Monday, March 26, 2012

3 baptisms yesterday! More to come...

Area - Sunnyside, Pretoria
Companion - Elder Foote
Letter #20

PRETORIA— Good afternoon! :D Wow, last week not much happened but now all of a sudden an explosion of things are happening! haha. Good job doing all that missionary work family. I'm not the only one! In fact members do/should do most of the missionary work anyway! I'm excited to hear how everything turns out (the security guard, Lorinda, marathon-good luck! hahaha glad I'm not Dad, Nates job-jealous, flag football) That's really cool how people get inspirations to do things and when they act things turn out okay. Lots of times people get the inspirations and just blow them off. I'm guilty! ha. I've never gone wrong when following a God given inspiration no matter how scared I was. Ollie finally gets to play football!! Wooo! aha. That should be way fun. I think you should get him into rugby yeah? :D Football reminds me of a talk Elder Foote has on CD called life is a football game by Troy Dunn. You should check it out. And then listen to his talk about buddies. Way good even though it makes me miss being a kid like crazy.

I am so glad that I get to do missionary work. We had another successful week with 14 people attending church! Remember that Indian lady who loves the missionaries and has a testimony but she doesn't want to get baptized and she smokes? She finally came! Last week actually. Her son turned 12 and got the priesthood so she came to support him. We visited her and she told us all about her testimony again. After talking for a while she decided she would come to church again this week and she did! So we visited her last night and we were talking with her and she said that she is willing to be baptized at the end of next month. She says she knows she needs to but the only reason she wont is cause she is being lazy. We are going to read the Book of Mormon with her from start to finish in 52 days. The book of mormon manual is split into 52 for the weeks of the year and she says she wants to read one lesson a day. Should be exciting!

3 baptisms yesterday! :D :D Tracey, Botlhale and Fortune:
Tracey is a student at the Pretoria University. We met her an interesting way. She was getting counseling from some guy who is also a member so one day he brought her to church and he says to us "Tracey has a question for you" and she was way embarrassed and all that and she asked if we could teach her the lessons. Most of her family are members in Zimbabwe and her parents are in Pretoria East. She had a really rough teenage life and finally decided that she needed to make a change. We have been teaching her since mid/end of January and she has been ready for baptism for a couple weeks. She is friends with the YSA (young single adults) and comes to church every sunday since January. She even went to Stake conference which is a big expense for her to get transport to.

I guarantee none of you can pronounce Botlhale correctly haha. Her surname is even more difficult. She is also a student. She had most of the lessons in her home town from Elder McKnight like a year ago and then she moved here and went to church and everybody thought she was a member. We figured out she wasn't one day and started to teach her. She has a very strong testimony also. It was funny, last week she told the 2nd counselors wife she was going to be baptized soon and she goes "What, you're not a member??" I said, "See, we teach them well!"

Fortune is the wife of Clement who was baptized last month. Fortune was sick while we taught Clement half of the lessons so we had to teach her after he was baptized. Clement already has the priesthood but she didn't want him to baptize her. I think she was scared that he wouldn't do it right. Who knows. She is very shy but yesterday she was very smiley and outgoing and different. It was cool!

My favorite part of baptisms is always the singing. Everything about the baptisms is good but the singing is my favorite. Singing during sacrament meeting is always lame cause not everybody sings but during baptisms, man they sing! haha. I always get really happy and can't stop smiling when I look around.

We saw/met some interesting people this week. First off, we saw a guy laying in the middle of the sidewalk in the middle of the city and he was fast asleep. I didn't have my camera with me :( I wanted to poke him so bad but I was too scared. Next, we met this lady from Poland who has lived here for like 30 years. She told us that she has magical powers and can heal people and all this stuff. She said she didn't like going to church cause she was closer to God than any of the pastors and she had more power than them. She said she would visit our church...and then she actually did. She was talking to the bishop afterwards for like 20 mins. I dunno what she told him but she was happy when she left! Also, a member in the ward goes to one of those colleges in town. She goes to a bible study group after school and one day they all started praying in tongues and she got super uncomfortable of course. She told them that she didn't and that they shouldn't have been doing that and then bore her testimony. Then she called us and wanted us to come and explain things better and also to teach about the restoration. Man that was awkward at first but then it just kind of turned into them all asking us the questions that they've always had that they couldn't find answers to. We answered their questions and a few of them wanted us to come back and teach. One of them figured out that we are "mormon". Sometimes I hate that name so much. They are fine with everything you teach and agree with it but then when they realize we are mormon all of a sudden we lose all credibility. Is it true that...? what do you think about...? At least it was only that one guy. Evebyody else still likes us ha. Last interesting happening. We played soccer with the ward the other day which was super fun but also made me miss playing everyday ha. But then some other guys showed up so we were playing with them also. Eventually these guys had called all of their friends to come. It turned into the church guys vs the smelly alcoholic crazies with their shirts off and butt cracks showing. They were good at soccer but it's just lame to play against guys like that. At least we had fun for a while b4 the crazies showed up!
We are very excited for this month because it looks like we could have A LOT of baptisms this time! There are a couple families and a few other people that I will have to tell you about eventually. We told the Zone leaders we have a goal of three since they shamboced us last time but we really hope for like 10. shhhhhhh! If we are diligent and do everything right it is very possible!

Also, I need some shoes. Mine are destroyed of course ha. Could you send me my other pair of vans please? :D And anything else you see fit to send me ;) haha I like packages! You might be getting one in the next 2 months hopefully! ps. when you declare the value of the contents of the package you are allowed to underestimate the as much as you want :D

I hope you have another great week and good luck with everything! I love you all!

-Elder Dirkmaat :D

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