Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Become Converted to the Gospel

Area - Kanye, Botswana
Companion - Elder Dlamini
Letter #37

Hi Family:

Who is this new Steeze guy? I wanna meet him! ha jk. Everything is already gonna be so different when I get back! When I was in the MTC I remember all of us were talking about how we didn't really think much would change...WRONGO! I'm still curious as to whether or not I will be coming back to a different house?

I'm glad the week was so great! It seems like you have registered Ollie and Sophie in every sport known to man now! When are they gonna choose one!? haha. Is nate still surfing and playing soccer everyday?

Thanks for sharing the spiritual experiences you are having each week. I love it! Last week when Mom talked about the teachings of George Albert Smith in Sunday School we had just done that lesson 2 weeks earlier and she helped me to take a different idea on the things that I had learned. In Sunday School and Priesthood we don't have as many of the insights that I'm used to back home since everybody is so new in the gospel so it's good to hear your thoughts as well.   Also Dad, when you talked about Corinthians, Grandma had sent me a letter with scriptures to study about charity a month ago I think and so I was studying in Corinthians and when you gave me these new meanings in greek I need to go read it again! I've been thinking a lot lately that I want to take spanish when i get home and I still want to but maybe I'm gonna have to also take greek and latin! I've been making a list of classes/talents I want to develop when I get home....It's REALLY big ha. Good thing I don't have to worry about that yet right? One last thing, Alma 26 has become one of my favorite chapters over the past few months. I love how joyful Alma is when we talks about that rials and tribulations they went through to bring the people to a knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. One thing that was interesting to me is in verse 2, he is talking about "since we began..." and I thought, how long has it been since they began? I checked and it goes all the way back to the book of mosiah - 15 years! All I am doing is 2 years. They really did leave everything behind to serve the Lord. I wanna be like Alma and the Sons of Mosiah.

Hahaha mom, now everybody is gonna think that my family is Catholic and that I'm the only member in the family! Did you check Deseret Book for some pictures of Jesus? ;) Hopefully the package with the wrong address still gets here eh? I'll have to check with the mission office on Saturday if it will be okay. We are going to Gabs to run a booth for the biggest fair in the country! The booth will be going all week but the Kanye Elders will be manning it on Saturday. Should be pretty fun! Apparently some of our investigators are going to be there on Saturday also with their friends so hopefully we'll get to talk to them!

Elder Dlamini and I are having a great time here in Kanye. The work is going very well even though we had a reduction in the number of our lessons taught. That is due somewhat to the fact that we were gone for a week and so some of our investigators started to loose some of their commitment. I'm thinking I probably should have a done a lot more calling than I did while in Gabs. The Molebatsi family were confirmed yesterday along with Ashley and Atang! The Molebatsi's weren't around last week cause they were at a family reunion in Francistown and Ashley6 and Atang didn't come last week cause they were too cold... TIB (This is Botswana). Mike and Sazi are doing alright. They didn't come to church because Sazi was not feeling well. Since they have still only been to church once we re-extended a baptismal date for Aug 12. We are really trying to help them gain the sincere desire to read the Book of Mormon. They like reading it but only when we are around, otherwise they are lazy. That's really the only issue with them because they have already told us that they want to be baptized it's just a matter of them actually doing the things they are supposed to instead of just knowing what they have to do. The Gofhamodimo family also did not make it to church because of illness. They are kind of on the same boat as Mike and Sazi in that they have been taught everything and knwo what to do thy just have to start reading and coming to church. We re-extended a date for them as well to be on Aug 12. Should be a good day for me! :D ha. Church attendance is still the biggest difficulty here and we haven't figured a successful way to overcome it yet. One of main goals for this transfer is to start visiting people at least 3 times a week and possibly 4 or 5. I have never really "learned" how to do that even though I've always been told that I should and now Elder Dlamini has come and he is used to doing that. I'm excited though because it will help people remember and feel he spirit much more. Lots of times we come for an appointment and we ask "Do you remember what we talked about last time?" "...no"

We had a great experience while at a member home the other day. We were helping them to learn the member missionary program and we were going around sharing conversion stories focusing on a friend that helped us. Since being a missionary I have realized a lot things that have helped me become converted to the gospel.  At first it just seemed like it narutally came cause I born in the church but I have been able to recognize specific experiences now. One of those I didn't realize until the other night with these members. When it was my turn to share I just joked and said "Ah, I was born in the church" but then I felt bad and tried to think and started to say random stuff that I'm not even sure what I said but as I was talking I slowly came to realize a friend who had helped me. While living in San Jose there were 3 brothers who were huge examples to me. I always wanted to be like them even though 2 of them were younger than me. They were active in church and always happy. I went to church and enjoyed it but didn't get the meaning. Eventually I was able to understand why church was so important because I was always trying to be like these guys. Then we moved to southern California. All of the sudden I was with no friends and was called to be the priests 1st counselor. The new guy was supposed to be the example to all the rest! Luckily I had friends in the past who were examples and so now I knew how to be an example. At least I was more capable than I would have been. There was one in the quorum who I became really good friends with especially this past year since we were together almost everyday for 3 months at least straight. Now of the 5 people talked about including me, one is home from mission, one is on mission, one has his call, one has probably submitted his papers by now (I'll have to find out), and the other will in a couple years ha. And Nate, you will submit your papers in a couple months!! Woot Woot! :D

Well family, it was good talkin to ya. have another great week! I love you too much!

-Elder Dirkmaat :D

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