Yesterday, we had Seminary & Institute Graduation in Manzini. The entire District Presidency was there, Pres. Ntshalintshali, Pres. Mahlalela and Pres. Sithole. We had four branch presidents in attendance, Bro. Massango, (coordinator from Mozambique), Pres. Wiseman Simelane (2nd Counselor in the Mission Presidency) and Bob and I. (Just four parents came...) We had about 40 young people there and 35 got certificates. (Our branch had three 12 year olds who participated this year, but technically shouldn't have been enrolled. We made them certificates recognizing their study of the New Testament and our Branch President gave them out in our Sacrament Meeting in the morning.)
Yesterday, we had a Primary Presentation practice but the Primary President had to work last minute and I was there by myself with 26 children! It went well and I had a YSA come in and help me, so that was great! I gave out 12 more speaking parts so everyone could participate. I was especially excited to see this cute 11 year old, Venus Msibi, show up! We visited her family last week and we invited her and her 17 year old sister Wendy to come to Church and they did! They have not been there for maybe a few years!! Their father, Apollo, is deaf. He lost his hearing after an illness 3 years ago and he and his wife are now divorced. He is SUCH a nice, man.... I wrote him a note before we left, telling him we would be back this week on Wednesday night and I would bring him Liahonas with the talks from General Conference in them. His face lit up and he thanked me! They, like many others, live very far from the Church and cannot afford transportation. It's so sad... Venus LOVED Primary and has a part on the program. I HOPE she can come back! (I just can't get over these kids' beautiful eyes! They are AMAZING!!)
(We have been planning all along for the Primary Presentation to be on November 19th and just yesterday after graduation, Pres. Shongwe stopped me and said. "We have a problem! Our Africa Southeast Area Conference is scheduled for November 19th! I just realized it! " I had JUST made invitations and sent them home with all 26 children so their families would come to watch them!! So I made more invitations last night with November 26th on them instead! Haha! We just roll with it!)
We drove down to Nhlangano on Saturday for Seminary and Institute Graduation at 1:00 pm
and also inspected the Nhlangano Elders' flat for our Zone Leaders.
Bro. Jaime Massango, our Coordinator for Swaziland, came from Mozambique for the Graduation and Pres. Mahlalela, a counselor to District President Ntshalintshali was also there. Nhlangano Branch Pres. Fakudze conducted the graduation and I played the keyboard. Bob and I were both also asked to give talks. It went well, but only FOUR students could make it! : / They were all Seminary students. Their teacher couldn't come but the institute teacher, Djabulile Dlamini was there! She thought it started at 10 am and was there for 3 hours!! None of her 7 students who got certificates could be there either! So sad.... Elder Francis and Elder Pulley were there to support the young people in their branch. It was 35 minutes late starting, as we waited for more students to arrive.... but they didn't come. (We sang LOTS of hymns while we waited! )
Elder Wold talking right to the four students. (All of the adults
were sitting on the other side of the chapel.)
Bro. Massango, the four students with their certificates,
Pres. Mahlalela, Sister Djabulile Dlamini and Branch Pres. Fakudze
It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the drive! It was much
greener than last time we were down there! I never get tired of this scenery!
We had to stop several times for cows walking in the middle of the road. Goats too...
And there are speed bumps in the most peculiar places!
I took chocolate chip cookies and they LOVED them!! (I just happened to find
chocolate chips! Walnuts too! Ü They look a little weird but actually
taste pretty good!! I made these Halloween cupcakes for the elders
last Tuesday. (You can see the weird shaped chocolate chips on top.)
I found a GIANT cupcake pan so this is what we're doing for each elder on his birthday. We had four
elders with birthdays in November so I made these and we delivered them to Manzini and Mbabane when we went there. The guys were SO excited! They even have a corkscrew candle in the top! (We will also call and sing on their actual birthday!) It wasn't easy finding cellophane, curly ribbon
OR small birthday plates... We looked all over the place and finally found them!!)