Monday, 30 January 2012

30th Jan 2012 in the Philippi Delt area of Cape Town

Sorry everyone I guess something didn't get through the computers. Elder Jones must have had a busy Monday or no access to a computer today. They normally go to an internet cafe to use the internet. It cost them $2.50 every time. So hopefully next week a letter will arrive. We know one thing… they must be working hard.

Monday, 23 January 2012

23th Jan 2012 in the Philippi Delt area of Cape Town

In answer to your questions, I can only read emails on Monday and I will read them anywhere from 10-6 my time. I did get the pictures of Anona and Riley's baby and she is cute. I love seeing pictures! I save them all in my email so keep sending them; they lift my spirits every time! Did you get my pictures I sent you? I did figure out the puzzle but I forgot it back at the room... I’ll email it next week! I don't know if I need the pedigree chart or not... but maybe it is safe to have just in case... could you even email it to me? And it takes about a month for me to get a letter from you. I love you!

Also if you are ever to send me a package you need to write on it that it is "Missionary Supplies" for the content description and that it is less that $40 because otherwise they will tax it and it costs me... so remember to do that ok?
Well this week was an eventful one! It was really really hot this week and I was dying whenever I went into an investigator's house! Those little houses or shacks are so hot after the sun beams on them all day! It was an amazing week though and I learn so much every day!

My area is huge and it takes like 10-15mins for us to even drive from appointment to appointment. On Saturday I went on exchanges with Elder Mapeka, who was in the MTC with me, so it was interesting! Two greenies out and about! We were in his area though and it is a walking area. It was also very hot out, but good news! I got my watch tan now! I'm so happy about that! It finally happened! But it was cool just going out with another greenie and just working hard! We got a lot of new contacts and taught a few lessons! All in all it was a cool experience and we got a return appointment with a father led family so that was sweet! I found out that Elder Mapeka doesn't like to talk very mush so it was rather quite most of the time...

There are miracles happening all the time! One night while Elder Beck and I were planning for the next day, we were wondering what to teach a less active family where the father has a drinking problem. Elder Beck had the inspiration to teach about temples. When we went to their house to teach them, and after we presented the message, the father and mother both told us that the message was inspired and that that very morning they were thinking about the temple and the experience they had as they went through and how they needed to go back. So just things like that are just so amazing when you listen to the promptings of the spirit!

There has been a few times where people tell us things that have happened so that they could hear our message or after they heard our message something happened that they instantly realized it was because of the visit with us, or whatever it is, but it is so awesome to see things like that happen! It truly testifies that Heavenly Father is working with these investigators.

 We have 3 baptisms that are happening this coming Sunday! I am stoked! I don't know if i will actually be able to baptize them but that is 3 down on my tally which isn't bad for being in the field for 3 weeks! But those dates were already set before i came out...but I’m still going to take the fame for them! There are 3 ladies: Ntomboxolo, Nobuntu, and Tamara. Also there is a man, Xolani, who has a baptism date in February! This is exciting stuff! And we are working with a father led family right now (father led families are really hard to get by the way and that’s what the wards need here right now) and things are going very well with them! I think we will have a baptism date set for them during the week sometime! We have a few new investigators and a bunch of potential investigators that we are working on! It is exciting stuff!

Today for P-Day we hiked Table Mountain! It was sweet! I attached a picture for you to look at! We are going to have to climb it again though because there was a cloud and it was raining... so it was a kind of bad day to go so we didn't see anything but cloud when we were on top... And it was very wet and we got drenched! It was fun though! I made a documentary as I went up that you all have to watch! I'll have to send a memory card home sometime so you can watch the videos! They are awesome!

Well my time is far spent! I love you all! (Christine!!! My companion has gone golfing with David Archuleta!)

-Elder Jones-

Climbed Table Mountain on P-Day 23 Jan 2012

Monday, 16 January 2012

16th Jan 2012 in the Philippi Delt area of Cape Town

Apparently there were email issues for last week’s letter from Elder Jones making this week’s letter a long one.

HEY!!! I'm finally able to email again! It seems like you had amazing weather the past month! I'm jealous... turns out whenever I am away from home you get amazing weather, like this past summer when I was up north you had incredible weather all summer... I guess I am just the reason for bad weather... I would have thought I would have a new niece or nephew by now... keep me posted... guess I will have to read about it next week.. I'm glad everything is going well. I hope Anona does well with the birth! Crazy! I think you guys should ship Riley here so he can make me some Chicken dinner!

It has definitely been an adventure this first week of mission. After saying all of our goodbyes at the MTC, we went to the airport, got on our flights and spent 2 hours talking with the man beside me. He was a Hindu and a really cool guy! I had a sweet conversation with him the whole time and during so I taught the first lesson, the restoration, but I put it into our conversation so smoothly that there was no way he could have noticed I was actually teaching him a lesson! But it went really well and he was really interested because he didn't really care for the Hindu religion himself, so I gave him a pass along card and ya... So after that plane flight I felt super confident about my teaching... that didn’t last long haha! But before I get to that I’ll tell you what happened.

 The AP's and the Mission pres and his wife met us at the airport and then we went to the mission pres house and dropped our luggage off. we then went sightseeing! I got pics of Table Mountain and the ocean and the World Cup Stadium! (I forgot my camera cable to upload the pictures so i will have to send the pics next Monday... I’m sorry!) But it was awesome and the weather was perfect!

