Monday, October 29, 2012

Kunjani from Joburg!

Area - Johannesburg, South Africa
Companion - Elder Mabuza
Letter #51

Kunjani! Means hello, so you were correct ha. Chesse boy! Means you are rich ha. It's not something you would say if you are talking to somebody you don't know but with you're friends, it's just a joke. For example, I have not run out of allotment this month so I still have money while lots of other missionaries do not so they all call me cheese boy.

But how are you family? Camping again?? Man I miss camping. glad that you're getting to go to all these cool places though! Nate is funny. I guess that's how I was too. Since being on mission I've been able to learn how to go for 2 weeks without money! Proud? ha. But I have also learned, as so demonstrated this month, to not have to do that. Instead, i bought my district lunch the other day cause I'm "cheese booooy!" haha.

This week has been great. We have still been visiting all our investigators regularly. We were expecting to have 12 people at church yesterday and we only had 4. We were so happy they came but it was honestly weird that the others didn't come. A few of them were supposed to come with members and the members had gone to pick them and they were not there and would not answer their phones either so even us, we were not able to go visit them later in the day cause they just disappeared. We did get to visit one of them though. Brother Onethe. We found him at his place alone and asked if we could come share something with him. He let us in and told us that he didn't come to church cause his wife had just arrived that morning from Zimbabwe. I asked if he was happy his wife is here and he just shrugged and said "eh." The whole time we were with him he seemed a little scared or nervous and then when we were about to go his wife came back. She walks in, doesn't say a word even when we greet her and sits down and starts watching the t.v. We continued and then 5 mins later all of the sudden she blows up and is yelling at us in Zulu. Good thing Elder Mabuza could understand. She lives in Zim and came to visit and found her husband wanting to go to a different church and so she got angry at him for that and didn't allow him to go to church that morning. She told us that she had people outside waiting to come inside and pray for her from her church. Then she was angry that he didn't tell her we were coming (He didn't know we were coming. Basically she was talking the same thing over and over and just being angry. We said okay we are going to leave. Onethe wanted us to pray before we left so we did. She was so disrespectful, talking during the prayer and then when we finished she stood up and shewed us out. When we got outside we found that she lied, there was nobody outside. I gotta be honest, I was mad at her. Of course I didn't do anything but it makes me so angry that she can be like that. Onethe loves the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and church and still wants us to come back and she is basically a tyrant in the home. Why is it always that the investigators you have the most success with are the ones who are the most difficult to be baptized? Pesky little Satan eh? My week was really good but I guess I got carried away with that story. i am still happy and optimistic for this area and even for Onethe!

Here's some good news. Remember Donny from Kanye who moved to gabs? He got baptized last week!!!

I think all of the people that we are teaching want to be baptized and are looking forward to that day but they each have individual issues that are stopping them. One with repentance. One with working on Sunday. Another has to come for 6 months straight cause he is only 15. One is 18 and she is scared of her parents so might just wait till she is 21 when you are legal in South Africa. Is that how it is in America also? Or are we legal at 18? I'm pretty sure 18 but I've been gone too long ha.

Good luck with the neighborhood party!! I hope that all goes well and that everyone enjoys! Make sure the spirit is there! That's THE MOST important part!!

Love you family!
-Elder Dirkmaat :D

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kunjani (Hello)

Area - Johannesburg, South Africa
Companion - Elder Mabuza
Letter #50

Kunjani family!

This week was another great week! I'm starting to learn Zulu and French! haha. I have a French BOM and a french English dictionary. Think I can read the whole Book of Mormon?? That's exciting for school to be out! Are you all gonna go to the beach and learn how to surf and surprise dad at the end of the two weeks??? Enroll in a surf class so you can go every morning! That would be too legit to quit! that's crazy that they are using ipads in fifth grade(Ollie you're in fifth grade neh?). I hear that they are also testing ipads in certain areas for missionaries also. Wouldn't that be so cool?

We are having great success with the people that we are teaching and even finding a few more to teach each week. It seems that the people we are finding are all prepared and ready for the gospel. it's so nice to teach people that are interested and have questions and contributions and all that good stuff. We had a stake meeting yesterday in Sandton which is a cheese boy area like 30 mins north of here. You wouldn't really expect any investigators to be there but we had 4! that's what happens when you get the members involved! The 4 all came with one of their member friends and it was great! We got to hear the temple pres and his wife speak, stake pres and his wife speak, and also Elder Carl B. Cook and his wife! It was fabulous! Ha.

