Monday, November 20, 2017

November 20 letters

To Dad:

Hopefully England will for sure win the World Cup this year everything is in place for it to happen. 
Elder Reynolds also feels the same way as you about England haha he's so negative about it it's really funny. He's pretty good at soccer so we always look for kids playing in the street and then we pull over and play them.  We are undefeated right now.  The township kids are always so surprised when the Mlungus beat them hahaha. 

To Mom:

Thank you for updating me on what day Thanksgiving is because me and my companion were trying to figure out if it happened already yet or what. 

This week was really great.  Of course the highlight of the week was stake conferenece in Mdantsane.  That place is really special to me so when we got to Mdantsane on Sunday morning and we actually drove up to the chapel my heart was really beating fast.  I was so excited to walk into the chapel and meet everyone.  We got there about 30 minutes early so when I got in the doors I peeked my head in the chapel and looked around for a second and there was so many people who just got so excited to see me I was so happy.  For the next 30 minutes everyone was coming up to me and talking and getting really excited and I was so happy and excited to see them.  I really loved that ward so it was special for me to be back.  I was able to see again 6 of my recent converts and I found out that at least 5 other people who I either found or who I was teaching have been baptized since I left.  The people were really surprised to see me and Elder Greengrass together.  

The stake conference was really sweet too.  If you remember President Mahlangabeza from MD 3rd ward.  He was the bishop when I got there but he got called to the stake presidency so his twin brother became the bishop.  Anyway Mdantsane became it's own stake since I left and he became the stake president.  He's only 33 but he's really powerful.  Anyway he gave a sweet talk about the importance of general conference and the changes for next year.  The rest of the session was a broadcast from Salt Lake City.  Brother Tad R Callister spoke first followed by Sister Bonnie L Oscarson, Elder Kevin S Hamilton who is the area president, Elder Carl B Cook my man who served in the Africa Southeast Area Presidency, and the final speaker Elder Andersen from the quorum of the twelve.  Really it was an enlightening meeting.  It was like a bonus session of general conference specific for Africa's needs.  

Otherwise the week has been one of the happiest of my mission.  I feel like me and Elder Reynolds have been friends since childhood or something.  We're just always laughing and having a great time.  We are having so much success too it's just unbelievable.  Nothing really significant has happened solidly so far but we are expecting 6 or 7 baptisms this transfer which will be sweet.  We should for sure be together next transfer too and we're setting some really high goals.  I'm just loving it here in King Williams Town.  As people get further along on their progress I'll tell you more about them, but for now we just have a really full teaching pool. 


I finally sent some pictures of people I loved in Uitenhage in this email and the baptism we had my last Sunday there.  Maybe in the next couple of weeks I'll also send you a picture or 2 from King Williams Town.  We took some pictures on Elder Greengrass' camera so hopefully he'll send me those and I'll send them to you. 






Monday, November 13, 2017

November 13 letters

To Mom:

Me and Elder Khoza got along perfectly.  We never had any disagreement or anything.  He is super humble and so we got along great.  Me and Elder Reynolds are going to get along perfectly as well.  He's also really humble and righteous.  He has got me fasting every week which is crazy and we're waking up at 6 which I never thought I would say that in my life haha.  But Elder Reynolds is super obedient so I have no worries about our companionship.  

We have been smashing it so much these past few days.  We just talked to everyone we saw and found so many new people to teach.  We found a sweet guy from Zimbabwe yesterday called M who is married with a small baby.  Apparently he's a lawyer with several degrees, but our lesson was so powerful with him.  I'm praying that he'll get baptized because for sure he's a potential stake president.

On my first day I met our fellowshipper L.  I like him a lot.  But apparently his mom isn't a member.  So I went to talk to her and found out that she's never been taught the lessons by the missionaries.  I guess every new missionary came in and just assumed she's been taught the lessons.  But she hasn't so we talked to her and set an appointment to start teaching her the lessons.  I have a really great feeling about her especially because L is going on a mission really soon.  But she came to church and the speakers in sacrament meeting were Elder Reynolds talking about the restoration, me talking about the Book of Mormon, and L talking about missionary work.  At the end of sacrament meeting I saw her wiping tears from her eyes.  She was clearly very touched by the messages and testimonies.  Her husband passed away a few years ago and we testified to her that she can live with him again.  Really sweet.

We also met a girl named A on Saturday, taught her the restoration, and on Sunday she turned up to church like an hour and a half early.  We're aiming her baptism for December 17th. 

