Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Week 41

I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying yourself in California, Mom. I love the ocean and I love seeing it. It just stinks that we can’t go into it. That's crazy that you met Elder Hiltbrand's mom. There is a guy in the Meadow Ridge Ward that just got back from Kenya the week I got here. It sounds like it would be a very interesting place to visit but I don't know if I could spend two years there. South Africa has got a good mix of crazy and civilized.

I do still have the Ward member’s addresses. I actually just re-found them today. When I first got them I was in Queenstown and there were no postcards there and then I forgot when I was in Port Elizabeth but I'll try and get some sent out now that I'm back in Cape Town. We do have an awesome ward back home. I've been able to get wifi access at the email shop and at the Chapel now so I should be back on track for sending emails every week. Things are always hectic the first week in a new area.

Monday:
After emailing we went to Spur for lunch. It’s always a missionary favorite on Mondays because of the two-for-one burger deal. After that we went to the mission office and washed the car. With a shiny car we went to play sports in Pinelands where the missionaries gather every P-day. A nice thing about Cape Town is that you are around lots of missionaries and you can always find something to do. We played rugby for a bit and then we had to start heading back to get ready for two appointments that evening. On the way home we got caught in the worst traffic I've ever seen in my life. It took us forever to get home and then we were running late to our first appointment with Sister Davison. We finally got there and read from the Book of Mormon with her to get a foundation started. She's doing great. She and her husband are also starting to teach us Shona a bit. We were then late to see Brother Mida Asombi. He's the father of four kids, three of whom we've been teaching. We ended up not getting there until 8:00 pm because of all of the traffic and he said it was too late and to come back the next day at 2:00 in the afternoon. We were pretty disappointed because we really want to teach him so we can start getting his whole family involved together.

Tuesday:
Brother Asombi was the first appointment. We had an amazing lesson with him about the restoration. He was understanding well and asking good questions. He's from the DRC so his English isn't the best but we were communicating just fine and he accepted a baptismal date of May 25. We just need to get his wife and oldest daughter on board and then we'll have a new family of seven people for the ward! We are so excited for them.

We also saw the Masselas, also from DRC. Three of their children are going to be baptized on the 13th of April. Two will be children of record, they're twins, and one is 10 years old and they somehow just didn't get around to baptizing her when her siblings were baptized. We had left them with a commitment to read 1 Nephi 6 and if they did we were going to watch the restoration DVD with them. When we got there we asked them if they had read chapter 6. They said no. And we were very disappointed until they said they had read chapters 6 and 7! Made my day! So we watched the DVD with them and they liked it a lot. I'm really enjoying myself here and I love the people. We also saw the Mbombos that night. They are another member family that forgot to baptize they're daughter. Miradi is their daughter who is our recent convert so we went to see her. Oh and they are also from the DRC. I'm going to end up speaking French by the time I leave here. Miradi was sleeping when we got there but the rest of the family wanted us to still share something so we ended up talking about our favorite subject. Missionary work! During the lesson we mentioned the Asombis and now they want to get involved in teaching and fellowshipping them. Missionary work here is just too easy.

Wednesday:
Today we saw Kama. He's doing awesome. We watched the restoration DVD with him and we were going to commit him to be baptized after. During the DVD however the electricity ran out and the DVD got stuck in the machine before it finished. So we just rolled with it. Elder Freitas asked him if he remembered the part where Joseph Smith’s father was baptized. Kama gave him a really puzzled look and said no. Elder Freitas didn't know how to respond to that. I then remembered that DVD had stopped before it happened and jumped in and helped him explaining what happened and then asked if he would be baptized on the 25th of May. He said yes. He's a really cool kid. I call him kid but he's 20 so I guess he's older than me. For now. After him we had a lesson with a guy named James. He's one of the ones we had met outside of Chwayatile's house. We're talking for a bit and then Ganizani, another one of the people we had met when we met James, walks in and says he wants to be there for the lesson. So we start teaching them both. We got through the whole restoration but it took a while. They were asking lots of really good questions but we were hitting them with really good answers. After the lesson they said how much they liked our answers and how much sense they made. Ganizani has a position in the Presbyterian Church but he said he's going to come visit our Church in two weeks and he wants to read the Book of Mormon. It was powerful. We also saw Sister Davison that night. We started teaching about the plan of salvation. She offered the closing prayer and in it she mentioned how she knows the Book of Mormon is true. Just a nice little moment!

Thursday:
We saw Brother Asombi in the morning and this time we were teaching him about the Book of Mormon. It was another solid lesson and we ended by reading Moroni 10:3-5. After we read it he turns to us and says, “I know this is true.” I always get the best feeling inside when investigators say that. It's been a very spiritual week.  We also saw James Chimonenji. We are teaching three different people named James. He's a guy who the APs were teaching before. Capricorn used to be their area but now it's part of ours. He's a really cool guy. We walked in on him reading the Book of Mormon and then re-taught him about the restoration to check his understanding. He knew it very well and we gave him a baptismal date for the 25th of May. After that we saw Lloyd. He's another guy we found on the street who has a girlfriend and two daughters. We're going to have to get some things sorted before they can be baptized but when we were ready to teach him he invited three of his neighbors to sit in and join us. That was pretty sweet. By the end of the lesson two of them had left but one was interested and wants us to keep teaching her. Her name is Yamkela. Not a bad day for my 9 month click day.

Friday:
We had district meeting in the morning per usual. We talked about Christ-like attributes today. Afterwards we went to Brother Mike’s place and had Mike’s chicken. Afterward  we went and saw Sister Sifa. She's doing very well. She's still very pregnant and should be having her baby in the next few weeks. She's progressing well though. She feels like she's not getting an answer to her prayers about whether or not the Church is true. We told her it takes time and we introduced the Book of Mormon to her and said it should help her  get an answer if she reads it. We then saw Chwayatile and Kama and talked about the priesthood and prepared Chwayatile to bless the sacrament on Sunday. That night we got fed by Brother Sam. He’s an awesome guy with two little girls and they fed all six of us. It was good. Then we went to correlation meeting. Brother Knighton’s wife works for the U.S. Embassy so they live in a 10 million rand house in a super nice gated community. They have a great view of Cape Town so I don't mind going to correlation. Brother Knighton sells soap as a side business while the Embassy takes care of them. They are from Idaho

Saturday:
Wasn't our best day. Almost all of our appointments dropped so we set a bunch of new appointments for next week. We filmed our report for the upcoming Zone Conference. It's to the tune of “Last Friday Night” by Katy Perry but the ZLs redid it and now it's called “At Brother Mike’s”. They basically just filmed us having a party at Brother Mike’s place. I hope it didn't get too wild. They're going to make us a DVD so you guys will get to see it eventually.

Sunday:

Church was great today. We had six investigators there. In the gospel principle’s class there were only people from our area. After Church we were going to join the choir but it got cancelled. So we went back to the flat and I made some mince and pasta with frozen vegetables. Then we went to see Kama. He had a friend over when we got there so we started talking to both of them and then two more friends showed up. We talked for a while and introduced what we do as missionaries and talked a bit about our message and now all three of them want us to start teaching them. Afterwards we went over to the Davison’s house. We continued teaching the plan of salvation and Sister Davison was asking lots of good questions and explaining things well. You can see a huge change in her from the first lesson. She was very shy at first and it was hard to get her to say much but now she's asking questions and explaining things and doing amazing. I'm so happy for her. We've had a powerful week and the work here is just exploding and I'm grateful that I have this opportunity to be a part of it.

Love you all,
Elder Kupka