Thursday, 27 September 2012

24th Sept 2012 in Knysna South Africa

Mom and Dad, Thanks for the email! And thanks for the update of everything and the pictures! Those pictures are awesome! It’s cool to hear about where all the cousins are going and working! So Jennet's still around eh?
I'm glad that the weather is still nice! The weather is starting to get better here. I am having some days here and there that are the same as your days! This past week we had a day where it was above 30! Summer is going to destroy me! In a good way though! But the thing that is really going to destroy me is when I leave here in the middle of summer and get off the plane there in the middle of winter! I'm going to die! Anyways I won’t think about that!
I am also really excited for conference coming up! Woo! Here is a pic of my companions name tag. Now try saying that one.

Thanks for the thought about the power of fasting and prayer! That is something that my companion and I are utilizing more in our work, and through faith and obedience and much fasting and prayer, all things are possible according to the will of the Lord! I love this work! It's incredible! Time flies by too quickly and there is never enough of it! Thanks for all the love, care and support! Now let me share what happened last week.
It seems like there is never a normal week anymore! This week was absolutely insane! I am still trying to cope with all the studies that we need to do in a day! When I study 3.5-4 hours a day (except 2.5-3 hrs on Mon and Fri) it really takes a toll on the area! I can't remember if I explained this last time, but the study works like this... 1 hr personal study every morning, 1 hr companionship study every morning, 1 hr additional study every day except Mon (P-Day) and Fri (District Meeting) (cause I'm training), and 30 mins-1 hr language study every day because my companion is learning English. When am I supposed to work in the area? It's a mystery to me! And this week has just had so many crazy things happen to just ruin the schedule..

. Monday we found out that one of our members, Brother Armstrong, passed away, and then on Saturday was the funeral service. Today we planted a tree in his backyard in remembrance of him. That’s what the picture is of and that is his wife in white and our branch president with the mustache, and the first counsellor of the Branch Presidency beside him, and an Afrikaaner to the left.
Our car started making funny noises with the front left brake so we had to go get it serviced one morning and have the brake pad changed (I would have done it myself if I had the tools..) and we also had to get a tire fixed because there was a screw in our spare (I don't know where Elder Dladla was driving my car while I was in Cape Town, but he ran over a screw). Our fridge was dead last week so we had to get a new fridge and that took a couple days to get, but it was finally delivered on Thursday. (I don't think I could ever live without a fridge again!). I know it might sound like I'm complaining, and I might be, but to be honest, all things are for our learning and our benefit! I just hope and pray that this next week goes smoothly!
A bonus though about these studies is that with the extra hour of language study, while my companion studies English, I am able to study Afrikaans and IsiXhosa! I hope to be able to read and understand these two languages nicely by the end of these next 10 weeks! I really just want to be able to understand the people better and be able to respond to them! I know very basic stuff right now, but I want to go in depth and learn! It'll come!
There was a couple of cool experiences that happened this week! Bro. John, Sister Yoliswa's husband (she's a member), has never really spoke to us missionaries much. He is usually very leery when it comes to having the missionaries around. All he would ever say is "sharp" (aka hi) to us and that would be it. But on the 22nd it was his B-day, so Elder Rizoa and I bought him a cake and birthday card, and went to their place and surprised him! Turned out that everybody (his kids, his wife, himself, which I had a hard time believing but it was true) forgot it was his birthday! And he was so surprised that we brought a cake that he was open with us and talking to us and laughing! It was awesome!
 And he even invited us back to eat a big meal the next night! So that is what that picture is of (the big meal we got). So I have hope for him! He will learn from the missionaries one day! And get baptized like the rest of his family!

