Saturday, August 15, 2015

Randy and Kay’s South African Mission – Week 20

I apologize for the delay since our last blog entry.  Things have been a little busy with the mission activity and some personal items.

The Mission is going very well.  My English class has added another student, making my class size now four students.  Sister Farnsworth has added another Keyboard student, bringing her total of students now at around 15, depending on who shows up and school holidays.  Also the Elders are continuing to teach and preach the gospel.

We are currently on the fourth week of the latest transfer for the missionaries.  On the last transfer we lost missionaries and only received 4 in return.  The reason for this is that right now the mission is not receiving as many Elders in as it needs in order to replace the ones who are leaving at the end of their allotted time to serve.  Also some of the African Elders who are scheduled to serve in the mission are still waiting for visas and other paperwork to come through so they can come into the country.  The forecast for elders to come into the mission over the next few months is promising, again depending on paperwork approval for the South African Government.  The pair of missionaries which were not replaced here in our Zone were the walking/biking Elders here in Queenstown.  The Zone leaders added their area to the one not replaced and now have more than enough to keep them busy.

On this past mission transfer, we lost one of our Zone Leaders: Elder Stegelmeier from Idaho.  This was hard for me to get a grip on because he is an exceptional young man and a great example of what a missionary is all about.  During the three months that we were able to work with him, we got very close and I felt like he was one of my sons.  The one redeeming factor is that he lives in Preston, Idaho, and will be somewhat close to where we live in Utah.  Also he wants to get together after we are home and possibly go fishing in Idaho.  We will look forward to that.

Since the last blog update, Sister Farnsworth had to have surgery on her right eye.  Her vision in her right eye became distorted and wasn’t clear anymore.  We saw an eye doctor in East London concerning this problem and he told us that was the result of something called a “Macular Pucker,” which needed to be taken care of, the sooner the better for her.  The surgery was done on July 28th and all went well.  We will be returning for a follow up visit on her eye on Aug 28th.  So far things seem to be progressing well.

Yesterday, August 14th, Bishop Xalabile form the Sada Ward had his son return home from completing his mission.  Today, Saturday, the ward is having a celebration for him.  Tonight they are having another party and serving a lot of food.  If we can complete the keyboard lessons which are scheduled for today in time, we hope to be able to attend.  Curious to see what the menu holds.

Monday morning, August 17th, we will be in East London to go on a tour of the Mercedes Benz factory down there.  We are looking forward to the tour and hope that we might be able to get a few pictures to post in the future.

We hope that all is going well for all of you in your lives.  Please keep us in your prayers and if you get a chance to write drop us a line or two, ( or

Elder and Sister Farnsworth

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Week 14

It’s been a busy couple of weeks since our last post so we will catch up on all the things that we have been doing since then.  The lunch for the Zone Training went very well.  The main course was pizza from a place called “Dagwoods.”  They are the closest thing to the type of pizza that we are used to eating back home.  Their pizza is baked in brick ovens and their sauce is more Italian than the other pizza places around here.  We ended up getting 6 large pizzas to feed everyone.  Sister Farnsworth made “Homemade” breadsticks; then we served a veggie tray, bottled water and Red Velvet Cake for dessert.  Everyone went away happy and filled.

Lately we have been very busy, involved with the everyday activities of our mission.  Sister Farnsworth, teaching keyboard and me teaching English, and the two of us working with the missionaries when we are available.  The keyboard students are progressing very well, and we have had a few more start learning from us.  The English class is a work in progress.  Between some sickness and a lot of funerals, I have ended up with only 1 student attending.  I do remember that the Lord has counseled us that with patience and long suffering we will be blessed in the end.  I am hoping that that applies to me trying to teach this weekly class.

On July 2nd and 3rd, we drove down to Grahamstown and Port Alfred for a “Senior Retreat.”  On Thursday, July 2nd, we attended an Arts Festival held annually in Grahamstown.  We walked around the vendors booths and had lunch.  I was able to pick up a nice walking stick that I can use when we do our daily walks.  Its basic use is to keep the stray dogs and any other creatures away from us when we are walking.  Some of the farmers around here use sticks like this to herd their cows, goats and sheep.  Mine is only for our walks.  We also toured the “St Michael and St George Church” in Grahamstown.  The construction of this church started in 1814, and picked up momentum in 1828, but because of money and other problems, it wasn’t finished until 1954 (yes, in the 20th Century).  The reason that they have two names attached to the church is because they couldn’t agree on which name to call it so they ended compromising and called it The St Michael and St George Church.

