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. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

December 11 letters

To Mom:

This week was nice but we were hardly in the area.  On Wednesday we had to drive all the way for interviews in East London at 3:00.  It was just really poor planning from whoever planned it because we had to drive 45 minutes starting at 1:30 and then drive back after the interviews which didn't end until almost 5:00.  I don't know why we weren't given the first interview slot in the morning so we could drive down and then drive back in the morning without destroying the entire day.  But it was a nice interview and the senior couple gave us some lunch right after.  

On Thursday we went for zone conference.  We had a nice training and it was cool.  Elder Greengrass asked me to give part of the training for Zone conference but he forgot to ask me until Wednesday night at 10:00.  It was ok though because I was only given 10 minutes so it was super easy and I just woke up early on Thursday and prepared it and it ended up going really well. 

The mission president trained us on a few things and it was nice but the last 20 minutes was the really life changing part for me.  He started teaching us about how to use a budget.  hahaha he introduced it by saying that he wanted to teach us about one of his favorite principles of the gospel which is a budget.  Of course he loves budgeting because his employment before mission was for the church as the south east Africa area self reliance specialist.  I was really inspired by what he said about a budget and I've decided that for the rest of my mission I'm going to save 10% of my MSF and at the end of mission I will turn it back in to the area.  I think it's going to help me a lot to learn how to save and how to live within my means. 

On Friday we did a service project.  We built a wall for a house.  I don't know why we volunteered for that or why we thought we could but luckily for us 3 members who just happened to each be builders volunteered to help us, so we spent 6 hours smashing up a brick wall for someones house.  It was really exhausting but we actually did it hahaha and the old lady who we helped came to church with her granddaughter who is YSA age and we may baptize them somewhere down the line which would be sweet.

We've been working with a guy who is the father in a member family that has been members for at least 20 years.  And for some reason after all this time he's just never committed.  He actually knows the church is true I think but he doesn't want to do anything about it.  But this Sunday he just shocked us by showing up for church for the first time in his life.  He loved it so much.  And now he's just so excited he told us he wants to be baptized and we gave him the date for January 21st. 
Otherwise we're just teaching so many new investigators all the time because they keep leaving and so we're trying to teach about 15 new investigators a week to keep up with December. 

We watched the Christmas devotional on Sunday.  I just love the Mormon Tabernacle Choir so much.  Every time they sang I felt like I just wanted to shout hurray or cry or something. 

To Dad:

We built a wall on Friday.  It was like a million degrees and it was so hard.  I am kind of good at just fading away during service projects so that nobody really notices that I'm not actually working that hard.  I think you probably know that is true.  Hahaha but this time I decided that I want to learn to be a hard worker so I worked hard for the whole 6 hours straight.  It was so exhausting but I felt so proud of myself.  

Merry Christmas Dad.  One thing I'm starting to develop that comes from you is how much I love the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Every time they were singing I was just crying during the Christmas devotional.  I was thinking to myself that you were probably doing the same thing at home hahaha.  

Zone Conference with Elder Greengrass

Sunday, December 10, 2017

December 4 letter

To Mom:

The Christmas calling schedule is based on you not me.  We already have the keys to the chapel and we're just going to go there whenever you want us to so please give me a window of time that would be best and we'll go during that window. 

This week was a good week.  We of course are struggling with December as usual.  In fact all of our progressing investigators left for December.  I don't know if you remember the tradition here but every December everyone just moves for the month and lives with a random other relative in a random other city for the month.  I guess just for a change of pace but that's how the holiday works in South Africa.  We were actually supposed to have 7 baptisms in December and they all left haha so we'll have them in January.  Also some of our father led families are away as well.  So we're just concentrating a lot on finding right now.  We've found several more father led families that we're teaching now and some promising other investigators this week.  We want to get about 15 to 20 new investigators a week to keep up with the holiday. Otherwise it feels really good to be here right now and we're having a lot of success.  

This week is the Christmas Zone conference so I hope that will be good.  We've been doing a lot of activities as a zone sine it's December and finding activities in different areas and stuff.  December is a fun time but a really difficult time as a missionary.  I'm feeling really confident for baptisms in January though.  We are hoping to have 12 as our goal on January 20 but that's the next day we're planning for. 

Otherwise everything is good from this side. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

November 27 letters

To Dad:
I think that for sure there are so many books I want but I really enjoyed your pick last year so I will just leave it up to you.  Any book that you think I would like I am 100% sure I will like it so just please send me some books of your choosing. 

