Tuesday, 30 April 2013

29th Apr 2013, Senior Zone Leader, Cape Town

Mom and Dad,

Thanks for the update on everything... I didn't read the email before I replied the first time... I was in such a rush that I missed it...

 Today till wednesday is a Zone Leader Council, and this morning all of the Zone leaders hiked Elephants Eye. It was nice, but now I only have a couple of minutes to email so it will be short.

 That was a surprise to hear about Opa... I did feel as though I wouldn't see Opa again. I know it is all the will of the Lord. I was praying a lot about opa and oma over my mission, and during the duration of my mission I was able to accept that if Opa was to pass, it was the will of the Lord. I was comforted and I know that Heavenly Father loves each of us and that He loves Opa a ton.

 Opa really is an incredible man! The best part is that this isn't his end! It's the beginning of Eternity! I am so jealous of the things he knows now and the experience he is having! He no longer has pains of the body or sicknesses to worry about, and I am comforted by the knowledge that I have that I will get to see him again! I will! I know it!!

It will be strange going through my journey in this mortal existence without his great role model in my life, but I will always be able to look back and see how great of a man he is. I wish I could have been with him more, but I know that I am in the service of the Lord and that it is so important that I am here! The Gospel brings so much peace to my soul and I am so grateful for the Atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ to allow the resurrection to happen so that we can all stand before God one day!

I will ponder and pray and learn as much as possible from this experience. I love Opa with all my heart! I respect him in so many ways! He is an incredible man and now he is able to rest. God has a plan for all of us, and we are the whole source of His work. He is trying to bring about our immortality and eternal life, and that is exactly what Opa will be able to experience. I know that it is sad that Opa is now gone, but I am comforted to know that he is waiting for me and that he is suffering no more. He still had many year of life in him, as shown by his wavy brown hair, but this time of probation was over for him, and now he can learn and grow where he is.

 I am out of time... Oma if you are reading this. I love you so much and I am praying for you and I have been praying for you every day for 16.5 months now. Stay strong. I'm here for you! I love you.

 To everyone else! I love you all! Thanks for all of the love and support and prayers! Here's some pics of our hike today up Elephants Eye. Sorry I never have time to reply to anyone. I don't have time for myself whatsoever... but I'm devoting all my time to the Lord. Please understand and don't think I'm neglecting anyone. I love you all TOO MUCH!!!

Take luck!

Monday, 29 April 2013

21st April 2013, City of Cape Town, Senior Zone Leader

Again I am sorry for the delay everyone.
Things have been quite busy.
Hello mom and dad!

I don't have very much time to write today. We had a Zone P-Day and went and hiked up Table Mountain. It was crazy and lots of missionaries were late so we started 2 hours late and then some missionaries went separate ways and took extra time for us to get to the top, so everything got delayed and we have like no time to email today. I am attaching some pictures though! This is now the 5th time I have hike up Table Mountain, but it was nice because last time I did it was a year ago. Which is crazy to think!

Thank you so much for the long email mom! I really appreciate it! And Thanks for adding the pictures dad! I appreciate all of the time you take to write me every week and keep my updated! 11 missionaries from our ward! That's awesome!!! Powerful! Thank you also for keeping me up to date on Opa. I really appreciate it!

Well as for how the work is going here. There is some family drama that is going on with the girl that we were going to baptize this coming Sunday, and we will not be able to baptize here until everything settles down. Depending on the outcome she might be moving to Johannesburg and will need to be taught everything again by the missionaries that side. But that's all I know right now, so I'll keep you posted.

  We are still having success with the work though. Busy busy busy. We had our Zone training this past week also and had interviews with president, which was nice! I wish I could update you on everything! We had a special Stake Conference this Sunday and there was a new Stake Presidency formed! A Bishop from the Khayelitsha Ward is now the 2nd counselor in the Stake Presidency!!! Crazy!!! That was exciting! And I got to see one of the families from when I was here last year!
 Anywho... The work is good! The weather is great! I'm loving it here! I have no time to write or do anything though.. my journal is taking a hit... heck sometimes I don't even eat! busy busy busy! I actually haven't eaten yet today and it is 5:45 pm... I’m starving but after this we need to shower then do a FHE then I can eat! I should have just fasted! Anywho! I love you all! Thanks for all the support!
Take Luck!

Monday, 15 April 2013

15th Apr 2013 Senior Zone Leader, Cape Town

Goeie More! (Good morning in Afrikaans)

Hoe gaan dit? (How are you?) Ek is baie goed! (I am very good) Ek het n' baie lekker dag! (I had a very nice day) Dankie vir die E-mail. (Thanks for the email) Ok... I'll stop with the Afrikaans!
That's a lot of snow that you guys got! It was nice to see my car in that picture! So Mother's day is coming up soon. I will be in the area that I am serving in right now when the call happens, and I am sure that I can do skype at a members house. So just keep me in touch with what time would be best to make the call and I will give you feedback from my side as well.

