Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 72

It has been a great week this week. Unfortunately, I'm low on time so I will have to make it a bit short. We went to Jeffrey's Bay today which was super cool. (

We had a very good Tuesday with lots of appointments and great lessons but on Wednesday nothing ended up working out. Our plans, our back-ups, our finding/tracting - nothing was working. I was getting super frustrated and homesick and not very happy in general. We had one more appointment and about an hour to wait until then, so we went and tried following up on some people but had no luck.

We made it back to the appointment right when I was about ready to quit and go back to the boarding and it turned out to be a very great appointment. We were teaching the Franz' neighbor and we started the Restoration lesson and it answered a lot of her questions. The lesson went so well that it rejuvenated me and the rest of the week just kept getting better and better.

We had a solid Thursday and then on Friday I went on exchanges with Elder Welsh. He's a super cool guy from the UK. Our lessons went well and when the lessons didn't hold, the back-ups did. Saturday was very powerful because we had a lot of good lessons. We read 3 Nephi 27 with Princess and Zandy and they understood the concepts well. They were actually serious and they answered the questions we asked which they don't always do. They are more than ready for their baptism on the 9th of November.

We had a lesson with Yvonne and her son and niece on the Ten Commandments. It went well and was a nice review for Yvonne. After that we went to see Wendy. Her husband wasn't there so we read the Book of Mormon with her but then after she asked if we could do something for her son. He's 8 years old and he's losing his eyesight and he's too young for surgery so he has to go for treatments once a week for the next five years. So I gave him a blessing comforting him and telling him that everything would be alright.

Sunday was great. We had the conference in Port Elizabeth with Bishop Stevenson. It was for the whole Stake so it was like a mini Stake Conference. There were some great talks but something just as cool is that I got to see a ton of members from the Walmer Ward, and they all remembered me! It's been nine months since I left Walmer and I was only there for six weeks so I wasn't sure if people would. But I didn't need to worry and it was really awesome to see them.

After the conference we got back to Uitenhage and had lunch with the Xangati family who are super awesome investigators. I sent some pictures of them. Then we went to an appointment with a guy named Mark. He's a former investigator and he stopped us on the street and asked us to come and teach him again. We had a very nice Restoration lesson with him.

We went to see Nwabisa who had read from the Book of Mormon and knows that it is true. She is afraid to leave her church because it is her family church and she's afraid they won't like it. So we read 1 Nephi 3:7 and bore testimony about how the Lord will provide a way for her to keep the commandments. She committed to talk to them and invite them to be taught by us and talk to them about her coming to our church. She was a bit nervous at first but by the end she knew it was going to work out.

We are being so blessed for our hard work and obedience. The area has improved so much from my first week here. I was looking through my planner last night. We have doubled and even tripled some of the stats and I know it's not because I'm just some super awesome Elder but it’s because we are being diligent in our efforts, being obedient, and just enjoying it all. Things are going really well and it's helping the time go by. This transfer is almost over and I can't even believe it.

I love you all,
Elder Kupka

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 71

Hello everybody!

It has been a great week in Uitenhage again. Last Monday we had an FHE with the Tshibo family. Sister Tshibo wasn't feeling well so it was us and Brother Tshibo and the kids. It went well and we watched a bunch of Mormon messages.

Tuesday was a great day because almost all of our appointments held. We were able to see Sister Hendrickse and go over the baptismal interview questions with her which she knew very well. She's on track to be baptized next month.

Then we had a lesson with a lady named Joleen. We had tracted into her area and we had a great first appointment. She has been semi-active in her own church but she wants to learn more about our church and has a great desire to learn.

We saw Princess and Zandy and tried to fill out their baptismal records. It took forever because they kept trying to be funny and telling us the wrong information. They are so funny and Asanda was with us so it was a good time.

Then we had a lesson with the Xangatis about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Wednesday started off well with an appointment with Mfundo in which he told us that he wants to be baptized and become a member of the church so of course we were more than willing to oblige. He's scheduled for next month on the 23rd of November.

