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

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