I'm glad that the members are starting to warm up again to the missionaries. We have been going to a lot of dinner appointments that people sign up for and they keep[ calling us like an hour early just to make sure that we are still coming and then when we get there they say that they were just making sure cause the missionaries were just flaking out in the past. Sometimes they even say things like we haven't had missionaries here for the past 3 or 4 months! ha. Crazy ha but just the fact that we are showing up to dinners, the members are loving it. They keep telling when we are about to leave and have just shared a spiritual thought with them that they are gonna go out and find some referrals to give to us. they are excited to do missionary work! So it's been a great week for sure.

We went to a dinner appointment last night and one of our investigators was there. I don't know what happened but there were no scriptures close by(I know bad missionaries :P ) and they asked me to share with them a spiritual thought. i asked if they had any scriptures around and they said "no, don't you remember what we learned from Carl B. Cook this morning? Go by the spirit Elder, it will tell you what to say" So I shared a thought about smiling. In my white handbook aka missionary rule book aka white bible i have a picture of a kid with a huge smile and it says "smile. It's contagious." I told them about how important it is to be happy and positive about everything we are doing or challenges that we face. That is what we as members of the church are supposed to be like. Jesus Christ didn't have a sad countenance as he went about his work. he was happy and joyful even when the scribes and pharisees and whoever else mocked him. through everything Jesus Christ was happy because he knew the eternal consequences of what he was doing. it's the same with us. We have to think about why we are here. "We are on a homeward journey to our Heavenly Father"(President Armstrong) so we better be happy about it! it also reminded me of the first part of the fourth book of Nephi where he talks about how blessed and happy the people are for the two hundred years after Jesus Christ appeared to the Nephites. it says something like there could never be a peaceful and delightsome people. That's because they were living the gospel of Jesus Christ. so remember to smile, laugh and remember the blessings that Heavenly father gives you every single day. He loves us all!

Have a super week! I love you family!

-Elder Bobby Dirkmaat :D

Monday, October 15, 2012

I'm in Joburg Now!

Area - Johannesburg, South Africa
Companion - Elder Mabuza
Letter #49

I'm in Johannesburg now. The Joburg 1 ward. There are 2 areas in Joburg so we are the west side. Straight city. And this one is even more dirty than Pretoria was! haha. My companion is Elder Mabuza and he is also a Swazi and way older than me just like elder Dlamini was. Dlamini was 25 and Mabuza is 23! He just got finished being trained so i am his follow up trainer. We are having a great time and lots of success! Before i got here there was 1 person on date and only like 2 other investigators. They hadn't been to a dinner appointment for 2 months and 90 percent of the lessons taught were recent converts. Now we have 4 on date, 8 others, have been fed every night so far except for 2 and half of our lessons are recent converts. the members don't have a lot of trust in the missionaries right now so we are doing our very best to regain that trust and be a blessing to the ward and not a burden.

We went to contact a referral that had been given to us like 2 months ago and found a super sweet guy named Frances. He was taught by the missionaries way back in 2003 in Cape Town. His friend came over and found them there one day and also had them teach him. the friend joined the church but Frances did not. Now Frances stays with his friend here in Joburg and we are teaching him again! He has been reading the gospel principles book on his own and wants to know if everything we are teaching is true. He has a date to be baptized for Dec 09 and wants to make it. He got to come to conference yesterday and he absolutely loved it! He was smiling so big at the end of it. We are going to his place tonight to have FHE with his friends family and then teach him a lesson as well. I am so excited for him! Every time we go to teach him there is a different feeling. A more spiritual feeling and you can really tell that he is taking everything to his heart. He always has questions for us that show his desire to learn. We always know people are interested but he kinds of questions they ask us. At the end is when he shows the most sincerity by the way he prays to heavenly father asking about the truth and to help him to understand. He is from DRC so he speaks french and I get to practice my french now! Actually like more than 1/2 of our ward is from DRC.

There are two other young guys that we are teaching that I am super excited for. One is Charles and he is 16...almost, and the other is Sandile and he is 18. Sandile is a recent convert of 3 months and is now preparing to serve a mission! He is honestly doing everything he can to please god and make his life better. last Sunday during priesthood opening exercises he stood up to make an announcement that the Sunday school class he was in had no teacher and he was disappointed in that because he came here to learn and feel the spirit. We all know most of us would have been so happy to not have a teacher at that age. Charles is his neighbor and they are really good friends. Charles trusts in us so much and is also very sincere in his efforts to change. He stopped drinking tea last week over the course of 2 days! he is another person that you can really see the evidence of his sincerity in the prayers that he says at the end of our lessons. Charles is just one of the happiest most energetic kids i have met so far and can't wait for him to be a member of the church!