This week has been really nice! We were able to get some work done in the area. We had a bump through the week, but through prayer it was fixed. Our next baptismal date is on the 28th of this month. When we went to teach her, there were quite a few people at the house. We sat down, and she was crying and said that she couldn't get baptized anymore or go to church. So her mom is a recent convert but she is working in Johannesburg (started a month ago), and her dad lives at a homeless shelter, so she is staying at a member's house right now. Well the member has been trying to get work, and finally received an opportunity to do a job that her education qualifies her for and something that she loves to do and pays a lot! So now that she was going to be working, nobody would be able to take care of our investigator (because she is 13) so the social workers were going to put her with some random people and we didn't know where she was going. Well to make a long story short, we shared a message about how through prayer and faith we can overcome challenges that we go through, then I felt prompted to share Proverb 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” We had everybody kneel down and pray for help to figure out what will happen in this situation. After the prayer we said goodbye.

Then next day was Sunday, and they were at church and our investigator was crying again. So after church Elder Somacala and I went to the member's home, where our investigator is staying, to see what was going to happen. When we got there, we were told by the member that she had turned down the offer and that she was going to let the kids still stay with her!
 I was blown away at the sacrifice this member was making for our investigator because first off she is not even family related but took this teenager in her home and now is turning down an opportunity to do a job that her education qualifies her for and something that she loves to do and pays a lot! This blows me away!!! So the problem is solved, the baptism is still on schedule for the 28th! So that is sweet! Cool miracles from prayer!
Well all in all this week has been nice. Busy as always but nice. We did some service planting a garden for the complex some members live in. They wanted to finish the project by 2 pm. 4 of us strolled up at 10:30 and finished the project in an hour! Paha!
We found a few more people who we are teaching (our investigators father is one!) and the work is progressing nicely! I love mission so much! TOO MUCH!! I love you all! Thanks for all the love and support and prayers! They are much needed and appreciated! Take Luck!

-Elder Jones

Sunday, 14 April 2013

8th April 2013 Zone Leader Cape Town

Hi Mom and Dad

Thanks for the email once again! You have no idea how awesome it is to have pictures and an email waiting for me every week. It's crazy to see the changes happening at home while I'm gone!

I never thought I'd see the day, I am the senior Zone Leader my new companion is in my transfer so we were in the MTC together. We are both kind of learning our duties as a zone leader together. I have only been a zone leader for one transfer, and I was kind of sheltered by Elder Twitchell's. I'm doing it all now! I really like this transfer so far. Elder Somacala and I are getting along great and there's a new excitement for the work happening with us!
I was able to see all of the sessions of conference except the Sunday afternoon session. That was at 10pm here for us... so we couldn't see it, but I loved the rest of conference! I especially liked the Saturday morning session! That was awesome!

Nicole did send some pictures. Thanks for asking though! That's crazy that she is a mom! So weird! Marshall wrote me!!! That was so awesome! I love that kid! That's cool that you get to see Anthony so much! I bet he loves it! When does he go home? The weather is becoming rainier here, so I’m sure you are getting more sunshine there. Well just a few things to mention about this week. A lot of changing has happened! I had to drop my companion off at the mission office last week Monday after emailing because he is the new assistant to the mission president now. So before my new companion arrived on Wed I was on exchanges with different missionaries for Monday and Tuesday. I went with Elder Graydon on Monday and we had clashing appointments so we managed to have 2 dinner appointments side by side including a b-day party for Dennis (a 48 yr old man with a 7 yr olds brain).That was fun.

Then on Tuesday I was with Elder Moangare, for the day and we had a powerful day! The spirit was in such abundance with us! We did some street contacting then we visited some people and had a powerful lesson on “the plan of salvation” with our investigator in a member’s home. Then to end the night off we went and had another dinner appointment at a member family’s home. I taught a short 15-20 min lesson on the restoration, and then we had a powerful discussion on how it has blessed our lives to know of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The spirit was so strong and at the end, Elder Moangare sang a song that he just made up on the spot and the family started to cry! It was powerful! I'm excited to go back and see what people they have thought of that need the restored gospel in their lives.

Wednesday was transfers so my new companion arrived. We had a normal day Thursday but only 2 lessons though... On Friday we had district meeting with the Bellville District and the mission President Br. and Sis Wood attended as well. It was a powerful District meeting and I learnt a lot about my purpose as a missionary and how to apply that into my work!

Saturday I went to Paarl and watched the baptism of the sister I interviewed the week before, and it was awesome! She didn't want to be a member of the church for 30 years. Her husband and all of her children and most of her other family are all members but she didn't want to be. Finally, after her son returned from his mission to Ghanna, her heart softened and she wanted to be baptized! So that was a huge event for that family! So that was really cool!

After the baptism, we went to an appointment, then went to correlation meeting and then had Saturday morning session of conference at 6 pm because of the time change. Sunday was fantastic because we were able to stay at the chapel to watch sessions of conference from 11 am till 8 pm. We had 2 investigators at conference! The one has a baptismal date for this month, and her father who loved conference so much that he wants to be taught by the missionaries and to be baptized! That is really cool! I'm stoked! I was so happy to see them there! It was awesome!

