Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Taste of Home??? -gfh

You won't believe this but because I am from the United States they think I should know how to make corn dogs! This is a picture of our attempt. Notice the messy fingers!. It got worse! We are definitely in the test kitchen phase. This is Sister Pauline and me "in charge" of the project. When Rusty and I arrived at the branch "Super Saturday" we had been given no idea that this was the planned project and it was announced that Sister Henrichsen would show every one how to make corn dogs. First of all, no one has ever heard of them except the Branch President, I think. There are no hot dogs here. They are call viennas first of all and the corn is called milly(prounced mee ly) I told the president that I had never made them before and besides that they are quite unhealthy. He replied "no one heard you say that." :-)

Our Branch President is trying to come up with ways for members of the branch to start little businesses to earn income. There are so many people who have no way to provide for their families. He is thinking that they could make corn dogs and sell them at the taxi stations morning and evening. I'm thinking it's not going to work but maybe I'm just not catching the vision.

We had great fun making a mess experimenting and testing out the idea. Everyone at the Super Saturday activity got a Milly Vienna or Corn Dog to taste and test. It was a unanimous two thumbs up!

Another Man's Livelihood -gfh

One morning this past week we had an opportunity to stop, fairly unnoticed and get this picture of men going through the garbage for recycling materials. There are about three men but you can't see them clearly. Two are behind the cans. We were far enough away that I don't think we were noticed. This was a "gold mine" with all the cans together. Usually we see one person per one garbage can usually at the end of the drive way of a residence. The area where we live is a very upper middle class, I supose, area. Very nice homes and I'm assuming very nice garbage. What is one man's garbage is another man's livelihood, I guess. I actually look at my garbage in a different way now.

More Connections!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Special Conference Feast! -gfh

General Conference was last weekend and broadcast world wide! It is a weekend that I love! I can feel a special spirit of anticipation in the air no matter where I am and it was no different here in South Africa. However this Area of the church, I believe because of the inconvenient times of the broadcasts i.e. morning sessions are at 6:00pm and the afternoon sessions go from at 10:00pm to midnight South Africa time, a decision was made to show conference three weeks later when the churches here receive it on DVD. So, General Conference was marked on my calendar for the first weekend in April and also on my calendar for three weeks later.
Sister Paulsen invited all of the senior couples in the area over to the mission home for a preconference dinner and then to watch conference broadcast on BYU-TV, which they have. Each couple contributed a dish to add to the delicious repast. ( Sister Paulsen says that she didn’t cook much back in the states but she is making up for it here as Mission President’s wife. She is always feeding missionaries, visitors and planning special fun meals like this conference dinner. I heard that an elder once said “What does Sister Paulsen do all day?” If he only knew what a big job she has! She is not only being supportive of her husband but seeing to special assignments and responsibilities that are hers alone. I’m sure it is exhausting!)
So we had a wonderful meal and then gathered around the TV in the living room to watch conference! It is always such a thrill to hear the Mormon Tabernacle choir sing the songs of the restoration and hymns of praise! And this time especially when I realize the miracle that brought it to us thousands of miles away half way around the world! The fourteen of us soaked up every word while we munched on carmel corn homemade by one of the senior elders. I felt like we were having our own special conference session knowing that others in our area would not be hearing the words of the prophets for another three weeks. Kind of like a special sneak preview!
It was indeed an evening of feasting!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Our Friday Night Date -gfh

Friday night we had a very special date.

Our mission office is in the same building as the South Africa Missionary Training Centre. There is a door between us and we respect that. The SAF MTC President came over early in the week and asked if we would like to come be “investigators” for the new young elders to practice teaching. This being the Easter Holiday weekend they were having difficulty getting their usual number of people to help. (By the way Easter is a big holiday here. Businesses, even grocery stores close down on Good Friday and Easter Monday. We didn’t get those days off of course so as it turned out things were very quiet in the office)

We were investigators for two different companionships. The lessons lasted about 25 minutes each with punch and cookies and an evaluation sheet to fill out at the end of each. We were asked to pretend to have a situation in our lives that either has kept us from the church or would make it difficult for us to be interested. We were also asked to take off our nametags so the missionaries didn’t know that we were an older, more experience version of “one of them”. The Elders were to visit, ask questions and then teach to our individual need.

The first companionship was an elder from England and the other from the states. The second companionship was one from the states and one from Kenya. Each time the missionaries were so nervous. This was their first time teaching. They had only been in the MTC one week but they taught with conviction, sincerity and strong burning testimonies. There is a term for that. They really wanted to teach and be effective. It is called "Greenie Fire". Even though it was only practice The Spirit was there to help them. We could feel it and we were so grateful to be a part of their learning experience.

It was one of the sweetest Friday night dates we’ve had in a long time. I hope we can do it again soon.