Monday, February 23, 2015

Week 89

The Emore family, Brother Dawson, me and Elder Fonua!

Hello again,

The weeks just keep on going and going and I can't believe it's already been another one. Last Monday we played basketball and it was really fun; we're probably going to do it again today. Afterwards we had a great appointment with Eric where we taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and committed him to baptism. He said that when he's ready he will. We're going to give him a date this week and I believe that he'll make it. He's a really good guy; he's just very calm and inquisitive in a good way. He's doing great.

After the lesson we did exchanges with the Durbanville Elders so I went and picked up Elder Mendenhall and brought him back with me. He is a great missionary. He's in Elder Decebal-Cuza's transfer so he's still fairly new on the mission but you would never have been able to tell. He's a real good people person and he's a great teacher. I have nothing but good things to say about him and we had a powerful day together.

We had a lesson with the Le Rouxs and Elder Mendenhall showed me this object lesson where you take a spoon, a fork and a match and get them to balance on a cup and the trick is that the spoon and fork can't touch the cup. The Le Rouxs tried and Tammy actually beat it but then Elder Mendenhall threw in another rule and it didn't work. All in all it was a lesson about how the spoon represents us and the fork represents our family and the match is the Savior and when we all work together things just balance out. It was a great lesson for them. Brother and Sister Le Roux were called to be Primary teachers on Sunday. The family is doing so well and I love them so much!

Wednesday we had new Elders training and I must say it was very powerful. The Zone Leaders had asked me what they should do the training on. They called the other trainers too. The consensus we came to was learning how to face opposition and being confident through it all. The Zone Leaders found a really good video of Elder Maxwell and we discussed facing opposition and adversity. It was pretty awesome and I think everyone was boosted.

After that we had a full day of appointments. One of them was with Brother and Sister Miller. They are an old coloured couple that Elder Mendenhall and I tracted into. They ended up telling us their life story and talked about how they were born Catholic and they're going to die Catholic. So, not the most productive lesson but they told me to come back before I go home so hopefully we'll be able to go back and plant some seeds.

Also this week they have been working on our flat and fixing a few things up. The broken windows are being replaced, the dirty blinds are gone, the mold under our sink is gone and the sink has been replaced. I didn't tell you about all these things but now that they are gone it's a pretty nice place. I'm getting it fixed up before I go home.

Other than that we had a great day on Thursday. We had six appointments and a lunch appointment and they all held. The Bothwells made us a great lunch and we got to talk to them then we went and saw Sisa and read from Mosiah 18 with him. We saw Michelle and one of her sons and read the first chapter of the Book of Mormon and encouraged them to keep reading and praying to get an answer.

We saw Charles, Rodger, Phelly and Ivy and they are all doing really well. Then we finished the night at Mandi and Forgi's house with Brother Elton. We had a great lesson and Mandi told us that she'll cook us umngqusho if we get her the ingredients. I'm super pumped because I didn't think that I would have umngqusho again! So next time we get money we're going to do it for sure.

Friday was District meeting again and it went well; we talked about grace. The rest of the week was just an average week full of appointments. I'm keeping busy and working hard. One fun thing is that the ward started a choir this week and we joined it. So, I'll be in one last choir before I come home, unless they kick me out because of my voice --- hopefully not!

Love you all!

Elder Kupka

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Week 88


We started off this week at the Sibotaboto's house (I'm not really sure how to spell it)and Mandi and Forgi were there as well. They had asked me to share a spiritual thought and I did it on Alma 50 - one of my favs. The kids like to ask questions though so it took a bit longer and turned into a lesson. Their kids are so funny and say some strange things, but they are really smart and I'm really impressed by how much they know about the gospel.

During the week nothing too special happened. We had a really good lesson with Michelle and her son Keenan. She really opened up to us about some stuff and we have a really good relationship with her. Hopefully we'll be able to get the whole family coming soon.

We had to take the car in to get it fixed again this week. This is like the 4th time since I've been here! This time a sensor was broken and was telling the engine to shift at wrong times and making the engine rev when it is in park. So we got that taken care of.

We did some tracting this week but had no success from it. No new investigators but we just gotta keep trying. Saturday was a bit interesting. So, in Paarl there used to be four missionaries. Well, all four got taken out and replaced by two new Elders who have never served in Paarl before. So we went out there as a Zone to try and help them find some investigators.

Paarl is about 40 k's outside of Cape Town so it was quite the trip. We spent about 3.5 hours tracting. The first door Elder Fonua and I knocked on we got invited in by a girl. She goes to church but doesn't feel like she wants to but that she just goes to make her parents happy. She wants to have a relationship with Heavenly Father but just doesn't have one.

Well, we explained our purpose and shared the restoration with her. She liked it a lot and was smiling the whole time. She also happens to live right across the street from the chapel out there so she should be a great investigator for them.

