Monday, February 25, 2013

Super Duper Week!!

Area - Johannesburg, South Africa
Companion - Elder Wilkinson
Letter #68


I love having great weeks! Even though I was sick Tues - Thurs and we didn't even go outside on Thursday it was still super duper! Can't have a bad week on mission as long as you always find something to be happy about!

Charles was confirmed on Sunday and he has already talked with the bishop and he will become a priest this Sunday! Wilson still wasn't able to be baptized cause the guy we needed to talk to to get his papers was in New York the whole week. But Wilson should get all of the things tomorrow or weds and be married the same day and be baptized shortly thereafter! Busisiwe got work off on Sundays and will now be bale to come very week! We also got to teach DaCosta while she was gone at work on Saturday and it was great! We had to teach him very simply and and I got practice a lot of my French. Who knew that I could teach somebody in French?? Heavenly Father was sure helpin me out. I hope we get to start teaching DaCosta much more often. I love that guy! He is such a great father. We met a couple times out front of his house fixing a car and his daughter Mimi was always there helping him out. Every where he goes she follows him around and holds his hand. One day he's gonna baptize her when she turns 8! She's 3 right now.

And the last happy thing of the week, Sara got her mission call!! Yes you already knew that but EXCITING!!!! Argentina! That was my guess too ;) I'm so excited for her and can't wait for her also to be serving! Glad to hear that Nate is gettin on it too! Andrew McFarlane is home. I was thinking about him the other week and I thought he was home so thanks for letting me know!

Okay my mind is running blank but I hope you have another great week! Smile lots and always be good examples!
Love you all!

-Elder Bobby Dirkmaat :D

Monday, February 18, 2013

More Baptisms!!!

Area- Johannesburg, South Africa
Companion- Elder Wilkinson
Letter #67

Good afternoon!

A new iPad? You cheese boy!! haha. Sounds like everybody had a nice valentines day! good deal. We also taught Busisiwe and DaCosta about marriage on valentines day so maybe we also had a good Valentines day? ;D Busisiwe was not able to come to church this week again cause of work but DaCosta came again! He loves it! This time he was asking questions and giving answers in class! We went to visit DaCosta's cousin last night who we have been trying to visit for a month now, cause we met him while we were teaching Busisiwe one night, and while we were visiting he told us that Busisiwe got Sunday off and instead she is gonna work on like Tuesday or something so we are super excited for that! he said that the boss never lets people change days or get a day off but he did for her! What a blessing!!

Thanks for the preaching dad! I enjoyed it. You could go make a church and be the richest man in South Africa! But I will be praying for you, definitely. Heavenly father blesses those who keep his commandments and have righteous desires. Like you! ;)

This week we were able to have the baptism for Charles! His cousin Sandile baptized him and it was great! It was Sandile's first time to perform a baptism so he was really nervous and he did mess up a bit. the first time he did it perfect but then Charles didn't go all the way under and that's when he got really nervous. Afterwards he was out teaching with us and felt really bad and wanted to go home and so we had to talk to him and tell him that it was no problem that it didn't go perfectly. In the end it was good and Charles was baptized. I even told him about Elder Jenkinson baptizing somebody 10 times and then finally just swiping his feet so he would go under all the way. He still felt bad so we are gonna see how he feels on Tuesday. But Charles was happy! His mom even came with his little brother for the entire church service and she was talking and making comments in class and all that so I think she really enjoyed and maybe this will soften her up so that we can be able to teach her!

Wilson was not able to be baptized this Sunday because of some marriage issues. In Zimbabwe people usually just get married tribally and don't register it with the government. It has to be a marriage recognized by the government in order for someone to be baptized so we didn't know that until Saturday night. Bishop could have got him married legally that night or even the next morning but they needed to have a letter from the embassy saying that each of them, Wilson and his wife Mary, have never been married before in their own country. So that's gonna get done this week and then Wilson will be bale to be baptized this coming Sunday! Wilson came to church with a white shirt and tie yesterday and then after church we went to visit him and Tau and we taught them about eternal marriage. They both loved it and it strengthened their testimonies incredibly. We taught first about being sealed and then about baptisms for the dead cause Wilson had a son who passed away. Then Wilson asked, "So there are baptisms for the dead and we can also be sealed to our families in the temple, can we also be sealed for our grandparents, etc?" Great question! haha. When you use the expression blown away you need to have in mind the reaction Wilson was having at the end of the lesson. He was physically and spiritually blown away, especially his face showed it(remember he's the one who makes funny faces when he feels the spirit).

I guess that's the highlights of the week! Things are going very well and there are once again gonna be so many people getting ready for baptism right after I leave that I'm gonna have to miss! Why does it always happen that way??

Have a wonderful week! I love you family!!

-Elder Dirkmaat

Monday, February 11, 2013

Heita from South Africa!

Area- Johannesburg, South Africa
Companion- Elder Wilkinson
Letter #66

Hola Hola!

Heita from South Africa! How's it goin'?? :D

Those tires are pretty rad Nate! Trickin' that thing out!

Thanks for the picture of Amber, I had a dream about her last night! hahaha That was the same dream that there was a huge cobra and I couldn't get out of my bed in the morning cause I thought it was gonna be underneath the bed! SO glad I have not seen a snake in Africa yet.

This week has been pretty Ngca! haha. I guess I'll have to teach you how to say that when I get home!

No I'm not training somebody else yet. My companion is still Elder Wilkinson until March 6th most likely. Then I will go to a new area and stay a normal missionary, train again, or be a district leader. You never know!

