Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 15

I am now in Queenstown. It is a three hour drive from East London and it's in the middle of a desert but I really like it here. We stay in a four man boarding with Elder Black and Elder Obonye.  My companion is Elder Mahoney. He's really nice and I like him a lot. He's from Heber, so not too far from Provo.

I couldn't believe I got transferred either. People very rarely stay somewhere for seven and a half months but Elder Sombke is. He was so sure he was leaving that he didn't even write down our weekly planning or appointments so I had to give him everything right before I left. It was pretty funny.

Back to Queenstown, I love it here. There's lots of work going on and we will hopefully have a baptism or two next month. One of them is a girl named Apiwe. She's 18 years old and has wanted to be baptized for years but her Dad wouldn't let her. Now that she's 18 he's giving her permission. She's so awesome and we meet with her three times a week and she keeps her commitments. She comes to church and has a very strong testimony already. We're still teaching her some things but I am very excited for her.

The Ward here is very nice. So many people have introduced themselves to me that I can't even remember most of their names. Everyone here is Xhosa. So it's even harder to remember their names. There are four white guys and one colored guy in our ward. Three of the white guys are missionaries too.  Everyone else is black and they all speak Xhosa. So they pray in it and sometimes they say it in lessons too. I don't understand a thing but it's really cool to listen to.

It's been a very nice first week. The Ward feeds us almost every day which I'm not complaining about. The flight was fine. The Cape Town mission is the highest flying mission in the world which means transfers are done by plane more than anywhere else. I didn't think of anything I needed as I was packing but I thought of more stuff that I want to send home. I really don't need much out here so I don't know what you guys can send me for Christmas.

One cool story about the flight was that I was in one car and my bags were in a trailer attached to a big van so the AP's said that they would grab my bags for me. We met up with them when we were checking in for our flight and I realized that they didn't have my carry on. So we ran back to find it. We looked in the van and the trailer and there was nothing. I was very stressed at this point but right then a man walked up with my bag and asked if that was what we were looking for. It had been left sitting on the ground and he found it and was going to turn it into the airport. If we hadn't been there right then I would never have seen that bag again.  It had all of my clothes and my scriptures in it. It was definitely a tender mercy from the Lord.

Seeing the picture of my plaque made me realize how much weight I've lost. How did I get so fat? I'll probably be able to take more pictures here and I have a lot to send home today because we went to a game park and saw some rhinos, zebras, giraffes, baboons, springboks, ostriches, and water buffalo. It was way cool.

I was very sad to leave Cape Town and say goodbye to the people there but I'm glad I was able to leave them with my testimony and I am very excited for Sister Zita. I'm also going to miss a lot of the other missionaries. There are 45 missionaries in Cape Town and I saw most of them regularly. There are about ten here with four in our boarding and four in a boarding down the hall and the two zone leaders stay here as well. That's going to be an adjustment but I really like all of the Elders out here. They are all super cool and I get along with all of them.

I don't really have any stories this week. We met a lot of members and they are all very excited to meet me. We taught a guy that is in the mental hospital. He was a referral from a guy who had recently gotten out who is pretty normal. The guy we taught though was kind of strange. He talked for 45 minutes straight and didn't let us say a word. I don't even really know what he was talking about because he was super quiet when he spoke. We left him with a restoration pamphlet and we're not sure if we'll go back.

Another thing that happened is that it rained my first day here. It hasn't rained here in four months. It was some pretty intense rain and they actually have thunder and lightning here. I never heard or saw thunder or lightning in Cape Town. When it was raining there was a dust storm and you couldn't see five feet in front of you. We drive a car here so it was pretty sketchy driving through the dust storm but we made it out alright.

We also helped some members move stuff into their garage while their house is being renovated. I was glad to help out and start building good relationships with the members. They had these 50kg bags of cement that needed to be moved. I picked one up by myself and moved it and they were pretty impressed. We work out and go for runs in the mornings so hopefully I won't get fat now that I'm driving. I'll have to send you a picture of our bench press. It's dope.

That's all I have for now. I love Queenstown and I love the mission. I have a bunch of pictures to send you.  So, until next week.

Elder Kupka

Cape Town Elders

The Mananga family

Elder Mahoney

Our "bench" is a step stool, a seat cushion
and two cans filled with cement

Getting "Yoked"


Three posing rhinos

We chased an ostrich down the road

Just chillin' with some giraffes

Some zebras doing their thing

Baboons run very fast and on all 4 legs -
I had no idea until today.