Summerfields Restaurant was a beautiful setting for a dinner hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormons), on 23 November 2012, for Royal Family members, media and Government Officials of Swaziland. The purpose of the dinner was to further establish and maintain a working relationship with government and community leaders.
Prince Matsalala attended, accompanied by his Grandson. The Prince has been a long-time supporter of the Church as was acknowledged in his address to the group. He thanked the Church for the service and help they have provided in Swaziland, specifically mentioning its dedication to family, youth and education. Prince Matsalala said, “If all churches would do what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does, Swaziland would be a better place.” The Prince has visited the Chapel in Manzini and said that he loves how the Church teaches all levels and ages of people, catering to the different ages and groups. “The Church teaches everyone,” he said, “You teach the native people of Swaziland to take care of themselves and invest in our country. I hope that you will continue to teach our people.”
The Royal Princess, daughter of the King, and her assistants graciously attended. She mentioned that she has been to Utah and has seen the Church there, and that she has many “Mormon” friends from the United States.
Other guests included a member of Parliament, a representative of the Council of Churches, Swazi TV, Swazi Radio, the Public Affairs for the Deputy Prime Minister and her assistant, the Head Chief of Labomba, President and Sister Shongwe of the District Presidency of the Church in Swaziland, Elder and Sister Lombardi who live in Swaziland, Elder and Sister Olson from the office of the Mission President, and Elder and Sister Murdock from the Public Affairs Department of the Church.
President Jerome Shomgwe spoke about the services the Church has provided in Swaziland, such as: Neonatal Resuscitation Education, wheelchair donations, Helping Hands projects, sewing machine donations, water projects, along with PEF and career placement. The Church offers many programs and solutions to relieve poverty and suffering, and teaches a healthy way of life.
Currently the Church has over 1400 members in Swaziland. 12 missionaries from Swaziland are serving in other countries, and 16 young missionaries from countries around the world are serving in Swaziland, along with Elder and Sister Lombardi. The first member of the Church in the country was baptized in 1979 and was a descendant of an 1800 King. The first missionaries started teaching in Swaziland in 1985, and the land was dedicated for church service in 1990. The first meeting house was built in Mbabane in 1992, with chapels now in Manzini, Mbabane, Nhlangano, Ezulwini, and a group in Gege.