Monday, May 28, 2012

Still Preach'n the Good Word

Area - Kanye, Botswana
Companion - Elder Holman
Letter #29

Dear family,

I´m still going strong and having a super time serving the Lord! We had some more sweet experiences this week with finding people this time. We did so much tracting this week. I think we walked on every path/road in half of Kanye and some a few times over.  For some reason we didn't  have many appointments especially from 10 till 4 or 5.  During these almost nobody is home and on  Saturday when they are home they are drunk so it is very tough.  Despite the difficulties we found 7 families to teach!

One old guy, Bexter we talked to on Tuesday. We talked with him for a while explaining about the Book of Mormon and he told us to come back Sunday. We got there on Sunday and for some reason he thought is was supposed to be Wednesday so he didn't have much time but he told a bunch about the things he had learned from reading th BOM (he read a lot) and some new revelations that he had never heard of and so was excited for us to come Weds and we also gave his wife a Book of Mormon because she waiting for her husband to finish it before she started reading. Also he says that he is building a house here in Kanye (he may enlist our help to finish soon) that he would love to rent to anyone who needs a place to stay here in Bots :D 

On Thursday we went on exchanges so I was here in Kanye with Elder Fackrell from Sandy, Utah. He´s a sweet guy and we had a lot of fun. P.S. when I say fun it means that we had a good time as worked hard. It´s not fun to mess around all day and have ¨fun¨ and then at the end of the day feel terrible for not doing missionary work. just so ya know what I mean by fun ;)    So we had to a lot of tracting that day also. We were walking down a road and this teenage guy says ¨Hey! I want a Book of Mormon!" So we go and ask him how he knows about it etc and he told us that his dad brought it home like a week ago and that he saw it and read it and liked it and ended up reading half of it and now he can´t find it. He said his dad´s name was Norman. So a little over a week ago we were sitting on the steps of the church waiting for people to show up for a meeting that nobody ended up coming to...ha but this guy starts talking to us and we pretty much shared the message of the restoration with him in the 40 mins that we just stood there talking to him. We gave him a BOM invited him to church and asked for his phone number. We never ask for addresses here cause there are no addresses. We had been trying to call him all next week but never answered. BAM, his son talks to us. BAM, we are visiting this week. BAM, God works in mysterious ways.

20 min. later we see this family going into their house so we hurry over and talk to them. They seemed very interested and invited us over the next day. We go the next day and the father says, ¨On the back of that pamphlet you gave me it said something about the Book of Mormon¨ tells his wife to grab a book from the shelf. She brings it over. He holds it up with a big smile on his face and says, ¨I´m a member!¨ turns he is not a member but he had attended in Gabs a few times and the missionaries had visited him but then he moved here to Kanye and lost contact. He told us that he used to read it a lot and that the missionaries helped him get out of a huge pit in his life that helped him have the family he does now. He asked when and where church is. We told him. He said, ¨We will be there.¨ Why did I decide to walk down that street that looked absolutely desolate and that I had walked down so many times before?

Thatś just three of the families me met this week and the others are just as prepared. Iḿ so excited to go back to visit these people and bring the light of the truth to their lives. Tracting was not what we wanted to do but we prayed to have success and did what we were supposed to do and our prayers were answered. I know that this Gospel is true and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord´s kingdom once again established on this earth preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah. Why? because I have prayed to know and He has answered me. How? The feeling I have in my heart through reading, praying, sharing it with others, seeing the change it brings to lives and way it brings families together.

Have a wonderful week! I love you!
-Elder Dirkmaat :D

Monday, May 21, 2012

Feeling the Spirit

Area - Kanye, Botswana
Companion - Elder Holman
Letter #28

Good afternoon! How are you? I wish you could hear the accent that I'm using. Every kid we see says that to us no matter what time of the day it is, early morning or late at night. The little kids here are awesome and I even played soccer with two, 8 yr old twins the other day in the street which led us to talking to their mother and then a lesson with them last night in which they committed to be baptized on July 1st! :D Pretty sweet experience! When we teach the restoration I use Jenga blocks to explain how Jesus Christ set up his church and then how it fell and then how it was restored through Joseph Smith. I love it when we teach families cause then I get to ask the kids to help me build the church and along with helping people understand everything well it also gives us an opportunity to develop friendships and trust with the family. Random thought but do you remember Tyler from San Jose? I can't remember where he went or if he has left yet but I think he is probably really successful. He was always really good at thinking of creative dates and having fun. Those skills would be perfect for missionary work! ha. Dating prepares you to be a missionary! Who knew?

So I said that the little kids are my favorite but on the other hand the teenagers are a pain in the neck. Mostly. I don't know what is so funny but they can't stop laughing when they see us or if we say something to them. They don't even say anything back! Just laugh and walk by. Weird but whatever. It's funny. A few times they have laughed at us and then a few days later or even the same day we have ended up in their house talking to their parents and they are totally respectful and will talk to us normally. I guess it would probs be the same anywhere in the world. teenagers are just weird when they are with friends...I'm still a teenager! ha.

