Monday, November 21, 2016

This was a wonderful week full of blessings.

African headdress
Date:  November 21, 2016
Area:  Richards Bay, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Thorsen

We met a family about a week ago and have started teaching them, this week we had a very touching moment as we sat with a women named Ntombi Futhi. She had just recently been involved in a big traffic accident where many lives where lost and she lost part of the mobility of her hand. She shared with us the pain and trouble she went through and her feeling of being lost and without purpose. We came to the lesson ready to teach her about the restoration and then very quickly found that the message she needed was the plan of salvation. We then decided to proceed with lesson two. As we began we again were shown that it was not the time yet. We sat and listened, and listened some more, then testified of the love of Christ. We followed that pattern the remainder of our meeting. We were able to feel the spirit guide us in how we should bring what she was saying to what God wanted her to know. She was able to start seeing the big picture of Gods plan for her. We sang a song with her and were able to give her a blessing. The spirit was strong and we all felt it. We left that appointment simply buzzing. the feeling didn't go away for the rest of the night. It's moments like that, that make me love being a missionary more than anything else. These really are the best two years!
Elder's Harper, Reed, Thorsen, Batemen, and MEEEE
 We don't get fancy food like this often and never get Mexican food as there are no mexicans in South Africa but we were celebrating a birthday and so we went out.

After leaving Ntombi Futhi's home we didn't have anymore appointments and we were trying to think what to do. It was dark and late so we couldn't go to a random peoples houses, we just started driving when we got a call from the Vezi family. She asked if we could come over and give her daughter a blessing. She was having some serious pains that have gotten worse and worse over the past few weeks. The doctors can't seem to find a cause. We of course were honored at the opportunity to give a priesthood blessing.
This is Brother Chiliza

We were able to meet with Londeka again this week. Londeka or Londi for short is a young girl I have been meeting with for a while now. She has been off and on when it comes to being serious about our discussions. We went to go see her this week and her whole family was present. Her father is a reverend at another church and we have had short occasions to pass some vesres by but this was great chance to teach a discussion with him and his family. I really hope he will read and pray sincerely about the book of Mormon so that he gets a testimony, he has a bakkie and would be able to bring a lot of people to church. It was a pretty good, and bold lesson that we taught about the true church, and the authority of God being present today in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

We are trying to ingrain our purpose of inviting ALL to come unto Christ by looking for opportunities to speak everywhere, do service for everyone and to get out of our comfort bubble. Even when we are in a hurry, we can stop and share a brief lesson with those by standards or passing by.  It's amazing how you really can just talk to everyone. It's a great feeling to do so as well.

Beautiful scenery around Richards Bay.

We are currently in the process of starting a relationship with a youth center in the Mzingazi Township. This youth center hosts a lot of kids and is a non profit organization all headed and managed by one incredible woman. We will hopefully begin teaching the youth their next week and helping them gain a perspective of the value of a morally clean and centered life. Elder Thorsen and I were able to go to the center this week to do some service for a little bit. We helped make and clean a garden, and we will be going back to finish the job. After that we shared a story with about 40 little kids around the ages of 3 or 5, they dont speak english but it was still fun.

I am thankful for my new companion Elder Thorsen, he has been awesome. This week we were able to work out our teaching some more as we learn more about each other and build in unity. He has always been a missionary who I respect and admire a lot and now I am thankful that I get to learn from him. He loves the scriptures and loves to really have meaningful study, boy do I need that! We have had some amazing companionship studies together where we have learned so much and felt the spirit teach us. We are also trying to learn the first lesson in Zulu so that we can teach more people, plus it would be pretty rad. He is such a loving and charitable companion and I look forward to our time together.

Some super fantastic bunny chow!

We are heading down to Durban tonight to go to MLC tomorrow. We are stoked to be able to go for some extra training. Heaven knows I need all the help I can get. It is always good to be around the mission president, he is so energetic and loves to work hard and always seems to boost my spirit when I am around him.

We have also started running in the mornings, most of my mission I havn't exercised... like at all... I am so out of shape it is not even funny.... it just hurts.... and now I am always sore..... getting in shape sucks...... eish.....
haha  We run to the beach and run down the peir every morning and then on our way to our boarding we have to run up this hill that loves to kill me every time so that sucks but at the same time its good. I just dont know how I feel about working out anymore. we are trying to find a place where we can play squash, almost like racquetball, but havn't had any luck yet :(

I found a beanie in the church, don't I look fly!

