Saturday, June 13, 2015

Trent Is Home!

Trent arrived home yesterday afternoon. There isn't much to say other than how grateful we all are for this amazing experience in his life. He loves the people of South Africa and we will be returning to visit as soon as possible.

You can see Trent's airport homecoming here:

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 104 - I'm Coming Home

This is the last letter that I will be writing home. Typing those words is very weird and it doesn't even sound real. These last two years have been quite the journey; a journey that I would never take back.

This last week was a great one in Panorama. I'm so grateful that I was able to finish my mission in this area. Last Monday we went to Mowbray to do a Zone finding activity. I went straight to Zita and Jean-Jacque’s house; the couple who I had been teaching when I started my mission. Zita was home and she was so happy to see me. I was surprised that she still remembered me after two years. She told me that she wasn't meeting with the missionaries or going to church anymore but she told me that Jean-Jacque loved the doctrine that we taught. I got her number and the Mowbray Elders are going to call on her this week. It was wonderful seeing her again.

Wednesday I was on exchanges with Elder Truscott. He talked me into buying a fancy leather jacket. We also went finding in the rain and I found out that my waterproof shoes have holes in them. But we did manage to find a sweet guy named Sherwin. Elder Fonua and I went back and taught him on Friday and he is super awesome. He's cautious but he's willing to learn more. He says he wants to see how persistent we are and he's excited to get a copy of the Book of Mormon. The rest of the day was filled with some great appointments with some great people.

Sunday was amazing. We had six investigators, six recent converts and nine less active members at church. Kingsly had followed us in his car so that he could know where it is and it was a great meeting; one of the best since I've been here.

In fast and testimony meeting the entire Le Roux family got up and bore their testimonies about the church and about how they are going to miss me. It brought me to tears. I also bore my testimony and said how I was sad to come on the mission because I was leaving behind my family and my friends but now as I'm preparing to leave South Africa it once again feels like I'm leaving behind my family and friends. But I promised them all that I would come back with my family so I can't wait until we get to come back. I don't want to be a liar.

Kingsly enjoyed all of church and he really felt the spirit strong. He is a great man and I know he'll get baptized. Sama also came with his daughter and thanked me after church for helping him to find "his" church. He's very busy with his shop but he does desire for he and his whole family to be baptized and become members of the church. I am so grateful that I was able to touch the lives of so many people here in Panorama. I will stay in contact with all of them.

The mission has changed me so very much. I thought I knew the gospel when I came here. I didn't have a clue. Now not only do I understand it but I understand the application of it. I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can all be made perfect. We will face our trials in this life. We will have our ups and our downs but if we continue to push and continue to do those things which we know to be true we will receive so many blessings.

I am not the most articulate of people. I'm a simple man with simple faith. But that faith has helped me to reach new levels and to do more than I ever thought was possible. I left on this mission as a 19 year old boy. I'm coming back home as a 21 year old disciple of Jesus Christ. I must continue to serve faithfully. Going home is not a time to relax and get back into the old flow but rather an opportunity to come back better than before and keep the drive going. To continue to help the gospel of Jesus Christ be spread to all of the world.

This is the true church of Jesus Christ. This is the way back to our Heavenly Father and there is no other way. I know it, I love it, and I will continue to live it throughout the rest of my life until the time is come for me to stand before the pleasing bar of my Heavenly Father and be welcomed back to Him with open arms and a loving smile.

This is what I have desired for so many people over these last two years and what I will continue to desire for everyone I come in contact with throughout the rest of my life. I know that these things are true. I love this gospel and I love my mission and I cannot wait to see all of the people I love back at home.

Elder Kupka

The LeRoux Family

Sibotobotos and Elton
Elder Truscott

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 103

Well, this last week was pretty solid. Last Monday we hiked to Devil's Peak. I sent the pictures but forgot to write about it. It was a pretty intense hike. At the top it was super cloudy and windy and cold. It was fun though.

In the evening we went and saw the Johnsons. They are a sweet family and I'm really going to miss them. They are always so nice to us.

Tuesday I was on exchanges with Elder Prisbrey. He is a great missionary and we had a really good day. Nothing spectacular happened but it all just flowed really well. All of the appointments held and we even got a surprise DA from Brother Celestian.

Thursday we had to get our car serviced. So we went up and spent the morning with the rest of the district at their boarding. The car wasn't ready until half past 4 so it kind of shafted our whole day. We did have a nice lesson with Rodger though. We just had an hour long discussion about death and resurrection which I think was really awesome. I had been studying up on it all week to help a less active member who had a question about it.

Saturday we saw that less active member and it really cleared things up for her. She's been studying with us and the Jehovah's Witnesses and she really liked our answer. We're now going to start going through all of the lessons with her again so she can gain a greater understanding and testimony.

The rest of Saturday was spent visiting a few other less active families and some new people who moved into our ward. That night we had an all you can eat sushi dinner with the district and the assistants.

Sunday was nice but everyone kept asking me when I'm leaving. It was really sad to say next week but I'm so happy to go home; such mixed emotions. After church we saw Kingsly and he is such a boss. He's coming to church next week. We taught him about the Word of Wisdom and we talked about the things that we can't have with the exception of Rooibos tea. And he said are you sure? Because I don't use any of that stuff except that I drink Rooibos tea. So he's already been living the Word of Wisdom before he even knew about it. He is such a prepared investigator and I'm so glad to have been able to work with him; he is a really sweet guy.

That's all for this week. One more week and then I'm home!

Elder Kupka


The Johnsons

Elder Prisbrey

District Sushi Night