Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sorry no e-mail last week

Date:  February 20, 1974
Area:  Bloemfontien, South Africa
Companion: Elder Mbangi

Sorry I didn't get the chance to send out an email last week. We were having some technical difficulties with my sons email account.... Still havn't gotten it sorted so that's a bit of a bummer.

Its been raining a lot lately, actually a ton, quite different for Free State area but its been good for the crops, we have been praying for rain for years this side. I think it might have to do with the dineo storm hitting the coast. It is sometimes hard to get motivated  to go out and tract in the rain, but nothing can stop us!

Anyways yes my son is Elder Mbangi from Cape Town SA, he is Xhosa. Maybe I will be able to learn a bit of xhosa now, xhosa is like isiZulu but has even more clicks. When I speak Zulu a fluent Xhosa can pick up the jist of what I am saying but when it comes to me hearing anything in Xhosa its over!

He is 19 yrs old, just a week younger than me and is the only member in his family. He is a power dude. He already is a great and powerful teacher and loves the book of mormon and the gospel. We both share a strong testimony of our Father in Heaven.

I know I have probably mentioned it before but Ill do it again and it probably wont be the last time. Who is God? think about that! He is the creator, the reason for everything the one who showers us with blessings right!? well that is correct, He is our creator which makes Him our Father. He is a perfect Father and because of that all He wants to do is bless us. He only wants the best things for us. (Matt7:7-11)  When we truly begin to understand that God is our loving Heavenly Father it answers just about everything! Why am I suffering, well if you know that God is your Father and loves you perfectly and would never do anything to hurt you then you begin to realize that these trials or sufferings are for our gain, our learning, our benefit in every way. If a parent was to scared to let their baby fall down while trying to walk, would the baby ever learn to walk? NO! We learn through trials. it just seems to be the nature of humanity. Even Christ himself learned through suffering (Heb5:8) 
God is perfect right?
Him being perfect can He make mistakes?
So, every thing he does is??.....
Exactly, God our Father being perfect can not make mistakes, He can only make perfection, all He does is perfect.
So, who made you?
And if He cant make mistakes that means you are perfect, we are all divine, we all have the potential for perfection, we were made destined for perfection. (Matt5:48)  You are perfect just the way you are! Not while you are trying to be someone else or do things to fit in, you, just the way your are is literally perfection. Because the way you are is the way God made you and we dont have to try to conform or change to feel acceptance or self worth. When we know that God is our Father than we already have an infinite worth and self value. Your Father is the greatest King known to all of humanity and you are his son or daughter. You are all Prince's or princesses! and the best part is you dont have to do anything to be that. you are just that. Perfect. I love knowing that we have a Heavenly Father who is there for us. just like the baby who falls down trying to walk. He picks us up. and encourages us to move forward.

Elder Mbangi and I have been continuing to try and find new investigators to teach. its going okay. We have had a few set back this week as some people have decided they would not like to visit with us anymore but hey, such is life and it just moves on and so do we. 

We are really excited about the people we do have though. Today we get to go see three young women we have been teaching for a little bit. Boy do I love them! I just love how excited some people are about the gospel. It makes me excited and so happy. I love seeing people smile and find joy and I think thats why I love being a missionary, because I just get to help others find that in their lives!!! its wonderful!

We will be teaching them about Faith, Repentance and baptism today. I am excited, they tend to ask a lot of interesting questions. like, What tribe is moses from or, Why was marry chosen to be the mother of Christ, or other wonderful and interesting biblical questions. I love them but we are going to try to shift the focus on to the things we have prepared to help them progress more.

I love kids! We are teaching this boy Nati who is a recent converts child. he is 8 years old and teaching him is a blast. We are hoping to get him baptized the beginning of the month but we will see. Kids just have this extra light about them and when they learn something new or for the first time you see that spark just fare a bit and its the coolest thing ever!
I see more and more why Children are the kingdom of heaven! (Matt19:14)

Sindi is also doing well, we just finished all the missionary discussion and will now be focusing on more direct principles and ordinances. She still isnt ready for baptism but I hope and pray she will be soon. It gets hard when you grow to love the people you are teaching so much and then they dont progress like you hope. It literally hurts my heart and just makes me super sad. Everyone has their time though and no effort is ever wasted, no good deed goes without reward.

