Thursday, January 28, 2016

dedeli igazi

This has been a great week! lots of awesome experiences from investigators to less actives to fully active members!

To start of the week we had DDM (destrict develpment meeting) we drove down to margate which is about an hour away (How far? about an hour) (Inside joke for the fam) when we arived at the chapel we were called to action! the whole chapel flooded! a pipe in the cycling burst causing about 2-3 inches of water in the entire building. Needless to say we were unable to attend our meeting, we instead spent the next 3 hours bailing out the chapel and sorting all the ruined books from the still okay ones. It was quite the mess indeed. The best part about the trip to margate though was fish and chips. there is an amazing fish and chips place that is to die for, any time we go to margate we make sure we stop for the best fish in SA.... well as far as I am concerned. 

This week we also had a ward soccer game! Its a pretty big deal actually, we have uniforms and everything. I played keeper because frankly there was no one else I trusted and I was glad to not run as much in the blazing heat and humidity. sadly we lost 3-0 which I guess is what you get when I am put in goal haha. it was a fun game, got pretty heated at moments. But I guess its a lot like church ball in aggression and bad referee sense.

So onto things of a little more serious nature I guess

an interesting statement said in church this week was "by keeping the commandments we are becoming heros" we really are, they arnt easy and we are overcoming such temptation when we obey Gods commands. its no easy feat by any means.

Its been an interesting feeling throughout this week when I have reflected to see how I have been doing, am I working hard enough? Am I doing what the Lord expects of me? I must admit I have felt pretty lax this past week in the sense of feeling like I wasnt working hard enough. I brought it up with elder adams mentioning my concern that I dont know what else I could change to work harder. We then went through the week to see what we have accomplished. We came to realize that we have been working very hard and I think why I dont feel like it is because I was used to tracting all day and getting nothing out of it but a sweaty shirt and stinky feat. We realized that every single time we have gone tracting we have found people to teach and it ends up taking all of our time. I felt like we wernt working hard enough because I wasnt knocking 100 doors a day but it was such a great realization to see that I have been working very hard and it is paying off. So I guess thats what I would like to report on a bit is how your promise is definitely coming to pass and we are finding people and there are so many people who are being prepared and have been prepared and we just need to talk to them, put our selves out there and let the Lord guide our paths. So all in all its been a good week and I feel very satisfied with the work put in and I do feel we did work hard and well. Of course there is always room for improvement
dont get me wrong, we have been working hard and the Lord is definitely in this work!.

Our car is now in the shop which is going to constrain our ability to meet with as broad a people but I know we will find a way to utilize this opportunity to be walking around more to street contact throughout the day. 

I have had a couple of powerful tender mercies this week from less actives opening up to us and telling us there concerns and struggles and how we are trying to help them overcome them, to powerful strong members giving us encouragement and lifting us up even higher. I have felt the Lord work through me this week. I was asked a question about some doctrine that I had never been taught. I have never even thought about the question myself but I began to answer, not necessarily knowing what I was saying but knowing that it was true. I could feel the spirit confirming every word which proceeded out of my mouth and I pray that they could fee that same confirmation. It was a testament to me of the power of the Holy Ghost and how he will guide us and direct us on what to say in the very hour as long as we have prepared our selves. Being a missionary has thus far been the greatest experience of my life.

I ran into Elder Ikube who is currently going through the post mission training thing. He working at the car dealer ship that we dropped our car off to get fixed. He goes home in a week and is now preparing for that and no longer proselyting like we are. Now he didnt say this but to me I saw the look in his eyes, it looked as if he was looking in envy and hope, with passion, love, faith and devotion, and in a sense it seemed like he looked up to us. Now I dont know if this was just me being crazy but it seemed so to me. It was just a witness of how we as missionaries are changed, we are representatives of the Lord and people can see that, people can feel it. I have had members tell Elder Adams and I that when we begin teaching a lesson, our countenance changes and we become something else, no longer young boys, but into real men and servants of the Lord. Now of course you would like people to distinguish you always and not just as you teach, hopeful I can get there someday.

a week full of tender mercies for sure and blessings from the Lord. I am so blessed be able to hold the Priesthood and wear the name of Christ boldly across my chest

I love you all dearly and I am thankful for the wonderful opurtunity I have to serve my Lord for two years. Every day in a new day full of sunshine and laughter, we just need to let it out!.

oh I almsot forgot. Dedeli igazi means let the blood flow, meaning relax. its is Elder Adams and My favorite saying in isiZulu

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A great week in deed!