We got to celebrate Thanksgiving this week which is awesome. Last year I didnt even know it was Thanksgiving until I got home that night and saw other missionaries eating chicken because it was the closest thing they could get to turky. We went over to the Colton family, american family but they live in SA working for Rio Tinto. They were celebrating thanksgiving becasue they would be out of town the next week. That was a tender mercy for sure! cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie! oh my days and nights! It was fantastic.

Friday was a super rough day, we got fed three times... I wanted to die.... Usually we don't get fed but I dont know what happened this week all of the sudden people wanted us to get fat. On Friday we went to a less active members house and she gave us food. it was nice, then we went to a braai with the missionaries in Nseleni with one of their new investigators (Elder Bateman, and Reed) and we stuffed ourselves with some fantastic meat, borewores, mutton steak. not to mention the sweet corn, potato salad, and curry beans! We were stuffed. then we headed to our last appointment of the night with a member who heaped a mound of pasta and chicken our our plates. All of these were back to back and in that last appointment Elder Thorsen and I exchanged glances of impending doom and pain as we chowed. I didn't feel like eating for the rest of my life. This was on Friday and I still don't have an apatite to eat any food as of today Monday.

One other awesome thing we have been doing a lot this week is singing. We sing in most of our lessons now which is awesome. Singing hymns is an awesome way to invite the spirit in a very strong way. Although we may not be the best singers it's still a wonderful experience every time. The cool thing is that most of the Zulu people know the song Come Come Ye Saints because a popular radio station Ukhozi fm had a dj who would play the Motab choir singing come come ye saints all the time. This was years ago and the presenter who did this has since died, the station still from midnight till like 3 they play it on Sunday. The church actually brought the crew to utah and gave them a tour We have an official video we use sometimes here in contacting but its not online. but this gives you an idea. 

I love you all so bad!!!!
Elder North

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

New comp

Date:  November 14, 2016
Area:  Richards Bay, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Thorsen

So I got my new companion!  Elder Thorsen is my new comp!!!  Now those of you who read my e-mails or look at my pictures should recognize that name. He was in the same district as me in Toti, we were in the same district in Lesotho, and we were in the same zone last transfer and now he is my comp.  He is about 14 months out on mission so he is one group behind me. He is from Arlington Texas and loves golf and badmitten. He studdied for a year at BYU-I before he came on mission. Power dude, I have looked up to this guy my whole mission, he has always been a fantastic missionary and has always set a great example to me so I am excited to get to work and learn by his side for the next while.

Richards Bay is going well, last week I was in a threesome with Elder Reed, and Waeni. It was interesting but good. We spent a lot of time in their area and then the transfer ended on Thursday so we said goodbyes and started the process of recieving the new elders in the zone.

I currently stay in a boarding with four americans, I dont think I have been in a boarding like that before. The other elders are, Elder Reed from Utah, and Elder Bateman from North Dakota.  It's werid..... I learned this week from Elder Reed and a few others that I don't have an American accent, now I purposefully change the way I speak to be better understood. I pronounce all of my T's and talk slower, but I guess even when I try to speak in my normal American accent it still dosnt sound quite right. We will see if that is the case after living with four Americans and having an American companion 24/7.

I am still learing Zulu, my companion Elder Thorsen also wants to learn the language well, so our goal is to be able to teach the whole first lesson in Zulu by the end of the transfer.... wish us luck. It would be way cool if we could though!

Some awesome experiences this week, we had a few investigators come to church, but we had never met them. a family brought another family to church nad this was now two weeks in a row, like what!!! ya crazy!!!!  That never happens so that made us super excited. Also one of our investigators named Ntokazi when we saw her on the street walking by told us that she needed another book of mormon because she gave hers to a friend, we gave her two more and were smiling ear to ear because we hadnt been able to see her in about a week and a half and she is still powerful!

Oh ya I also forgot to say that I got a tick bite last week. That was terrible. I got tick bite fever. Tick bite fever has the same symptoms of maleria and it sucks. Luckily I caught it early, inflamed lymphnoids, so the doctor was able to give me some medication and we were able to stop it from getting any worse. I just experienced some headaches, tiredness, achee knees and was sore but thats all. Luckily I was able to keep working.

Well anyways I am super excited for this new transfer and know that it is going to be great! Elder Thorsen is such a great guy!

sorry for the short email but eish... time is of the essnese now of days. Love you all!!!
Elder North

Monday, November 7, 2016


Date:  November 7, 2016
Area:  Richards Bay, South Africa
Companion:  Varried

Oh boy oh boy this week was grand!