After the fair, we drove down to Port Alfred to the boarding of the Wheelers to finish out the day.  We had dinner and then Joined with President Merrill, our Mission President, for some discussion about the Mission.  The next morning, we had a pot-luck breakfast.  After breakfast we got together for pictures on the balcony of the Wheeler’s apartment and then had more discussion about the Mission and what was coming up in the future.  Afterwards we had a 3-hour drive back to Queenstown and crashed for the night.  A side note to this trip: on the way home, we saw a family of baboons running across the highway.  We couldn’t stop to take pictures but at least we got to see them.  One more item off of the bucket list.

On Father’s Day, I ended up having to give an impromptu talk in the Sada Ward.  The reason was because the main speaker for that meeting didn’t come to church that day.  I found out about my assignment just as the Sacrament meeting was beginning.  Talk about having to rely on the Spirit.  I survived, gave a 20-minute talk, and received many positive comments after the meeting.  This was a very humbling experience, but it helped me to grow a couple of inches taller that day.

We are working with two Less-Active Members in the Illinge Ward: Sister Ganelo and Brother Mase’.  We had a good initial visit with both of them at their homes and invited them to come out to church the following Sunday.  They both said that they would each attend but Brother Mase’ had one stipulation.  He said he would only come if Sister Farnsworth and I would be there because he wanted to attend church with the Prophet and his wife.  Our fellowshipper/interpreter, a young man named Junior, told us later that Brother Mase’ thought that I was the Prophet and Sister Farnsworth was the wife of the Prophet.  This was probably because the only missionaries that he had associated with were the Elders of the mission and was not aware that there were senior missionaries like us working alongside the Elders.  We rearranged our schedule to attend the Illinge Ward that Sunday, but Brother Mase’ ended up not coming.  On the other hand, Sister Ganelo did come to church that Sunday and bore her testimony as it was Fast Sunday, so there was a reward in our efforts after all.  The Bishop was very surprised to see her in attendance and asked us what we did to get her to come out.  We told him that we had just invited her to attend and that she said she would be there.  He thanked us and is happy that we are working with his ward.

We had to take another trip to East London last Monday to see the eye doctor for Sister Farnsworth.  Her right eye has been bothering her again and her vision in that eye has started to distort.  The doctor told us that she has a “macular pucker” and the only way to correct it and save her vision is to perform surgery.  This surgery will take place on Tuesday, July 28, in East London.  This is done as “Same Day Surgery.”  We will have a follow-up the next morning with the doctor in his office.  If all goes well, we will be headed back to Queenstown on Wednesday afternoon.

This coming Wednesday, July 22, is transfer day here in our mission.  In our Zone, we will be losing 4 elders and receiving only 2 in return.  One of our Zone Leaders will be returning home from his mission after serving 2 great years serving the Lord.  Another Elder, Elder Kjeldsen, is being transferred.  The two Queenstown Elders, Elder Mohale and Elder Ntuli, are being transferred and not being replaced.  The elders coming into the mission have slowed down right now, so President Merrill has had to trim down on 3 of the Zones to fill in where it is needed.  It is with sadness in our hearts that we say goodbye to these Elders, and it is with joy in our hearts that we welcome the two new Elders who are coming into our Zone.  This means that, in addition to our current responsibilities, we will probably be helping assist with the elders as we may be needed for the time being.  Exciting times in the Mission.

