Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 44

Molo Weni!
It's been another amazing week. I've felt so blessed and lucky to be here and I've really learned to rely on the Lord. You'll have to read the rest to find out why!

Today was a hectic day. We started the day off with service for someone in the Mowbray ward. I was excited because I thought it would be someone I knew. Turned out to be a family that moved in after I left and they're now moving to Panorama. It was supposed to take one hour but it ended up taking three. Wasn't my favorite way to spend P-day but they ended up buying us McDonald's so it was a little better.

After that we emailed and then went to Green Market Square and I bought some souvenirs. I'm thinking of sending some stuff back in my birthday box that I don't need so I'll put the souvenirs in there as well. After that we went to Spur for dinner and then to see Sister Davison and teach her the law of tithing. She’s now finished with the lessons and is ready for her baptism interview. Her sister Emilia, who works at a Chinese restaurant, offered us a free meal so we had a second dinner of sushi. Great way to finish P-day.

Not the greatest day. We had some dropped appointments. We did have good lessons with new investigators. One was the Van Wyk family. Brother Van Wyk studied theology for seven years so he thought he knew a lot about Mormons. Like the fact that we can't eat pork or that Joseph Smith was a convict before God called him to be a prophet. Or that the Book of Mormon comes from seven golden plates.

In other words, they didn't actually teach him a whole lot of truths about the church but he still told us that he believes we are the church that is closest to the truth. Hopefully we'll be able to help him see that we are the church with the full truth as we continue seeing them.

We also saw the Gideon family. Juan Gideon is a returned missionary who got back about five weeks ago and is the only member in his family. His mom and sister have been coming to church since he got back and we were finally able to start teaching them. They've both already said that the Book of Mormon is true and they know a lot thanks to Juan so we just need to teach them all the lessons and see if they want to be baptized. They are awesome!

We had Zone training and interviews today, which took up almost the whole day. We had to be there at 11:00 am so in the morning we took the opportunity to change boardings while the plumbers are fixing our bathroom. We live in Pinelands now and it's about 18k's from our area.  That's the only downside to it. We're in a nice flat with a gym that we can use.

The training President Wood gave was from a talk given by Elder Cook in a mission president’s seminar. He covered a wide range of topics that involve missionary work and it was very inspiring. The Zone leaders training was on planning baptisms for the next three months in weekly planning rather than just writing in 0s every week since we don't baptize people every week. That was part of Elder Maynes’ training. That night the only appointment that held was Sister Davison and we went over the baptism interview questions with her and she is now ready for her interview.

We had weekly planning in the morning again. Then we went to Spur for lunch for all you can eat ribs and wings. I only got two plates but it was still worth the R100 it cost. Then we went to the Massela's house to review with Victoria again before her interview. It went well and she's ready. We saw Kama and Chwayitile and talked to them about missionary work. Talked to them about why we do it what made us want to do it. It was a great lesson on a subject I like talking about. We then saw the Gideons again. Great, great lesson - we talked about the Book of Mormon and answered some questions. Juan was there too and that guy is awesome. 

I learn things from what he teaches his family. At the end we challenged them to be baptized and his mom said yes but his sister was a bit more worried. She said she wants to but it's going to be hard. We told her we're willing to help and the date is just a goal and isn't set in stone if she isn't ready. She agreed then and then offered one of the most heartfelt prayers I've ever heard. The spirit was so strong that afterward no one wanted to speak or move. I'm really coming to love the mission a lot and love helping people draw closer to their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Today was a great day. Victoria had her interview this morning and she passed and is all ready for her baptism next week. We also had lunch at Brother Knighton’s house today of baked potatoes with homemade ranch and black bean chili. It was really good and was quite different from what we are usually fed.

Afterward, we were supposed to have a lesson with Kama but it dropped so we went to check on some people. Elder Freitas had the idea of visiting a guy named Will. Elder Freitas had been moving the area book last night and Will’s teaching record fell out. He had been taught nine years ago. Since we had some time he suggested that we should go see him. So we get there and we meet him and ask him how his day was. He says not so good because his grandmother had passed away that morning. So we went inside and offered a prayer for him and read from the Book of Mormon to try and help him. He told us that he believes that we were sent by God to see him and that we helped him a ton.

He then asked if the church is still in the same place and we said yes and he told us he's coming to church on Sunday and hopefully the people at his work will understand. This was by far one of the best experiences I've had on the mission. There's no way we could have found this guy any other way. He lives on a road that I've never been on before and even as we were driving down it Elder Freitas was saying that we're never going to find it because that is often the case in a township. But, we found him ten minutes after he got home on a weekend that he happens to be home because he works 12 days on then gets 2 days off.  The Lord knows who is ready for the gospel and we just have to listen.

Speaking of people prepared for the gospel, we also saw Brother Chimonenji and Brother Alexandro. We taught them about prophets and tied it into General Conference tomorrow and touched on a few other things. Alexandro says that he knows what we're saying is true because he can feel it in his heart. I told him that is the spirit testifying to him that it is true. They both promised to come to Conference and they both have a baptism date for the 25th of May and I can't wait.

We had an appointment with a new investigator named Lennox and his wife. It went pretty well and they invited us back so they've got some potential. Our other two appointments today dropped so we stopped by the Elders Quorum President’s house and talked about how we can help the Grassy Park Ward be able to split.

We came up with an idea to have a meeting with all of the would be members and tell them what's going on and what they need to do to make it happen. It should be awesome. We had correlation meeting right after that so the plan is in motion.

After correlation we got to watch Conference at the chapel. It was the Saturday morning session at 6 o’ clock at night. It was great though. Elder Holland did a really good job of starting things off. The first note that I took was "don't beat anyone up" because if someone had been swearing at me and tried to hit me and spit on me and then threw mashed potatoes at the back of my head I don't think I would have reacted the same way that sister missionary did in his story. But now I know how I should react. The rest of the session was good too. The wifi at the chapel is a bit spotty and trying to watch it live caused it to pause here and there which wasn't my favorite but it was teaching me patience.

None of our investigators came to any of the sessions of Conference. That was pretty disappointing. We told them about it for the last two weeks and sent SMS reminders and still got nothing. Those people missed out because I learned a lot and it was great.

There were also some guys from BYU-Idaho in our ward that were doing study abroad in Africa or something; I'm not entirely sure. One of them graduated from Timpview in 1982 and knows the Dalebouts so that was pretty sweet. I was able to apply Elder Uchtdorf’s counsel to be grateful even when we're having trials as the spotty connection continued all day and we didn't even get to finish President Monson’s talk for the Sunday morning session. At least I was able to watch it and enjoy it.

I loved Elder Bednar’s talk. He has always been one of my favorites and it made so much sense the way he was talking about how we all need a load to weigh us down and give us spiritual traction. And that the atonement doesn't lighten the load by taking things out but instead gives us the strength we need to carry it. I loved that talk and Elder Bednar’s tie. I may have been coveting his tie a bit.

I still haven't seen the Sunday afternoon session yet but our ward mission leader said that we could come over to his house and watch it sometime. All in all it was a good week. The baptisms and my birthday and my 10 month click day will be a good way to end the transfer next week.

This morning we hiked Table Mountain. It was incredibly tiring and I don't know if my legs are going to function for the next week. If you guys do come we are definitely taking the cable car up because it is an awesome sight from the top. That's basically all we've done today so far because it took five hours for us to hike up and down and spend some time at the top. I bought a magnet to send home so be looking for that soon.

Love you all!
Elder Kupka