Hogsback Mountain

Hogsback Mountain
Hogsback Mountain Wilderness

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Anxiously Engaged

One of our joyful duties here in South Africa, is to something we call “Elder Care”…no, not that kind of Elder, but rather the young missionaries who serve in our area who all have the title of Elder.  We provide a variety of support services to keep them going;  such as inspecting their flats (apartments) and teaching them how to kill the black mold that is growing in their showers,  giving haircuts, providing an occasional home-cooked breakfast, keeping their cars running, attend District Meetings or sometimes just giving a bit of emotional support or encouragement.  We have responsibility for 48 Elders in the East London area and we have grown to love and admire these valiant young men.

East London Zone Breakfast at our Gonubie Flat

Mdantsane District Meeting
As a member of the missionary Presidency, Elder Fowers has the responsibility to watch over small branches that are in the far reaches of the mission.  Last week we visited King William's Town to check on the Elders. We recently drove to the beautiful beach community of Knysna (525 kilometers or about a seven hour drive for our home) to provide training and support for that branch. The blessing of these road trips is that we get to see even more of the natural wonders of South Africa and meet the faithful and determined Saints in these outposts.

Visit to King Williams Town Chapel 

Suspension Bridge over Storm River Gorge
(The highest bungee jump in the world!)

Knysna, overlooking "The Heads" at Sunset

The South Africa Cape Town Mission is far flung and so is the SACTM Presidency.  We serve in East London (eastern edge of the mission), President Ladle and his wife serve in Namibia (northwestern end of the mission) and President Wood and his wife serve in Cape Town which is somewhere in the middle.  With about 1,600 kilometers in between, the leadership of the mission seldom meet together.  Recently we all gathered in Cape Town for a three-day Presidency meeting to define the vision and goals of the mission.  After our extensive meetings, we took a p-day together and visited Robbens Island, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 of his 27 years in prison.  It was sobering to consider his sacrifice and nobility that lead to the abolishment of apartheid.

SACTM Mission Presidency
Nelson Mandela's Cell on Robbens Island
View of Table Mountain from Robbens Island
There is so much more to share and tell, but this will have to do for now.  Until next time... love from South Africa!