So this week Sister Busisiwe got a job and she works Fri, Sat, Sun.... Pesky little Satan! But her husband DaCosta still came to church with their daughter and he brought a friend! Sweet deal! We are gonna go visit them tomorrow night and hopefully he will be home from work on time so that we can also teach him. We have still not taught him anything even though Busisiwe has been teaching him everything and reading the pamphlets with him. I am super excited for their future cause it looks bright! Brother Wilson and Charles are planning on being baptized this coming Sunday which is super exciting. Charles has been waiting for 6 months! And Wilson is just chuggin' along gaining a powerful testimony just like his friend Tau did 2 months ago! The ward is super excited for all the baptisms that we are having and just like I said last week, they are getting more and more involved every week. We brought Brother Kisten teaching to Sister Busisiwe and last week he went up to her husband and said "How are you doing Brother DaCosta?" and made friends with him even though they had never met. This week he walked all the way to the back of the chapel before going to class to make sure that he got to talk to him again. Love it when members make friends with the investigators! So now we have 2 investigators that did not previously have jobs and now do but they both work on Sundays!! Michael also got a job this week. He works every day 7 - 6 and only makes 1,000 rand a month.... He is happy to have something! Brother Tau also has a similar situation but he managed to get Sunday off so hopefully Michael and Busisiwe can do the same.

Francis gave a talk yesterday during sacrament meeting and we didn't even know about it! haha. We walked in and saw him sitting on the stand and he looked super nervous. His eyes were huge and he just looked really funny. But he gave a powerful talk about standing in holy places. It was nice to hear that. He also received the Aaronic Priesthood and so he will get to pass the sacrament next Sunday. Francis is such a great guy and I am so happy for the opportunity to be able to have taught him and Stewart and Tau. They are powerful spiritual giants! We have been meeting many Ghanaian's the past little while and so we are gonna try to bring Stewart with us to teach them. Yesterday we had him walk with one of them, Brother Godson. Godson is a pastor for God's Oracle Power Ministry International. It is his own church from Ghana and he is here trying to organize it in South Africa. It is difficult to teach a pastor cause they find a way to agree with everything you teach and still back themselves up and not have to admit to the truth. I hope that being at church and seeing how it works will help! He likes to go to the churches where they play drums and loud music and everybody prays at the same time and they all "speak in tongues" and is just crazy. He commented and said that our church was very orderly. Which made me think of the scripture or the quote that says the house of the Lord is a house of order, it just helped build my testimony of how 100% true The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is!

Along with visits to the people of Ghana they have given us new names. According to the day you were born you have a certain name along with your other names. Since I was born on Wednesday, I am Kwaku. Here are the names for the rest of the days, male first and female following: Mon - Kojo and Adwoa Tues - Kwabena and Abena Weds - Kwaku and Akua Thurs - Yaw and Yaa Fri - Kofi and Afia Sat- Kwame and Ama Sun - Kwesi and Akosua. Let me know what your names are!

Well that's all for the week for now. I wish I was like Elder Wilkinson and could think and write fast and have like 2 pages done by now! haha, Oh well.
have a great week! I love you all!

- Elder Bobby Dirkmaat :D

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Apply the Gospel in Your Life

Area - Johannesburg, South Africa
Companion - Elder Wilkinson
Letter #65

HAHAHA YES I AM GOING CRAZY WAITING FOR THAT CALL (for Sara Newman)!!!! It seems like I'm gonna have no friends when I get home cause they are all gonna be on mission. Lucky you mama!! Or lucky school ha. So excited to hear where everybody is going though, especially Sara. Nate tells me that I don't get to know where he is going until like June. That camp-out looks like it was way fun! Guess what!? I get to go next time!! I love that Sophie was the one enjoying the off-roading and the scouts were the ones that were scared! hahaha. She's still a girly girl but she's a tough one!

The work is going very well!! Busisiwe and Wilson are on fire not me! haha. We have taught Busisiwe basically everything now and she is ready! Except for one thing...Her and her "husband" are not married. EISH. They are gonna talk to the bishop and he said he can get them married easily. The only problem is that they were lazy and didn't do the paper work. ALSO, her husband, DaCosta, doesn't really like church much. He had some bad experiences in the past with other churches BUT, on Saturday we knew that they were moving so we came to help them and he was so thankful that we came. If we hadn't it would have taken them a few hours but instead it only took like 2. The next day he came to church with her! He looked so good in those nice clothes. Would have never guessed that he was a mechanic and loved to drink all weekend. Made me happy!!

Maggy and MacDonald are having a super rough time right now. They did get kicked out of their flat today and they have nowhere to go. We asked bishop if he could help them out someway and so we have to call him straight after this to see what happened. They haven't been to church for 3 weeks cause Maggy is working overtime everyday and every weekend and MacDonald is still looking for work. It's sad when things happen cause I have no idea what I could do. I know what I could if I was not a missionary... We basically have to hope that the members are willing to help. When we went to visit them one of the children said that they had just returned from town and that they were at church. I don't think the parents heard but that makes me worried cause it means that they are turning somewhere else and they don't feel we can help. The gospel of Jesus Christ will help everyone in every situation but only if they apply it. That's the part they aren't doing. WE shall see what happens and we will not give up on them!

In other news, we no longer live in the student housing next to UJ. We now live in a cheese boy area on the opposite side of Joburg in an area called Bruma and it is BEAUTIFUL!!!! So happy to get out of those other flats and not have distractions like parties and drinking and loud music. Now it's peace and quiet, the flat is bigger AND nicer AND safer AND more convenient AND the same price. It's just ngca ;) Can you say that?

Not much else but know that I love you family! It's such a great experience to be here in Africa serving the Lord and I am so grateful for the support that I have from you! Be safe and be good examples to every one you meet!

-Elder Bobby Dirkmaat :D