Tuesday, September 29, 2015

End of transfers

Date:  September 28, 2015
Area:  Kimberly, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Jena
Week 14

So this was the last week of transfers and a ruff one work wise, but I still enjoyed it. We have started teaching a women named Philda and she is a powerful lady, she pretty much knows everything already and wants her son to learn more of the gospel. I really hope that we can see her progress to the point of making covenants with God before I leave :) Work work work there is no satisfactory substitute. As a missionary you need to work. It is not easy at all but it is worth it and the more you work the better things are. The more you enjoy the more you fall in love with the area as you work and serve them. 

My emails haven't really been up to par lately, so sorry about that, I always feel as if I am rushing them so I don't have time to put much detail in them but I hope you still enjoy.
Training complete!

I feel I need to say that I love this gospel, and so can you. Its not easy and like our prophet Joseph Smith once said, I don't know the exact quote, a religion that doesn't require much of us can't give us much in return. Yes it can be tough but it is worth it. Eternal life, the greatest gift our Father in Heaven has for us to return and live with him again!!!! Life is tough and my companion likes to say but we can do it with His help. Something that we say on mission is that no one will make it fun for you, you need to make your mission fun. The same applies for life, no one is going to go out of their way to make your life great but you can chose to make it happy. Something Hailey told me that I would like to share is God didn't create us to be sad. He created us to be Happy! it is a choice, a decision we have to make for ourselves, no its not easy but it is possible and it is easier through Christ. Give me any life challenge, question, concern or whatever and you can find help and answer to, in the book of Mormon! It teaches the fullness of the everlasting gospel and testifys with real power the truth of Christ and his divinity, I encourage you all to read, ponder and pray. to pray with real intent meaning to act on the answers given and I can promise you will be blessed, your life will become better, your relationships easier your love greater, your joy fuller. I love you all and pray for the best that you may have hope in all things and love the Lord you Savior.

Love the Lord and serve him the very best you can!

It is getting really hot now a days. We are hitting 35 degrees which is about 90 F. So it makes you want to stay inside when its that hot, but we have a job to do and need to work even if its blistering hot.

This week something crazy happened. In Bloem there were some shootings where school kids in uniform, school kids through highschool wear white shirt and tie, were getting shot so we were put on lock-down.

I had my first Braai in Africa. A Braai is a barbecue so I loved it of course. The whole zone brought meat and we just braaied and enjoyed so that was awesome. there is just something about braaing that makes you feel like a man. Cookin your own meat is satisfying. We got transfer news after and Elder Jena is leaving me. Sad to see my baba, papa, leave me but I am excited for my new companion his name is Elder Mashaba who is also from Zimbabwe so that's cool :) Elder Benisson my MTC companion will be training and that's crazy! so is Elder Adams who was also in my MTC group.

I got mail this week from Grandma Mary and North, Taryn, and Bro Utley. Thank you all for your support and love and prayers

Elder North

Monday, September 21, 2015

end the drought

Date:  Setpember 21, 2015
Area:  Kimberly, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Jena
Week 13

So what a week! it has just flown by!!!

The week itself really wasn't all that good. We got bunked a lot and didnt really have any progress with our progressing Investigators but hopefully that changes this week. 

I went to my first cricket match on Saturday, it was all right, I mainly just enjoyed it because I was outside in the sun for a couple hours. back home I would spend so much time out side, watching soccer, coaching soccer, playing soccer, reffing soccer or even just hiking and what what. so it was nice to just be outside enjoying the rays. but I enjoyed them a little to much. I got fried like a kfc chicken. what made it worse is that we had baptisms the next day and I was sooo red haha 

So the drought in Kimberley has ended its been I think close to six months here without a baptism, and still a drought for my area but the other guys had 3 baptisms. their names where Elizebeth, Tlabiseing and Tokelo. The first two are around 19 years old and the last is 8 years old. even though Tokelo isn't in my area I had the amazing opportunity to give her a blessing about two months ago and while doing so I just felt such a strong spirit and it has been one if not the most amazing experience of my mission thus far, I have had the chance to teach her once and then to baptize her. Her testimony at 8 years old was so amazing and ah I just loved the whole thing. so that was the highlight of my week or rather of my mission haha. 

We ate some noodles with a kind of white runny sauce from the Mulotos, um... and then sis tlabisange (the tl makes a weird sound) and I cant remember what we ate haha it was prob chicken and rice what what. what what is something they say a lot this side.

the weather is getting hot hot like in the 80s I think, its the start of spring

Flying on a broom

Other than that not much went on but it was still a great week, we did some service which was pretty intense. 

I love you all and pray you are doing well.

