Monday, August 31, 2015

A good week in Africa

Date: August 31, 2015
Area:  Kimberly, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Jena
Week 10

Its been a pretty good week, I think I have gotten used to the missionary schedule and life now as things don't seem as new and exciting as they did before, the work is still exciting don't get me wrong. 

So Deane our powerful investigator who loves the gospel disappointing me when I thought for sure he was going to show up to church, He knows these things are true but has a long way to go. He has a major addiction to smoking that we need to overcome before we can enter into the waters of baptism, but at the rate we are going that day seems to be nearing never. I just want so badly for our investigators to realize how great and true the message we share really is! I know that through the Gospel we can overcome all the challenges that we face.

Our chapel
Erica another great progressing investigator is struggling leaving her church as she feels she can still do good there but knows that we need the priesthood authority to actually have Gods church. I hope with our constant effort she will be able to overcome her challenges and leave behind the old life as she looks towards God with an eye single to his glory.

We have had some other good lessons but getting people to church is the problem, I'm praying and optimistic that change is coming to Kimberley. 

I had the awesome opportunity to go to Bloemfontein and watch the Bloem Celtics play against the Orlando Pirates! It was cool to go to a professional match, still doesn't beat my home team Real Salt Lake though haha.

Cool lizard on this house.
We had the chance to do a lot of service this week which is nice because it makes you just love the people! I got a complement from a lady while I was working in the garden. Gardens here you use a pitch fork like thing to pull up and break up the ground, its pretty labor intensive so while I was working I ended up forking the whole garden. The Lady then said nah, you cant be from Utah, Utah boys cant work like you do haha. she said I must be from somewhere else to have learned to work that hard without stopping. So that was a nice complement haha.

Missionary work is exhausting, Not due to physical exertion but spiritual exertion. Constantly seeking for personal revelation and divine guidance is exhausting and when you come home you just want to go to bed and morning comes fast. Its definitely the hardest thing I have done thus far in my life. I have learned more than I ever could have back home though. I have learned about myself, people, and God and wouldn't want it any other way. There are still hard days and you miss home and loved ones and all those you left back home, but its so worth it and I know there is still so much more for me to learn and do
That is not water!  That is sewage, the Kasi always
has sewage everywhere!

A couple of weeks ago I talked about a FHE activity to write down what you would write to your family in 30 words or less, (try 20 to get the full effect)

I wrote.."Dear family and loved ones. Love God, Serve All, Love All. SMILE, LAUGH, pray and read often, visit temple frequently, together forever. You are never alone. I love you.

this is what I wrote to my family and loved ones in 30 words or less. it shows what is important to you, what would you want your family to know if you were separated from them for years and only got one last chance to communicate back to them

I love you all and would love to hear from you, Write me letters they are awesome and I will think you are the coolest! 

Love with all my heart might mind and strength!
Elder North
3 nephi 13 
Some pictures of Kimberly from the top
 of a flat we were tracting.
SOCCER!  Bloem Celtics vs Orlando Pirates

Saw a Domino's Pizza and almost cried for joy!
We had old popcorn for dinner because we
 ran low on funds, it wasn't very good.
 He would love to hear form you so write him a letter.  It costs $1.15 or an international stamp.
Elder Mikel North
South Africa Durban Mission
PO Box 1741
Wandsbeck 3631
South Africa

Monday, August 24, 2015

2 months down..... lets not talk about how much left.

At the Northern Cape boarder leaving the free
states and heading back to Kimberly
Date:  August 24, 2015
Area:  Kimberly, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Jena
Week 9

Wow how crazy is life? To all my friends and the people my age back home, isnt this insane!? in two short months most of us have either gone on mission, or are about to leave on a mission. Have gone to college, or about to leave to college. That means most of us have or will be soon moving out of our parents house and be on our own. Crazy how fast time flies and how old we feel and how much it sucks to get old and lose your friends and say good bye. One thing I've come to notice though is I'm so happy! Life is tuff, but life is good! This critical time in our lives is to either go on mission, to go to school or to even go and start working is a pivotal point in our lives that will set up the rest of our lives! Sure saying good bye really sucks but the good far out weighs the bad. I have learned so much in these two short months of being on mission. I've learned a whole heck of a lot about who I really am, what I believe, what I stand for, what my goals in life are and so much more. I love being on a mission and just serving, Your calling is to SERVE and that's whats important, not if you baptize anyone or this or that but if you went out and served the people and loved them with all your might, mind, and strength! So all you going through these major changes in our lives.... of your friends leaving, look at change as a thing to help you grow. "the more things change, the more they stay the same." I know that God has a plan for all of us, Its not easy, and sometimes not even fun. I can promise you its worth it. That this time in our lives is for us to learn and grow far more than we could have ever done back in our little circle of living. Where ever you are, on mission, at school, at home or at work. Go and do. Go and do whatever you can and learn and laugh and grow!

