Monday, July 7, 2014

Blessed by CES Training in Durban

This is one view of the Hillcrest Chapel
After spending part of the weekend in Bethlehem we got up early on Monday morning, ate breakfast at the Bed and Break and headed off to Durban. After a 4+ hour trip we went to the Mission office to get mail and supplies for the missionaries and to see Elder Berry.  He was the Zone leader in Bloemfontein and is now assistant to the President and stations in Durban. He is a remarkable missionary and very dear to our hearts.

On Tuesday the wonderful training began.  We learned so much it is hard to know what will be of interest to others.

I think one of the most exciting new things is the new requirements for graduating from Seminary.  1.  A Student must have at least 75% attendance at seminary or do make up work.  2.  They must read at least 75% of the book of scripture they are studying.  3.  They must pass the 2 per year course assessments at 75 % or better.  4.  They must have an interview with their bishop.

"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the mist of them." Matthew 18:20  For some students here in South Africa it is almost impossible to gather with other students, so they must do the best they can for themselves, but there will truly be blessings for those who attend seminary and gather together in His name.

Student who choose not to graduate but attend will receive recognition but not a graduation certificate.  It will be interesting to see the student that rise to the occasion and do what is required to graduate. 
This is a second view of the same chapel where the training was held

These are the wonderful people who attended the meeting with us.  At the left is Charles, an area coordinator for the Durban area.  Then there is Duncan McMillan, an area coordinator for Cape Town and Free State area, then Elder Tasara Makasi, who is the new Area Authority and the area S&I coordinator for South East Africa,  Elder and Sister Sutherland, the Durban mission couple, Elder and Sister Edington, the Free State mission couple and Gary Human, coordinator for the East Cape area.  Brother Charles is the coordinator over the Sutherlands and Brother Duncan McMillan in the coordinator over us.  Brother Gary Human is coordinator over Brother Charles and Brother McMillan.   Elder Tasara Makasi is in charge of everyone in the South Africa area and then some.

Our lives truly were blessed by attending this meeting and being instructed by Elder Makasi and Brother Gary Human.   We have much to do and pray for the Lords help in doing it to the best of our ability.

The night after the training we received a phone call from Elder Makasi.  Even after being in meeting with him for two days, I have to admit, I felt a bit like I was being called to the principal's office.  We were not sure what we had done or what we had not done.  In actuality we were being introduced to what he wanted to be done.  Elder Makasi informed us that two men from the S&I department, in Salt Lake, where coming to Johannesburg and wanted to see some units in South Africa.  Elder Makasi did not want to fly to Durban or East London or Capetown so he felt the best place to visit was Bloemfontein.  It is only a 4 hour drive from Johannesburg.  He wanted us to talk with the Stake Presidency and get a YSA (Young Single Adult age 18 to 30) fireside scheduled for August 24.  He wants us to have a teacher training on Saturday the 23, in Bloemfontein, for our teachers in the area close to us.  Also on Saturday he wants us to meet some students in their homes.  It is exciting and nerve racking at the same time.  I hope it will all work out okay.

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