Otherwise Thanksgiving is great.  I didn't even know it was thanksgiving until Monday when the senior couple called us over for some turkey sandwiches and pumpkin pie which was really nice.

To Mom:
I asked President Lebethoa about a possible early release for school and he said that I should bring it up again February 2018.  I'm pretty sure that I will be going home a little bit early though because President Lebethoa is all about missionaries going home and getting to work on their life.  He refuses to allow any missionary to extend.

I don't have any pictures for you today but that's not unusual anyway.  I'm sorry I'll try and send some pictures for you this next week.

Anyway this week was just another normal week.  We are really seeing a lot of miracles in King Williams Town.  What we have tried to do is focus on Father Led Families and we've just been so blessed.  We've found on our own already 6 father led families that we're teaching and we're planning to work with the members more going forward.  One thing that was really cool is that 2 of our father led families came to church on Sunday.  One is the B family who is the father and mother and small baby.  The wife already has a powerful testimony but by the grace of God we were able to teach the husband too who was hardened against us but by some miracle had his heart softened considerably so that we are now teaching him the lessons and they both came to church on Sunday.  There is another guy named M from Zimbabwe who is married to a girl here.  He also came to church although his wife didn't come.  He couldn't stop talking about how much he loved the primary program which was this week.  I definitely know how amazing the primary program is.  One nice thing about our teaching pool is that King Williams Town is a really nice area so a lot of the people we're teaching and all 6 of our father led families are people with college degrees and cars and they are self reliant so they will be a real strength to the church when they are baptized.  

Elder Reynolds is really great.  As I said before we're just great friends and it's helping the work a lot.  One cool thing we're doing is that we like to play the township boys at soccer when we see them out playing in the road.  So far we've played 8 matches and won 8.  Our team is undefeatable. 

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 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.

Monday, October 2, 2017

October 2 letters

To Dad:

We watched conference this weekend.  It was really great.  Mom said that you liked Elder Renlund's talk which I agree it was really powerful.  I really liked Elder Christofferson's talk.  I wondered if you also liked it because the metaphor of eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ is really a fascinating metaphor to study and I know that you had been studying the symbolism of the sacrament before my mission so I thought you would have liked that one.  Elder Christofferson is just my favorite I love him so much I hope you liked that talk. 

There were a lot of talks that I liked.  I also like Elder Bednar's talk because he doesn't mess around with funny stories and anecdotes he just speaks pure doctrine haha.  And Elder Oaks talk was really powerful.  We are watching Sunday afternoon next week. 

I love you Dad
Thank you for being such a great example to me and a pillar of strength all my life

To Mom:

Aevyn and Aeyla are so cute.  I can't wait to play with them.  Especially since President Lebethoa is really being strict on the rules and we've made a focus on not picking up kids at all or really not playing with them.  That's sad and one of the most difficult sacrifices I've had to make on mission so far. 

We did watch conference this week also.  We watched 2 sessions live and 2 others on a little delay all except Sunday afternoon session which we'll watch next week.  I thought it was an amazing conference.  There was a lot of things that spoke to me a lot.  I really loved Elder Christofferson's talk as usual.  He really speaks with the tongue of angels I'm not going to lie.  But by far my favorite talk was President Nelson's talk.  That was just so powerful I can't stop thinking about it.  

I noticed a couple of themes for the conference.  There was a lot of talk about service and a lot of talk about humility.  I don't know if you also thought that but I thought that was a good take away for me.  There was also a lot and a lot of emphasis on President Monson and a lot of love to him and everyone was quoting him.  It really felt like a final tribute to him or something.  

Another theme that a lot of speakers spoke about was the dangers of social media which I completely agree with.  A lot of speakers brought that up and I think that's really wise because it is a big problem. 

It was amazing for me and we actually managed to get 13 investigators to turn up to conference so that was a really great turnout. Especially since it was only like 5 of us members and 13 investigators.  Not kidding for the last session the investigators outnumbered the members and the session hahahaha.  

I have a lot to write about this week since I didn't get a chance to write last week so excuse my long email. 

