Monday, June 11, 2018

June 11 letters

To Mom:

10 more whole weeks until I get home is a long time mom!  Don't worry about me coming home any time soon I still have a long time left!  

I'm going to be flying to Cape Town tomorrow and flying back on Thursday.  Apparently it's going to be some huge stuff going to be discussed.  I am really excited about that.  Then we're going to fly to Cape Town again for another MLC that will take 3 days in 3 weeks time.  There must be some crazy stuff happening if they're flying all the zone leaders in the mission to Cape Town twice in 3 weeks.  I'll let you know the details next week but for sure we're going to discuss losing all or most of the cars in the mission. 

I'm loving my new companion even more than I thought I would.  We've laughed so much in the last 4 or 5 days.  It's going to be a great transfer.  

I don't have much to say this week but I think next week I'll have a lot.  Also I don't have pictures this week but next week I'll send double pictures. 

To Dad:

I have played soccer with Elder Dos Santos before in East London we played a lot of times.  But since he's got here we haven't gotten the chance.  He's actually really good at basketball. He thought he was going to be in the NBA when he was younger he's like super good and definitely the best basketball player in the mission.  But he's also really good at soccer.  We're going to start playing with the wards though which I'm excited about 

Monday, June 4, 2018

June 4 letter to Mom

This week was transfers so we had a bit of news on our end. 
On Saturday the Mthatha elders had a baptismal interview that they wanted us to do so we drove out to Mthatha Saturday afternoon.  It's a nice drive so it's always fun to drive down there.  On the way a dog ran out from the side of the road and headed straight for the car but I was going to fast to do anything about it and on the other side of the road a semi truck was coming toward us so there was nothing I could do I just screamed "NOOOO!"  and then God protected us because somehow by sheer luck the dog paused in the road right in the middle of us and the oncoming truck and didn't die.  I have no idea how we didn't hit it I was pretty scared.  

But we got to Mthatha and did the interview and afterwards we went to an appointment with those elders at a school, but the appointment fell through so we decided to drop in to a church that was going on next door.  It was so hilarious.  They started by screaming everyone at once for about 20 minutes and then they sat down and the lady pastor started preaching.  Hahaha she started by reading 2 Kings 5:1.  Read that verse haha.  So she read it and then she spent the next 20 minutes just screaming over and over variations of "Naaman was a good man." or "Naaman was an honorable man"  "Naaman was a warrior"  Hahaha she didn't get to any point at all she literally just said over and over about how Naaman was a good man and then randomly out of nowhere she just completely switched gears and she just screamed "Flee Fornication and glory to Jesus"  And she like jumped up and down and flexed her body and the crowd went wild they couldn't handle it like 10 people jumped up and just yelled "Glory to Jesus!"  And then one lady prayed in tongues for like 10 minutes hahahaha it was just so much apostasy in one room I felt so bad for the people who were enslaved by it. 

Then we got our transfer news later that night while we were sleeping over at Mthatha.  My companion is leaving me to go to Cape Town. And my new companion is Elder Dos Santos from Brazil.  I actually predicted it so I wasn't surprised when he came to be my companion.  He's awesome.  He's one of those guys that's just on another level so I'm gonna really enjoy being with him.  Yeah I'm excited about that

Elder Reynolds is going to Cape Town to be with Elder Bozer and Elder Ivins (still haven't seen him) and the President gave them a special assignment to "test something that will soon come to the whole mission"  We think they're getting smart phones or tablets and losing their car.  But next week there's going to be a big MLC to train all the Zone Leaders about these "big changes" so me and Elder Dos Santos will be flying to Cape Town for 3 days to attend that. I'm pretty excited it's going to be way cool.

But yeah I'm really excited for the next transfer.

Some of these pictures are kind of dumb but this is what I had for this week

Saturday, June 2, 2018

May 28 letter to Mom

This week was pretty cool
I tried to send a lot of pictures so I hope that that lifts your spirits with tournament week.  Tournament week is hard but I'm praying for you!
I just got it from the mission office about 5 minutes ago and I think that they sent it to you as well.  I'm really stoked about flying home with Elder Ballsteadt, Elder Ondracek, and Elder Ivins.  Those are 3 of my best friends and I think it's going to be just the 4 of us.  So I'm stoked for that.  Haha yeah please make sure you check what terminal I'm going to go to because it would be way anti climactic if it's me waiting for you guys and all of you coming down the escalator hahaha.  But no need to look so far ahead into the future.  I'm still going to be here for 2 and a half months!

This week a lot happened.  We did have 2 confirmations this Sunday which was nice.  Did I send you the pictures from the baptism?  We're planning our next baptism for June 24th.  I'm way excited about a guy named Z.  He's really awesome and he's married to a member.  He's just young though I think he's like 25.  But he's getting more and more prepared for baptism each time we go there.  At first he was like "yeah maybe I'll come. I mostly want to join the church for my daughter" (they just had a baby about a month ago) but now when we see him he's really genuine and serious and his countenance is just changing.  For sure I'm excited about his baptism though.  Aside from that we have about 8 other investigators that are looking pretty good for the next 2 months.  We'll see though.  I'll tell you more about them in the coming few weeks. 

