Monday, January 27, 2014

Week 33

Hello family,

I did get a new watch and I did get both of the tie tacks you sent. Thank you very much. I'm jealous that Ryan gets to play Church ball. I miss playing basketball.

I do like having my iPod, it's very handy. In Queenstown I would only take my scriptures and iPod but now that I'm in Walmer I don't take my wallet or my iPod into the area. Oh by the way, I am officially in Walmer now with Elder Carlson. They called us last Monday while we were at Family Home Evening with Limmpo. Walmer is near Port Elizabeth and it is very nice. There is a very rich white area where we do no work and then there is a township where we do all of our work. It's my first township and I'm pretty excited.

I'm probably going to have lots of cool stories to tell. So far we've just had a lot of drunk people come up and talk to us. People are super religious when they're drunk but then they don't remember a thing the next day. We had a few people stop us and say that they'll come to church the next day but no one came. Little kids always run up to us to touch our skin and call us “muhlungo”(which means white person) and just play around with us. It's pretty fun. I wish I could take a camera but I might get mugged if I have anything that is nice so I'd rather not.

We have some good investigators here. There are two with a baptism date so that should be nice. But there's a lot less work going on here than in Queenstown and I'm definitely going to miss it. I spent all of Tuesday saying more goodbyes and then drove to East London and spent the night there. Wednesday my bus left at 2:00 pm and got to Port Elizabeth around 7:00 pm. 

As soon as I stepped off the bus some guy asked me if I was from that Satanic church. I said no and he said, “You guys are the Mormons and you believe in polythestic and that Jesus was an angel and you shouldn't have his name on your badge and you should just join with the Jehovah Witnesses.”  Other people we're trying to get him to listen to us and he kept telling them to shut up. So that was a fun welcome. We just told him to have a nice day because we didn't feel like getting into an argument.

After that I saw Elders Sombke, Wright, and Cathemer. That was a nice reunion from Cape Town. I’m also living with Elder Mahoney my old companion from Queenstown.  We are all in the back of a member’s home. It's nice but pretty cramped and the Zone Leaders are moving out soon which will be good and bad. I enjoy four man boardings and I like all of the Zone Leaders so it will be sad when they go.

Other than that the Ward has been nice so far. It's smaller here than in Queenstown and there are a lot more white people and I’m not used to talking to white people. I keep almost speaking Xhosa to them. We got fed twice yesterday; we had a nice lunch and then we had a Mexican dinner and it was the best Mexican food that I've eaten in South Africa.

Things are going really well and I'm enjoying everything. I have learned so much more about the gospel since being on my mission. Things made sense back home and I believed it but now I've really become fully converted. 

I'm happy that I've seen the three big cities in our mission in the past seven months while other missionaries haven't done that during their whole mission.

Love you all,

Elder Kupka

P.S. I will try to send pictures later.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pictures

The Fairlies

Vuyolwhetu and Yamkela


 The Mcandas

Brother Wayne

Snozo

Brother Lucas

Phumeza

Queenstown

Week 32

I forgot that MLK day was even a holiday; it sounds like you and Ryan will have fun at Soldier Hollow. I forgot about snow too because it's still just been so hot, hot, hot here.

This week hasn't been too interesting. We played soccer last Monday for the first time this transfer which is kind of strange because that's what we've done pretty much every P-day since I got here. Tuesday was Brother Richard's birthday so Elder Slabbert made him a tart. His family loved it. I don't know if I mentioned this last week but his wife's parents are really starting to like us. Wednesday we were on exchanges and it rained so hard that it flooded all of the streets and since we were on bikes we couldn't leave the boarding which was not fun at all. Saturday we had a braai with the new family Sean and Lindsay. They are so awesome and I'm excited for them. They'll be awesome members.

This week is transfers and I just heard from another missionary that I'm probably going to Walmer. It's a township in Port Elizabeth and it's a biking area. I'm not too excited to be a biking Elder. I will be living with Elder Mahoney for a couple of weeks but he told me today that the ZL's are getting a new boarding soon. I will have a washer and a dryer for the first time on my mission. I've had a dryer and a washer but never both.