In previous posts, we have stated how cold it is in the Queenstown area right now, but to add a little more spice to the mixture, we had a few days of nice balmy weather followed by a major cold front which is over us right now.  Two nights ago we had a monsoon rain that lasted pretty much all night.  Yesterday coming back from Illinge, we noticed that in the top of the mountains surrounding outside of Queenstown, they were capped with a blanket of snow.  That’s right, real white snow.  I guess that causes havoc for the baboons…lol.  Now we are faced with south winds coming out of those same mountains which are very cold.  Can’t wait for October and December, let’s get our spring and summer coming.  Also, because of the cold, we haven’t been able to do our morning walks and our golf game is suffering as well.  Oh well, we will have to find something else to do for our “P-Days” until it gets warmer.

Until our next post, May the Lord Bless You and Keep you, and May Your Path Be On The Straight and Narrow Way.

Elder and Sister Farnsworth.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Week 11

It’s been a good week this past week.  On Monday, June 15 it was our usual “P” day.  We cleaned the apartment as usual, got cleaned up and dressed and went to a restaurant called “Spurs” for lunch.  We try to make this where we have a late lunch/dinner on Mondays because we can get the “Monday Special”, a ¼ lb. cheese burger, fries, (they call them chips), and deep fried shredded onions.  The nice thing about this special is that on Mondays is buy one and get one free.  Just a chance to save some money.

Usually when we arrive on Mondays it is usually just after the lunch rush and it’s not too crowded.  But today it was really busy.  We didn’t know why but found out later that all the schools were closed, and all the families decided to go to Spurs for lunch.  Also everyone was ordering the same thing “The Monday Special”.  Luckily, Spurs had anticipated this and we were able to get our usual without any problem.

Tuesday was a National Holiday, “Youth Day.”  I guess that the schools were closed on Monday so that everyone could have a 4-day weekend.  There were different celebrations going on all around South Africa in celebration of this holiday.  One of the celebrations here in Queenstown was a lot of soccer games happening around town. In one of the games the local Methodist Church challenged the Mormons to a soccer match, for bragging rights I guess.  The game was played in the morning and included four of the missionaries here in Queenstown.  It was a hard fought game but the Mormons came out on top and won the game.  So they now have the bragging rights for the next year.

All of the missionaries here in Queenstown, including Sister Farnsworth and myself, were invited to Sister Peter’s home for a special lunch.  Sister Peter is a member of the Queenstown ward and usually works during the week, but with the holiday she had a day off.  She wanted to feed the missionaries.  She feels that they have sacrificed so much to give up their time to serve the Lord and leave their homes and families to help others find the gospel.  She said this one way she can say thank you to them. The meal was very good.  It was chicken wings with rice which had a special cheese sauce on it.  Dessert was bananas. 

On Wednesday we made our weekly journey to Sada to teach our keyboard students.  After keyboard we met with Brother Jaantjie so that we could go with him for home teaching.  Our home teaching family was with a less active sister, Sister Noconda.  I guess one of the reasons that she is less active is because of her husband.  Her husband is a Jehovah’s Witness and does not want us to teach his family, who are all members of the LDS Church, in his home.  He said he doesn’t force his religion on them and doesn’t want us to preach to him. 

We honored his request and made an appointment with Sister Noconda to meet with her on the following Wednesday to home teach her and her daughters.  We told her we could meet with her at the church or at Brother Jaantjie’s home, whichever was more convenient.  We were able to meet with her yesterday, Wednesday, June 24, at Brother Jaantjie’s home.  We had a good lesson on enduring to the end.  Also we were asked if we could help one of her daughters to learn to play the piano.

Friday of last week was our normal keyboard and English class in Illinge.   Saturday Sister Farnsworth taught keyboard in Queenstown and I was able to attend the Stake Priesthood meeting in the same building.  The meeting was being sent to Queenstown by internet from East London.  The priesthood meeting was very good; the speakers focused on home teaching and missionary work.  The Stake President, President Bell, spoke on both points.  What was special was when he talked about missionary work he talked about the need for young elders and sisters but about the need for senior missionaries to serve the Lord.  The challenge he made for senior couples to consider and plan to serve were almost exactly what Sister Farnsworth and I heard in or own Stake Conference almost 3 years ago. 

