Monday, August 13, 2018

Last letters - August 13

To Dad:

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

To Mom:

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

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

Me with the Xaluva family

Xaluva family

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

Me with Bishop Jabanga and his family

Me with Bro Wayne

Me and the Rasta Man

Me and Soso

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

Sunday, August 12, 2018

August 6 letter

To Mom:

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 2, 2018

July 30 letters

To Dad:

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

To Mom:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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