Thursday, 30 August 2012

27th of Aug 2012 in Knysna South Africa

Hi mom and dad,

Mom, Dad, thank you for always sharing spiritual experiences with me! I love hearing about things you learnt or of experiences you had! I remember that talk from Dallin H. Oaks also! It's a good one and its true (refer to my past week experience in this letter)!
 That grill, smoker gift thing dad got from work because he is an employee for 15 yr. sounds spectacular! I can hardly wait to come home and start eating food from home again! I hope you realize that for the first 2 weeks or so we are going to be eating everything that I want to eat! Paha! I'll try to learn some African dishes to make for you guys too! Like Mqushu, or pap and stew... but other than that it’s just rice and chicken... (there are some members who want recipes from Canada, and I was thinking they would enjoy the Kool-Aid pie! Maybe you could send that to me dad?)
When is dad able to go back to work? Sounds like camping will be a good time! Keep sending me pictures! I love them! Thanks for everything! I have the best parents ever! Don't let that get to your heads! I love you both!

 Now to share what happen last week. Yes, we had another baptism yesterday! Brother Julius Ceaser Myingwa was baptized by Brother Mason! It was awesome! Next week he gets confirmed! We have people with baptism dates on the 23rd of September, so I hope we'll have some then! This week was pretty sweet! We had exchanges on Thursday with the Zone leaders, and we were able to get quite a bit of work done.  A struggle this week has been having appointments hold, but we have still been able to have quite a few appointments!
 It was my companion's Birthday-Day on Friday, so we went to a members place and had a nice big birthday dinner! Then on Saturday it was one of our fellow shippers B-Days, so we were invited to another member's place and had yet another B-Day dinner! And before that we were invited for lunch at an in-active members place and had a B-day lunch! So lots of B-day stuff going on! But B-day on mission is different... you still go out and teach people haha! So it was a fun week!

Also, yesterday, we received a call from a less-active member in our area, and he wanted us to come to the hospital and give a blessing to his girlfriend who is not a member (apparently the missionaries have taught her lots before, but she couldn't get baptized because she is breaking the law of chastity with this less active member, and I won’t mention his or her names!). But his girlfriend was in the hospital because she is 8 months pregnant, yet the doctors think that she is going to give birth prematurely. (At least that is what I understood from the situation... I didn't really fully understand what the problem was; I just knew that she and her child were in danger for some reason and that I was asked to give her a blessing.)
So my companion did the Anointing, and I did the Sealing of the Anointing and the blessing. Well, out of all the blessings that I have given, for some reason it was really hard for me to say words. I was trying to give her a blessing according to the problem that was at hand, but since I didn't fully understand the problem, I found it extremely difficult for me to utter even a normal sentence... I was rather confused why it was so difficult, but I managed to continue to give the blessing even when it was full of pauses. Eventually the words started to come more easily to me and after we had given her the blessing, and I opened my eyes to find that she was in tears and smiling. So that was a cool experience!

I am excited to hear the outcome from the situation. I have found that not once has a blessing that I have given been neglected by Heavenly Father, even when the words I speak feel as though they are not sufficient for the blessing I intend to give. Truly it doesn't matter, so much, what is said, but what matters is the faith of the person receiving the blessing, and the power behind the authority of the person giving the blessing. It is such a testimony builder to know that the priesthood that myself, and millions of other men around the world hold, is truly the power and authority given to man to act in the name of God for the salvation of His children!

(This picture is in one of our classrooms)
The weather is getting better here every day! Which is nice! It gets hot enough that I am sweating sometimes, and summer still is months away! I'm not complaining! I'm still doing great here in South Africa! This week on Thursday we are going to PE for a Multi Zone Conference, and Elder Cook is going to be there! The same one who was at the Missionary Training Center when I was there and I got him to sign my pocket hymn book! I'm pretty stoked! It's going to be awesome and I'll be able to learn a lot!
Time is flying by as well! Sometimes it feels like my mission is going way too quick! I love it though!

-Elder Jones

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Aug 20th in Knysna South Africa

Hi Mom Dad
That's too cool!! No quad stories is ok with me when there is a story as cool as that! You go mom! Even bears have nothing on ya! How cool is my mom?
 Sounds like everyone is having a blast! Wow, first time dad’s siblings are all together in 21years! Woot! Wish I could be there to experience that! But then again Anthony and Ben are both on missions too haha! So I guess I'm not alone.
 Sounds like the weather is just awesome there too! I always miss the good weather! Remember last summer when I was working up north and it was raining and cold all summer, but in Raymond it was roasting hot and sunny all summer!?!? Ya that was a bummer! Oh well, I have many summers ahead of me, not to mention I’M IN AFRICA!!!
Time is just zooming! We are already half way through this transfer! Crazy! I'm assuming that next transfer I'll be training and District leader here in Knysna. Unless I go to Namibia, but we'll see when the time comes! I love you both! Thanks for the emails! I love them alot!


