Sunday, February 11, 2018

January 5 letter

To Dad:

I'm actually liking the Old Testament.  I'm up to page 450 by now.  It's been a really enlightening experience I'm studying it with the student manual and I'm actually learning a lot and it's helping me in my teaching too.  At least I know how the Old testament works and what the church was like then.  

To Mom:

No we didn't get 20-0.  We didn't get time to play any matches on Tuesday or Monday so we finished our record 18-0

Last week we had the craziest experience and I forgot to write you about it.  Me and Elder Reynolds got invited by one of our investigators to a tent for a worship service.  It was in the middle of the village far from town.  We were driving around trying to find it and we found this little wooden shack which was apparently a church.  We walked in and caused a bit of a distraction from the pastor while he was trying to preach haha.  All the people were so surprised to see 2 white guys come into this random church in the middle of the village.  The pastor stopped preaching and everyone started praying at once.  That's very common here and it's really funny although I feel bad about laughing about it.  There's like 100 of them all saying prayers but they just try and make it sound as powerful as they can and they don't pay any attention to what they're saying.  Sometimes they even speak in tongues which is just absolutely senseless.  It was very funny but we realized we were in the wrong place so we left while they were praying and went to the right place. 

We got into the tent where we were supposed to be and when we got in they were really excited once again to see 2 white guys, so they brought us to the front and gave us a place to stand right behind the speakers.  When I say speakers I mean that they had 2 massive amplifiers and they were soooo loud.  We got in and everyone was singing in Xhosa and it was pretty cool.  Then they turned the speakers on and the worship team came to the front and the cool part was over.  I sacrificed my ear drums for that investigator so I really hope he joins the church.  They had the worship team of 7 people up at the front and they all had a microphone, and they each pressed their mic as close to their mouth as they could possibly get it and then screamed as loud as they possibly could.  All 7 of them at once, meanwhile everyone else was screaming as loud as they could too.  I screamed at the top of my lungs and I couldn't even hear it.  It was crazy.  I didn't know that the noise could be that loud.  That went on for an hour straight.  It was so ridiculous.  Then the apostle stood up and he said hallelujah.  and everyone said praise the lord.  And he said hallejuah again and everyone said praise the lord again.  He did that like 15 times and then he switched to saying praise the lord, and everyone said halleluja.  And he did that like 15 times as well.  Hahahah then he gave the mic to the pastor who started preaching in Xhosa.  Luckily they had a translator who followed him around and translated everything into English.  It was quite funny.  The pastor taught some ridiculous false doctrine which was just so bad, but meanwhile all the people were just shouting "Praise the Lord."  They didn't even really pay attention to what he was saying.  It doesn't even really matter to them.  They don't want to learn about Jesus they just want to sing and dance and praise in a really senseless way.  At one point a lady stood up and started speaking in tongues.  She just said "Hagagagagagagesi" Like 50 times in a row and then sat down.  It was so ridiculous.  I felt bad for those people they were so misled and they just believe anything anyone says about Jesus even if it completely contradicts itself.  To them everything is true and there's no point in learning or doing anything except turning up to the church every week to scream and dance and "Worship"  
It was quite a funny experience

But anyway this week has been sweet.  Elder Steffensen is awesome and our lessons have been going so well.  We're teaching great and I love it.  I'm getting excited about King Williams Town all of the sudden.  Unfortunately our baptism for next week has been postponed because the family that was being baptized had to go to Queenstown and they missed their baptismal interview.  I was pretty disappointed about that and I was disappointed in them too, but it's ok we'll probably just postpone the baptism 1 week. 


I went on an exchange with Elder Shaw and i found out his Dad does exactly what I want to do for a career so I've been really excited about that.  I emailed him today and I'm hoping he'll respond and give me some really valuable advice next week especially about what to study. 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

January 29 letter

When I said I'm learning the organ I suppose I was a little bit hasty.  I just meant that I'm using the organ at the church and learning to make it sound nice without the pedal, but I'm not using my feet to play all sorts of crazy bass lines or something.  In fact the organ here can't do that.  But the organs are cool they actually have all the hymns programmed in so that in any given ward they can sing the hymns with the organ even if there's no organist. 

