Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What an interesting week

Date:  July 18, 2016
Area:  Mseru, Lesotho but currently in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Companion:  Elder Lenard

As you know I am not in my area due to my companions eye surgery. No we have not just been doing nothing we actually did quite a bit of work this week. We did a lot of door to door knocking and trying to find less active members here in Bloemfontein specifically the Rocklands area. It was amazing, it felt so good to get back out on the streets and do missionary work again. 

As I wrote to President Thompson:

We spent a good part of this week tracting, which was fantastic. I never thought I would enjoy tracting as much as I did this week. Just getting into full groove of missionary work again has been great!  I guess it brought back memories of when I started my mission and how excited I was for everything. Thus the saying you never know what you have till its gone. This past couple of weeks of more of downtime has made me appreciate being a missionary so much more. It has completely reminded me of how much I truly love being a missionary in every aspect of the word! I hope that I can keep this remembrance of excitement and joy for the work for the rest of my mission. 

We found an amazing investigator this week. She is a young women who knows the bishop of Thaba Nchu. She already likes the church and its standards and seems very omitted in learning more about our message. we taught the restoration to her and she had good questions about it which shows her genuine interest. It is sad that I will be going back to Lesotho this week and will be unable to continue teaching this family. I hope the other missionaries have success as they bring them unto Christ. It is funny how in such a short time you can really grow to love people. I think it all comes through the service and sacrifice. I think those are the two best ways to love someone. and of course the spirit helps you to see those you teach with spiritual eyes and see there potential and the love the Lord has for them as well. Being a missionary is great for so many reasons and that is a huge one. being able to love people and see who they really are is such a blessing and a half!

It will be nice being back in Lesotho and knowing the area and people. I hope we can use the rest of the transfer to really do some great things in the area.

nothing super exciting or interesting went on this week except for teaching some people and tracting but it was in all a good week I think.

Sadly the computers here are still making it impossible to send pictures but oh well I guess next week you will get a lot :) Its kinda weird taking pictures  because we pull out an actual camera we tried to have this women take a picture for us and she didnt even know how to use the camera and she is only 35 probably. Its funny. we are so used to cameras built into our phones, and we rarely see people with actual cameras besides the big professional ones.

I love you all so much and thank you for your love and support throughout my mission

Elder North

Monday, July 18, 2016

Short on words

Date:  July 18, 2016
Area:  Mseru, Lesotho but currently in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Companion:  Elder Lenard

This week was quite different. Because of Elder Leonards surgery to get his second cornea transplant so we have been in Bloemfontein the whole week and will be until at least the 26th. Last week he wasn't able to do any missionary work so we were home a lot......

I love being in Bloemfontein because Elder Roberts is here and he is the smartest guy gospel wise that I have ever met in my life. He always teaches us the coolest things about the gospel and any questions that we have he answers them.  

I can't upload any pictures because the computers here are super bogus! sorry :(  

I guess though because I dont have much to say this week its a perfect oppurtunity to bear my testimony again.

I really do love this gospel. I love when you are sitting at your desk with the scriptures and you just get into it and get going and it becomes so real and you can't put it down. The hour goes by and your companion is now waiting on you so you can study together but you don't want to stop the flow. The scriptures bring real life solutions to real life problems and the greatest peace you can feel. Isn't that something we are all always looking for? peace? In work, in family, in everything? We want joy and peace. Well the answer is really quite simple. it's not necessarily easy but it is simple, we read, we pray and we go to church dang it! We all have the capability to feel with power, the love of God, and to feel close to him. We all have a purpose and the right to know it. The answers all lie within the good book. Pick it up, dust it off and just open it and watch as your life completely changes. 

I love being able to share this message with all those willing to listen! I love you all keep on keepin on, and it only gets better.
Elder North

Sunday, July 17, 2016

cops and surgery

Elder Lenard and Elder North
Date:  July 11, 2016
Area:  Mseru, Lesotho
Companion:  Elder Lenard

So funny story I forgot about two weeks ago now. I was driving down town and went to park in a parking spot, now this is Lesotho and I have never seen worse driving in my life. (He has not driven or even been out of the country much) Partly do to the fact that people buy their licenses from the black market because it can take over year to go through proper channels. So I crossed a solid line (which happens all the time) to get a parking spot. I didn't notice the cops that were there this day and they came up to me and talked a while as they read me my rights and said I was under arrest. Now in Lesotho they don't give tickets they just arrest you.... so we talked a bit more trying to see if there was anything we could do. He later told me I should buy some drinks for him and his colleagues. I of course said I couldn't and he said no as friends... he wanted a bribe of some sort... we continued to talk and then teach about the gospel and he then said that we could go. So I almost go arrested, that was fun. haha 