No let me fill you in on my last week. Brother Eric has now been confirmed! Woot! Next Sunday, Brother Eric's cousin, Julius (his name is Julius Ceaser, how cool is that?!?), is going to be baptized! We also have 4 people so far with baptism dates on September 23rd, but I’ll keep you posted on those! I hope we will have a bunch more with baptism dates this week! Our teaching pool is huge! I like it alot! We had 8 investigators at church this Sunday, which was alright, but we could have had more... I don't know what happened...
  Man, here in Knysna, there are so many people from all over the place! I really wanted to learn a language while I am here in Africa, but there are so many languages that focusing on one, is like impossible! And almost everyone speaks English also so it makes it easy for me to just speak English all the time. But there is Chichewa, Tumbuka, Xhosa, Shona, Afrikaans, Zulu, Swahili and recently we have some Sutu investigators! What language do I learn? Andiazi (I don't know)! So I just have bits and pieces of a bunch of different languages, but altogether it does not benefit me very much! If I ever go to Namibia they speak different languages there too! Paha! It's just hectic that’s all!
My companion has had a back problem for the entire 3 months that I have been with him, and It seems like it is not getting better at all but getting worse, so he has been having some treatment and stuff, and he can't sit very often during appointments, but he is a trooper and we are still doing the work. I think we will go to the doctor again sometime soon...
If there is anything I miss the most from home, it is the quality of food! But you've heard that before. Recently I bought a bunch of Smokey’s that I could just quickly grab for lunches and stuff. I was saddened when I noticed that the Smokey's were nothing like ours from home... It's like a dollar store quality of Smokey... but even that is better than these! This is very common with a lot of the food here in South Africa... oh well.. I'm still alive and I'm loving my mission!
I can't even explain how awesome of an experience it is to be here and to see the lives of so many people affected by the true Gospel! It seems like the people are flocking to us to hear the message of the Restoration! So much so that I haven't taught the Plan of Salvation for what seems like ages! But I could spit out the restoration perfectly and quote every scripture by heart and answer every question possible! I've taught that lesson probably about 100 times since I've been here in Knysna! I can hardly wait to get all those people progressing through to the Plan of Salvation! It's exciting!
Enjoy the nice summer weather you have up there! Because Winter is just around the corner! I only get summer and spring all year round! Take Luck!
Shaganaka! (Shona)        -Elder Jones


Monday, 13 August 2012

13th Aug 2012 in the city of Knysna, South Africa

Hi Mom and Dad,
The Olympics over already?!!? Poop! I was definitely expecting more golds! I’m sure they'll do better in Brazil next time. Mike Freeze is Leaving soon!! That's awesome!!! I'm excited for him!
Also, I heard from Elder Palmer, and I'm sorry to ask for this... but, would it be ok if maybe you could forward or email me Elder Palmer's blog every week? I just found out that his mom is sending mine to him every week, and he knows alot about my mission and what I'm up to.
Also thank you so much for sending that priesthood line of authority! Thank you for all the updates!  Keep me posted! Good to hear your eye is doing better dad.  I'm sorry but that sounds like it would be really funny to see when you look one way and your eye is stuck and the other moves! I hope your eye fully recovers soon dad!
Sounds like you had a nice time at Lake Louise on your holidays! I'm jealous! I was supposed to go there last year for snowboarding but I wasn't able to because of the car accident... :( poopy... That's cool that you saw a bear! I'll let you know about my baptism in my blog. Thanks for the email! You have no idea how lucky and blessed I am to have you both updating me so much! I really appreciate it! I love you both so much! Take care! And dad, get well! Mom, keep doing what you are doing! And I got a snail mail letter from you mom this week! Thanks! Love you both! Now to update you with my events from last week.
You see the water in the baptismal font in the picture? That's why every boarding (apartment) has water filters! And yes that was the color of the water that I did the baptism in...

