Monday, June 12, 2017

June 12 letter

To Mom:

I feel like I should share some few details about my experience this week with some mysterious abscesses on my leg.  Firstly the one on my right leg actually turned out to be no big deal.  I did have to go to the doctor on Monday and she looked at it and didn't really know what it was but she didn't think it was a bite.  She gave me some antibiotics to eat and some cream to rub on it and it pretty much went away by now.  On Monday I did also have a throbbing pain on my foot which I didn't know where it came from so the doctor told me to where fat shoes and eat some painkillers and she gave me some painkillers.  Then that night I couldn't sleep at all because my foot was in so much pain.  I went back the next day and the doctor said that either I had broken my toe, or I had gout hahahaha.  So I got a x ray and they told me I didn't have a broken toe.  So then the doctor said to me that I have gout and she gave me some strong painkillers to eat and made me stay home from the area. The next 2 days I didn't go to the area.  Instead I stayed at the mission office while my companion went with a member to teach our lessons.  It was definitely the Lord's hand in making me stay home, because I got the time to study the Plan of Salvation for about 3 hours.  After studying for those hours I actually got very detailed and powerful revelation that I've been seeking for quite a while.  I know that I could not have received that revelation without staying home and I know that I wouldn't have stayed home unless something happened where the doctor made me stay home.  

Anyway the next day when I woke up I was eating my painkillers and then I looked at my toe and I realized that the whole inside of my toe had pretty much exploded.  There was just blood and so much puss oozing all over the place and I'm not going to lie it was pretty graphic hahaha.  So then I was kind of freaked out and I went to the doctor again.  She told me that at least it's definitely not Gout but she doesn't know what it is and she squeezed my toe a bunch of times which was definitely not very fun for me hahaha.  Then she gave me some ointments to rub on my toe and sent me away.  Anyway after that the pain died down a lot.  I went back to work on Saturday.  The wound still hasn't healed but it doesn't ooze nearly as much and it doesn't really hurt very much any more.  
This will definitely freak you out a lot.  Sister Hansen from the office has been in contact with the area doctor and sending him pictures and stuff and he said that he thinks probably a mango fly layed eggs in my sock and the eggs hatched and started eating my toe hahaha.  But whatever happens I'm sure I'll know by the end of the week and it will all turn out great :)

This was my last week in Langa.  There was different emotions for me.  I know I need to move on but it is sad to leave.  I will definitely miss the 2 converts that we taught and baptized here which is S and E.  Actually I gave S my journal and she wrote the most beautiful letter to me that made me want to cry.  It was so beautiful and nice and while I read it the Spirit whispered to me that one of the reasons I was asked to serve in Langa and even in South Africa is to teach her the gospel.  I am really going to miss her.  She actually gave me a horn on a necklace that her grandfather gave to her which is really cool. 

Other than leaving Langa this week, not a lot has been happening.  Like I said I have been in the mission office and we haven't been particularly diligent in our missionary work, of which I will repent and be better in my next area.  

My transfer news is that I am going to Uitenhage which is in Port Elizabeth, and my new companion is going to be Elder Lilback from Germany I think.  I met him on his first day on mission and actually I took him proselyting for an hour.  I will be his second companion.  I think it's kind of funny.  I am going to make it to just about a year on mission without ever getting a companion with more than 4 months of experience haha.  

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 5 letters

To Mom:

I knew about Wonder Woman before I came on mission.  In fact if people ask me what my favorite movie is I say "I think it's Wonder Woman.  I'm not sure because I haven't seen it yet but I'm pretty sure it's Wonder Woman"  Hahaha.  

This past week the APs actually told me that despite what I thought, I will be leaving Langa next week on Wednesday.  I've been feeling different lately.  Lots of things have been going on but I've just been a bit lazy lately and not quite as driven.  I think it's definitely inspired for me to leave because I truly feel that I've learned all I will from Langa. 

I don't have a lot to say this week.  Apparently I got bit by some sort of bug or spider and I've had a rash on my leg for like a week.  That's kind of dope.  I'm going to get it looked at today.  It isn't a big deal but it will be cool to say I got bitten by an indigenous and deadly species of insect.  Also I got Athletes foot so that kind of sucks hahaha.  But those things will be gone by next week. 

