Monday, March 25, 2013

Another Baptism!

Area- Vosloorus, South Africa
Companion- Elder Martin
Letter #72

Kgaugelo's Baptism!

Wow! A family got baptized! That's awesome! It seems like the missionary work is powerful at home! That's cool that dad got to go on splits with the missionaries the other day. There are tons of people here in Vosloorus that are just like that guy that you went to teach, dad. It's a challenge to help them feel the spirit and be humble enough to accept it and make changes. Sometimes we go to a lesson and they want to do is teach us or hear what we think about some certain doctrine. For example, yesterday we went to this guy and sat down and I asked him how his day was and he said it fine and that he's just having a nice relaxing spiritual recoup for the next week and then all of the sudden he went off telling us some weird stuff about the spirit and what it is and told us about some codes in the Bible that we need to understand and that all the steeples on our temples represent the pyramid with the all seeing eye on the american dollar . It was weird so we left. But then you get other people like a guy that we saw later in the day who really does want to learn. People who are teachable are the ones who recognize that they don't know everything. We can help them realize that in a gentle way by teaching them about the restoration plain and simple and especially making sure that the spirit is present. When that happens they will be interestd and want learn more and be willing to "experiment upon the word." This guy, Opah, is exactly like that. We taught him some simple things and he didn't understand them very clearly and so we were bale to answer the sincere questions that he had and now he can't wait for us to come back.

Here in Vosloorus the members love the missionaries but they're is not too much of their involvement in the actual missionary work. We are trying to change that. The Bishopric just surprised us with a new ward mission plan yesterday. They said that they want to have 9 families and 7 other individuals baptized by the end of the year. So far there are 3 individuals and 1 half family I think. We got some work to do! But that also means the members do as well! What do the missionaries do in La Costa to organize the splits and members being in the teaching process? It's always difficult to organize that here so i want to know if they have some sort of system.

We had a baptism yesterday for Kgaugelo! He has been taught for the past couple months along with 4 of his friends. He was he first one that was ready out of them all and the rest should be baptized in April! Kgaugelo is only 2 days older than me haha. He is planning on going on a mission and he cannot wait to come teaching with us once he gets confirmed this Sunday! I am excited for this group of friends. They are all so happy and seem like members already. They even invited 2 of their other friends to come to church with them and see Kgaugelo get baptized yesterday.

I got to go on exchanges this week with Elder Jenkinson this week cause he is now my Zone Leader! That was pretty cool! His area also borders my area is joburg and one of the neighborhoods that we worked in there was split between Joburg 1 and Bedfordview(his area) so we went there and had a lesson. It was nice to be back and to be with him!

We are teaching many families here. We had lessons with seven different father led families this week but it seems like the only people who are progressing are the ones who are not father led families. It seems that the fathers are always so darn busy that we cannot meet with them often enough to help them progress. In Joburg it was hard to find a father led family in the first place and now it's so easy but the problem is actually meeting with them. Ha. I think all we need to do is have better planning and try to focus more on them.

I am enjoying being here in the township though. Yes like you said least week. it is super clean compared to most townships. It is more spread out and there are not many students like in other townships. We did go to a part of our area this week that reminded me of Botswana except super cramped and tight. It was dirt roads and shacks and not many trees all super close together. It's crazy how different a place can be when it's only a 5 minute walk away.

I hope that my emails are descriptive enough and that you really get a feel for what it's like to be here! If not, let me know and I will do better!

Have a great week! I love you all!

-Elder Dirkmaat :D

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Right Time Right Place

Area- Vosloorus, South Africa
Companion- Elder Martin
Letter #71

y wena's!

I'm sorry I'm not creative with my opening lines. ha. As long as it's something with an exclamation mark to make sure you know I'm excited! haha. Sorry, none of my companions have a blog besides Elder Foote. I know a lot of other missionaries with blogs and it also seems like every single new missionary already knows who I am am! hahaha.