Yup! We had a baptism this week! Eric has just been baptized and it was awesome!!! He was so prepared it was ridiculous! This man is a Saint! Just an all around wonderful person! I find that the people I have been able to meet on mission are of the most Christ-like people I have ever met! He is one of the couples who separated from his wife just to fulfill the commandment of the Law of Chastity because they had a tribal wedding and not a government wedding but it is recognized now as an official wedding! So faithful and willing to sacrifice everything for the truth! His Cousin, Julius, is also going to get baptized in 2 weeks! I am really excited for that! But yes this was my first actual baptism that I performed since I have been here...
First time I was able to put on my whites and, as you can see from the picture, my white shirt I am wearing isn't white anymore because of the color of the water... haha!
So yesterday was a good day! This past week though was nice! We were able to go to George for District Meeting, because after District Meeting, Elder Andriamanantena had to do a baptism interview. While he was in the interview, The George Elders and I were outside and we found camelians (spelling?) in the bushes! That was awesome!

The work is going very well here in Knysna! Our teaching pool is big! We had 8 new investigators this week and we had 9 investigators at church on Sunday! Life is good! So next week I get to see Bro. Eric be confirmed, then the week after we get to have another baptism! Sorry, this is just too cool! And if Bro. Eric has the Aaronic Priesthood by then, he can baptize his cousin Julius! That would be sweet!
Anywho! Thank you Aunt Terri! I got the package! Loved it! Thanks for the letter Grandma! And thank you to everyone else who sends me letters and packages and who supports me! You are a huge help! Things are great here! Just working along! I love the work! I love the people! I love all of you! Take Luck!
Elder Jones

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

6th Aug 2012 in Knysna South Africa


Woo! Holidays! Sounds like you are going to have a blast this week! I thinks it's awesome to see the change in my family from boring, to SWEET AWESOME QUADDERS!!! Paha! I just love you guys! I'm glad that you are able to go! Every week is a new report.  It keeps my emails exciting!.

We have another baptism coming up this coming Sunday, and another coming up in a couple weeks after that! Woo! Thanks for keeping me posted on the Olympics! I appreciate that! Go Canada! I wish I could watch... I love the Olympics! I love you both! Thanks for the Emails! They are  such a strength to me! Now let me tell you how my week went.

Transfers have come and gone! Nothing changed, but I didn't get my new planner till Saturday... So I had to go the whole week finding blank spots in my planner to plan for the past week! That was poopy... sorry, missionary talk... planners are important ok! Without one, I don't function!
This past week we have been running around trying to balance teaching everybody in our teaching pool! There are just so many, it's crazy! Just progressing them is getting difficult. It's nice though because it allows us to focus more on ones that are progressing, and go a bit slower with ones that aren't. But the work is booming! We had 11 investigators at church on Sunday! 5 of which we still haven't been able to teach yet! Things are almost awesomely out of our control!

 Paha! I had a cool experience with teaching one of our investigators. Her name is Lina, and she has a friend named Nomfundo, who we have visited a few times before but had never been able to progress with the lesson because we were always restarting lesson 1 because there were new people there every time. So on Thursday we were finally able to sit down with just the 2 of them and teach them Lesson 2. So that is what we did! We discussed about Priesthood and prophets and the church of Jesus Christ in former times, and about the apostasy, and about the restoration. By the end of the lesson she was very excited! And she was more curious about how somebody gets the authority, and how to know if a person has that authority. So we informed her that it was by the laying on of hands like in the times of the Old Testament (using Moses and Joshua as an example) and like the Savior did to His Apostles, and like has been done once again in modern times from the Apostles to Joseph Smith, which restored the authority. If a person cannot trace their authority back with a consecutive, unbroken chain, to Jesus Christ, then they do not have the authority.

 So after explaining that, she share an experience where a pastor came to her and told her that he wanted her to be in charge of the woman of the church, so he laid his hands on her head and gave her authority, and that she was, until that point in time, still in that position of her church. She then started yelling, "THOSE LIARS!!! I BELIEVED THEM!" and started saying how she was never going back to that church again and stuff like that! Sadly she moved to Mossel Bay like yesterday, so the missionaries there are going to work with her... so there goes one prepared investigator... We were able to teach her about the Book of Mormon though, and she is now reading it. Good stuff!!!

 I love mission! It's too awesome!!! Also the other Canadian in the mission from Saskatoon is in the George district! so thats sweet! George is our neighbors! anywho.. its raining today, and windy, and fairly chilly... I'm starting to adapt to the climate here... it’s like +12 and I'm starting to get cold easier... oh well, summer will come soon! Wooot! I wish i could share all of my experiences here, but i don't have time. Take Luck!

-Elder Jones