Monday, April 20, 2015

Nomonde's Baptism

Nomonde (pronounced sorta like "no Monday" was baptized on Sunday, 19 April by Elder Berkey at the Kwadabeka Chapel.

Now, Nomonde is an extremely shy, quiet young girl about 10 years of age in mom's primary group. Regular attendance at Primary varies from 2 to 16 kids, ages 2 to 12. Well, Nomonde is there nearly every week, and throws her arms around Mom the minute she gets out of the car at the school where church is help. Mom and Nomonde have really bonded and have quite a special relationship.Nomonde started attending quite regularly about 3 months ago. Her young mom was already a member, but Nomonde spoke very little English, using mostly Zulu in all conversations with others. BUT...the baptismal interview has to be done in English by the Bishop and she has to be able to understand and answer the questions in English.

Note: this may seem somewhat unfair...but South Africa's official language is English. However, most of the children in the Primary were raised with Zulu being their first language. During Mom's lessons, often her assistant (Sharing Time Leader) translates most of her sentences into Zulu to make sure the children understand all the concepts.

Well . . . It took Nomonde many weeks of real effort with her Mom and the Missionaries to have the necessary English skills to answer all the interview questions. WOW was she excited to be baptized! We had to leave Primary about half way thru, to drive to the Kwadabeka Ward meetinghouse (our parent ward, since we are only big enough to be a "group"). The Baptism was to take place there about 12:30. She was "just beaming!" Hers was the only baptism to take place, and afterward, during the brief testimony meeting, she was asked to bear her testimony. As Sister Nielsen puts it, "I have never heard her say SO MUCH! Seldom does she say more than about 2 words." She bore a beautiful, well thought out (and practiced!) testimony, completely in English. It was quite a stirring moment for both Elder and Sister Nielsen.

Afterwards, there was lots of hugging and celebrating together. Then she quietly came and whispered in Mom's ear, "Did you bring any biscuits (cookies) today?"  "Yup!" and the biscuits were passed around to the Elders and others who shared in her very special day.

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