Date:  January 18, 2016
Area:  Amanzimtoti, South AFrica
Companion:  Elder Adams
Week 30

It was interesting last night as we were reviewing the week and realized that we actually did a lot! (wahoo) The weeks just keep coming and they don't slow down at all. It is true what they say, the days are long, the weeks are fast, and now this transfer is coming close to an end which is sad because I may be leaving Elder Adams when it is over.  That's not for a little while so I wont depress myself quite yet by thinking of such.

Church was pretty great, Cebo, the boy I baptized 6 or so weeks ago gave a talk in sacrament meeting about the light of Christ, He crushed it. You could tell he was so nervous. We helped him prepare a lot and he had it go for like 7 min but when he actually did it during sacrament meeting he lasted just under 3 min haha. Still pretty great for his first time. 

We were promised by our mission president that if we worked hard and had the desire that we would be able to find a new family to teach every week. He wasn't kidding. ever since then (two weeks ago) we have found a fam to teach. Sadly none are really progressing but good things come to those who wait (so I am told)

The area is still great, I still just love the view all around and seeing all the green vegetation and beautiful ocean! It is such a pretty place here and I would love to come visit as a tourist on holiday when I can just relax and soak up all the  beauty. They said that they had 2 million foreigners during the holidays here in Durban! crazy!!! You can see why I say life was tough during that time as a missionary haha.

So the ward I am in is really into soccer, we get to play a lot. Every Friday to be exact. We have that as our weekly practice and now they are starting up the season where we will have games more often. We play against other wards and we are probably the second best soccer team in the stake. (We still arn't that good)  I was just now assigned to be in charge of running practice and doing drills and what not, so I guess it looks like I am the new appointed coach which is a little weird. I have been playing full back and its been pretty okay but our goalie was not up to par so I will now replace him in hopes of not being scored on every shot. Its really fun being able to play soccer frequently. Perks of serving outside of the states I guess. The only problem playing here is the humidity. You are super sweaty by the time you have taken a short jog. It can be rough in the heat. We are playing against another ward on Saturday so I am supposed to come up with a game plan and practice to make us win.... we will see haha...

I love working with Elder Adams, swell guy indeed, really enjoying his company as my companion. We are looking forward to this week to get real down and dirty knocking on gates till our knuckles bleed and we can't hear anymore due to being yelled at by all the angry Afrikaners. Now that is a stereotype which isnt 100 percent true but it mostly is. the Afrikaans people just don't want anything to do with gospel in general compared to the Zulu people. But we have decided that we have to work in the town and get more members there. 

For Pday this week we got to go to Croc World and it was great.

A shirt at croc world

Real comforting sign.

Now I have had croc meet!  It was expensive
but I had to try it.  It was yummy.l

Elder Adams and Kaito

FAM - yeah buddy

Mommy I found your license plate


old drill

Old fridge still works

We had to get a new windshield

staring contest...I won of course.

This is an eagle that was at croc world, its not a bald eagle but close enough. the best part was his name is Isis..... He was pretty big and had these huge talons and was pretty freaking awesome

I love hope, Hope is a bit different then a lot of people think. It isn't just the want for something good to come your way but it in fact is the assurance that good will come your way! It is quite interesting. according to wikipedia "definitions include: "expect with confidence" " it is something that we optimistically look forward to with confidence in the good will of God sure that He will uplift, support, encourage, and give good things to us. The world now a days has put a connotation of hope being a wishful type of thought and not really believing that it will happen
From a talk that President Uchtdorf gave he said:

"We hope in Jesus the Christ, in the goodness of God, in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, in the knowledge that prayers are heard and answered. Because God has been faithful and kept His promises in the past, we can hope with confidence that God will keep His promises to us in the present and in the future. In times of distress, we can hold tightly to the hope that things will “work together for [our] good” (D&C 90:24) as we follow the counsel of God’s prophets. This type of hope in God, His goodness, and His power refreshes us with courage during difficult challenges and gives strength to those who feel threatened by enclosing walls of fear, doubt, and despair." (Conference Address, October 2008)

I hope and pray that you all are doing well and as we trust in God and put for our faith (which is action) we will come out of this test with a great big pass.

