Monday, 30 July 2012

30th 2012 July Knysna South Africa

Hi  Mom and Dad,
Hello!! You are right! Time is flying! 2 more weeks and I'll be 8 months out on mission! It was a year and 15 days ago that I received my mission call! Crazy! Thanks for updating me with everything! I'm glad Dad's eye is recovering! I'm glad you are doing well with school! I'm glad Raymond didn't get pummeled with Hail! That sounds like it was terrible! I wonder if the Temple is alright! I'm glad it didn't happen in Raymond! My car would have been destroyed! You have insurance from hail damage on your car right? If something like that is going to happen, throw my car in the garage so it won’t be destroyed and yours can and get covered! :)
My clothes are doing great! Life everything is perfectly fine! My shoes are doing well too! Nothing is wrong! I had to spend $85 on getting my x-rays and doctor reports done for my Namibia visa though... but ya, I’m doing great! And even if my clothes were going bad, I would just buy some here.. no biggie! Thanks for wondering though!
My companion and I are doing great! Had a rough patch in the middle of the transfer, but its all good now! And we just found out last night that we are going to be together for another transfer yet again! So it should be good!
I am in 3Nephi chapter 10 right now... I'm going nice and slow and marking my scriptures, I'm also half way through "Jesus the Christ" book which is an amazing book! And I’m in the book of John in the New Testament! I stopped my Old Testament study in Leviticus... not useful enough... Keep me updated on the Olympics, because I have no idea what’s happening! All I know is that in Woman's soccer, Canada beat South Africa 3-0!!! Woo!!! Go team Go!!!
That mud bogging thing looks sweet! Wish I could have seen it!
On August 12th, we have 2 baptisms set and happening here in Knysna! Woot!Running out of time! I love you both!!!
Here is what happened last week. One more week down! Transfer is officially over tomorrow! But turns out that nothing is changing for me here in Knysna! Elder Andriamanantena and I are staying here! I'm happy about it! Its stress free...but I need to work on my showing love to others... anyways... This is an accomplishment for me!
In the past 3 weeks, we have gotten 30 new investigators, and we have not gone tracting once! It was merely by implementing the “Teach while you Find and Find while you Teach method! So ya! That is very effective! The work is going great! We have had 9 investigators at church these past 2 weeks! Which is sweet We have more investigators than we can even comfortably visit! It's crazy! I have no complaints whatsoever!
All I can say is that I love being a missionary, and that I am learning more and more every day! I also found out yesterday that my last area, Khayelitsha, is on fire! Not literally (quite the opposite actually because it has been ringing there for like a month straight!) but like the work is booming and the ward is growing in strength and my recent convert, Nobuntu, has returned and is solidly going to church, and my other one, Anda, is solid in church as well! Ntomboxolo is going less active apparently and same with Tamara... so I am writing them letters to encourage them... Bro. Raymond, Musa, and Masixole all have the Melchezidek Priesthood! Which is sweet!!! I was so happy to hear all this stuff! I miss that place! But I love Knysna also!

Anyways... The pictures are of Knysna from across the lake. The bottom is town (aka white people) the stuff on the top of the hills is township. It kind of looks creepy eh? But that is where I’m serving right now! I love it! And the other pictures is a member, Leoni, in the hospital who we went to visit with the "crew" which consists of Jane, Janine, and Ashwin, who all come fellowship with us alot! Janine is Leoni's Sister and she is in front of me in the pictures. You may have noticed that these people are very short! Maybe I'm just super tall... Enjoy!
 Take Luck!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

24th July 2012 in the city of Knysna South Africa

Mom and Dad,
I am so grateful for the protection that Heavenly Father has blessed all of us with! He truly does answer prayers! And thank you for letting me know everything. I have learnt more than ever, that trials and challenges aren't things that are to mourn over or to view as a consequence, but are to be taken as a challenge to be overcome and to learn from! I can learn from all situations or circumstances which I have gone through! For it will be for my learning and benefit... KIM HAS BRACES?!?! Interesting I'm out of time I love you both!!!
Now to fill you in of my last week.
First off, sorry I couldn't email yesterday... We were in a rush and all I had time to do was to email president Wood. We went to Mosselbaai with the George Elders for P-Day, so we had to leave as soon as possible! We had a Braai (aka BBQ) on the Ocean Front in Mosselbaai! Cooked up all sorts of meat! Chicken, steak, sausage, ribs! Twas awesome! And beautiful! So that was why I couldn't email...
But this week was sweet! Our stats surpassed our goals on almost everything! And our days are filled with appointments! It's really nice to see the blessings from obedience! On Thursday, the Zone Leaders, Elder Pack and Elder Acton, came to have exchanges with us! I went with Elder Acton and I had a blast and was reminded of some very important things that I needed to start doing again! Sometimes Missionaries tend to get in a rut and just have a certain specific way they work, but tend to miss other important things! So it was a good reminder for me! And we made a fort that night to sleep in! So that was sweet!
The pictures are of the fort and of mosselbaai and the braai!
Oh ya! When we were done braaing and had cleaned up, we were about to drive away, but this fellow came up and said, "Can you guys please convince my Uncle to not drive, he's drunk." so Elder Shuward (spelling?) and I went over to the small truck and started talking to the guy. This guy was utterly and entirely wasted! His mouth and teeth were green, we couldn't understand a single word coming from his mouth because he was slurring his words so much (and speaking Afrikaans...) and he could barely stand up! So we just talked with him and repeated over and over that he needed to get out of the car and into the passenger seat! Eventually we convinced him and he got out and gave the keys to his nephew and got in the passenger side... His nephew was drunk as well, but not even close to as drunk as him... so we may have saved the life of some innocent driver out there that he could have killed! Man he was hammered!
I also got a video of a guy in township who could barely walk because he was so drunk, and fell over once! It's so sad to see these Children of God just destroying their lives, and looking so pathetic because of the stupid worldly things. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have and the blessings that have come from that knowledge! Especially the Word of Wisdom! What a blessing!
I love missionary life! It's awesome! I love everyone who is supporting me! A couple weeks ago I got a package from Aunt Terri! Thank you! And thank you Grandma and Grandpa for your support! I love you all!!! Not just these few I mentioned, but to everyone who prays for me and emails me and writes me and cares about me! I am so grateful! Take Luck!
-Elder Jones