It's been a great week for me! The other elders(Vosloorus 2)had a baptism yesterday so I got to do my first interview which was really cool. The district leader interviews the people who are ready for baptism that have been taught by the missionaries in his district and so I got to do that. The baptism was for a mother and her son. the mother had to be interviewed by the mission president so I got to interview her son, Unathi. I was nervous like 2 weeks ago, when I found out I would be a district leader and would be doing these interviews, that it was gonna be hard and I was gonna mess up or something but it's really quite simple! You just go and have a conversation with them, ask them questions and try to get an idea for their testimony and readiness for baptism, and most importantly listen to the spirit and everything will be alright! the interview was on Thursday and ever since Tues I was just excited for it and not worried at all! It kind of reminded me of when I first started mission that I was always scared to go teach people but now I cannot wait to teach somebody and have an appointment with them. Sometimes during our visits I talk too much now and I have to stop myself and give time to my companion. It's weird how I hardly talked at all and now the challenge is to talk less.

We are going to have a baptism for a great guy named Kgaugelo this coming Sunday. he is 20 yrs old and has made huge changes to be ready for this. He and 4 of his friends have all been being taught but he is the only one that is ready cause he is the only one who is always home and progressing. The others are always busy and out of town so it's more difficult to teach them. 2 of them have their baptism date for April 14 and the others don't have date right now. Kgaugelo says that he wants to go serve a mission so he's gonna be kinda like Charles except Charles was only 16. Kgaugelo can go now and Charles has to wait a bit. After Kgaugelo gets baptized we are gonna start taking him teaching with us and he even said that he wants to come very day!

We met an awesome family this week. On Friday we were absolutely finished. We had like 6 appointments ditch and had tracked a lot and didn't want to do anything. We decided to just tract this street we were on. The first door We knocked a mother answered. Elder Martin said ...something to her that had to do with families. From our point of view it sounded really bad and we laughed afterwards BUT, she yelled to her husband "they want to teach us about families!" and let us in and we taught them! Their son Hlayisane is 20 yrs old and within the first 5 or 10 mins he was telling us that he wants to come to church. Most people we wouldn't take that seriously but he came with his little brother and sister! His parents didn't come sadly but he did! He loved it too! He said it was too short. When the teacher ended the last class he was surprised and thought we still had at least 30 mins more. At the end he asked us for a tithing slip and envelope so he could bring it next week and told us he was going to be at church every week for the rest of his life. In the gospel principles class the teacher taught about the book of Mormon. We had not said a word to him about it yet and then afterwards he said that he needed the book now. This guy is powerful! I wish everybody could feel it the same way he has! That would probably make missionary work too easy though.

So glad that Heavenly Father prepares people at the right time and the right pace and that Elder Martin and I were ready to find them! If we had come 5 or 10 mins earlier or later Hlayisane would not have been there and probably wold not have had the opportunity to come to church this Sunday and feel what he did! Sometimes working sucks cause it seems like nothing is happening but every single time it's the last street or the last door before you go home that Heavenly Father says "alright good work, I trust you to teach this family" If we didn't put in that last effort in the 11th hour we would have never found them!

Thanks for the updates! It sounds like everything is lekker back home. My family is amazing! It's gonna be weird to see you all again cause form what I hear it seems like you are all a lot stronger in the gospel and growing everyday! Thanks!

I love you!
-Elder Bobby Dirkmaat :D

Monday, March 11, 2013

New Area - Vosloorus!

Area- Vosloorus, South Africa
Companion- Elder Martin
Letter #70

Hey wena's!

i am now in Vosloorus! I can see Joburg from here. Vosloorus is a township in the Bedfordview Stake. My companion is Elder Martin from Switzerland! English is his 4th language after Swiss, German and French so sometimes i have a hard time understanding what he is saying haha. We are having a great time though! We have taught 17 lessons together so far and 14 of them were to different people and I still have more people to meet! I am still lost as to where they all stay. We live like 15 k's away from the area so we drive there everyday and there are 4 missionaries in the ward. We just split the area. It's gonna be a great area! being a district leader is also gonna be a great experience. Like all the responsibilities in the church, it is an opportunity to serve. basically the missionaries in the district report their weekly doings to me and I report it to the zone leaders and I jsut help the missionaries in my district find ways to improve their areas and become better missionaries. Now instead of helping investigators and my companion i also have 4 other missionaries to help that I have a responsibility for. It's pretty cool. I think I will enjoy it!

