele Hlongwane attended a ministers conference at Kwasizabantu Mission, 2 1/2 hours from Durban in the country.  It is an amazing mission with a rich history.   We had so much fun getting to know pastors from all over.  Many had never heard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so we hope we planted seeds of good will.  The Mission housed us, feed us, taught us, all for free!  Everyone was so nice and we made some new friends.

2000 people attended from 29 countries. 

Each session of the conference opened with singing from students who go to school at the mission.  They had elementary through college students, plus a re-hab group of men that also had a choir.

Ukhozi FM Luncheon

March 1, 2015,Sunday,Sean Donnelly and Clark Hirschi came to visit Durban and were invited to talk on Ukhozi FM radio the largest radio station in KZN, South Africa.  Ed used the GO-PRO camera and later edited the video and I wrote the article posted on the internet.  After the radio station we hosted a luncheon at President and Sister Zackrisons home with Ukhozi FM and some local leaders of the church. It was a delightful memorial day.

Sbu Buthelezi, presenter of Ukhozi FM and Elder Cinquini filming the discussion on church programs

Phindi and Tabi Negma from the Uniting Reformed Church, sang a beautiful mother-daughter duets of church hymns

The luncheon was attended by church members and Ukhozi FM staff

Saturday night we enjoyed a fun dinner at the Cargo Hold Restaurant with members of the church.
Behind the group is a huge shark tank, which you can enjoy watching as you eat dinner.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Simple Pleasures When I Have Time

We have been busy and I will post some of our activities later, but when I have time to rest I enjoy crocheting new born hats for a hospital and sitting on our little balcony.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Public Affairs in Rwanda

We enjoyed meeting the senior missionaries and the people of Rwanda. There are two sets of senior missionaries the Palmers who are MLS and Elder Liebel and Sister Toro who are a humanitarian couple.  Elder Cinquini and I spoke with them about Public Affairs and how the church can work with community leaders and assist them while  making new friends for the church, so that we can bring the church out of obsurity in Rwanda.  Many members are well connected in the community and in government.  As soon as they have a National Public Affairs Director the country will be able to start planning events.

Left to Right: Sister Palmer, Elder Palmer, Elder Liebel, Sister Toro, Sister Cinquini and Elder Cinquini

President Charles, President Joshua Opar, and President William Akami.
To show how young the church is, President William is 29 years old and not married.  

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National Public Affairs Conference

We had a wonderful three days of learning  and counciling together on the matters of Public Affairs.  New ideas created, problems solved and friendships forged as we listened to the speakers.  Each country came with a Country Plan to move their area forward for building relationships between the community and Priesthood leaders.  It was said, "Public Affairs sweeps the glass in front of the parade" making the way for Opinon Leaders and Church Leaders to work together.  We were so grateful for the attendance of Elder Hamilton, Elder Ellis members of the Area Presidency, and Elder Jackson Mkhabela, Elder Chartora, Area Seventies, for their knowledge and Spirit they brought to the meetings.

Elder T. Jackson Mkhabela is leaving Public Affaris in July to be the Mission President in Zimbabwe

We had fun too! This is a band with some interesting characters