In my last area Kanye i heard news that elder Dlamini and his new companion did not get along and so the area was whitewashed. 2 new missionaries just went up on Friday. I really hope that all those people we contacted at our BOM booth are still going to be taught even all those people that we were preparing for November! We did so much hard work to make that a solid area!

Love you family!
-Elder Dirkmaat :D

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pics from Kanye and down to Joburg!

Mike and Sazi and family!

The goat and I were best friends but we got in a fight and I won... Sorry neh.

We caught a donkey! was gonna ride it but felt bad cause it was a baby and super scared

Do you miss the rains down in Africa?

Caught in the rain!

Cleaning the baptismal font with Elder Kuseni and Elder Stamp

Molebatsi Family!

Botswana Wedding! It was cool! I want mine to be like it! ha. I don't know if you can see the people dancing...but they are.

T.I.B. (This Is Botswana) and the reason we don't get investigators to church! That and the cattle post...

But it's fine cause I'm Johannesburg Central now! Ha. This was the last place I thought i would ever be but i am enjoying it! We are in the Joburg 1 ward and my companion is Elder Mabuza. I got another Swazi companion! Two in a row! haha. That's all for today cause it took FOREVER to upload all these pictures. 
Tilll next week!
-Elder Dirkmaat
I love you family!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Transfer News!...

Area - Kanye, Botswana
Companion - Elder Dlamini
Letter #47

Elder Dirkmaat leaving Kanye and returning to South Africa. Will remain a private until further notice. I'm excited to go back to South Africa but in some ways i wish i could stay in Botswana for the rest of my mission. I love it here! I hope i will get to come back up sometime soon though. They messed up when they did my residency so instead of June 2014, they put June 2013 so I have to come back before that! It's exciting to be able to go to a new area again. My district leader elder Fackrell was so excited to go to a new area but the call did not come and so now he will be staying for a total of 9 months and the end of this transfer. He was very upset. I felt bad for him cause we were all excited to leave and he was sad. Elder Jenkinson has also been in Bots and so now both of us are going to our third areas at the same time ha. He got called to be a district leader somewhere in South Africa. I really hope that Elder Dlamini gets a good companion that he can get along with otherwise i would be seriously worried that he just takes the car and drives home. Maybe not but he's been thinking of a lot of good reasons to go home and not finish. i'm gonna miss Kanye for sure and can't wait to come back.

This week we met so many sweet people who are eager to learn the gospel! We had 8 new investigators by Wednesday but then the rest of the week everybody was going out of town cause this weekend is the Botswana Independence (Sept. 30, 1962?). The work we did at the stand paid off because everybody that we met was intelligent and had written their names down with a purpose to find the truth. We went to visit one guy and he told us that him and his friend had been talking a lot about how they need to reshape their lives and come unto God. They both drink A LOT and are still single, they look like they are in their 30's. We taught them a bit about the Book of Mormon and he said that "this the book for me. I know I need to read this so that I can increase my faith and change my life." I love it when people say that instead of 'Why should i read this? I already have the Bible." When people recognize the truth it so amazing and inspiring to build your testimony and courage to share it with as many people as you can! With one of the other people we visited we brought a recent convert with us to help. The guy was super interested. Our companion was doing a great job helping us teach and build a relationship of trust but then as we were teaching him to pray about the Book of Mormon he told the guy that the best time to pray is at 12 midnight cause that is when you are at your spiritual high cause that is when the days are separated. :? We just continued teaching and didn't comment but I guess that's what happens when you bring recent converts! haha.

This week was a great week and as much as we had success we also didn't cause of all the people out of town. I think on Thurs, Fri, and Sat we had only one or two lessons each day. Oh! I forgot. one of the people who came to our stand invited us to her daughters wedding so I got to go to my first African wedding! It was so cool! All the singing and dancing and traditional stuff. It was a traditional/white wedding so it was kind of similar to ours but other things mixed in. Instead of walking down the aisle, they danced down the aisle! ha.

Well that's pretty much my week. Sounds like Ollie had a super Birthday party! HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLLIE!!! What a big kid! Lucky you, I get to email ON your b-day :D I love you brother!

I was going to send pictures today but I'm in gabs and all of my things are already in Joburg :/ Sorry neh.

-Elder Dirkmaat :D