Yes! That was a great lesson on Sunday! Isn't it cool that the church is the same around the world and I also got to learn the same lesson at church!? :D I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. Don't forget who you are and what you can become! It reminds me also of something that Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf said once. "The creator of the universe is the father of your spirit." And then he said something about our potential to become and create just like Him.

When I think about the joy and happiness that I feel when I learn eternal truths I wonder what other people feel when we teach them the same things. There are so many people that we teach the truth and they reject it. It's hard to understand how they don't feel the same way we do. That's the hard part about missionary work. Missionaries are always trying to become better teachers and to have the spirit with them so that the people we talk to can feel the way we do. It's hard! But the happiness that is felt when somebody else recognizes the spirit and allows it to enter their heart is unforgettable and pleasing to our Heavenly Father and that's why we do it. The restored gospel is 100% true! I'm not the greatest teacher and not everybody wants to accept what we teach but I do know that what I am doing is right. I want everybody in the whole world to know the truth and practice and be ready to meet and live with God someday.

I still have lots to learn and things to do as a full time missionary but I always wonder what it will be like when I am home. Will I be a missionary like I hope and see myself being? I can't wait till Nate gets to go on a mission and feel these things in his life! Committing to serve a mission is the best decision he has ever made in his life so far. It's the best decision I made!

I hope you have a great week family! Do some missionary work! I know you are and it's awesome! Makes me happy :D

Love you!
-Elder Bobby Dirkmaat :D

Monday, March 4, 2013

Good Times

Here is Wilson and Mary and their daughter patience! I know you have all wanted to see them really badly! Wilson is hilarious hahahahah!!!! I just had to send this first one!!! I laugh so hard every time I look at it!! The one in the Quiksilver shirt is Bro. James who is friends and stays with Bro. Tau. They are all from Zimbabwe. This picture kind of gives some info on what their homes are like. Just one room, the bed on the left, the kitchen on the right. Cement walls and nothing else! Pretty crazy!
Area- Johannesburg, South Africa
Companion- Elder Wilkinson
Letter #69

Hello! From your Mission Mormonary in south Africa!! :D

So here's the inside scoop. I am going to a new area tomorrow and I am becoming a district leader. I wish i could stay here cause I am gonna miss seeing so many people get baptized over the next month or two! It always seems to happen that way and I don't know why. It has been a fantastic 6 months here in Johannesburg! i have loved it! We shall see where the Lord sends me next.

Here's the highlight of the week. We have been teaching Wilson and his wife, Mary, for the past 3 months. Wilson is ready for baptism as soon as he can get married to Mary legally. we thought it was going to happen this week but the embassy is being dumb and says that they both have to go to Zimbabwe together to get the letter required for bishop to be able to marry them. So they didn't get it this week and Wilson is still not baptized. So that's not the highlight! The highlight is that Mary has been making promises to us every week that she is going to come to church and she never has. Well she came yesterday and she absolutely loved it!! It took her this whole time to come and now that she has she told us that she is going to go to church every Sunday for the rest of her life and she is going to get baptized as soon as possible. She said her favorite part was fast and testimony meeting and the Relief Society class. She also enjoyed Sunday School but the other two were her favorite. She said that she was so impressed by all the children that went to bare their testimonies and then also in relief Society there was a sister who told about how she felt very small and insignificant compared to all the other members when she came to church for the first time but through reading the book of Mormon and gospel principles class and going to church she loves it and couldn't be happier any where else. Mary said that is exactly how she felt and she wants to be just like that sister. So grateful that Heavenly Father prepared all of those people to be there and share their testimonies on the day that Mary first came to church! It took her 3 months to come and now she wishes she had come the very first Sunday we met! It's interesting how things happen but they always happen fro a reason!

We got to continue meeting with DaCosta and the best thing that he said to us which was actually a day that we just passed by was, "I have been reading and praying everyday and I'm learning! I feel something inside and I wasnt more!" WOOO!

So many great things are happening in this area. I love it! So sad that I have to leave but great things are bound to happen everywhere that the gospel is being taught and learned!

I love you family have a fabtastic week and keep seeing miracles in your lives! :)

-Elder Dirkmaat :D