Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Week 40

It's been a very hectic week.  I haven't had time to start writing my email until now and it is Friday. Monday after emails I spent the whole day stressing out about where I was going. I still couldn't believe that they were whitewashing our area and I was leaving after just six weeks.

After emailing we went to an aquarium and it helped to get my mind off things. The aquarium also had sea lions and penguins and they did a little show with the sea lions and we watched them feed the penguins. It was pretty sweet and a girl from Wisconsin was the one doing the show. When she found out we were also Americans after the show she went and got a baby turtle and let us all hold it.

That night we had an FHE with the Chimutis again. We talked about charity and love then said our good-byes and took pictures. It's very strange telling people we both have to leave and they were sad to see us go. After that we just sat around the boarding waiting for the APs to call me and the ZLs since Elder Carlson had already gotten his news from the President. The call never came. We didn't want to bug the APs so we just went to sleep.

Elder Mahoney sent them an SMS in the morning asking what our news was. They finally called and said that they had forgotten about us somehow. But I finally got my news. I'm going back to Cape Town to the same Zone as before just in Meadow Ridge Ward. Elder Mahoney is coming with me to keep being my ZL and I'm in an area called Grassy Park. My new companion is Elder Freitas. He's from Brazil. I'd never met him before but we've had a blast together these last few days. He's only one transfer older than me so that's nice. Old missionaries all just talk about home so it's nice to be around someone else that's still got a year left.

We spent all of Tuesday saying good-bye to people. One funny story is that we went to say good-bye to some people with the car. During one of the good-byes Elder Mahoney went out to the car to grab something from the boot. When he came back in the keys were missing. He ended up shutting the keys in the boot when we were already running late to see other people. To make things even better. The Blatters, who have the spare keys, are in Joburg and no one has access to their flat. So we got a hanger. Pried the door back a bit and after 15 minutes Elder Carlson was able to loop it around the lock and pull it up. The alarm didn't even go off. Glad to know these are safe cars.

Wednesday was transfer day and Elder Carlson’s bus left at 6:40 and our flight left at 8:00. So we were running around all over trying to get everyone to where they need to be. Eventually it all worked out and everyone ended up in their new area. The nice thing about transfer day in Cape Town is that everyone meets up at the mission home and they provide food for us. So I was able to see so many people I hadn't seen in a long time and grab some food too. It was quite nice. Elder Frietas eventually got there and we left for the flat. I'm driving an Etios again and I'm pumped for the manual. Our flat is pretty nice. They moved in here about a month ago and all of the appliances are brand new. The only down part to this place is we don't have a shower, just a bath. They're nice but they take forever.

Wednesday afternoon we had a few appointments. The first lessons together are always a bit shaky but we did alright and got two new baptismal dates on my first night here! One is Sister Davison; she is married to an RM and wants to be baptized on April 13. We apparently have two more baptisms on that day too. The other is Sister Adesi and we’re going to try for May with her. We also got fed that night by a member who everyone said really wanted to see me. That member was Brother Mike! I'm in his Ward now. He gave me the biggest hug when I got there. I could not stop smiling the whole time I was there. I was pretty sad to be leaving Walmer but I love my area, love my companion, and love Brother Mike. This is the only place I could have gone and been happy about it.

Thursday we only had one set appointment so went around trying to find some people and meet members. It wasn't working out the greatest. We did have one recent convert tell us to come back; the Masela family. They’re a member family but they forgot to baptize one of their daughters who is now 10 so she’s one of the baptisms in April. She also has twin little sisters who are seven but turn eight on April 13th so they'll all be baptized together. They're sweet kids and they understand quite a bit. We read a chapter in the Book of Mormon with them.

Then we went back to see the recent convert guy. His name is Chwaytile. He was in a rush when we got there so we just scheduled an appointment. There were some other guys sitting outside and they started asking why we never talk about Jesus with them. We gave them pamphlets and then started getting their contact details. While we were getting their information two more guys showed up and wanted us to teach them too. So we got their info and then decided to just sit down and have a lesson with three of the four guys then since one had left. It was a good lesson and they asked lots of questions. We were able to get a return appointment with all three.

As we were about to leave another guy comes up and he's from Mozambique so the other guys introduced him to Elder Freitas since they both speak Portuguese. They talked for a while and now this guy wants to be taught too. I've never seen anything like this. It was powerful and exactly what they need. All of them are married and have kids and I'm very excited for them. They are trying to split Grassy Park and Meadow Ridge into two different Wards and if we added five more father lead families it would be perfect.

