I'm going to start typing my emails everyday so I don't forget anything. So today, Monday, after we emailed we went to play sports at the chapel. We started by playing dodgeball with some rolls of toilet paper covered in tape that we found in our flat. It was going well until I accidentally hit Elder Roelofeze in the face. After that more missionaries showed up and we started playing rugby outside. Luckily no one got hurt.
After sports we came back to the flat and Elder Carlson and I went over to the Fouries and played ping pong. I didn't know we could use their table but now you guys aren't the only ones with a table. We had two separate Family Home Evenings tonight. One with a less active member and his investigator wife. They really liked it and we played crazy eights afterwards.
We then went over to the Chimuti's house for our second FHE. We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and gave them pamphlets to give to their friends. They fed us pap beans and spinach afterwards and it was really good. You're supposed to eat it with your hands but I started with a spoon and then by the end I was just using my hands. I'm going to have terrible manners when I get home.
This morning we started working at the Lorraine Frail Care Centre. We're going to go there every Tuesday to do some gardening and once a month we'll actually interact with the patients. Today we gardened. They have a really big garden that has not been tended to in a long time. They told us that they would hose it down before we got there but they didn't so there wasn't much we could do. We pulled out what we could and then hosed it down ourselves.
We taught some good lessons today but nothing too special. One guy was asking us advice on this girl that told him she likes him. Sometimes I feel more like a therapist than a missionary. Luckily we were able to pull the conversation back to the Restoration and ended up having a good lesson. We also found a less active family that we're going to start seeing. We then made a large dinner with Elders Cobabe and Roelofeze. We deep fried some chicken and stuck it in a roll with some chips. Delicioso! It was a good end to a good day.
Lots of service this week. We started today by cutting down bamboo branches for the Fouries around where they park their cars. It was nice and cloudy when we started and then it was blazing hot by the time we finished. We got most of it done but we filled the bakkie (truck) full so we'll have to wait to finish it another day.
We ate some lunch and headed out to our area. We found a lot of people who are on the Ward list but are less active. They all get home late from work so it makes it hard to see them. Work is the major reason why most people are less active. We also had a very awesome lesson with a guy named Thobile. He's a father of three and is married but so far we've just taught him. We finished teaching him the Restoration today but he basically taught us back with his answers to our questions.
We tried to give him a Book of Mormon but he said he already had one that he had inherited from his father's cousin's brother. He's flipped through it a bit but he wants to learn more about Joseph Smith before he starts reading it steadily. We plan on watching the Restoration dvd with him next time we see him. He's a solid guy and would be an awesome addition to the Ward. Just another hot day of work; I'm getting very tan.
Today was a rainy, rainy day. We started off with our weekly planning meeting and then went to see an investigator at Noon but he dropped! He always sets appointments for the mornings and then drops us and it ruins our plans because it stinks to bike back and forth from the Township when no one else is home.
We were able to find a less active women who stopped coming because she got married to her second husband and apparently in her culture she has to follow the husband's religion. Someone else told us that that isn't true so we'll have to have another talk with her but we're not going back for two weeks. Other than that it was just lots of biking in the rain. It was the hardest on the way home and I was soaked by the time we made it back. Luckily I had that nice rain jacket my awesome Father got for me before I left.
Happy Singles Awareness day to all of the missionaries! I felt like throwing law of chastity pamphlets at people but that probably wouldn't have been a good idea. Instead, we had District meeting this morning which went well. We talked about how the Book of Mormon can help investigators resolve their concerns. Afterward we went to Romans for some pizza. It's good pizza but the best in SA doesn't compare to the stuff back home.
It was raining again today even harder than yesterday so we were dropped off in our area. Of course the rest of the day it stopped raining and we could have taken the bikes. It was still a good day though. We saw some people and found a less active member who wants her name taken off the records because she has a new church that she likes more.
We had a good lesson with Mbali and Siya. They're a married couple and Siya was baptized when he was 8 but he doesn't really remember the church and he goes to a different one now but Mbali is investigating the church. We taught the plan of salvation and things were going good and they were asking really good questions. That's always nice to see in an investigator. We also extended an invitation to Mbali to be baptized and she agreed to it. We don't have a date yet, it was just a soft commitment. That's how I spent my Valentine's day.
Today was not such a good day. Elder Roeloffze had no appointments scheduled and the people that we did try to see weren't home. We were able to do our one hour of online study for the week and we went to Nandos, which is a chicken place, for lunch. Not much else happened today except that Elder Cobabe left me a steak to cook and it was delicious. I've become a much better cook on the mission. Nothing too fancy yet but definitely better than when I left.
I forgot to mention on Thursday that I was asked to speak today in Sacrament Meeting. It was the first time I answered the phone here and it just happened to be Brother Van Theil calling to ask if I'd speak on reverence outside of church. Bit of a strange topic but it turned out well. We had to be at the chapel at 9 today because Elder Carlson had to do a baptism interview for the Zone Leaders. The guy passed so that's good. His name is Davrin and he's engaged to a recent convert. He is a huge man. He's super tall and super built.
We had no investigators at church again which stunk. We teach lots of people here but no one comes to church! It's very frustrating. After Church there was a baptism for a 12 year old boy named Ethan Blighnaut. His dad is a member but his parents are separated and his mom finally gave permission for him to be baptized. A lot of the members stayed around for it and it was really cool. After that we went to the Tembos for lunch and they made us burritos which were amazing. Their oldest daughter served in the Denver North mission so she knows how to make real Mexican food.
Next we went to the Area for our 5 o'clock appointment which dropped. So we followed up on some people and then went to see Rex, our recent convert. He's had TB and has been talking about going back to Malawi but we thought this would be in the future but it turns out that he's leaving Wednesday. He rebuked us for not helping him and just reading papers to him. I don't know what help he wanted from us when he doesn't even tell us that he's leaving until three days before.
We had just come from an appointment where a drunk guy told us that he wants to kill his wife. We talked him out of it and then said a prayer with him. This has been a very stressful area so far. I hope things improve soon. I feel like a therapist sometimes with the problems that everyone tells us. It becomes a bit too much at times, but I'll get through it. That's one of the reasons why I love Sundays and going to Church so much, it really lifts me up and gets me ready for the next week.
1st half of Monday:
I'll tell you guys the rest of what we do today next week but this week we started off the day by going to Seaview Lion Park. I have some really sweet pictures to send. I went in a cage with a lion and a tiger and they were huge and very playful. The tiger jumped on the back of one of the volunteers working there and the lion was being too playful for us to take a picture with him but I still got some good pictures of him. It was 250 rand (25 dollars) and totally worth it! We might go back in two weeks and play with the little tiger cubs.
Love you all,