Tuesday, August 22, 2017

August 21 letter

I will reach the 1 year mark this week so that's exciting :)


my new companion Elder Khoza is really sweet.  He feels a little bit like a younger brother.  Actually all my companions have felt like that except Elder Greengrass even though they've all been older than me. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

August 14 letters

To Dad:

 I want to help coach your young boys when I get home.  I talk to Elder Dove about coaching a lot.  He coached  the u9s and u11s at Oldham and now he actually has a job coaching the u21s of a team in Denmark when he goes home.  He wants to coach in the prem.  I want to coach in premier 1.  Similar aspirations I think hahaha.  But we talk all the time and it makes me really excited to go home and try some things coaching teams and things.  


Also we've been playing a lot.  Misison has really reinforced for me the fact that I really want to play still in college and things and also that I don't ever want to miss a city game again.  the Prem is on every tv in SA all the time so I see snippets every day and it just makes my heart yearn to watch city.  Of course I'm here serving the Lord so that's a good substitute but when I'm home I'm watching every game. 

To Mom:

I've still been waking up early every day to play soccer.  Now we get the whole zone to come and we just play a short 30 minute game with everyone every morning. 

This Wednesday is transfers.  Elder Lillback will be going to Mthatha which is like the craziest area of the mission and way far out.  I'll miss him a lot.  I'm going to be training... again.  For the third time.  In the mission they say you're someones mother if you follow up train them and someones father if you train them.  All told I have had 6 companions and I have 6 sons.  Hahaha.  I've only had 2 transfers where I wasn't doing the 12 week program.  Yeah oh well but my new companion will be Elder Khoza from Durban I think.  I don't know anything about him but I'll surely send some pics and things next week.  After I found out I was training again everyone was just calling me and laughing and laughing.  The Lord is definitely trying to teach me something.  I've prayed and asked Him what it is and I've had some few thoughts.  

We've been working with Brother D for a few weeks.  We saw him yesterday and he really opened up.  He was testifying to his kids about the spirit and the BoM and he was making plans to read with them and to help them understand the gospel.  It has been 8 years since he was at church.  He promised to come yesterday but he didn't show up.  I think they will all come soon.  He was really sincere in thanking Elder Lillback when he told him he was leaving.  Brother D was telling him how much he needed this and how much he appreciates that Elder Lillback came to him and visited him.  I think we're the first missionaries that have seen brother D in a long time.  

We set a goal because we don't have anyone who is really going to make a baptismal date at all so we set a goal to find 30 new investigators this week to prepare the area for the new missionary.  We got 29.  We didn't quite make it but we did really well.  This area is tough so I think we probably need to get at least 20 new investigators a week to have reasonable success.  That's something I think we'll focus on next transfer.  It is frustrating to teach so many people and not have success.  Me and Elder Lillback set a goal at the beginning of the transfer to have 10 investigators at sacrament meeting.  We never had more than 5.  On his last Sunday we had 0.  Hahha.  We just need to work harder :)

Something big that happened for me this week is that on Monday we went to the book store and I bought the Screwtape Letters to read in my spare time in the evenings.  Elder Sibiya bought a book called Rich Dad Poor Dad.  We decided to trade with each other and he could read my book and I would read his and we'd trade back.  I read Rich Dad Poor Dad in the evenings when I had extra time.  I finished it on Thursday night and now I'm pretty much certain I know what I want to do with the rest of my life.  It talks about buying assets and investing and it makes so much sense to me.  It excites me so much every time I think about it I just get so excited.  I want to study investment and I want to buy and sell assets.  There's a guy I met here who is super rich who buys and sells businesses.  I'm going to email him a bit and narrow down my ideas exactly but ultimately I want to own businesses.  It perfectly fulfils everything I want.  I said I wanted to start a business because I like talking and working with people.  But I don't think I want the hours or the work of a CEO.  Instead being a business owner would be much different.  I would still be working with a lot of people but instead I would be paying people to do the administration and I would study the market and investment and advertisement and things like that.  Those things really fascinate me.  I'll let you know in a few weeks after talking to some people exactly what I want to study in college but the idea of money working for me and understanding how money works is something I really want to do. 

Other interesting transfer news.  Elder Dove is staying.  Elder Faingata'a is coming to be my ZL.  If you remember him he's one of my best friends.  