Now more cop stories. We had to take Elder Leonard to the border so he could go to Bloem with some senior couples the get his surgery. As we went to our car after parking in town what I thought was legal we went back to our car to find a nice big clamp on it. eish... I picked up an new motto it goes "would it help" so when I come to my car and see a clamp and want to be angry I think "would it help" if not then why get angry I am only hurting myself so I just laughed as we waited for some other missionaries to take us to the border. we then get their and drive through the parking lot and let Elder Leonard walk across. We then realize that to go back we have to pass the immigration desk... we don't have our passports. We were quite worried that they would not less us back into the country even though we didn't technically leave. luckily we got back over the border then headed to the police office to get the clamp sorted. Now one of the high ranking officers is our district councilor at church so he got the clamp of for free which was very nice. He helps a lot when we get arrested for dumb things. Anyways that's Lesotho and the police haha  (I love that he is getting all these experiences.  When we went down to Mexico city for my sisters wedding we ran into a similar situation with getting pulled over by the cops for a seemly unknown minor infraction.)

Elder Leonards cornea transplant went great! we go for a check up tomorrow. So needless to say we didn't do much this week because he was on bed rest recovery and needs eye drops every two hours, but it went good. We have been enjoying each others company and bum bum bum dah we are staying together another transfer. (In response to me saying to him last week I would be surprised if they changed him if his companion is having surgery.  hahaha)  The weird thing is we are scheduled to be staying in Bloem for 4 weeks. We will see if we end up being that side for that long but we will see. I am excited. I think its good because a change of companions after the surgery would have been hard. So today we leave for Bloem and plan to be their for about a month, we aren't sure why but oh well.

I love the scriptures! a lot a lot..... You can read them or you can READ them! See the difference. when we think about what the time was like, why people said what, why they were where they were. Things like that we start to understand and learn so so much!!! I love you and pray you have a great week

Elder North

Monday, July 4, 2016

New Mission President

Date:  July 4, 2016
Area:  Mseru, Lesotho
Companion:  Elder Lenard

Interesting week. the week started off just as any other, teaching preaching and knocking on doors. Come Thursday we went to the mountains to continue to help Sis Lineo (Di-nay-O).  We spent most the day up there just digging holes, now in the snow this time. 

We went to go teach Bolelang a little bit latter and boy was that an interesting lesson. We got there and started to follow up on the lesson when me and my companion just started laughing.... we couldn't stop. It was an inside joke from earlier and it just erupted in an unprecedented fashion. We would stop for a few honorable second but inevitably erupt into laughs and tears. All the while Bolelang sat, waiting, confused and probably concerned, not just for us but probably for her safety as I am sure.  We seemed to have completely lost our minds. Eventually we were able to start the lesson though. We are currently undergoing addiction recovery with her and that is a first for me so we are really praying for the guidance on how to help her kick her habit. We asked about her Book of Mormon reading and she told us she finished first Nephi but restarted it so she could go through it with the student study manual we gave her so she could understand everything. She is power and always has great questions. She hasn't missed a day of church since I met her over two months ago!!!!

We are beginning the last week of our transfer which just blows me away. I don't know how the time is going so fast. Days are longs and weeks are short, that is so true! Elder Leonard has been a hoot, but think I may be getting transferred this time. I don't know how I feel about it but I think I am ready for a new area and a good kick start for the year. 

Elder Leonard will be going in for surgery to get a new cornea in his eye this week. when he comes back he will be on bed rest for about one to two weeks. so that's going to be tough on us both. I will be rotating with the other missionaries every day so that I can still do missionary work and not sit on my rump for a week and a half. but it will still be weird not really working in my area.  

So the big news was President Thompson this week. He is here!!! I was quite anxious to meet him but also thought it would be super awkward when we did.  However, it actually felt quite normal. I really like him. He loves the outdoors. He likes to laugh and smile and I just think I will get a long really well with him. I feel like we have a lot of the same interests. He also brought his 18 year old daughter who will be here for maybe a month or a few. So the mission was quite the  buzz and about seeing her haha I guess that's what happens when you don't have sister missionaries in your mission. I also found out that sister Thompson, our new and amazing mission mom, has been reading my letters... eish..... and so she may read this as well..... I hope she like it..... maybe not the part about mentioning how excited the mission was to meet her daughter haha. They are from Boston but have lived in Alpine Utah for the past little while. I am very excited to see the new things that President implements into the mission. I think we are going to focus a lot more on the Book of Mormon which is great!