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

16th July 2012 in Knysna South Africa

Mom and dad,
Thank you for the updates! Sounds like everyone had a blast! I wish I could meet Tristan now! Sounds like he's a new person! Burgers and hot dogs sound more delicious than it ever has! I actually bought some Ostrich Burgers, so I am going to cook them up and see how they are! I wish I had a BBQ though... but I don't... pan seared I guess... I have not yet received the police records ... I'm sure they will mail it to me here in Knysna as soon as they get it there at the office... Thank you so much for doing that mom! Sounds like the tree and garden are doing well! That’s sweet, love you both!  Now let me fill you in with last week.
Let's just say that last week’s P-Day was pretty sweet! The Elders came here from the city George, and we all went to Spur for their Monday special, then we went to the Knysna Heads, which is where the Knysna Lake funnels through an opening to the Indian Ocean! It's amazing! There are some pictures I've attached.
 Also while I was there, this guy and girl walked up to us missionaries and said, "Hey we are members! Is there any of you who are from Canada?" Huh?!?!? "ME!!" I exclaimed! Then they asked where and I said, "Southern Alberta." Then they said, "Really? Us too? Which place?" I said, "Raymond," then they said, "Cool! We are from Taber!" So turned out that the girl was going to school in Pretoria, and the guy (they are siblings) was going to school in East London, and they were both on vacation seeing the Knysna Heads as part of their trip! How crazy is that. That the moment they were at that spot at the Knysna Heads, us missionaries had decided to go to the Knysna Heads that day, and were in the same spot at the same time!! That was insane! I just keep meeting people from back home! So there is a picture of me with them as well! So that was just lekker (awesome in Afrikaans)!
The week picked up too! It's sweet how our appointments are holding now and that we are having success finding and teaching people! We even managed to find a few white less active families! So that'll be a huge support if they come back! Oh ya!
 So about those 2 couples I mentioned a couple of weeks ago who haven't been able to get baptized  because they are not being civilly married yet... Recently the church sent out an update for the allowance or non-allowance of couples being baptized. Here in Africa there are different ways to be married. You can be legally married by civil law which is recognized by the government in all countries. Or you can be tribally married between tribes. The issue with the tribal marriage is that there are certain countries that the government views it as an acceptable legal marriage, and some countries where the government does not view it as an acceptable legal marriage...
These 2 couples that we are working with just so happen to be from Malawi... now we were just informed when we went to Port Elizabeth for Zone Training, by President Wood, that tribal marriages in Malawi are deemed acceptable in the eyes of the government and that if they have been tribally married, then they aren't living in sin, “aka” breaking the Law of Chastity, and they are able to be baptized without getting civilly married (for the ordinance of baptism only, but will need to be civilly married before being sealed in the Temple for Time and all Eternity).
Now let me just quickly mention once again what they have gone through the past month... These 2 couples have been SO faithful, and have SUCH a desire to follow the commandments of God, that they were willing, and did, separate from their tribally married wives, “aka” not sleep with them, for an entire month. They even went as far as to organize a way that the wives would stay in one house, and the husbands would stay in a different house so that they could be baptized. Now we are informed that they are on track to be baptized on the 5th of August!!! So that’s sweet! They are incredible people! so Faithful, it’s amazing!!! I feel better now is back on track.
 So that was the week... I did bake a cake for a 16 yr old member who had her birthday last week, but nobody did anything for it, so we arranged a small bday party and had some people over in their shack and played games and ate cake! I would have taken pics but I forgot my camera! The cake turned out good too! :) You taught me well mom!
And it has been raining pretty much all week, which has been bitter sweet... I love rain, but it just makes everything really muddy... especially in township! Well, till next time! Take luck!