Also we received a referral from Sister Tessa, for a man named Brother Kuda, who we are going to visit tonight! Apparently he is a very intelligent man who is rather high up in his church and who loves to learn and absorb information. Apparently he is humble and kind and easy to get along with. He was once a principal to a school! This will be the first lesson we teach to a white man! I'm excited! He has read the whole Book of Mormon edition of the Liahona, and said that in there was good stuff! So It will be an interesting lesson!
But anywho... I better get going... Thanks for all the love and support! Thanks Aunt Terri for the B-Day gift! It came early and I couldn't wait to open it but thank you so much! Take Luck!
-Elder Jones

Thursday, 20 September 2012

17 Sept 2012 Knysna South Africa

I love you guys! I really needed this email! I just really needed to hear some support and love... I can't even tell you how much help you are! 20 missionaries came in this last transfer and 12 left. Everything went well with the transfer, and I am now with my new companion. I'll attach some photos.
 I love my new companion! He is from Madagascar! I'll talk more about him further down in my letter. But I am extremely lucky to have him as my greenie.
By the way! Those pictures look awesome! That Komodo looks SO SWEET!!!! You have no idea how cool my parents are! :D you are awesome! I'm glad that you are still doing well in school mom! And I'm glad that Viktoria was able to pop by and visit before she leaves on her mission! Thanks for updating me with everything too! I love you both so much! I can hardly believe that it has been 9 months since I've seen you! Wow! Mission fly’s by!

For this past week, hectic stuff is going on in the world of mission! We just had 20 new missionaries come into the South Africa Cape Town Mission and 12 left... I am now a district leader and trainer of a 2 man district here in Knysna... in the middle of nowhere! The task is daunting and overwhelming! I've also noticed that Satan has taken this opportunity to attack! It's a challenge and I'm doing my best to overcome it! I'm just grateful for all of the support and help that I get from home! By the way, to those people who have sent me letters in the past month... I'm sorry if you don't get a reply for a while... I have just been ridiculously busy, that I don't have time to write letters! I hardly have time to sleep anymore!

Knysna is still booming, but I think that the work here is going to calm down a bit because I'm training... We have to do 2-3 hours of companionship study every single day........ so that is going to put a damper on the work here... My companion is from Madagascar! Yup, another one! He is even from the same Branch back home as my last companion, Elder Andriamanantena. It is pretty sweet! My new companion’s name is Elder Raharizoandrinirina........ ya your guess is as good as mine! It barely fits on the name tag! People just call him Elder Rizoa for short...

He is learning English as well, so I’m sure that this is very tough for him. He can speak it fairly well, but when it comes to teaching and stuff, you can tell that it is his 3rd language... This puts an interesting challenge on my shoulders, because now I am training him in being a missionary, and teaching him English, along with being a district leader... ya... we are both struggling through this together... but that also means that pretty much the only time when I am actually not teaching is when I'm asleep...
 I am constantly in teaching mode,  and it is draining, but it is the Lords will...
I am learning alot from him though and I am super lucky to have him as my companion! He is very loving and supportive and patient and kind... Even when I suck at being a missionary he supports me! I am still getting used to the fact that when we are in lessons, they are not going to be taught the way I’m expecting them to be taught... it is very difficult for me to just let go and let him loose and do his thing... I always feel as though I need to intervene and fix everything, when really I should just let him loose... I am still adjusting to the change but I will become more comfortable over time... It is definitely a challenge... but other than that the week has been fairly ok..

I had a blast visiting my old area last Tuesday when I was in Cape Town! I visited 3 out of 4 of my recent converts! I hope that they came to church today! 1 is super solid (Anda, the one I taught from start to finish) and the other 3 (Ntomboxolo, Tamara, and Nobuntu) are less active...  but I hope I gave them a spiritual boost! I was also able to visit some other families that I miss so much! It was awesome! I loved it!

Once again thank you for all the support I constantly get! It is a huge help! I love mission! It's really hard! But I love it!

