Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Week 37

Hello again!

For my talk on reverence outside of the Church I spoke about how we need to maintain our reverence during the week so that we are examples to people outside of the Church as well as inside.

The people in the township are super poor. Lots of them are domestic workers or construction workers and they have really low paying jobs. It's kind of sad but people’s houses aren't very big so they don't cost a lot so the money is enough for them to get by. They usually don't have a lot of clothes and most of their money goes to buy their food.

I feel pretty safe most of the time. We always leave by sunset and nothing sketchy has happened during the day. We talk to lots of drunk people but they’re usually pretty friendly. One of them asked me what my name was and I said Elder Kupka and his response was, “Kupka? What the *&%# is that?” I almost socked him but I controlled myself. He wants us to change his friend’s life who owns a hair salon but he doesn't want to meet with us.

Part two of Monday:
Nothing exciting happened after we saw the lions and tigers but we did go to the Chimuti's for FHE. They had forgotten about us so it took them a while to round up their kids and we kept saying we could reschedule but they didn't want to. We ended up being at their house for two hours but we were able to have a nice lesson with them, play a game, and eat some pap, boerwoers and cabbage with our fingers. My stomach is starting to feel not so good. I think I'm getting a second round of diarrhea which sucks. I haven't been healthy since I got to Port Elizabeth but it hasn't slowed down the work so that's good.

I forgot to mention yesterday that the Zone Leaders went to Cape Town which means that we got the car today. It was lovely. We had an appointment with Thembelani teaching the law of chastity. We were a bit nervous for this one but he said that he has no problems. This guy is golden and will hopefully be baptized in March. The only problem could be that he plays soccer for a club and the games are often on Sundays.

We had a lesson with a woman named Monica who we just started teaching last week but today we introduced the Book of Mormon and she feels our message is true. We prayed to give her the strength to read and pray and go to church. Hopefully she'll start coming. She struggles a bit with English and we don't always know how much she understands.

After her lesson we went to see Simon and Reward and their six month old son. They're a less active family but only because of work. It was our first time seeing them and they want us to start having FHE with them which I'm very excited for. We finished the day with a taco night. Elder Cobabe had some taco seasoning sent to him and we made our own tortillas. Another successful District dinner to cap off an awesome day.

Not much happened today. We had to go pick up the ZLs from the airport and give them the car back, unfortunately.  Then we went out to our area and all of our appointments dropped except for the one we had with Thobile. He's an awesome guy. We watched the first half of the Restoration DVD with him because he wants to know more about Joseph smith. He wanted to keep the DVD and keep watching it so we let him. I hope he and his family get baptized.

Nothing special today. It was super windy and it made biking all the more difficult. We saw a less active guy that wants to serve a mission but he works four days on and then two days off so it's hard for him to come to Church. Other than that we had dropped appointments all day.

Today was amazing! I was on exchanges with Elder Mahoney and we had a blast! We had District meeting in the morning and then District lunch. We went to McDonalds and Elder Cobabe and I split a party box. It has 2 big burgers, 2 little burgers, 2 medium drinks, 2 small drinks, 2 medium fries and 2 small fries. We split it in half and it was only 60 Rand.

Elder Mahoney and I went to the boardwalk to give a Book of Mormon to a lady who Elder Mahoney had talked to. She wasn't there and when we went back to the car a guy was washing it for us so we went and walked around a bit. We were taking a picture and a girl walked up and offered to take it for us. After she took it we started talking to her and she's a 23 year old girl from England who's taking a trip around the world just for fun. I'm super jealous. She's going to lots of cool places.

We then went to pick up a member named Luthando Makanda to come fellowshipping with us. He's from Queenstown so we we're having lots of fun together and we taught some powerful lessons. Our last appointment was with Sister Appoloniah. She's a wonderful woman from Zimbabwe. She usually cooks for the missionaries when they come but she'd forgotten about us so she only made cupcakes and maputi which is Zimbabwean popcorn. Then she promised that next time the missionaries come she's going to send a plate of food home with them for me. She's one of the nicest, most giving people I've ever met. That appointment ended our exchange. Elder Mahoney has been my only six week companion so far if I do kill Elder Carlson next transfer. We have such a connection that I wish we could be together longer.

I was on exchanges with Elder Cobabe again, this time in my area. We helped clean the chapel in the morning. We didn't really do much because we didn't know that we were supposed to be there so we were an hour late but we did what we could. Then the Clearly Elders called and said that there is a guy there named Brother Wayne and he wanted to see me. So they came and picked us up and I got to see Brother Wayne from Queenstown again! I was pumped because he's such an awesome guy and I was glad to see that he's still doing well.

We then went back to our area and met with a guy who is less active because he's in a wheelchair. His name is Petross Johnson. He's been to the Temple and he wants to come to Church but his right leg doesn't work for some reason. We gave him a Book of Mormon because he had lost his. Then we went over to Sister Margrettes to pray with her for her leg to be better so she could come to Church. She's missing Church a lot because she has an ulcer in her leg and it makes it very difficult for her to walk.

Our last thing today was to go to a baptism for the other two missionaries in our area. His name is Davrin Hunter and he's a super powerful guy and a giant! He's 6' 7" and built like a rock. I'm jealous of his biceps. His baptism went well and that ended our exchange.

Another good Sunday at Church. The talks were on forgiveness and repentance and the speakers did a really good job. Thembelani also made it to Church too. He just missed the Sacrament but he was there for everything else. Things are looking good for him to be baptized next month.

After Church we were fed by the Fouries who are the people whose flat we live in. It was an amazing meal. We had home cooked meat pies with pasta, potato, and regular salads, followed by two rounds of dessert. Davrin and his fiancé Candice, who is a recent convert, joined us as well. It was lovely.

We went to our area but our appointment dropped so we went around trying to set appointments for the week. We had a bit of success. We weren't in the area too long because the Van Theils wanted us over for pancake (crepe) dinner. They are an awesome family with four crazy kids. It was a lot of fun.

After dinner we had to go to the chapel because the George and Knysna Elders are here for a training that we have tomorrow with Elder Maynes of the Presidency of the Seventy. We are going to sing a musical piece during the training. Our Zone is pretty tone deaf but we'll be alright. All in all it was a good week; lots of dropped appointments but we still did alright.

We started off today by going bowling with the Zone. It was pretty fun but it's been forever since I bowled and I only got in the 90s. The other weird part is that instead of giving us shoes they made us bowl bare foot. I didn't really like that either. We went to Spur for lunch and then made our way over to the Chapel for the training by Elder Maynes and it was very good.

His wife spoke for about ten minutes and then we sang our musical piece which sounded a lot better than when we practiced it. Elder Maynes spoke for two and a half hours straight. For about an hour he was behind the pulpit and then he got a portable microphone and speaker and walked around having discussions with us.

He talked about the importance of the spirit. He said that we need to plan for baptisms and that if people aren't progressing instead of babysitting them we should just put their name in the area book and find new people to teach and hopefully our younger brothers will get them. It sounds pretty harsh because you develop a love for these people even if they don't progress like they should but I guess it makes sense that we should use our time to focus on those people who really want to learn about the gospel.  We've got some work to do. After the training we went to Brother Chimuti's for FHE and dinner and it was a pretty solid day.

Until next week,
Elder Kupka