Monday, July 17, 2017

July 17, 2017

Time is really flying and time is soon approaching on 11 months and a year- but- I'm not over the hill yet and Mandalay has yet to see the fire so there's still a lot to do. 

Monday we started out with a fun P-Day, as recommended by Elder and Sister Hansen, 

We went to the Castle of Good Hope in the center of downtown. It was an awesome castle and it made me feel like I was in Europe again. We went on a self guided tour and had a fun time wandering around through all of the castle. It had a beautiful view of Table Mountain too, the day was perfect. Afterwards we took a short drive on the coast to Sea Point and took some pics. There's a reason why they call it the most beautiful mission in the world ;) 

The rest of the week we've been keeping busy with the work. The work is slowly but surely picking up. We actually had PEC with the ward this week and the ward mission plan is starting to motivate the ward to do good. Our investigators are starting to keep commitments so hopefully in August we will be able to have some baptisms! 

Mandalay is growing on me, it's dangerous, but your prayers and support are really helping. We'll be working to get some more investigators and get the work rolling like mad. Sorry for the short email this week but things are still going going going! 

Elder Smith

Monday, July 10, 2017

July 10, 2017

The weeks are flying by

We started out this week with a Braai at the Zone Leaders and Elder Steffensen bought some giant steaks and they were pretty great. One of the Pirate Ships at the Disney Studios was moved closer to the N2 so we had a nice view of it on the drive. 

Tuesday I was on Exchanges with Elder Wamunyima, my Zone Leader and we had a great time with some powerful lessons. 

Wednesday Elder Steffensen came back sick and so we were put in sick rest for the day so I did a lot of cleaning and studying. 

Thursday was a normal day, we had a great lesson with Coffant, one of our investigators and we actually set a baptismal date for him on August 20th. 

Friday was powerful, we had a meet and greet (kind of a zone conference) with President Lebethoa and his family and the three Cape Town Zones. It was powerful and he is going to be a really awesome mission president. He is full of fire and is ready to push this mission from the get go which is awesome! I'm excited. 

Saturday we had a normal day and had a nice appointment with our bishop and his wife in the evening.

Sunday we had a great day at church and afterwards went to Mama Doreen's for an appointment and she fed us some nice sandwiches. Following we went to our Lunch Appointment at mama Mtila's with the other Elders. We had a great time there. Following that Elder Steffensen and I drove into Cape Town and we had a nice DA with the Hansen's (The Sr. Couple. He was a history teacher at Snow Canyon) We had a great taco salad and I was able to help Sister Hansen with some music stuff and we had a nice lesson. 

As a district we've been looking for ways to push the ward and increase the ward's involvement with missionary work, as of late there is none, but we drafted a Ward Mission Plan in District Meeting and we presented it to the Bishop. We now have a spot on the bulletin and we're hoping it will work to bring missionaries and members together. Our vision is that the Missionaries and Members will be equally yolked to bring 5 individuals unto Christ per month with full retention and support. The Vision scriptures are D&C 38:40-41, and 18:10,15-16. We'll be pushing this for the ward and we're optimistic it will bring good change.

Another Week in Mandalay

Elder Smith

P-Day Braai at the Zone Leader's (Elder Steffensen and I had the 3 steaks)

One of the Priates of the Caribbean ships at Disney Studios Cape Town

Exchanges with Elder Wamunyima 

After Church

The District

Monday, July 3, 2017

July 3, 2017

Hey Everyone!

Time is flying in Mandalay,

July rolled around and we now have a new mission president as of Saturday morning. It's sad to see President Merrill leave but we're all excited to have President Lebethoa
Inline image 1

This past week has been pretty average but something funny happened. I contacted Brother Albert, one of my recent converts from Mthatha baptised in October, and the rest of his family actually lives in Mandalay haha! And his son Shaun was baptised back in January and we visit him quite often. It's pretty funny how things work in the church. It's pretty cool to make that connection and get in contact.

Our shower knob broke on Thursday so the hot water wouldn't shut off so that put a hitch in the day haha. But Tony the plumber came and closed off the tap so he'll be back this week to finish repairing it. As of late we shower downstairs with the other elders. 

We're really pushing the work and trying to help the members get involved. It's going to be an uphill battle but we've got some plans and the desire so we'll see how it goes. We had another great DA with Mama D on Sunday, the second in a row. She's a fantastic cook. 
Sorry for the shorter email but all is well. 
PE Zone Conference (previous area)


The District

Monday, June 26, 2017

June 26, 2017

Well, the first 10 months flew by but there's a lot more work to do in Mandalay.

