I guess every weekend for a missionary must be a missionary weekend, but I’ll use the phrase to mean” young missionary weekend.” Friday was the start of the missionary weekend and the most dramatic. We inspected eight missionary “flats” to make sure the elders are keeping them clean, but also to check on the elders to make sure that they have what they need and that they are OK. Some are pretty far out from the mission office so they don’t have a lot of contact with the office people or other senior missionaries. A while ago the mission office found that one set of elders had been climbing through their window for several weeks to get into their apartment before anyone found out that their front door was broken and wouldn’t open.
On Friday, at the second flat we went to, one of the elders said that they had a leak around their toilet. Elder Davie was busy chatting with the other elder so I went into the bathroom to check to see what the problem might be. I could see water around the base of the toilet but the seal seemed to be intact so I felt under the porcelain neck and found it dry. Then I put my fingers under the water line where it met the tile wall. I barely touched it when the metal connector broke and the water exploded, giving me a thorough (and cold) morning shower. The connector was smaller on the side that didn’t fit to the wall, so I thought I might be able to push that side into the stream to slow the water while someone found a shut off valve. That only dispersed it so I became even more soaked. It didn’t take long for one of the elders to find out where the water shut off but it was long enough to make quite a mess, which we helped to clean up of course. I really wanted the picture the elder took of the cleanup to post on the blog, but in South Africa sending a picture is not as simple as it was at home :) Elders don't have Internet so they have to wait to get to an Internet cafe to connect. That repair wasn’t anything we could help with so the poor elders were without water for a couple of days while their landlord got around to getting it fixed.
The next day we helped at a zone conference for about 50 elders, or approximately a quarter of those serving in Johannesburg. In the morning we helped to inspect the vehicles. Again, those inspections are partly to make sure the elders were keeping the cars cleaned and maintained, but then also to check to make sure that the tires had good tread, all the lights worked properly, etc. After that we helped serve dinner and were able to hear a short part of their conference. Since the young elders work in two’s almost all the time, they really look forward to the chance they have to get together at these conferences to associate with the group. It was fun to be part of it. The elder talking in the picture is also Elder Davey but spelled differently than ours.