This week has been a great last week with Elder Reynolds.  We were teaching and having some sweet experiences. It's been a wonderful 2 transfers together.  So far we have won 18 games in the street against the township kids and lost 0.  Every time we play them we get out of the car and ask to play, they all get excited because they think white people suck at soccer and they're going to smash us, then we play and we smash them and all the kids lined up on the side of the road watching get so excited and yell and shout, and then we give them pass along cards and tell them to come to church and we leave feeling cool.  As I said our record is 18-0 we are hoping to win another 2 matches in the remaining 2 days we have together. 

Transfer news has come and my new companion is Elder Steffensen.  I was actually feeling a bit lonely in my current zone and I prayed that the Lord would send me one of my friends to be in my zone.  I mentioned 4 people to the Lord by name and Elder Steffensen was one of them and now he's my companion so that's just awesome. I'm really really excited to serve with him.  We're going to smash it. 

As for Elder Reynolds he's going to Mthatha to be with Elder Kruse.  We've been talking about him going to Mthatha to be with Elder Kruse the whole transfer so it was just insane that he really is going to exactly there with exactly him. 


We've been finding golden families lately so I'm excited to teach them and baptize them with Elder Steffenesen. 

***Adam did emails early this week, so I happened to be awake and had a little real time chat, which rarely happens.  He mentioned that no one writes to him except Colin and me, so that made me sad. He said Elder Steffensen is 2 transfers younger than him and that he is the one with him on the elephant in the elephant pictures.   Also:

Me: I don't know about your apartment there.  Are you with other missionaries or just your comp?  
Elder Heald: no it's just us 2 out in King Williams Town we drive a lot every week we drive 40 minutes down to East London and 40 minutes back twice
Me: To meet with your district, you mean?  Do you have a branch in King Williams or do you have to go there for church?
EH: yeah we have a ward in King but we go down for district meeting and for P Days and we end up driving there a lot for different errands and stuff.  Not to mention my companion doesn't drive and my new companion doesn't drive either
Me: Where is your new comp from?
EH: Utah Salt Lake City or close to that I think?
Me: And he doesn’t drive?  That’s surprising.
EH: he got in a big accident so he doesn't drive on mission anymore

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Jan 22 letters

I got my package this week.  I loved it so much it was awesome.  The pictures were so amazing and I really liked the letter from all my friends.  It was really nice to hear them all bear their testimony about how they gained a strong testimony on mission. The books were so amazing I love them and for sure I'm going to study them.  Also all the candy was great I gave a lot of it to Elder Reynolds and he liked it too.  And the notes from the primary kids were really cute I liked them a lot. 

The article (http://time.com/5103259/cape-town-water-crisis/) is really true. When I got transferred to Cape Town which should have been about a year ago we were told that there was only 90 days of water left.  And it only rained twice in the whole 2 and a half transfers I was there, that I can remember.  But it's only got worse and apparently the missionaries in Cape Town have crazy restrictions on water and stuff.  I hope I don't go there.  It rains so much in King Williams Town.  Elder Reynolds says it rains more than it does in England.  So we don't have to worry about the drought over here, but I wouldn't be surprised to see all the missionaries evacuated to the Eastern Cape for a time. 

This week was Zone Conference week so for us we lost basically 2 days since we also have to drive down the day before for interviews with the Mission President.  It was a nice interview and a nice Zone Conference, but it wasn't really life changing like the last one for me where we learned about budgeting.  But yeah it was a nice Zone Conference that's all I can say.  

We were able to teach some new people this week and we found 2 more father led families.  The amount of father led families we're finding is just crazy.  And some people who are really exciting.  At least if we could baptize one of them it would be a huge strength to the ward.  Next week is ward conference so me and my companion are going to be singing in the choir.  It makes me think of when I was 10 and I volunteered to sing in the choir and then you or dad said I should wait until I was 12 and then by the time I was 12 I never had the desire to sing in the choir again.  But now my desire to sing is back. 

The week after next is stake conference again.  It was so recently that we've had stake conference.  That's exciting though. 

Lately I've been teaching myself to play the Organ which obviously is basically the same as the piano but I really love to play the Organ a lot.  It's so awesome. 

This should be my last full week with Elder Reynolds as he'll most likely be leaving the area next week Wednesday.  We've really gotten along great so I'm going to miss him.  It sucks too because we haven't had any baptisms together at all and we've scheduled 6 for two weeks after he'll probably leave.  

Everyone is saying I'm going to train again.  This is the longest I've gone without training which is 2 transfers.  I don't know how I would feel about that but I don't think it's very likely that I will.  We'll find out on Saturday though. 

