Monday, April 30, 2012

Viva Botswana!

Area - Kanye, Botswana
Companion - Elder Holman
Letter #25

Botswana is grrreat! :D Being in a village is waaaay different but such a great experience. There are donkeys, cows, dogs and chickens all over the place just walking around freely its funny. I have already almost hit some cows and donkeys while driving from here to Gaborone and even we saw some baboons crossing the highway!  I really am having a great time here though. The people are really nice and I am excited to start to get to teach lots. There is one difficulty in teaching here though. If the baby gets hungry the momma provides....Right in front of you while you are reciting Joseph Smith's first vision...subprime. It's awkward and all you can do is look up, keep teaching and as long as you don't make it awkward it's not, right? I'll devise a way to politely ask the mommas to put it away. It's a weird situation here cause Elder Holman just got here 2 weeks ago so he had been in Kanye 4 days before I got here. Then his companion Elder Zuma got kicked out which is why I had to come. Elder Maybe was Zuma's companion before Holman and Maybe was only here for 6 weeks. Because of all the changes there are not many people we have to teach so we are almost opening an area. The village is pretty big though and would take a few hours to walk from one side to the other. There is a branch here of i'm not sure how many but there were like 40 at church on sunday. We share the area with the zone leaders so half the days we walk and the other half we drive. There have only been missionaries here for 2.5 yrs. We have been tracting for most of our time so far and have a few return appts this week which should be good! Nobody we talked to came to church though. When we tell people directions or ask members how to get places it's always turn right at the oak tree and take a left at the orange house then its the one with some boulders out front cause they don't have street names. It's crazy! So the chapel is just off the main road in Kanye. There is a gas station right next to a shopping strip and then the chapel is in a building called CEDA just 1 km up the side road from the gas station. 

This should be a good week though compared to last week cause we had to spend more than half of 2 days in Gaborone trying to register for residency. Right now I am only allowed to be in the country for 90 days since I got here. Some missionaries get residency and others don't so if I don't I'll be back in SA by the end of 3 months ha but if i do then I'll be here for a loooong time. There are three zones in Bots. 2 for Gaborone area and one for Francistown. There are only like 40 missionaries and i think 10 are sisters. We live in a house in the middle of the village and it's pretty big. The living room is as big as my old flat! Elder Holman is the district leader and he is from Panguitch, Utah and yes, Provo mtc. I dunno why they went there. Some go to Provo and others go to Joburg mtc but I dont know why. Yes, there is a Seventh Day Adventist hospital and it is the most popular church here. Yep, too dangerous for sisters to be in South Africa especially after a few incidents which ultimately caused them to be taken out.

We have one family that we are working on to be baptized in May, the Molebatsi family. The father used to be a boxer, he is huge!!! They have 2 kids, the oldest is 4. They have been being taught for almost 6 months which i am actually glad about. I've been in the mindset of just teaching everything and when they have learned then they are baptized. Let me tell you, that is NOT the way to do it. Sure they have learned it and they accept everything so maybe you think they have a testimony, obviously that's not enough. I hope as we teach the Molebatsi's that we can get them past that point so that they truly will be converted. It's tough to have people wait to be baptized when your leaders are constantly asking "how many are you baptizing this month?" and the investigator could pass a baptismal interview just cause they know what the answers to the questions are. I'm really trying to get more in tune with the spirit so that I can know if somebody really can be baptized after only a month of teaching them or if we need to work with them more. It's not just wooo! I got a baptism, it's yes, I helped somebody see the light of the gospel and helped them make covenants with God so that they can progress towards eternal life with God after baptism. Baptism is opening the door and if they are not converted they'll just walk right back out the door and into another. There are so many things that go into helping someone stay active and progress which happens after the missionaries but we are the ones that are responsible for giving them their firm foundation.

Well it sounds like both our weeks have been full of great things! I love you family! Have another great week!

-Elder Dirkmaat

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