Wednesday, 30 January 2013

28th Jan 2013 Mthatha, South Africa


No, I didn't transfer. I'm still here in Mthatha. This transfer is a short transfer. It's only 5 weeks long because of the change in age of missionaries, they are implementing a new length of time to be in the MTC and so that affects this transfer by one week. So that means I will be coming home one week sooner, so if I looked properly, I should arrive home in the airport on moms Birthday, the same day I left! That'd be cool!

  Good news! I finally got my package! Christmas came a month late! Haha! I got the package and about 10 letters/cards all at once! That was the best package ever! I was so excited when I saw the Countrytime Lemonade! I'm almost all done it already! I loved the caramilk bars and Reeses too! SO AWESOME!!! Best package! The ties are awesome! I gave one to my companion, Those squirty juice things are sweet too! I like them! Thanks for the package it was awesome! And thanks for everyone who sent me letters and cards! I'll try to reply as best as I can! I don't have much time to write, but I might send something small back.
This week was pretty good. Wasn't the most productive but it was nice! We have been working really hard though. We had 3 investigators at church on Sunday, which was awesome! I'm just loving mission! I got a bad sun burn from doing service, and now it's peeling, it looks like I have leprosy. But it's alright, doesn't hurt and it was all worth it.

Being with Elder Bullock is really fun. He loves to pull pranks and is just pulling pranks left and right on Elder Taylor (another Elder in our district, we stay in the same house).  He stacked like 6 mattresses and 3 box springs on top of each other and left it for Elder Taylor's bed. And once he taped all of Elder Taylor's things that were on his desk to the ceiling. Another time he put body wash in Elder Taylor's toothpaste! So funny! I'm just glad it's not me he's pranking. Of course this is all done in the house, and in their spare time, but Elder Taylor is pranking Elder Bullock back also! They have fun doing that! I have fun watching it!


Time is flying by too quickly! And it doesn't ever slow down! I have been running in the mornings with Elder Bullock, which is good! I'm excited though! Thanks for all of the support! I couldn't ask for anything better! I love you all!

-Elder Jones

P.S. Pictures of the pranks and of my sun burn. Elder Bullock did each of these pranks to Elder Taylor. Elder Bullock is the shorter black haired one, and Elder Taylor is the tall dirty blond one.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

23 Jan 2013 city of Mthatha, South Africa

Mom and Dad,

Good morning! (That is the way I greet everyone no matter what time of the day it is!)

Thanks for the email update of the fam jam! I'm glad everyone had a blast at Grandma and Grandpa's! I still can't get over the fact that Ben is home! Time just zooms by! It's insane! I have not yet received my package... We have post in the mail right now, on its way to Mthatha from the Office, so it might be in that, but if not I'm going to call the office and see what’s what... I have a strange feeling like they sent my package to the wrong Elder Jones in the field... so we'll see... It would be really nice to get it though! I'm dying with anticipation for my Christmas package! I'm super super grateful that the memory card with all of the video's on it came in when it did on Christmas eve! That was incredible! What a blessing!

You had a concern whether I am eating healthily. I think I am! Yesterday I made mashed potatoes, creamed corn, and canned beans. I have eggs most days for breakfast, and usually I will have a tuna sandwich or something for lunch. I do need to eat more veggies, but I'm doing alright with fruit having at least one apple a day.

This week was transfer week!!!
Also with transfers, Elder Dolben and Elder Van Zyl left, and Elder Taylor and Elder Bullock (both from Utah) came into our district. Elder Taylor is like 6 foot 4 inches and is elder Radebe's companion. Elder Bullock is like 5 foot 9 inches and is my companion. He is awesome! Thanks for everything! There are some pics of the Share Box Challenge! Gotta run!
-Elder Jones

Monday, 14 January 2013

14 Jan 2013 in Mthatha, South Africa

Good Morning Mom and Dad!
The answer is no... They still have not found him. We have been teaching his wife, but I can't even image how hard it is for her. She found a job as a teacher, because she has to support her two children, but it isn't looking so good for him. Over a week now and nothing... that's not good.
That's cool that you are writing my companion's mom. We probably will not be comps anymore though after tomorrow. Exchanges are this week. I don't know what my news is yet... I'll find out today sometime, but most probably I will be staying here in Mthatha and I'll get a new companion and stay District Leader.

