Wednesday, February 24, 2016

                 Hello, friends and family,
                        We hope your all doing well.  Here are some of our pictures of
                 the last week or so.

                                      This is a picture from monday night the 22nd of Feb.  We
                                   had a family home evening with these two sisters from the
                                   branch.  Their mother went in her bedroom because she isn't
                                   active.  Xolani, the young man in the brown jacket is about
                                   done with his papers to turn in for a mission.  He gave the
                                   lesson from a conf. talk called "All Is Well" about the pio-
                                   neers.  He did a great job and was explaining to the sisters
                                   that the pioneers had to go so far and "they had to go by feet".
                                   That was his way of saying they walked. :)    

                                 Our new Elders are Elder Slade and Elder Heninger.  We 
                                brought Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner and I can tell
                                you that the side dishes did not look like the ones at home.
                                I was full so didn't have to eat any of it. :)  These two girls
                                take turns leading the music for Sacrament each week and
                                have pretty voices.


                      Oops,  Grandpa is gone and I am trying to update this by myself and 
                    thought I was putting in a picture from our trip to Jeffery's Bay last friday.
                    This picture was taken when we had been in South Africa for two days.
                     We are in Cape Town and that flat mountain behind us is a famous moun-
                     tain called "Table Mountain"  It usually has some clouds sitting on top of 
                     it and they call them its tablecloth.  The picture above this one is the one 
                     of Grandpa on the deck of our hotel room at Jeffery's Bay.  It is very pretty
                     there.  The room on the beach there is about $125.00, everything over
                      here is much cheaper than at home .
     These kids are beautiful and amazing!!!  They get so excited when they see our car
coming to the
little park by their houses.  Last week after we took the first group of pictures back to
them we had them in envelopes with pass along cards and the next day one of their Dads
texted for the free video and the Elders took it to him and asked him how he heard
about the video.  He told them some lady was at the park taking pictures of the kids.
When his son came home with the picture he saw the card and texted about the video.
yea yea yea ,  They are now teaching their family and we are taking lots more pic-
     The other picture is Grandpa with Elder Si'ufanua and Elder Mmotong the night be-
fore they were transferred.  Elder Mmotong requested chicken fajitas again.  They had
both never had them before I made them the first time for them.  He asked for the recipe.
We feel blessed to have gotten to know them.  Elder Si'ufanua and Grandpa had been
having a contest to see who could lose the most weight by transfers and Elder Si'ufanua
won and was very excited .  
    Headed to the Air Port for transfers.  This is our side yard .  We feel blessed.
Most people in our complex don't have much of a yard.  If you look close at the 
wall you can see the broken glass on top and the electric fence.  The unfinished 
house in the background is typical, I am not sure if builders run out of money or
are waiting for a buyer or what.  

                        Here are some rhinos we saw at a animal park we went to in January.
                      There are only these two in the park and we had been driving around 
                       all day seeing lots of other animals but couldn't find them.  Just as we
                       were heading back for the dinner they were sighted heading for this
                        watering hole.   Made our day.   They are huge and always stay to-

                        I guess this is all for now, thanks for all the love and support.  We love
                        and miss everyone and wish you could be here with us.  We love be-
                        ing full time missionaries.    Love Elder and Sister Smith  

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Feb 13, 2016

       February 13th, 2016    Happy Valentines Day!!!!!
     Hello,  we have had some great experiences that we want to share.  Today Elder Smith took
Sister Olaphant (Primary President), her counselor, and I to the Stake Primary Training Meeting
which is held once a year. (Whether they need it or not) .   Sister Olaphant has been a member for
thirteen months and had never been to primary in her life, when she was called to be the President,
to start the new year.  When we went to visit her on Jan. 17th just after we arrived in Port Elizabeth,
she started asking questions about Primary.  She had two manuals, a few small pictures, no music or
piano, one counselor, and one room for Primary with at least 17 children.  When we told her we could print her a sharing time manual for the year and that we would help her do music by bringing
in a keyboard and doing a sharing time for her, she was so happy.   She said, "I have been praying
for help but I didn't know you would come so fast."  I told her most people would not have the
faith to accept a call to be Pres. of an organization that they knew nothing about.  She told me" I
could never tell the Branch Pres. no.  It tells us in the scriptures it is as if our Savior is sitting
there asking me."  Everything they heard and learned today was new to them.