Last night we also had a nice experience with a nice family, Mike and Sazi and their 2 kids. Well actually two cool experiences one on Monday and the other last night. Last week Mike wanted to know more about how the prophet is chosen today and so we explained it a bit and watched a General Conference clip of one of Pres. Monson's talks. They really enjoyed it and learned many things. After that we talked a bit about how to feel the spirit and i could feel the spirit very strongly. So strongly that I told them "What you are feeling right now, the feeling in the room, that is the spirit. *pause* And you can continue to feel that same spirit as you read from and pray about the Book of Mormon. These kinds of feeling are the way that the Holy Ghost lets us know of truth." I said some other things not sure what but it was a great experience to feel the spirit so strongly that I could tell them without a doubt that they were feeling it. So last night was also nice because we were going to teach them about the gospel of Jesus Christ but after talking to them and answering some of their questions we realized that it was not the right thing to teach. I learned another important lesson of developing relationships and trust with investigators because it wasn't until we had finished our lesson and even had a closing prayer that Mike just asked some questions about wordly things that eventually came back to spiritual matters and he told us about how he and his wife had attended church before and the one thing that they enjoyed most was the focus on families. Def gotta teach them why the focus is so much on families through the Plan of Salvation! :D

So those were some cool things from this week. The zone leaders had 3 baptisms yesterday. 2 fathers and one of their daughters so that was way exciting! I'll have to get pictures of the font sometime. It is sweet. Which reminds me, operation camera is a go. Elder Foote was unable to acquire the target.

I hope you have a superawesomecoolfun week! Keep going to the temple, sharing the gospel, and getting buff! I dunno if my peanut butter and bread diet is gonna keep me fit but I'll do my best to keep up ha.

Love you family!

-Elder Dirkmaat :D

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Area - Kanye, Botswana
Companion - Elder Holman
Letter #27

Short but sweet....

Happy Mothers day again! :D It was great to be able to talk to all of you! Can't wait till christmas! ;)  I hope it was the best cause mothers ARE the best! :) 

Here is a quote of the week ha. "True doctrine understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." -Pres Boyd K. Packer "Little Children" Ensign 1986, 17.

Have a super week!  I love you family :D
-Elder Dirkmaat

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Area - Kanye, Botswana
Companion - Elder Holman
Letter #26

Hello family! Sounds like a great week for you! glad ya didn't get bit by that snake! I almost got killed by a dog! Twice! Good thing I hadn't opened the gate yet when it came tearing around the corner! ha.  and the second one we were attempting to open the gate and then saw the dog so we stopped. It was just walkin around not being mean at all. A person came out to talk to us and a member that was with us leaned on the gate as we were talking. The dog snapped! Narrow escape. ha but it was scary. Glad you also got to go to the temple. I miss the temple so much! If I would have stayed in Sunnyside I would have gone on Friday. Now I won't get to go for a loooong time. I can't see the picture of the chapel that you sent me so I can't tell ya if that is it or not. The building we meet in is a rented space in building so there are 2 signs on the front of it. Obviously our church sign and the other is a sign that says "CEDA".  It is right off the main road by a TOTAL gas station.

This week we have had 16 new investigators! We did a ton of tracting cause we had like 5 investigators when I got here. So now we are going to get some results from these new investigators. Its tough here cause everyone will let you into their house and be nice and accept a return appt even if they know for a fact that they don't like you or ever want to talk to you again and others like to talk to white people so that's the only reason they want you around ha so we have to sift through those people and really help them have a desire to learn the fulness of the Gospel.  The missionaries are the ones who teach classes at church so in Sunday I taught Gospel principles for the first time. Not that hard after all! haha. We are going to have a baptism in 2 weekends on the 20th! I'm excited cause this guy is a police detective, huge guy, and softest face. He reminds me of The Rock haha. Big guy but baby face. He wants to be the next branch president.  There was one guy that we got to talk sit down with and he stared to have lots of questions and at the end of it all he said that he was going to have devote lots of time to read the Book of Mormon to study and pray about it. He said he would spend 3 hours that weekend at least! We will find out how that went soon enough. Its been a good week and it's all about attitude! Could have walked around and been sad and got no results from all those hours of tracting but instead we worked and had a good time and met tons of people to share the gospel with! I really need a camera for alll the cool sights here! ha and not sure if Elder Foote is gonna be able to find mine so I will let you know on Sunday when we call. Which is gonna be in the morning for you and in the night for me.  You start church at one I think you said so it'll be before that. I'll call you for 2 secs and then you'll have to call back. :D

Love you family! Have a super week! Talk to ya Sunday! :)

-Elder Dirkmaat :D