We had an investigator, A, who was supposed to be baptized last year but she moved to Peddie.  We knew she was coming back in January but we misplaced her number and had absolutely no way to get in contact with her.  We were praying that somehow the Lord would put her in our path so we could recontact her.  She is supposed to be baptized on February 11.  Well she came to church yesterday.  She's so committed she came the first week she was back.  I was really relieved that the holiday hadn't shaken her testimony or something.  She was reading the Book of Mormon over the holiday and she came to sing in the choir after church.  Really sweet so for sure I think she'll get baptized. 

Otherwise things have been pretty basic here but finally they're really starting to look up

Thursday, January 18, 2018

January 15 letter

Yeah Elder and Sister Davies are the senior couple for our zone.  Sister Davies is the mission nurse so that's what she mostly does but aside from that she also makes us food every Monday and brings treats to district meeting every Friday and spoils us all the time.  She is so nice.  Even last week she saw Elder Reynolds broken shoes and gave him 1000 Rands right there on the spot to buy another pair. 

Anyway I did have a little miracle with my license.  I was looking for it all over the place and I came to the conclusion that I lost it all the way back in Cape Town.  So I was sure it was long long gone.  Anyway I decided the only place it could be was in my suit case (even though of course I checked that thing a million times) But I put the suitcase there on my bed and I prayed and I said "I don't think my license is in there.  But I know that all things are possible to him that believes and I believe"  
And then I opened up my suitcase and there it was practically glowing right in the middle of my suitcase.  And then I was just so happy because it was going to destroy our area if we didn't find it. 

This week was OK.  2 of our father led families dropped us.  They weren't really understanding the message but I was disappointed to lose them.  But at least we found 3 new father led families to replace the ones we lost.  Still we only had 1 investigator at church.  All the rest of our investigators who left for December are coming back tomorrow.  Then everything should be good again.  The work has been a bit slow for a long time because of the Holiday season so I'm really looking forward to doing good again.

This week is Zone Conference and Interviews and then next week is the last week of the transfer.  These 2 transfers with Elder Reynolds have just flown by.  Probably because we just really get along but he's going to leave I'm sure at the end of next week.  This week we won our 15th straight match against the street boys which makes us 15 and 0.  These boys were really good and they were using an interesting ball we weren't used to so we nearly lost, but in the end we scored 4 quick goals and won 6-3 hahaha.  Our goal is to go 20 and 0 by the end of the transfer.

I'm also getting way excited about this world wide live message from President Nelson.  Whatever he's going to say it's going to be sweet.  


Anyway things are going on great and fine and stuff .

***SIDE NOTE***
Adam's article that he mentioned in his letter last week has now been published.  africase.lds.org.  

Monday, January 8, 2018

January 8 letters

(Adam didn't write last week because all the internet shops were closed.  He just wrote one sentence saying the shops were closed.)

To Mom:

Here is a picture of my hair mom I really like it but I'm not going to keep it I am growing it back
Yeah so a cool story from the week.  On Monday I had this prompting from the spirit to go through all of President Monson's conference talks.  So I started reading a lot of them from all the Liahonas lying around our flat, and reading lots of stories about him and just getting to know who he was more and more.  Then a few days later we heard that he passed away.  Of course he will be missed.  
I think they're going to publish a story that I sent in to the Liahona on Africase.lds.org so you can check that out if you want

That's cool that Sister Green was asking about me and Elder Ivins.  I'm actually chatting with him right now on emails.  It would be so unfair if we went the whole 2 years without serving around each other at all.  Most of the guys in my transfer have served around everyone else in our transfer.  But I still haven't even seen 3 of them.  I'm sure though that at some point me and Elder Ivins will be together.

First of all things finally, finally started picking back up again!  It was such a long long December.  It wasn't back to normal but we did manage to get 15 member present lessons in the week so it's looking a bit better.  A lot of our investigators are still gone though and it's starting to be frustrating.  They were supposed to be baptized in the beginning of December and now we're looking at February 11 or 18 for them. 

We did find some sweet people though and even started teaching 3 new father led families.  We've got a lot of potential but it's taking forever to actualize any of it.  

