Monday, August 13, 2018

Last letters - August 13

To Dad:

2 years is a long time
but the best time
I think that we'll talk on Thursday
Thank you for everything
I love you
See you soon
Elder Heald

To Mom:

Well this week was mostly just finishing everything up and getting ready to leave.  I've given away pretty much all of my stuff.  I bought a new shirt to wear home and gave away all of my other shirts and pants and stuff.  We've had amazing success with sister Z who came to church again.  She's actually a fashion designer and she said she's going to make me a jacket which I have seen and it's super dope.  She's going to be baptized really soon.  She came to church again and brought her sister in law C who is also awesome and will definitely get baptized as well.  We've had some powerful experiences with them and they are totally on board.  There's a ton going on in our area right now and since I'm leaving Elder Dos Santos is going to go to the other area for the next 2 weeks until he gets a new companion.  That's going to be really hard for our ward because we have a ton of people we need to keep track of. I'm sure he'll sort it out though.  

It feels really weird to come to the end of my mission.  I want to say to you and to Dad thank you so much for raising me to have a testimony of the gospel and to go on the mission.  I know that I have made more progress and improvement during these 2 years than any other time of my life and that the decision to serve a mission was the best decision that I (n)ever made.  I'm so glad to know that the church is true and that the Book of Mormon is true and to be able to build the rest of my life on the foundation of the Savior Jesus Christ. 
I love you
I'll see you on Thursday :)
Elder Heald

Me with the Xaluva family

Xaluva family

Oh, yeah and me drinking coke.  I love coke.

Me with Bishop Jabanga and his family

Me with Bro Wayne

Me and the Rasta Man

Me and Soso

I decided to do a mission end photo shoot with my companion.  I thought you would be proud of me so here's all the pictures

Sunday, August 12, 2018

August 6 letter

To Mom:

This week was the penultimate week of my mission.  Now I'm going into the final week.  It's crazy to think that next Monday I'll be sending my last email as a missionary. 

We were in Cape Town for a lot of this week.  It was a nice MLC but pretty boring for me.  Nothing that we talked about will affect me at all.  I tried to give my input on a few things.  There's a lot of new missionaries coming in which means by the end of this next transfer exactly 1/3 of the mission will be in their first 3 transfers.  That means the mission is going to need a ton of trainers.  It was weird because there were only like 4 or 5 missionaries in the entire MLC that had even trained once.  We spent a lot of time talking about what trainers must do to help their new missionaries and stuff so that was one area where I participated and felt like it was good for me to be there.  Besides that I kind of chilled because everything on the agenda wasn't for me.  

Thursday morning was my final interview with President Lebethoa.  It was really nice.  It was almost more of a training than an interview.  What I really liked about it was that it was really positive.  I thought President Lebethoa was going to ask me about all my fears on returning home and then counsel me about each of them.  He actually didn't ask me about fears at all.  He just asked me about my goals and then gave me some perspective and direction about how to plan for the next stages of my life.  It kind of took for granted that anything I might be afraid of would be alright and it was very faith promoting.  

The missionary work is going well and we have a lot to do so I'm able to stay really busy and focused and not think about home.  This is my last week so I hope it will be the best week of my mission.
I need to buy a shirt, a belt, and pay a traffic fine for 300 rands so I'm going to take some money out of my savings account.  After that I have no more expenses so that's exciting to me.  When I get home I'm going to need some things though.  I need 2 pairs of shoes.  I need a new pair of indoor soccer shoes (the ones I brought on mission served me very well but are very much finished.  They actually ripped completely in half and I had to duct tape them and then the duct tape ripped again and so I've thrown them away.)  I also need a pair of running shoes.  I think besides that I should have everything I'm going to need for a while.  I'm excited to have all my purchases taken care of and ready to start saving and building up self reliance. 

I'm really excited to play soccer as well.  Pray for me that I'll be able to get in shape so that I can make the Utah State team. 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

July 30 letters

To Dad:

I'm sorry to report that for the second week in a row I probably won't have any pictures to send.  I've been doing better and I've really been trying!  but this week we've got a lot going on so I know next week there will be lots of pictures

To Mom:

This week was great.  Getting all those pictures and hearing about all my friends getting home from their missions was really weird.  So I've been trying not to think about that all week hahaha.  Weird that everyone is home now.  

We had a good week though.  We have found a lot of new investigators and had some great success. 
This week was my last zone conference.  There are some big changes from the missionary department.  There's a new planner coming soon and a new PMG that has already been released.  some of the interesting things:  The church will no longer use the word "investigator"  We will now be referring to people learning about the church as "people being taught"  I think that's an obvious change that should have happened a long time ago.  But it's good it doesn't put people inside a weird box that they don't want to be in when they come to the church for the first time and they aren't members. 