-Elder Jones

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

10 Sept 2012 Knysna, South Aftrica

 Sorry everyone I dont understand why there is a white background, I am not doing anything different from past weeks. I have been trying to get around this but can't. 
Mom and Dad, Molweni! 
Thank you so much for the update! Thanks for sending me the pics of your missionary planner that you found! That's awesome to see! Totally different then my planners that’s for sure! I'll send you pictures sometime. And thank you so much for the Koolaid pie recipe!
 I'm sorry but today's letters are going to be short. I don't have much time to email because I'm in Cape Town today and with a bunch of other missionaries and I get my new greeny companion on Wednesday! Crazy! I'm here to work and that's that!
 It's awesome to hear about all the busy stuff that you do.  SUPER AWESOME!I can hardly believe it! That seriously blew my mind! I love you both so much!
You have no idea how awesome it is to have such supportive parents like you! I wish I could express how much I love you both! The more I’m on my mission, the more I realize how amazing my parents are!
I'll have to cut it short for today, but I'll email longer next week I promise!
Well this past week was awesome! Every week is awesome! We counted how many people who would give us thumbs up as we were driving by in the car, and in 4 days we had 278 people! 101 females, 177 males! It's fun just to observe.
 A lot happened but I am not able to have sufficient time to inform everyone on the events that happened, but to make things short, my companion was saying his last goodbyes to everybody, but he is actually going to be serving as my Zone Leader in P.E, so in other words, he is now my Zone Leader! So I'll be going on exchanges with him once a transfer and he will be training me in Zone Meeting and Zone Training, so I'll still see him quite a bit.
Right now I am emailing from Cape Town and I will be getting my new companion on Wednesday! I flew into Cape Town today and I go back to Knysna on Wednesday. But tomorrow I get to go on splits with my old companion in my old area! I'll be in Khayelitsha for a day! Woot! I'm stoked to go see my Recent Converts again! And some members! Like I am SOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!
Thank you Holly and Matt for the letter! t’was awesome! Thank you Aunt Terri! Very much appreciated!! I am so grateful for all the support that I constantly get from everyone! I am so blessed! Take luck!
-Elder Jones

Monday, 3 September 2012

3rd Sept 2012 in Knysna in the Cape Town Mission South Africa

Hi Mom and Dad
I'm in South Africa!! Buyah!!! (Sorry I have to constantly remind myself of where I am and how lucky I am to be here and how much of a blessing it is to be on a Mission.) I have some awesome news that I will share farther down in my letter!
I love you both so much! I can't explain how awesome it is to have such supportive parents! (Oh what about that Kool-Aid Pie recipe?)
 Baboons we saw on the side of the road on the way to P.E,
Now let me share that we had an epic week! The work is still moving along great here in Knysna! Brother Julius got confirmed yesterday! Woot! He's awesome! And we have 4 of his family members with baptism dates for this month! Eric and Julius are powerful! It's amazing how when we baptize someone, we can just utilize that energy they have, and their testimonies of the gospel they have, and receive a lot of work! People to teach just seem to be flowing towards us!
 This is going to be an awesome environment to train a missionary in! WHAT?!?!? Did I just say train a missionary? What in the world am I talking about? But yes! It's true! This past week we were able to go to P.E. for a Multi-Zone conference, and we were able to receive training from Elder Cook! (Pictures)
 Elder Cook and Sister Cook with my companion and I
It was wonderful! I learnt alot from that conference, and it helped me have a self check. It was kind of a nice kick in the pants and gave me a great big boost to work harder and to be a better missionary! And it was much needed especially before I start training! What?!?! Why do I keep mentioning me training?
On a high bridge in between Knysna and P.E.
 Well after the conference was done, President Wood had me and 5 other missionaries go into another room, and 1.5 weeks early, he told us that we were all going to be training next transfer and that we would be staying in our areas! 20 new missionaries are coming in this transfer and I will be training one of them here in Knysna! So yes I will be here in Knysna for another 3 months, 6 months in total! So just before Christmas I will be transferred somewhere else... which is kind of a bummer, but I am super stoked! Since Knysna is a 2 man district, I will also be the District Leader! Ya it's a daunting task I have been given! But I'm really excited for it!
A guy driving while reading the newspaper.
 My companion doesn't know yet, so don't tell him! Just know that Life is great here in Africa! Had some really nice days! Apparently it’s supposed to be in the +30's this weekend. Summer here we come!
 I love you all! Take Luck!!! -Elder Jones