Area - Johannesburg, South Africa
Companion - Elder Mabuza
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