Tomorrow, Friday, is Zone Training for the Elders in the Queenstown Zone.  President Merrill has assigned the Zone Leaders to take charge of the training this time and teach the Elders.  This is a lot of responsibility for these young men but I know they are up to the challenge.  The part we will play in this effort is to provide lunch for 18 missionaries.  This is our first large meal like this but it will be done with style.  We have most of it already put together as I am typing this blog.  Pictures to follow.
Tonight, we have been invited to eat dinner at Bishop Vali’s again; we have been told that the menu might include Ox Tail.  That will be interesting.

Elder and Sister Farnsworth

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Week 10

I apologize to those following our blog.  There’s been a lot going on since our last post and we haven’t had time to sit down and give an update.  I guess that’s to be expected while serving the Lord.  I do have some time now so I’ll give an update now. 

From here on out, our post titles will be the week number that we are serving in the mission.  This is not so much as to what happened this week, rather the week number that we are able to write in the blog.  I’ll start out by reporting by the name of the area as we have worked in them. 

The first area is Sada.  We are starting to make some progress with understanding the language a little more than at first; we have picked up some Xhosa words here and there, and the English that the people speak is a little easier to understand.  I guess that we are slowly being blessed in our efforts.  Sister Farnsworth is teaching keyboard lessons to 7 students in this area, 4 of them are brothers or cousins who all live in the same home with their grandmother and aunt.  They are all showing great progress.

In the Sada Ward, Sister Farnsworth is helping to teach in the Young Women’s, and I have been asked to home teach with the High Priest Group leader.  Those in the ward who speak in Sacrament meeting and teach in the classes speak in Xhosa and use very little English.  It seems to help us understand the lessons better if we can study the lessons during the week; at least it brings the spirit into our hearts and helps.

On Saturday, June 13, the young women in Sada had an activity on self-reliance.  Sister Farnsworth helped with this activity.  The young women were taught how to knit a scarf.

In the Illinge Ward, Sister Farnsworth is still teaching keyboard lessons.  At the lesson this past week, two of her students finished all their lessons and will receive a certificates of completion.  She also had a new student begin last week; so, keyboard will continue in Illinge.

I have begun teaching an English-speaking class to three members in Illinge.  I have taught only two classes so far, but I see the joy in the faces of the students and the determination they have in their hearts to learn.   I also can feel the Lord's spirit in the classroom.  This is an experience that I didn't expect with this class.   Like it has been said, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Both the Sada and Illinge Wards have continued to have baptisms.  The gospel is growing in these areas, and I can feel the Spirit of the Lord working daily and continuing to bless the lives of the members here in South Africa.

On May 31st, we attended the Queenstown Ward.  In the months which have 5 Sundays, the Queenstown Ward has the missionaries take charge of the Sacrament meeting.  As a result, Sister Farnsworth gave the opening prayer and I gave a talk.  It centered on Member Missionary work.   I also issued a challenge to the ward members to become involved in finding referrals for the missionaries to teach.  It was very well received.

Another activity we had with the Queenstown Ward was during a family home evening to which we were invited with the Elder missionaries.  The family fed us dinner; then built a fire in their backyard.  We allowed the fire to die down and, along with the Elders, we introduced everyone there to the art of making S’mores.  They were really excited to learn this American art.

The winter weather is settling in now.  We experienced a solid week of very cold temperatures.  We would awaken in the mornings to Temps of 28 to 30 degrees F.  The highs were ranging around 49 to 55 degrees F.  This past Sunday, driving to Sada, we noticed ice had formed around the edge of some of the farm ponds near the road.  Needless to say, Elder and Sister Farnsworth now have new coats.

Please remember us in your prayers and thank you for your support.  Elder and Sister Farnsworth. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

May 25, 2015, Family Home Evening

This picture was taken in the home of one of the Queenstown Ward family's home. Right to left are Sister Ndabeni, Elder Thayne, Brother Ndabeni, Sister Jabanga, Brother Jabanga, Sister Farnsworth, Elder Farnsworth. I know you know the last two. I just had to be "smart." All of us "older folks" sat around talking while the daughter finished fixing the dinner.
We held a Family Home Evening there. The family fixed a nice chicken dinner. The Elders made a campfire out in the back yard & we introduced them all to "s'mores." They were a big hit with everyone! We used "tennis biscuits" which were similar to graham crackers, large pink & white marshmallows, & Cadbury chocolates. Yum!
Brother Jabanga asked for volunteers to bear testimonies but ended up asking 5 including Elder Farnsworth to bear their testimonies.  We then sang the 1st verse of "Praise to the Man" to close & then had the closing prayer. It was fun!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Another Week Has Gone By!

