Monday, January 16, 2017

It was a good week, quite a lot of stuff happened actually.

Date:  January 16, 2016
Area:  Bloemfontein, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Fransen

Eish I forgot my camera so now pictures this week.... sorry. I have also been really bad at taking pictures so Ill try to start taking some more this week.

Where do we start. 

Monday -
So Monday's in this area have been nice because we play soccer. We go to the university which has super nice fields and play with the missionaries, we play 4v4.  It's really fun. Then we sometimes go out to eat together and then email which of course is nice to hear from everyone. Next we go out and teach. Today we have some appointments at 5,6, and 7.  So, we met with Thapelo. He is an adamant Roman Catholic. The Catholic belief is that the authority of God never was lost. As to our belief that authority and power was lost at the death of the apostles and Christ. The only way to really know is to pray and ask God. So we gave him the book of Mormon and just invited him to pray saying the only way to know what is really true is to ask of God if these things that we share are indeed true. We will be seeing him tonight so I hope he read, if he did then its easy. No one can read and sincerely pray about the book of Mormon without feeling something in their heart telling them that its true. So I am excited for that. We also teach his roommates but I can't remember their names because they are Xhosa names with lots of clicks. I am starting up my Zulu study again because a lot of people here speak Xhosa so they can understand Zulu. my Sotho is still shaky though.

Another grand day came to pass as we started our morning work out. I am always sore and its bitter sweet. We got bunked at our first appointment which was fantastic because it gave us the opportunity to go out and find other people to teach. The thing is if you are just motivated as a missionary then knocking on doors all day really isn't as terrible as it seems. If you are just melancholy when it comes to the thought then you will just want to die....
The bad thing is that I am trying to drink a lot of water which is kinda of turning into a bad thing, I think I was blessed with my moms small bladder so I have to go pee like 8 times a day. We are walking down the street in the middle of town and then it hits me hard like oh I really really need to pee now. We just start walking down the street passing every house looking for a hiding spot where I can well ya.... sadly this isn't a township. While serving in townships everywhere and anywhere can be your toilet. (you don't want to know how many kids I have seen pop a squat in parking lots) but nope this is town and they have rules. I thought I was going to die!  Luckily we were able to solve the problem with a nice group of trees we found. haha We did a lot of street contacting. I love street contacting because we just teach lessons for Africa! We teach everyone and its awesome!

The Roberts, they have been mentioned here and there throughout my mission but pretty much Elder Roberts is a scripture guru, he has memorized the entire Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants and the whole Bible. If you ask him any question or scripture he will tell you where the answer is. So he goes home in three weeks so we had a good bye night with the whole zone where we got to sit for a few hours and ask him lot of questions. It was dope.

So we had zone conference which is always a blast and we focused on our purpose.  We then went to see Ntati Tladi, His wife is a member who was introduced to the gospel about a year and a half ago by Elder Adams. At the time Ntati had no interest in listening to the missionaries. Now he has committed to come to church whenever he is home and to be baptized. He works in the military which can be a struggle because of his hectic schedule.
We then saw Sindi, she unfortunately was not able to come to church this week do to financial strains but we are working that out with some members who will be able to give her a ride. We taught about the Book of Mormon and wow, boy oh boy was it powerful, the spirit was strong through the entire lesson. We are excited to follow up with her tomorrow and how her prayers have gone and we will set her on a baptism date. the email is getting to long aye? 

We taught some more lessons on Saturday and it was pretty normal and then we had church on Sunday.

Over all I think it was a pretty good week.

I got mail from the ward, a sweet package! Thank you!!!
Also got a south Africa flag tie from mom.  YUP those were Christmas gifts...Ugh mail takes so long!

Love you all!
Elder North

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Date:  January 9, 2017
Area:  Bloomfontein, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Fransen

So sorry for the short email last week. let me make up for it :D

So Elder Fransen, my new companion. Awesome dude from cali! (mom, what city are our relatives in california from?)  He was a wrestler in high school so we are starting to work out hard in the morning! getting "yoked" or "swoll" as they call it haha. he also did a lot of welding which is pretty cool so he would make his own knives and belt buckles and what not. pretty impressive.

He has been on mission just over a year now. We are really getting a long and the work is starting up now.

Bloemfontein is a town area, and towns are known for being a bit rough and tough on missionary work. Because of the holiday season a lot of our investigators are out of town so we have a lot of open time.... like all day.... so we go tracking, try to set up booths and get denied and all. the frustrating part about town is when you knock on someones gate you will see them peak out the window and then hide and not answer the door.... silly people don't they know that their families can be together forever through the message we share.... I guess they don't otherwise I don't know why they wouldn't answer.

Coke refrigerated, eggs are not.
That is a lot of coke!!!!
So the work has been a bit slow and disheartening. but luckily these past two days we were actually able to find some awesome people. things are starting to look upwards and momentum is coming. We met this guy name Thapelo and his two buds. they are going to the university and they had quite a few questions about why there are so many interpretations of the bible and all that jazz, we were happy to invite them to learn more of the restoration of the gospel that answers that question perfectly and how God has provided a way for us to know exactly what he wants us to know. to get rid of all confusion. its through the Book of Mormon.

NO one can know if the Book of Mormon is TRUE unless they READ, and PRAY about it! the best part is if they actually do that, they find out it is true and life becomes so much brighter!!!!