Another cool thing is that the Cape Town Stake split this last Sunday into two Stakes. I wish I had gotten here a few days sooner to see it. Oh well. Friday was another very solid day. We had Zone meeting in the morning and we talked about involving the right members with specific investigators. It was a good training and afterwards we went over to Brother Mike’s for food. I've missed these days. I really am glad to be back.

We had an appointment at half two with Sister Sifa. She's a very pregnant investigator and very prepared. We taught the restoration and she believes everything we said but she needs to pray about it which is exactly what we want her to do. She's probably going to have her baby at the end of the month but she said she'll start coming to Church after that. We were teaching her and her sister. Her sister likes it too but they're from Burundi and she speaks mostly French. So she'll have a harder time. Both are very sweet.

We had a lesson with a guy named Nhyarai from Malawi. This guy is awesome. We read 1 Nephi 5 & 6 with him and this guy understood everything and was making some deep connections. His problem is he works every Sunday and he's going back to Malawi next month. But he'll be back in June and things will be easier for him to come to Church then so he's got a baptism date in June.

We also taught a guy named Charles also from Malawi. This guy is sweet. His English isn't the best and we spent a lot of time trying to define words like nevertheless but eventually he understood it all and if everything goes well he'll be baptized on April 13. This area is crazy busy and I'm loving it.

Elder Freitas and I are doing great. I'll have to check on Monday but we might be the second youngest companionship in the mission which is crazy considering he's 10 months and I'm 9. Saturday was a pretty sweet day. We taught Zackeyo this morning. We read from the Book of Mormon with him and he had already started reading so we just kept going. He also asked us afterwards why Muslims are all so wealthy. Elder Freitas shared a scripture about trials and then we talked about how we really learn and grow and how money wasn't going to make us the most happy in the next life. He really liked our answer and said he wasn't going to go become a Muslim so that's a bonus.

We had a few other lessons and had one drop but we were able to make three new appointments with some other people so it worked out fine. We then went to correlation at the chapel. This Ward actually has Ward missionaries and they come once a month. We had to drive two of the three because they are only 16 and 17. They're pretty sweet kids though and I'm going to enjoy having them around. In this Ward there are six full time missionaries; two of which are the Assistants. Needless to say, Elder Freitas and I were the most productive. We have five people who could be baptized on April 13, a few in May and one in June. There's only one other baptism between the other four Elders.

So you could say we're the best, but really the spirit is the best. The spirit has been so strong in some of the lessons that we had this week and I'm so grateful that we don't have to do it alone. I've only been here four days and it's been a great four days.

Sunday was awesome. The Ward is pretty great. There's actually quite a few that I recognized from my time in Mowbray Ward. Everyone always asks where I'm from when they see Kupka and when I tell them Utah you can see that they are disappointed. I guess that's what you get for being from the “missionary factory” as everyone here calls it.

After Church we had a very busy day. We even had to turn down a dinner appointment from a member because we were so busy. We taught Chwayatile and his brother Kama. Chwaytile is a recent convert and his brother was taught the first lesson today. He seems very accepting to it because he's seen what it has done for Chwayatile already. We then saw Brother and Sister Davison. Brother Davison is no longer working at his job so he made it to Church today. Sister Davison didn't make it today but should be able to come for the next five weeks until her baptism. Everything is in order for her to be baptized we just need to finish teaching her. We watched the restoration DVD with her today and then introduced the Book of Mormon.  It was such a spiritually charged lesson. Everything was flowing perfectly and her husband was bearing powerful testimony which helped. It's too easy with her.

Our last lesson was with brother Nyarai. He had read chapter 7 and summarized it perfectly and then compared it to a chapter in Judges. I am so impressed with this guy. We went on to read chapter 8 with him and afterwards he commented on how when we read with him he feels a burning desire in his heart to keep going and learn more. That was a pretty awesome and spiritual moment for me. I've been so happy this week and so busy that it is just flying by. I love the Ward and everyone that we are teaching.

It's been a great week and it's only week 1! One other side note; I found out this week that Sister Zita and Jean Jacque, who were the only progressing investigators I had the last time I was here, are both getting baptized at the end of this month! It's so awesome to see that the seeds that I had planted are blossoming into such a wonderful thing. This has been one of my best weeks on the mission.