Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Today we met our two new elders from Johannesburg who will be serving here! 
They arrived from Johannesburg late last night. 

Elder Souza is from Fortaleza, Brazil and is right out of the MTC! He will be continuing to learn English with his companion, Elder Mtyobile, in Ngwane Park Branch, Manzini.

Elder Chikoore, our new zone leader in Ezulwini with Elder Smith (below), is from Zimbabwe. He will complete his mission October 9th and Elder Smith on October 30th.

Our updated wall... We have had 35 different elders serve with us in Swaziland in only 10 1/2  months!  (That is a LOT, considering that none of those 10, that have been here in that time, from the Mozambique Mission, can serve in Johannesburg because they cannot get South African visas, except from their home countries! )

These trees with totally bare branches, all of the sudden have 
beautiful bright red flowers all over them but no leaves! 

  And these now have bright orange blooms on top! 
I LOVE the trees and plants here!! 

This looked like a rose bush until I got closer to take a picture.
These pretty, red flowers are SO different! 

We drove out to Malkerns on Saturday.  I LOVE the scenery there.  

Yesterday, I sewed up the last five YW book holders for our branch YW.
There were a few who couldn't come when we had the sewing class and the girls made them and three more girls (two are being baptized on Sunday) have come into YW in the past couple of weeks!)  The sewing machine was NOT working, but with lots of faith and prayer....  I was able to finish them all! (Then the machine completely quit!) 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

We have had a very emotional past couple of days.... On Friday at noon we met our Manzini elders at SPUR for a "farewell" lunch for Elder Brown, who is completing his mission and heading to Johannesburg on Monday to fly home to Utah Tuesday. 

While we were with the elders, Jeff sent a text (3:30 a.m. AZ time) telling us that our grandson, Tanner, was in ICU with two broken femurs and a broken right arm, after falling asleep at the wheel and crashing on the freeway at Higley and the 202 around 11:30-12:00 Thursday night!! He hit the guardrail and it went right through his Nissan Sentra and ended up across his lap, pinning his legs under it.  When he realized what happened, he went to reach for his cell phone but his right arm was just dangling there and he couldn't use it.  So he started yelling for help!  Several cars passed by and finally an off-duty police officer stopped and radioed in for help! It took over an hour for them to cut the car and guardrail to get him out!! 😩 Karen and Jeff were awakened at 1:30 in the morning by a policeman banging on their front door! Tanner ended up having 7 hours of surgery on Friday, putting titanium rods in both legs and then plates and screws in his right arm. He is in a lot of pain!!! Poor guy!!!  (The photo above was taken just after we heard about Tanner.... I had to "force" this smile.) : /

Saying "good-bye" to Elder Brown, one of the last four of our Swaziland 
elders from the Mozambique Mission 

Our Manzini Elders

L to R: Elder Daybell, Elder Brown, Elder Mtyobile and Elder Musumhi

After lunch we drove about 40 minutes from Manzini to Siphofaneni with Elder Daybell
and Elder Musumhi, to teach this darling family about families, temples and family history.
Bro. Carlos Zandamela is a member, but he has been inactive for many years. 
His wife, Sibongile and daughter Padthwakahle (10) are on date to be baptized 
on August 5th!!  Their baby girl Anele ("Angel") is a "miracle baby".  
Doctors in Pretoria, South Africa said they could do nothing about her condition 
before she was born.  She is healthy and she is what brought them 
back to the church! The little smiling cutie in front is Siphisihle (5).

I was taking a photo and didn't even notice at the time the HEART in the clouds!! 
(We needed it that day...!)

On Saturday, we had a visit with Bakezile (12) and her sister Lungile.
How we have come to LOVE these two sisters! They live alone in Ezulwini. 
Lungile has been a member since 2012 and her sister came to live with her
this school year and we have been teaching her with the zone leaders.
She had her baptismal interview Sat. and will be baptized next Sunday, July 22nd!

The zone leaders got SAD news last night... Elder Treasure has been 
transferred back to Johannesburg!! He leaves tomorrow!!  So we had a "farewell" 
dinner tonight (enchiladas and fudge bars) and took a couple of last photos.... 
We will REALLY miss him. 😔  These two have been a great duo and a lot of fun!! 

I just realized that I never put Elder Smith's birthday photo on here.
His birthday was July 9th. He is one of the last three elders from the
Mozambique Mission, so he will be here until he goes home in November! 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

We drove to Johannesburg on Thursday morning, for an appointment I had with Dr. Deseta, a cardiologist from Argentina, that afternoon.  I had an episode Sunday night, with really bad chest pains and numbness in my hands and face.  Dr. Frew at Medisun Clinic, here in Ezulwini, admitted me to be observed overnight.  The next morning more tests were done and Dr. Gina, on duty, was sure it was my heart and thought it could be angina. He gave me a prescription and referred me to Dr. Deseta at Milpark Hospital in Joburg.  Dr. Deseta did a very thorough exam and ECG, stress test on the treadmill, an ultrasound and said my heart is perfectly fine! Yay!  What a relief!!  He was really good! (I have no idea what that was all about on Sunday....but I did have a blessing!)

