I cannot believe how fast the time has gone by. It's been four months and one week. It hasn't always been easy but it's been worth it. I got your postal letters last week but I don't know how I'm going to send the ward members thank you postcards from here. In Cape Town there were cool postcards everywhere but here in Queenstown I haven't seen anything. I'll keep looking though.
I'm jealous that you got to go to California. The Newport Beach temple probably isn't smaller than the Jo-burg one. They had two session rooms but they barely fit the 22 Elders and President and Sister Reber. They had to bring in folding chairs. Hopefully they get more temples in Africa. The church is growing very quickly here. Cape Town should be eligible for a temple by the end of next year because it takes five Stakes to have enough membership to have a Temple.
Last Monday we played rugby and soccer with an investigator from Mlungisi and a man named Sivu, who we are teaching. It was a lot of fun and I'm beginning to really enjoy rugby a lot. I even bought a Stormers jersey this week. The Stormers are Cape Town's rugby team. Sister Chippo is a member in our ward who drives up to Jo-burg to get jersey rejects and then sells them for 150 rand. I haven't been able to find anything wrong with my jersey yet.
We also had an FHE lesson with Daryl and Lianet. Daryl is less active and Lianet is taking the lessons. Daryl strongly believes in the church and they sound so committed when we teach them. We mentioned senior couple missionaries and she said, "Oh, that will probably be me and Daryl one day!" Lianet believes everything we tell her. She is from Cuba but her Dad moved here when she was young. They haven't come to church since I've been here. This last Sunday Lianet woke up and wanted to come but couldn't get Daryl out of bed. I believe Daryl will eventually come back and Lianet will join the Church but it will take some time. Probably even after I leave. Plus she can't get baptized as long as they're living together unmarried and their wedding isn't until next December.
Tuesday was a very busy day. We were preparing for the baptisms and we were teaching lessons and trying to find out if Apiwe would be baptized and we still had correlation meeting that night. It was very hectic but we were able to get everything done. To find out about Apiwe we went to her Aunt who had told us she would talk to Apiwe's father. When we went she told us she had been too busy to talk to him but we had to know that night before correlation meeting if Apiwe would be baptized. So Sister Bomela called Apiwe's Mom. They talked in Xhosa for a while as we sat there not having a clue what was happening. When she hung up Sister Bomela said that Apiwe's mom had convinced her husband to let Apiwe be baptized. It was a complete turn around and made us so happy.
Our fasting and our prayers really worked and his heart was softened.
On Wednesday it was another full day of appointments. And in the morning we did service at Brother Qina's farm. He told us we would be washing pigs but it turned out that was just a joke. We chopped up trees that he had cut down. Then this super tan Afrikaner showed up with a chainsaw. He was so tan he looked like a coloured. We were pretty useless after that but we did help pull down a tree that was in between his power line and fence. The guy used his chainsaw and we used a rope so it wouldn't destroy anything. It was pretty fun chopping up the trees. I'll have to get the pictures from the other Elders sometime.
We also visited a member who takes care of an autistic boy. That kid is a handful! He ran into the room wearing nothing but a shirt and then he would scream and cry the whole time and smack the lady in the face. Elder Mahoney gave him some pass along cards that had Jesus on it because he really likes Jesus. That would make him happy for a while and then he would tear it in half and scream until he got a new one. Sister Mbonsi is the most patient woman I have ever met. If he ever got super wild we would sing I Am a Child of God and he would immediately calm down. I hope it all works out for her.
On Saturday we went out to Sada with all of the missionaries to play soccer with the ward for an activity. It was very fun. I'm starting to appreciate soccer but it’s still not my favorite sport. The rest of the day was spent cleaning the baptismal font and giving some more lessons. It also started raining Saturday night and still hasn't stopped. Which is crazy because it has rained only once in the previous five months. Apparently it means that summer is coming.
Sunday was hectic as we were running around getting things ready for the baptisms. I lost my scriptures twice but luckily people know they're mine and I was able to get them back. We took pictures after church and then we had the baptisms. There were four people in all. It was such a spiritual experience. I can't wait for the next one. The ward only does baptisms on the third Sunday of each month. Sivu is preparing to be baptized this month and hopefully we'll get some more investigators to commit. After church we met with Daryl and Lianet again. We then had three appointments drop and all of our back-ups didn't work out either. So we went and had a short lesson with the Mxumas family since they couldn't make it to Church because of the rain. We then went to the Ctatas and gave their Mom a blessing because she's been sick for a week. The night turned out for the best.
I'm loving my mission and I love Queenstown. Next week is transfers again already and Elder Mahoney is probably leaving. He's been such a great companion and I will miss him for sure. Love you all.
Sala Kakuhle (stay well)
|This is Apiwe, her Mom, Aunt and Yamkela Mkanda. Yamkela is the Mayor's daughter. |
The Mayor of Queenstown teaches the gospel principles class.
|Elder Mahoney, Paitience, Apiwe, and Me|
|Everyone who got baptized today!|
|The Mcanda family who Paitience stays with|