Then the rest of our day dropped until Asanda that night. So we tried tracting/finding and it wasn't too successful but hey, we're trying. We had a sweet lesson with Asanda about faith. We always have great lessons with him. Unfortunately, he's going to be locked up in his high school for the next six weeks. The school thinks that it will help the students pass their tests but I think it's insane. We're going to try and visit him there sometime. Hopefully it works out.

Thursday our first two appointments held. One with a lady named Shaida who we had tracted into. We had planned on teaching her about the restoration like we normally do but after we chatted with her for a bit I felt like we just needed to jump right in with the Book of Mormon.

So we did and you could see that it got her thinking and we read a few verses that she needed to hear. We don't have a return appointment yet but she said that she's going to call us so hopefully we got the cogs turning there.

Friday was a good day. We had district meeting in the morning and during this transfer President Merrill started something new where he gave us nine different topics for district meeting and we got to pick one and come up with the whole district meeting ourselves. It was different but I enjoyed it.

I did my district meeting on the talk "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. It went really well and I talked about how we can use His grace in our lives as missionaries and in our own personal challenges.

After District Meeting we went on exchanges. I went with Elder Tennant who is a super awesome guy from Australia and we had a great time together. He also did Princess and Zandy's baptismal interview. They're date had to be moved back again to November 9th because the Presiding Bishop is coming to Port Elizabeth on Sunday to talk to the Stake so we are having a special conference with him that day. It should be really cool and I'm excited.

Nothing else very interesting happened this week. We have some new investigators and we have quite a few that we were already working with so we have some very successful months ahead of us. I'm loving the work.


Elder Kupka

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 70


This has been an excellent week. Elder Decebal-Cuza and I are doing great together - working hard, being obedient and seeing great blessings because of it.

Last Monday we had dinner with the Tshibos; they are a great family. We had chicken brioni but then we had to leave because the Blatters were having their annual get together for the zone after that.

The Blatters talked to us about our boardings and we watched Elder Holland’s conference talk which I had missed. We then had cake and ice cream and it was very nice. Afterwards I went to the Blatter’s car to get some supplies and there was a football in the boot. It was a “Wow” moment for me because I haven't seen a football in a while. He gave it to me, along with a pump, and I'm going to try and get the zone to play football sometime soon because it's been so long.

On Tuesday we saw Princess and Zandy and talked to them about “Enduring to the End” in preparation for their baptisms in two weeks. They are super ready and I'm so excited for them. We also had a great lesson with the Xangati family about the Book of Mormon and its importance. They had all read their part of it before the appointment and understood everything very well.

Then in the evening we had a meeting with the Bishop to introduce a new training that the Zone Leaders had given us via President Merrill about reactivating less active members. Part of it was a few scriptures showing the Lord’s way how to go about it. I'm excited to work with the Bishop and the ward council and hopefully we will be able to bring back some of those people who have strayed. If we are successful then they will be opening a group in Rosedale and splitting the ward and that would be pretty exciting. The Lord is going to help us so I know that it's going to happen.

On Wednesday we had a powerful day mostly thanks to Asanda! We taught a lesson to him and after that we went to see one of his friends. The friend had noticed the changes that Asanda has been making in his life and now he wants to make those same changes. His name is Mfundo and he's 19 and a pro boxer. He's a super cool guy and he loves what we're sharing with him. He came to church on Sunday, he went to a YSA activity on Friday and I know he's going to be a great addition to the ward here.  I love Asanda and he's come a long way and now he's helping his friends come along as well. It also reminded me that referrals are the best way to do missionary work.

That evening we had dinner with the Franz family for the last time. Lazola and Sihle have left for Tsitsikamma. We went and said goodbye after church. It was super sad and Elder Truscott and I both teared up. The other two felt kind of awkward because they've only known  them for a week and a half. We helped them pack all of their things up and we ate umngqusho and had a great last night with them. I'll see them again before I leave Uitenhage but it was still super sad.