I am excited for this week, we will see how everything goes. I am trying my best to keep up the energy and enthusiasm. Its a great feeling coming home at the end of the day just so tired that you dont even want to plan for tomorrow. The only thing you want to do is sleep so you skip cooking dinner and just go to bed.

oh that reminds me haha we made an awesome dinner last night. So like normal we get home about 9 to 9:30 and then we plan for tomorrow. this takes us to 10 we then have to cook to eat dinner. so I started boiling the chicken and then realized we had potatoes so I started boiling those as well. through some frozen veggies in it as well. Started to boil the rice. and then make the beans. We then baked the chicken to crisp it up and put it all together. It was a really thrown together meal because I started the chicken and rice not knowing what we would eat it with, then I realized we had potatoes and veggies but still we didnt have anything to make a nice chicken stew so then we found some beans and started those and by the end everything turned out nice and delicious. so we eat at 11 and then go to bed. I am used to eating late, my son is getting used to it now after two weeks. we eat lunch around 12 and then dinner around 10-11 somewhere in their. so its quite the gap.

Anyways I love you all and pray you are well,
Elder North

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pictures from the end of January

So apparently the pictures didn't come through from the end of January so here they are.
We look high and low for people to teach!
Kayla, on the left and Philda Williams on the right
Sister Dah
Making phone calls

This week was packed with some great teaching and finding.

Super bummed about the Roberts going home!
Date:  February 6, 2017
Area:  Bloemfontein, South Africa
Companion: Elder Fransen

We work mainly with university students which is fun because they are fun to talk to and get to know and also great because they are receptive.

We were able to see Ntate Tladi this week and he is doing great. sadly he will be going to kzn for work for a few weeks which means he wont be getting baptized any time soon.... but all is good :) he continues to be interested and have good questions. We have had some real good discussions with him. This week we talked about the Atonement and what it really means. It was power!

At Brother Mandas House
The other exciting visit was with Michelle, She is super awesome and from Lesotho. I love Lesotho!!!!! Well she is super smart and knows a lot about the Bible and that's rare to find. So we get to have great conversations and really talk about the gospel in depth. It's cool because when you teach you learn and I am definitely learning lots. She invites her friends to come with us as well to join in the discussions. Their names are Grace and Bonny, They are also both great! We meet with them in the lobby of their flats which can be a bit of a hectic area with people coming in and out and what not. We decided that we would start by opening with a hymn, (Be still my soul, because its one of my most favorite hymns.) As we sung people stared but we didn't care! The spirit was strong, we all felt it. Super cool. I just love that feeling of peace and love. I really love these girls, as you feel the spirit with someone you grow to love them! We then continued to talk about the plan of salvation, where we came from, why we are here and where we go after this life. It was a great lesson.

Sindi came to church!!! woot woot. We are now focusing on reading the Book of Mormon. The only way that anyone will truly come to know that these things are true is if the read and pray about it. so thats what shes gotta do if she really wants to know.
Brother Mandas feeds us ever week.

It is the end of the transfer and Elder Fransen will be leaving to New Castle. I will be receiving a brand new missionary so I don't even know his name yet haha. It was a great transfer and we had a lot of fun and worked a lot. It would have been nice to stay together another transfer, but the Lord is in control of his work and knows where we need to be.

I love you all and I love life!

Elder North

The Roberts Farewell
We got to be on the radio!!!

The tank is sneaky

This is somethings Elder North's mission mom wrote and I loved so I snagged to share with all of you.

Here are some common words in South Africa different than what I'm used to:

small truck = bakki (bah-key)
BBQ = braai (bry)
trash = bin
trunk of car = boot
pleasant surprise = eish (ay-sh)
really? = isit
stop light = robot
you're welcome = pleasure
grandma = gogo
woman = ma
grandpa or father = baba
how are you? = howzit
french fries = chips
beef fillet = fillet (fill-it)
zucchini = marrow
bathroom = toilet room
napkin = serviette
diaper = napkin
beef jerky = billtong

When South Africans shake your hand, they reach one hand out, but use their other hand to balance their extended arm...this is a sign of respect.

Grocery stores are in all of the big malls. It's common to see grocery carts being pushed through the malls.

Driving here is on the left side of the road.

Almost every home and apartment has metal bars on windows, and metal gates in addition to front and back doors - they are called burglar bars!

The thing that surprised me most when we arrived 7 months ago is that most homes have high fences with sharp spiked tops, and an electric fence on top of that, or curled razor wires. At first it looked daunting, but I hardly notice it anymore!

Most South Africans are very well versed in the Bible.

A taxi here is a van-like bus. They fit at least fifteen people in them, and they seem to rule the roads here!

Lot's of people hitch hike. There are different hand signals to represent where the person wants to go!

People walk on freeways here!

Friday, February 3, 2017

So its was an awesome week for a few reasons.