The next three hours was spent getting rejected. Finally, we were walking back to the chapel, handing out copies of the Book of Mormon along the way, when I told Elder Fonua that it was his turn. He stopped a guy that was walking towards us and introduced the Book of Mormon to him. He took it and said he wants to become a missionary just like us. Unfortunately, we couldn't get his phone number because he had just been robbed earlier that day. So we got his address for the Elders in Paarl to follow up with. We had a lot more success tracting out there than we've had in our own area but hey, it's all one work.

Sunday was a pretty fantastic day. I was told that I was going to be giving another talk this week. So I prepared one and went and sat up on the stand. Bishop came up to me and said that there had been some confusion and that someone else had been asked to speak. I said that's totally fine. He then told me I can stay on the stand and give the closing prayer. Then when the closing prayer happened he called someone else to do it. So I didn't do anything and I sat on the stand for no reason.

In the gospel principles’ class the lesson was on the life of Christ. So I started with the activity that we did a few months ago at the FHE with the Xangatis, where we talk about what we love about each other and then talk about how much we love the Savior. It was pretty powerful. There was some great love going on in that room which lead into a very spiritually powerful lesson.

After church we had the baptism of Princess and Enow! Unfortunately, I left my camera there so you're going to have to wait for the pictures next week. It was so awesome. Their mother even came to church! Hopefully it will inspire her to want to get baptized as well and keep coming to church.

After church we had a really nice lesson with Mandi, Forgi, Noni (a girl who just moved into our ward) and Thammy and Keegan Le Roux. We read the parable of the ten virgins and then related it to prayer and scripture study. It was pretty powerful. We had a really good discussion, great questions were asked, and it was an awesome end to the week. All in all things are going well and I'm still doing great!


Elder Kupka

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 87

What a crazy busy week. It started last Monday when we went to the Waterfront and looked around before we went to dinner. While we were wandering around this guy asked us to take a ride on his boat. We toured around the harbor and it was really sweet and it only cost us 30 Rand each. We then went to dinner and I ended up getting a really nice steak. Elder Dryer and I then went to say good-bye to the Le Rouxs.

Tuesday was a pretty solid day mixed with appointments and good-byes. In the morning we had a lesson with Elie, he had come to church this last Sunday with his uncle, and it was a great lesson. He has a lot of questions which makes it fun to teach him. We also saw Michelle and her family. They had made a good-bye dinner for Elder Dryer and it was delicious - so much good food.

Wednesday was transfer day so I dropped Elder Dryer off and picked up my new trainee. His name is Elder Fonua and he's a Tongan from Herriman. He's a great guy and we are getting along really well already. I'm going to enjoy training him a lot.

We had a good lesson with Charles but after that Elder Fonua was pretty exhausted because he flew straight here from the Provo MTC so we came back and let him rest up, under President Merrill's orders.

Thursday was a pretty busy day because we had five appointments. One of them was with a man named Sisa. He's less active due to work, unfortunately, but he wants us to keep coming and teaching him and uplifting him so that's what we'll do.

Friday I taught the district meeting again since I'm the District Leader now. I did the one I had done before on Love and it went really well. Love truly is the essence of the gospel and it was really an awesome district meeting.

Well, that evening we had a lesson with the Le Roux family and I felt prompted to share the message on love with them as well. There was a really sweet spirit felt and everyone just seemed happy at the end of the lesson. We finished the evening with dinner and a spiritual thought with the Von Thander family; another great family whom I have come to love.

Saturday was a super busy day. In the morning we had a special meeting with Brother Tad R. Callister who is the Sunday School General President and Brother Gibson who is the Young Men’s President. It was pretty awesome. Brother Gibson told us to work with the young men more and help them with Duty to God and also to be good leaders for them when we get home from our missions.

Brother Callister talked about the Apostasy and Restoration. It was very similar to his talk "The Blueprint of Christ's Church" which I have read a lot on the mission. We also had the baptism interview for Princess and she passed with flying colors.

Sunday was another hectic one. Elder Fonua and I were asked to help pass the Sacrament, Elder Fonua gave the Gospel Principles' lesson and I taught Elder's Quorum on Agency. Then after church we had a missionary fireside where I spoke about Alma 5:26. Sister Mandisa spoke about Member Missionary work and Brother Leon, our awesome fellowshipper/ward missionary spoke about D&C 88:81. Then Elder Fonua and I did a role play about how to hand out a Book of Mormon and then we gave copies of the Book of Mormon to members so they could hand them out.

Sunday afternoon we had a pretty solid day of appointments. It's just been a very spiritual week for me. I've felt very happy and peaceful and I've felt the spirit very strongly. I feel like I'm just floating until the end of my mission - in a good way. I love the work and I love Panorama.

Until next week,
Elder Kupka

Elder Kivley

Yacht chilling at the Waterfront

Elder Wilhelmsen

Elder Dryer

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week 86

This week has had a lot of ups and downs and we've really been all over the place; overall it was pretty solid though.