To Dad:

I'm really excited about the commentary you sent me last week.  I've studied really deeply about this a couple of times since I've been on mission and I've had a lot of revelations.  The times that I've been closest to understanding the Book of Mormon is when I've studied it against the definition of "Hell" in the bible dictionary.  I actually noticed that in Alma 12 there seems to be an almost imperceptible shift from speaking about the state of all the wicked, to talking about the state of only the sons of perdition.  I've actually put off deep studying for the past few weeks because I wanted to finish the Book of Mormon, so I've just been reading lots and lots of Book of Mormon lately and it's been good.  I'll probably finish it today or tomorrow though and then I'm going to study deeply the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants again.  If I find anything I'll let you know.  I am really excited to read what you come up with though.  I don't trust very many people to teach me doctrine.  Most of the missionaries here have bits and pieces of false doctrine and not a lot of them have a very deep understanding of true doctrine.  I'm really glad that I have a dad that taught me about the true points of doctrine. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

May 29 letter

To Mom:

Mike Mower apparently knows Elder Greengrass' cousin or something so he came to our branch to find Elder Greengrass so yeah he was a nice friendly guy. 

This past week was a really strong week for missionary work.  Me and Elder Mabanga had a lot of success and we found lots of really good investigators.  We have an investigator called Brother B who is around 30 who we've had for a while.  He's actually come to church for 3 weeks in a row now.  Me and Elder Monoalibe taught him the first 3 lessons a long time ago, but he kind of disappeared after that so we didn't teach him again.  Then me and Elder Mabanga recontacted him.  But he's really hard to teach because he talks forever.  The first time we taught him after we recontacted him I asked him "Did you read the Book of Mormon" and he literally talked for more than 15 minutes to answer that question.  He was talking all about his entire life story somehow it was really weird.  But anyway this past week we went to teach Brother B and we went over the Restoration, and he actually remembered it perfectly.  But not only that but he told us all about how he has had a powerful witness from the Holy Ghost that it's true and that Joseph Smith is a true prophet and that The Book of Mormon is true.  It was really cool and so we're excited to get him baptized some time soon. 

We have another investigator named N who is a 16 year old girl.  She is really progressing and this Sunday she came to church with S and E, who are both of the people me and Elder Mabanga baptized.  N stayed even after church to go visit 2 members of the church who had a death.  When someone has a death, all the members go to their home and preach or something so N came to both of those things which lasted about 3 hours after church.  N will definitely be baptized soon.  We are even going to teach her dad as soon as possible. 

We also met a new sister named N.  N is 22 and she lives next door to the Mbaki's who are a member family.  We taught N the restoration and she was really excited about it.  She actually just moved to Cape Town and she is planning on inviting her friends to come to church with her which should be nice. 

Today for P day we went to a members house who has lots of snakes so we took lots of pictures with snakes.  I also attached a picture with my buddy Qhawe and my comp.
Also today me and Elder Mabanga got locked out of our boarding so I had to climb in through the window and we had no ladder so the other missionaries just kind of hoisted me to a ledge and I pulled myself up and went through the window.  It was pretty sick actually to be entirely honest so I'll send a picture of that too.

I'm really excited to stay in Langa for 12 more weeks.  

May 28 letter from Brother Mike Mower

Hello Sister Heald:  I met your son while attending the Langa Township Branch today.  He did a nice job playing the piano and was so nice and friendly to all of the members.

May 22 letters and PICTURES finally!

To Mom:

I really wanted to take pictures and repent but I really hate taking pictures so I just tried to take pictures with the Book of Mormon to help me get over my mental block haha.  

This week was kind of a slow week for me and Elder Mabanga.  We didn't teach too many people.  S was confirmed on Sunday by Elder Greengrass so now we don't really have anyone that we're seriously working with anymore.  S is really amazing though.  We have another recent convert who was baptized before I got here named N and the three of us decided to have a challenge to see who can finish the Book of Mormon first.  Last night S was on 3 Nephi 6 so she's really killing us all haha.  I actually gave her Jesus the Christ to read.  
An interesting thing about N is that she is only 17 but she had to drop out of school and she lives in a really hard situation.  She doesn't have parents or anyone to take care of her so she has been struggling lately.  Anyway Me, Elder Mabanga, and S fasted with her to get a job on Saturday and Sunday and towards the end of our fast N got a call I don't know who from, but randomly I guess a member family offered her a job, and a place to stay and they are basically going to take her in and train her and have family home evening and stuff and it's going to be really good for her.  So a notable miracle I guess you could say.  

