Monday, February 27, 2012

Happy Monday! Baptisms & Pictures!

Area - Sunnyside, Pretoria
Companion - Elder Jenkinson
Letter #16

PRETORIA— Contrary to your terrible vegetarian sunday dinner I had a really good lentils and rice vegetarian saturday dinner from the Rwandan family in our ward :D The only problem was they gave 3 times as much as I could possibly eat, or so I thought. Elder jenkinson only finished half of it. It sounds like you all had a great week though! Glad you got to go to the temple too! I miss that temple. I bet you enjoyed that hug Ollie ;) Sophie, on p-days we usually go do things with the other missionaries nearby. Sometimes we play sports, sometimes we go see lions, and they want to go ice skating next week. This morning didn't start of my pday too well. Since we (elder Jenkinson and I) have to be within sight and sound of each other I had to endure the pain of being in the same room while his foot was stuck full of needles at the physio! My insides are still rolling around and MY foot feels weird! ha.

Yes we did have baptisms yesterday! Angela, Henry, and Clement were baptized and we also baptized one of the members 8 year old sons Dallan. It was another great service of course but this time we planed better than normal and so it was a lot nicer. I got to perform all 4 baptisms! We are supposed to get members to do it but angela wanted me to so we decided it would be easiest to have one person do the baptizing. Henry is the funniest guy we have ever taught. He got his baptismal clothes on and was so happy and wanted to take a bunch of pics. Hopefully I'll be able to send one today. The other day we were teaching Henry and we asked him a question about the gift of the Holy Ghost and he just started talking for like 30 minutes. It was fine though cause i didnt want him to stop! He was telling about a pastor in Nigeria who says he is a prophet. He starts his sermons by waving his arms over the crowd and teling them to receive the Holy Ghost an then everybody falls down. Then henry said "If that was the Holy Spirit then what about the cameraman? why didn't he fall??" hahaha henry is very passionate about everything and I think he could be a missionary based on the way he understands everything we teach. All three of them have really strong testimonies and all the members were very happy. This baptism had the biggest member turnout compared to the other ones.

The Lekomo family (the guy who called us and wanted to be taught again) has been doing very well. We met with them the other day and the father said that he wouldn't be able to make it to church since he still has responibilities at his other one but the rest of his family was at church and they enjoyed it! He has 4 kids, his wife, and also a cousin who stays with them who were at church. His son is 10 (Ollies age) and one of his daughters is turning 8 (almost sophies age!) They are such a great family and the kids are my favorite. They are always really happy and do random things. For a period of like 5 minutes I just sat there and watched them talking and walking around and playing just laughing to myself the whole time. Pretty much kids just make me happy. I'm so glad that we are teaching a lot of families lately cause families are exactly what the church needs!

Overall this been a great week but so fast! I feel like I just emailed yesterday. Tuesday next week Elder Jenkinson will be in a new area and I'm gonna have a new companion! 3 months already!

Thhanks for being such an awesome family and for all the emails! I love you guys andIi hope you have another great week!

-Elder Dirkmaat

Me and the kids in Mamalodi, "lekua lekua!" ha ha it means "whiteman whiteman!"

More Kiddos!

Me with Esnat and her family

Henry thug style in his baptismal suit!


The chapel in Sunnyside nestled between two 8 story flat complexes, ha!


Elder Balmforth and I at the Christmas party

Me, Elder Jenkinson (my trainer), and Elder Samoela (Elder J's trainer from Madagascar)

Monday, February 20, 2012

More Baptisms!

Area - Sunnyside, Pretoria
Companion - Elder Jenkinson
Letter #15

PRETORIA— Sophie are you going to be a soccer star when i get back?? My mission is going great but im probably not playing soccer as much as you.

Ollie how did putting that valentine on Summers door go? I bet she liked it! :D I hope that you will be able to find a cooler helicopter soon. You should tell mom and dad that you want to go on a helicopter ride for your birthday this year ;D

Dad those rocks were sweet! I want one! haha. That one with the three. That's awesome that you could find that one. sounds like you guys had a blast on that campout though. We've got some spare broken washer in our flat if you need it for the next campout :D Wow that's exciting to hear about the Fords and how well they are doing! Makes me happy to know that they are doing so well and seeing all the blessings that come from living this gospel :)

Mom glad you enjoyed Brother Travers talk. You'll have to tell him Hi for me. That's so true about repentance. Nephi's repentance is a perfect example of repenting with a sincere heart. Thanks for sharing that :) The sister missionaries are still there? wow! Have they been companions for like 4 1/2 months now? ha now that I think about it that's actually not too unordinary.

