Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 42

Hello again,

I've been working very hard on my emails so I’m glad that they're turning out well. Cape Town isn't the greatest for missionary work. We're all very surprised to be as busy as we are. Last year the Meadow Ridge Ward had one baptism and the year before that they only had two. This year they've already had two and have another eight coming up next month. We have probably at least another eight coming up in May. Everyone is surprised by the success that we've been having; both the missionaries and the members. Hopefully it will help the members be more motivated to get involved as well. Brother Mike is a definite bonus to being here; I love him so much.

It’s crazy that the Kohlers are going to be mission presidents. The Alpine mission covers several countries I believe. Thanks for your email, Mom, I loved it. It almost made me tear up a bit. I'm looking forward to the birthday box for sure. Time is flying by and I still don't believe that I'm almost 20 years old or that I'm almost a year on the mission.

After emailing today Elder Freitas and I went to Burger King for lunch. Another one has popped up since I left Cape Town. So after today I've eaten at all three Burger Kings in Africa. I also bought some casual shoes that aren't running shoes. They were only 100 rand. They're just some black slip-ons.

We had a practice in Mowbray for the song that we have to sing in the upcoming Zone Conference. I forgot what the song is called but it's to the tune of “Be Still My Soul”.

We had an appointment with Sister Davison again tonight. We saw her the night before and asked her to just read a few verses from 1 Nephi 4 and when we got there she had read the entire chapter. This woman has kept every single commitment we've left for her. I don't know why I am blessed with such golden investigators. We had a great lesson finishing the Plan of Salvation. I'm so excited for her. After that we had an appointment with James Chimonenji. It was around 8:00 pm and it had gotten super dark and neither of us were feeling very safe in Capricorn so we decided to call him and reschedule for another time. We tried following up with a few people in Grassy Park but to no avail so we went home.

We saw Brother Asombi again this morning and read 1 Nephi 1 with him. He's progressing and I have high hopes for his family. After that we had lunch and then went to get the tyres rotated, balanced and aligned on our car. Then we went to pick up Brother Davison to take him to see Brother Asombi's kids. Eden and Exauc were the only two there but they said that they had sat down together on Sunday and read with Brimadi. So that was pretty cool. We started to teach them the Plan of Salvation. Eden especially liked the part about Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. We saw James Mphandi and taught him about the Book of Mormon and he really liked it and said that he would start reading it.

We had a very interesting start to our day today. One of our neighbors teaches a tourism class at a high school and she wanted Elder Freitas to come talk about Brazil. So we went and found out that it is an all-girl Catholic school and he was teaching a bunch of grade 10 girls. So he talked about why we're here as missionaries and then about Brazil.

At the end they asked me why I had been so quiet. I told them that I don't know anything about Brazil and that I'm from the U.S. All of a sudden they had a ton of questions for me. Luckily the bell rang and the class was over. They apparently end each class with a prayer over the loud speaker. I was quite confused because everyone was crossing themselves. But as they were leaving we gave each of them a pass along card. We got a sweet picture with all of them holding up their cards.

After the class the Reverend of the school talked to us for a bit and he wants us to come and teach his religion class next term. We also gave him a Book of Mormon and he's very excited to start reading it. After that we saw Brother James from yesterday again. He had a few friends come over so we decided to watch the Restoration DVD with them. He was asking questions throughout the whole movie and it was really making things clear for him. After the movie he basically taught the Restoration to his two friends and we got return appointments with both of them.

We had an awesome lesson with Sister Davison about the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is my favorite lesson. I don't know why but it just is. It went very well and she's super excited for her baptism. I am too. Our last appointment was with Brother Nyarai. This guy is so ready to be baptized. He offered us tea and Elder Freitas asked him if it was roiboos and he said, “of course” because that's what he's been taught. We then watched the Restoration DVD with him. I've seen this thing so many times it's ridiculous. It’s always cool to hear Brother Sorensen and Brother Nelson's voices in it (note: men from our Provo Ward). Nyarai loved it. He said that he'd seen it before but that this time it made much more sense to him. If this guy could just come to Church he'd be a Bishop already.

We started weekly planning in the morning but only got half way done because we had to see Brother Mida. We got to his house only to find him not there. We stopped by again later and found out that he had been in the hospital but we're not sure why. So we came back to the flat and finished our weekly planning and then went to Brother Mike’s for lunch.