First I'll say that the elephant experience was really great.  We rode the elephants for a while which was cool and the guides told us a bunch of facts about elephants which was sweet like the fact that they can lift 400 kgs with their trunk and that us on their back is like a matchbox in our pocket.  After we finished the ride we walked along side the elephants and we led them to a place where they ate some treats and we took lots of pictures with the elephants.  I am sad I didn't bring my camera because it's going to take me like a month to finally get some of those pictures but as soon as they come I'll send them to you. 

After that we led them to another feeding spot and we fed them some treats and took more pictures.  It was weird to touch that trunk thing it was so slimy and it was basically like a hand.  Something funny is that while we were walking with the elephants one of them just decided to grab a tree branch and rip it off and eat it.  Obviously they do that because that's how they live, but I thought it was funny that the elephant ate the branch not the leaves.  Like he literally just ate the wood hahaha.

Last Monday there was a stake event.  5 wards showed up to KwaNobuhle to play a soccer tournament.  Funnily enough we all showed up to where they meet for church, and bear in mind this event has been planned for several months, and they didn't have a place to play or a ball to play with hahahaha.  But no problem we drove around and found a field to play at and they graciously volunteered my ball for the cause of the event.  Unfortunately my ball popped along the way so it has gone the way of all the earth.  If you want to put 20 dollars in my account for me to buy another one that would be heaven sent.  

There were 5 wards and so all of the missionaries were there and we ended up making our own team which was the missionary team to be in the tournament.  Our first game was against KwaMagxaki ward and we easily smashed them.  I scored a pretty sweet goal dribbling through a couple of defenders and after I scored I was running back and a random guy from the sideline yelled "Elder are you from England?"  Hahaha I thought that was funny.  It's so weird to them that a white guy could be good at soccer that the only explanation in their mind is that I must be from England haha.  
But in the end our missionary team played against Uitenhage ward in the final and we also beat them 2-0 so my bishop wasn't happy with me and Elder Khoza hahaha.  But it was all good in the end and all of us missionaries were so proud to represent the mission so well haha. 

A funny story from the week is that we have this investigator named B who we've taught about 4 times.  At his house he has about 6 cousins that we also teach all YSA age.  They have come to church 1 time.  One of the cousins is named T.  On Wednesday night we taught them and after the lesson T said to me "It's my matrix fairwell tomorrow night why don't you come to 5 Peperboom at 6:00 tomorrow"  Matrix fairwell is like prom.     So I was like ok we can move some things around and fit it into our schedule.  So we showed up the next night at 6 and the family showed us in and we sat down behind this massive table of cakes and treats and stuff and waited for whatever was going on.  Apparently in the colored culture it is custom for the person going to prom to have a little gathering of friends where some people give speeches to him and eat and send him on his way.  Well as we were sitting there everyone started looking at me and I was just wondering why they were doing that and then his mom said to me "You can start"  Hahahaha so then I realized that I was actually the master of ceremonies for a ceremony that I have never even seen or know what it is at all hahaha.  So I was like ok what the heck and I stood up and just winged it.  I had my companion give a prayer and then I gave a speech for this kid I barely knew and then I made some jokes and called some other family members to give speeches and then closed with a prayer.  It was really funny for me to be thrown into the deep end so completely but my companion said I handled it well haha.  At least that guy will never forget me and he'll be more likely to be coming to church from now on. 

We're having lots of success with our investigators.  That father led family I told you about N and S and all their kids came to church again for conference.  They are married but not by law so the bishop is going to sort them out legally and they'll be baptized on the 22nd.  

Sister N who is 18 is doing amazingly well.  She reads 1 chapter a day in the Book of Mormon and she's almost done with 2 Nephi now.  She came to 3 sessions of conference and she's also going to be baptized on the 22nd. 

One of our investigators that's been around for many months long before me was supposed to be baptized before I got here but she has a job and she works on Sundays.  Finally she came to us yesterday and told us that she's had enough and she wants to be baptized so she quit her job.  She's going to be baptized on the 22nd. 

We've been really blessed by the Lord and me and my companion are getting along great. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

September 25 letter

Everything was really great this week.  We even had 12 investigators at sacrament meeting which was the most that we've had since I've been here in Uitenhage.  The bishopric is actually going to put in a request to the mission president to have me stay in Uitenhage until next year January.
Today was a public holiday so all of the email shops are closed.  It's called Heritage day which is a really cool holiday because everyone dresses up in their traditional clothes and stuff.  We had a soccer tournament with lots of the wards in the stake.  I'll tell you all about it next week.