I found out that next sunday is stake conference in the Mdantsane chapel where I used to go to church every Sunday.  I'm really excited about that.  Practically everyone I loved from Mdantsane will be there and Elder Greengrass will be there as well so the 2 of us are going to meet up with all of our recent converts and it's going to be a big day for me.  I've thought about Mdantsane a lot since I left.  It really has a special place in my heart. 


I promised you pictures but I think I'm going to wait until next week to be consistent with my usual character haha.

To Dad:

I didn't describe my apartment to mom but it's a double story house with an automatic garage that we pull the car into.  Pretty weird.  And it has carpet which is just blowing my mind. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Nov 6 letter

To Mom:

I guess I'll have to give you some details about the week. 
Firstly the baptism. 

The service was another really perfect baptismal service.  The whole ward came to support again.  Anika and Nwabisa were so happy to get baptized and they both bore great testimonies about how great they felt after their baptism.  There was also a young 8 year old girl that joined in the baptism.  Nobody prepared baptismal clothes for her but luckily we thought ahead and prepared baptismal clothes for them anyway so that was lucky. 

We also had the confirmation of the Goeieman family.  They didn't come to church last week to be confirmed because they had a child sick in hospital but they came this time and we confirmed them and it was also really great.  I am planning to focus on families in my next area. '

Speaking of my next area.  I am getting transferred on Wednesday.  I'm going to King Williams Town which is close to Mdantsane where I started.  I'm really excited because I have no leadership other than district leader of a 2 man district which pretty much means no leadership at all hahaha.  I am going to focus on baptizing so many people.  My new companion is going to be Elder Reynolds from England.  I'm pretty stoked because I have met him a little bit on mission and I like him a lot.  Funny thing is that he's actually my first companion that has had more than 1 companion before me hahaha.  My Zone Leader is going to be Elder Greengrass again so that's nice.  Sadly Elder Dove is leaving me to go and be companions with Elder Ivins, so I'm going to be a little nervous to be in a new place without him for the first time. 

This week we wanted to find some people to baptize next transfer and we had a lot of success.  We had one really cool experience.  There is a family called the M family.  Father mother and 3 daughters.  Apparently the wife was going from church to church looking for something right.  The husband didn't really like church because he just didn't think it satisfied his needs so he didn't go, but the wife had been praying that the husband would lead the whole family to a church where they could worship together and be closer as a family.  The husband didn't know that but apparently he was just standing by the church one day and he realized that in 30 years of living here he had never seen that church, and for some reason he had the strong prompting that this is where God wanted him to be, so he went in on Sunday at about 1:00 after church ended and he talked to the bishop.  We went out to see them on Saturday and taught them the Restoration.  We had such a powerful lesson.  The spirit was definitely there, they were close to tears.  They promised us to be at church on Sunday although they didn't actually come.  I'm sure though, that they'll be baptized in the 2 months or so.  

I think you want to know about the zone conference with Elder Koch.  Apparently Elder Ballstaedt's great uncle Immanuel Ballstaedt baptized Elder Koch's parents which is crazy.  So Elder Koch started out the meeting by announcing to everyone that he had served a mission with my brother and saying "Elder Heald's brother was the greatest baptizer in the history of the Mozambique mission."  then he went on to talk about Elder Ballstaedt and how awesome his great uncle was.  Me and Elder Ballsteadt were laughing for the rest of the day that we have royal blood in us and at least we are related to greatness.  

Elder Koch's training was really something special though. He said so many things that were just so profound.  I am actually going to completely change the way I do missionary work after hearing his training.  Me and Elder Faingata'a and my companion have just been talking about the training the whole time since he trained us on Thursday.  Just before lunch he announced that he would only be interviewing 2 missionaries.  Me and Elder Ballstaedt looked at each other and just laughed we said it would be us 2.  But no he didn't interview either of us.  Apart from the doctrine though which was just so amazing he also bore a powerful testimony.  I really knew that the gospel is true while he was speaking.  The AP's texted us that under no circumstances should we ask Elder Koch to take a picture with us.  as soon as we got that text I told Elder Khoza that Elder Koch was going to ask me to take a picture with him anyway.  I was right haha.  But the zone conference was a really great experience for me and Daniel was really lucky to have such a great mission president
I have been getting all sorts of comments ever since then though about my brother and his baptizing prowess hahaha. 


Unfortunately I'm with Elder Faingata'a and Elder Dove right now.  We had to take Elder Huang to the airport so me and my comp split up and he has all the pictures.  I'll send you the pictures of the baptism next week. 

