Monday, 25 June 2012

25th June 2012 New Area, City of Knysna, South Africa

Hi mom and dad
About that police clearance stuff! Thank you so much for getting all that figured out! I'm sorry that the power of attorney didn't work out the way they thought... we'll know for the next time I go on mission :P ha-ha! I will do that today after emailing! I'll go to the station and do all that you just told me to do. I'll even fax it today! I've told you before how much I love you right mom? Cause I love you like crazy! Thank you for all you have done and continue to do!
I hope everything goes well with the tree and that you don’t have to dig it up and plant another one… GOOD WORK ON ANOTHER EXAM MOM!!! And you were wondering where us kids got our smarts from! Paha!
Thanks to both of you for updating me on all the family stuff happening! You have no idea how blessed I am to have such a supportive family emailing me all the time and updating me on everything! I love you guys! Dad sounds like you guys had a blast last Sat quadding. I am glad Aaron is OK and didn’t get injured.  That’s funny about Tyson! So him and Freeze are going to the same mission? So how many missionaries do we have out on missions now from our ward?  Say hi to Tori for me! I wish I could be there for the July 1st weekend! And see the Raymond marching band! Paha....! I Love you dad!
Time to fill you in about my last week ok! What an eventful week it has been! Transfers and all! I said goodbye to everybody in Khayelitsha on Tuesday... I'm going to miss those people... there are some incredible people there... but I know that Knysna has some powerful people too! We'll transfers went well. No issues. I was able to get all of my stuff in my luggage with leaving behind minimal things... Mostly just curios and stuff anyways... my carry on was alot heavier than it should have been, but the airport doesn't ever check the carry on, they always just check the check in luggage. So my carry on was almost as heavy as my luggage paha!
 I managed to fly to George and meet my new companion, Elder Andreamanantena!I knew him from before, so it is just cool now that we are able to serve together! He is a really cool guy, and I think this transfer is going to be a blast! I will send pictures next week, I’m sorry! I've been so busy I haven't even had time to take pictures! But I will show you some sweet pictures next week!
One sucky thing about transfers is that when you go into an area, that means you are replacing a missionary, which means everybody is sad that that missionary is gone, so now nobody likes the new missionary... even the new companion... And that is tough because the missionary that I’m replacing was just an incredible guy, and now I have high expectations, so I need to fill his shoes... And my companion really misses him and I just feel like an outsider... but I just need patience and it will wear off in a couple of weeks! Makes for a tough start though... not to mention my companion is a bit sick and having a tough time getting to sleep at night... so he is feeling really down... and his companion that he loved leaving... and him being the district leader now... it’s just all adding up and falling down on my head... makes it kind of tough, but this is a whole lot easier than these past two transfers! We get along pretty well, and I think by the end of this week we will be best friends!
I'm stoked! We had some powerful experiences this week! We have 3 new father led families investigating and we had a powerful lesson with one! And it was a dvd referral which was sweet! The Lord's work progresses no matter what! The work is great! The more faith and obedience, the more progress and blessings! I love it! If only it were easier to get up on time... I'm going to work on that! I'm just so tired and exhausted all the time! But that’s ok!
So now we get to email at the chapel so we really can email as long as we want for free and print all that we want and scan and photocopy for free! It's a blessing too! But Knysna is so sweet! It has a feeling like living in B.C. with all the trees and stuff, but instead of mountains everywhere, it's just hills. I'll show you pictures next week! It's awesome!
We had a sweet experience with a lady we were teaching yesterday! She has the biggest house in the township, so she is loaded (in comparison to everyone else, her house is probably the same size as my house, but in a township, that’s huge!) and Elder Andreamanantena and Elder Bangeter found her and her husband while tracting. They taught the restoration to them. So when we went back yesterday, we were going to teach the Gospel of Christ because they had questions about baptism. When we started teaching, we reviewed briefly what was taught before and it turned out that she had a hard time remembering anything because she didn't remember a thing from like earlier this week. So I briefly went over the Restoration again and over the Joseph Smith story, then Elder Andreamanantena even went over it all again because she still seemed confused.
She did have some questions about how to tell if a prophet is true or not, and we answered those and gave her a Book of Mormon, then it was time for us to go so she offered to give the closing prayer. While she prayed, she started crying and saying things like, "I don't even know what to say, but I haven't even read that book (meaning the Book of Mormon) and I feel like all the things they are telling me are true." and she went on like that for a little bit but ended the prayer and was just crying. We let her know that she was feeling the spirit (The spirit was really strong in that lesson just so ya know) and she said she would read and pray about the book of Mormon! So that was awesome! Can't wait to go back! The lesson was terrible too!
It just goes to show that it doesn't matter how it’s being taught, but as long as its truth and the Spirit is there, the Spirit will teach for us! I love mission! It's just awesome! Thanks for all the support! The mail might take a little longer to get to me now because they now have to send it from the mission office to Knysna before I get it, instead of me just picking it up from the mission office in Cape Town there. Well, busy day ahead! Gotta go! Love you all!
-Elder Jones