Last Monday was table mountain so you can read about that in the last post, but this week has been full of interesting things. Aside from trying to teach our investigator pool, we had a great AP training in Meadowridge. They trained about a lot of things but it was powerful. We also got to drive along the beachfront of False Bay to get there and it was beautiful. 

Also this week, we had to go into Somerset West to get a new battery for our car because it wouldn't hold a charge so we jumped it and drove it in. We got to drive past the full scale inland pirate ships that Disney uses for Pirates of the Caribbean. They try and cover the deck but you can't easily hide a pirate ship with masts, sails, ropes, and everything. I don't know if they're in the newest movie that came out but apparently, one of them is used as the Black Pearl which is pretty cool. 

I've appreciated your prayers from back home. It's quite hard still getting adjusted to this area and the people and everything but the prayers are helping so thanks! 

The bishopric wants me to teach a piano class on Saturday mornings so that might be happening soon. I'll let everyone know how it goes. And Elder Matare made a nice dinner of fried caterpillar/worm things and Pap. It wasn't bad but it was like eating rubber and dirt hahaha. Things you do in Africa lol. 

Until next week!
Elder Smith

worms and pap

Sunday after church

Monday, June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017

Hello everyone from Mandalay in Cape Town!

The prior week has been full of change.

Monday we started out by having our last district P Day in PE by going to Baywest and doing some Ice Skating. Elder Reedy was trying to show us some moves and I got a fun shiner after a slip haha. 

The following Tuesday we said goodbye to the members and people in KwaMagxaki, I really miss them a lot. By far my favourite area so far. 

Wednesday we started bright and early to the airport at 4 to send Elder Ondracek to East London and my flight left at 8 for Cape Town. It was a great flight and we got to Cape Town by 9. We then went to the mission home and then to the Office to pick up my car and then drove to our boarding. The boarding is interesting because it's in a coloured area so it's pretty sketchy haha. 

Our area is interesting and it'll take me a little bit to learn, it was a walking area but now we have a car so it's better. We'll be working really hard as there's a lot we need to do. We'll be building our investigator pool and working closer with members so hopefully that'll get the work up and going good. 

There won't be as many pictures from the area due to some reasons but I'll be sending when I can

Sunday we went to church and had a slow day. The ward likes to sing though which is good.

Today we went and hiked table mountain and my legs still feel like jello, but a must recommended hike. It was awesome, but all uphill. I hope I lost some weight from it haha. 

Well, until next week in Mandalay

Elder Smith

Bishop's family

Me and Elder Steffensen on Sunday
ice skating at Baywest

President and Sister Watson

Table Mountain from the air
Hiking Table Mountain

Monday, June 12, 2017

June 12, 2017

The time is far spent in KwaMagxaki and I'll be being transferred on Wednesday

My new area is going to be Mandalay in Cape Town! I'll fly Wednesday. My companion will be Elder Steffenson from Salt Lake Area. He's in the same transfer as Elders Reedy and Milne so it'll be fun. I'll be district leader there and I'm in Cape South Zone. I've just worked my way along the N2 (one of the Highways).

This week has been full of last times of seeing people but we had our last interviews and training/conference from President Merrill and his wife. We'll really miss them on July 1stwhen they leave but they've been awesome. We're all excited to have a new President though. It'll be fun to be in Cape Town and get to see President Merrill off and see the new family come in. 

The news here is Amanda was baptized on Sunday and it was really a nice baptism!

Her conversion story is awesome and I'd think you'd like it. Elder Milne and myself had been teaching her in January and got through all the lessons by April and she still hadn't received an answer about if the church was true/right for her. Conference rolled around and we invited her to come with a question in mind. Following up we found that Elder Holland's talk, touched her and she felt that was her answer. Here's an excerpt, 

"Fortunately, the seats for this particular number are limitless. There is room for those who speak different languages, celebrate diverse cultures, and live in a host of locations. There is room for the single, for the married, for large families, and for the childless. There is room for those who once had questions regarding their faith and room for those who still do. There is room for those with differing sexual attractions. In short, there is a place for everyone who loves God and honors His commandments as the inviolable measuring rod for personal behavior, for if love of God is the melody of our shared song, surely our common quest to obey Him is the indispensable harmony in it. With divine imperatives of love and faith, repentance and compassion, honesty and forgiveness, there is room in this choir for all who wish to be there. “Come as you are,” a loving Father says to each of us, but He adds, “Don’t plan to stay as you are.” We smile and remember that God is determined to make of us more than we thought we could be."
(Songs Sung and Unsung, Jeffery R. Holland. April 2017 General Conference)

After going through most of the lessons again with Elder Reedy, now she is baptized! It's been an awesome journey and it'll be great for her daughter to be raised in the church. 

Elder Reedy has been awesome, I'll miss baking together for sure. 

Well on to new things! 

