Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 43

Hello all,
Here's this week.

After emailing we went and changed our clothes to get ready for our appointments. It’s beginning to become winter here. It's getting colder and has been raining for the past two days. As we were headed to Capricorn Brother Davison called and cancelled our appointment with him so we just had Brother Chimonenji. We were late because of traffic but he was late as well and it all worked out.

Brother Chimonenji had recently moved to a new place so while we were teaching him his new roommate came in and we started talking with him too. He had questions about fasting and about little children if they can be blamed for their parent’s sins. We answered both of his questions using the Book of Mormon and he really liked the answers we gave him. His name is Alexandro and we're going to start teaching him tomorrow.

It’s just another example of how everything works out not how we plan it to but how it needs to be. Everything that had to happen for us to meet this guy makes it seem impossible. He's from Durban and only recently moved to Cape Town and then Chimonenji just recently moved to stay with him and then we happen to set an appointment for when he would be there. The Lord knows who He has prepared and He has prepared many people here in Capricorn for us.

It was a bit of a rough day. None of our appointments held. We were able to visit some people but not teach anything and we set more appointments for later on. The best thing that happened today is that we got our flat sprayed for fleas. We've had a flea problem since I got here. Hopefully this will help because I have been so dang itchy.

Today was Zone Conference. We had to be in Bellville at 8:00 o’clock. We left our flat at 7:00 and it's a 40 minute drive. We got there after 8:00 because we were stuck in terrible traffic the whole way. Luckily everyone else got stuck in it and the 8:00 o’clock meeting was just for leadership. The actual conference started at 9:00.

It was a pretty sweet training. The AP's taught on the importance of prayer and how we need to be praying at all times whether we’re teaching or finding because it involves the Lord in our work. After their training we had a snack break. Elder Freitas offered to bless our snacks for us. So he blessed it and then he threw in, “please help us to find someone to teach while we eat”. He meant it as a joke and we had a good laugh. But then while we were eating the phone rings and some lady that had known the missionaries before asks if we can come and help at the library.

Apparently the missionaries in the past had been doing this. We've been trying to find more ways to give service to people and we had just prayed to find someone new to see. It was pretty powerful. We were stunned. The Lord really does answer prayers and I've gained a very powerful testimony of that. Not just from today, though that helped a lot, but from everything that's been happening on the mission.

President and Sister Woods gave us training on the Tree of Life. It was really awesome and led me to think about it in a whole new way. The basics of it are that we can use it as an analytical tool to see if our investigators are in the great and spacious building or partaking of the fruit or somewhere in between. Then once we realize where they are we can tailor the lesson to what's going to help them the most to partake of the fruit. Pretty powerful and definitely something we're going to start using. We have a recent convert who relapsed and started smoking cigarettes and this will be perfect for her I think.  Sweet day.

Last week we had a plumber come to look at our bathroom to see if he can put in a shower. Apparently our bath tub was leaking into the flat below us. He showed up today with a few other guys and started ripping our bathroom apart. Our sink, bath tub and all the tiles were gone. Luckily the other guys stay in the same complex so we'll have to go there to take showers in the mornings. These guys are apparently going to be working on our bathroom until next week Friday. Lucky us!

Other than that we had a decent day. We went to see a less active family that had been returning to church but they weren't there. One of their daughters was there and she hasn't been coming at all. We were able to talk to her in the doorway for half an hour or so and she wants us to keep coming back and help her get back to church. Just another instance of the Lord knowing what's best.

I've learned that when appointments drop it's for a reason and there is someone else that we need to go see instead. After that we went to see another family that has been investigating. It’s a husband and wife and their son. They had another guy staying with them today that they knew back in Malawi. We taught them about the Book of Mormon and the wife loved it and was very accepting of it. The other two, not so much.

They had problems with there being another "bible" and Jesus couldn't possibly visit the people in the Americas and if He did why didn't he come to Africa. We kept showing them answers to their questions in the Book of Mormon and the Bible but they were still very skeptical. By the end I was just pleading with them to give it a chance; to read it and pray about it and then make their own decision about it. I didn't want to bash with them. I didn't want to prove that one of us was right and one was wrong, I just wanted them to give it a chance. I think eventually it got through to them and they said that they would.

