Monday, January 28, 2013

Baptism & Joburg Pictures!

Soccer City which is one of the stadiums that they built for the World Cup and that they are currently playing the Africa Cup of Nations

Wohoo for the baptism of Francis!  That is his wife standing next to him

Francis's friend Brother Lucas Baptized him

From the top of a hill in our area which is basically the closest you get to being in nature

 I love being up there to see the beauty of the earth!! haha. That hill is where tons of people go to pray. There are lots of crazy rituals that they do also. We were far away from them where we couldn't hear cause we just felt weird

Be a Member Missionary

Area - Johannesburg, South Africa
Companion - Elder Wilkinson
Letter # 64

Hey hey!

Thanks for the videos! I did not get to watch them though. This email shop that we use is not very good for downloading and viewing videos, but tell the Travers family 'Hi!" for me! Don't know what they said ha but I'm still happy to hear from them! haha.

I like the ideas that you gave about helping these people realize the joy that comes from service and living the gospel of Jesus Christ. We don't do service a whole ton but we do sometimes. I am definitely gonna try to get our investigators to come help us. That sounds like tons of fun and a great way to get them learning and feeling the spirit.

Yesterday Francis was confirmed so now he is a member of the church and he is very happy! We have been able to have lots of support from the members recently since the New Years resolutions haha. It is really great to have so many members that want to help out and that are doing their best to be missionaries. They are bringing many friends to church and introducing us to them and I love it! We have been taking a guy named Sandile with us many of the days. He was baptized in August and is preparing to serve a mission. We saw evidence of the difference it makes for people to have somebody to fellowship them yesterday at church. A sister that we just started teaching, Busisiwe, came to church and Sandile and another guy Marcel were both there to help her since they were the ones that we had taken to teach her during the week. She said that she loved church and I'm sure that it was partly because she had that support. Sister Busisiwe has a great love for the gospel and we enjoy teaching her. The other day we went to visit and she was watching some shows of these pastors and prophets around Africa Tons of people believe in these guys and would get offended if we said that they were not true. So we told her anyway. we explained and everything like that and then she said, "Thank you for telling me. I am never going to watch them again." Wow! She is gaining a strong testimony so fast! her baptism date is for march and she will probs be ready before that!

I feel like I'm learning so many things everyday and every week and every month.. Sometimes I learn so many things that I forget them and have to learn them again! But I can really feel that I'm closer to God than I ever have been before in my life. That closeness comes from serving Him and His children! You can't deny the good feeling you get when you teach somebody the truth, when somebodies life is better because of the gospel and not really because of you. Sometimes I think "man, I'm great at helping people!" but I always have to remember that it is Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ who are helping them. If they weren't there then everything I am doing would be in vain cause it wouldn't matter! I am so eternally thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ that you, my parents, have taught me and that I now have the privilege to bring those blessings to other families! I think I'm just gonna be a missionary for the rest of my life!! Maybe not a set apart full-time missionary but I hope that I will be at least a worthy full-time missionary till the day I die.

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

Monday, January 21, 2013

Still Going Strong

Area - Johannesburg, South Africa
Companion- Elder Wilkinson
Letter #63

Hey there!

Glad you liked the plans for the fort! Can't wait to hear how it goes and to see some pictures of it when it is finished! That's super cool, Dad, that you have been listening to so many talks. When I was in Botswana we used to listen to them a lot cause one of the missionaries a ton on CD's and I have listened to that one by Pres. Eyring, I love it! I gotta be honest, it is super hard to do what that missionary did but I try my very best!

Francis was baptized yesterday!! WOOOOO!!!! He was so happy and I am so glad that he was ready. He has been investigating the church for 4 years and now he finally knows that everything he has been learning is true. The Missionary that interviewed him for baptism said that right when they got into the room together he just got a nice feeling that he was ready and if he wanted to he could have just walked out and said "alright, it's good." I know for sure that Francis was ready for it. He was having a hard time gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon but when he did everything made sense to him about why we were having him wait longer and because of it he is a happy man! When he bore his testimony he even quoted some scriptures from the Book of Mormon! I am so glad that we waited until we really knew that he was ready.

We had a successful week all in all. We are had more than 20 lessons last week and we kept it up this week also! It feels so good when you get to teach many people in the week and not have days where you are struggling to find something to do. I love to just teach all day every day! Wilson came to church this sunday even though his family didn't come and he enjoyed it very much. He has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and now I think for him it is going to take some getting used to going to church and abiding standards that he will have to get used to before he will be baptized. Also we want his whole family to be baptized together so hopefully his wife and daughter will also be able to make it next week.

