Monday, June 23, 2014

Week 54

Hello, I'm running out of things to put after hello...

Last Monday we didn't end up doing all of the cool things that I said we were going to do. We stopped by the Mowbray chapel and got sucked into playing sports. Just about every missionary in Cape Town was there plus more because it's new Elder training so the trainers/trainees flew in from the Eastern Cape. We probably had 30+ missionaries there and it was pretty legit. We played basketball and indoor soccer and had a blast.

Afterward, the Bishop had invited us for dinner. Elder Clarke and Elder Du Plessis had to go to the new Elders training, as did the Assistants, so we went by ourselves. I was very proud of myself for being able to find his house again. I've only been there once and he lives far away in Hout Bay. When we got there he told us to get in the car and that we're going for steaks. We went to a nice Greek restaurant and he ordered each of us a 500g steak with chips and a salad. It was delicious and very filling and just awesome.

We were able to talk with Bishop for a while but it was getting difficult because the Portugal/Germany soccer game was on the tv and there were some people in there with us that were super into it so we started watching the game as well. Poor Portugal. You could say it was a pretty great day. And tomorrow is Zone Conference which I'm super excited for.

Zone Conference was really great today. We talked a lot about scripture study. Both as missionaries doing our personal and companionship study and how everyone in the world can and will benefit from studying the scriptures. They truly help each of us in all situations; especially the Book of Mormon. It can answer the questions of our soul. Each and every verse in the Book of Mormon has meaning for our lives. All we have to do is study it out, involve our Heavenly Father through prayer, and ponder upon the things that we've read. Anyone who does these things will receive an answer to whatever question they may have. Studying the scriptures really is one of the most important things we can do on this earth.

I've come to love studying the scriptures. Sure some days have been better than others but that's probably my own fault more than anything else. It's definitely something I'm going to be a lot better at doing when I go home. I can't even begin to explain everything I learned today. We started at 9:00 and didn't finish until 17:30. Of course we had dinner and Zone reports as well but it was still a lot of learning.

It was crazy to think that this was President Woods’ last Zone Conference and Saturday is my last interview with him. One cool thing is that each Zone sings a hymn throughout the Conference and the last Zone sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" and on the last verse they had told us beforehand that they wanted everyone to stand and join in the last verse. It was powerful. There was hardly a dry eye in the room.

Sister Wood said something though that really struck me. She said that she loves us and is glad to have had the privilege of meeting us and because of that she's not going to miss us. Goodbyes aren't a sad thing. They’re a time to be grateful for the relationships that we've had with people and the song rings true because we will all meet again one day in the life to come. It's been a very spiritually uplifting day.

We had a lesson with the Gideons. It was their first recent convert lesson so we talked about priesthood and auxiliaries and the lesson went very well and then afterwards we just kept talking mostly with Juan about gospel related topics and about missions. It was just an awesome day and I feel so happy right now. I know that it's the spirit that I've been able to feel all day long. I wish everyday was like this; some days are much harder but something Coach Wong (Trent’s high school football coach) always said comes to my mind, "Nothing easy was ever worth it" and it's so true. Missions are not easy but it's worth every minute of it.

Today we had no District meeting because of Zone Conference. The other Elders had forgotten though and called us wondering where we were. They had apparently been waiting for us for an hour before they bothered calling. We set them straight.

We had an appointment with Alexsandro but he unfortunately wasn't there. So we went to check on Mark and Sarah. Mark was home but he was just leaving so we made an appointment to see them on Sunday. We went to Brother Mikes for lunch today and it was delicious as usual.

After lunch we dropped by the Mbombo’s house and the parents weren't home but we were able to teach the kids which we might be doing more often because the parents don't get home until late. Our other lesson today was with a guy named Albert. He is a cousin of a former investigator and called us the other day and wanted us to come teach him. So we went today and had a pretty good lesson with him. He's a cool guy and is very involved with his church but he said that he's going to come and visit our church sometime because he needs to have an open mind. He has great potential.

Today I had my final interview with President Wood. That was pretty weird. It went very well though and it was my best interview yet. President says that I'm doing a great job and that I'll be able to step up and be a leader in the mission as President Merrill comes in and the two huge groups of missionaries go home. It was very uplifting and I'm looking forward to the next few months.

After interviews we had lunch. We didn't have any appointments set until 4:00 so we tried following up on some people and were pretty unsuccessful. Saturdays are so hard here because no one is ever home. Our 4:00 o’clock appointment even dropped. We were at least able to see Brother Nabbe and it was actually pretty cool because when we were planning for him I felt like we should share a certain Mormon message and when we did he said that it was exactly what he needed. He's going through something at work and our lesson really helped him. It was pretty cool to be an answer to his questions.  

We went to Ward council this morning at 7:00 because Brother Knighton has gone back to America for a few weeks. It wasn't too bad. We reported on the missionary work and then they excused us.

Church was pretty normal and afterward we had choir practice. I don't remember if I mentioned this last week. I guess all of those lost bets I had with Brother Dahl have paid off because now I kind of know what I'm doing when we sing  --- instead of being completely lost.

After choir we had lunch and then we went to see Mark and Sarah and their family. We had a pretty good lesson on the Book of Mormon and Mark said that he'd try to come with the kids to church next Sunday. Sarah unfortunately has to work.

After visiting with them we went to see Sister Beuliah. She's from Fish Hoek and has been less active for a while but is coming back to church on her own and today she brought her 20 year old son with her. She's been a member for 10 years but he was not baptized. He said after today though that he never wants to miss another Sunday, wants to join the Ward choir, and maybe wants to be a missionary one day too. We're going to start teaching him soon and I'm really looking forward to it.

After that we ran to Grassy Park to pick up Brother Chifarimba and go see Sister Nelly. We had a great first lesson with her because she was really paying attention and understanding well. Unfortunately she's busy until next Sunday so we won't be able to see her for a while. All in all it was a pretty good and busy week.


Elder Kupka