I've started teaching piano lessons.  There's one sister in our ward who wants me to teach her and there's also a 12 year old girl who I'm teaching because she has a piano and her parents are a little bit less active so It's helping her.  But I've had 3 lessons with her now and I realized that I have no idea how to teach somebody to play the paino.  I have no idea if what I'm teaching her is way too advanced or way too easy or what.  Please help.  I really need suggestions on how to effectively teach piano to someone who knows nothing.  Also she doesn't have a piano book and they don't sell piano books anywhere for like 100 or 200 kilometers

Yesterday LX turned 9.  We go to the X every Thursday for dinner and they always give us really big, really nice meals.  So yesterday I was expecting to have a nice meal for his birthday or something.  But turned out he had like a legit birthday party and me and Elder Allred were the guests of honor.  It was so nice.  We just gave a nice spiritual thought and then we ate like crazy.  They loaded our plates with so much meat I was so excited.  All we had was meat and pap. (pap is really really nice and I've just been eating it more and more probably 2 or 3 times a week.  Ask Daniel he'll tell you it's terrible, but I really love it)  We had so much meat more especially me.  I just ate and ate it was really a feast.  But I love their family and L little cousin A is so cute so I sent some pictures of her as well.

This morning we went to hike the biggest mountain in Queenstown called Lukhanji mountain.  It's pretty huge so we were pretty stoked.  On our way there we drove past the fence of the game reserve and there was a Rhino like 15 feet away.  You can't see it very well in the picture but I was way excited to see a Rhino it's the first time in my whole mission to see one.  The horn was cut off though because you can sell a Rhino horn for about 700 thousand USD.  So they get poached about 2 or 3 a day around the world and they're apparently one of the most endangered species in the world. so the owners of the game reserve cut the horn on this one.  pretty cool. 

Hiking Lukhanji was really cool and it took 3 hours to hike it which is 1 and a half hours up and 1 and a half down.  It was cool but the pictures say it all.  Don't judge them I just sent them all haha 

One of the hard things about serving here is that there's nobody who knows how to cut white peoples hair.  So for my last hair cut I just went to a guy from Ghana.  He did an ok job with the machine, but when he used the scissors I realized he had no idea what he was doing.  He used them so rarely that they weren't even sharp enough to cut the hair and he had to like hack at each piece of hair he wanted to cut hahaha.  So he ended up leaving too much hair on the back of my head and on the right side as well.  So I decided the brilliant and obvious thing to do was to cut my own hair with some safety scissors.  I cut the hair on the right side of my head just beautifully and it looked really good which encouraged me to go straight on to the back of my head without really looking in a mirror.  Unfortunately I didn't do so good of a job hahaha.  I cut a massive bald spot on the back of my head hahaha.  The radius is like 2 or 3 inches and I had to use lots of gel to like, fold some of the hair that's left over the top of it to cover it up.  But good thing black people don't actually know what white hair is supposed to look like so they can't actually tell the difference so I should be ok 

About the pictures: probably more than you wanted but I'm going to "try diligently to elevate myself out of the bottom 10" picture taking missionaries of all time before my mission is over

this is the mountain we climbed

funny guy.  We were listening to a BYU devotional where Dallin H Oaks was saying a bunch of stuff about BYU and then we looked up and saw this guy out the window wearing a BYU jacket hahaha 

nice video.  This little girl's name is Aqama Xaluva but I think it's really cute the way she says it

The rhino, but it is a terrible picture

May 21 letters

Travel Plans:

We received travel plans!  Adam flies from CapeTown to Amsterdam to Detroit to SLC, arriving on Aug 16 at 7:51 p.m.

To Dad:

I'm going to try to get out of the bottom 10 on that scale of worst picture takers but I don't know that might be a bit difficult.  I'll see what I can do though haha I think that even if I send 3 a week I'm still losing ground on everyone else and to get 3 pictures a week is steep for me.  My companion has taken almost 5000 pictures on his mission.  I've take almost half of 500 hahaha

To Mom:

This week was pretty good. We had a baptism of 2 girls A and S.  It was a great service and they both were super happy to be baptized so that was great. 

We are excited for the next 2 months when we're going to have lots of baptisms.  There's a member who married a guy named Z who has just been really progressing and doing better and better.  We're really excited for him because he's going to be a great help for the ward when he gets baptized hopefully next month on the 24th.  I really like him.  There's another lady that we just met last week that we're really excited about.  She just moved in so she's going to have no problem coming to the church and getting baptized with her children. 

Apparently our bishop has big dreams.  He's put in a proposal to the area office which they are putting in to the first presidency to build a school in Ezibeleni called Liahona primary school and then later to build Liahona High School.  apparently there's over 30 teachers that are active members of the church that live in the area.  Bishop is proposing for the church to build and fund the school and he's going to manage it and be the principal.  It sounds like a super dope idea.  I don't know what headquarters is going to think but it would actually be pretty sweet if it happened haha. 
Apparently the bishop also said that BYU wanted to buy land in queenstown to build BYU-Africa and they offered the municipality a lot of money and they said they would build an internet tower that would give unlimited free wifi to all the people of queenstown.  I don't think I believe that but it sounds pretty dope hahaha

I'll send some pics.  It was a good overall week but nothing too major.the baptism of A and S

this is a lady named sister Hinana.  She makes a full Sunday dinner for 22 people every Sunday.  All the neighbors who usually just go without come to her house on Sunday and get a plate of food from her and she always has food for them it's really awesome