Elder Smith
Add caption

the Matshedi family

smashing oranges with a cricket bat.

Last zone conference with President and Sister Merrill

the Mgagulas
The DuToit family

Amanda's baptism

my barber

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 5, 2017

This week seemed like the days came to drag but the week flew right by. 

Monday we started with just a chill p day hanging out with the Uitenhage Elders in Uitenhage. 
Tuesday I was on exchanges with Elder Macamo in KwaNobuhle which was really fun. We had a powerful day and really enjoyed the exchange and learned a lot from each other. 
Wednesday through Saturday we were working hard but it seemed that Satan was working pretty hard against us. Especially with pay day this past week prior to the weekend.... people were always out shopping and towards the weekend everyone was drunk so we had appointments dropping left and right. - all is well though. The week closed off with an awesome Sunday! We were able to confirm Zuko, Yolanda, and Aphelele. Zuko was also able to get the priesthood so it was pretty powerful! Also, Amanda was interviewed and found worthy for baptism so next Sunday we should probably be having that baptism! It'll be awesome for her cute baby daughter to be raised in the church. Elder Reedy and I can't believe how fast time is flying, this is my last full week (we assume) in KwaMagxaki so I'll be leaving this next week. Hopefully I'll be able to find out at Zone Conference and interviews Wednesday and Thursday this week. It's sad though, it's our last with President Merrill, he's been an awesome mission president for I'll say the first half of mission. It'll be pretty cool to get our new president in July though. Big change is happening, time will tell!

Until Next Week!
Elder Smith
For my little brother Gavin

mega potato

Monday, May 29, 2017

May 29, 2017

Hey everyone!

KwaMagxaki is the Best! But time is flying right by...

This week has been powerful with a lot of appointments. But we started out by having a giant braai as a zone. We bought tons of chicken, beef, boerewors, cool drink, and chips. Man was it good. After we just went and threw around a frisbee and kicked around a soccer and rugby ball. It was pretty nice for a P-Day.

But for the work it's been a lot of member visits and working with investigators. We're trying to get a family mission plan started in each family so the members can get more involved with the work. It will hopefully help them catch the vision of missionary work and not only help them, but help us.

The best part of the week was Zuko, Aphelele, and Yolanda's baptism! It's been great to work with these people and see the conversion and have them come unto Christ. It was really cool because Yolanda's mom came from Joburg to support and she isn't a member but we were able to leave her with materials and a way to contact the missionaries that side. Pretty fun stuff. Zuko had his uncle (Bishop) baptize him, and Aphelele wanted Vusi (one of our awesome fellowshippers) to baptize her, and Yolanda wanted me to baptize her. So there was a lot of cold wet people haha. It'll be great next week to have them recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost and for Zuko to be able to receive the Priesthood. 

Two more weeks here in KwaMagxaki! 

Elder Smith
Elder Smith, Bishop (Baptizing Zuko), Aphelele, Zuko, Yolanda, Vusi (Baptizing Aphelele), and Elder Reedy

Monday, May 22, 2017

May 22, 2017

Time really flies, especially in KwaMagxaki. 9 months this week Thursday, pretty crazy stuff, where has the time gone??

Monday we went back to Baywest Mall and did some more bowling as a district but our scores were worse, oh well. We also did some skee-ball and air hockey and arcade games so it was a fun P-Day.

Transfer news came on Saturday in regards to the special 3 week transfer in preparation for President Merrill's leave, 

Good News! I'll be here at least another three weeks!!! Elder Reedy and I are super happy to have these next three weeks. 

We actually got a ward mission leader now who's a returned missionary and actually served at Elder Macamo's (our Zone Leader) house haha in Joburg, but he and ourselves have a great vision for the ward and I think we're going to ramp up the work even more! 

One of the best things is our baptismal candidates passed their interviews and one of them, Zuko, is awesome. He's 24 and a super hard working guy and he'll be a powerful priesthood holder. I can't wait for the 3 baptisms this upcoming Sunday!! 

It's amazing how fruitful this area has become and we hope to get it up even more! Elder Reedy and I have figured it all works best when we're equally yoked and as we both pull the same we can really push ourselves.

I went on exchanges with Elder Lillback and we had a great time and watched a funny brawl between two drunk guys. On the exchange though I found I have some relatives here in SA, the Du Toit family! It was a pretty funny to have dinner with family lol. It's great because we'll be working together on our family history and our pooled efforts will help with not only the genealogy but the temple work! We are both related to the same about 10th great grandfather, the first Du Toit's in South Africa. 

Exciting stuff happening! Until next week!
Elder Smith

Monday, May 15, 2017

Elder Smith shares a little Xhosa

May 15, 2017

This week has been powerful, well the past two weeks in general. Elder Reedy and I have really been working on our goal setting and planning and obedience. It's really proved amazing. 