We went to the Mission Office, to see the Wagners and Boyers but only the wives were. We picked up the order I gave them for Azteca, a Mexican wholesale place in Joburg.  We got  yummy salted tortilla chips, refried beans, corn tortillas, cans of tomatillos to make green salsa, flour tortillas and green enchilada sauce. There are NONE of those things anywhere in Swaziland, except for the flour tortillas (which we have seen here but they are not as good). 

Then we drove to Clearwater Mall nearby and ate dinner and did a bit of shopping, then spent the night at the Mission Home, arriving just as Pres. and Sister Leavitt did at 7 pm.

It was really FOGGY for almost the first hour and a half of our drive to South Africa!

Johannesburg was VERY COLD (colder than Ezulwini for sure)!
I just LOVE all of the streets all over there, where the trees meet in the middle of the road. 

This is Clearwater Mall.  I loved the colorful, hanging umbrellas!  We ate dinner at Panarotti's and bought our first lasagna in 10 months.  (I did make it one night for a 
farewell dinner for two of our elders, their companions and the zone leaders, 
but we had not seen it in any restaurants before.)

Bob went out to the parking garage to get something from our truck 
just in time to catch this pretty sunset! 

He met this cute clerk, (Elder) Motli, at Edgar's in the mall and found out that he served in the UKM the exact same time we did!  He knew a lot of our Elders in Ethiopia, 
who also spent some of their mission serving in Uganda. 

Downtown Joburg

Thursday, we went to the 9:00 session at the Johannesburg Temple. (I didn't get a photo...)
It just so happened that 14 Elders from our mission were on our session 
with Elder & Sister Boyer, one of the office couples.

This is the only picture we took.  We were invited to eat with the Elders after the session, in the cafeteria for the Area Office people, next to the Distribution Center. We met Elder Rash,
who sat by us and is from Mesa, AZ! He went to Skyline High School and knows our friends, Michael & Patrice Hofeling, who Elder Wold taught with at ASU Institute!

This morning we went to THE BIG RED BARN, that we have been hearing about for months and months from the Wagners and Boyers.  It isn't a barn....but booths where people sell handicrafts, food, and just about anything you can imagine! I bought these cute purses made from a LONG zipper!  The girl who makes them was SO cute! She unzips them and rolls them up and puts them in a cute fabric bag with a ribbon tie to give as gifts. 

We had never driven that far north (on the way to Pretoria) and it was fun to see 
some different scenery than we usually see as we drove on the N-4 to Emalahleni. 
I thought these were very interesting buildings!

This pretty chapel was out in the middle of nowhere... We don't even know for sure
what area it was in, but I think it was around Kwa-Guga.

A township off the N-4 highway....

Closeby were these very LARGE beautiful 2-story homes.
There was SUCH a difference in the kinds of homes we saw on our way!

Men were cutting the grass on both sides of the freeway with weed-eaters.  It was interesting to see this tractor going down the middle cutting the grass.  In MANY places
all of the grass had been burned to clear it.  That is the most common sight this time of year!

We always stop for a bathroom break (which is a" toilet" break "restrooms" or "bathrooms") at ALZU, which is exactly halfway to Mbabane (2 hours away).  I never get tired of seeing the wild animals grazing, as we look out the windows, behind the SPUR Restaurant, when we eat there, as we did today.

There are water buffalos, zebras, rhinos, ostriches, 
and different animals from the antelope family...

The sky was a BEAUTIFUL shade of blue as we drove on to Swaziland 
and I LOVED the white fluffy  clouds!

There are lots of forested areas...

The clouds rolled in but we never saw a drop of rain...
(You can see below where the grasses have been burned along the road.)

This was taken just as we were coming into the Ngwenya Border 
going into Swaziland from South Africa.

I took this just north of Mbabane, Swaziland, which is about 20 minutes from the border.

These three photos of the Ezulwini Valley, were taken from the M-3 highway as we left Mbabane. We are only about 15 minutes down the mountain road from Mbabane. From our kitchen window, in our flat, we can see the highway going up to the very top of the mountain into Mbabane.  It is always about 5 degrees colder in Mbabane than in Ezulwini.  
Manzini, 25 minutes south of us, is usually a few degrees warmer than Ezulwini.

We live in a truly BEAUTIFUL country!! Ü