Sister Koch sent these pictures to me (Mom)




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Oct 30 letter

This week was kind of boring for me.  It was week 11 of the 12 week program for new missionaries, and basically what my job is in week 11 is to act like a fresh greenie the whole week.  So Elder Khoza led me everywhere this week and I just kind of lazed around and just followed after him.  I always hate week 11 because I just feel so lazy and the work doesn't go as well, but Elder Khoza learned a lot and he grew a lot so it was very productive. 

On Sunday Siviwe and the Goeieman family were supposed to receive the Holy Ghost but the Goeieman family had a child in the hospital so they weren't able to come to church so they should receive the Holy Ghost next week.  Siviwe did receive the Holy Ghost though so that was really good.  He's a really powerful potential priesthood holder.  I hope to hear of him becoming a bishop one day.

Next week I think should be my last Sunday in Uitenhage.  We are going out with 2 more baptisms who were supposed to be baptized last week but had to be postponed.  That will be N and A.  They are both really excited for their baptism.

Elder Koch is coming on Thursday to Port Elizabeth to do his training and he's apparently also going to inspect our appartments and our cars.  I'm excited to meet him and all that it should be great.
Otherwise everything is going well this side and the area is great and all is well.  

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October 23 letter

So yeah we had a nice week and the baptism was definitely a highlight of the week. 

So the bishopric is preparing to open up a group in the colored area but there's not so many members there or ward leaders and so we made a goal to work hard in that area and to find more members and we had a lot of spiritual experiences with that.  Before I get into that let me backtrack for a second
Don't freak out but the Elders in Zwide (Elder Dove and Elder Monoalibe) got hijacked at gun point on Tuesday.  That's the 4th time in the past 2 months that the missionaries in that part of PE have had their car stolen at gun point.  So because this is happening so much it seems like the criminals are just targeting the missionaries so the Elders didn't proselyte for a few days.  

So for Wednesday and Thursday they came to my area to do splits with me and my companion.  My companion went and taught our normal set appointments and I went tracting for the 2 days.  The first day I was with Elder Foster.  We prayed to teach 4 lessons and find a branch president for the new branch.  It was amazing.  I've never seen so many father led families in my life.  We found 10 father led families to go back and teach and we taught 4 lessons.  

The next day I was with Elder Dove.  We prayed for 3 lessons, 3 referrals contacted and an elders quorum president.  We taught 3 lessons, contacted 3 referrals, and just like the day before we found so many father led families.  It was really a miracle. 

Another funny thing that happened.  Every wednesday we play soccer in the morning at the field and every Saturday we play basketball at the church at 6:30.  So Saturday we were playing Basketball and I had the ball and Elder Dove was guarding me but he's not very coordinated with his hands hahaha.  So I was just minding my own business when suddenly he just punched me in the face for no reason and I dropped to the floor.  I have a big scratch on my face now and everyone keeps asking me about it.  Apparently he was just trying to get the ball. 

The baptism on Sunday was really special.  So many members turned up to support.  The program was run so smoothly and everything went according to plan.  It was really exciting.  The 3 adults baptized each bore their testimony and it was really nice.  The whole ward was excited and the spirit was there.  Unfortunately the other 2 girls who were going to be baptized had to get pushed back the the 5th of November which should be my last Sunday in Uitenhage, but it's not a really big deal. 





Me and my comp

The whole baptism

Us with the Goeieman family getting baptized and brother Freddie baptizing them

Us with Siviwe getting baptized and brother Tom baptizing him

Monday, October 16, 2017

Oct 16 letters

To Dad:

This is a very interesting email.  Thanks a lot dad.  I'm just finishing the Book of Mormon tonight or tomorrow and I'm planning to have a much more in depth study of it the next time through.  I hope when I go home we can have some deeper conversations because I want to know a lot more from you about how you read the scriptures and how you get so much out of them.  But yeah I'll make a study of the visions of course and I'll try and look into that more and more. 

To Mom:

When you tell me about your job situation it just makes me laugh a lot.  The unemployment rate in South Africa is 27% hahah.  My comp was just telling me he used to work for 10 Rand an hour and he thought it was a good job.  That's about 80 cents hahahaha.  It's a blessing to be able to choose between so many good options. 

Things are going really well in our area.  We should have 6 baptisms if all goes well this Sunday.  We did the interviews on Sunday.  All of our candidates passed their interview although one was told to wait for November 5th so we should baptize her on that day if all goes well.  The family we are baptizing is really great.  N and S bring lots of kids every Sunday for church.  The two of them were married already but it wasn't legally recognized in South Africa so last night the Stake President came to the chapel to marry them together.  It was a very small service there was only 6 or 5 of us there but it was nice and the spirit felt really good.  I promise I'll send some pictures of that baptism next Monday so you can see everyone.  

