Hogsback Mountain

Hogsback Mountain
Hogsback Mountain Wilderness

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fun Never Ends

Where does the time go?  As I was reading back through my journal and reviewing the hundreds of pictures that we have taken it is amazing what we have experienced. Our camera doesn't always go with us when we are out in the Mdantsane township talking to the people, encouraging, lifting and teaching, so most of our photos are of our adventures and rather than our day-to-day service as senior missionaries.  However, I decided to try to include pictures of some of our dear friends from the Mdantsane 1st Ward.

Mama Keya our Relief Society President

Mdantsane 1st Ward R.S. Sisters

Fowers and Lubelwana Family

Sis. Fowers teaching the neighborhood Children 

Elder Fowers teaching the Young Men

In late October we traveled to Knysna, about 400 miles up the coast, to train their leaders and speak in their Sunday meetings. On the way home we took an extra day and went exploring in the Storm's River Wilderness. Further on down the road we took a detour to explore the St. Francis Bay Lighthouse.

Spring Waterfall 

Craggy Storm's River Coastline

St. Francis Bay Lighthouse 1878

Majestic Skies

Our daughter-in-law, Nikki and the grandkids along with their friends from their cooperative home school sent boxes of toys, books and school supplies to Asanda's Creche (Preschool).  We were blessed to deliver the treasures to the little ones as they explored the new toys.

The Children say Thanks!

Discovering new toys.

There are 12 senior couples currently serving in the South Africa Cape Town Mission. Last week we all gathered in Cape Town for several days of training from President and Sister Wood. The conference conveniently coincided with Thanksgiving Day so we celebrated with our mission family. We all have so much for which to be thankful, especially the friendship of such dedicated people.

Gathering for a Group Picture

Thanksgiving Feast

Pres. Wood training in Cape Town Mission Home

Our last day in Cape Town we explored the beautiful Arderne Garden which was planted in 1845.  The 167 year old trees from all over the world towered over the serene, peaceful gardens. We continue to marvel and the beauty of South Africa and know that God took a bit of extra time when he decorated this part of the world.

Standing in the majestic roots of a fig tree.

Huge tree dwarfed Elder Fowers

Arderne Garden Bridge

Allepo Pine (Mediterranean)

So Peaceful

We love to travel and see the sights, but the most beautiful sight of all is the sun setting on Gonubie River Valley that we see from our back door.

Gonubie Sunset

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Random Sampling

The richness of our opportunity to be missionaries is enhanced by the wide variety of activities and experiences that come our way each week.  One day we might guide a missionary's family to a rural school to present donations to the children.  The next we are at the airport sending off a missionary from our local ward because he has no family to join him on that momentous day.  The following day may bring the crazy activities of "transfer day" with 20 new Elders arriving in the South Africa Cape Town Mission and many others moving to new locations; so we could spend our day at the airport as the welcoming committee.  We may volunteer at the Phakamile School's cultural fair selling traditional foods at a fundraising event.  Quite often we meet the other senior couples that are serving in our area for some grand new adventure.  These are all sandwiched between our regular missionary responsibilities to teach and reach out to those that have lost their way.  

Following is a random sampling of some of the experiences we have had during the last month.  As you can see, we are never bored and greatly enriched by these opportunities.

Assisting Elder McDonald and his family as they make  donations to Silverdale School, an impoverished rural school:
McDonald Family and Principal Mpine with Students

Presenting a gift of school supplies to each child.

Happy day for Silverdale students.


Preparing lunch of boiled corn meal and sour milk.

Saying goodbye to Elder Lihle Lalendle, a 26-year old young man who joined the church one year ago who is leaving for his mission to Zimbabwe with no family to bid him goodbye: 

Elder Lalendle and The Fowers

Goodbye...Joining God's Army in Zimbabwe

Joining the our Phakamile School friends at their annual Cultural Day where we helped by selling traditional foods to raise money for future programs:

Dressing in traditional Xhosa dress.

Only 2 Rand for each boiled chicken foot

Traditional treats!

Phakamile Cultural Day.

Every six weeks we greet a new group of "Greenie" Elders at the airport during transfer day.  We serve as the welcoming committee and bring along snacks to get the missionaries through the day:

Waiting for Greenies.

Welcome to SACTM!

Missionaries leaving for their new areas.

God's Army!

We had close up and personal experiences the animals of Monkeyland and Birdland with another senior couple. The beauty and variety of His creations were amazing!

 Spotted Lemar (Close enough to touch!)

Too Cute!

 Ring-tailed Lemar with nursing babies.
Mr. Mischief

Monkeyland Suspension Bridge

 Chinese Golden Pheasant


Hyacinth Macaw

Weaver Bird and Nest

Kissing the Cockatoo

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

HIS Hands

Often when I create a post for the blog I try to focus on a specific theme or event, but today's post is a rambling sample of the many aspects of our work and activities here in South Africa.  We try to minister wherever needed as the Lord directs.  We have come to love the members of our wards, the young missionaries we serve with and have built strong bonds of friendship within our African community.  Enjoy our photo gallery of events that have taken place in the last two weeks...

Relaxing with the Senior Couples on our P-day activity.

 Elder Fowers at Tsitsikamma Falls Zipline

Magnificent Views....Kruis River Gorge

Young at Heart--GRAY PRIDE

We focus a lot of our time and energy on what we term "Elder Care" as we take care of the physical needs of our young Elder missionaries. We inspect their apartments (flats), keep their cars running and take them to the doctor when needed.

 The Miracle of feeding the 50. 

Queenstown Zone conference at lunchtime

Not a morsel left.

        Luci's traveling  Barbershop

    Nine haircuts this week--laying on of the hands 

We were blessed with the opportunity to participate in a mission tour with Elder Carl B. Cook and his sweet wife. Elder Cook is the member of the first Quorum of the Seventy, currently serving as the second counselor in the Area Presidency which supervises all the church in 34 countries in Southeast Africa.

Elder and Sister Cook

Instructing Elders

We grieved deeply with our friends in the Mdantsane 1st Ward at the passing of Bro. Magibisela as we participated in their Xhosa funeral traditions.

Sad Day--Burial of Bro. Magibisela

Sister Fowers and Mama Magibisela at graveside.

"Lifting the hands that hang down..."

We continue to serve the impoverished who need a helping hand or a quick fix-up. Recently Sister Fowers advised a group of young carpenters on how to improve their furniture to make it more marketable. That afternoon we replaced a front door for Sister Woko, so she could finally secure her home against theft.

A bit of advise to carpentry interns.

Developing their skills to become self-reliant.

New door for a new member--Safe at last!

The richness of our experience has changed our lives and our hearts.  As we quietly respond to the whisperings of the spirit, we know we have become instruments in His hands.  We bless the day that we decided to service a mission!