It's hard to believe that we have been missionaries for just over a month, and that we have been here in South Africa just over 3 weeks.  The time seems to be flying by already.  Our daily routine is settling in now and we are starting to adjust to everything, the layout of the city of Queenstown, how to blend in with traffic, and the people in the areas we are assigned to work in.

To start the mornings we get up, have breakfast and then go for a morning walk.  Our walk usually lasts about an hour and we have tried to take a different route each day.  One thing we have noticed that seems to be a standard here is that every yard is gated and barred, and that most every vehicle is pulling some type of a small tote trailer behind them,

As we are walking and pass people and they stare at our name badges, we tell them hello and good morning.  They always respond with a perky "hello and good morning" back to us.  The people are just kind and hospitable.

Yesterday I had to meet the Zone Leaders at the Chevrolet dealership at 7:30 am so that they could drop of their vehicle to have the brakes checked.  While waiting there I went up to a young lady who was working at the cashier counter and started talking with her.  She told me that I must be from America.  I asked her why she thought that and she told me it was my accent.  She said she loves American accents.  I told her that we had something in common and that I enjoyed South African and British accents.

As we chatted she noticed my name tag and asked me about what I was doing here.  I told her that Sister Farnsworth and I were here in Queenstown by assignment from our church as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She told me that she didn't know anything about our church but would like to know more someday.  I then took the opportunity to tell her where the Queenstown ward was located and invited her to attend with us this coming Sunday.  She said she would.  I then had her write her name down for me and gave it the Elder Thayne and her went back to talk with her and confirmed the invitation for Sunday.  She told him that she was planning to attend.

Last night we met the Elders in Ezabline to leave a short message and celebrate the birthday of an investigator they are working with.  While we were giving the lesson, her uncle came in and wanted to meet the new missionaries,  When I introduced myself he asked me if I was from Texas, because I had what he thought was a Texas accent.  I told him that no, I was not, I was from Utah and it was probably just my "Utah" accent.  He laughed and said I still sounded like I was from Texas.

Part of the birthday celebration was a "Red Velvet Cake" that Sister Farnsworth had made for the occasion.  It was just one of the cake mixes from the store, but the frosting was one that she makes from scratch.  The cake was a hit, but frosting was the thing that everyone loved most.  The two sisters that we were teaching want to know how to make the frosting so they can impress their friends and family.  They want Sister Farnsworth to help them learn how to make it.  I thing she has made friends for life.

All in All its' been a very nice week so far.  Today I'm supposed to have my windshield replaced, or should I say "windscreen" like they call it down here.  Then we have keyboard lessons to give in Sada this afternoon.  Friday we are driving to East London to spend the night for Zone Conference with President Merrill and Elder Evans of the Seventy.  Friday evening we are joining all the senior couple in the two zones for dinner.  We will get to meet more of our counter parts in the Eastern Cape. We will then drive back to Queenstown of Saturday afternoon and attend Church in Illinge on Sunday.

Thanks for following us on this blog and we'll be back to update soon

Elder Farnsworth

Monday, April 27, 2015

Our First Full Week in Queenstown.

We arrived in Queenstown on Friday afternoon, April 17, 2015.  We were met at the East London Airport by Elder and Sister Stapley, who we replaced in Queenstown.  We were driven to Queenstown, which is about a 2-hr. drive north, and unloaded all our luggage in our new boarding.

Our Boarding In Queenstown

After we were shown our boarding, we were taken to dinner with the Stapley's and President and Sister Merrill.  We had an enjoyable meal and were able to tell all about ourselves and get to know our Mission President.  After dinner, we retired to our boarding and were able to unpack our clothes and try to get some sleep.  Sleep was a little strained, mostly because it was the first night in new surroundings, with strange noises, scents and just trying to adjust.