After the sightseeing we went and were taught some stuff about the area and the money system and all that stuff... then we played ping pong and had interviews with the president. My president is awesome! He has driven from Alaska to Utah, or the other way, 6 times! Dang! He even drove from Alaska to New York once! any who... he is awesome and extremely intelligent! It is awesome! So we spent the night at the presidents house and ate food and had a little seminar thing and a lesson and then went to bed.

 In the morning we got up and packed our bags and went downstairs to get breakfast! We hadn't even been told where our first area was yet so I was super anxious to know! Elders from everywhere were coming to the president’s house and at one point there were like 40 elders there! But I still didn't know... I didn't even find out for hours! Eventually pres brought us 5 new elders into his office and we got to see who our trainers are and the area that we are first serving in. My trainer is Elder Beck. He is from Richfield Utah. He is a good trainer but rather outspoken sometimes... Things are going really well! But anyways! So I am serving in Cape South in Kyaletchia. I have a really big area so my companion and I have a car which is awesome! We drive Elder Mapeka and Elder Labala to their area every day where they walk all day and we drive! woot!

So after I found out who my comp was and where I was serving I headed out to drop off my luggage and get some food for the week. Turns out they eat the exact same food as we do at home... but it just seems like the food is a lower quality for some reason... like the cheerios I bought are not the same cheerios as at home... but ya... after shopping we came back to the apartment and planned a bit then headed out for our first appointments! We had 4 planned for the day! I was rather nervous but held it together fairly well I think... I stay in an apartment complex kind of thing so I just have a little apartment, the size of our family room there at home, and there is one bedroom and a kitchen and a bathroom and a living area. It’s alright... but for the most part I had only seen developed areas, with normal houses and buildings... but when we went to my area I realized where we actually serve...

The people in our area live in shacks... little things that they make themselves out of just metal that they find... and there is so many people in such a small area! There are some houses but they are made out of sinder block and are smaller than my apartment... It is very interesting to see.. and there is a whole society within these shacks... there are hair salons and restaurants and little convenience shops and internet cafes and everything... it is really interesting! And when you go inside a shack or a little house they have normal stuff.. They have power and TV’s and fridges and microwaves and all that stuff.. some have huge stereo systems and some have big screen TV’s but just little shack houses... it’s weird... and nobody has cars, they all take taxi's everywhere but taxi's are just Hutterite vans that drive around.. and they all walk everywhere.. It is a very interesting society! If dad wants to look for it on Google maps, it’s kind of near the airport. My area is the Delft and Philippi area. It's really cool actually! I love it here!

The people here are the friendliest people you will ever meet! They are scary when they are drunk but they are super nice! You can go up to anyone on the street and strike up a conversation. It’s really cool! And if you wave to someone they will wave back no matter what! Even if you just cut them off in your car!

 Oh yeah and the traffic is crazy! There are no traffic rules! so if you want to pass a person you just do it, anytime, anywhere... people just stop randomly in streets and I don’t know... it’s just crazy traffic! Pedestrians definitely do not have the right of way; we have almost hit so many people! I feel like I’m going to get into an accident every 30 seconds!

 But ya back to the people. Since they are so friendly, it makes sharing our message somewhat easier. And since practically everyone is Christian (except the Muslims) they are always super interested in what we have to say. The people here are truly looking for truth! It is awesome! I am definitely going to be able to do some sweet work here!

My first few lessons that I taught within the first few days were pretty rough... but I learnt that confidence, love, and simplicity really make teaching easy! As I sat there and thought about the person and not the lesson, I found it was easier to teach! I learnt all that at the MTC and it was super easy to practice but it was harder in real life! I find myself drastically getting better at teaching and I learn something new every time! I figure as a keep teaching then reflecting on how the lesson went and how I can improve, I’ll be pro in no time! Then I can focus on the work instead of learning how to teach!

Another thing I found very interesting was how the little kids are so interested in our gospel! It’s awesome! Little 5 yr olds were asking me questions about Jesus Christ! I was impressed! I have taught kids lessons as well, I never would have thought that I would be doing that very often but it seems to be rather common... that’s alright with me because I way rather prefer teaching kids than adults! But I really do love it here! I love the people, the society, how the traffic works, and how the Gospel impacts people's lives! It fascinates me! I don't think I had culture shock but I hope to catch onto the language “Xhosa” because the majority of people speak it (they all speak English) but sometimes they speak Xhosa and I don’t understand it but I will learn!

 Well my time is up... This is a long one but I figured I was in need of a long in depth email this time! I love you all! I'm so grateful for all the support! Best of wishes to you all! And I hope everything goes well with the new baby! I am doing great and I’m healthy and loving life!

Keep emailing me! and sending me pictures! I'll send some your way next time!

-Elder Jones

Monday, 9 January 2012

In the Field. 9 Jan 2012 in the Philippi Delt area in Cape Town

I guess it goes to show how time can run away on you when you’re out in the field. We have not heard from Elder Jones. He must be quite busy or maybe he doesn't have access to a computer where he is, but we will keep you all posted once a letter is sent.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

At the Mission Pres. Home Jan 3rd 2012

                                       Elder Jones and his very first companion into the field
                                                Elder Jones in front of Tabletop Mountain
                                                             At the mission Home
 Elder Jones back middle and President & Sister Wood on far right