Elder North

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week of September 14th from Africa

Me and elder Razafindrakoto (raza-feind-ra-ku-two)
Date:  September 14, 2015
Area:  Kimberly, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Jena
Week 12

Well I wrote on Friday so Ill try and think of some things to share haha.

So In pretty much all of South Africa there is something called load shedding. This is when the electric company turns of different areas electricity for about two hours to save electricity. It sucks. We came home from church and were super hungry, a bunch of 18-21 year old guys, but there was no power and we didnt have anything besides stuff that needs to be cooked, like chicken and what not. so we tried calling every member we had a number for seeing if they would like to feed us... No luck but not surprising haha. Eventually the power did come on and we started to cook seeing how we have now gone without food since 630 am and its now 2 oclock we were understandably starving and on the brink of death... just as we started getting all the food cooking the power went out again and we were left with half cooked meat and rice... bumber... we had to wait another hour for electricity haha. it was a little funny though.

I met a really old guy this week, we were doing some contacting in our area and
knock his gate, He let us in and talked for a bit. He is legally blind and lives on his own. We didnt teach him anything because he said he was a strong baptist, plus he wouldnt come to church anyways, it is really hard to teach old people, especially at his age when they can no longer move like they used to. He had some amazing tapestry's on the wall that I was amazed with, I have never seen a tapestry before, it is a picture made out of knitting cloth pretty much. I thought they were paintings when I first saw them but when I took a closer look I was blown away, and even more so when he told us he was the one that made them. He was such a sweet old man and I plan on visiting him weekly. I think that is a much part of missionary work as baptizing people. Just taking an hour out of my week to visit this man who only has his daughter come visit him who knows how often and then a lady that comes to clean. He has a lot of story's to tell and likes to talk your ear off, so of course we got a long just dandy.
My curtains in my boarding
Something Elder Jena likes to bring up while we are teaching someone with a christian background is that "we call ourselves christian dont we? and that means we follow Christ and try to do as He did." If we call ourselves Christians than we should strive to be all that entitles, helping those in need, being an example and loving one another.

A thought I had this week was about being loved, or better yet, not being loved. Feeling like an outsider, someone who dosnt fit in. We have all felt like this before and we have all beaten ourselves up over it, made ourselves feel worthless and unwanted. we tend to feel like no one wants to be around us and everyone else has their groups that we dont fit into. We see others having fun, fitting in, making friends, and being "loved". Yet we feel unloved... We feel as if no one understands. What about Christ? Christ was an outcast, the very son of God was rejected. He didnt fit in either. Was it because he wasnt good enough? was it because he did something wrong? In fact it was quite the opposite. He was good enough, and he was doing good. We may be judged and feel left out because of the morally correct choices we make in our lives. We may stand out as we dont partake of the worldly things that people have to offer. we may be out casts by our friends and family but upholding to the standards and truths we strive to live.We may not fit in just because life is tuff and not everything goes our way, we might not feel apart of the group just because of who we are. So was Christ, He was cast out, left out, hurt, and beaten. Its not because you arnt good enough. Dont any of you ever feel like you arnt good enough. I can
My desk gets a little messy sometimes.
promise that you are, and that you are loved, and if not by anyone here, Christ loves you. Is that not enough? Even Christs friend peter betrayed Him. Yet He carried on, He pushed through the hard times and now has a fullness of joy! Even when his friends rejected him and cast him out. I am sure he felt pretty sad about that and like he didnt fit in there. I am sure that has happend to some if not all of you, a friend all of the sudden leaving you out to dry. Push through the hard times in your life, get rid of the feelings of self doubt. Know that you are not alone and that you will never be alone. If no one else you have Christ, He knows what it feels like to not be accepted far better than you do yourself. He knows what it feels like to be made fun of, to be laughed at and hurt by those you care and love. He knows it all, He has felt it all. So pick you head up, look up and see the brightness of the day, see the good around you and feel the love that the Savior has to offer you. If you dont feel accepted, its not because you arnt good enough. Everyone goes through trials, some more than others. "the Lord gives his hardest trials to his strongest soldiers because He knows they can handle it." Put your shoulder to the wheel push a long. I love you all and pray that you dont feel discouraged or down on yourself. I can testify that things do get better as we put our trust and Faith to the Lord. All will work out in the end.

The chapel but most areas have to go to a internet cafe and pay for it so I am lucky this side.

so you go on exchanges with your zone leaders, so you stay with your companion and one of the zone leaders, you spend the day as a threesome.

and then you have Exchanges with your District leader, he has to go out with everyone in the district so there are only two others in my district so while he is with one of them I am put with the other.

today is the start of week 5 so transfers are on the 27th, two weeks from today.

we didnt this week but we were in bloem from two days, we usually get fed on mondays by the muluto family, shes is an amazing cook. We say she is the second  best mom in the world, behind our own of course. Sis dah, a RM feeds us like every other week usually but its been a while but she is feeding us tomorrow so chaching! and then sundays are like a 50/50 chance that we get fed lunch. so usally we can get like 1-2 meals from members and 3 on a really really good week. Perks of serving in Utah you get fed every meal every day practically. The people on the coast get fed more often than this side.