Monday, 9 July 2012

9th July 2012 Knysna, South Africa

Looking good with their zebra print ties.
Elder Adrian Jones is the far Left
Mom and dad,
I'm glad you both enjoyed the package so much! Your welcome! That makes me really happy! I've been wanting to do that for a while now! So good! Also that bracelet that you ended up getting mom, I picked it specifically for you, so I’m glad you ended up with it! I'm glad you liked the salt and pepper shakers too! I thought you would! Dad your wallet is ostrich skin.
Thanks yet again for the pictures dad! I really appreciate it! I have a nice collection of pics from home now thanks to you! I am so jealous of you guys having ribs! I have not had a good rack of ribs yet... I had all you can eat ribs once here at a restaurant called Spur, but they were terrible! I have already come to the conclusion that I won't have a good rack of ribs for another year and a half... Thanks for the update! I love you Dad! Have a good safe week driving!
I hope everyone enjoyed those first 4.5 months of my mission that is on the memory card! I will send the next 3 months when I get that memory card back.
Those 2 couples I mentioned in my last letter are from Malawi... so they are out of their country... so there is a bunch of papers and stuff that they need to do... They are in the process of getting that all sorted, along with their visa's and stuff before they can get married...
Mom! Thank you so much for caring enough about me to send such wonderful emails to me! I really appreciate your love and care for me! In all you do! And with doing the blog and everything! Thank you so much! I wonder if anyone reads my blog anymore... And thank you for doing everything with the bank accounts! I hope you are going to cope alright with the heavy work load you have!  Congratulations on another exam! You are awesome! I like the pic dad sent me of you and Tristan with your helmets on!
I love you both so much! Now to fill you in on last week’s events…
This past week we hardly taught a lesson because on Wednesday we took a 3 hour trip to Port Elizabeth for Zone training. But when we got there, we went to Ado Elephant Park! So sweet! The first few hours we didn't really see anything but some Zebras and Kudu and Warthogs (Pumba), but eventually we hit the jackpot of Elephants! No wonder we couldn't see them anywhere! They were all in one spot! So I have some pictures of how close we got to a big bull! And a picture of everybody who went!
That is the George and Knysna Districts with the George Senior Missionary Couple. So that was a sweet trip! Then we stayed the night at the Zone Leader's boarding, and had Zone Conference the next morning. After we took the 3 hour drive back home! It was fun!
Then we had to go to George that night for a baptismal interview for the George Elders in Mossel Bay (most beautiful place in the mission)! It was night time though... so I didn't get to see a thing... :( but! We stayed the night at the George District Leaders boarding, and then had District Meeting the next morning! Then went back to Knysna and went to work...
wow time is flying by today, I really got to go. Today is P-Day with the George District and get some good pictures! Take luck!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

2 July 2012 in Knysna, South Africa.

Hi Mom and Dad!
It's good to hear you had a good weekend! Have fun at the parade today! I'm jealous of the weather there! Sounds amazing! It's a little cooler here, but the summer here is going to be a roaster. Thanks for sharing about the Sunday school lesson dad! Ammon was a sweet missionary! He is often referred to and studied for our district meetings and Zone training meetings!
Man I love the Gospel! I'm studying “Jesus the Christ” right now and it's so awesome! I also have some talks that go into some deep doctrine! I love it! I love you dad!
Don't worry about your letter being short this week mom! It's ok! I had some other long letters from other family members so my time is taken up anyways! Thank you for emailing me! You are the best mom ever! I'm glad that you were able to be with family this weekend! I'm also glad to hear that you are really busy too! It's a blessing you know! Good luck on your exam this Wed! You'll do great! I'm glad that the police report worked out well! Thank you so much for doing that! I love you mom! Enjoy the package I sent. You should get it this week or the next week! 
Now to fill you in with last week’s events.
Wish I could be there with everyone! Enjoying the festivities! Driving around town throwing water balloons! Seeing the Raymond High School Marching band! Getting a tan! Swimming and Wake boarding! Fireworks! Good times! I guess I'll just have to wait a little longer before I can experience that again... You don't realize how much you'll miss something until you are actually gone... but that's ok! I don't want to be home right now anyways! I'm in Knysna! So there! Take that! Paha! Just kidding!
 ya... this week was alright! Had a few really powerful investigators at church! It's 2 couples who aren't married yet, from Malawi, but want to be baptized so badly, that they separated from each other so that they could get baptized! Both couples want to get married, and are going to, but they don't want to wait till they are married to get baptized, so the girls are going to stay in a house in the township, and the guys are going to stay together in town. That is what I call, true conversion to the gospel! One couple even has a child together, but baptism is just so important to them! Keeping the commandments, is just number one! That is so cool! So we are working with them! And they should be baptized August 5th! So that's awesome!

I have attached some pictures of Knysna, and the township there. For some reason the township is on the top of the hills, while the Town is by the water. The township has a nice view though! And one of those pics is the view that we have from our boarding (apartment)! So it’s pretty sweet!
We are going to Ado Elephant Park this Wednesday! So that is going to be so awesome! I'll take alot of pictures! And next Monday ill send some! I'm still doing great here in South Africa!
Time is flying by! I'm just over 6.5 months on mission! What?!?! ya it's crazy!
 Take Luck! Sala kakuhle! (Goodbye)
-Elder Jones