I love you all deeply and am thankful for your prayers and support

I got mail this week from ma, Grandma marry, Callie Carter, and Haiy.
I hope I don't slack and writing letters as I have thus far.

Elder North

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

So lets see, what happened this week?

Date:  January 11, 2015
Area:  Amanzimtoti, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Adams
Week 29

Just a few things. We had our ZTM (Zone training meeting) and also interviews with our mission president followed by a specialized training for our zone. 

We did learn a lot in these meetings and found out that we have some things that we need to do to become more consecrated and dedicated servants of the Lord. He does have a marvelous work and a wonder for us to bring forth at this moment in time to the people here in Amanzimtoti,  but just like with any marvelous thing in the world, just like with anything that you love dearly and appreciate and reflect on with great passion and love. It began with the nitty gritty hard work. and that's what us as missionaries just gotta do. Its gonna take work. We are here to show these people what a fantastic joy, peace, and hope that can and does come from hearing what we call the good news of the perfect plan of happiness!!!! I do in deed love be a missionary, it's by no means an easy task but its a worth while one. I think I can honestly say I have never put so much effort into any work in my entire life. It takes all you can give and a little bit extra, but when you serve with all your heart the reward is so great. Getting investigators to come to church is a real struggle and usually we don't have any but this past week we had two! Ya that's right! Two new people came to church! I literally jumped in the air did a lil heal click and squeeled. There isn't many greater feelings than when you see that person take their first steps toward eternal joy.

Our mission is the only mission in the world that hasn't been told who our new mission president is... lame

Our new investigators were Vanilla and James, so Vanilla is going into 8th grade, she is Xhosa from Eastern Cape, her mother dosn't seem to interested which is a bit sad but we met her through her friend Thandeka who we are currently teaching. Unfortunately Thandeka couldn't make it to church. We met Vanilla for the first time on Saturday because she just happened to be there when we taught Thandeka and she decided she would stay. she listened in on the lesson and when we invited her to come to church she said she would be there. Well I dont want to say I didn't believe her.... well I didn't haha. I mean its a 13 year old girl saying she is going to come to church, that dosnt really ever happen. I hope she enjoyed and we are looking forward to teaching her some more! :)

Next was James, he is from Malawi and works here in SA as a cook at a bed and breakfast. He is a really kind guy and his english isnt too good. we knocked on his door and gave him a book of mormon and asked him to come to church, he said yes as they all do and we were on our marry way again hoping he would come but knowing that it pretty much never happens. HE CAME what! This was just crazy so needless to say church was fantastic this Sunday!

Thats a jist of this week, I am confident in miracles to come! There are tender mercies of the Lord all around us every single day, all we have to do is open our eyes and see them.

I got this in a email from Elder Keaton Jones and thought it was pretty cool, its kind of long but if you enjoy a good read then I recommend it.