So do I get a note from amber too?? just put her paws up on the keyboard and see what happens :D Too bad we cant skype and watch her run all over the house!

This week has been great for me just like it seems it has been for you! We had our thre baptismal interviews the other day and they all passed and are ready to go on Sunday! Yesterday while we were tracting we found another father led family and now we have 5 new investigators! wow! They are all very humble and interested in what we have to teach. We shared a scripture from mosiah 4 and thought about families and are going back on wednesday. The 3 kids are all between 12 and 19 and they all were interested not just one person, everybody! :D Also they have 13 new puppies just born and I was so bummed that we are missionaries and are not allowed to have pets cause they actually gave me one! I asked and they said yes. I walked out the front yard carrying it but then had to come back and say I was just kidding.

We got to go to the temple on Friday and like always it was an amazing experience! I won't go off on how great they are this time since I have already done that like 4 times ha. If you havent been going to the temple every week but still want that candy bar I guess I will be merciful and let you slide if you start going now! Also this week we had stake conference which wasn't as exciting as I thought it was going to be but we had three investigators there even though it was an hour away and they could only get there by bus. And Clement who is getting baptized this Sunday was singing in our ward choir at the conference!

Like always I am so glad that I am here and am having a superb experience always. Elder Jenkinson and I are getting along very well and teaching in unity very well also. I feel more like a missionary every day!

I have to go buy some food now since I have absolutely nothing. No worries though cause I have money! ha

Love you guys!

-Elder Dirkmaat

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hello from Soshanguve!

Area - Sunnyside, Pretoria
Companion - Elder Jenkinson
Letter #14

PRETORIA— So today we are emailing in Soshanguve with some other missionaries hence the title ;D

Formal looks like it was way fun Nate! Jealous you got to have it at the zoo! Mom, we can't find a father led family and then baptize them within 2 weeks...crazy fool. ha jk. but yes we are planning on having them baptized sometime soon. In this ward we are only allowed to have baptisms on the last sunday of the month and they wont be ready for this month. My new companion and I will have some good potentials to work on though! Transfers are on March 6th so I SHOULD get a new companion but you never know. I may also be training a new missionay also so that will be intense! The ringworm is mostly gone. It just takes 3 weeks to be completely gone but it's fine now. My lion bite is gone as well :(  wanted a scar from that ha jk.  Jakaranda trees eh? Well I've seen the name all over the place but I have not seen their beauty yet since it is not spring ha. I dont think I will actually unless I am nearby Pretoria next year. BUT yes there are tons of the trees lining the streets of Pretoria.

This week has been a pretty exciting/busy week like always! We had most of our lessons (like 15) in the first couple days of the week and then the rest of the week we ended up needing to run many errands for other missionaries. Blessing? You know it! On thursday we had to obtain some baptsimal clothes from one of our members in Philip Nel Park and bring them to the missionaries in Mamelodi who live in Faerie Glen so that took a long time. Then later that day we got a call that their car broke so we had to drive from Sunnyside to Mamelodi, pick them up and then drive back home. I will save myself the time to tell how far everything is and exhort you to utilize your internet skills and get on google maps :D

One of the father led families I told you about last week was at church yesterday and they really liked it! The other one had something "urgent come up" that he "had to attend to".   Innocent till proven guilty right, we shall see...

On thrusday we had another exchange. This time Elder KcKnight came to sunnyside with me. He's a big black guy from Orem and has been on his mission for 17 months. We went to that Indian family to do some service. They are remodeling and have a bunch of junk in their backyard. Cleaned it up pretty nice! Then we played some cricket with their kids and some neighborhood kids.  Missionaries vs. the kids. Guess who won. Of course, we did. Crushed em! haha but it was fun they are making preparations for next time we come do some service.  Afterwards the mother wanted to talk to us and she told us that she needs to start having the lessons again. We were able to have a small spiritual thought with her and she seems more keen than usual for baptism!