Um the biggest difference is payer, they just say "my Father", "Lord","God" or something along those lines at the end of every sentence, and its not everyone just like half the people do that. The church is still true this side :)

Stay blessed my Friends and Fam
Love with all my heart
Elder North

Friday, September 11, 2015

Bonus E-mail

Searching for people to teach in South Africa
Date:  September 11, 2015
Area:  Kimberly, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Jena

Well I have learned a lot in the past two weeks :)

Something that I really liked and would like to share with you all is that it is a blessing to be loved. Some people go through life without a family, friends or anyone to tell them they are loved. It is sad to think that they believe no one loves them. God loves you! What an amazing blessing it is to know that simple truth that God is our loving Heavenly Father who loves you as an individual! Never think that no one doesn't get you, that no one is there for you, and especially that no one loves you. Those thoughts are not true and simply are not good for you physically, emotionally and spiritually! He loves you! He loves me! and how blessed are we to know that! 

A quote I enjoyed was "if you cant stand it, kneel it." We all go through things that just seem unbearable, if you cant stand the trials you are going through, kneel down and pray for the strength.  Something my companion Elder Jena likes to say is "Don't pray for a trial or struggle to go away but rather pray for the strength to go through it. It is from those challenges that we learn and grow." If we pray for them to go away then we will never learn.
We got Dominos pizza!!!
It was a big group of us but they left and we put the boxes together.
It was so good I almost cried.

So this week has been quite rough with getting to our appointments. Its seems that people just don't want to let us in their house or something. We had a day that was especially difficult as every single appointment we had set didn't happen. People just weren't home or didn't actually want us to come and teach them. It honestly sucks when all day you get bunked from your appointments. We ended up doing about 5 hours of tracting which really isn't that fun for the most part. Tacting means going knocking doors and contacting people in the street. We did that all day.... I thought to myself what would Jesus do in our situation. If he was to go somewhere to visit someone and they weren't there, would He say oh well lets go home or would He say, well who else is around here that I could teach. The day at the end wasn't so bad as we found new people to teach and worked hard all day, its satisfying to know you worked hard the whole day. It really makes you feel like a missionary.

Me and Nelson Mandela
Something that we do, or we try to do, every night is talk about the tender mercies of the day. Every day no matter where you are or what you are doing there are tender mercies. The Lord helps you every day in many small ways, too often we do not recognize them. I have found as I look for those small things I begin to realize the Lords hand in every effort of the day and you can see this in your own life as well. Too often we do not give thanks for the help we have received in the day. Think if you were to give your child help, guidance, protection, and much much more every day of their life and they didnt thank you for it how would you feel. Maybe he says thank you for one thing out of the many things you do every single day.

If you ever get the chance to meet a Nigerian you will have a great time, they love religion. Yes Its a stereotype but its a true one, we met a Nigerian man the other day and he immediately let us into his home to discuss more about the restoration of the gospel.

I ate chicken liver for the first time, and a lot of it. It was good, but the texture wasnt so nice haha so not my favorite thing, it was about on the same level as goat head.

I got to stay in a hotel this week as we went to zone confrence in bloem. It was cool to just hangout with a bunch of missionaries from other districts.

I got letters from McKay, Haiy, Callie, Gogo marry, mah, and amber! thank you all so much, much needed support and strength comes in letters, I love them so much.

I asked him a few questions and these were his replies

Well the biggest surprise for me of my mission was how much I love the scriptures now. I have never been one to like reading of any kind and that goes for my scripture study, I wasn't ever consistent at reading everyday and in turn I guess the blessings and comfort from scriptures were never consistent. I realized that I have been so blind to such an amazing thing my whole life, its been right in front of me but yet I refused to accept it. I have come to see
My zone
how amazing this gospel really is and I learn more and more each day on how it can better my life still! So it shocked me when I began to actually enjoy reading my scriptures, when I actually started to want to read and learn more and when the blessings started coming they came with force and power. This gospel is true and will bless your life if you let it. We have our agency and sometimes we don't use it well, I exhort you all to accept the blessings from heaven, accept the strength, courage, comfort, peace, and love that comes from studying your scriptures, and living to the truths of the gospel the best you can.