Monday, 18 June 2012

18th June 2012 in the Philippi and Delt area in the city of Cape Town

Happy Fathers Day!!!!
I love you dad! Thank you so much for all you have ever done to me! I often am able to look back and ponder about my life up until now that I am on mission and I often ponder on what it was that led me to be here serving the Lord and experiencing everything that I do! I am truly grateful for everything that you have done for me! Your example, your love, your generosity, your understanding, your faithfulness, your guidance, and your counsel! I just truly love you! I am so blessed in every way! I could not have a better life! I really appreciate your support of me as I am experiencing this adventure! You have been there for me at every turn and guiding me with the gospel every step of the way! You mean the world to me! I couldn't ask for a better father! I'm sorry for all of the times that I was so difficult with you... I have found that being stubborn is part of my personality, and I am working very hard to overcome that! I am learning a lot about myself on a mission, and I am going to come home a different person! But I will still be your son! I love you!

Thanks for updating me on everything that is happening at home! Sounds like this past weekend was a blast! I love you both so much! Also it looks like quadding was a blast! And that Rhino looks sweet! I bet that thing is a blast to drive! So Tristan gets the front seat and Anona gets the back seat? paha! I guess she'd have to... I wonder if the backseat is very fun... But that sounds like it was a blast! I love bogging through the mud! Why is it so muddy and wet? Is it that the snow all melted? Or did it rain alot?
How is the weather anyways? The weather here is beautiful!!! Amazing! And its dead middle of winter and it’s so nice out! Say hi to Aunt Theo for me! Unless she is gone already...
Don't worry... We don't live in the Browns Farm area, we live just on the edge of Pinelands in a apartment complex thingy called Anfield Village... I don't know the exact address where I live... sorry... just by the train station on the north side of Pinelands though... we commute half an hour to and from our area every day...
Alright... about the Photo I.D. thingy... so I need to go to the police station and have them photocopy my I.D. then have them sign it, then I sign it, then fax it to Barb? I will try my best to do it today! I'll have to find a police station here... If I don't get it done today, I’ll have to do it in my new area... but I will try my best to have it to you this week! I don't know when you'll know that I have done it though... but I’ll do it! Also I don't need to do this every 6 months... it is just that I didn't get my visa for Namibia within the 6 months that I did all of that before... so now we have to do it all again because its after 6 months... but once they get my visa passed for Namibia, we won’t have to do this again... probably won’t need to do this again ever... so ya... don't worry! :)

Thank you for sending a bit from Elder Palmer! I miss that kid! That’s sweet how he is the district leader and a trainer! Very very soon I am going to be in the very same position as him! Maybe even next transfer! Also! Thanks mom for sharing that story about your transfers from your mission! I've learnt more fine details about your mission since I’ve been here than before! Our transfers definitely aren't like yours! AHHHHHHH!!!!! I'm so stoked!!! I have transfer news!!!
First off I will tell you about my week... We hiked Table Mountain once again last Monday! It was sweet! It destroyed my legs though! They were so sore and stiff after! It took like 4 days to heal up!
And this week we had some powerful lessons, then Friday and Saturday we managed to be busy all day visiting people, but we didn't manage to share one lesson on those days... so... ya... that was poopy... but then on Saturday! Saturday was sweet because we had a big soccer tournament between Langa, Guguletu, Khayelitsha, and Mitchels Plain ward/branches! I was actually one of the last people to arrive at the game with a few members from our ward, and when I got there, Elder Thacker shouts at me saying, "There's 2 other Canadians here!" Rather confused I looked around the field to see who would possibly be there... Now the person I saw brings feelings of anger and hatred to all the soccer players of Raymond in my grade and the grade below! He was my nemesis for 3 years and then I happened to be an assistant coach for him for one season of indoor soccer along with Paul and Mike and Carter and them. I saw on the field, Weston Sabey! That was a shocker!

