Saturday, December 30, 2017

What a day this has been!! It started out with a 9:00 am meeting at the church for ALL of our missionaries, the mission president, his two assistants, the district presidency, and the branch presidencies. We had a good discussion about missionaries and members here working more closely together.  It went until 11:00 and we got a call that they needed the Elders' braai (grill) at our branch president's wedding celebration (today at 11:00).  We picked it up at the elders' and put it in the back of our truck and headed up to the Shongwes' compound with Elder Pace and Elder Sinclair in with us, following the ZLs.
It was SO interesting to see a Swazi wedding!  

Pres. Shongwe's dad, Jerome, at our table with Elders Pulley, Powell, Pace and Sinclair

Pontsho's relatives from Lesotho (all wearing blue & white)

The 3-sided program...

Our water bottles all had the bride and groom's photos on them

Even the punch matched the silver and peachy-orange color scheme!

The cute mom and baby sitting next to me

The elders moved outside halfway through to give their seats to both a district and 
branch presidency member.

These dancers were hired to perform before the wedding celebration began, underneath
a tent in the Shongwes' yard. We got there just in time to watch them perform.  They also performed at the end of the program inside the tent before we ate. It was SO hot today!! (Inside the tent as well as outside!!)

Bob was asked to give the opening prayer

The "grand march" when the wedding party entered the tent

A few of the groom's friends
Nkosingphile on the right is in our branch and Nkosikhona in the middle is our seminary teacher in Manzini. They served their missions together with Pres. Shongwe.

Cutting the wedding cake

The groom's mother, Sister Thoko Shongwe with a grandson

This little guy came in with the groom's friends and danced around SO cute!

First dance...

The sky as we drove to and from our appointment in Elangeni tonight...

Friday, December 29, 2017

We took a drive today a little ways past Manzini to get our hair cut. Eve did our hair 6 weeks after we arrived in Swaziland and we were VERY happy with her!  Well, 6 weeks later, we found that she had left the salon here in Ezulwini and was now 40 minutes away at the Nkonyeni Golf Estate.  She called us and said she missed us and to come down and see where she is now, so we did! It's a BEAUTIFUL place!! 

The Entrance

Beautiful drive through the property

The Recreation Center

The Reception Center, Restaurant and Hair Salon
(Also, golf course and swimming pool)

The view from the restaurant, looking down on the golf course
across the river and the swimming pool in front

Close-up of the sign by the river
Eve said she has never seen one....?

The pretty bridge and first tee which goes across the river!

It's a beautiful, peaceful place...

The whole time we ate our pizza (which was AMAZING), 
we watched eight monkeys playing across the green. Four were tiny babies!

It tickled me the way the waiter brought us our fork and napkin Ü

The amazing we saw in Ethiopia

We saw this billboard on the way there but I didn't get a picture,
so Bob stopped on the way home and I snapped this.  Ü 
We have seen trucks almost this full!!!

The clouds out our kitchen window were SO pretty last night at
dinnertime.  Bob took these photos....

We sure love pretty Swaziland!!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Khisimusi Lomuhle! (MERRY CHRISTMAS!)  Well, our Christmas is complete!  We just skyped for a little bit with our whole family, while they were all in our home in Mesa (until we lost the connection).  It's early Tuesday morning here and still Christmas night there. We got to hear what each of our grandchildren got for Christmas. It was really fun to see them all!  Last night, we skyped for just a few minutes with our missionary grandchildren, Sister Maybree Spilsbury, serving on Temple Square and Elder Adam Wold in Oklahoma.  That was awesome too! We sure LOVE and MISS our family!!

Skyping with the family....

Photos Julie sent before they Skyped with us

The WOLD FAMILY white elephant gift exchange...
(They opened our packages from Swaziland on Christmas Eve.)

We had a fun time in Manzini yesterday with all of our elders here in Swaziland.  We had a Swazi style braai (barbecue) and a great meal. It was all really good!

Then we had a white elephant gift exchange. I took pictures of all the elders and emailed them to their moms last night.  We gave them each their Christmas box from us with lots of
homemade goodies in it. They also played soccer and board games for a few hours.

Some of the white elephant gifts... 
including my cool hand carved wooden bowl (3rd steal)!! 

Elder Chounlamany (Utah) unwrapped a million plastic bags to find 3 tennis balls.

Elder Schlager (from Utah) got a live chicken!! 

And Elder Nogueira from Brazil got the WHITE ELEPHANT Bob bought!
(The limit was E50....)

They seemed to like their goodies.... 
(Elder Freestone's Rice Krispie tree went down in ONE bite!)

Elder Feliciana from Brazil came dressed 
as Santa

Elders Willey and Jordan 

Everyone brought their own meat for the Christmas braai and the Manzini elders made pap (pronounced "pop" ~ white cornmeal mixed with water, the staple food here in Swaziland, that is eaten every meal). The Mbabane elders brought a fruit salad, Ezulwini and Nhlangano brought drinks and I made homemade rolls and Christmas Ribbon Jello (that totally melted in the 91 degree heat, as we sat in the car in front of the elders' flat, waiting to load the grill into the back of the truck...)

Elder Francis 

Our Ezulwini ZLs, Elders Pulley  and Powell 
enjoying their Christmas braai.

Elders Francis, Smith, Pace, Jordan, Passey, Chounlamany, and Freestone
playing RISK, while the others played soccer.... It was a VERY WARM day in