Monday, May 27, 2013

Becoming a Zone Leader!

Area- Vosloorus, South Africa
Companion- Elder Kelebogile
Letter #80

The Baptism for Sinethemba!

Here's a story I read during my talk a few months back.

Given during testimony meeting in 1970's

"Brothers and Sisters, as you know, I have been awaiting my mission call. During the time I was waiting I had a dream. I know it was not an ordinary dream. I dreamed I was in the pre-existence and I was awaiting my call to come to Earth. I was filled with the same excitement and anticipation that I had before I received my mission call. In my dream I was talking to a friend. He was a very dear friend to me and I felt a special closeness to him even though I have never met him in this life. As we talked, a messenger came and gave me a letter. I knew it my call to go to Earth. In great excitement my friend and I opened the letter. I gave it to him to read a loud. The letter said, ' You have been called to Earth in a special time and to a special land. You will be born into the true church and you will have the priesthood of God in your home. You will be raised with many advantages and blessings. You will be born in a land of plenty and a land of freedom. You will go to Earth in the United States of America.' My friend and I rejoiced. The messenger returned. This time he had a letter for my friend. We knew it was his call to go to Earth. My friend gave me the letter to read a loud. The letter said, ' You have been called to go to Earth in the circumstances of poverty and strife. you will not be raised in the true church. Many hardships will attend your life. Your land will be fraught with political and social difficulties which will hinder the work of the Lord. You will be born in Costa Rica.' We wept, my friend and I, as we read this call; and my friend looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, 'When you are down on Earth, you in your choice land and me in Costa Rica, my friend, come and find me.'

"Then this young missionary with tears in his eyes said, 'Brothers and sisters, I have received my mission call. I am going to Costa Rica.'

There is a sequel to this story. About a year and half after this sacrament meeting the bishop in this ward received a letter from the missionary in Costa Rica. The letter had one sheet of paper in it and on that sheet, in high letters, was written four words: 'I FOUND MY FRIEND'"


You always have so many fun things to do! I'm so happy for that and I hope it continues when I get back! haha. Thanks for sending the pics and the stories. Ollie and Sophie are huge and I think those glasses fit Sophie well. ;D

I hope you are all choosing to be happy as well! Did you send that story to Nate? It's funny you made that example about marriage cause last night we were visiting one of the families in the ward so that I could say goodbye to them and they started to give me marriage advice and everything they said sounded it like it could have come straight from you(mom and dad). That's one thing I have been learning about missionary work though is that everything I am doing is preparing me for everything that I am going to do for the rest of my life. Even something that Sara just wrote to me about that we have preparing for missionary service since before we were here on this Earth and it's true! All the things that we learned and callings we received before were preparing us for now and the things we learn now and the callings we receive are preparing us for the eternities! What a cool thought to have. Thinking about the talk Pres Uchtdorf gave where he made the example of him and his wife riding bicycles. We need to choose to be happy and enjoy what we have and every situation that we are. On top of that, the only way to be happy is to follow the example of Jesus Christ. I'm sure he would have been the kind of person to choose to be happy always just like Jerry. Funny enough, I have noticed that happening with brother Manana over the past couple weeks. He has been more happy every time we see him and I'm sure it is because he is finally learning the gospel of Jesus Christ and Hearkening to what we are teaching him rather than just letting us come in a listening to us. I'm almost positive he will be baptized in the next month or two! I'm just bummed I wont be here to see it!

Yes, I won't be here because I'm getting transferred after only 3 months! I'm becoming a zone leader and maybe I'll be going to Bots! Probably not though. Elder Wilkinson is training already! I'm a grand-daddy! and elder Jenkinson is a great grand daddy! ha. I'll let ya know next week where I am!

Love you!
Elder Bobby Dirkmaat :D

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Here are some pictures taken by Brother Gruen.  He is from my home ward in California, I saw him at the Johannesburg Temple!

Me and my companion, Elder Kelebogile

Left to right:  Me, Elder Kelebogile (my companion), Elder Laban, and Elder Max

Me, Elder Max, Elder Kelebogile, Elder Laban

Me and my companion, Elder Kelebogile

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Plan of Salvation

Area- Vosloorus, South Africa
Companion- Elder Kelebogile
Letter #79

Family :D! How are you!?

Soooo I read the book you sent me this week (The Engine 2 Diet) and now I feel bad about my list from last week. I still want it all! But I realize how you must feel sending that stuff ha. You can consider me a progressing investigator though. Based on the fact that I kept the unspoken commitment to read it and that I have shared it with my fellow missionaries. So far the only defense they have is "Well I need my protein" and "I love my meat" which we all know are lame excuses...If you've read the book. I'll have you know that I can't progress any farther until I get home. I still feel bad every time I eat things that are "not approved" but the change will have to come at a future date. Let me add some things to my order list though. I need more of those pens(Pilot G2 0.38) and that chap-stick(Ocean Potion).