Afterward Elder Smith took us all out to eat at a small cafe bakery near the Stake House.  They were so appreciative and I am pretty certain the counselor had never eaten at a restaurant in her life.  I am calling her the counselor because I am not sure what her name is and I know I can't pronounce it.  She had left early this morning in order to catch a bus into town because of mis communication she didn't know she could have ridden with us.  When the bus dropped her off she had to catch a taxi to take her up by the Stake House where we picked her up.  She had very, very little money and no food with her.
She had never been to a Stake Meeting before and she had no idea that she would get a ride home
or when she would get home after .  She used what little money they had to pay for transportation
to the Stake Meeting.  It is about 25 miles away.

These ladies are such incredible examples to me. I am humbled everytime I am around them or think about there amazing faith and how they are so willing to sacrifice their time and pretty much all they have for the church.  Sister Olaphant does not have a car and it takes her at least an hour to walk to church and she gets there a half hour or more early each Sunday to get the primary room ready.  Most weeks she also walks there on Saturdays to help clean the school rooms where we have our church.
At first she called us both" Elders Smith."  We explained to her that I was Sister Smith.  She is a
widow with two sons, one is a member preparing for a mission and her oldest son is not a member.


These are some kids who we saw after teaching the boy in our car a lesson.  The one in the car is
named Christopher.  He saw us go to a house and waited for us to come out and then came over
to our car and told us he was a member of the church.  He has lived with his father for the last two
years in Motherwell, and didn't know there was a church here.  He has been a member for four years
and he came to live in the shed behind his dads house to go to school here.
    He told us he has missed the Church and was so happy to hear that there is a Branch here.  We hope he will make it to Church tomorrow,  he lives about ten miles from where we meet for Church.
They told us our Branch needs three more Melchzideck Priesthood holders to become a ward and
the Church is trying to aquire land to build a chapel here.

    This is Sister Olaphant and I at her house a couple of weeks ago.  She is beautiful.

A group of kids swarmed me when they saw I was taking pictures.  I really got into trouble
when I pulled out a box of crackers from the car.  They are all starving and loved the crackers.
Elder Smith had to watch from the car because we can't leave the car unattended.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday Feb 8, 2016

       Hi -  Today is Pday for the elders and we are the MotherWell Elders only transportation till transfers on the 17th so we took them into Walmer to E-mail and then took our district to lunch for
Trent's Birthday.  Wish you could have been here Trenton.  They are a great group of Elders.  We really enjoy them and ask them lots of questions.   We learn alot about the areas and places in the mission from them and when we have district meetings we learn alot about the gospel and teaching.
     The tall Elder holding the sign is Elder Heninger from Salt Lake and his Aunt used to be in our ward in Snow Canyon.
      HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRENT,   we love and miss you all but are doing great and being blessed.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Feb 4, 2016 - Page from Strengthening Marriages Manual

Here is a page from the Strengthening Marriages manual.  Our branch president, President Zitshu, asked us to teach these lessons in the homes of about 10 members.

We think this is a great resource for any of you that would like to help yourselves and your marriages.  The church sure blesses us with incredible resource material.

Here are some pictures from the last few days.

Below is our senior couples dinner Tue, Feb 2, 2016, with President and Sister Merrill.

President and Sister Merrill at Zone Training at the Port Elizabeth Stakehouse. Wed, Feb 3, 2016

The young elders in our zone with President and Sister Merrill.  Our Motherwell Elders are Elder Mmotong (far left) and Elder Si Ufanua (just behind Pres Merrill - He is from American Samoa).