The person I asked to take a picture failed.  :)

I ate myself sick while we were in Bloem. it was worth it... but not really the next day if you know what I mean haha. We went to a buffet for dinner which was pretty good but I think that's what killed all of our stomachs the next day. We had McDonalds for lunch and then the next day a buffet at the hotel, then unlimited pizza for lunch and yes McD's for dinner again.... Needless to say I am out of money and probably chubby now but hey when you live Lesotho and you don't have any of these things you get excited.... :)

We had a braai Brother Thebes house.

Of course we ate with our hands right out of the bowl
It's African Style

 It took us over two hours to get home back through the boarder.
Just us being cute.
So I have related mission to a big hill before, and I think it is quite true. You spend your first year going up, it is hard, you slip but you keep going up and working hard. You get to the top and look and see the beauty of it all. You have done so much worked so hard. but now you got the second half, down hill. Now I see two approaches. One, you go down and hit the brakes. You slow down, and coast. You see this a lot as missionaries are getting ready to go home. Or you run. you go down the hill faster than you came up. You do as much as you can and you don't stop, don't slow down, and you "finish strong"as we say. I  hope I continue to run rather than slow down as I go through my second year of mission. I am so excited that I get to spend another entire year serving my Lord and God. 

Out teaching in Lesotho

I know that the work I am doing is good, I know it is true! I know that our savior Jesus Christ died, rose, and continues to lead us today through a living prophet named Thomas Monson. I know that the work of God is lead by His power and watchful eye. I know that my Father in Heaven loves me. I know that the book of Mormon is the most true book you can find here on earth today! I love it, I know it!

Elder North


Date:  June 27, 2016
Area:  Mseru, Lesotho
Good advice!
Companion:  Elder Lenard

Wait wait wait. no the subject says what!?!?

this cant be right. I just came on mission and the calendar is telling me I have been here for one year. It is crazy and cliche but time flies ay?

Well one year. what have I learned? the list is too big to begin. I have learned so much about myself, about life, others, trials, fears, joy, sadness, addiction, recovery, prayer, answers, blessings and more!!!

I have been blessed beyond measure this past year. Although I seem to make many mistakes, get frustrated or angry at times the Lord seems to bless me still. When I feel inadequate He lifts me up and pushes me forward.

This year has been hard for sure, but worth it! Oh it has been so worth it. Worth the initial home sickness, the leaving of friends and family, the not knowing what I am doing here, the want to go home, the I want to punch my companion, the I want to give up, the this is hard, the is it worth it, the can I do it, the countless prayers for help, the feeling of lacking, the everything that mission throws at you. YES  it is all worth it! and at the end of the day I LOVE IT!

Eish, it is cold here in South Africa.

I love the people, the land, the language, the buildings, the dirt roads, the pot holes, the struggle, the joy, the peace, the love, the hope, the comfort, the lessons, the blessings, the growth, the spirit, the brotherhood, the desire, the smiles, long days, the falling asleep during your prayers, the waking up the next day on your knees, and just everything mission really does give you! Do it! Love it!
cooking outside

Its kinda weird to think I am a year and considered "old on mission" and my babe just went home today. sad day.
So to celebrate no I did not burn a shirt even though a lot of them have holes and rips that have been stitched. instead I took my companion out and we had a nice dinner of steak and ribs! it was awesome. I haven't had steak in exactly one year. (we took him out to eat for his last meal and he chose Longhorn Steakhouse)

I have come to love this gospel. I have come to love the scriptures and recently love the Bible, its soooo good haha. I love my savior, brother, and friend Christ. He is my hope, my salvation, my safety. I love my Father in Heaven. His love fills my heart! I am so grateful I get the chance to testify every single day about Their divine love for us. About our purpose here on earth, where we came from, what we are to do. and testify of the blessings of a modern day prophet who leads and guides us. I know it, I know it, I know it. That's just it. It's so perfect and beautiful and simple. It brings the sweetest and best feeling I have ever felt in my life. 100x times better than your first kiss 100x better than perfecting a back flip 100x better than scoring the championship goal to win the game! Nothing compares to the love I feel when I am doing what my Father in Heaven wants, when I am testifying that He lives! When I feel the comfort and truth when reading and praying over my scriptures.
Took my companion for dinner for my "birthday" (one year mark)

PS dad, I used my card from home for this meal.

Have a blessed week! I love you!

Elder North