We've been able to take our investigator pool and now it is almost all males over 12 and one father led family with 4 sons. It's pretty amazing. 

As we've worked with the members our relationship with them and their motive to do missionary work has slowly grown. The only side effect is getting fed too much. It's being quite detrimental to how we feel. We got fed 4 unplanned D.A's in one day and it's been like that most of the days... 

But aside, the work here is amazing and I would wish I could stay for a few more months but who knows what the Lord has in store, but there's too much good work going on to leave... 

We've been able to take our RC Sive out fellowshipping and he's loving it. We take him quite often now and he wants to serve a mission so bad. He'd be an awesome missionary and he, our other recent converts Jr, and Khanyiso received the priesthood yesterday which was awesome as well. It's exciting to see how well the work is. 

Elder Ondracek and I had a nice exchange last Thursday and I had my first experience teaching coloured people which was much different because they are Afrikaans speaking. 

Calling home was nice, it was interesting to see how people changed though... two years is a long time but it is flying waay too fast. Well, besides staying busy with appointments, the work is awesome here in KwaMagxaki so until next week!

Elder Smith

Monday, May 8, 2017

May 8, 2017

This week has flown by! 

We started out the week with a slower P-Day, but my district checked out the beautiful super tiny little Afrikaner town of Redhouse in our area next to KwaMagxaki. It has a beautiful ocean inlet and very beautiful houses. 

The rest of the week was packed full of things! Elder Reedy and myself have been focused on our planning and goals and we've really seen the blessings of it! We had 47 lessons total and it was definitely because of our planning. It's exciting to see the progress of the area!

Aside from being busy busy not much crazy things have happened. Tuesday we had 4 dinner appointments which was very spiritually and physically filling haha. On Saturday we went to the Relief Society's birthday party they held for the 175th year. It's awesome the programs the church has. Without the Relief Society the church would not be what it is today. It has done so much good in the world and continues it all areas of the world. 

Sunday we confirmed Jr and it was awesome. He's a great kid and there's so much in store, Sive will get confirmed next Sunday. Another cool thing is Khanyiso may be called to be the ward mission leader which would be awesome! It's cool to see these guys growing in the gospel.

We also found a massive snail before district meeting in Uitenhage, (snails here are big but this one was titan) and we named our car the Jolly Afrikaner.

Well I get to skype this sunday! I'm excited for that! Until next week

Elder Smith

Monday, May 1, 2017

May 1, 2017

This week was a fun and busy week.

Monday we went into PE for P-Day and went to the mega-mall Baywest. It's a gigantic mall here and has everything from Ice Skating to Bowling and Imax (can't do until after mission). We had a great time and Elder Ondracek broke the high score for the day so he won a free bowling pass... we might have to go back haha. 

Tuesday we had interviews with President Merrill in Uitenhage and then had a bunch of appointments afterwards and we got a bunch of work done. 

Wednesday we had an awesome Zone Conference with President Merrill and had a good time learning soooo much from him. I'm going to miss him when he leaves in July but I'm excited for what's in store. We learned a lot about goals, forgiveness, and everything in between. It was an awesome conference. We came back from PE and had the baptismal interviews for Sive, Jr. and Zuko, and Zuko wasn't ready to interview so we'll catch this week or next which will be awesome, but Sive and Jr. passed! We were really excited.

Thursday and Friday we were busy with a lot of appointments but also a lot of dropped appointments. Oh well, such is the work. 

On Saturday the ward had organised a Mormon Helping Hands project at our recent convert's house. We tore down one of the rooms and the doors and built a new room and put in new doors. We worked for about 8 hours, but the ward continued long after which was awesome. It was a good face for the church in the community and Sinovuyo's family is actually open to the gospel now so we'll be seeing them this week and they promised to come to church so hopefully we'll see them this coming Sunday. We also ate Smiley and Uluso (sheep head and intestines), it wasn't bad.... but it was what it was haha, nothing too special. 

Sunday was an awesome day! Sive and Jr. were baptized! They were so excited and it's exciting to see what their future in the church holds! They're going to be powerful priesthood holders someday! Well that's the week for now, a lot of work this coming!

Until next

Elder Smith

***Elder Smith also added: Thanks for working on the temple names, I know it's helping the work in white areas, the mission is doing really good right now, and it's fun living in Despatch and Uitenhage because most of the people/street names are those surnames so it's cool to wonder if they're related.
Baywest Bowling

Elder Reedy and the Mamas

Mormon Helping Hands

Sive and Jr.'s Baptism

Smiley (Boiled sheep's head)

The Mama's

The Young Men

The Young Women