Thursday, February 25, 2016


cool railroad
Date:  February 22, 2016
Area:  Amazimtoti, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Rakotomalala
Week 35

This was a pretty power week, it went by way to fast though, I feel like Monday was two days ago but here I am again.

We had zone conference this week which is always awesome, to make it even better we finally got to watch the world wide broadcast to all the missionaries, this happend like a month ago but because it would have been aired while we were sleeping we watched it later. It was awesome and I learned a lot of things from it. Its so funny how much I enjoy things like church, conference and talks compared to when I was home and struggled to get through them looking at the clock wishing the time to go. But now! I love it, maybe its because its talking about my life pretty much, they talk about gospel things and as missionaries we eat and sleep the gospel, heck I dream about teaching investigators, or investigators being bogus and want not haha.

cool wall
Teaching is not talking, it is listening and observing. this is what David A Bednar stated in a teaching discussion he had. I really liked this because he talked about how we need to be present in the lessons, when our companion is teaching we need to be teaching as well by paying attention and discerning the investigators needs. there was so much taught that I would love to share but I realize that it would be quite boring for me to practically teach a missionary conference to you.

washing by hand because our machine broke.
I got really frustrated this week, or it was last week, I can't remember, the weeks go fast and blend together. One of our investigators who was supposed to be baptized this coming Sunday bunked us for his interview and we have yet been able to meet up with him to figure out whats going on, he is sincere I know that. and I know he is ready to be baptized but he isn't 100 percent in the head and forgets things often so I don't think he is purposefully dodging us and he comes to church and tells us how badly he wants to be baptized, I want him to be baptized before I leave because I have worked with him since the first week I was in Toti and I have seen him grow so much and I want to be able to see him actually go into the waters and make that first step towards the savior.

We had the most crazy lighting storm this week, it woke me up and 12 oclock and it lasted a straight our of constant lightning, like I felt as if I was in a night club full of strobe lights, plus the thunder was making our house shake so it really was like our own little rave, but scarier haha. 
A bird that we found in our house - still alive.

Well thats a recap of my week, ups and downs, more up then down so that good!

Got mail from Grandma Marry, and Hailey :) :) :) :) :) :) :) (if you cant tell that makes me happy)

Love you all
Elder North

My Zone - Umlazi

Monday, February 15, 2016

Another great week!!!!

Happy Valentine's Day
Date:  February 15, 2016
Area:  Amazimtoti, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Rakotomalala
Week 34

I learned that malala means "I am sleepy" which fits Elder malala quite nicely so it was kinda funny.

So there were a few tender mercies this week which is always just fantastic. We were in town tracting which means we were ringing buzzers. You don't knock because there is a gate so you can't get to the door so instead you just ring the buzzer and hope they answer. If they do answer they tell you to go away. So we finished an hour of rejection and headed back to our car. We were almost back when a guy stopped us and asked if we could speak. He is a pastor of another church and he recognized us from the area. It just went to show that we need to be out, even if we are thinking we are unproductive and getting no where. People see us and people recognize us. So I am looking forward to our meeting with him.

Every night I wake up with at least 5 more bug bites and it has been pretty annoying. I ended up spraying bug spray all over my bed to go to sleep haha. 
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
My fav soccer player!
 Okay so I said I would talk about the Cebekulu family, Well I hope I spelled their name right because I honestly have no idea haha. They are one of our favorite families ever! We get to see them once a week and share a short message or join them for FHE and they always feed us. When they feed, they feed. What I mean by that is by the time you leave the house you have gained 2kg (thats about 2.5lbs)  its crazy, its like they want to kill us..... with food! It's a love hate relationship for sure. The best part is they are a strong family and when you go there you just feel at home. You can have fun, laugh and enjoy and also get real serious when you need to talk about the gospel. It is an appointment we look forward to every week. They are a Zulu family and we always have a good time visiting. The family consist of Ma and Baba, then Hle, who has a child 8 years old named Buhle which means beautiful and then Pindi who is 29 but looks 19 and Toola who is 22.

I hope you all have a fantastic week!
What can I say it is Valentine's day!

A Mormon message which made me think of and miss Zaner.