Something you'll definitely find interesting is about one of our other investigators.  We have a sister named N who we are working with.  She's 16 and she's really excited to change.  She's keeping her commitments and she teaches all her friends about the Book of Mormon.  Anyway this past week she actually invited us to speak at her school.  Hahaha I thought that was kind of bizarre because I don't think that would be legal in America, but we just went into one of her classes with the permission of the teacher and the principle and we just taught about prayer and scripture study.  Apparently it's like a free time space where the students can pick which class to go to, so we went to the religious study class and taught from the bible.  We are actually going to start going once or twice a week and we are planning on teaching about the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation and stuff.  Kind of crazy but it was a really fun experience. 

I think I'm going to be in Langa for 2 more transfers which is going to be really long.  I'm kind of disappointed about that.  That's going to be 3 whole transfers with Elder Mabanga so it's a good thing that I love that guy haha.  Yeah the next transfer is only going to be 3 weeks, and then there will be a 9 weeks transfer, so I told President Merrill that I was planning on finishing Elder Mabanga's training in 9 weeks rather than the normal 12 weeks in preparation for the long transfer, and President Merrill emailed back, don't worry, you will get to finish the training.  I do love Langa though, but I'm sad because I'm gaining weight here.  The members actually feed us every single day.  And 6 months in one area is a really long time.  No problem though. 

To Dad:

I can't think of much to say.  I sent mom a long email so I'm sure you'll read that.  
One thing is that I started reading the book by Hugh Nibley.  It's definitely not for everyone hahaha.  I really like it though.  I'm excited to finish it.  It's really complex and I have to work to understand it sometimes which is really nice. I've decided to finish the Book of Mormon though.  I will be putting all other books on hold for the next 3 weeks while I finish the Book of Mormon.  That's nice.

The first picture is me and my zone leader Elder Hernandez

Me and my good buddy from Langa, Brother Guellor.  He's way ripped and yeah I love that guy

Me and 2 small children whom I am teaching to read the Book of Mormon

Me with the Book of Mormon

Me and My companion Elder Mabanga

Me and my buddy who is the Branch Mission Leader, Kevin

Me with my Tongan brothers Elder Faingata'a and Elder Latu

Me and my comp with sister S at her baptism

My buddy Brian

Me at waterfront

May 15 letter

To Mom:

Obviously the highlight of my week was of course talking to you and the family. 

S is really great.  She's really become friends with the ward now and she has lots of support.  Everyone likes her.  She's really powerful.  Teaching her has been a joy.  We met her when I first got to Langa.  She was actually referred to us by an investigator and we caught her at her house.  She didn't seem really interested but she allowed us to teach her.  She even told us in the first lesson that she doesn't really believe that God is real.  The second lesson when we went back, she told us that she had prayed and that God had answered her prayer.  From there, she was already converted.  We gave her the Book of Mormon and she started reading.  sometimes 10 or 20 chapters in 1 day.  I gave her a book to read, "Our Search for Happiness"  By M Russell Ballard and she finished it in a few days.  I gave her 2 more books "Believing Christ" and "Following Christ" by Stephen E Robinson, and she finished those too.  We told her the Word of Wisdom and it turns out she struggled with just about all of it.  She gave up tea and coffee immediately and all of the other things she was doing as well, but she still struggled to give up Cigarettes.  We gave her a priesthood blessing and it helped, but she still failed her first baptismal interview.  After that she was really determined to make a full change in her life, and we gave her another priesthood blessing.  From that point on she never smoked again.  She said that the week before her baptism, Satan really tried to test her.  The father of her child came and asked her to marry him.  She asked him if he wanted to be married in the temple, he said not a chance, and she told him to get lost.  Her boss came to her with some anti mormon stuff and she related him to Korihor.  And she was offered cigarettes all week and she had no problem saying no.  The baptism was one of the most powerful days of my mission.  She's really awesome.  She even got LDS Gospel Library on her phone and she's been reading all sorts of things there.  

I did promise pictures today but I don't have a chord for my camera and the chord I thought I was going to use doesn't work anymore so I'll figure something out for next week :)