On Saturday, April 18, we were taken to the Queenstown LDS Ward building where President and Sister Merrill were conducting a Zone Training.  As Senior Missionaries, one of our duties is to prepare the lunch for the Elders during these trainings.  This was good for us because we were able to meet all of the Missionaries who are in our Zone, and they were able to meet the new "Senior Couple."

We had a little break after we put the luncheon on and were able to go to the store and get some needed groceries for the rest of the weekend.  Later in the evening, we were again taken to dinner with President and Sister Merrill and Elder and Sister Stapley.

On Sunday morning with the Stapley's, we drove to a town called Sada, which lies 45 minutes southwest of  Queenstown, to attend church.  This is one of the wards we will be working with while we are here in Queenstown.  We met the Bishop and some of the members and then spent the first 2 hours of Church watching the Sunday morning session of April General Conference.

The Sada Ward Chapple

After church, the Stapley's had us drive around Sada and we were able to lock in the locations of some of the ward members, and Sister Farnsworth's keyboard students, into our "Garmin."  Later Sunday evening, we went to the home of Brother Jabanga and his family where we had been invited to have dinner with them.  Brother Jabanga was the first black convert to the Church in Queenstown. He has served as a Branch President, Stake President, and is now serving as a Counselor to the Bishop of the Sada Ward.

On Monday, April 20, the Stapley's had us drive to Illinge, which is the other ward we are assigned to work in.  We drove around and entered GPS coordinates for areas of importance as we did in Sada.
We then returned to Queenstown and drove around the town and continued to enter more GPS coordinates for locations of importance to us. At about 2 pm, the Stapley's departed for East London and our independence began. 

The Illinge Ward Buildings

Tuesday, April 21, we drove to Sada and Sister Farnsworth and I accompanied the Relief Society President, Sister Gevesa, and her two counselors to the home of Sister Maselo whose young daughter had passed away. The rest of the day we spent finding our way around Queenstown and getting stocked up on groceries.  

On Wednesday, we went to Sada again and Sister Farnsworth began giving keyboard lessons to the young members who are taking the classes. These people look forward to these classes and they are showing promise.  We drive to Sada on Wednesday, the Illinge Ward on Friday, and the Queenstown Ward on Saturday to give these lessons.  

Sister Farnsworth with Anelisa and Siphelele
 during a keyboard lesson.

On Thursday, April 23, we met the Elders Thayne and Freitas in Ezibeleni, where we went with them on splits.  We visited with a couple of investigators and gave a short lesson at each home.  The highlight of the evening was when we stopped into the home of a member who was sick.  After visiting with her for a while, the Elders asked her if she would like a blessing.  She said she would and asked Elder Thayne to anoint her and asked me to give her the blessing.  This was a special time for me, because I didn't expect something like this to happen to me so soon into my mission.  I was also asked to give a blessing to another sister on Friday evening when we again met with Elders Thayne and Freitas.

Elder Thayne (L) and Elder Freitas (R)

On Saturday, April 25, we went to give keyboard lessons at the Queenstown Chapel, but the students were in a seminary class.  The Bishop was there and after talking with him, he told us that he would make sure that the seminary would be over in time for keyboard starting next week.

On Sunday, April 26, we attended the Illinge ward for church.  This was the first complete ward meeting block we have attended here in the mission field,  The meetings are conducted in English with a mixture of the Xhosa language.  It's difficult to understand at times, but I decided that I just need to listen with my heart and be patient until the language and the accents get easier.  After the meeting block was over, the Elders conducted a baptism of a young sister.  All in all, it was a great day.

This is a great mission to which to be called. The people are wonderful, so full of love for the gospel and for each other.  They have accepted us into their hearts and lives like we are part of their families. The next 18 months promise to be full of many opportunities for growth and testimony buildng.

Monday, April 20, 2015

We are in the Mission Now!

Wow!  What a whirlwind.  We entered the MTC on April 6, spent the week there studying and practicing with "Preach My Gospel".  Went home for the weekent to finish packing and then flew out for South Africa on monday, April 13th.