The Roberts - sadly they go home next month.
We also found this young women named Sindi, she is studying Psychology and is super cool. Her parents are pastors of her church but in recent times she has had lots of questions about the bible and things not making sense so she has stopped reading it. we told her its normal to not understand everything. I mean I teach the gospel 7 days a week and still learn more each day. the gospel is like a puzzle. you start with the corners. if I give you a middle peace and you haven't built the sides then you wont know where it goes. the peace none the less still has a purpose and place in the big picture but it needs to wait. we need a foundation. it is the same with the gospel and principles in it. for example if I don't have faith then why pray. there would be no point in prayer if I didnt have a belief that God hears me and answers my prayers, that He loves me, and Knows me. So we see we have to build from the foundation and hold on to those pieces we don't quite understand yet and continue to build our knowledge until we find out where it fits.

Elder Henly and I

The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is awesome because it puts forth the doctrine of salvation so clearly and helps us really understand the teachings that get so mixed and confused in the bible. I love the Bible, I love the Book of Mormon and know them to be the word of God. I know the best way to find peace in your life is to read the Book of Mormon and pray. search it for answers. It is full of them.... you'll be surprised! :)

My good friend Kayla asked me this week what has been my favorite thing on mission... what a good question, I couldn't really give an answer because I just love so many things and there are to many to chose just one but  I did try my best with this reply.

I have loved being able to just meet so many wonderful people on my mission to see all the different backgrounds people come from and how the teachings and love of Jesus Christ fit perfectly into each of their lives. I have loved being able to learn more about my Savior and also about myself and I have done my best to serve with all I got. As a missionary people seem to naturally trust you and that is one of my favorite things is people trusting me enough to tell me whats really going on and coming for help. I love seeing how in all these different struggles, weather it be money, family, relationship, personal, or other all these struggles seem to find answers through Christ and it amazes me. It is something I didn't know before or even understand. Its still crazy to me how it happens. I have loved meeting new and incredible people everyday. learning different cultures and coming to love them. it'll be hard to leave them. I don't know its hard to say just one thing. I have loved my mission and look forward to the last months I have.
Me and Elder Benissen

its been tough though. some days really suck. you just go out and try to find people to teach and no one wants to even look at you. it can get discouraging but one thing I have learned is hard work. I have really learned to work on my mission. to not get discouraged. and to press forward knowing all will work out. I have learned so much about life and how great it is. 

It doesn't come close to describing the love and joy of missionary service but maybe it gives you a hint of some things I love about being a missionary.

This was a great week. It has been a bit of a tough start. A lot of our investigators are out of town due to the holiday season and because of the recent baptisms we are really trying to build a teaching pool. We haven't been successful in the past as we have been doing all we could think of to find until these past two days. it seems like people are now just showing up, and real people with potential. Its actually really exciting. I was starting to worry about this area and that it would be too hard to get things going but now things really are starting to happen and it gave us the much needed moral boost to start of this week. We both look forward to working hard this week and getting all the little things in. Ie studies right on time, out to the area early and finding meaningful activity for every hour of the day. I look forward to great memories, and love to be had here in Bloemfontein. I am feeling more and more a sense of urgency as I feel I have lots of time to make a change not only in myself but in the area and others but at the same time I don't have anytime to waste, I really have to use it all and be effective in the way we do use our time.
New investigator Lethabo
She gave me a braid!

Also gotta give a shout out to Hailey for getting a call to go on a camp with the U23 US Womens national team.... isnt she just incredible!!!! WOW!!!! :)
Hailey this week at the
U23 Women's National Team
training camp!
I love you all so dearly and I am grateful to be here in South Africa. It is home. God bless you all with the best new years ever!!!!

Elder North.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

So I am a bit behind and this is two e-mails in one (well sorta, they are both short) We got to speak to him for Christmas via Skype so we got to see him too and that was wonderful.  He has an accent you can't quite place because of speaking several different languages but he looks good, and happy. Down to six months until we have our whole family together again after 6 years of at least having one missionary out.  So excited!

Date:  December 26, 2016
Area:  Richards Bay, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Thornsen

well lets see.... what happened this week.

We went to see Sphe who is our most promising investigator. He was unable to come to church this week but hopefully he will come next week. We are teaching him about living and keeping the commandments and he is ready to follow them! He is a power dude and likes to rap.

We found a few new investigators while trying to find less actives in mzingazi. We found this girl thando and guy Chris, they both used to live with a member so they have seen missionaries but have never been taught by them, we spent a good hour talking and getting to know them better and then they started asking all sorts of questions that all lead to the restoration of the church. so we left them with a pamphlet and will try to see them some times this week.

It sometimes gets hard to work during the Christmas season but we keep up the cheer by singing to carols and looking for adventures and service a long the way.

It was awesome to be able to skype with my family this week, they are incredible. All of my younger siblings have gotten lots lots taller.... not sure how I feel about that but eish, life moves on. 

Being a missionary has and continues to change my life every day. I may say I knew about the Savior a little bit before mission, but as a missionary I am blessed to try my best to represent Him every day, to try and do what He would do. As you strive to be like Him you come to know Him and understand just a bit more of His endless love for you. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to come to know my Savior who is Christ. He was born of humble birth, in a dark cave in a manger. He lived an exemplary life. and died in suffering for you. I love the Lord, He is my reason for hope, for love, for peace in all things. 

I love you all and hope you had a wonderful Christmas
Elder North

Date:  January 2, 2017
Area:  Bloemfontein, South Africa
Companion:  Fransen

Not much time this week,

It was a great week Elder Fransen is a dope dude,

we have done a lot of tracting in town.... eish... but somehow it has been pretty successful.

Because of New Years there arn't a lot of teaching appointments

Elder North

So much for a wealth of information about his new area!  HAHAHHAA