Thanks for the sweet pictures! Can't wait to take a spin on the Green Machine! When was the last Daddy Daughter Dance? It seems like you just barely went to one. Ollie is gonna be a pro surfer pretty soon! I hope that story gets published! You'll have to let me know cause that would be awesome. Also I am so down for the surf trip before I go back to school! Hopefully my skills can cope with the quality of the waves. Eric told me he got to go surf in Kaui'i and that he saved some waves for me. Another trip in the making? haha.

So here's the best part of the week...Besides the fact that every week is awesome and missionary work is the best. We went to see Br. Manana on Tues and we came in while he was busy watching "Our Heavenly Fathers Plan", one of the church movies about the Plan of Salvation. For the past weeks we have been going to his home to be friends with him, read chapters from the Book of Mormon and just help him feel the spirit. We decided that we are just gonna wait until he tells us that he wants to be baptized. The only problem is that we don't really know what he needs to make him say that. Heavenly Father provided the answer with His plan! When we found Br. Manana watching that movie we immediately knew that we now had a teaching plan. When the movie finished we talked to him a bit about what he learned and how he felt. He told us how he has truly been enjoying our visits and looked forward to every Tuesday and Thursday and that he was learning new things that he never understood before because we had been reading with him. He saw that DVD in their collection and decided to watch it since we were a bit late and thought we weren't going to come. As we talked about the Plan of Salvation I noticed that his eyes started to water up and he shed a tear. He started asking all kinds of questions. We answered and even on Thursday we went back to teach the Plan. We asked him things like, "What do you have to do to be able to receive the blessing of eternal life in the Celestial Kingdom?" and he knows all the answers from our discussions! The only problem is that he is shy or scared to actually go to church and be baptized. He will do the things that he can do in private without anybody seeing him and giving him praise. With him the secret is time. I'm so happy that he is finally having a desire to learn and act. he told us that he was never interested and he doesn't know why but he now has a huge desire to learn and he never knew that there was so much that he still could learn. We shall see what happens in the future but so far very good!

That's the main thing I wanted to share with you this week. We are seeing great success every week and I am loving the people more and more each day! It seems like the challenges of being a missionary don't really matter when success is happening. We are going to have another baptism this week for the friend of the bishops sons and then in June we might have a father of a part member family and also the Ntimane family. Sister Ntimane told she has gone from 3 cups of coffee/tea per day down to only one in the past week! And that's in the middle of winter too!

I hope you have a wonderful week. Thanks for all that you do for me and being good examples at home!

I love you all!
-Elder Dirkmaat :D

Monday, May 6, 2013

Tearing It Up!

Area- Vosloorus, South Africa
Companion- Elder Kelebogile
Letter #78

Hey wena's! Unjani?

Eler Kelebogile and I are tearing it up in Vosloorus! We are meeting more of them members, exploring more parts of our area and still teaching tons! My district is leading the zone! Don't even feel like we are working hard cause of how fun and awesome it is but we are doin tons!

I'll talk to ya more on sunday but here is something that i wanted to share quick:

One thing that I have been doing personally is trying to make Jesus Christ a bigger part of my teaching. Naturally we talk about him during our lessons but I have been trying to emphasize His role in every thing more than I have been in the past. I used to think it was difficult to make peoples problems and concerns relate to Him but as I have been thinking about it more often and applying it in our lessons I have found that it is really quite easy. I have strengthened my testimony of Him and I have been able to feel the spirit more powerfully during our lessons. I used to think that teaching the lessons would help me fulfill my purpose pretty well of inviting others to come unto Christ but I have realized that we have to do more than teach them the principles. I have found myself teaching more simply but powerfully what Jesus Christ has done for us and in turn it has helped them to understand the lessons that we are teaching them better. It was an interesting thing to learn seeing that I thought I was already doing a pretty good job at helping people feel the spirit and become converted to Christ. I am definitely going to continue the practice of seeing how He can play a bigger role in the things that I am doing every day and especially in my interactions with others for the rest of my life!

In my district we have been working on one Christlike attribute per week to improve on and learn more about. We have been doing for 8 weeks now so we have almost finished all the attributes in PMG chapter 6 but then we are gonna start over! It's so cool how much you can learn about something that you thought you already knew so much about and even when you are doing it together with other people to be able to hear what they have learned and be able to add to your knowledge.

the best part is that we learn all these new things we get to go out and Immediately apply them with the people that we are teaching! Even though we had less church attendance than usual this week it was just Satan's way of trying to make me think that those changes that i made were for nothing when I know that the changes we make to come closer to Jesus Christ don't always receive their blessings immediately. Example: We were at the temple recently and the Joburg and Sunnyside wards were both there so I got to see tons of people that I used to serve around. They were telling me about all the changes and improvements and even the people who were getting baptized. About 10 people they said got baptized or were going to in the next week were people that I had taught while I was there!

Love you family!
Thanks for all your support!
Have a super week!
-Elder Bobby Dirkmaat

ps I got your package from Bob! Thank you! Please dont tell me that I'm coming home to a vegetarian diet though.... I need time to get used to it and I don't think that time will be spent on mission!