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.