Last Monday Elder Dryer and I went to a place in Milnerton called Dale’s Black Angus which is a super nice restaurant. I got one of the best burgers I have ever eaten and it was 80 rand! Which is a lot here but if you think about it in dollars you can spend that at a fast food place easy. Elder Dryer got a plate full of different meats. There were 3 different boks, ostrich and warthog meat. He let me try some of it too and it was great.

This week we're going to the waterfront to celebrate Elder Kivley's birthday so I'm going to get something similar again tonight. We had a great meal and once we finished we got an SMS that our appointment dropped so we were pretty disappointed but it turned out to be a good thing because when we got out to start the car it wouldn't start. We called Elder Peterson to come and give our car a jump. Elder Peterson is a champ. He always has to come and try and fix our car problems. We need a new car.

We got the car started but then we had to drive it around to try and get the battery charged so after a bit of driving we ended up next to Milnerton beach so we decided to get out and take some pictures. I sent one of the beach this week and it was beautiful. We just took the pictures from the parking lot.

Then on Tuesday morning when we tried to start the car it was flat again! Luckily our neighbor’s wife was home so we asked her if we could jump our car with hers. She just handed us the keys and said to do it. We could have stolen her car but luckily we're good missionaries. We got our car started and then went and got our battery tested and then we got it replaced.

We had a pretty solid day after that and we got some good lessons in. That night we were starting exchanges. We meet at the chapel to start exchanges because it's half way between the boardings. When we got there the institute class had just ended and I got to see a few people from the Mowbray ward; Joseph and Hannah Macmillan and Crystal Danso. Hannah's going on a mission to Australia and Crystal is going to Temple Square. I'm super excited for both of them and it was so good to see all of them after 16 months since I left.

So Wednesday I was on exchanges with Elder Bell who is a great guy from England. Our first appointment of the day dropped and I was super disappointed. So we got in the car and I just started driving. There was a street that Elder Dryer and I had almost tracted a few weeks ago that I really wanted to try but we got a phone call and had to go somewhere else. So I went back with Elder Bell.

I parked in the exact same spot as the first time, we got out of the car, and I asked Elder Bell which house he wanted to start with. He chose the one to our right. We walk up to the door and it was open. We start talking to a couple inside through the gate and then they told us to come in. We kept talking and standing and they asked us to sit down. We introduced our message and started teaching them the Restoration. The Spirit was super strong and we taught a great Restoration lesson.

After we finished our message we started just talking with them and they had a few general questions about what we do and such. Through these questions we came to find out that when we had pulled up Wayne was going to close the door because he had seen us the first time Elder Dryer and I had come there and he thought that we were policy people trying to sell things. But then something told him to not close the door.

Then, as we entered, Arlene had the impression that she needs to pray and ask God about whatever message we share with them. Right as we had arrived they were having a deep conversation about families. They also said that it was a miracle that we caught them at home especially at the time that we did. The whole thing was miraculous because there is no way that it should have worked out but God places us where we need to be and He prepares the hearts of those we teach. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my mission.

Friday was a pretty sweet day as well. I received the package that the ward sent me and the Christmas card. Thank you so much to the ward; it was awesome!

We tried to contact a referral that we had received but a woman from the DRC answered the door instead. After we talked to her for a few minutes we found out that the person we were trying to see had moved so I told her what we do and invited her to learn with us. As soon as I said that she started telling me in English that she doesn't speak English so I asked her a few more questions in English and she responded in English but we finally just gave up and left.

We also had a lesson that night with a new family named the Pooles. We were having a really great lesson and the spirit was super strong but then as soon as we started talking about Joseph Smith things just went downhill. They were just not grasping what we were saying.  It was sad and they told us we can't come back until after the 24th. Not every lesson is a powerful one.

Saturday was Elder Dryer's birthday. I made him blueberry muffins that I had gotten from the ward package; we loved them and they tasted super good. But as we were going out to our area one of the warning lights came on in the car and all of the dealerships were closed. Our car is so annoying.

The rest of the day was decent but we had a few dropped appointments. We went and followed up with Michelle and her family and were able to have a lesson with her and her sons and make a return appointment. We also had a lesson with the Le Roux family about missionary work and then they fed us dinner for Elder Dryer's birthday. It was awesome and I love that family.

We also got our transfer news. Elder Dryer is headed to Mdantsane and I'm going to be training Elder Fonua and I'm pretty excited about that. Sunday was a nice day because fast and testimony meeting was really great. There's a man who is the nephew of one of the members and is staying with him and they all came to church together. He got up and bore his testimony. He is a very powerful guy and we got his information and we're going to start teaching him this week. I have really high hopes for him because he participated a lot in the Gospel Principles class.

We finished the day and the transfer at the Kruger’s house with a wonderful evening and a great meal. We sang some hymns and Elder Ah-Fua (who is Elder Fonua's cousin) is going home this week and he gave a nice spiritual thought. It was a pretty good week with lots of adversity in between.

The work is good and I'm excited for the coming transfer.

I love you all,
Elder Kupka

My burger

Milnerton Beach

The District

The LeRoux Family