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

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