Hello good morning family!Well we are back to emailing on monday again! Hopefully we won't have any more holidays that keep us from emailing on monday. I don't like doing p day on tuesdays haha. So the plan for zone conference is that today at around 5:00 pm we're all gonna go to the Manzini Elder's apartment and we're all sleeping there tonightbecause then tomorrow we are leaving at 4:30 am. We have to go over the border and sometimes they complicate stuff and its about a 3 or so hour ride and we need to be there by 8:00 am. Then we will have the conference and then whenever its over, probably around 4:00 or 5:00 pm then we will come straight back to swaziland! It will be a long day for sure! Then, Wednesday, it is back to normal.
Monday, April 27, 2015
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Hello!Once again, our Pday was on tuesday. Wanna know why? Well as you may know Swaziland is ruled by a King. I won't get much in to what I think of him. But anyways, it was his birthday on sunday and so it was a national holiday that they celebrated on monday. And you have to get a special permit from him to be able to open your business on his birthday so, we moved p day to Tuesday due to this. Anywaysss.... It appears as though life is busy as ever back at home! I'm glad to hear you are all keeping busy. My prayers certainly go out to Grandpa and to Cailee. I hope all is well and I'm glad that Darcee will be able to go over and help out. What a blessing! Everyone is just growing right up! Birthdays are all over the place. Happy birthday to Hailey! Life certainly is not stopping for anything! We are down to the last 2 weeks of this transfer and this week will be a busy week. Tomorrow (wednesday) i will be doing a division with Elder Ebmeyer who works in Manzini. Then Friday I will be doing a division with Elder Hunsaker who works here in Ezulwini. Then sunday we will watch general conference again and then next tuesday we will be heading to mozambique for zone conference! The week after that will be the start of my last transfer! I hope all goes well with the Visa stuff! So speaking of General Conference, we watched the saturday sessions at church on Sunday and they were really really wonderful. I loved the talk by David A Bednar on how the Lord can hush our fears. I really loved that one. And I liked the talk on the dance steps of the gospel. I thought it was a very good description and I liked how it was easy to apply to our lives. I'm excited to watch the sunday sessions next week! The finances are coming along fine. I have to finish up the month end report so that I can send it in by Friday. I will try to pay some last minute bills maybe tomorrow and then I plan on trying to finish the report on thursday hopefully. I also have to help Nathi try and get his report made out so he can send his in. We have a couple families that we are teaching. Last week was a pretty tough week in finding new families though. We are working really hard and seeing a lot of rejection, but I think that if you don't go through something like this at some point in your mission, you didn't serve a real mission ;) I think we marked about 35 lessons over the course of last week, and all but about 10 of them fell through. They will give us their number, invite us over, and then when we call to have them come meet us to show us where their house is, they just turn their phones off. So its been an interesting battle. I have really enjoyed reading in Alma to see how he dealt with rejection. I am taking a lot of advice from the missionaries in the scriptures to see how they did things. I love Ammon and how he served the people. So yesterday we went out for about and hour and just picked up trash, a simple way that we could try and serve the people. I'm trying my best to be who the Lord wants me to be. I loved the talk on not focusing on titles but just serving out of the good of our hearts. I hope that I can become better at that over these next 8 weeks. I pray that I can learn all that the Lord wants me to before I come home and that these wonderful moments can help me in all phases of my life. I love you all so much! I hope you have a wonderful week!
