Saturday, January 9, 2010

Update 1/8/2010

Challenges and Blessings: The clutch on our truck went out. (Not good!) The blessing was that it happened while we were in town and not in the mountains somewhere! They let us use a little gray one but we're glad our white one with the cattle guard is now repaired.

The Girls Came Back: Holiday is over and the 420 girls at Precious Blood School started to return last Tuesday. Some couldn't get back on time because of a matatu (small bus) strike. We were concerned that we wouldn't be able to stay when they returned, but Sister Mary Joyce made us feel welcome, at least for now. She's hoping the electricity will come soon to the new apartments where she has indicated we can rent a flat when they are ready. (We don't know when that will be! “African time” can be very long.)

Pictured above: Precious Blood Catholic Girls' school where we stayed right on campus until the dorms were completed.

Temple Preparation Class: We started this class in the first branch this week. If things go well we hope to take a group to the Johannesburg temple the end of June. We told them we had been sealed in the temple 46 years ago this month! That was unbelievable to them. (We can hardly believe it's been that long ourselves.) The flight to Johannesburg is four hours from here. The church “First Time Temple Attenders” fund helps pay for the trip when they cannot afford it and the nearest temple is so far away. We would pay our own way to accompany them.

Investigator Class: We're starting new classes and had two mothers, each with five children, in our class in one branch and three adult brothers and their sister-in-law in another branch. There was a special spirit in these meetings. They spoke minimal English but we seemed to be able to communicate with the help of young single adults members in both branches. They enjoyed the story of Christ's visit to the Nephites and His blessing of the children, read first in the picture storybook and then in the scriptures. . The brothers and sister-in-law live in a valley where people from a small church there are joining the church in groups. It reminds us of experiences in early church history when whole congregations were prepared and just waiting to hear the gospel.

I practice my Kikumba on them by telling them “weka nessa” (well done) or asking them their name “wetta-whatta.” They laugh at my funny accent but it breaks the ice and we have a good time.

English Class: Elder Blake makes teaching English fun for the teachers and students. They practice alphabet sounds, words, and actions such as: stand up, sit down, turn around, and walk, etc. He works with them to use their diaphragm to talk louder as their culture is to speak softly. We can hear them hollering in the other classroom and having a good time. This is so important as they cannot be baptized without English here.

Keyboards Arrived: There is excitement in the branches as we are beginning to distribute the 10 new keyboards. In the new branch we are still teaching music conducting in preparation for keyboarding. We have a good time as we clap and count and try to teach correct rhythm. It's hard work (harder for some than for others!) but we tell them to practice and it will be worth it. The Harmon grant that provides keyboards generously is wonderful.

Pictured above: Music conducting class in Mitini Branch; Below, Keyboard class in Kyambeke Branch

We get tired, but we love this wonderful missionary work and are being blessed in so many ways. Best wishes to all of you and know we are thinking of you.

1 comment:

  1. What wonderful work you are doing! And so vast and varied! I love the pictures. I'm sending you and invite to our blog as well. Lots of Love!
    --Sarah Brown