Out of all the places in Canada where a person could be from, this one was from Magrath!!! My mind was blown! Just out of sheer coincidence we happened to be at the very same soccer game in South Africa in Cape Town!!!! Sheeowsa! Small world eh? Turned out that he was staying with his Cousin, Booker, here in Cape Town because he is tutoring at a high school here. His cousin Booker served his mission here 6 years ago, and lives here. Booker was invited to the game by some people he knew from Langa while he was on mission, and Weston was with them so they came and played (plus Weston loves soccer so he went of course).
The games were intense and really fun! The missionary team smoked Guguletu branch! 1-0! I scored the only goal! Woot! On a penalty kick too! haha! Canada Power! Weston and I dominated the games by the way! African's have a new respect for Canadians now, especially when we were giving them a run for their money in their own sport! Woot! lol sorry... too much pride... but ya that was so awesome! My mind is still kinda blown...
But then Sunday, Weston and his Cousin came to Khayelitsha ward for church, then after church, Weston came fellowshipping with us all day! That was sweet! He got to experience the township, and I wasn't the only person within 4 million people who was only wearing a short sleeve shirt! I was with someone who actually understood what I was feeling temperature wise!!! Ya that was sweet! He was lucky too because we had 2 DA's (Dinner Appointments)on Sunday, so he got fed for lunch and supper! So that was sweet! I have some pictures for everyone when we were at the soccer game and when we were at sister Kofi's for a DA!

So now I get to tell ya all my transfer news!
First off, I am officially the only Elder in our entire Zone that had any changes happen to! I am finally leaving Khayelitsha, and I am going to serve in... DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!! Knysna!!!! Apparently it is the most beautiful area in the entire mission! I will be serving with Elder Andriamenantena! He is a Malagasy! In other words he is from Madagascar! He is sweet! I've served around him for a little bit and I am going to love it! He is awesome!!!
 I'm so excited!!!! So on Wednesday I will be flying to George, then I will be driving for like 1-2 hours to knysna! Also I heard that the area is on fire and that the work is going very well there! So I am super excited! Also I am literally in the middle of nowhere, like the nearest Elders to Knysna are like a 2 hour drive! So it'll be hectic! I probably won’t get post very often... maybe once every week or 2... That is alright with me!

I clicked 6 months old on mission 3 days ago! That’s hectic! Ya mission is sweet! Like seriously! Mission is the best thing ever!!! Sorry... I just love it here a lot! I have been so blessed! I am getting such good places to serve! I feel spoiled actually... but I'm not complaining! So next week I will be emailing from Knsyna! Look it up on google maps! I wonder how it looks!
Anywho... Ixesha Lixatshwe Yinja! I gotta humba! I love you all! Take luck! Till next time!
-Elder Jones

Monday, 11 June 2012

11th June 2012 in the Philippi & Delt area in the City Cape Town

 You're an old Geezer! I hope you had a blast with the family!  Sounds like this next big quadding trip is going to be sweet! I'm glad you're having so much fun!  You should make a quadding club! Pahah! I love you so much dad! I hope grandpa and grandma get well soon! I wonder who your new neighbors are going to be! Sounds crazy with the weather and the tornados! I bet the farmers are loving the rain!  I'm really glad the roof is all done! It looks so much better now! Thank you for all the pictures and for the love and support.
WOO HOOO!!! That's my motha!!! Winning the game Aaron made! I love you mom!  I'm glad you love me enough to do the church tunage CD thing! Ha Ha. I am way spoiled to have you as my mom! I'm also really glad that you are so busy! That is a blessing you know! Keeps you from missing me! Just work away! You will be blessed for all of your work! I often find myself so busy that I don't have time to even make food! Especially with our area we have now! It's hectic! From the moment I wake up till the moment I put my head on the pillow I have a purpose/something to do! The only difference between us is that yours is a lot more stressful...You are such a good example to me! I also know what it is like to be so busy that you don't have time for anything else!

Thank you for doing the police report thing... that is really stupid how the power of attorney doesn't do anything... I'm sorry that you have to do that... If it’s not possible I can do what you asked. The reason why they want the second police check is because they are starting to do visa's for Namibia now, so they are trying to pass a visa for me to go to Namibia! Apparently I will have to get all my x-rays and things like that all done again also because they are only valid for 6 months or something... so ya... I’ll hafta do all that stuff again! So the sooner you do the police report, the sooner I can get called to Namibia! Which would be sweet because that is apparently missionary heaven!
There’s a picture I’m sending you both that has the evidence of the accident that I told you about in last weeks letter... Honestly it wasn't bad at all... I won’t be feeling the effects... and transfers aren't this week, but next Wednesday! The 20th! I'm excited! But kind of bummed at the same time because we have some sweet stuff happening in this area! Oh well... time to experience something new! And there is a place at the mission home that we can store stuff so I can put any excess stuff in there for storage of what I don't need... so ya! It's sweet! Thanks for the support and I love you both!

