Thursday, July 27, 2017

July 2017

This is a typical roadside scene as we drive through Kwazulu-Natal (our mission area).

After attending Richard’s Bay District Conference we drove up the coast to St. Lucia where we had a boat tour to view the hippos and crocodiles. Turns out this is the best time of year to go when the hippos are most active. (The movement of the crocodiles told us that they were either dead or fake! They didn’t move at all.) We are holding a hippo tooth in the pictures. Elwood decided he needed an implant and chose a hippo tooth for dramatic effect.

These were the scenes we observed as we traveled down the river…hippos and crocodiles in their natural environment.

We continued up the coast, drove through a game preserve on our way to Cape Vidal and observed a number of other animals. These included cape buffalo, the magnificent kudu antelope, a zebra family, the always impressive rhino and the rare daytime sighting of a hyena.

This is a sign posted as a warning because in the evenings these animals may be seen wandering the streets.

A night out of extravagant dining…calories galore!

This is a view of Ghost Mountain, which plays a significant role in the culture of the region. Tradition says it is a great, strange and haunted mountain. On top is a rudely shaped resemblance of a woman. At regular intervals over the years, strange lights and flickering fires are seen among the fissures and cliffs of the summit. Weird noises and strange sounds are also heard precipitating Zulu superstitions.

These pictures were taken at a branch sponsored areawide marriage conference at which we spoke. Decorations were done by a member whose daughter is in the catering business.

This is the Ezakheni Chapel where Newcastle District held part of the district conference. Since the district is so large (over 100 kilometers separate the two locations) and travel is difficult, conference is held in two parts with the same message given in both locations. The theme of the conference was taken from the Book of Mormon (Helaman 5:12): “ And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall be upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless woe, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

We had the privilege of preparing 8 brethren to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and have them sustained at district conference. It was Elwood’s honor to confer the Melchizedek Priesthood on four of them and ordain them to the office of Elder.

These beautiful iconic acacia trees are seen throughout South Africa…

We are continuing to enjoy our mission and being able to assist in the work of the Lord. It is very rewarding to be assisting in the progress being made.

Love to you all.