Thursday we had zone training with President Merrill. I am so grateful for my mission president. He's a great leader and a great friend to me. He gave us a really good training as well. I loved my interview with him too because we talked about a lot of things. The coolest part is that he told me that when he was thinking about who should train Elder Decebal-Cuza that my name immediately popped into his head and from that second on it never changed.

Also, now that I'm District Leader he was expressing how I've already been showing great leadership skills and how well liked I am around the mission; not to toot my own horn or anything. It was just a very uplifting and inspiring interview and I'm grateful for it.

After the training we went to visit a guy who had called us who said he believes in Christ but isn't Christian. He turned out to be a Muslim missionary and was trying to convince us to become Muslim and some other crazy things. So we left and went to see a woman named Wendy. Wendy's husband has been busy and has never been able to sit with the missionaries once during the last six months. He's now available and sat with us and is open to our message. We're going to start teaching the whole family together and I'm really excited for it.

On Sunday we had told the Xangati family that we would walk to church with them. I just felt like it was something that we needed to do; I didn't know why but we did it. There's a big field in front of the chapel that you have to walk through and while we were walking through it there were these guys just sitting there. They said something to us in Afrikaans and I asked the people we were walking with if they asked for us to pray for them. Come to find out that the men were sitting there in order to rob people on their way to church.

They almost robbed one of the other Elder’s investigators and they chased Thammy all of the way to the building. They are horrible people trying to rob people on their way to church but I know that if we hadn't walked with our investigators they would've been robbed. I was super grateful that we were there with them.

That about sums up our week. We've also been doing a lot of tracting and we're being blessed for our efforts; the mission is great.

Elder Kupka

The Franz and Mendu families with the missionaries

Lazolo and Sihle 

The Franz family

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 69

This week was transfer week so it was pretty slow until Thursday. Last Monday I bought a new watch and that's about the only exciting thing we did.

Tuesday was spent helping Elder Carnieletto pack and say his goodbyes to people. On Wednesday we had to drop him off at 6 a.m. at the bus stop and then my companion didn't get here until 12:45 so Elder Truscott and I were just waiting around in Port Elizabeth. We got breakfast at Spur because we tried going to a buffet at a fancy hotel but it cost 185 rand a person so we said heck no and went to Spur for 30 rand.

We met Elder Tennant to go pick up another missionary from a different bus stop. Apparently my six weeks of biking in Walmer made me the expert on Port Elizabeth because no one else in the Zone has served in P.E. I knew my area in Walmer well but outside of that not so much. So we went to the bus stop I thought was the only one but it turned out there was another one that we didn't know about. We finally got there but the missionary wasn't there so we drove to another bus stop and finally found him.

Some guy in a taxi had told him that he knew the Blatters (senior couple) and offered to take him there so the Elder agreed. Turned out the guy just knew the name of the Blatters and wanted money from him. Thankfully we found him though.

We then went and picked up my son and came back to Uitenhage and had a great Restoration lesson with Asanda. My son is super awesome. His name is Elder Decebal-Cuza; he's from Chile but has a Romanian surname. He's 23 years old and a convert so he's super prepared and powerful. I really don't even feel like I'm training him because he seems like a seasoned vet so I'm super blessed.

We had a pretty good week this week as well. We met with the Xangati family; they were investigators from the other Elder’s area who moved into ours. They were all at different points in the lessons and one had never been taught before so we started over from the beginning with them and they are doing great. They have three girls and one boy from the ages of 14-25 and three of them came to church on Sunday.

We were able to see a lady this week who we found when we were trying to find the Xangati family. Her name is Nwabisa and we had a great lesson with her. All of our other investigators are doing super well. Conference was great. I only got to see two sessions but they were both super awesome. Unfortunately that is all I have time for this week. 

See you next week,
Elder Kupka

The Tripanionship Extraordinaire

Elder Carnieletto

Elder Decebal-Cuza

The Tripanionship with Elder Ndlovu