Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 96

It has been an amazing week!

It's been powerful, it's been fun, and looking back it seems like it took forever but it flew by while it was happening --- mission time is so strange.

Last Monday we had another Family Home Evening with the Emore family as they continue to learn about the gospel, and apply it in their lives. We were going to have another one with them tonight but load shedding hit them so there's no electricity.

I don't know if I've explained about load shedding but South Africa is running low on electricity somehow and so Eskom had the great idea of having rolling blackouts throughout the country. There are different parts being blacked out all of the time which really stinks and some days it seems to follow us to our appointments as we go from area to area.

Thursday we had Zone training with President Merrill and it was very uplifting. My interview with him was pretty basic. He just asked how I was doing and said that we'd have a deeper interview during my next one because that will be my departing interview!

The Zone Leaders also do a training and their training was based around how our purpose in life and the Atonement are related and they asked me to give part of the training. It was based around a talk we got called the Donaldsen Papers. He was the mission president in the District videos and now he's working in the missionary department. Anyway it's super powerful.

He talks about how the Atonement unlocked repentance, grace, and exaltation. Then he spoke about how we only unlock that through baptism, the sacrament and temple ordinances. He went on to say that we are the only people, as missionaries, who can unlock those blessings for other people.

So here in Panorama, Elder Fonua and I are the only two who can do that for everyone in our area, because President Merrill has delegated the keys to us to do it. It was really inspiring and I learned a lot and I was able to share a lot. It was also my final testimony to the Zone because it was my last Zone meeting. It was crazy because it was so spiritual and it was sad and it was exciting --- so many mixed emotions.

Saturday I was on exchanges with Elder Truscott and we covenanted with the Lord that we would teach nine lessons that day. That is more lessons in one day than either of us have ever taught during our whole missions. We had six set appointments with a couple of hours left for us to go finding. Well, two of those appointments ended up dropping. So we spent the day tracting and teaching and we ended up teaching the restoration in five of the lessons and it was so great.

We found a new father-lead family to teach and planted some seeds for other people, as well. It was a crazy day. During one contact we knocked on the door and the father answered. We started off by showing him the picture of the first vision and asking him what he saw. It was a very straight forward approach but it got him interested. We talked a bit and explained what we wanted to share with his family but he said that he was busy and we could come back on Wednesday evening.  We said ok but as we were walking down the street he came running out of his house and whistled for us to come back.

He said that he talked to his wife and he felt a bit guilty for asking us to leave and that he wanted us to come back and share our message with them. He said that he only had five minutes though so we said that would be fine. We ended up having an hour long discussion about the Restoration and it went really, really well because everything just flowed so smoothly.

At the end of the discussion we asked the father to say the closing prayer and ask if our message is true. So he did and the next words out of his mouth after he asked that in his prayer were, "I already know that it's true, I've felt it in my heart as the Elders were teaching me." Powerful... we're going back on Wednesday to teach them about the Book of Mormon.

The mother and daughter were just as excited about it all and they have another son that is going to join us on Wednesday. It was so great and just one of the many miracles that happened that day.

On Sunday we had a lesson with a new investigator. We had met him street contacting on Friday. Street contacting is awkward because you never know who to approach but it was 12 o’clock on Friday and we didn't know where else to go. So we had covenanted with the Lord that we would give out three Restoration pamphlets in 45 minutes.

After 40 minutes we had handed out two and taught a lesson. So we needed someone else in the next five minutes. We were trying and trying and no one was talking to us. Finally we stopped one guy and he said that he'd love to hear more but that he was busy; which brings us to our appointment. It was another great Restoration lesson where everything went super well.

Elder Fonua and I are doing really well together as companions because we have great unity. After the lesson we again asked the father to pray. His reply? Why would I need to ask? I've already felt the spirit and I know that it's true, I just need to give thanks at this point. He owns his own security company and can take off whenever he needs to for us to meet with him.  The Lord has lead us to so many prepared people this week!

The work is going so great in Panorama. I'm loving it and loving life. I had an awesome birthday because on Sunday lots of people wished me happy birthday and today we went to Robben Island; all in all it was a great week.

Can't wait to see you all again!

Elder Kupka

Happy Birthday, Trent - We Love You!