 Embrace this day with an enthusiastic welcome, no matter how it looks. The covenant with God to which you are true enables you to become enlightened by him, and nothing is impossible for you.
• When you are physically sick, tired, or in despair, steer your thoughts away from yourself and direct them, in gratitude and love, toward God. 
• In your life there have to be challenges. They will either bring you closer to God and therefore make you stronger, or they can destroy you. But you make the decision of which road you take. 
• First and foremost, you are a spirit child of God. If you neglect to feed your spirit, you will reap unhappiness. Don’t permit anything to detract you from this awareness. 
• You cannot communicate with God unless you have first sacrificed your self-oriented natural man and have brought yourself into the lower levels of meekness, to become acceptable for the Light of Christ. 
• Put all frustrations, hurt feelings, and grumblings into the perspective of your eternal hope. Light will flow into your soul. 
• Pause to ponder the suffering Christ felt in the Garden of Gethsemane. In the awareness of the depth of gratitude for him, you appreciate every opportunity to show your love for him by diligently serving in his Church. 
• God knows that you are not perfect. As you suffer about your imperfections, he will give you comfort and suggestions of where to improve. 
• God knows better than you what you need. He always attempts to speak to you. Listen, and follow the uncomfortable suggestions that he makes to us—everything will fall into its place. 
• Avoid any fear like your worst enemy, but magnify your fear about the consequences of sin. 
• When you cannot love someone, look into that person’s eyes long enough to find the hidden rudiments of the child of God in him. 
• Never judge anyone. When you accept this, you will be freed. In the case of your own children or subordinates, where you have the responsibility to judge, help them to become their own judges.  
• If someone hurts you so much that your feelings seem to choke you, forgive and you will be free again. 
• Avoid at all cost any pessimistic, negative, or criticizing thoughts. If you cannot cut them out, they will do you harm. On the road toward salvation, let questions arise but never doubts. If something is wrong, God will give you clarity but never doubts. 
• Avoid rush and haste and uncontrolled words. Divine light develops in places of peace and quiet. Be aware of that as you enter places of worship. 
• Be not so much concerned about what you do, but do what you do with all your heart, might, and strength. In thoroughness is satisfaction. 
• You want to be good and to do good. That is commendable. But the greatest achievement that can be reached in our lives is to be under the complete influence of the Holy Ghost. Then he will teach us what is really good and necessary to do.
• The pain of sacrifice lasts only one moment. It is the fear of the pain of sacrifice that makes you hesitate to do it. 
• Be grateful for every opportunity to serve. It helps you more than those you serve. 
• And finally, when you are compelled to give up something or when things that are dear to you are withdrawn from you, know that this is your lesson to be learned right now. But know also that, as you are learning this lesson, God wants to give you something better

My love goes to you all, in your ups and downs, I pray for you
Elder North

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Happy New Year

January 4, 2016
Area:  Amanzimtoti, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Adams
Week 28

Well this week was an interesting one with the holidays still going and new years. some thing I heard about the new year that I liked was this. During the new year we hear a lot of people saying things like new year, new me. well we have something better. we have this gospel and through the gospel we learn about the atonement which enables us to repent and change and become better, we do this partly by taking the sacrament ,which resembles Christ, every week. At this time, the beginning of the week after taking the sacrament we get to say, New week, new me! 

I was talking to an old lady about religion the other day when we got on the topic of relating religion to something you pick up. some people pick theirs up and put it down sometimes, some find it again and carry it once more while others never come back to it. To end our conversation she said something much more profound than my silly analogies. Her words were true, Christians don't carry their religion, their religion carries them. This made me think and again this took me back to the atonement and how it lifts and carries us through the  grace of Christ. Religion shouldn't be something we pick up and put down, it should be the thing that picks us up when we are down! 
Some huskie puppies

Something else that has repetitively come into my mind was the sentence, be an example of the believers. I'll just let you take or leave it and think about what it means to you.

I got a message from a friend today who said this. I will also share a quote from Henry B Eyring "If you are on the right path, it will always be uphill. The Lord is anxious to lead us to the safety of higher ground." I know all things that happen to us are for our eternal benefit, because the Lord loves all His children infinitely, and asks us to endure with patience, hope and faith in Jesus Christ, where with Him we can endure anything. I know the atonement stretches past any transgression or sin, His love is unchanging and unfailing, and though we may not always feel we are moving uphill in our mortal journey we can trust that if we are obedient, that He has prepared a  perfect way.
Wonderful reunion for our Christmas Party

They went all out for our Christmas party

So my reply was that's an awesome quote thank you so much! It just makes me think of the fault in our starts when it says I am on a roller coaster that only goes up haha. Its true though, we may feel as if our ride is going down hill but (romans8) everything will work for good to them who love God. If we just keep pushing forward we will find that the hill we thought we were rolling down actually was a mountain we climbed. I dont know if that makes sense at all but just that we think things are all going to hell and then when we look back we see the growth and strength that we gained through those experiences and realize that God never left us but pushed us further, strengthen us more so we can accomplish great things to come.
If you give a monkey a dum dum he will eat it.

I love you all so much, sorry I dont have many fun and interesting stories, I need to be better at that. maybe it can be a new years resolution or something haha. 

Elder North
Every transfer we get a new planner and I make covers for them.

Christmas candy that turns our tongue colors.

A leaf bug in our boarding.

Yummy end to Christmas

A lot of people use machetes to cut their lawns.
We did it for a while and took some pictures.

My friends

Opening gifts at 1am

Just reviewing the material we are going
 to teach before going inside.

street soccer

when you run out of tp