I'm emailing at the chapel so I don't have time for more than this 5 minute email but I love you and I'll give you a good email next week. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

September 18 letters

To Mom:

Yeah mission is still going really great.  This week was another amazing week.  

There's a guy called S.  I don't know if I've told you about him, but he's 24 with a great job, he's very intelligent and friends with lots of the members already.  His girlfriend is also a member of the church.  He's definitely a stake leader.  But he's investigating the church and this Saturday we taught him the third lesson which is the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was such a powerful lesson.  It was amazing and it really touched him.  At the end he prayed and he asked that his baptismal date for October 22nd might be realized.  He was at church yesterday and he talked to all of the leaders.  He might be the investigator that I'm most excited about because he's really committing now to the church and to his baptism and he's one that I know will never fall away. 

I don't know if you remember Brother G.  He's the one that has his own church and he requested a Book of Mormon online.  Well we started teaching his son last Sunday and this Sunday we came to him and he was really troubled.  He told us that he hadn't even touched the Book of Mormon and he felt like the bible was enough for him.  We had such an amazing lesson with him.  We opened the Book of Mormon and read some scriptures with him and we could see his countenance visibly change.  He was so touched and so humbled and at the end he realized what a wonderful thing the Book of Mormon was and he promised to read it. 

We're planning about 10 baptisms for October so soon you should hear about people who were baptized.  We're finally getting our people to church so it's really great.  
There's a less active member called M.  He had a vision about 2 weeks ago showing him all of his sins and showing him that he needs to repent because he's going to be a leader at church.  Anyway he went to the bishop and set a marriage date for November 3rd.  We have been teaching his fiancee and she was at church yesterday and her baptism is set for November 5th. 

Today we went to ride on the elephants.  It was a really cool experience.  They are so massive.  My camera doesn't work right now so that was very frustrating.  But before you lose hope in me don't worry I made sure that I got lots and lots of pictures of me riding them so I'll send them to you next week or the week after as soon as they come in.  But we rode on the elephants and then we went to feed them.  They are really smart so it was a lot of fun.  

The diet and the workout plan is still going strong don't worry.  I know you probably all thought I was going to flake out but it feels too great so don't worry I'll keep it up for as long as I can.  I remember when I was in 8th grade I always hung out with Nathan Wolfherts and I saw that he didn't eat any sugar or oil and he only ate healthy stuff and I told you I was going to do that and I wasn't eating sweet things and you said "Ok Adam"  and it lasted like a day and a half.  But this time I'm way more serious hahaha

To Dad:

Mission is really really flying by right now for me.  I am just trying to do my best.  But I don't have much to say because I only have 5 minutes left and I already said what I wanted to say to you, to mom so just read that but I love you and I want you to know that I really feel like I'm giving it my all right now and I have no regrets at the moment.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

September 11 letters

Letter to Mom:
Week 1 of getting shredded has been really nice.  I have been eating so many fruits and vegetables and pretty much I feel good about everything that goes into my body and I've worked out every day but so far I look exactly the same as I did last week.  One more week at least for my 6 pack to come out I think. 

I can't believe all of those natural disasters in America maybe that's going to be the end of the world or something.  There's actually a member family here who feeds us every Friday night and they love to tell us all sorts of prophesies that they find online and stuff it's really funny, but they said that something major is supposed to happen on the 24th of this month so keep your eyes peeled :)

This week was pretty killer again for us.  We pretty much smashed it.  We found lots of new investigators and taught people who are progressing and everything great.  That family that I told you about which is the G family came to church on Sunday.  The whole family stayed for the whole 3 hours which is a family of 5.  As far as I know they really enjoyed church and they have been reading the Book of Mormon.  We're thinking about the 8th of October for their family and if not the 22nd.  We have some other investigators who we want to get baptised in October also.  S is the boyfriend of a member and has lots of friends at church and we committed him to the 22nd.  He has a lot of questions and doesn't want to be bound down to a church but we told him that he must pray and find out for himself that the church is really true.  He promised to study the BoM and come to church and pray so that he can know by the 22nd.  He's actually read 15 pages already. 

We met another girl named N last week.  She's only 18 so we have been trying to be really careful that she knows we are only there to preach the gospel because as soon as she thinks we're her buddies or that we're really cute or something, she will probably lose the chance to gain her own testimony.  It's been really good though she has read to chapter 7 in the Book of Mormon and had some crazy experiences praying to know that it's true.  She promised to come to church next Sunday and we've given her the date of the 22nd. 

