Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Letter from Elder North in Africa

Elder North at a Flamingo Lake
Date:  July 27, 2015
Area: Kimberley
Comp: Elder Jena
Week: 5

Well what a week! We have some good days, and some bad. I’ve come to see that mission is a bit of a roller coaster of ups and downs. The ups come when your investigators keep the commitments you give them and you can see that they have felt something and the downs come from when they don’t keep their commitments because you know how important the message you are sharing is. You know that it can bless their lives more than they could possibly imagine! So like I said it’s been a roller coaster with some investigators improving and progressing and others not so much

I am amazed by the sacrifice the members here make. A lot of them don’t own a vehicle and don’t have money for a taxi so they walk to church which for some is a couple miles. But they still come with loving hearts and open arms. They also have like 6 families each that they have for home teaching and they strive to visit all of them, then on top they have even more callings but they push forward.

This week I also saw a lot of shanties that were smaller than my room back home, some of the nicest caring people and their whole house is smaller than my room, what a humbling experience for me to see and meet these people.

I probably don’t drink enough water but that’s because it doesn’t taste good, it taste like a fish filled lake... so I have to force myself to drink water haha. It could be worse so I’m not complaining.

Cool shrubs at the hosptial

Elders need hugs too

What can I say they are still boys!  Also that seems a strange shrub art.

Tswana and Afrikaans are the biggest in Kimberley so in Tswana hello is dumelang (do me long).

But I like Zulu and that’s sawubona (s-ow-bone-a) which means hello then how are you is unjani (une- ja- nay)
then I’m good is ngiyaphila (ng-uh-pee-la)

I can only great in Zulu, Tswana and that’s it. Afrikaans is the same as English haha.

So like I mentioned the weekends here suck for missionary work because everyone has family over or they are getting drunk and high. The people drink and smoke sooo much I don’t know how some of them are alive! But it explains why they don’t have any teeth... As we were driving to an appointment this week there was a guy just on the side of the road but naked taking all his clothes off. I don’t know why but it was a little funny haha... weekends in Kimberley.

I saw an ostrich on our drive back from our zone training in Bloem, so that was cool. I also went to a lake full of flamingos but we went allowed to get close but it was cool seeing so many

So a gogo died this past week and we had the funeral. Funerals are a bit different here, especially in the kasi (township) they put a huge canopy tent up over the front yard and then you go and sing songs and give talks for like three days to comfort the family. You manly sing so we went to sing and it was good but the next day when we went to sing again another church came and pretty much stole the scene. It was the kind of praise the Lord Hallelujah black people praising singing with bells and all. They also sing a lot of native songs but I can’t understand them but they do sound very African. At the grave yard after they lower the casket then they actually bury the person so that was different too, doing the burring while you are still there. It’s nice having the knowledge and understanding of the Plan of Salvation knowing that families are forever though, I find so much comfort in that :)

I had the chance to go to a couple good soccer matches, there was a tournament going on for teams to get promoted to the first division so that was a lot of fun! The crowds cheer a lot more this side than back home. Again I was the only white guy so people look at me kinda weird but I don’t mind. 

Nelson Mandela Sign

So you all know the songs from lion king and hakuna matata. Turns out that in the opening song the circle of life when they are speaking some crazy African language it’s actually Zulu!!! So that was way cool and hakuna matata means no problem actually so that was cool to find out!

I’ve learned a lot about honoring the priesthood which I hold. I had the opportunity to give three blessings this week, two of comfort for an audition and one for healing. It’s cool being a missionary because people come to you with their problems and seek comfort from you. I have always like being someone people can go to for help and now they do and I love being able to help in whatever way possible.

I didn’t get any mail this week and won’t till the end of the transfer in 3 weeks because I’m so far from the mission home but you can still write me!

I love you all and love to hear from you! Write me!!!

God is good, all the time

Elder North

All of Elder North’s letters and pictures are on his blog at eldermikelnorth.blogspot.com, as well as his address.
It costs $1.20 to send a letter to Africa.  You can do this by buying international stamps or just using three regular stamps.

Elder Mikel North
South Africa Durban Mission
PO Box 1741
Wandsbeck 3631
South Africa


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