 I'm running out of time so here are some things that happen last week.  It was quite an interesting week dats fo sho! I got my suit dry cleaned for the first time in over 3 years! Woot! It was much needed! Hey, don't judge! Also it was raining pretty much all week...

The temperature hovers around +10 for the coldest point of the day... and still manages to be up in the +20's mid day!  I have a picture there of Elder Makwezalamba from Zimbabwe, and how dressed up he is for the day... It's so funny! I only wore my usual short sleeve that day, and look at him!!! HAHAHA! That’s what a lot of people wear here right now!

One day, Elder Park and I went on splits because we had two appointments at the same time... Elder Park went with a member fellowshipper to one appointment and I went to the second one with another member fellowshipper. Turned out that both of our appointments dropped, and I had the car. But I managed to go visit Jared ( It was sweet! He was at church this Sunday!!!!!) while Elder Park and Luthando (the other member fellowshipper) were wandering around Browns Farm in the dark. Now browns farm at night is a super sketchy place! Just so ya know! It ended up that Elder Park was roaming around it for 2 hours!!!! A molungu!!! (aka, white guy, you don’t do that if you’re a white guy!!) While I was oblivious to the matter because I just dropped him off and went to my appointment. Then after we met with Jared, I was late for my next appointment, so I rushed over to the area and called Elder Park on our cell phone to see where he was... Turned out he was lost and had no idea where he was, but he assured me that he would be able to find his way to sister Kofi's. So I went to my appointment and taught the lesson, fervently prayed that he wouldn't get mugged, then when I got out of the lesson I called him and he said he was by the high school and didn't know how to get to sister kofi's! So we went and got them...
That was a hectic night! My companion was lost wandering around the township at night!!! One of the most dangerous places! Sheesh! They were ok though! Wet, but ok! (it was raining)... Then as I was dropping off our fellowshippers, since it was raining, all of the pot holes were filled with water, and there are tons of potholes in the township, and there's like no street lights in the township, so I didn't see a pot hole and I hit it going like 60 k's and ended up bending the rim of the tire... not knowing I bent the tire, we just kept driving all night. Then went to Pannorrati's for all you can eat pizza for $6 (or R50) which was sweet! I had 15 pieces of pizza! I would have had more but they were closing... Then the next day we were driving around, and I noticed my tire was getting low... so we had to change the tire, and that was when I noticed it had a huge dent in the rim! crazy taco! So that was a hectic time...

Also one night when going to pick up the Mandalay missionaries from their area, I saw these 3 guys swiftly walking after another guy, and the other guy was walking backwards away from them holding a butchers knife... yup... just another day in the township... honestly I don't want to know the outcome of that... and another big accident happened on the highway... I didn't see it because I went another way home once I saw the traffic... but I can only assume that there were fatalities because of all the emergency vehicles!
Sunday the Mandalay Elders had a baptism! I'm out of time! But I love my mission and you all! And I love the support! Mission is sweet!
Marshall, is your address still the same? I want to send you a letter... or if you sent me a letter I could just respond to the return address on it! Sweet!
-Elder Jones

Monday, 4 June 2012

4th June 2012 Philippi & Delt in the City Cape Town

Hi Mom and Dad,

No I have not sent any packages yet because I do not have everything that I want to put into the package... I still have to go to green market square one more time before I will send the package, but I promise when I send it I will let you know so you can keep track and an eye for it. I did get the package with the church tunage CD in it! And I got the package with all the other goodies that you sent me through Dear Elder website! That was awesome! :)
 It's good that you are so busy mom! I’m glad we are getting the roof re-shingled! Congrats to Shelyse Hardy! And say hi to sister hardy for me! A new dishwasher sounds sweet! What are you doing with our old one? I can hardly wait to see “Avengers!” That’s good to hear about Opa too! I hope everything is working out well for him! I'm praying for him!