So that was a brief explanation of my week! It was good! Things will be calming down a bit more this week I think! Thanks for all of the support! I am still trying to tackle the pile of letters I have! Patience please everyone! I love you all! Take luck!

-Elder Jones

(P.S. the church is true!)

Monday, 1 April 2013

1st Apr 2013 Zone Leader Cape Town



Sounds like the week was fun with the family getting together for Easter. Thanks for the pics. I love it here so much! And I'm doing what the Lord wants me to do! I'm so excited for conference! Although I won't be watching it for a few more weeks till it comes out on DVD and is sent to us. Thanks for your thoughts about the Atonement! I love the Atonement myself! Its importance is of such great significance that, like dad said, the creation and the existence of all things revolves around the atonement. It is the key to everything! I'm so grateful for the Plan of Salvation and for what Jesus Christ did for all of us! It's mind blowing! Easter is huge here in South Africa! Everybody is out celebrating and partying and holidaying! It's crazy! It's almost bigger than Christmas!

My actual transfer news is that I am staying here in Cape Town as the Cape North Zone Leader, and I am getting an Elder I had in the MTC as my new companion.

Paha! I hope everyone is doing well. Dad I hope the surgery on your eye goes well too. I'll get to email once more before that which is good. I can hardly believe that its almost time to call home again for Mothers Day! That's crazy! Seems like I just called home! Time is sure flying by so fast!

This week was really good. We had 2 confirmations on Sunday of the Two that were baptized last Sunday. We have been having some success with teaching investigators and we have one that should be getting baptized this month. One that was solid just moved back to Port Elizabeth, but the missionaries will keep teaching her there.

My companion, Elder Twitchell, received his news yesterday that he was becoming the new Assistant to the President. So that was cool. It has been raining more lately, which means winter is rolling in. All in all, life is good! I don't have much time, but just know that I am doing very well and I am loving life! I am so grateful for all of the support that I am getting from home, from friends, and from family! Take luck!

-Elder Jones

Came upon a guy with this cap. Had to take a pic.

25th Mar 2013 Zone Leader Cape Town

Good morning!   

Thanks for the email! That's interesting that you got my journal entries backwards in the mail. Hmmm... I'm glad you got it though! I'm trying to keep it all up to date but it is so hard! I'll catch up though.

This week was good! To start the week off, right after we finished emailing last Monday, we walked out to our car and turns out we got a parking ticket... :( that was a bummer... R300... so we each had to pay R150... Convert that to $'s and it doesn't seem like much, but in R's it's a lot! That's a week’s groceries! So we won't park there again!

This past week has been really nice! We have been having quite a few appointments with our investigators! Pretty much all of our investigators are either being taught at members homes, or part member families. It is really awesome! We had 8 investigators at church this Sunday and 2 baptisms! I think I neglected to mention this last Monday that we were having baptisms this Sunday. I baptized one and my companion baptized. It turned out to be really nice and the ward was excited about it. The area I'm in has been dead for a long time. All last year there was only 1 baptism, but we have 2 so far and 3 or 4 with baptism dates for the upcoming month! It's exciting! Working with members is the best to help those ready to hear the Gospel.

I baptized the one beside Elder Twitchell
(faces have been darkened for privacy laws)

I went on exchanges with the Durbanville Elders and I was able to spend the whole day biking! That area just got new bikes and it was the second day that they had them, and as we were at the furthest point from the flat, the pedal (the whole arm) just kind of fell off... and so we went to the nearest members house and he didn't have any tools to fix it (socket wrench) so we ended up walking the whole way back to the flat. My butt was so sore after that day! I am almost entirely recovered now. I'm not used to a bike seat! Just a car seat!

 I was also able to go on exchanges with the Milnerton Elders. I went with Elder Ingram and we were able to see a few pretty cool miracles. I'll share one. Some people weren't there for an appointment, so as we were leaving, a girl walked up to us and asked if we were the Mormon missionaries (happeneds a lot!). We said yes and then she said that her parents told her that if she were to ever see them, that they needed to go visit her parents. So we got their details and off we went to go see them. When we got to the house, the people were telling us that they have been looking for missionaries for years. The Father was a member, but less active, and the rest of the family wanted to be baptized! They were all saying that they know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true and that they all want to be a part of it. That was awesome! But the next appointment after that was a complete contrast.

In a different situation, we went to a less-active's house to teach him. And he lives in a little room at the back of another house. When we sat down and prayed, we heard a knock at the door, and the owner of the property asked, "What's going on here?" and we told him that we were missionaries, then he asked if we were Jehovah Witnesses and we said no we are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Then he said, "Same thing, you do not have permission to be here, you must leave this property, NOW!" So we got up and left. Big rejection right there! Anywho!

We came upon this accident

This week was a nice one! I really enjoyed it and it seemed to go by slower, even though time is just flying by!

Thank you Aunt Terry for the support! Congrats Jennet on the mission call! I'm so excited for you! You'll have a blast! Thanks for all of the letters and the love that I am constantly receiving from everybody!
Please can anyone of my friends contact Marshall. Still need Marshall to email me :)

I love you all! Take Luck!

-Elder Jones