Monday, June 24, 2013

Catch the Wave

Area- Pretoria, South Africa
Companion- Elder Center
Letter #84
We had a fireside on sunday which we were super excited for but hardly anybody came. At church there were about 150. Then we had a linger longer and about 60 came to that and the fireside was after that and about 50 came to that. The 40 that didn't really even need the kick in the pants. ha. I think I have tracted more this week than any other week of  my mission which has been pretty fun but no results so far. Sorry to be complainy but I promise I am still happy and positive! i am still working and hoping that members will catch the wave and that some things will open up! We are still gonna have 2 baptisms in july or August which is gonna be sweet and we get dinner almost every day! haha. 

We met a famous writer the other day. We tracted his house and he wasn't interested but Elder Center asked him one last question and the guy said, " I have a book for you guys, would you like it? " We said yes and when he came back out with it we traded him for a Book of Mormon. We walked down the street opened it and found his picture and his signature! We are gona read the book and go back and tell we read it. Most of the stuff he wrote about correlates so well with the Book of Mormon and I know if he will read it he will notice and see that it is true! 

Being a zone leader is interesting. When I was a district leader there wasn't really any disobedience or anything but here there are some missionaries that aren't always doing what they are supposed to and it is difficult to set them on the right course. It's a small zone, only 12 missionaries including us.It's not bad things they are doing but just leaving the flat late or getting home really early. A couple of the companionships are not getting along very well and I'm not really too sure how you help a companionship get on except by telling them they need to serve their companions and focus on not doing the things that bug the other guy. We got to go on lots of exchanges the past few weeks which is fun. When we get to go to Kwqa-Guqa it feels like i'm in botswana again. We have to drive 100 kilometres to get there! 

I'm sure that if we just keep on keepin on something will happen and the missionary work will explode. We are going to be passing out the sheet for members to sign up for the missionary lessons next sunday since we had the fireside this sunday. 

Nate's mission is coming up very fast! he's gonna be gone before we all know it! I thought September sounded forever away but it seems close now. 

Well, have a great week! Love ya fam bam!

-Elder Dirkmaat :D

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Fathers Day!!

Area- Pretoria, South Africa
Companion- Elder Center
Letter #83

Hello family!

Thanks for all the stuff that you have shared with me! Isn't the gospel so true! That was a cool video about fathers. On Sunday for priesthood the bishop had us go to the young men's classes to help them prepare to be missionaries. The bishop taught the lesson about being a father and it was interesting how he related the young men's quorum to preparing to be fathers. I always kind of knew it but now I realized it more fully. He said that that's what the young men's quorum is preparing them to be and that they need to pray and work to develop the qualities of the kind of father that God wants us to be. Just like the video said, What better way to do that than by following Heavenly Fathers very example! Happy Fathers Day Dad! :D I heard that it was a great day so I'm happy! haha. You are the best! I love you!

This week was a nice week. We are still having it tough tying to find people to teach. Most of the houses are in gated communities so we can't tract a whole lot. The ward is not too excited about missionary work right now either so we are still working with that. We are gonna have a little fireside on Sunday with some powerful speakers! We are gonna have a linger longer just before it so that lots of people will stay and not have an excuse to go home ;) Another thing that we are gonna do is kind of like what the missionaries did just before I left. Going to teach the families in the ward the first three lessons. I thought that was a cool idea so we are gonna send a sign up sheet around next week.

As we were passing out cards the other day one guy tried to offer me money thinking we were looking for donations or something and another guy offered us a bag of chips which was much needed. We were dying of hunger! More especially Elder Center ha. Passing out cards is pretty fun but sometimes I just get really confused. How can a guy who has a bumper sticker that says "real men follow Jesus" refuse to take a card with a picture of Jesus on it?!?!?!?!? It makes absolutely no sense. I just say to myself when we tract and hand out cards "We are searching for the elect and humble who will accept the gospel." Right now it seems like the bait has been pulled a few times but the hook just hasn't got caught yet. It's close, so close! Did the missionaries there pass out cards? I dunno if they know how to do it cause I've never seen it the way we do it until I came here to SA. I also don't know if it's legal there. ha.

