April 1 – April 5
On Tuesday, April 2 we met with a representative of the
moving company. It was strange
contemplating moving back to the
That evening the power went out at 6 pm and came back on at 10 pm. Power outages, or as they call them here, load shedding, are scheduled for our area Wednesday evening one week and Monday and Friday the next. The 6 pm to 10 pm schedule is an unfortunate one for us, since we are left without light or heating. The evenings without power are much less productive.
On Wednesday, Elder Molele returned from his mission to Ghana. He is from the Lenyenye Branch that became a mission branch on 1 January. We picked him up at the airport, I released him, the Assistants drove him to Polokwane and the Lenyenye Elders drove him to his home. He was the first missionary I have released since being in Africa.
Thursday Telkom came and fixed our internet. Amazingly, this was only four days after it went out. However, the reason was not that they were getting more efficient; they just hadn’t canceled the work order for our internet outage in March.
On Friday, the Assistants and I finished transfers. We also attended a training session for the new internet based Mission Operating System (iMOS). Our mission was selected as one of the beta test sites for the new system. Saturday, I made leadership calls in the morning. We were able to watch the first session of General Conference Saturday evening. What a joy it was to participate in sustaining the new first presidency and new apostle and to be able to participate in real time.
April 6 – April 12
On Sunday morning I went to the Roodepoort building to watch
the rebroadcast of the Priesthood Session of Conference. Unfortunately, lightning had taken out the
satellite receiver in the building, so I traveled to the
Also that day we watched the Saturday afternoon session and the Sunday morning session. The Sunday afternoon session was broadcast from 10 pm to 12 pm, so we recorded it to watch later.
Monday, as scheduled, the power was out from 6 pm to 10 pm. Since we knew the outage was scheduled, we had eaten dinner early and charged our rechargeable lanterns. We tried to accomplish as much as possible by lantern light. The power outages are giving us a renewed appreciation for our ancestors who read by candlelight.
Wednesday we welcomed eight new missionaries into the mission. One came from
Since eight missionaries arrived and only six went home, we
were able to open a new area. We had
selected a village in
Six missionaries left for home on Thursday. Luckily for us, they were all on the same
flight so we only made one trip to the airport.
We did have a somewhat hectic day, since American Airlines had canceled
over 1,200 flights and all of our missionaries were scheduled on American Airline
flights once they got to the
Friday night the power was off as scheduled. Surprisingly, it was also off Saturday morning for four hours. Saturday, we drove to the temple to meet members of the Polokwane Branch who had arisen very early to make the four hour trip to the temple. They had problems with their transportation so it took them more than six hours.
April 13 – April 19
Sunday, we attended both the Rabie
Ridge Branch and Tembisa Ward meetings. Tembisa is a large
township northeast of
This Sunday the Elders in Molepolole held their first meetings. Even though they had been in Molepolole for only four days, they had 22 investigators at the first Sacrament Meeting.
We had a productive zone leader council on Tuesday. On Wednesday we held our staff meeting. Following the staff meeting, Irene Tshabalala, who works in the mission home, taught Jane how to make dumbolo. Dumbolo is African steamed bread and is much loved by missionaries. Irene bent wire hangers and put them in the bottom of the pot creating a platform to keep the dough out of the water and then placed the dough on a plastic grocery bag to keep the bread from getting soggy. Many African women do not have ovens, so they make bread by steaming it on a stovetop.
Thursday we met Elder Gracieuse and his parents at the temple’s patron housing.
Elder Gracieuse is currently serving as a zone
leader in the Benoni Zone. His parents
had come from
Saturday, the Assistants to the President moved into the mission home. A pipe had broken and flooded their flat. They will live in the basement of the mission home until their plumbing can be fixed and their walls repaired and painted.
April 20 – April 26
Sunday morning we traveled to
Monday was the
Tuesday was zone conference for the
One of the zone leaders in Pretoria is from Zimbabwe. His family's farm was taken away as part of the government's redistribution of land, but so far his family has remained in Zimbabwe. After the zone conference we enjoyed a previously arranged meeting with Ian Mwanyambi. He is from
We traveled to Polokwane and had an enjoyable dinner with Elder and Sister Gittins who are assigned there. Friday we held the zone conference for the Northeast Zone. Afterward the assistants went tracting with the zone leaders. The assistants and zone leaders then joined us for dinner.
Saturday was a long day.
We headed for
April 27 – April 30
Sunday we attended the meetings of the Francistown
Branch. Jane and I spoke and I taught
the priesthood meeting. There is such a
wonderful spirit in
On Monday, the 28th, we held zone conference in
Tuesday evening we attended the sealing of Nicolas Radanielina and his bride.
They had come, with great sacrifice, from
We held the Bedfordview zone conference on Wednesday the 30th. And thus we completed another busy, but rewarding month in