I was on exchanges with Elder Clarke, the District Leader, today. We had district meeting in the morning and it was about the power and authority of the priesthood. Afterward, we went to Eastern Foods Bazaar for lunch and to celebrate Elder Kively's year mark. After that we went to pick up Kalen Hendricks, a member, to come fellowshipping with us. He's a really sweet kid. He's 16 years old but he's big enough to be 26. We took him to see someone who dropped so he then came tracting with us. 

I hate tracting! I'm so grateful that I haven't been in an area where I had to tract. Everyone we’ve met has been because of referrals or street contacting. When tracting everyone is rude and won't let you say two sentences. So of course our next two appointments also dropped and we went tracting some more. Blech! I love my area. We finished our uneventful day with correlation meeting and chocolate chip cookies which made things a little better.

We had a pretty promising day but more than half of our appointments dropped. I wasn't very surprised because that is a typical Saturday on the mission. The white handbook says that Saturdays are the best time for proselyting because everyone is home. Wrong. Everyone is gone or if they are home they're watching soccer and want nothing to do with us. We did manage to see the Masselas though and went over the baptism interview questions with them. They did awesome and we found out that I will be baptizing Victoria and Elder Freitas will be baptizing the twins. Pretty exciting stuff.

There was a drunk guy from Zimbabwe who came up and asked my companion and I if we were from the States. I said I was. He then went on to tell me that he'll get baptized and do whatever I want him to do as long as I can get him to the States. I kept telling him that there's nothing I can do for him but he wouldn't believe me. Finally he just gave up and I gave him a pass along card for his troubles. Drunk people are crazy. 

We did try to see the Davisons but Sister Davison was not feeling well so we gave her a blessing and let her sleep. When we got back to our flat our neighbors came out and gave us some chocolates to say thanks for going to their class and talking to them. They then invited us in. Elder Freitas was talking to the wife and I was talking to the husband. His name is Ken and he's a super nice and awesome guy but he was totally drunk. He was mixing red wine and Pepsi and kept offering some to me.

We talked for a while and for the most part it was pretty normal, except that he thinks he can psychically tell where I have problems in my body. So he kept poking me in different places saying that you need to get this and this looked at. Their daughter and her boyfriend were there too and they were asking me questions about America. Everyone thinks it’s the coolest thing that I come from there and want to know all about it. I never really know what to tell them. 

They're an awesome family and they said that we can use their braai stand whenever we want. We're thinking of having a braai on my birthday and inviting them so we can keep building our relationship with them and hopefully get them to come to Church. We gave Ken a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet the next day.

Awesome day at church. We had six investigators there and they are all awesome. I'm so excited for this area. There's a lot of work to be done and these next few months should be amazing. After Church we taught the Davisons at the Chifarimba’s house. We talked about prayer, scripture study, obedience and following the Prophet and the Spirit was very powerful in their home. When they say it's best to teach investigators in member’s homes they are right. It's just hard for us because we can't give non-members rides in the car and most people don't have transport here. We're working with a few really awesome members though and that should really help out a lot.

Our last appointment today was with Sister Noxolo. She's been less active because her husband is not a member. She was baptized in Queenstown so knows a lot of the same people as me. She's been wanting to come back and we're starting to teach her husband. We were supposed to see them tonight but he was in the Eastern Cape for a funeral. So we went to get Brother Miley to come with us. It was an awesome lesson and he even offered to start taking her to Church on Sundays. I have seen so many miracles these past few weeks here. Things have been working out exactly how they need to. Not always how we want them to but exactly as they need to. Obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings miracles. I've gained a huge testimony of that. Elder Freitas and I aren't perfect but we're doing our best and we are seeing lots of results.

This morning we went to Somerset West to Monkey Town. It was 60 Rand to get in and another 50 Rand to go in a cage with some little monkeys and feed them and let them crawl all over us. Totally worth it. I took probably 200 pictures and I'm trying to get them all on Dropbox. I've got about 40 on so far and it may take some time. Other than that we went to McDonald’s and are emailing from here. We have two appointments tonight so that should be fun.

Love and miss all of you!

Elder Kupka