Monday, August 7, 2017

August 7 letters

Letter to Mom:

So this week the ward mission leader was released so it's just us on our own which is a huge blessing.  We don't have to work through a ward mission leader to get anything done so we're just working directly with the bishop and we're planning some cool stuff.  We've started an activity where we're just playing soccer with the brethren every Saturday.  It's a nice activity and good for less actives.  We're going to start missionary FHEs with the ward to get people to invite investigators to FHEs.  We're also planning some special sacrament meetings to bring investigators and other things to get the work going.  Me and Elder Lillback have been seeing so many members getting them to do missionary work and we've honestly had a little bit of success which is exciting.  We don't have any baptisms any time soon but we have a lot of people who we're just now starting to teach.  

Elder Lillback will probably leave the area next week Wednesday so we're trying to see how many new investigators we can get before then.  We're hoping to shoot for 40.  That would be sick. 

We went to a member called Brother D on Tuesday night after the bishopric meeting.  He was the Branch President 8 years ago but he's been less active since he was released.  His 2 youngest children haven't been baptized and they are 10 and 14.   We didn't know what to expect because we've been told by previous missionaries that he's hostile toward the church and we were pretty much expecting a raging apostate.  But turns out he was super kind he let us in he agreed with everything we said.  His whole family was there.  He said he's been lazy to church but he thought he should probably go back.  At the end of the lesson he asked us if we could teach his 2 children so they can get baptized.  That was pretty much a notable miracle.  I told the bishop after we left about that and he basically shouted for joy hahaha.  We went back to Brother D's house the next day and helped him with his business making sausages which is cool.  And on Sunday we taught the restoration to his kids.  They didn't have the greatest attention span but we spiced it up a bit and it was a really nice lesson.  the kids are really nice especially the 10 year old girl.  She really wants to go to church so she may be the key in reactivating them. 

We went tracting in the rich area on Saturday night and we met a crazy colored guy who invited us in.  He started telling us some crazy things.  Among other things he told us that while he sleeps his spirit is awake and that's when he goes with his 2 personal angel friends named Tom and Frank and using the sword of the spirit he slays demons.  He said some other things which were really funny but he was 100 percent serious about it.  

I got some really good news.  I don't know if you remember N from Mdantsane.  She's the old lady who was confined to a chair who I told you about.  Me and Elder Muller gave her a blessing and she was healed so miraculously.  I found out his last week that after 6 months away that she's finally going to be baptized. 


I'm sure there's lots I'm forgetting to say but it's fine

To Dad:

I read some really interesting things in the approach to the book of mormon.  The part about Ezekiel 37 was really cool although he always answers the difficult questions and doesn't answer the basic questions that I'm still on haha.  I wanted him to simply explain why the Lord is commanding Ezekiel to write on both sticks when it wasn't Ezekiel who was writing them at all.  It's probably a really simple question but of course Dr Hugh Nibley doesn't stoop to answer all the questions he only deals with the crazy insane historical evidence and archaeological findings that explain the scriptures.  But it was a really cool chapter I enjoyed it.  And then there was another chapter about the Jaredite barges which was really interesting and explained things that I definitely hadn't thought of before. 


this is me eating a big bowl full of bugs and worms



Why is it that every picture of a car getting fixed has Adam standing around watching?







Monday, July 31, 2017

July 31 letters

Letter to Mom:

Please find out more details about when school starts because that would be something really important to know.  Don't worry about me coming home early though.  Unless the school year literally starts before August 25th then I may have to.  But I'm not worried about having a lot of time to lounge around.  In fact I don't want to be lazy.  I definitely don't want to start a semester late.  I hope to go home and get straight into school.  I consider these 2 years my summer of lounging around.  I don't like the feeling of being lazy and doing nothing so when I get home hopefully I can get straight into school.  We'll make a plan though when it's closer and more relevant.  I'm not even 1 year yet hahaha 

Missionary work is moving ever so slowly forward.  It's gaining momentum in the true sense of the word because it's taking forever to slowly ever so slowly start going faster.  We have 1 person who is ready for baptism now which is exciting though.  It's a sister named sister C who has come for so long to church.  The only problem is that she lives with her husband and they were only married traditionally in Zimbabwe so they aren't recognized legally as husband and wife so they'll probably get married by the bishop some time soon.  We are slowly working with the husband though bit by bit and he says he's ready to come to church too but he's yet to come. 

We have another couple that's also unmarried which is M and Z.  We taught them the word of wisdom on Friday and M went to the cupboard and pulled out huge bags of coffee and tea.  Apparently he drinks a lot of coffee and tea.  But he took out the bags and went straight to the trash and threw them straight in the garbage.  It was pretty cool.

President Lebethoa came for zone conference again and he interviewed us for the first time.  It was pretty nice he's very powerful and his training was really awesome.  the interview was cool too.  We met him for the first time a few weeks ago with his kids.  Of course the kids out of all missionaries picked me to be their buddy hahaha I think I must be some kind of sorcerer or something.