It seems that this week went really well and then when it gets to sunday there is always something to make you sad. This week it was church attendance once again. It is sad and little bit frustrating when people promise you that they are going to come to church and they even have testimonies of the things that we are teaching them, and then they don't come. It is the only thing that they will flake for. They don't know what they are missing out on no matter how much you can bear your testimony or tell them what happens there. They have to come or they won't progress anymore. I was still super happy that Wilson came and also 2 new people did come but there were about 20 people that promised to come. :(

Also, recently, we have talked to 2 people now who are losing their faith in God cause he is not giving them the things that they want. They are not having financial success and they say they are losing faith b/c they are not getting money right away to do what they want witht heir lives. I understand that it is hard to not have enough money to even buy food but the problem is that I have never experienced it and so it is difficult to give them the answer that they need to continue to trust in God and follow the gospel adn the blessings will come in his own time. Cause that is the answer that they don't want to hear. I told one guy that he was experiencing a trial of his faith and he basically scoffed. I want to help people see the light and find a solution to their problems but it seems that this week I didn't have the answers for those particular circumstances and levels of faith lose. Make sense? Guess I know what I will be studying about for the next little while! :D It'll be lotsa fun!

I only have 6 more weeks with Elder Wilkinson already! Why is time going so fast??? We are having such a great time together and he is progressing super well each day. Definitley glad to have him as my companion and hapy that I am "lucking out" so much with my companions!
Have a super week everybody! I love ya!
-Elder Dirkmaat :D

Monday, January 14, 2013

Spirit Breathing Dragon!

Area - Johannesburg, South Africa
Companion - Elder Wilkinson
Letter #62 

Me with Elder Wilkinson at the Johannesburg Temple


This week was also great! I'm definitely loving being a missionary. Yes I did get your other package and grandma's and also one from grandma and grandpa Dickman this week! Sorry i forgot to tell you. THANK YOU! They made me happy for sure. Now I'm sad that I don't get to have another Christmas on mission so I can get some more sweet packages! haha. Shall I extend and make that 10 month countdown go to...13 or 15?? hahaha Sorry I know you are frowning right now mom :) SMILE! Thanks for reminding me that it's only 10 more months! :P That's short ya know? I feel like I'm gonna leave this area way too soon and then I'm not gonna be a missionary anymore pretty soon and that's also gonna be sad. It's so much hard work but the rewards are so great! I love to see people change and make it to baptized and start their path to eternal life! My last day in Joburg 1 is most likely gonna be march 5th and I don't want that cause we have so many awesome people that we are teaching that will be getting baptized that month!

Yesterday we had a day planned with some appointments but the first one ditched... you know what that means! The rest of them will also ditch. ha. So also had backup plans cause we are good missionaries ;) but those also fell through. GREAT. Called 2 last people and they were there! Turns out we were led to visit them through all those cancellations and fall throughs cause they were probably 2 of the best lessons we had all week. There were two others but I'll tell you about these ones. The first one was a guy named Adetayo from Nigeria. We met him at our booth before new years and he was super interested. We tried to call him a few times but he never answered. We decidd to call him again and it went through and he answered and had been waiting for us to come visit him! We actually drove to find his place and couldn't find it so we called then. He answered and when he found out it was us he says "Where are you??" "On your street!" haha So he comes to meet us and the first thing he says is where is my book? I wanna read it! At the booth we wouldn't give people the BOM but we would have them write on the list so that we could visit them and deliver it to them and be able to teach them so he really wanted it so I made him sign the list. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and the whole time he was saying things like wow, this is incredible. I am so amazed. I think he said wow over 20 times. I think he already has a testimony that it is true. ha. So that was a great lesson. Then we went to see a guy named Martin. He is a slow learner and this was the second time we met him. I love this man because of how humble and ready he is to learn. The last time he went to church was when he wasa bout 8 yrs old and now he is well into his 40's and maybe his 50's. He trusts us and wants to change his life around NOW. We taught him about prayer and he loved it. Then we asked him to pray and he was so scared. After like 5 attempts and some talking between each one he finally did it and you could tell from his face how hapy he was. It was like a flood of relief came over him. Just before we left he asked a few more questions and my favorites were "So I can pray in the morning when I wake up and also before I sleep?" "Can I pray for my food?" "Can I pray anytime of the day?" YES YES YES!! haha. I am excited for him.

So that's a little bit about my week! It was great!! :D Francis wants to be baprtized this Sunday so hopefully he will be able to! We think he is fully ready. He told us " I know the BOM is true" and explained a little and the spririt was there to confirm to us that he was telling the truth. WE are not gonna tell anyone that he is ready until he gets his interview cause he was being pressured by his friend so it can be all on his own and nobody else will have any idea that he is ready until the day and time and speakers and prayers and songs are set. ha. Pray for him that he can be ready and confident and have no fear!

Love you family! Have fabtastic week!
-Elder DIrkmaat :D

Monday, January 7, 2013

Short & Sweet

Area- Johannesburg, South Africa
Companion- Elder Wilkinson
Letter # 61

Hey there! thanks for the emails!!

This has been a great week with lots of success and good times! I just found out that the email shop closes in 5 mins, sooo not much to say today. Eish! Sorry neh!

We had to go to the bush to get our car fixed by joggi (yogi bear) and just barely got fixed and the AC still doesn't work!! haha

i love you all :) have a super week! Talk to ya next week. :D

-Elder Bobby Dirkmaat :D