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.