I've been preparing myself to leave. I said all my goodbyes yesterday and then prayed that I wouldn't stay. I'm going with a missionary named Elder Carlson. I've never met him. I'm kind of in shock right now. This also means that I'll drive to East London tomorrow then take a 10 hour bus ride to Port Elizabeth. This isn't for sure but it all makes sense.

I have lots of pictures to send and we're going to the Thomas' later for a braai so I'll send them there. They have very fast wifi. I don't think I have anything else to say. Other than I've loved my time in Queenstown and saying goodbye to people yesterday was very hard but luckily I didn't cry this time.

Love you all,

Elder Kupka

Monday, January 13, 2014

Pictures





Week 31

Hola Familia!

I feel very much the same way that time is flying by. Today is my seven month click day so things are getting pretty wild. My last letter was a good one but this one probably won't be as good.

I finally got my Christmas package and I loved it! I've eaten most of it already which probably isn't a good thing but it was delicious. I didn't think I liked jelly beans but Dr. Pepper jelly bellies are delicious. We started doing P90X this week so hopefully that will even out all of the chocolate that I've eaten. It's a really good work out and I couldn't stand up straight or walk very well after doing it.

The tie clasp was a bit short for my ties but luckily they fit Elder Erickson’s ties and he had one that was too long for his but it fits mine so we made a trade. I don't think I need anything else. Letters are alright but I don't mind emailing. I've gotten letters every time the post comes so I have plenty that I still need to respond to.

With my iPod I have access to every General Conference talk, every Ensign and all the manuals the Church has since the 1970's so I have plenty of stuff to look through on my own. If you send me the title of something you want me to read I can find it on my own.

This last week was a fairly average week. I did buy some new pants because I've lost 30 pounds and my pants didn't fit too well. And since we can now be more colorful in our clothing I got some baby blue and brown chinos.

We had some good lessons but nothing too special. Richard’s extended family is opening up to us more and more which is good. His father in law is an apostle in the old Apostolic Church but they made us “fat cook” (which is basically scones) last time we were there and they're always friendly to us.

Wednesday we had Zone Training with President Wood. It went well and I always feel uplifted and inspired after a training from him even though all we talked about is companionship study and teaching by the spirit.

That night we also taught the new family that showed up at Church last Sunday. We taught them the Restoration and it answered a lot of questions that Sean had but they didn't make it to Church yesterday so we'll have to drop by and see what's up. They didn't schedule another appointment, they told us to just drop by sometime.

Friday was Daryll and Lianet’s wedding which was pretty fun. We went to the Home Affairs office at 8 in the morning. There were 13 of us crammed into a small room while they signed papers. They're going to have a real wedding in November but they wanted to get married now so they wouldn't be breaking the commandments. I'll send some pictures of it later. I don't have my iPod cord and there's no wifi at the email place so I'll try and stop by Steers later to send some pictures.

Nothing else too special happened this week. Next week is transfers so I'll find out my news next Monday night.

I love and miss you,

Elder Kupka

Monday, January 6, 2014

Queenstown Pictures

Queenstown



Christmas Feast



Christmas Feast




Elder Kupka



Queenstown




Elder Chikara

Week 30

Molo Family,

It sounds like you guys had an exciting day at church; that's a solid Bishopric. I was sad before thinking that I wasn't going to have the same Bishopric when I got back but this sounds like a pretty great one to come back to!

For New Year’s we weren't allowed to leave our boarding beginning at 6:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and then all day on New Year’s and it was incredibly boring. There was a family that wanted us to come over for a braai but they stayed in Mlungisi and we weren't allowed in the townships at all.

I still have not received my package and I now know why. Apparently DHL wrapped it in other paper or put it in another box and they put South Africa Cape Town mission on it but not my name so my package has been sitting in the office for the last few weeks. I should be getting it tomorrow though. I don't think there are any tricks to getting it here faster because there are several other missionaries still waiting for their Christmas packages too. No, Mom, I cannot believe that I'm turning 20 in April. It still doesn't seem real.  