Uitenhage is going to be starting a group in the township so probably it will split into a branch next year.  I think that we might get 2 more missionaries next transfer which would be a really good thing.  

I had a crazy experience on Friday.  I was driving down the road and there was some girls playing jump rope in the street as they always do.  Well when they saw a car coming their way from the opposite direction they put the jump rope down and moved to the side of the road.  The car passed them just before I passed them going the opposite direction.  Well because that car passed them they thought it was fine to go back in the street and one girl stepped back into the street to pick up the jump rope just as I was passing and I bumped her with the car.  I was so scared I pulled over but I've heard about mob justice and things that scared me a lot so I thought I might have to just flee the area.  Luckily Elder Khoza knows more than I do and he said we should go over to her.  Turns out she was completely fine.  She was in pain a little but she got up and kept playing jump rope so I was very relieved.  It was interesting though because while we went to talk to her we met a young woman who told us she is a member of the church named T.  We have never met her but we took her details and invited her to church.  The Lord works in mysterious ways because I know we wouldn't have stopped or met that less active member if we didn't bump that girl.  Still though it was crazy I was freaked out for the rest of the day every time I saw little kids playing in the road. 
Otherwise everything is going great for me

Oct 9 letter

Hi Mom

We watched the last session of conference yesterday.  I knew that Elder Hales died last week.  The last session was less powerful for me but there were 3 talks I really really liked.  Brother Callister's talk about the Book of Mormon really resonated with me.  I really liked Elder Koch's talk.  And Elder Anderson's talk was just really special I thought.  

This week was just so amazing for us.  We had 16 investigators at sacrament meeting that was a record for my whole mission I think.  We have been pretty much spending most of our time preparing for our baptisms coming up on the 22nd.  We are going to have 7.

Firstly that family that I told you about is going to be baptized.  N and S and their 2 daughters N and S.  We've been working with them and the bishop is doing an amazing job taking them in.  The Bishop is arranging to marry them this Saturday.  They are already married and they already had the ceremony and everything but it just didn't get recorded legally so the Bishop is making arrangements to have a small ceremony to make it legal so they can be baptized.  They've been coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon it's really exciting.  S got her answer a long time ago but last week at conference N was really touched and he told us that he got his answer there. 

We are also going to baptize N.  I think I told you about her already but she is doing so well.  She lives alone in a house with her little brother and she's only 17.  Just kind of shocking that a 17 year old girl lives alone but she's really responsible and mature so she manages.  She just really loves the Book of Mormon.  She reads at least 1 chapter every single day.  We told her that if she would read the Book of Mormon every day before she studies that her grades would improve.  She took the challenge and her 3rd term just ended and she got her scores and she did significantly better this time around which was really exciting.  She's going to be a great member of the church.  

There's another investigator named A who's been around for months and months.  I think I told you last week that she decided to quit her job at Spar so she can come to church every week and she's finally going to be baptized on the 22nd. 

The last baptism on the 22nd is the most exciting to me.  We have an investigator named S who is just really powerful.  He's super smart and he already knows a lot of the members and his girlfriend is even a member.  He's been taught the lessons before and he's just been around for a really long time but this time we were teaching him we've had some really powerful lessons.  We gave him the 22nd as his baptismal date like 7 weeks ago and he said he'd really try to make it but he wanted a confirmation that the church was true before he got baptized.  Well last week he went away for a weekend vacation with his girlfriend so he wasn't at church.  We were really worried about him especially for chastity issues and stuff but when we saw him this weekend we talked to him.  He said he'd been living the law of chastity and the word of wisdom completely.  We were really happy about that.  Then he told us about a very curious dream that he'd had.  He wanted an interpretation for his dream.  It was a really powerful experience because we were able to give him the interpretation for his dream right there on the spot and he said that because of that he was ready and he wanted to go forward with the baptism.  This guy is definitely a potential ward and stake leader.

To answer your question about transfers, this is my 3rd transfer in Uitenhage.  It is my second transfer with Elder Khoza so I will almost certainly leave Uitenhage on the 8th of November.  But President Lebethoa isn't so predictable he's throwing lots of curve balls so I could stay.  I don't know if the bishopric did talk to the mission president about having me stay around it's just something they were talking about for a second, but if I did stay I would be stoked.  There's a lot going on in Uitenhage right now I really love it here. 


Go to africase.lds.org and watch, How the Book of Mormon changed Thandikhaya's life, that's my buddy from MD and you'll even see Elder Clark there so that's pretty cool.