But thanks for sending me money mom.  I bought a soccer ball and it was the best thing I've ever done.  I don't know why I never thought of this before but we go to the park now every morning at 6:30 and play soccer me and my comp and sometimes other missionaries come and we all play together.  Instantly as soon as I did that I cured my inability to wake up because I'm so excited to wake up and play


Love you Mom I'll send more exciting things next week

To Dad:

It's been cool though here.  I have a couple of my best friends with me in my zone right now.  Elder Ballsteadt and Elder Dove from my transfer so it's cool whenever we hang out and stuff we have fun.  I've been playing soccer every morning with my companion.  We play pass and it's really good and fun because I wake up at 6:30 sharp every day now because I'm going to play soccer at the park and I'm just sharpening my touch a little bit. 

We went to this bridge on Monday.  It was pretty cool.  


July 24 letters

To Mom:

So yeah I've already done the math and I'll probably go home on the same day as I left.  If you add it up, because I was only at the mtc for 3 weeks the transfers line up to make exactly 2 years worth whereas daniel was in the mtc for 6 weeks so the transfers lined up for him to have 2 years minus 3 weeks.   But I don't know if you want to come fetch me that would be sweet but I'm also way excited to go home with the guys in my transfer because there's like 10 of us flying in to Utah.  But Elder Ondracek is going home 1 transfer early because his family wants to pick him up and I think Elder Keetch is doing the same thing and his dad is in the first quorum of the seventy.

This week was super awful for missionary work.  We couldn't make it to most of our area and we had to drop a lot of investigators and now we're not really doing much at all.  It's rough but we spent almost the entire week trying to visit members and we got lots of referrals out of them.  Some members have a bad attitude about missionary work but most of them are really good about it.  I also got some really good ideas from Daniel about how to use members in missionary work which I'll hopefully apply this week. 

We only taught like 2 or 3 lessons this week but we finally got the chance to teach brother T again.  He's really powerful he's been reading the Book of Mormon and he said he got the prompting just to listen to us when we taught him so we finished teaching him about the Restoration and also about the Book of Mormon and it was super powerful.  We each bore out testimony about the restoration and it was really powerful especially Brother Wildskit's testimony.  He's still a long way away because he's the president of a ministry with churches all over SA but he told us he's going to give us the addresses for his pastors and other members of his church which is exciting.

Otherwise I did nothing this week except visit members and read the scriptures so it was kind of depressing for missionary work but I think it will be better this coming week.


We've just organized a ward activity where we're going to play soccer every Saturday which I'm way excited about I just need to buy a ball.  Also some random guys saw me playing soccer in the street with some kids and they thought I was really good so they invited me to play in a game with them on Saturday so I agreed but I told them only if they let us teach them.  So this Saturday I'm going to play in a game and afterwards I'm going to get like 10 or more new people to teach I'm way excited about it

To Dad:
If you'll remember from the early days of the church there were always people abandoning the church and doing crazy controversial things and fighting against the prophet.  Because the church was new the leaders were really suspect to pride and they felt entitled to leadership so they were easy prey for Satan when they didn't think things were happening according to their own personal specifications.  That's the same with the church here a lot of the time.  Most of the members are really good people and in every ward you have just devout and good people but a lot of the time the leaders develop a sense of entitlement and so insane things happen.  I can definitely promise you that everything I said in my email was true, I've heard those things from lots of members.

Biking was fun and it felt good to work a little bit instead of just sitting in a car all day but it really affected the work.  Our area is absolutely massive so there's huge portions of our area we literally can't get to without a car.  For example we can't make it to our bishop without a car because it would take about an hour to an hour and a half on a bike.  We've had to really focus on members only so it was quite difficult but also a lot of fun.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 17 letter

Bishop Khanti is awesome.  He's a really powerful guy.  There's some crazy history in the ward and Bishop Khanti isn't a part of it so that's good.  Apparently there's a family called the Ds and they are hard core less active.  But Brother D used to be the branch president and every time he would get up to speak the Bs would all stand up and say loudly to everyone in the chapel, "This guy doesn't know what he's talking about"  And they would walk outside and wait in the hall for him to finish talking.  And brother B told him "Listen I'm going to be the next Branch President so you better get ready to step down."  But then they called Brother B as bishop and brother D just decided that he absolutely hates blacks and that he will kill any black person from church who goes to visit him.  So yeah he's long gone and he won't come back any time soon because we have a black bishop now.  Apparently also when they ordained brother B as bishop one of the brethren in the circle was brother P and after they said amen Brother P punched him in the face and knocked him out.  Just like that before anyone could shake his hand or anything.  I don't really know why but that's crazy.  And the funniest thing is that Brother P is now really old and he had a stroke so he completely forgot that that ever happened and he's just the funniest guy now.  He always talks loudly during meetings and stuff about the randomest stuff.

