Monday, February 27, 2017

February 27, 2017

Hello Everyone!!!

6 months is by and gone, time flies..... fast!

To be short on the transfer news we got, 

Elder Milne and Myself will be staying for another harvest together in KwaMagxaki! Wohoo. Which means I have finished training him as a father, and now I get to be his mother too as a follow up trainer!!

This week has been quite interesting, and fun haha.
Sorry for the lack of pics, I'm waiting to get them from Elders De Beer and Gordon.

Monday we started out by going Paintballing with Elder De Beer (the now former AP who was replaced by our now former ZL Elder Gordon) who was on exchanges from Cape Town. That was my first time paintballing -- super scary, but super fun. It was a fun time shared by our zone. 

Afterwards our district went to the brand new and only Burger King in PE, one of the reasons being it's the only restaurant with a fountain machine for drinks which is awesome! We ended up cutting our crown and putting it on our Donald Trump poster haha. 

Tuesday was a very interesting day. And please do not worry, everything has been taken care of and all the missionaries are safe and doing well.

But one of the Elders, Elder Lane that stays with us and serves in the area next to us, Zwide, was stabbed in the back. It was quite a shock when we got the call. Luckily it was in an area that didn't damage any major organs and he was stitched up and back to us that night. We gave him a blessing and luckily he has healed very well and very fast and has actually been working with his companion with us on splits since their area is closed for a short time. 

Aside, everything is well and we are all safe and sound, just keep him in your prayers for a continued speedy and successful recovery.

The rest of the week has been splits and we've been keeping busy with our area trying to get more investigators since we baptized so many. 

Sunday was an awesome day as we were to confirm everyone except Khanyiso, but we'll get him the Sunday after stake conference. It's an amazing experience to confirm them and one of the girls I had the distinct impression to bless her with the desire to serve a full time mission should her life lead that course. The gospel is amazing. 

Well all is well from the St. George boys and more pictures will come as I get them. Pray that we'll be able to find a father headed family, more investigators, and for a continued recovery for Elder Lane. 

Thanks for all the support and until next week!

Elder Smith
Lisa, who we're teaching English so she can be baptized

Lisa's testimony she wrote in the Book of Mormon

Monday, February 20, 2017

February 20, 2017

Wohoo! Six months this coming Saturday! Time really flies when you are working hard. 

The week started out with an awesome Zone potluck at the Zone Leader's boarding and we ended up eating a lot of rice haha. But I was able to bake a chocolate cake which was dessert for everyone and we all really enjoyed it. 

Tuesday I was on exchanges in my area with Elder Greengrass from England. He's a super good musician and loves to sing and play guitar so we had some fun on the drives between appointments. He's a wonderful teacher and it was fun to spend a day serving with him.

Wednesday was back to the grindstone with our baptism prep and teaching so we were really busy

Thursday was an awesome day! We had Zone Conference and Training with President Ellis from the area presidency! Woah what a guy. It's amazing to be taught about missionary work and the scriptures from a general authority. He's an amazing teacher and because I'm a trainer I got to go to the Missionary Leadership training he gave after as well so that was awesome to have an extra hour of learning from him. I did have to give a talk during the training which was a little nerve racking but it went well. It was an amazing zone conference all around.

Friday and Saturday were baptism prep days. Saturday Motherwell (PE area) had 10 baptisms so they had to borrow the baptism clothes so Saturday night we were doing a lot of laundry, lucky for them they have a drying machine so it was really nice to get laundry done. 

Sunday was the highlight of the week! Baptism day!

We were able to baptize Mama Yalolo and her daughter and now she and her children are all baptized! She has invited her best friend and sister to take the lessons and now we are teaching them as well which is awesome! Aviwe was also baptized and she has started to re-activate her mother to church and I think we may start teaching her grandmother! Khanyso is awesome! He's an awesome potential priesthood holder and we're hoping he'll have the desire to serve mission! The three girls are best friends and they were able to bring Makhulu to church as well to witness the baptism and it'd be awesome if Makhulu wanted to start being taught as well! 