Also we have finally stopped reporting on all of the extra stats.  The missionary department told us to only report on the 4 key indicators last year in January, but it's taken a really long time to actually take effect.  Officially though, the key indicators are now done except the 4 and it's really liberating.  We don't have to make goals for all sorts of stuff that would just give us anxiety and not help us fulfill our purpose.  That's going to be big for the missionary work in our mission going forward. 
There was a lot of changes besides those 2 but they just have to do with missionary things so I'll spare you the details.  

It was a nice zone conference, but it was weird knowing that none of that will even have any effect on my mission at all.  

At the end I got the chance to bear my testimony.  It was a lot more emotional than I thought.  (I didn't cry) I knew I wouldn't cry but it was still didn't seem real to give my testimony for the last time with the elders and I really felt the spirit of it very strongly.  It was cool though when I shared my testimony one of the Greenies in our zone cried :) that really made me smile haha.   And Elder Aydelotte shared his testimony with me.  He's a guy I really love and respect so that was cool 
I also had an interview with President which I thought was going to be my final interview.  It ended up being just a basic 15 minute interview that we have every transfer, but he scheduled with me for my final interview.  That will be this Thursday and he said it will be an hour and a half interview.  I'm really excited about that. 

I will have the interview with him this week because we're going to be in Cape Town again.  We leave tomorrow morning and get back Thursday as usual.  That should be fun and I'll see a few new of my old buddies because there's been a transfer since last time we went. 

When we get back from Cape Town we're going to eat.  I already have a Dinner Appointment scheduled every day until I leave haha
Queenstown has been an amazing area.

We were expecting a lot of investigators this Sunday.  We were disappointed by a few of them, but it was ok because the sister I mentioned last week, sister Z, came to church for the first time today.  She absolutely loved it, and all the members are really excited about her.  She received a lot of love and support from the members.  She's young and smart and married and she has a car, so she will help the ward a lot.  

There was also a lot of member missionary work happening.  There were a lot of people who brought their friends to church who we didn't even know.  Probably 6 or 7 different members did that.  
Overall there's a lot of great things happening and me and Elder Dos Santos are really excited about the ward!

Monday, July 23, 2018

July 23 letters

To Mom:

We started teaching a really nice investigator named Z.  We taught her on Tuesday the restoration and then we came back on Thursday to teach her again and we asked her what she remembered and she said "I remember that Joseph Smith was called to bring back the true church that everyone is supposed to go to because all the other churches are wrong and God showed him the Book of Mormon to prove to everyone that he's a true prophet"  I thought that was pretty good for one lesson hahaha!  She's awesome and she'll get baptized for sure. Her husband is a business man and is gone all the time and she has 4 children.  Hopefully we'll start with her and work our way to the rest of the family.  We're teaching her sister, N as well, and I'm sure she'll get baptized too.  We're trying to work on N's husband right now.  If both of those families get baptized that would be so amazing.

We were disappointed at church though because nobody came.  

We have 2 new greenies in our zone which is really nice.  One of them is from Brazil and he doesn't speak very much English shame hahaha he loves Elder Dos Santos though and he's helping him learn English.

Things are going great though and we're working really hard.  This week is my last zone conference.  

To Dad:

My trunkiness is fine I'm not thinking about it at all really I'm just doing the work.  Our area is pretty exciting for me right now so that's helping a lot. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

July 16 letter to Mom

It's transfer week this week.  We got a new senior couple this week from Idaho called the Blasers.  They're really nice and they came to church.  They're serving in our ward now.  It was really funny to see their reactions to a everything.  They were really full of love.  

 This is officially my last transfer so I'll be with Elder Dos Santos for the rest of my mission.  Apparently there's going to be transfer news again halfway through the transfer and the mission is going to shift around a bit to accommodate the Elders that are leaving.  We're going to get 2 new greenies in our zone and Elder Aydelotte from my transfer is coming here for his last transfer.  It's going to be sweet to serve with him for a few weeks.

There's not much to say other than that we're eating really well.  On Friday we even got invited for breakfast by an investigator.  Actually it's the mom of a recent convert and she feeds us at least once a week often twice.  She invited us for breakfast where we ate this thing called Ndyandya which is kind of a cross between a pumpkin and a watermelon.  It was kind of weird but it was alright.  Then we went there at night to talk to L her son and she invited us in and gave us dinner.  I think that's the first time in 2 years I ate breakfast and lunch in the same house.  

I love serving in this ward though the members are amazing.  The holiday ends tomorrow so we'll finally be able to start teaching like normal again.

pig head.  I've heard it's the best kind of head.  I concur.  It's pretty good

July 9 letters

To Dad:

I'm really sorry about the water heater.  You're lucky you could just go to Sabra's house.  In my first area we had a gas guyser so it would just run out about every 5 days and our landlord was terrible at filling it up so we ended up taking cold showers like 2 days a week it was super annoying.  It's not as annoying as here in Queenstown though.  It's so annoying they have had terrible city management and now they can't afford the electricity anymore so they turn off the electricity for the entire city every day usually from 8-9 or so in the morning and then from 6-7 every night.  It's really frustrating but it's fine
The movie with the Rock sounds ridiculous.  It's funny how many movies the Rock is in.  There's a store called Musica that's all over South Africa and it usually has the latest releases so every now and then on P Day I go there to see what movies have come out and the Rock is in everything it's just crazy.  