Us four Mthatha District members.
 Haha! The lesson you taught in priesthood was the same lesson I taught in priesthood. I sat down in Priesthood ready to enjoy a nice lesson, when Bro. Boateng calls me up to the front of the class, hands me the "Teachings of Lorenzo Snow" book and says that he needs me to teach the lesson today. Well with such lengthy preparations, I taught the whole priesthood the lesson I had well prepared... PAHA! More like I just glanced down at the topic headings and taught whatever came into my head, then while others were talking I would quickly scan the paragraphs and tie some into the lesson. So I'm sure that your lesson was much nicer than mine.

Sounds like quadding was fun! I didn't even know that Ben was back yet from his mission, not to mention in Southern Alberta! Is he going to school in Lethbridge? I can't believe it has been a year already since Talia was born! Wowsa! It doesn't feel like it at all!  And Jennet going on mission sounds SWEET! That's exciting! Keep me posted on how that goes! Thanks for being on top of the priesthood line of authority. I appreciate that!

I'll just quickly try to update you on how the week went. It was pretty awesome! The area is picking up a bit and we are progressing a couple of investigators towards baptism in February! I think the area will be on fire soon now that the holiday season is officially closing this week and school is in. So things should pick up.

Elder Van Zyl in the Apron Elder Dolben and I gave him for Christmas (look at the pictures on the wall behind him. I had too much fun with the chapel scanner one day)…
I went on exchanges this Wednesday with Elder Van Zyl. We had some free time in the morning so we went tracting. Elder Van Zly chose a spot and we parked the car then started to knock doors. The first house we went to there was nobody answering, so we tried the back door, and still nothing. We were about to leave when I felt prompted to try the little houses that were behind the big house (here in Africa people live in little rooms and usually there are a bunch of them behind every normal sized house). I knocked on the first one and nobody answered, but the neighbor heard us knocking and opened up and we started to talk to him. Eventually he invited us inside and we started to get to know him a bit. We found out that he was a pastor of another church. He was interested in our message so we started to share it. I was praying a lot during that lesson, and it seemed like the lesson was actually flowing very smoothly. We taught the whole first lesson and even left him a Book of Mormon and a restoration Pamphlet, and before we even closed, he was asking us when we were going to come back and share more with him. That was the first time that had ever happened to me! Go tracting and the first person to speak to us invited us in, accepted the message, committed to a return appointment, and was a pastor of another church! That doesn't happen very much if ever! That was really cool! I was just kind of blown away by that! Mission is great! I love it TOO MUCH!

We had 3 investigators come to church! That was cool! Next transfer is only going to be 5 weeks long because of the new periods of time that people will be in the MTC (2 weeks instead of 3) so after this next transfer, we will be having those 18 yr old Elders Coming into our mission. There are going to be a bunch more missionaries in our mission also! It's going to be intense! I'm excited!

The "Little Bridge." that has a face off with vehicles.

The weather was nice this week. It was raining pretty much all week, which I enjoyed because it was cool. But today is roasting hot!!! I'm sweating like crazy! It's impossible to escape the heat also! Thanks for all of the support! Aunt Terri I got the package! Thanks! I still haven't got the one from Mom and Dad... Maybe next week? We'll see... Love you all!

-Elder Jones

Thursday, 10 January 2013

7th Jan 2013 in Mthatha, South Africa

Mom and Dad

Thanks for sharing that story dad. It goes to show where his priorities were, and he knew what was true and was willing to die for it. That strengthens my testimony. And thank you for the pictures! I love seeing the family! It’s always great for keeping me updated on what happens through the week and also on your spiritual things. I love hearing about those things!

Mom it was nice to hear about how you felt the spirit in every hour of church last Sunday. I am never ever going to go through church on Sunday like I used to at home, again. Church is just so interesting. There is so much to learn and grow from and to share with others. I can't go a minute without seeking for some gain or extract knowledge from the things said and done at church. I just love this gospel and I love gaining knowledge! I find it's the easiest to gain knowledge from the living Prophets and Apostles. They are constantly expounding deep doctrinal principles in simple forms, but all you need to do is look for them! They are in there, and they are being said plainly to us to teach us, but we just have to search, ponder, and pray to learn them. I'm so excited for when my resources of books to read isn't limited to the missionary library. I am going to enjoy drinking deeply from the words of the prophets in books they have written! I wish I could now, but I can't...