Displaying DSCN4591.JPGDate:  January 23, 2016
Area:  Bloemfontein, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Fransen

This might be a bit short because of the lack of time I have today, eish, ngiya xolisa.

So I had the great oppurtunity to go up to Kimberley this week, some of you may remember that is where I started my mission. We had to go up there to interview someone who is preparing to be baptized this coming sunday. now here is the best part. the lady (kayla) is the daughter of Philda Williams! I baptized Philda 15 months ago! and now her daugther has moved back home and is getting baptized. it was so amazing to get to see her again and to see how strong she has been this year! what a blessing to be a part of her daughter being baptized. It was one of the most spiritual and touching interviews I have been able to conduct. I am just super happy and excited for this family!
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I also go to visit a few other old friends from Kimberley. I saw Liberty who is a member and also Smalls and Fadd, two youth that would work with us a lot. Smalls has gotten older for sure and no longer sounds like a 12 year old he now sounds like a 16 year old.

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Fadd on left Smallz's on right

Also we saw sister Dah who is like the missionaries mom that side, she really takes care of us and helps in every way she can to help the work. It was super weird being back in Kimberley. It didn't feel like that long ago when I was there. the more things change, the more they stay the same.
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Kayla on left, Philda Williams on right
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Sister Dah

Sindiswa came to church this week as well so that's awesome. We will just about finish all the lessons with her this week and she is scheduled to be baptized in Feb. I am super excited, she is an awesome women. This will be the first person who I have found by knocking on a door and been able to teach all the way to baptism. that is if everything goes well. One thing I really like about the lessons we have with her is we sing hymns each time and its always a powerful experience. There is power in music!!!!

Ntate Tladi is progressing well and is now meeting with the senior couple as much as  possible before they leave back for home in Sandy Utah. We are hopeful that he will be baptized in Feb as well.

The work is awesome and I am so lucky to be apart of it all. Mission is too cool!

Elder North

Its been a STELLAR week!!!

Date:  January 30, 2017
Area:  Bloemfontein, South Africa
Companion:  Elder Fransen

Now nothing unusual or grand happened except for the day to day life of a missionary!!!! I think this is why they call it the best two years!!!!

so we saw Sindi again this week. it was a bit rough because she told us how much she loves her church. We asked her if the Lord was to tell her to go to a specific church would she. She hesitated but reluctantly agreed that she must. I hope she gains a firm testimony. She is just a power girl and has a lot of love for God but she has a lot of love for how her life is right now. It is difficult because we know the best thing for her is the gospel. the direction and peace it brings is found no where else. and the blessings that come through restored truths and eternal families are incredible. I hope she can listen to the spirit as she reads and prays.

We met with Thando who is from Port Elizebeth in the cape town mission. she was referred to us by the Elders that side. She is doing well and keeping commitments. its still early but we will be putting her on a baptism day this week and hope that she will make it church on Sunday.

We did a lot of finding this week which was super fun and incredible. We met some great people. we met two young women who really have a firm and unshaken testimony in their Father in Heaven and in Jesus Christ. we look forward to seeing them tomorrow.

We met a group of new investigators who are going to school. they all seemed very interested as we shared about the book of Mormon and Joseph smith. at then end they were telling us how excited they were to pray to find out if these things are true!

and now one of my favorites is a new Investigator named Michelle. She is going to university and really knows her scriptures. She was asking great questions about the 12 tribes and lineage and possibilities of lineage. also she was talking about the lost books of the bible. and about what hell really is. just awesome questions that we don't get as often because people don't really study their bible. so it was dope.

We saw Narky as well. she has been struggling with her boyfriend lately. but they have a kid together and so it makes things complicated. they have been together for a while but things have been getting rocky. We are praying that the message we bring will bring them closer together. One of the first things we teach people is that the gospel blesses families and individuals. The thing is it takes effort on each family member to do what is needed to invite the spirit and blessings of the Lord into their homes and hearts.

We have been playing a lot of soccer which of course I love. we play on Mondays. and also Saturdays with the branch in the town ship. our first time playing them at the beginning of the transfer we won 6-3 the next time after we won 7-1 and the time after that we won 10-3 sadly this morning we tied 6-6 they really pulled up their socks today and played a good match. so that's been fun. I got some gnarly road rash the burns like crazy so that's fun as well.

Mission is just great. talking to people everyday is great. learning, living and loving is great. life is great. people are great. the gospel is great. My Mom and Dad are super great. my companion is great. my friend at home is great. everything just seems to be going good.... it can be scary because life is always full of opposition so I am waiting for the guillotine to drop and the pain but for now I will just soak up all the joy I can :)

Find the Joy in the day to day. Love
Elder North