A lesson this week that I really enjoyed was when I was teaching a young girl named Tokelo, she is only 8 years old and getting ready for baptism. She was scared and crying because she felt like she wasn't able to be baptized because she felt as if she hasn't been a good girl. Like she wasnt good enough for baptism. She was crying because she felt like she wasn't a good daughter. I opened up my planer to a nice  blank page and showed it to her. I explained how this white page was like us. We all make mistakes in our life and do things that we shouldn't, we call those things sin. When we sin its like taking a pen and putting a line on the page. I then scribbled a line, I told her we then make another, and another, and another. Soon the page was filled with scribbles and marks and was no longer this perfect and pure white peace of paper. I then told her that I have made many mistakes, your mom has as well and when we do we look at ourselves and say eish, look at me I am all marked up, I am not good enough, I am dirty and yucky. This is why we have baptism. God loves us and knows that we do bad things so when we are baptized it is like turning a new page. I talked a little bit more on how baptism cleanse us from sin and then I turned the page. when we come out of the water we have turned a new page in our lives and are clean again, before baptism we aren't clean and that's why we need it. I then went on to say but then we don't something wrong again and put another mark on the brand new paper, but when we take the sacrament we turn the page again and start out fresh. 
Some of the shanty's people live in.
Man are we so very blessed!

I taught Tokelo on exchanges so she isn't in my area, I got a call from her yesterday and she told me that she wanted me to be the one to baptize her. I was super happy as the day wasnt going so well that just made it so good! I had the chance to give Tokelo a blessing about a month ago and when I did I just felt as if I was giving a fathers blessing to my own child and the feeling was unexplained and joyful. The gospel is amazing, it can confound the wise but is simple enough even a child can understand.

I get along with all of my boarding roomates very well, Razafindrakotos English isn't that good but he is so funny, Katimbo is always nice and patient and super humble, and Jena and I get a long very well.

Did you take any other shirts for Pday's other than your Riverton jersey?  I have two other shirts, a Nike blue one and a red cotton one. I do wish I had a couple more because I don't want to wash my jersey so much that the patch begins to fade more than it is already.

A creature comfort? I don't know what that means. (food or clothes/material items) oh haha um... food, anything mama cooks. I do miss all my clothing, I only have white shirts and then 3 other shirts to go between.

Keep on keepin on
Elder North
Yes these are wild animals!  I live in Africa!!!!
It is a place called Navel Hill.

A better picture of my zone.

Look Mah I can cook!

My new tie and below are dresses at the shop I got
my new tie at.

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

Monday, September 7, 2015

Short and Sweet

Elder North in a tree.
So I actually don't have much time at all to write today because we have to head down to Bloemfontein again this week and will be there for two days. It's about a two hour drive so we have to leave soon so if I don't reply to anyone this week I am sorry but I will be emailing again Friday

This week has been awesome though, I learned a lot of things and a lot of patience with myself, investigators, and others.

So I'll write about my adventures and trials on Friday, so for today ill just share a short testimony. :)

flat soccer balls, we play with those a lot.
I know that God lives, I know that His son, our Elder Brother Jesus came to earth and was resurrected and lives as well. I know for sure that they love us dearly. I can testify to you that they understand you, and long for your happiness. I can promise you with a sincere and willing heart that they will lead and guide you through every decision and choice you make in this life. I am so blessed to know that truth of the restored gospel. Priesthood power, the power and authority to act in Gods name, is real and has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I love my family and find peace and comfort in the knowledge that through the bonds of that priesthood we are sealed together forever not just here on earth but in heaven for all of time and eternity. I know that any question and trial can be answered through the gospel of Jesus Christ, It may not happen now, or even soon but in Gods time and in His way it is bound. I love this gospel, I love my family and the support they and my friends have given me to come out and serve mission. I know that the Lord has so many blessings in store for each and every single one of us. As we are honest, faithful, and obedient the gates of Heaven will be opened and the blessings will fall upon us as rain from the sky. I have come to notice it isn't during the trials or even the good times that we realize the hand of God in our lives, but it is after a time of reflection, when we look back. We then notice that he indeed never left us but was with us through it all. I know that God will uplift you and strengthen you. You will never come to a hill you can'
Some food - looks healthy huh - don't let coach Tran see!

t climb, nothing is impossible with God on our side! Trust in him, Believe in Him and love Him the very best you can and I know that if we strive to do our part, He will pick up the rest and carry us home. 

Its my testimony, Small but firm, and ever growing that He knows and loves you and me. He will never leave you, and He will strengthen and comfort you. 

I love you all and am thankful for your prayers. 

"Love the Lord and serve Him the very best you can!" this is why I am here, this is my purpose, and this is what I will try my best to do every single day for the rest of my life.

Love from the other side of the world
Elder North