We are still teaching R.  He came to church for the 3rd week in a row yesterday so we're going to baptise him on the 8th of october or maybe even the 24th but I don't think so.  He's been reading the BoM a lot though and he's doing great. 

Obviously there's a lot more people that we're teaching but those are the ones I'm really excited about that should be baptised soon. 

There's another sister who we've been teaching for a long time but who isn't close to baptism named Z.  She's pregnant and due in the next month of two.  She said that if she has a boy she's going to name him Adam haha :)  A while ago me and Elder Lillback were talking to her about a name for her baby and I told her I thought the coolest name is Adam and she said yeah it's cool.  She doesn't realize that it's my name though hahaha.  

President Lebethoa is making lots of changes.  He says no skinny pants, no skinny ties, no rolled up sleeves, no playing with children, no funny pictures and a lot of other things about the rules.  The whole mission felt pretty rebuked after MLC when he announced those things and I put away all of my ties except 1 haha.  I did end up buying some shoes though so they are very nice.  This week was the primary program which is the best Sunday of the year always.  It was really nice I felt the spirit and I thought of you and Dad the whole time. 

Letter to Dad:
Every morning for the past 3 or 4 weeks I've just woken up at 6:25 or 6:30 and I don't even need an alarm any more.  I'm really happy about that haha :)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September 4 letters

To Dad:

(Speaking of Training):  The Lord is giving me exactly what he knows I need to learn.  Mostly humility and more importantly charity which is the greatest of all.  I did struggle with my companions before I slowly started to learn more and more how to handle having a companion.  My last companionship with Elder Lillback was perfect and I have no doubt we could have stayed together for as long as needed without argument.  I really think the Lord arranges transfers based on weaknesses not on strengths.  He doesn't give the greatest leaders the greatest leadership responsibilities and down until he gives the most incompetent fools JC for 2 years.  Instead he gives leadership to those who needs leadership and JC to those who need to be humbled.  For me training 3 times is very clearly something that God is trying to teach me.  I believe firmly that he wants to teach me patience for weakness and most importantly Christlike love and Charity.  After everything that I've learned on mission so far I would say that's by far the most important and valuable thing I have tried to learn.

To Mom:

I'm really excited to see that Elder Koch is coming to our mission.  I knew that he was in the South East Africa Area Presidency and I also knew a seventy was coming to our mission so I was really hoping it would be him because that would be really cool.  So yeah that's really exciting news for me he should be coming in October so that will be really awesome. 

There's a missionary in our zone from England (coincidentally Elder Dove's companion) who used to be a professional rugby player and he also went to school to be a personal trainer and he worked professionally as a personal trainer before mission.  His name is Elder Sibiya.  Elder Sibiya has gotten a couple of us in the zone on his workout and eating plan promising shocking results.  I start today.  Basically his plan includes no sugar, no bread, no pasta, no butter or oil, no cereal.  Lots of eggs meat and beans as well as fruit and vegetables and peanut butter.  Lots of water.  It's going to be a pretty major change for me but I'm really excited about it.  I was eating a lot of junk this past week to prepare for my "before" picture and I tried to make myself look as bad as possible.  You'll see the picture I'm sure it is very funny.  But soon I will be shredded out of my mind :)

Me and Elder Khoza had a killer week this week for missionary work.  We are teaching this father led family who were referred to us by brother Freddie in the bishopric.  When we went back to teach them the second lesson we asked them if they had prayed.  The wife said "I prayed to know if Joseph Smith is a true prophet and if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church on earth and I felt this amazing feeling inside that was so warm and told me that it's true, almost as if Jesus Himself was speaking to me telling me that everything was true but that I needed to learn more and come to church."  We were so excited about that and for sure she will be baptised with her family in the next couple of weeks. 

Also we've been working with the bishop.  We have a couple of investigators who the Stake President is probably going to come out and marry in the next few weeks and some other people who are really excited about church.  I'll let you know more about them as they approach baptism.  It's been 12 weeks in Uitenhage now and we're finally making real progress so that's exciting. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28 letters

Letter to Dad:

All of this stuff about the eclipse is so crazy.  The members here were talking about how it is a 90th birthday present for President Monson and stuff which is kind of cool.  I saw a really cool picture of the Salt Lake temple with the eclipse behind it.  Standing in traffic for 13 hours I can't imagine that. that's so awful.  And you were driving the whole time. 