About the name tag thing... I don't have a clip on name tag yet... I lost it on the first day as I was getting off the plane in Cape Town from the Missionary Training Center ... I ordered it and they sent me another pocket one... so I had to re- order another one and I am waiting to get it... so no name tag with my street clothes till I get my clip on...
Were you going to send me all of the songs that were on the "church tunage" CD? Or were you not able to find them on your hard drive? They are on there... I really appreciate the songs you sent me though. I love what I have! I have to ask, if you are ever in the  church bookstore, and see the new EFY ( Especially For Youth ) CD, or any EFY CD, you should get me them and send them to me! I can't order them here and so the only way I can get them is through you... I love you both!
 Now for how things are going here…. This week has been intense! For P-day we hiked a little bit up the side of Devil's peak! Got some pictures! :D …and on Wednesday we had Zone Conference but with all 3 Cape Town zones! So it was sweet! Over 40 missionaries! We got some powerful training on how to teach while finding and find while teaching! And we are trying more to focus now on teaching thoroughly repentance to people.
Our area is catching on fire! I don't mean literally (even though there are fires in our area all the time) but we are getting powerful investigators! We are being so blessed! We don't even have one female investigator! We only have potential priesthood holders and father led families! It's amazing to see the Lord progress his kingdom through us! It's sweet! Just yesterday we had a powerful Restoration lesson with 3 brethren in their 20's, 2 of which are ex-body builders! The other one has been coming to our church every week for the past month just because he wants to know the truth!
But those two body builders are huge! I felt so scrawny the whole time I was there! So much for my working out at the gym...
 I was on exchanges on Friday with the Zone leaders! I was with Elder Thacker, and we had a blast! We had some powerful lessons in the area, I learnt a lot from him, and we had a ton of fun! Spent like an hour just annoying member fellow shipper because all we were doing was quoting "Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail!" But at the start of the exchange, we went to District meeting at the Khayelitsha Chapel, and while we were on our way to the mall to have lunch, we turned off a road onto another road and then we got rear-ended! Yup! Seems like I have to get rear ended every year! Elder Thacker was driving though (It's funny because he offered if I wanted to drive, and I had a feeling like I shouldn't take the offer, so I said no, then right after we got in the accident) which was good because it was his area's car and I wasn't technically authorized to be the driver by the mission president anyways... but don't worry mom! I know you probably just freaked out and started saying "Oh no! OH NO!!" but it’s ok!

He slammed on his brakes and slowed down enough so that it was just a minor accident! He just put a big dent in our bumper, and his truck was crushed in the front! The craziest part was, when we were getting all of the information from the guy, I walked over to his truck and looked inside and noticed that there was 15-20 elementary kids crammed inside this tiny 7 seater vehicle! (Yes I said tiny 7 seater!) Here in Africa they cram as many seats as they can in as little of a vehicle as they can) so thank goodness it wasn't a major accident! All of those kids could have been killed if it would have rolled or something! So I just made sure all the kids were ok, and they were fine and happy.
 Yesterday, Khayelitsha ward had a High Priest Group formed! Goes to show how big the ward is getting! In November it turned from a branch to a ward, and now it has a high priest group! That’s sweet! Still in its tiny little rented out old shop right building... but has about 130 people coming each Sunday! It's powerful!
The weather is still beautiful and everyone still wears big coats! I've just given up wondering why... Honestly, my short sleeve is hot enough! The other day I helped these guys build a shack! Elder Park and I noticed the neighbors to our member fellow shipper were building a shack so we offered to help! At first the dude was really racist and didn't want our help because we were white... but when we told him that we were servants of Jesus Christ, he changed his mind quickly! We then were able to help throw up a shack in 20mins from start to finish; even so that it was livable inside! Pretty impressive I know! Paha! only used 12 nails too!
So that was my week! I feel like I am forgetting to mention something, but if I remember ill write it down and include it next week! I received a package from my parents and from Aunt Terri this week! Thank you so much!!! I love you all! And those cookies were gone within moments by the way Aunt Terri! Reeses! MMM!!! All the other elders keep calling you the sweetest Aunt ever and keep asking me if you are single! Paha! So that has got to say something about your baking!
Life is good! The work is pressing forward! I love mission! I'm learning a lot aswell! And the area is doing great! It's coming up to transfers! I'm excited to see where I’m going! I should be leaving, but one of the AP's said that 1 of the 6 month Elders are staying in their area for 7.5 months... So I’m slightly concerned that it's going to be me, but even if it was, I wouldn't mind... but I do want to experience somewhere new! I love you all and appreciate all of the support! Take Luck!
-Elder Jones-

Mom and Dad!