I can see where they are coming from though. They've been taught one thing their whole life and now two white guys are telling them that there's more and some of their ideas are false. It's a difficult thing. But the spirit can work miracles in people and help to testify to them of the truthfulness of our message. I hope they read and pray.

After that appointment we had dinner with Brother Sam and his family. We had rice balls and peanut soup which is surprisingly very hot but very good. It's something unique to Ghana. It was a nice way to finish the evening.

This week has been hard statistic wise but I don't care. I feel like we've still done a lot to help people and that's what I'm here for.

We had a really awesome lesson with a guy named Brother Stone. Missionaries used to teach him a long time ago but he slipped through the cracks. We found him again thanks to one of our fellow shippers. He's a way cool guy and owns a few different complexes to let to people. He never made it to church before but now he has a car and wants to come.

We had a great lesson with him about prophets and what they do and how we know if they're called by God. We resolved his concerns and he committed to pray about it. We also saw the Masselas. We decided to use the training we had on Wednesday about the Tree of Life with them. We went through it and had each of them draw their own picture and then we explained it along the way. It went really well. They are some really smart kids.

We had sports night with the Ward tonight. They do it on the last Friday of every month. We played soccer and volleyball and ping pong. There were even things for the Primary children to do and it was awesome! We had a few investigators come and I got to know some of the Ward members better; very sweet activity.

We met with Brother Ghanizani again today. This time he had two new friends who we met with. It's hard to teach him because he always has new friends there but they always turn out to be new investigators so it's not too bad. It was Frank and Lennox today and we got a return appointment with both of them.

We happened to run into Brother Alexandro on the street. He had missed our last appointment but it was due to some heavy rains we were having. He told us we could come over in half an hour and see him so we did. It was an awesome lesson. We just talked about God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. He was a bit confused on the different roles so we cleared it up and by the end he was saying that it's true what we were saying. We then both felt impressed to invite him to be baptized so we did and he accepted. He then said that he just had one question. Which church do we represent? We hadn't even told him yet. Whoops. But he loves our message and the Book of Mormon. He's an awesome guy  and you can't help but love him.

Today started with correlation meeting at 7 in the morning with the Bishop and the 1st counselor. We do it every 5th Sunday apparently. It was actually really good. It was good to be able to talk with them about specific people and they were able to tell us what they want us to be doing. The two main things that happened were that we are having two baptismal services on the 12th and the 13th. The 12th will be for Sister Davison and three other convert baptisms from the other area. Then the 13th will be for the Massela girls. The Bishopric thought that it would be best for many different reasons.

The Bishop also asked us to strengthen the Melchizedek priesthood holders in Grassy Park. The ward is very close to splitting. The boundaries have been drawn up but there are a few small things to take care of and then the split will happen. It was very exciting and very motivating.

We then had Church which is always wonderful. In the third hour we had a combined meeting with everyone and Sister Marsh talked about family history. She is the sweetest old lady and she has a great love for family history. It was a lesson that you had to be there for and I'm glad that I was. The whole Ward was motivated by it.

The Ward is going on a Temple trip this week and I'm very jealous. They all piled on a bus and began the 18 hour ride to Joburg. They really need to get a Temple here. The Stake just split into two but they are already speaking of splitting again and the Grassy Park branch would help a lot.

I love being on the mission here in South Africa. There is so much going on and so much excitement everywhere I go. We had some good lessons after church. We saw Brother Nyarai and decided to talk about family history with him. Turns out it's something that he's already been trying to do and is very interested in doing more. If this guy could just get Sundays off from work he would be a powerful member.

We finished the night at the Kipela's house with some homemade pasta. It was very good. Sister Kipela's step father was Italian so she really knows how to cook. It was an awesome week. As I said before it was not the best statistic wise but I can say that I am very proud of the work we've been able to do.

Love you all-
Elder Kupka