So as many of you know my companion finished his mission and went home but the six week transfer cycle is still not over so I worked with a mini missionary. His name is Thobane Chiliza he is a return missionary from Enseleni, and he served in Zambia. It was so awesome to work with him and it helped a lot that he spoke Zulu. I am still trying to learn as much Zulu as I can, I get better each week but still have a long way to go. Ngifuna ukukhuluma isizulu, kodwa ngiyazi ngikhaluma kancane. Ngiyafunda. 

So this week we made a lot of progress in the area by walking around greeting people with members. We were able to find a potential family that I am really excited about. our teaching pool is growing a lot and we are becoming very very busy.

This week was so good, as you know I had brother Chiliza as my companion. We worked hard and saw so much growth in just one week!

Well to start off and answer on how I will be exercising faith in the Lord is by starting "notract November" we are going to go the whole month without tracting, instead we will be networking and finding everyone we teach through members, less actives and other investigators. So far its been working so well. Our teaching pool is building rapidly and also we are finding more males by finding this way. It is hard to come up with creative ideas that will be more productive and effective than tracting but I think its already blessed the area a lot and got members more in the spirit of missionary work.

We are also going to try doing area blitzing, where we set up a booth in one area and the zone all comes to that area for a few hours that day and we contact as many people in a heavy foot traffic area. We believe this will allow us to get a whole lot of contacts from more than one area, especially so we can teach people who live in town. I believe that this will bring energy to the zone and also make a great impact for the area. More people will see us and know who we are. Instead of knocking on doors that we have no clue whats behind them we can spend the rest of the time we would be tracting following up on potential investigators.

We have walked a lot more this week. we park our car in a centralized area and just walk so we cant contact on our way to appointments and be seen. We also have had a member walk with us through the township and introduce us to everyone she knows, all we did was greet the people and get to know their names and numbers and let the member tell them we are missionaries from church and thats about all. We would then be on our way. Now when we go back to those houses they already kind of know us and we have found great success in coming back to their homes. We have also founds this to be one of our most effective ways in finding families to teach.

Brother Chiliza got a job and so I will no longer be working with him, instead I will be in a threesome with the missionaries in Enseleni which is Elder Waeni and Elder Reed. It's going to be hard not being in my area as much but I am excited to see how their area is progressing and see what we can do to make it even better.

Elder North

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

New companion

Date:  October 31, 2016

Area:  Richards Bay, South Africa
Companion:  ???

So my companion came to the end of his mission and has now left me.... eish.....

It was an awesome four weeks with Elder Mupumha I learned a lot from him. He is a powerful missionary, we did our best to "die" strong, not easy as I am sure many of you know what its like.

He has a strong testimony and will truly help the work continue in Zimbabwe. Now that he is gone I will most likely get a mini missionary, but we don't have any young men preparing to go on mission in any of the surrounding branches so we will be looking for a return missionary who is available to come and be my companion for the next two weeks. Well we will see what happens, we might have someone who can come work with me he is in his thirties and from Enseleni.

The Family we found a while ago sadly didn't go as we hoped and we have moved on but you know what they say. one door shut, another open. Sometimes we are just planting the seeds to be reaped later.

We were able to meet with Portia, the women who had concerns about a friend who recently passed, because of time we unable to share a lot with her but gave an overview of the plan of salvation, she brought a friend who was visiting from Umlazi who seemed pretty interested as well. I hope things will work out. we are planing a day to see her again soon.

Currently I will be working with Elder Waeni from Zim and Elder Reed from Utah. They were both companions in Lesotho when I first went that side. 

An excerpt from my letter to president

It was an interesting week having it be Elder Mupumhas last week, we tried our best to keep working hard and we did some tracting in town which is of course known to be the hard area and missionaries usually avoid it. I just cant help but think there are people there as well. Mupumha told me he had never worked town and didnt think we would find anyone willing to listen or even kind enough to say hi. We knocked and buzzed quite a bit and got the typical response of passive aggressive notions not interested in our delightful message. On the other hand we found about three people who were very kind hearted and one who became a new investigator. It was a great experience for both of us to see that there really is work to be done all over the place, no matter what the area is I know the Lord will prepare people. 

I had the great opportunity to call each member in my zone and do sort of a get to know you, how are you, how do you feel about mission, what can we increase. I got some amazing feedback from the zone and wow, I was blown away by the extreme and dedicated effort they are producing. I am really pushing for the same exciting buzz we had in Lesotho here in the bay. I think our excitement for the work goes a lot further than we see. I think things will really pick up the next two weeks as we all pull together and increase in encouraging each other to aim even higher and be even better.

Well that is about it for this week.  Love you all,
Elder North