To Mom:

This week was pretty dull.  Obviously going to Cape Town was cool and those 3 days were nice, but it really slows things down in our actual area when we've had to go to Cape Town.  
Cape Town was sweet though.  We had another MLC which was just mostly basic stuff and nothing major was discussed or anything.  It was really awesome though because after the MLC on Wednesday I went proselyting with Elder Khoza in Langa.  It was good to be with Elder Khoza again for a few hours and it was really weird to be in Langa again.  We went to the Mbaki's for a minute and they were so excited to see me it was pretty awesome.  Definitely they were my favorite family from serving in that ward and it was just really surreal to sit with them for a bit and sister Mbaki made us food that was really good.  After they called Brother Guellor, I don't know if you remember him but the 2 of us were super tight and we have emailed since I left.  He was so stoked to see me he even cried hahaha.  But I love that guy so much.  It was really awesome to see him.  I tried to see Siphokazi my recent convert but she wasn't home.  Shame. 
Otherwise it was nice to be in Cape Town but not much else happened here.  The Bells are going home so they were really emotional.  

Monday, July 2, 2018

July 1 letters

To Dad:

Me and my companion played tons of street soccer this week.  Everyone has a 3 week break from school right now so the kids are playing like crazy in the street.  We even look for older kids sometimes and we just challenge them and we have our own ball so it works out nicely.  One game was really sweet.  We found a bunch of kids who wanted to play and so we set up the field and started playing and tons of people came to watch and all the neighbors came out of their houses to watch and we had so many fans.  We played 2 goals for a game and then a new team would come on.  We played about 6 games and we won them all 2-0 except one of them was 2-1.  The great thing was that the other teams were always pretty good so they always thought they were going to win and then they'd be so disappointed when we won.  And every time we scored all the kids and the fans would go nuts.  It got to the last game and we went up 1-0 early and then they started going really really hard because they wanted to win.  then we played like that for about 5 minutes and then I got the ball near the goal and this kid was going really hard and he came for the ball and he went all in and I totally destroyed him and scored and all the fans went nuts hahahahaha.  It was a lot of fun.  But me and my companion are destroying everyone right now and of course we're undefeated and I think undefeatable.  After the games we gathered everyone together and had a nice prayer.  In all our games we agreed with the other teams that if we won they would come to church and if they won we would bring them cookies.  It was cool because everytime they were so confident and then we started scoring and all their buddies watching the games would say "niya caweni!" you're going to church hahaha.  None of them came to church though, but I hope their conscience haunts them knowing that they totally flaked and they should have come and maybe another week they will come. 

To Mom:

It's been a slow week for us here.  On Saturday we had a birthday party for Mama Ngondo who turned 100.  I love birthday parties here because they're more like sacrament meetings.  We open with a hymn and a prayer and then have a spiritual thought.  Then someone from the stake president is invited to come and give the sermon.  Then some speeches and we close with a hymn and a prayer.  That's what happened on Saturday but it's not just that one.  That pattern of birthday parties has happened 3 times since I got to Queenstown haha I think it's super funny.  But the party was nice but it took almost the whole day and we couldn't leave because we were like the guests of honor or something like that so we ended up staying there until 5:30.  It was supposed to start at 12 but when we got there at 12 they told us to come back at half 1 and when we got back at half 1 it was about to start so we stayed, and it didn't even start for a whole hour after that.  So it went from half 2 to half 5.  African time. Haha but we were able to meet a lot of people there so it was alright.

We played a lot of street soccer with kids throughout this week which was really cool and we obviously destroyed them every game.  They all promised to come to church if we won, and we won every game, but none of them came.  Shame.

Sacrament meeting was interesting.  We had the confirmation of Brother M which was good and we had 2 other investigators come for the first time which we were excited about.  Something that really makes me laugh and I can't remember if I told you this already, but at least one of the speakers every Sunday just stands up and reads a talk from a general authority and then sits down.  Sometimes all 3.  Even the stake speakers sometimes come and just read a talk from conference.  It's really weird and it makes me laugh.  This past week though we had fast and testimony meeting so it was great. 

This week we are going to Cape Town for another meeting.  We're leaving tomorrow and getting back on Thursday so that will kind of destroy our week but it's fine

It's currently snowing outside so that's pretty awesome

here's my new haircut

me and Elder Dos Santos are going to make a customized mug with this picture on it and leave it in the boarding haha

Brother and Sister Mndende came to the birthday party

Me and my comp at the party