Monday, April 13, 2015
Dear family,We had a really good and extremely fast week. I can't believe how fast the time is going now!! Last week, I was able to download conference onto my memory card and so during the week, as I was getting ready in the morning and as I was writing in my journal at night, I was able to listen to all of conference and it was wonderful. I am excited to be able to watch it at church again to be able to focus even more and really be able to take notes. But I loved all the talks. I loved the talk by President Packer and the way he talks about his loving wife. It was a wonderful example of true and eternal love. We have been facing some new challenges that I haven't had on my mission yet, but they have all truly strengthened my testimony! One thing that happened was the following- So a few weeks ago, we taught a South African man named Reverend Louis. He was more interested in just knowing about our church. So we explained and we left him happy to know that we are Christians and he appreciated our message. Well, we ran into him again last week. But this time, he wasn't so happy to see us. He came up to us and expressed his concern for our souls because he had done some research into our church and clearly came across some unfavorable material that demeaned the prophet Joseph Smith. He went on to tell us how he has scientific proof that Joseph Smith was a false prophet and that we are on a path that won't lead to a good place. He continued on to say that he will pray that our eyes will be opened to see the truth and many other things about the Book of Mormon and what not. At the end, I simply looked at him in the eyes and said, "Reverend Louis, you are a very smart man. You know a lot of things about the Bible. But no proof, no document can ever make me lose my testimony of this truth. No scientific proof can tell me that Joseph Smith was a false prophet because no scientific proof told me that he was. I know he was a prophet of God because I prayed and I know of the truthfulness through the Holy Ghost. You can show me whatever you want, but it can't shake my testimony of what I know is true." As I said that, I felt a burning in my chest that I had never experienced before, confirming that the things I said were true. It was a true manifestation of the Spirit, helping me, a inexperienced 20 year old boy, stand up for the truth against a studied scholar in the Bible. We had many other challenges during the week also. The houses here are many times fenced in and one person owns the whole thing and then the others just rent out the houses. And we were kicked out of two of these places where we were teaching families. We were saddened by this, because we aren't entirely sure how we will continue to help these families now, but it was a testimony to me that we are doing the right thing. The truth always faces opposition. But just to kinda continue on with the theme of Joseph Smith, he has been on my mind a lot lately. And our Elders Quorum lesson was on him and I had even been reading in D&C about the letter that John Taylor wrote about his death. I was deeply touched by his testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I have truly gained a testimony of him and his role that he has played in my life. While we obviously don't worship him, we can revere his name as one of the great ones that has ever walked this earth. He truly brought about a marvelous work and a wonder that has changed my life and each one of yours. Because of what happened in 1820, our family will be together forever and because of what happened in 1820, we can one day live with our loving Heavenly Father again. How grateful I am for that wonderful man, who had the courage to stand up for what he knew was true, so that we could have these wonderful blessings today.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Our week went really well. On Tuesday, we didn't work at all. We spent the whole day moving. Wednesday, we did some more moving but we tried to work about half of the day. Thursday, about the same thing. So we had Friday, saturday, and sunday to really work. Saturday was a really good day for us and we found lots of new good families! we were really happy about that. The only bad part about this week was that when we were moving, i wore shorts and short socks. Well the place where we were at had lots of animals and bugs, and well I ended up getting bitten, over thirty times by some bug. I think it was fleas from the dogs at the old place. So I had some long itchy nights... Luckily its all better now. Now the flu has passed, the itching is gone, and I think I am healthy again :) Just a little tired haha. So i bought a white board and put it on our fridge and then now we write the "quote of the day"every day. Just funny things that are said during the days. So I will send the quotes of the days with stories for this email! To be continued....
One day, Elder Van Leuven made a giant pot of noodles and then had them all on his plate. And when he sat down to eat them, i just looked at him like really? and he just looks at me and says with a serious face "I can eat all these noodles" so i told him if he did, i would give him 10 rand. Needless to say, I never lost my 10 rand :) hahahaha
So at church on sunday, we are all together and President Masego, the Branch president is teaching about reverence and he wanted to talk about music and so he says, "What is the name of the church's choir again? Mormon helping hands?" hahahaha. I looked over at another member and he was just busting up laughing so at that point I couldn't hold it in any longer and I died laughing also.
Nathi is the guy that works with me a lot, and he was helping us move. So we are all trying to work hard, meanwhile he is just on his phone and he just says, Elder come on let's just go already! I'm tired. hahahahaha. Classic Nathi.
I forgot to take a picture of the other quotes but one of them was, "No man, we gotta convince President to get power curtains. These? These are not power."That would be another Nathi quote. For some reason he loves saying that things are power... it doesn't really make sense but we all say it. And the curtains in our house are about 2 feet to short, so when he walked in he just started laughing and then told us we need to convince president that we need new curtains because we are living in a power house and so we need power curtains. This morning he also walked into our house and we asked him how church was for him and he just laughs and says, "Elders, it was power. I was in Mbabane...that's power" haha.
Another quote was from a lady yesterday... So she was quite drunk and kinda harrassing us and then she starts yelling at us saying things like...What you can't talk to me cause i"m drunk and i"m a sinner??? and so i said no, we can't talk to you because you won't remember the conversation tomorrow... and then she stops, stares at me and says, "tell me one word. any word and i will remember it tomorrow. In fact, I'LL TAKE IT TO MY GRAVE!!!" hmmmmm ok, "Rock,"I said. her-"Rock? what is the meaning?" so i bent down picked one up and then she looks at me and says, '" OHHHHH you are talking about the big ones now..." me-ummm sure....? and then her boyfriend came over, apologized and took her away.... hahahahaha. that was a funny quote of the day.
SO that was our week in quotes! I hope you enjoyed! I love you all and I'll see you next week!