7 baptisms at once was a lot but thanks for all the prayers and support! It was a busy stressful day but the Lord made it work out! We've had 8 this transfer and Elder Milne and I are both praying to stay together at the end of this week but we'll see what happens come transfer news Saturday!! 

Until next week!
7 Baptisms

The girls and Makhulu (grandma)

Aviwe and her Mom and Makhulu


Monday, February 13, 2017

February 13, 2017

Hello everyone and Happy Valentines Day! 

This week has been full of ups and downs, but first....

This previous p-day was great! We went into Port Elizabeth and did some shopping and things and then went to a music store and I got to try out a trombone hahaha! It's odd to play after a while. The best part of the day was the TRAINS!! 

Our bishop is a higher up at a train and train engine overhaul plant that fixes every part of the train! We were able to go in, around, and underneath the trains and their parts to see all of the gigantic parts that go into train engines. I've seen trains before but I didn't realize just how big they were until you're up close and personal, especially with the engine! That time at the train yard was one of the coolest ever! 

The week was mixed emotions, some of the days all but few of our appointments dropped but some of the other days many of our days were 12-7 with appointments every half hour. 

We've been preparing several people for baptism and unfortunately some had problems with coffee and others that need to be married and others that need to learn English first but keep them in your prayers that they might be able to be baptized soon! They love the gospel soooo much!

It's fun to go over to Lisa's and teach her English! Unfortunately according to mission rules and church policy there should be some understanding of English *because most of the church here operates in English) before someone can get baptized. Lisa loves the gospel and understands everything in Xhosa so Elder Milne and myself have been teaching her English by reading back and forth several times between an English and Xhosa Book of Mormon. We gave her a priesthood blessing that she would understand quickly and she gave a full prayer in English yesterday for the first time!!! We were so proud of her!!!

Yesterday at church we were surprised when 26 of our investigators showed up!!! It was awesome because they're all loving the gospel and if everything goes according, 7 are getting baptized this coming Sunday!! Our investigators are great examples of us of changing lives for the better and coming closer to Jesus Christ!

This coming week we have Zone Conference and I think President Ellis from the area presidency will be here which will be awesome! We all had to prepare a talk in case we speak in conference about 2 Nephi 9 and as I was studying it I came back to Alma 5:27. Read Alma 5:27 and do some self-analysis. Think about it... and make changes. That is what we're in life to do is make change, and as we change toward Jesus Christ, we begin to emulate him, and he becomes part of our countenance. 

Until next week! 
Kwamagxaki and KwaDwesi and Joe Slovo and Extension, all part of my area, with Ocean in top left

the turbo for the massive diesel engine

A piston head

Kwamagxaki Nature Reserve jk haha Township Goats

The 3 girls that should be getting baptized this Sunday! Wohoo!

Monday, February 6, 2017

February 6, 2017

Wohoo another week down! 

This week has been great but just a lot of hard work.

The week started out awesome by a trip to Kragga Kamma game park! It's a gigantic reserve with TONS of African animals (unfortunately no lions or elephants but those are at another we are thinking of going to!) It's amazing to see these animals in the "wild" and not in a zoo setting, and they are WAY big when you drive close enough to them you could touch them. It's amazing to see all of God's creations and it makes me appreciate all of them even more. Africa is something special and God put some of the most amazing creations here. 

Our work like aforementioned was just a lot of work, visiting investigators, recent converts, and less actives. We're working with several (upwards of 20) progress towards their baptismal dates so it'll be awesome to see them achieve that in the future! 

I was on exchanges with Elder Gordon (my Zone Leader) and he's an English South African (South African peoples - Natives, like Xhosas, Zulus, etc, Whites, like English, Afrikaners, and Asians like Indians and Chinese.) He's a wonderful elder and I learned so much from him. He's a convert to the church and has a wonderful conversion story. I hope I can become like him on mission.

The best part of the week was Sunday- giving Phillip the Gift of the Holy Ghost and also ordaining him to the office of Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood! He's a wonderful recent convert and it'll be wonderful to see what he does with his life in the church now. 

Elder Milne and myself are still working hard and tearing up KwaMagxaki. St. George boys for the win!

Until Next Week!

Elder Smith