Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 38

Hello,

You guys aren't that boring, Mom, and it's good to hear all that’s going on at home. We don’t have the same rule about not eating with the members like you had in your mission. Most of the members in our area are rich. There's only one family in the township that feeds us every other Monday and they drive a car so I don’t think it’s hard on them. We paid Brother Mike in Cape Town because he would feed six missionaries a day and then ten on Fridays.

I've been doing good health wise so far. Unfortunately, we found out today that they are white washing our area. There was an Elder who needed to train but he'd been in his last area for six months so they had to white wash an area for him so they chose ours. Elder Carlson is going to Mthata and I'm going to Cape Town but I don't know where; I'll find out tonight. I'll tell you next week where I end up in Cape Town. Or Cape Tizzle as the missionaries call it.

Tuesday:
We started today off at the frail care centre. It was us and the Zone Leaders. We thought we were going to do gardening but when we got there they asked us to come inside with the residents. We were totally unprepared so we decided we could sing some hymns to start and then go from there. Luckily my iPod has sheet music on it so Elder Mahoney used it to play and then we sang. Elder Torr, Elder Carlson and I are very tone deaf and we didn't always remember all of the words. We introduced ourselves between the songs and then talked with the people. It actually turned out pretty well and I enjoyed it.

After frail care we went back to our boarding to help Brother Fourie move a mattress from another one of his properties. That only took 20 minutes so we went to email since we didn't get to on Monday.

We had two good appointments but then our next two appointments dropped and we could not think of anything to do so we took Elder Maynes’ training advice and did “finding” for two hours. It was a little rough at first but the more we did it the better it got and we ended up getting six return appointments. There is a couple with some great potential and I'm very excited.

Wednesday:
Elder Carlson is a computer genius. He fixed them back home for work. Elder Silcock and his wife have been here for about two months but they needed help setting their iPad up to print so they called Elder Carlson and we went over there this morning to help. I got to eat bacon, eggs, and pancakes and talk to Elder and Sister Silcock while Elder Carlson tried to figure it out. They don't have a laptop and that's what he needs to get it working so we're going to HAVE to go back again. I don't mind.

We then went to do service for Sister Parkin. She is a member in the Zone Leader’s area and we helped her install shelves in her kitchen and bathroom. South African construction is not the same. We had to drill a hole and then use a different bit to drill a bigger hole and then we had to pound in a fish plug and then hand screw a screw into that. It would have taken five minutes back home but here it took us two hours to hang mirrors and replace some drawer handles.

We then went to the area where we had a promising day with four appointments; all of which dropped. So we followed up on some of the people from yesterday that dropped and were able to see Thembelani. He's a stud and he'll probably be able to make it to Church this Sunday. His soccer league ends next month so then he'll be able to come more often. I'm pumped for him and I know he'll get baptized.

Other than that we did some more finding and set some appointments with people and gave Brother Johnson a blessing. He's confined to a wheelchair but he wants to get better so bad. He's also a super powerful guy and I love visiting him. I hope we can get him to Church soon because he really misses it.

Thursday:
Today we did the weekly planning for next transfer. It's crazy how fast this one has gone by. Most likely nothing will change on our side, but you never know. Our first appointment was with the Dwyi family. They are a bit less promising so we don't have high hopes. Brother Dwyi ended up talking about his life, and how Jesus saved it, for about 45 minutes straight. He also told us how he used to be a boxer and I was thinking to myself that he's been hit in the head a few too many times. He then tells us that he's been hit in the head and that's why he quit boxing. Poor guy. We gave him a card for a DVD and if he orders that we'll take it to him but other than that we're probably not going back.

We had another lesson but then two more dropped appointments so, more finding! I've never done so much finding on my mission. In Queenstown we were always busy and never had to. Here we've been busy enough that we don't have to but we've had a crazy week full of dropped appointments so I guess it's good to learn how to do it effectively.

We found two more guys with great potential today and we have some awesome lessons coming up. Hopefully they hold. Our last appointment was with a few girls from the South Africa women’s rugby team. One of them is a member and she and her friend came to Church last Sunday and her friend wants to know more. So we went and taught Nana and she seems very prepared for the gospel so we’re going to go back and teach her. The whole team wants us to come back and do a Family Home Evening with all of them. It sounds like a lot of fun and hopefully some more of them will start taking the lessons with Nana and start coming to Church.

Friday:
Today was another bad day. We had five set appointments and every single one of them dropped. Everyone we tried to go see instead --- not there. We biked up and down the township for four and a half hours. We did find two more guys who have some potential while we were street contacting but that was about it for the day.

We ended the day at Elder and Sister Blatter’s flat. Elder Carlson fixed their internet while I sat and talked to Sister Blatter and ate brownies. It's not bad to be me. They also invited us to come over for fajitas in the future. They're going to Joburg for some PEF training for a week but after that we get to go over for fajitas. I love senior couples; they make bad days seem not so bad.

Saturday:
I don't know what's been up with this week. We had seven scheduled appointments and six of them dropped. Thembelani was our saving grace again. I can't wait for him to be baptized. Other than that it was an extremely windy day. Elder Carlson’s tire completely deflated and we had to go back to the flat to fix it and by the time it was fixed it was too late to go back out to do anything. It's been a rough, rough week. Hopefully things pick up again soon.

Oh, Elder Carlson bought wax strips and had me wax his chest. I had a fun time and I totally caught him off guard a few times! We filmed the whole thing but its eleven minutes long so you'll have to wait until I get back to see it. We also did a little bit of shopping but today is payday and every store is filled with people. Everyone spends all of their money on payday and then barely makes it through the rest of the month.

Sunday:
Church was very nice today. I love fast and testimony meetings. There are some really awesome people here. We even had investigators at Church to listen to them. One was Nana, the rugby girl. Thobile, the guy we've been teaching couldn't make it, but he sent his three kids to Church. I hope he can make it soon.

I taught the gospel principle’s lesson after Sacrament Meeting and it was about the millennium. The two investigators that were in the class hadn't even been taught the plan of salvation yet so I turned it into more of a plan of salvation lesson. It worked out very well. After Church we went to Sister Parkin’s flat for lunch with the ward mission leader and his wife. We ate outside in the garden. She fed us lots of vegetables and gamin and chicken and it was a very good meal to break our fast.

We had two appointments after lunch that the other Elders took us to but they both dropped, bringing our total up to 21 dropped appointments in one week. That's got to be a record or something. We were able to see Sister Margret and teach her and then we tried to find a guy that we had met street contacting. He said he lives behind one of the spazza shops.

Spazza shops are little shops that sell just about everything and they're all over the township. We went to the one that he said and there were a bunch of shacks and only one of them was open. We knocked at that one and the guy called us in. He was very drunk and would stutter for ten seconds before he could say anything. We asked him if he knew the guy we were looking for and he said no and then he asked us if we were the Jesus people. This went on for a bit until we gave him a pamphlet and left.

The townships are filled with so many drunk people on the weekends. Every little shabeen is full of people getting drunk. I've never smelled so much or seen so many drunk people in my life. Not to mention that there is broken glass everywhere. We tried following up on some people but had no success so we decided to call it a week because it was getting dark.

Thus ends the craziness of this week. And thus ends the 6th week of my 6th transfer on the mission. At this coming transfer I will turn 10 months old on the mission and have my 20th birthday. Elder Torr will turn 22 months on the mission and my companion, Elder Carlson, will be having his last weekend on the mission. Needless to say, we are going to party hard...but not too hard since we are still missionaries!

Love you all,

Elder Kupka