We have enjoyed being here for this first week. I know that I should feel that the time has just zipped by, but with all the introductions to both people and procedures it seems like forever since we arrived last Sunday evening. We am very impressed by the other office couples, the Gunthers and the Betournays. They are efficient and they know the importance of the work in which they are engaged. I am grateful for their guidance.
I am overwhelmed by the young missionaries – they have so much enthusiasm and desire to work. How can the Kingdom falter with such fantastic energy as displayed by these young men. They do not engage in the boisterous horseplay that I observed much of the time at the MTC. Perhaps this is because they are on their best behavior at the mission office. I prefer to think that they have matured and realize the importance of the work they have been sent to do. I have seen this transition in the letters I read from my oldest grandson since he began his missionary service – he has gone from being a 19 year-old boy to a 20 year-old missionary. His focus is shifting from himself and the things of the world to those he teaches and the work he has been called to do among people hungering for the truth.
I am so thankful for the sweetness and hospitality shown to us by President and Sister Poulsen. Never have I felt that we were strangers imposing ourselves in their home (we are staying in the mission home since there is no flat yet available for us.) Sister Poulsen is a sweet, kind, loving person who surely brings joy into the lives of all with whom she comes in contact. His fantastic energy is impressive. I grow weary just thinking of his schedule. Wehave returned to the mission home every night just worn out after 8-10 hours. I know his schedule is much longer and more pressure-packed than mine but I see no signs of fatigue in him. I told Georgia that his handling of our staff meeting was most impressive. I have dealt with businessmen throughout my career – most of them, even church members, are crass and abrupt as they deal with others. His quiet leadership throughout the week reminds me of the way the Savior would deal with things if He were here in Johannesburg. I am thankful for working with the kind of man I want to be when I grow up.
I have felt the Spirit many times during the week as I have engaged even in the mundane things that are required of those that work in the office of the Kingdom of God. I know that we are here to assist President Poulsen, Sister Poulsen and all the missionaries in the important work of taking the Good News to the people of South Africa. I know that I have been sent here for a reason. I want to be sure that I do everything possible to achieve the purpose the Lord has in mind for me. I thank Him for this opportunity to serve and the president for his patience with me as I learn the duties to which he has assigned me.
Below are pictures of our first few days. President Poulsen fixed us breakfast one morning! The Guinea hens are outside the kitchen window at the mision home and have become Sister Poulsen's favorites. Rusty during our first visit to a Johannesburg market. WOW! and there are beautiful flowers are everywhere!