Sunday, February 25, 2018

February 19 letters

To Mom

Other than interviews, we had zone conference this week.  It was pretty basic.  Just a nice zone conference as usual.  Overall it was a pretty slow week.  Zone conference week is always really slow.  But we focused on getting investigators to church and we had 16 investigators there which we were pleased about although a lot of people let us down.  We also had 1 baptism of a 10 year old kid named N.  Actually his full name is N Nephi M which is pretty sweet.  His dad baptized him. 
I'm not sure if there's anything else too exciting to share, but I got some pictures to send and I'll hopefully have more next week which is like the first time in months.  Sorry!

Yeah I feel a lot of excitement for my next area.  My next area will be my last area and I just know that I'm going to smash it so hard there.  It's going to be on fire.  What I'm kind of struggling with is to get that much excitement for my current area right now.  Especially since there's a good chance I might have another transfer here.

But Mission is great and the church is true!

From the Mission President on Feb 13:

We know that you’ve probably heard about the water crisis here in Cape Town and are concerned for the health and safety of your missionary.   We want to reassure you that all is in place to care for our missionaries.

Plans are in place for our missionaries to be able to collect their water at the Mission Office and at specified chapels.  We have received large storage tanks to store water here at the Mission Office.  We have a guaranteed supply of water to fill our tanks.  This water will be for washing and other such uses.  It will not be potable water.  In addition we will be getting shipments of large bottles of drinking water for our missionaries to drink.  We will also be receiving water purification tablets and hand sanitizers.  We want you to be assured that everything is being done for the health and safety for our missionaries.  All missionary flats have a 72 hour kit, a lantern and bottled water in case they are confined to their flats for any reason.

We petition the Lord daily not only for rain, but the abilities that we need to deal with this situation.  We pray for the city planners that they will be guided in their massive effort to supply water to this parched city.  We recognize our dependence on our Heavenly Father not only for physical water, but the Living Water of Jesus Christ.  Please join us in those prayers.

President Lebethoa

South Africa Cape Town Mission

Sunday, February 18, 2018

February 12 letters

To Dad:

I've been reading that book by Bruce C Hafen.  I like to listen to Brad Wilcox so I've listened to a lot of his talks and he always quotes Bruce C Hafen and I've been reading a lot of the things he quoted in that book. It's opened my mind on a few things so it's been an awesome book to read.

One of my favorite things about my companion is that he loves doctrine.  I don't like it when people say they love deep doctrine, because that usually means in my opinion that they like deep opinions.  Or deep hypothetical ideas that no prophet has spoken about.  They're part of the goose pimple gang.  But my companion really likes true doctrine and so we've been listening to a lot of sweet talks and he's been reading my books.  It's been sweet. 

We were listening to a talk the other day and there was an insight from Stephen E Robinson that was shared.  That guy is so powerful.  Maybe you've already heard this but I want to type it out because it was sweet. 

He interpreted the parable of the good Samaritan.  He said every part of the parable has significance. 
A certain man fell among thieves.  Who is the certain man? us. who are the thieves? the world and the wickedness in the world.  The man was going from Jerusalem to Jericho.  He said Jerusalem is the holy city and is set high above sea level.  Jericho is below sea level and is not holy.  We came from heaven in a celestial world living with God and descended all the way to this telestial world.  
So a certain man who is us went from heaven down to earth and fell among thieves. 
The priest came by.  Who does the priest represent?  The Aaronic priesthood.  Can we be saved by the Aaronic priesthood?  No we can't.  A Levite came by.  What do Levites do?  They administer the law of Moses.  Can the law of Moses save us?  No it can't.

Then a certain Samaritan came by.  Samaritans were hated by the jews because they were half jew and half gentile.  Half holy and half not.  The jews focused on the half unholy part of them and hated them for it.  Who was the certain Samaritan.  Jesus Christ.  He was half God and half human.  The jews focused on the half human part of him and hated him for it.  Can Jesus save us?  Yes and only he can. 

So in the end Jesus said that the perfect example of being a neighbor was Jesus himself, and when he said go and do thou likewise, he was saying go and be like me.

I had never thought of it that way but it makes so much sense and I just love it a lot.  Super awesome.
Anyway Dad things are going great.  We're not allowed to play sports on P day anymore so that's going to be hard for the last part of my mission.  Oh well.

To Mom:

I forgot to tell you that last week was stake conference.  It was sweet to go to another stake conference and see all the people I used to know.  A couple of my recent converts moved to Joburg to go to College so I didn't see them and I'm really praying they can stay strong and active in the church over there.  The church is strong in Joburg though so I have hope.

This week the stake presidency was at our ward even though our ward conference was the week before stake conference.  So they were here again and I knew immediately we were getting a new bishop.  And we did.  They released the old bishop who has been the bishop for 11 years.  The new bishop is a sweet guy he's 31 and he's just had his first baby about 3 weeks ago.  He's really visionary and inspired and he's also willing to meet with us so that's a great blessing.  We already talked on Sunday for quite a while and made some great plans to get missionary work rolling. I'm so excited to be here all of the sudden and I just have a perfect brightness of hope for this area in the future.  It rained on Sunday and we had 11 investigators at church, so I'm excited so see how many come when it doesn't rain.  Everything looks exciting right now. 

My companion is awesome.  I love the way we're teaching the lessons.  We have so much unity.  I've never enjoyed teaching more than I do right now.  And I'm learning a lot from him which is just super sweet.  I hope I don't get transferred but we'll see what happens. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

February 5 letter

To Dad:

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

To Mom:

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 1, 2018

January 29 letter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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