Letter to Mom:

This week was stake conference and sister Lebethoa gave a talk about how mothers should prepare their children to serve mission by reading the scriptures with them and helping them to be spiritually strong and it reminded me of you and Dad who did that for me.

1 year was good.  We had zone conference on our one year so me, Elder Dove, Elder Ballstaedt, and Elder Larson which is all of the members of our transfer hanged out and laughed and talked and stuff and today we are going to go out to eat and do some cool things for our one year celebration.  I actually gave away those ugly hush puppies shoes to a guy called Qhawe in Langa branch because he's going on mission and his parents both passed away and he really doesn't have shoes to take.  And those brown shoes you sent me I actually gave them to A in Mdantsane and coincidentally his parents also passed away and he also doesn't really have clothes or shoes either.  So I was thinking for my one year I was going to maybe go and buy some shoes that I could wear on Sundays and for Zone Conferences and things and maybe a tie.

These past 2 weeks since I've got Elder Khoza have been pretty good.  For a week or so we were just getting to know each other and Elder Khoza was settling in and I didn't know how our companionship was going to be.  This past week though has been really good.  We're becoming really good friends and he is committed to work hard and be obedient so he'll have a great time with me.  I think I'm getting a lot better at the whole having a companion thing.  

We didn't have very much success these past few weeks.  For some reason we have been struggling to teach and find new investigators but I have good reason to believe the area is about to explode for missionary work.  We found a new guy called S.  He's really good friends with the Elders quorum president and also brother Xhanti who was just released from the bishopric.  And his girlfriend is a strong member of the church too.  Apparently his family has been taught 3 times the lessons.  Once when he was 5 once when he was 11 once when he was 17 and now we are back and I think he's 24.  He doesn't remember too much of what they taught him but he's already met the bishop and been to church.  We had 2 lessons with him so far and we went into a lot of depth explaining the restoration and the book of mormon and we've built a pretty good relationship of trust already.  Definitely he's really exciting for us.

Also there's a less active guy called brother H.  He's just come back to church but he was actually the first missionary to serve from Uitenhage ward.  He has been back now for a number of years and he just started coming back now.  He actually brought his wife to stake conference too.  We taught his wife the restoration and she committed to pray about it.  He really wants to get her baptized because he wants to go to the temple and be sealed.  He told us "My wife is my number one referral"  We also gave her a baptismal date for the 24th of September.

There's another guy called R who we started teaching.  He came to church last Sunday but he couldn't make it to stake conference.  He has been so excited about the lessons and reading the BoM every day.  On Tuesday we asked if we could make another appointment for Friday and he said yeah but that Friday was too far and he asked if we could see him on Thursday too.  He's getting so excited about the lessons although his understanding isn't too great.  Eventually he'll be baptized too I'm sure and we've given him the date also of September 24th.

Elder Keetch from my transfer was made the new AP for this transfer so he is flying out to train us in 2 weeks.  That means after him there will only be 3 left from my transfer who I haven't seen yet which is Elder Gibbons and Elder Ivins.

This Sunday was Stake Conference.  It was really powerful.  There was an area seventy from Congo who came and he gave a really powerful talk and then Elder S Mark Palmer from area presidency was there and his talk was of course very powerful.  If you remember his talk from this past conference was "And Jesus beholding him, loved him"  which was one of my favorites. 

There was another experience that we had on Tuesday.  A sister from the ward called us late at night asking for a blessing so we got permission from our leaders to leave the boarding and give her a blessing.  We didn't know what she wanted but when we got to her house she came out of nowhere and sat on the porch and she was just weeping and sobbing uncontrollably.  We didn't really know what to do but we put her hands on her head and blessed her and told her to receive the Holy Ghost who is the Comforter.  Immediately she calmed way down and as we closed the blessing I was just shaking and trembling because the feeling was so powerful.  It brought a few things to mind.  1 the Holy Ghost is the comforter and so when one of God's children is in need of comfort, the comfort He can offer is very powerful.  2 I was reminded of 1 Nephi chapter 1 where Lehi saw a vision and because of what he saw and heard he did "shake and tremble exceedingly"  Although I didn't see a vision I did shake and tremble exceedingly because of the power of the third member of the Godhead.

I love you Momma
I am trying my best to be the missionary that my own mother thinks that I am

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?