Later that night we went to teach another man and his family.  He has been seeing the missionaries since before I got here. We were teaching about the Book of Mormon and we were reading the last paragraph of the introduction with him. He believes the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith but he doesn't believe in the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We were trying to help him understand that he can pray to know since he only thinks the stuff is true but hasn't prayed. Well we found out why he hasn't prayed. I asked him if it was something he wanted to find out and he says "No, I'm fine. I don't need to." He explained that he belongs to ZCC (popular south african church) and that he is firm in that and will not leave.  He talks a lot so it took like 20 mins for him to explain that ha. Kind of a bummer that happened but it is to be expected :/

Man, so every flat went through "deep cleaning" today. We woke up at 6:30 and started cleaning at 7 all the way till 11:30! Long time but wow our flat is nice! haha. I think I wouldn't mind staying in Sunnyside my whole mission as long as the flat is like this!

We have some exciting things coming up this week! Temple trip on Friday and Stake Conference this weekend!

Well that's some highlihts from the week!  I love you all and thank you for your support and emails and all that good stuff! :D

-Elder Dirkmaat

Monday, February 6, 2012

For us, We are Missionaries

Area - Sunnyside, Pretoria
Companion - Elder Jenkinson
Letter #13

PRETORIA— Woot woot! Sophie is baptized! I got the announcement in the mail the day before it happened just in time! ;D It sounds like you all had a great time and that Sophie is very happy :) Thanks for the pictures too, my favorite is the one of Ollie and Sophie, I LOL'd ha. and then I got weird looks... What a nice spotlight Nate gave, you're too sweet brother :D

For me, I am a missionary. When I went tracting with my district leader, Elder Ngcobo, when we would get to a door he would say to the person "for us, we are missionaries" and then just wait for them to say something. It was super awkward but I guess it works cause most of the time they would say "oh come in, come in!" It was funny. I tried it on Saturday and it didn't work. The guy was like "and....? why are you here?" No worries though! We still got a return appointment!

Nonetheless, I have had another wondaful week! We were able to continue teaching lots of people and we found some more father led families again. There is one father that we started teaching last week that I think I may have told you about. He called us one morning and said he used to see he missionaries and now he is ready to be baptized now that his whole family is here from Nigeria. He says he wants to come to our church but he is a secretary at his church. He doesn't like his church and he is scared to tell them that he won't be at church for one Sunday. He doesn't want their service to go into disarray since he is the one that organizes the program each week. We told him that all he has to do is call the pastor on a monday to give him enough notice and then it will be fine. We are not too sure why he is scared but it reminds me of when I would always have to call people for my Eagle project or just something I needed done. Dad would always tell me that there is no reason to be scared cause all you gotta do is tell them what you need and 99% of the time people will help you out. Hopefully he will take our advice and be at church next Sunday!

This week we are going to be concentrating on teaching investigators about why church attendance is so important and we are going to make a bigger effort to help them attend. We had 7 at church yesterday but 5 of them were trying to get welfare... The ones we want to come to church are never there. This week will be different though.

Funny story. We were walking to the chapel the other day and this hobo lookin guy was walking towards us. We were preparing to tell him that we had no money ha but then the first thing he says (in a British accent) "Is it true that you used to not consider blacks human beings?" What???? NO. "well is it true that you didn't let them have the priesthood until 1978?" Yes that is true. "Doesn't that make you question your religion?" No. "Do the people in your congregation know about this?" Yes. He kept up like that for a while and eventually we just walked away. He says he was a researcher but he never read the Book of Mormon or visited or anything of the sort. Elder Jenkinson hates it when people do stuff like that so he got pretty mad at the guy :\ At the end I was just like "Well it was nice talking to you, we have to be to an appointment. Have a nice day" I feel bad for the guy but there's nothing you can do when all someone wants to do is argue with you.

We are really excited for this month and next because we should be baptizing a father led family this month and completing another one by baprtizing his wife! Then next month we have 2, possibly 3, father led families that we are hoping will be ready! Next month I may possibly be training a new missionary so that will be a good experience for him :D I'm so glad that I am here doing the Lords work and each week just gets better and better and better! :D Thank you for all your support and I love you family!

-Elder Dirkmaat :D