The Flight was long and tiring.  We were able to spent a couple of hours in the Portland airport visiting with Kay's daughter Tracie and then we had the long flight to Amsterdam.  When we arrived in Amsterdam we had an hour and ten minutes to make it from one end of the airport to the other end, go through security again and board our flight.  That was like running a marathon while carrying heavey bags.

The flight from Amsterdam to Cape Town took 11 hours and 15 minutes.  The seating was tight, not much leg room and the cushions in the seat were hard about 5 hours into the flight.  All-in-all, we were glad to finall land in Cape Town.

We arrived in Cape Town about 9:15 pm local time, went through immagration, then through customs and then met with the Halversen's who were at the airport to pick us up.  The Halversen's had parked the Mission Van on the upper level, but the elevators were not working so we had to push our luggage carts up to the second level on the esclator.  We loaded the van and finally made it out of the airport.

We were driven to a B & B called "The Links".  It was a nice place and "Mick" the owner treated us like we were royality.

Time is short for right now so I"ll end here for now and continue our journey in my next posting.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Our Farewell and Mission Update

This past Sunday,March 22nd, our Missionary Farewell was held in our ward.  It was a great meeting, the Spirit was strong and filled the building.  The attendance was also good, the chapel was filled to capacity and overflowed in 1/2 of the cultural hall.  In attendance were members of our ward and stake as well as many family members and close friends. 

My two daughters gave the opening and closing prayers, our grandchildren sang an intermediate song and Kay's daughters sang the closing song.  The remarks by those attending were very complimentary of the program. 

We had a small get together afterwards called, "A Linger Longer".  As we met with friends and family we sensed a strong feeling of love and support.  This past Sunday was a very wonderful day.  I again would like to thank all those who travelled from far distances to attend with us and show their love and support.

This morning, March 24th, we enjoyed another Skype call with President Thomas, a counselor to our Mission President.  He introduced us to Elder Stapley, who we will be replacing in Queenstown, SA. 

We received information about our new assigned area, what assignments we may be involved with, and what will be taking place our first few days in the mission.  It seems like we better get all the rest we can get before we leave, because we're going to be very busy as soon as we arrive.  The work is progressing and the church is growing very fast in South Africa. 

We are so excited for our mission to begin and look forward to this new chapter in our life.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Area of Assignment

We were asked by the Cape Town Mission office on March 13, 2015, to forward them a copy of our passports so that they could make airline reservations from Cape Town to East London, South Africa. We are going to be assigned to "Queenstown, South Africa!"  We'll arrive at the East London airport, obtain a rental car, and drive to Queenstown.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Today was a special day for us.  We started off early this morning by attending a session at the Ogden Temple.  We went an hour earlier than we have in the past.  One hour made a big difference, the session was a little smaller and the spirit seemed to be felt more than usual.  We will also be attending Saturday evening with out ward for our monthly ward temple night.  The session will be the last one we can attend before the Ogden Temple closes for cleaning.  Fortunately the Temple will re-open again after cleaning so that we may attend one more time before we leave on our mission.

The other event which was special for us was we had two young men from our ward's young men's organization came to dinner and afterwards presented one of the missionary lessons.  This is missionary month for the Young Men and Young Young Women, and on nights like tonight they go to a members home, have a dinner with the family and present a lesson out of "Preach My Gospel."   It so refreshing to have young men like Kendall and Judd, who have such strong testimonies and wonderful spirits, come to our home.

Tonight I found a video about the Book of Mormon I would like to share, which bears testimony of the power of this book.  Please follow the link and share your feelings with us.

May the Lord in his wisdom bless you and your families.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Beginning

To all our family and friends, we have started this blog to help document or time serving as Senior Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter-day Saints, in the South Africa Cape Town Mission.

We will be posting to this blog as much as time will permit us to hopefully keep everyone up to date on our activities and to share our testimonies of the gospel and our work in the mission field. We hope that everyone who follows this blog will be able to catch the spirit of what we are experiencing.

As of today, we have 28 days left before we enter the Provo MTC.  We are at that point in time when we feel like we have so much left to get done prior to leaving and so little time to do it.  I guess this is the way it goes for right now.