Elder Ikube left also.  He was our Zone Leader but just got
transferred and is heading to Lesotho.  I had the chance to teach
with him during exchanges and he is super powerful and I look
up to him a lot.
This week has been an interesting one. It was the end of transfers (transfers are every six weeks) and Elder Agyeman left. We got a new Elder, his name is Elder Razafindrakoto. He is from Madagascar and a way cool dude! He speaks Malagasy and French and isn't very good at English, but he is super funny! 

The week in terms of work was hard because we were in Bloemfontein for two days and didn't get to work with any of our investigators but all is well. We got to meet up with Deane. Those who don't remember, Deane is a young guy prob around his late 20's and plays rugby. He also smokes a ridiculous amount. He is an awesome guy who loves to learn more about the gospel. Our lessons with him just seem to click and he understands. It had been over a month since the last time we saw him because he got a new phone and we couldn't contact him. We thought we would have to reteach and review but he had been studying the material we gave him with enthusiasm and it was such a shock to see his desire to know more. Sadly he didnt come to church though ;/

We did some service and painted a room for our investigator Erica. She belongs to a church called Salvation Army and is the equivalent of a primary president in her church. She seems to know what we are teaching is true but it will be hard for her to leave her current church.

me and Elder Done he played for Alta and goes home
in two transfers, I look up to him a lot,
he is way cool and a great missionary. 
The best part of this week was while in Bloem I got mail! A whole lot of it in fact. I got mail from aunt Amy, Gogo marry x3, Haiyx4, Abby and Emily Skolmoski x2, Mahx3, Sister White, Karoline, and President Ghiz. I also received my greenie package which had many letters from friends and family it was so great to hear from so many people. The mail range from being sent on June 17th to July 29th. So mail this side is weird it either takes 3 weeks or 2 months maybe more haha. I love getting mail and I promise to write back those who write me. Mail is so much better than an email too! and it makes all the other missionaries jealous.

The senior couple were joking saying they think
 I stole the whole missions mail.

Letter from Grandma Pam

From all my friends and family

Yay for mail and being green because you get
extra mail and sweets!  You call soda
a cool drink and we call candy sweets this side.

Love me some mail

Elder Jena didn't get any mail so he
wanted to steal some of mine.

So there is a pizza place called Scooters this side but it recently got bought out by Dominos. I heard about it in the MTC but this week they all got changed to Dominos and it made me so happy to see it I almost cried, the pizza taste the exact same too!!!! It's amazing.

So the temperature was super cold for a while but now for the past two, three weeks its been getting hot and now its getting really hot and I'm starting to sweat. Summer is going to be a beast. Its like the tell me though "you'r in Africa" that is most peoples response to anything. I may say, eish my back hurts. The reply would be well "you are in Africa now, pain is 10x worse" haha 

I always get people who meet me saying oh your Elder North from the North! They always laugh so I laugh with them like it Isn't the 83rd time I've heard it haha .

Here are some pictures of my boarding.
Elder Jena and my bedroom.

Front door
Kitchen and study area

from laundry to the bathroom


laundry room

Living room

Study area

Typical male bathroom (at least the TP is on right)

Some quote I liked this week are...

"We become more substantive as we serve others - indeed it is easier to find ourselves because there is so much more of us to find."

"A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying" if we dont try we are latter day sinners, if we dont persevere we are latter day quitters.

"When we put God first all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives." 

"Being a latter day saint is a way of life, something 7 days a week."

"Who does Gods work will get Gods Pay"

"The great test of life is obedience to God
The great task of life is to learn the will of God and then do it
The great commandment of life is "thou shalt love the lord thy God with all thy hear, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength."

I love you all and miss you dearly but I'm enjoying most of my time here haha. It's hard but I can already see that it is worth it.

Please also write me! 

Romans 8:28 "All things shall work together for good to them that love God"

If you want a good read, start in 3 Nephi chapter 10 and continue through chapter 11

Elder North

Exploring the boarding hoping to find buried treasure but
we came up empty handed :/


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

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

week 9 already?

Elder Katimbo, Elder North, Elder Agyeman, and Elder Jena
Date:  August 17, 2015
Area:  Kimberly, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Jena
Week 8

WOW this is already the start of my ninth week on mission? That's just crazy to think. I just focus on how many weeks I've past not how many I have to go. haha.

So this week is the last week of transfers so sometimes missionaries get lazy.  It was a rough week as we had to take our car into the shop again because they messed something up with a plate or thinga majig. Luckily they got it back to us by the next day so we wernt to long on foot.

Something I find funny is that Mcdonalds is a nice restaurant here. It's the exact same and the same price as home but here that is expensive, 60 rand for a meal is a lot this side. You can go to a nice place similar to dead robbin (Red Robbin for all those that don't call it what we do) for about 6 US bucks. Its just funny as my companion say "ya if you take a girl to McDonalds than you are fly and they really like it" So just interesting that Mcdonalds cost the same as a sit down place.

The electricity in South Africa is pretty spotty so you find that you don't have power on occasions sometimes twice a week. Usually its only off for 2 to 3 hours then they turn it back on.

