California sounds very nice, Mom, I hope you have fun. I'm very jealous that you get to go to the Newport Temple. I really wish there was a temple in our mission. There should be one soon. It depends on the stakes and Cape Town is about to split into two. They were four priesthood holders short. East London is about to split into three stakes and Port Elizabeth is about to become a stake. Things are very exciting in South Africa and I'm very glad to be a part of it.
To answer your question, I don't really know when I decided to go on a mission. It always just seemed like what I was supposed to do. Doing mission prep with Brother Dahl and in college and hearing other people's stories really helped but I always just thought I was going on a mission. I realized when I first got here how shy I really was. I was struggling to teach and talk to people the first couple of weeks. I'm still not perfect but I think I'm a lot more outgoing now. Back home I was outgoing with people I knew but strangers I struggled to talk to. Now I'm starting conversations with random people everywhere and I've learned that I can be outgoing as well.
I wish I had taken your advice of preparing more before the mission. I always just thought I would learn everything in the MTC but that didn't happen. The MTC went by super fast and there's no way I could've learned everything then. Even now I'm still learning more and more so I really wish I had prepared more. I guess I should listen to you more often.
This week has been a very good one and my favorite on the mission so far; we taught 29 lessons. Stats don't really matter though and a lot of those were preparing Patience and Apiwe for their baptisms. We had some very good lessons with both of them though and they both passed their baptismal interviews. The only problem with Apiwe is that her dad is trying to stop her from being baptized. She's 18 and he gave her permission to be taught at her aunt's house in town but now that it's actually happening he's trying to stop it. We asked President what we should do and he told us that we should build a relationship with the father before we baptize her. I think he's afraid of her being kicked out of the house or something. She said that she won't be kicked out and her Dad tries to stop her from doing everything but once she does it he doesn't say anything about it. We've been praying and fasting for her and we're trying to figure out what to do. I really hope she gets baptized because she will be crushed if she isn't. She is so ready and she understands everything so well. I hope it works out.
Last Monday we played soccer again. The Mlungisi Elders have an investigator who wants to teach the ten of us how to play rugby so that should be fun. We had a lesson with a man named Richard one night this last week. He is a recent convert and we've been teaching his son. He's been very stressed lately because his son hadn't come home and his wife was stressing out. So we walked with him for an hour to pick up his son. It was nice being able to talk with him and when we got back he seemed so much less stressed so I was very happy to help him out.
We had Family Home Evening with a member family named the Volis and the father is on the stake high council. They are a super awesome family. We had spaghetti but the sauce wasn't quite the same. The next day we were supposed to come back for fudge that they were making. When we got there they had eaten it all so they gave us brownies with biscuit cookies inside. It was so good! Then they gave us fudge the next day because they felt bad about the day before.
I got a haircut this week as you can probably see from the pictures I sent. Elder Obonye did it. I kind of miss my hair but it's nice in the heat here. It has been 100 degrees. I'm kind of writing randomly this week and I'm sorry but I'm just writing things as I remember them. We've been working with a less active member and she told us that she had an addiction to snuff and her family is super un-supportive. So we met with her and brought a member who had also struggled with drugs. He gave her a lot of good ideas and she really wants to overcome it and her goal is to go to the temple one day. I gave her a blessing as well. We haven't been able to follow up yet but I hope she is doing well.
I've given two blessings this week and done the anointing on two others. It's crazy that I went from never giving a blessing to giving three in a week. The last thing that I'll share was our super awesome lesson last night. It was with an investigator named Thembisa and her daughter Anelisa. They've been taught all of the lessons but still won't accept a baptismal date. They were a referral from a member family. So we took Brother and Sister Bovana last night and we had a super powerful lesson on baptism that lasted for over an hour. The spirit was so strong and the Bovanas bore super powerful testimonies to her. She still hasn't accepted a date but I feel like she is much closer now than she was before. It was a very good finish to an awesome week.
I cannot wait for next Sunday for the baptisms. I really hope Apiwe's father comes around and that we can baptize her. I'm loving the mission and I'm loving Queenstown. I swear I just got here but today is the start of week five. I only have two weeks left with Elder Mahoney and it makes me very sad because he is such a great companion. Things are going very well here and I'm so grateful to be a part of it.
Love you all. Sala Kakuhle (stay well).