This last week started off slow but it ended rather well. Monday we went hiking. I'll send some pictures. Queenstown looks a lot more beautiful than when I first got here. Tuesday we had no appointments and had to be in by 6:00 pm so not a lot happened that day and then Wednesday, like I said, we couldn't leave. Thursday we had a few appointments but nothing too special. Friday we were on the bikes again and it was incredibly hot and our first three appointments dropped and everyone we tried to see as back-ups failed as well. So we were sweaty and very exhausted from all of the biking.

We were able to see Sister Kwali though. We thought that she had been in Pakistan getting married because she hasn't been to Church in a few months. We thought we would just stop by and we found out that she hasn't left for Pakistan and that her husband has been stopping her from going to Church. She's pretty sad about it but she still knows that the Church is true so we're going to start going over there at least once a week to check up on her and share a spiritual thought with her.

After Sister Kwali’s appointment we went to see Brother Myakiso and his family. Brother Myakiso is the 1st counselor in the Bishopric and the only member in his family. He has two daughters and one son. His wife and two daughters have been coming to Church for about a month now so we stop by and share messages with them hoping that they'll eventually want to be baptized. They also gave us ice cream and we sat in their back yard under their fruit trees to get away from the heat because when it gets hot here the houses become even hotter than outside.

We went to see Boocker but he ended up not showing up even though we had just seen him on the street a few hours before. So we started to bike for home and I thought someone was throwing things at us but it turned out to be giant hail stones being hurled at us followed by heavy rain. It had been blazing hot not 30 minutes before! Luckily the Cata's house was close by and we booked it there and they had just gotten back from East London and let us in. It was a miracle indeed because the hail could've killed us. I said a prayer while we were riding that I wouldn't get hit in the head so I ended up getting hit on the shoulder and side. Elder Slabbert prayed that he wouldn't get hit and he didn't. I need to remember to be more specific in my prayers. We found out that the hail is what stopped Boocker from coming to our lesson because it dented his bakkie and broke the windshield.

This last Sunday was my favorite Sunday on the mission and possibly in my life. It was an amazing Fast and Testimony meeting and only two people spoke Xhosa so I could actually understand them. Not to mention that we had nine investigators at church! Brother Richard’s wife came and we had a lesson with them that night that she sat in on and she said she's definitely going to be coming back to our Church. The Young Women love her baby too and I think that helped. Boocker came to church and Brother Myakiso's family was there. And Jaxa brought one of his friends who we've been teaching. It was amazing.

There was also a family that came for the first time. It was an older man, his son, his son’s partner and their two kids. They aren't married yet so they call each other partners. They hadn't gone to Church during the whole holiday and felt like they needed to so they wandered into our Church. The Ward loved them!

Everyone introduced themselves to them and they took their baby out for them when it started crying; they felt so welcomed and they loved it. We'll be seeing them again on Wednesday and I'm very excited for the lesson. The father is going back to the UK on Thursday which I'm sad for but Elder Erickson and I ended up teaching him for an hour and a half during church.

I was showing him around when he said he needed to sit down because he has arthritis and is recovering from a stroke which is what brought him here to stay with his son. So we sat down and then just started talking and we ended up giving him a blessing, teaching him about the restoration, giving him a Book of Mormon, and teaching him other basic principles of the Church. It was one of the best lessons I've ever had and the spirit was so strong. He even started crying during the blessing. He is so ready for the gospel and we're going to make sure that missionaries find him in the UK.

Yesterday was an amazing day and it made me not want to leave Queenstown. There's still two weeks left in this transfer but I want to stay for another one. President Wood is coming here on Wednesday for Zone Training and I'm going to try and convince him to let me stay but if it doesn't happen I know that I'm needed somewhere else. I love this gospel. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to proclaim it to people. The Church is true and I love all of you.


Elder Kupka