Thursday, August 23, 2007

On Monday, on our way home to Johannesburg we stopped in a little town by the name of Clocolan to visit a Youth Center that is a home for 24 orphans or vulnerable children (which usually means they are neglected or abused). We were very impressed by the woman,Marieta, who was instrumental in acquiring and running the home. They have trainers that teach the children different styles of jewerly that they then make and market in the U.S. or other places. With the proceeds the children learn to save money and also to help in their own upkeep. We then followed her to another town, Ficksburg, where she took us to a shack in which 36 children are living. It was incredible to think that they could all fit inside at one time. Some have to sleep on the dirt floor in one small room while the rest are crammed into another room about 10'x15'. We met about eight of the children and the 'mother' who cares for them. They were so sweet. Marieta said she has a friend coming from Canada on Aug. 31st to purchase a house in Clocolan to put these children in and get them out of such mean circumstances.When we were leaving, (had to climb a hill back to the car), we found out that there was no food in the shack to give to children so we emptied out our stash of food and sent it back down to them. At least they could have a lunch. There are so many good people trying to help others however they can. What a privilege to get to know them. We will be traveling back to Lesotho in the next week or two and will take quilts, school and hygiene kits with us to give to Marieta for the children.I'll send you a few pictures on the next email.Love you,Kris

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Queen and I

We had tried for about six weeks to get the Queen of Lesotho to set a date for the wheelchair presentation and of course were told that she would when she was ready...Remember the "only the Queen counts" statement? Well, we were getting pretty desperate to get it taken care of so I wrote a letter to the Queen's secretary saying, "we humbly appeal to Her Majesty to consider August 18th as a possible date for the wheelchair presentation" and "we are grateful to be able to donate the wheelchairs to her to give to the disabled in your country...." Well, that seemed to do the trick because a couple days later we received an email saying, "With regards to the handing-over of the wheelchairs to Her Majesty, I have it in command from Her that it will greatly please Her if this could be done on August 18, 2007 at 11:00 am. here at the Palace grounds." Hip,hip horrah!!! On Friday the migration to Lesotho began. Two missionary couples left in the morning, the Employment Specialists and the Public Affairs Directors. At 2:30we left the Area Office in our little Kia and were followed by the Director ofTemporal Affairs, Bob Cowan, with his family and Paul Koelliker, Area Seventyand his wife in a big van. They are all rather new to the country so wanted us to lead the way. After a huge delay in a traffic jam, we were on our way and arrived at the B & B in Ladybrand at 7:15. We were learning a great lesson inpatience at the Italian restaurant that took 2 hours to get our food!! We should have saw the writing on the wall....The next morning we headed for the border to cross into Lesotho. A very rareoccurrence was taking place right before our eyes....bus loads of people in lineto get their passports stamped to get out of South Africa. Not only was there a multitude of people but they thought nothing about crowding and cutting in line. It seemed like we were going backwards instead of forward! It was a terriblef eeling to think that after all the pains of planning and bringing so many people down for the presentation that now, we might not even get there for it. We stood in line for two and a half hours and I called the Queen's Secretary a couple of times to let her know what was happening....she finally laughed and said, " Next time you need to stay in Lesotho instead of Ladybrand!" She was totally right. She also said they were going to start at 11:30 to see if we could make it by then. We were at the passport windows at 11:00, got through the Lesotho border quickly and made it to the Palace grounds by 11:30. It turned out to be the most pleasant of ceremonies and it was even shown on their national TV station!
You can put that on our blog...the one picture is of the Queen, Pres. Koellikerand your mom. I'll write another email telling you about our visit to Clocolan andFicksburg.
Love you,
Mom and Dad

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Sister Mom sent this to me with out any other information so we can play the guessing game on whether or not this is the temple near their apartment, if she took the photograph or not? And if she did, how it got to be spring so fast over there? Maybe she'll comment and give us some details?

Friday, August 3, 2007

Stereoptypes debunked

Some of you will have already recieved this: (If you want to be on the fam email list, email the missionairies at and let them know, or you'll just get them via blog)

Dear Family,Just a note to let you know we are still doing well and keeping busy. Today, we have been displaced from our desks because new carpeting is being installed around our work area. Therefore, we have been sequestered in the computer classroom is actually much quieter than our regular place. As long as we have computers to keep us connected with the world we do ok.We just found out that all the gas stations are now without gas due to a strike. We had all these great plans to go to a game park next week but on a quarter tank of gas we will be staying pretty close to home. Oh how we wish we filled up last night!!There are great benefits to living across the street from the mall....we can run over and pick up groceries and other necessities without having to drive anywhere.Hope all is well with you. We miss our wonderful family members but are confident you are being blessed for the good you do.

From an email to Ben and myself:

Kris and I led the outside tour on the Johannesburg temple square today. A haggardly, poorly dressed, and beaded man came in -- and started to talk with another couple. My judgment was here is another beggar. (There are millions of them around!) Anyway I learned another lesson. Instead of wanting money, he just wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon. He didn't want any marks in it...he wanted it pure and clean. He thanked us and said that this was the most precious gift ever!! Then as he turned to leave, while hugging his book to his chest, he had tears in his eyes, and he began to cry. And out the door he went. What will happen I do not know, but the lesson was for me today. I need to be careful about judging.