Elder North

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Update from South Africa

Thirsty after some soccer
Date:  February 8, 2016
Area:  Amanzimtoti, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Rakotomalala
Week 33

Elder Rakotomalala. yes I know its long, you can say malala for short, plus its fun to say. malala. malala. malala.... sorry 

Any how it has been a power week for sure! so my new companion again is from Madagascar and he is such a power dude! His english is so so, he can understand just about everything you say but not real deep conversations and speaking can be challenging for him. I have been so impressed with his desire to keep learning and not just English but to continue his learning and growth in the gospel and all aspects of his life. He really wants to learn all he can and its so great to see and I hope  I can pick up on the trait as well.

Although his English can be spotty and hard to understand, when he testifies, he testifies. By that I mean he is powerful. You can feel it so strong as it floods the room of uber goober goodness! He is way funny and we laugh a lot together, I think he could very easily become my favorite companion on my mission! I enjoy every minute thus far with him and its only been one week! He is humble and loves to laugh, I love to laugh so it is a good combination.
Elder North and Elder Rakotomalala

He always says, we work hard, then we enjoy! I love it because its been my thought on mission. there is a balance to everything and we need to work and give it all we got out here but at the end of the day we need to be able look back and have enjoyed the day, enjoyed the work, and enjoyed the people. No one will make your mission fun for you, you have to do it yourself. And so far we have worked hard, and we are definitely enjoying!

So funny but terrible story of the week. We went to a members house for food the other day but we were in a hurry so we got it to go, but she insisted that we stay for some cake. now I dont eat cake if you dont know. It usually makes me sick. still I tried to eat it and be polite but after one bite and thinking hmmm. and a second bite and thinking NOOOO I had to tell her I dont eat cake and apologize. the cake had fermented..... poor elder Adamas was left to eat it all with no excuse to give it up. It was so so so terrible and the taste lingered in my mouth long after I had eatin it. to make it worse, its the second time in a row she has given us expired food.... hahaha nice lady though another crazy story is when I almost died! Again Elder Adams and I were driving down the road when a huge garbage truck swerved into the middle of our lane coming right at us. Its a one lane road both ways so we had no where to go, luckily they were able to serve out of the way just in time and we squeezed right past... scary.... and to prove our manliness we didnt even sequel, of course not. we are men and screaming like men do....

An interesting thought I had this week was a correlation of two scriptures. 2 nephi 2:25 which reads "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy" and Alma 34:32 which states "For behold, this is the time for men to prepare to meet God;yea, the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors" the correlation I saw between the to is that we are here to prepare, and to have joy. but these to things are interdependent, the way I see it. If you want to have joy, you prepare to meet God which means you are living the gospel of Jesus Christ. by living the gospel you find true and everlasting joy. if we really want to have joy then its simple, live and love the gospel and I can promise you that your life will be filled with measurable joy. I have felt it, I have seen it, and so can you!

So I guess I should speak a little bit a bout members. ie (Sister Tish read my blog and was highly disappointed in me for not mentioning her... ;) ) So there are two families here that I would like to talk about. First would be Brother Johan and Tish's family. Their family consist of two girls and two boys. Steph, the oldest who is preparing to go on mission and will be a fantastic missionary, Jen who is 15 I believe and going through the struggles of High school (our condolences) then the two boys, Andrew who is I think 13 or 14 and Michael who is 13 or 12. Michael is a hoot, he always comes up to me on Sunday and tells me a new terrible joke which inevitable makes me laugh and starts the Sunday of with a cheerful mood. Andrew and Micheal enjoy their mincraft so I think they would fit in with my family quite well seeing as how my younger brother lives and breaths mincraft. Now Sister Tish... boy oh boy where do I begin!  and then there is Brother Johan. He is a way cool guy and father. He does this wink when he shakes your hand which is just the best thing ever haha I guess you would have to see it to understand. He loves soccer and coaches the church's soccer team so we have plenty to talk about plus he supports Man U!

The second family is the Cebekulu fam. I'll talk about them next week so this email wont be as long.

And now for Sister Tish, (you always save the best for last) She is the mom of this wonderful family which has been taking care of us missionaries. she is so so funny! we constantly throw jokes back and forth and just laugh and have a good time, and we also have times where we can #realTalk and get serious about the gospel and feel the spirit. She is an awesome lady and has really made this area a place I am glad to be in. I wish I could explain how cool she is and how much fun we have visiting and teaching her family.