So I had a awesome meal this week! Goat Head!!! I think the way they make it is put the head in a pot and peal all the meat off when its done and you eat it with steamed bread. It actually tasted really good but the texture was not so good, it was like fat, rubbery and mushy I guess but it would fall apart nicely and you didnt have to chew a lot. so I have eatin the head of a goat. The heads of animals obviously arn't super meaty so it dosn't feed a lot of people but just enough for a family.

I learned that Rastafarian is an actual religion not just a life style where they believe Bob Marly was a prophet and the smoking weed gets you revelation and all this other stuff. 

I have actually learned a lot this week. Me and Elder Jena went contacting in this neighborhood when I decided to knock this door it was a older man probably in his 50-60s. He told us to run from this mormon stuff and not to believe any of it. We sat down with him and tried to talk with him but he wasnt listening even when we could prove through the bible against what he was saying, some people are stubborn. We call it Bible bash when you sit down with someone and just pull up bible scripture to prove your point or disprove theirs which is what he was trying to do to us. Its hard to see someone that is lost and tell you that you are lost. Hopefully he felt something when we bore our testimony.

A place to get hair cuts.  It is nice and cheap only about 25 rand
which is like 2 bucks.  The problem is it is not a place for white
people because they don't know how to cut our hair.  So I have
to go to the mall and pay 100R or roughly 10 bucks!  So expensive!
A powerful family we teach is the Nosi fam, the wife is power, she usually keeps commitments and has felt the spirit testify through her feelings that the things we teach are true, but for some reason investigators dont want to come to church so I hope they realize the importance of it as we continue to teach them.

On the back of some pass along cards is a dvd called together forever. You can call the number on the back and get a free copy of this dvd. I dont know if there is a way to watch this back home or if its on youtube or something but It would be a great family home evening lesson to watch and discuss what you have learned from it.

kids playing soccer
street soccer is all over here.
A topic I have been emphasizing to a lot of people the past couple weeks is that we all have value. Our value dosnt change upon the mistakes we make or our decisions. The world sees otherwise, as you do something bad your value decreases but this is not the case. Our Father in Heaven sees us all as his children and loves us more than we can ever know. No matter what we do He will always love us. He sees our true value, a value that is never changing and always great. Remember that YOU have value and even when we feel like rubbish and like we are worthless, think again and embrace the love that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for you!

I was able to give a blessing to a 8 year old girl named Tokelo this week. It was such a great opportunity to be the one to bring comfort and peace to this girl and family it made me think of when I will be able to give priesthood blessings to children of my own and how important that will be to me and to them in their lives. The church is true guys! live it and love it!

God is good, all the time, all the time, God is good!

Love you all! Be Amazing and do your best and forget the rest!

Elder North

Monday, August 10, 2015

Long week

Date:  August 10, 2015
Area:  Kimberly, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Jena
Week 7

I guess I should start with Monday. It was a crazy day for sure! So like I said in my last email we had a zone activity and went and saw some cheetahs and lions and what not, way cool African experience! I got to pet a freaking Cheetah in Africa!  Have you? 

So a awesome day turned into a long night. We got back to our boarding and as we were preparing for bed Elder Jena started getting a sharp pain in his chest, he has been sickish for a couple weeks now, vomiting on occasion and constant diarrhea. We tried to wait out the pain but it just got worse so we ended up going to the hospital which wasnt as much help as you would like. We spent over an hour there before we could even see a doctor! He got hooked up to an IV and given some medication and we were out by 2AM. It was quite the long night! They say it is probably worms from the water here. Like I said, fishey water...

The rest of the week went pretty well as far as the work goes. we had two powerful packed days full of lessons and finding new people to teach, Im really excited to teach some of the new people because our investigators arnt super commited they dont have the spiritual drive to really read or come to church so we are hoping we can change that in the coming weeks.

Long week as the subject of this email states. I dont know exactly why the week has felt so long but I think its because I have been missing home quite a bit. I think of all of you frequently and love you all. I really miss having my Mah around to talk to all the time. Its a good think though, this seperation is for me to learn and boy have I learned a lot already, I am becoming quite the chef cooking stews of all sorts.

Pap is starting to grow on me, every time I eat it I like it more, I cant wait to make some for all of you back home!
Pap at a members house

Not much time this week so Its short but Ill write better next week! I love you all and miss you! I know on the other hand this is where I am ment to be and I wouldnt want to be anywhere else in the world besides south Africa!!!

Some quotes I lilked this week. "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" I really love this quote and apply it to just about everything.

"Salvation is individual, Exultation is a family matter" ~Elder Bednar

Elder North

RPC I write this a lot, it means Read, pray and Church. these are the commitment we leave with a lot of our investigators and I would commit all of you to the same. Read you scriptures and then pray about it "if you want to talk to God, pray, if you want Him to talk to you, Read your scriptures!" and go to church we all need to be at church to help strengthen one another and to learn!
Cool ornament on the gate

What they do here instead of barbed wire

the awesome gate
Mikel would love mail!  So please write him.

Please make sure and do not use nick names when addressing his letters as they will not be able to figure out who that is to.

It costs $1.20 and you can buy forever international stamps.

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