This week we encountered a very interesting predicament. We have a new investigator who’s husband was in the hospital. I mentioned a little while ago that we went to the Hospital to give him a blessing because he had a hemorrhage in his head, which he obtained from being pushed off of a moving train and hitting his head.

He needed surgery and then he needed a second surgery because of some internal bleeding in his head. Afterwards he could hardly move and could hardly mumble words. When we gave him the blessing he could say a few words and he could eat, but then only 2 days later the hospital discharged him. He was progressing but very slowly so his sister took him to Johannesburg (her home) to take care of him and look after him. His wife is still here in Mthatha and just a few days ago she got news that her husband had got up one morning and walked out the door without anyone knowing. They have been looking for him for 4 days now and they can't find him and he can hardly talk and barely can walk. His wife is here and is taking care of their 2 young children.
 I can't even imagine what she is going through right now, but we are trying to comfort her as much as we possibly can and we are keeping in touch with her every day. After one visit with her, we helped her understand how much God loves her and is listening to her prayers and mentioned how families can be together forever. She wanted to be sealed to her family and said that we had helped her a lot, but still I feel like she has so much on her mind, I can't even comprehend what’s going through her head. I just hope and pray that we can help her get through this. I know if she lives the gospel it will definitely help her, but we need to teach her it first.

 I love being a missionary and seeing people's lives change! I'm still waiting for the packages and letters that have been sent to me... Maybe we will get them tomorrow... I'm still waiting... I'm not too worried though! Thank you so much for everyone that is supporting me! I love you all! Gotta go! Time is up!

-Elder Jones

Thursday, 3 January 2013

2 Jan 2013 ,Mthatha, South Africa


Sorry I wasn't able to email on Monday! We searched and searched and searched and the email shops were closed, and the 2 we found that were open didn't have internet! So we are now emailing today! It was so nice to call home! To see everyone again! I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Thanks for making my Christmas awesome! I'm so happy that the skyped worked as well as it did! I'm sorry that you weren't able to see me for the last hour. When mom mentioned not to change anything so that it wouldn't mess anything up, I got the exact same impression, then immediately pushed it out of my head thinking everything would be fine. Then once everything was messed up, I realized that she was listening to the spirit. So once everything was messed up and I couldn't see you and you couldn't see me, I said a quick, solid prayer that I would be able to see you guys for the short time I had left. Next thing I knew once I opened my eyes, your video started to work and I could see you, but for some reason you could not see me. I immediately said a prayer of gratitude and was able to enjoy the rest of the time seeing everyone! That was awesome! I love that Heavenly Father is willing to answer even the smallest little prayers of His children! Strengthened my testimony!

 It was so nice to see and talk to Oma and Opa and Grandma and Grandpa! I love them so much! And It was nice to see Aaron and Kim again! It's been a while since I've heard from them... Too bad it couldn’t' of work with Anona and Riley cause they were away, but that's alright! There's always Mothers Day!

Dad, I remember asking before but I can't remember the answer you gave me. I know you sent me that Priesthood Line of Authority a few months ago, and I have it printed out and everything, but how can I get my own updated one that has my name on it? I'd really like to have my own a.s.a.p.

 This week has been hectic when it comes to missionary work. Everyone is busy or away because of the holidays. We haven't had too much success, but our recent convert convinced her sister to sit in a lesson with us, and we were able to teach her the first lesson. Then her niece (20's) sat in also and listened. Now they are both reading the Book of Mormon and one even came to church! So that was awesome!
On Christmas the Branch President's wife made us a feast and brought it to our flat for us to eat! Oh man that was alot of food! Then on New Years, they did the same thing! So much food!!! So we are working on eating all of that now. On New Year’s day we weren't allowed to leave the flat at all, so the day before, Elder Van Zyl bought Risk and we played like 4 games of Risk (They ganged up on me every time... I must have been playing well) and we also played soccer and stuff just outside. It was fun!

First day in over a year that I didn't put on my white shirt and tie! Also it was my companion's Birthday on New Years, so we had cake and stuff. We now have 4 cakes in our fridge because of 2 birthdays and both of those meals the Branch President gave us came with a cake! So much food! I like it!

My tan is coming along. I'll show an update of my watch tan. It's coming! I'm out of time for today! But I love you all! I am still waiting for those packages in the mail, but we are going to go check today to see if they are here.


-Elder Jones