Any who, I love you all and pray for you. I love hearing from you all!  to end I'll say a spiritual thought...

Life is a journey not a destination. sometimes we get so caught up in the future and the end goal, we lose sight of where we are and what we should be doing. sometimes we become overwhelmed by the various possibilities of multiple destinations. but you will never know till you get there. we need to just enjoy this journey that we have been given and ride it to the end. I would say more about the quote, I have much more on my mind about it, but I would like to leave more up to your own interpretation.

Love you all!
Elder North

Monday, February 1, 2016

Letter home

Our ward soccer team!  I usually play defense but these pictures
are from the second game and I played goalie.
Date:  February 1, 2016
Area:  Amanzimtoti, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Adams
Week 32

So this week is transfer week and we got the call on Saturday telling us that  the news is..............

Elder Adams is going and I am staying, not necessarily what I expected but not necessarily bad news, I love some of the families here in Toti and I am blessed to stay with them for at least another six weeks which will have in store many memories of that I am sure!

So Elder Adams is moving to Umlazi, it is about ten minutes away so I will still see him often and probably on Mondays a lot. Umlazi is a very dangerous area and the missionaries get robbed quite frequent so he is pretty scared being the scrawny guy he is.

It's sad to see Elder Adams leaving because he has been such a great companion to me, it made me take a step back and remember how it felt leaving home and all of my friends which wasn't all in all good but you know, you can't help but think about home every now and then haha. I have really learned a lot from him and maybe one day I can be close to the kind of man he is. I have learned that you can be bold and straight forward as long as you have love, with love you can never be over bearing. I have learned how important it is to rely on the spirit in a lesson, yes you can have good lessons by just teaching what you know to be true, but when the spirit is the one teaching, you then have a great lesson. He is a dedicated and hard working missionary who is always looking for ways to improve himself and do more. I sure am going to miss him and wish him all the best in his new area with his new companion.

I will be getting Elder Rakotomalala who is of course from Madagascar! I am stoked, he is only 4 and a half months on mission and this is his second area. His English from what I hear from people isn't that great, but when he teaches, it is profound and powerful. I have met him just a few times when I was in Bloemfontein. He seemed like a very humble guy full of smiles. I am super excited to get to know him and laugh and learn and grow. Its going to be an awesome six weeks with this guy, I just gotta feeling! :)
McDonald's delivers here (USA 0 South Africa 1)
So an awesome thing happened last week! Illovu became a branch and got a segment in Mormon news room so I'll attach the link.

I know Sister Lembede very well and have been able to visit her in the past and got to be around illovu a couple times. It's right next to Toti, and the two missionaries you see in that picture are sitting right next to me right now! It is cool to be apart of this work that is actually making real changes! POWER!

Quiniso came to church! I dont know how much I have talked about Quiniso (pallet click for the Q) but he is a power dude, He has some issues and has had a very rough background and family life. He came to church again for the first time in like three weeks and it was super exciting, we have been meeting with him twice a week for a while and he has progressed a ton and really wants to change and be a good kid. He is 19 years old I believe and just awesome and funny! I hope he will be getting baptized in 3 weeks! I would verry much enjoy that. oh yes yes yes :)
Elder Adams being cute.

Elder Adams and I had the opportunity to come up with the new ward mission plan. We focused on unity, and temples as our plan. we believe that if we have the ward unified and a feeling of unity in the ward, when we bring investigators to church they will feel it, see it, and love and want to be apart of it. but its not an easy task and starts from the small and simple things that we all can do to improve our wards. also we made it a goal for everyone to hold a temple recommend even if they are unable to go to the temple because of financial circumstances. there is a lot more we talked about but those were some of the major points that I really loved and think that everyone can and should do :) we have no control on the actions of others, its their agency, their choice, a God given gift to make up our own minds. we can not impose on that, all we can do is change ourselves and be and example and invite others to follow the example set by our Savior.

As they say the church is true, the book is blue! 

Being a missionary is exhausting, fun, rewarding, sad, funny, hard, enjoyable, painful, stressful for sure, but all worth it and I love it!

Elder North