Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Standing in Holy Places…Port Alfred Branch Temple Excursion.

July 2, 2014 ~ July 5, 2014
The Port Alfred Branch, Cape Town South Africa Mission Temple Excursion came to a climax.  A climax in this case is defined as a point in a certain chain of events which change occurs.  For these 25 people, this spiritual change happened in the Johannesburg Temple.

Months of saving money, arranging work schedules for days off (sometimes at the risk of losing their jobs), temple classes, parental permission, arranging transportation (only two members here have a driver's license and only one member here owns a car), preparing  meals for the journey, arranging for child care for four days, making acceptable sacrifice, obtaining temple recommends, and more.  All that for this….

Two eternal families….

Vuyisile and Noxolisa Matshotyana and their two children in the above picture.

Ncebazakhe and Thembeka Hola and their two sons in the picture on the right.

For Vuyisile, Noxolisa, and Thembeka this was there first time attending the temple.  While waiting in the instruction room I asked Noxolisa if she was nervous.  She said, "Yes Sister Wheeler, but I feel the spirit so strongly."

Elizah Ngcibi-Nobebe and Monica Vulindlu also attended for the first time for a total of five new own endowments.  

And these absolutely amazing youth performed hundreds of baptisms for family members.  From left to right is Ayabonga Mgadi, Ayandiswa Magawu, Sonalo Nteyi, Magret Tunye, and Bouso Thiam.  They were also the babysitters on Friday so the adults could attend the temple.   

Regrettably, I did not get a good picture of the transport that 21 of our members and two drivers rode in to Johannesburg.  It was very similar to this picture.  The transport was supposed to tow a trailer to hold the luggage.  "Suppose to" being the key word.  They squished in to this bus with all of their luggage and traveled 14 hours leaving at 6:30 pm, driving through the night and arriving at the temple (after getting lost in Johannesburg which is a city of 52 million) the next morning at 9:00 am.  They sang songs, and when they sing I am surprised that you can not hear them in America, they read scriptures, they laughed and talked and were filled with anticipation.

President Wheeler and I drove our little Chevy with two passengers as a follow-up car.

Thank you to all who so generously donate to the temple funds of the church.  Your contributions change lives.  Meals are served in this lovely facility.  

The youth enjoyed a Disney movie on Friday while the adults were in the temple.

All of the single women stayed in a room together.  On Friday night they had a Family Home Evening.  They opened with a song and prayer.  Each shared a favorite scripture story and then they laughed and giggled until the wee hours of the morning.  It was a great "girl party".  Saturday morning we started our journey home at 6:00 am.  We wondered how many would show up to church the next day knowing they would be so tired and that they have to walk 45 minutes to get to church.  Come to find out they had made a promise to each other that they would all show up….and they did.  All but one came.  Elizah took a bad fall and had twisted her ankle and could not walk.  

Each of them bore their testimony.  Our testimony meeting went for one hour and 45 minutes.  Some of the comments.  
  • "It was glorious."
  • "I still feel the peace today.  I want to feel it always."
  • "My family is with me forever."
  • "I want to teach my girls to be worthy to kneel at the altars of the temple with their future spouse."
  • "My marriage will be stronger because of my experience in the temple."
Climax:  A certain chain of events where change takes place.  For these 25 members, the Johannesburg temple trip was life-changing.  

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