To make everything so much worse, just when things were starting to look up, we lost the car.  I lost my license and now I can't drive until I get a new one which is going to come from Utah and it's going to take forever.  Our area is way too huge to be walking in, but we're going to be walking anyway.  We walked Saturday and Sunday and I have to say it was hard.  I don't know how Daniel did it for 2 whole years.  We've had to cut off about 80% of our area which means automatically we've had to drop 7 father led families we were teaching.  I don't know for how long, but at least it will help us focus all our efforts on a small area so we can at least teach those people all the lessons and hopefully have some baptisms. 


Otherwise things are flying by.  I'll see you soon.

I (Donell/Mom) received the following communication later on in the morning from one of the missionary couples' email addresses:

Hi mom it's me Elder Heald I have a few questions are you online? (I wasn't, but responded about 45 minutes later when I woke up).  

Next email: First of all do you think you could go to the DMV and see if you can't get a copy of my drivers license so you can send it to me?  We had some great news today we actually made a certified copy of my drivers license that I can use to drive but I still want the hard copy.

My response: Okay

Sister Davies' response: Will get all these replies on to Elder Heald. They have gone on to p Day activities but I will phone him. He is a great young man and dedicated to the work he has been called to. It is our privilege to know him  Thanks Sr. Davies 

Then: Elder Heald just called me asked that I please get a message to you. After checking with the mission office it has been determined that the certified copy of his drivers license will not be adequate. Would you please check to see if you could get a real license. If you could let me know I will forward any messages.
Thank you for your time. Sr. Ursula Davies  

My response: I will go there today, but the mail time is so slow to get the actual license and then to send it to him.  I’ll ask if they have any thoughts on getting it there faster.

Sister Davies' response: We have had a miracle. Elder Heald was calling me when I went to tell him your answer. He has found his real drivers license so all is well.
The Lord does watch over us here. Best wishes.





Wednesday, December 27, 2017

December 27 letters

To Mom:

I was missing our Christmas traditions a lot this year.  It was really weird the speaker in Sacrament meeting on Christmas Eve was a really powerful rm who gave a great talk that I really loved, but in his talk he quoted 2 of the songs from the Forgotten Carols.  I just couldn't believe it but it was a really nice tender mercy I'll call it to get a small piece of our Christmas tradition all the way over here.

This week otherwise has been really chilled and laid back.  We haven't really been able to teach anyone but we're starting to get really excited about January.  We had a finding activity on Friday where we were caroling and passing out so many pass along cards, pamphlets and Book of Mormons.  We were planning on gathering a bunch of people at the end of the finding activity and then standing on a park bench or something and just preaching to loads of people, but it started raining hard right at the end so we didn't get a chance.  We might do it this Friday though so that would be sweet.  Kind of a miracle is that just yesterday we got a whole bunch of texts from the referral office.  We got 10 referrals from the referral office because of the finding activity which is just crazy.  I think in my whole mission total I've only got about 4 or 3, so that was awesome.
Of course the highlight of the week was to talk to you guys on skype.  Now I can truly say "I'll be home for Christmas"  


I did cut my hair super short and I'm really happy about the way it looks so I'll send you a picture with my new cool haircut on Monday.

To Dad:

It was so awesome to skype you guys.  Everything was just perfect. 

As I said about the speaker in sacrament meeting talking about the forgotten carols I was meant to ask you if you could maybe put the music for the forgotten carols in my folder so I can listen to it?

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

December 18 letters

To Mom:

This week has been really rough.  Every single investigator we have is gone for the holidays. We had 0 investigators at church  We literally only have 2 people left to teach.  We only had 2 appointments this week hold.  Everyone we meet we try to teach and then they drop.  We have knocked so many doors and talked to so many people.  At least when December is over we're going to have so many investigators to teach.  

Some good news for the week is that transfer news came and me and Elder Reynolds are going to be staying together for another transfer.  We should be able to have tons of success over the next 2 transfers because we have a ton of people who are pretty much ready for baptism. 

At least some of the members are doing an awesome job making the holiday sweet for us.  There's a family that I really love so much who is going to feed us on all of the big days called the Geisman's so I'm really glad about that. 

Otherwise we're keeping busy just doing our best.  

To Dad:

Yeah so it is summer and that does definitely change the whole feel of Christmas.  But the holiday is way different here anyway.  It's pretty much all about alcohol and breaking the law of chastity for everyone who isn't a member of the church so that's pretty sad.  In fact most churches close for December which I thought was pretty funny.  But it's actually been raining a ton so it's not too hot.  It usually rains maybe half the time and the other half it's just blazing hot.