But otherwise this week was a way discouraging week as far as missionary work goes.  We had so many drops.  Almost all of our lessons dropped and a lot of our investigators dropped us.  We're still waiting to see brother T next week with brother Wildskit but we'll see how that goes.  We did meet one of his sons and we made an appointment to visit them on Wednesday.  They are also quite rich. 

On Thursday we destroyed our car.  There was a big pool of standing water in the road and Elder Lillback didn't think it was going to be quite so deep so he drove straight in and it was like a foot or 2 deep and some water got in the engine and somehow it melted a hole in the engine.  So yeah we lost our car.  They gave us a new one but they're taking it away this week.  We're going to be on bikes for the week which is insane because our area is so huge.  It's going to be a super fun week I'm way excited to bike.  But it's so cold right now so it sucks I don't know.  

We had so little success it was very frustrating so on Saturday and Sunday we didn't teach at all which is just appalling.  After another appointment dropped on Sunday we decided to take a walk into the bushes and we discovered a nice and tranquil river in our area which was so peaceful and made us feel better. We decided to try our best to work with members now because our own efforts failed at bringing very many people to church. 





Monday, July 10, 2017

July 10 letters

To Mom:

This week was pretty awesome I'm not going to lie
On Monday we went to a place called Addo Elephant Park.  It was one of the coolest things I've ever done.  I will send lots of pictures and videos don't worry.  But it was really awesome we were just in our car on this dirt road and all of the sudden like 40 elephants just came out of the woods and followed the road.  They were all around the car and they would get close enough to touch them.  Eventually we followed them to a big watering hole and they all drank water for a minute and then they came and started surrounding the car.  It was really scary because they are so huge and there's so many of them and if they wanted to attack us there was literally nothing we could have done about it.  But yeah we saw a bunch of Zebras and Water Buffalo and good stuff but the Elephants were so sick.  
Otherwise me and Elder Lillback put in another solid week of missionary work.  We found some more father led families to teach.  Something frustrating is that the Ward is not giving us the slightest bit of help with the missionary effort and so even though we're teaching so many lessons every day we're not having too much success.  There was a new bishop called this week though so hopefully there will be some good changes.  He's a young guy called bishop Khanti.  Our old bishop I genuinely believe may have been the oldest bishop in the entire world.  He's an old guy from Wales.  He was 86 years old when he was released hahaa.  

We went to teach T this week and he was on the way out.  We rescheduled with him for next week Tuesday.  We organized to take with us Brother Wildskit who is the first counselor in the stake presidency.  He has the most amazing conversion story and he was planning on sharing it with T.  He told us what happened and it's really amazing:  He decided right after he was married that no church was doing it for him so he didn't go to church for 7 years.  Then one day after all this time 2 questions came to his mind.  What is my purpose here on Earth?  and Where is the Lords true church?  So he went on his knees and he said send me someone who can answer those questions.  Then nobody came so the next day he went on his knees again and he said I'm not leaving the house until the people come I'm going to wait here.  So then he waited all day and evening came and just then there was a knock at the door and it was the missionaries.  So they taught him a lesson and he felt like it was true but he wanted to be sure so he went on his knees again when they left and he prayed and he said I'm going to open the bible and show me a verse.  So he did that and the first verse he saw said something like "And the Lord sent his servants 2 by 2 into every place where he would go"   and then he couldn't believe it so he prayed again and he read "Knock and you shall receive... If you then being evil know how to give good gifts how much more will your father give good gifts to everyone that asketh"  So then he didn't bother anymore but he really investigated the church and he was baptized and 6 months later he was made the Branch President hahah.  Anyway he's an awesome guy and we're really excited for him to share his experience and his testimony with brother T.  It should be very powerful.  


Otherwise the work is going forward.  We will meet President Lebethoa for the first time this Thursday.  

To Dad:
Something that I'm quite proud of myself is that I finally learned how to be tidy.  Before mission my room was always a wreck and just terrible.  Now I always wake up every morning and make my bed and I fold all my clothes neatly and put them away.  Other missionaries have commented telling me that I'm so tidy which is just super funny to me.  

We don't have Teacher Council as far as I know but I could be wrong.  In any case if there was ever a person qualified to teach a class for teachers it would be you.  You're definitely the best teacher that I know.  Obviously that's why you teach like 6 times a week hahaha







Me and Elder Dove at Addo