We are teaching Lesego still and he is loving the gospel more and more every time we go visit him. In church he is starting to ask lots of questions. He's one of those people that you can just tell he is learning so much compared to those people who just listen to you and nod their head. There is lots of work to do in this area and hopefully I will have more stories for you!

That's all I really have for this week. I know that the gospel is true. Nobody can tell me otherwise. I am so thankful that i have an awesome family like you to support me and help me to be where I am now! Keep safe and always share your testimony! There are missionary opportunities everywhere you go!

I love you!
-Elder Dirkmaat. :D

Monday, June 10, 2013


Area- Pretoria, South Africa
Companion- Elder Center
Letter #82


Hey there! I hope you have a super time at Big Bear! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! tomorrow. I can't believe you've still not taken me snowboarding... :P Ha. It's fine, when I get back I'll just go without ya! jk, I won't go without ya cause that would be boring.

The stake challenge sounds really cool! I'll try to do it as well. I can't start over reading the BOM though. I only have 4 books left! In our stake we are doing the 40 day fast idea that you told me about. Just before I got here the ward mission leader suggested it so Elder Center and I and the Bishop had planned to start it June 30th and have a fireside to kick it off June 23rd. Then the ward mission leader got called as the stake mission rep and he told the idea to the Stake Pres and he wanted to take it over and do it for the entire stake! It's pretty exciting and I hope we have as much success as you did! The stake mission leader is a guy from Louisiana that is here in a contract to build a power-plant. He's here with his whole family, wife and 2 kids, and they are a huge blessing to this ward and stake! There are some other American families in the ward but they don't come to church and I haven't even met them yet. It's sad to hear that. We are still having a hard time finding more people to teach but we have upped our lesson total of 3 my first week to 7 this week!

We went to a fair to help a member setup their daughters booth my first Friday here and we met a cool family. This guy walked up to us and said "Hello Elders! How are you?" Obviously we were surprised and we talked to him for a bit and found out that his parents had joined the church when he was young and he went to church up until he was like 16 i think and then he stopped. He told us that he would love for us to come visit him one day when we are in the area just to get a cool drink or a bite to eat but not to teach ha. So on Saturday we went to his place and he was there and we got to have a cool drink and talk to him for a bit and get to know him and his wife. They are a really nice family. He says that when he saw us it brought back memories of when the Elders used to come to his house and all the good times that they had and so he wanted us to come and hopes that his kids could also have some of the same memories. We enjoyed the visit a lot but there was only one problem. He said towards the end after he invited us to dinner the next week that we can come and visit all we want but he doesn't want to hear the gospel. That he has been there and heard it and he knows all about it. he says we can answer his kids questions and all that but we cannot start discussions of the gospel. :( Then his wife said something like Well i would love to debate with you and talk about your views. He told us that she debated with his parents when they go visit him. We were super bummed when they said these things cause they are a family that would love the gospel if they were willing to accept it. They have 3 beautiful children, a wonderful place to live in and are so kind to the missionaries. Just not the gospel. We will continue to visit them and see what we can do but it's more of a situation where they need a good friend in the church who is always there and eventually they start to ask their questions and see the truth of the message we share years later.

We are teaching another guy, Lesego, who is 20 years old. He lives with his parents who are both members and his mother is a fairly recent convert. the only reason he was not baptized is cause he was away at boarding school when she received the gospel. He loves to learn from us and asks tons of questions. We can really tell that he has a sincere desire to learn the restored gospel. The only problem is that I hope he will be able to dedicate himself to reading the BOM as much as he has dedicated himself to gaming!

It's weird to be in this area still. We had more dinner/lunch appointments than we had lessons ha. I still have to get used to being around so many white people.

The future looks fantastic though! We are slowly building the area back up!

Have super week!
I love you!
-Elder Dirkmaat :D

Monday, June 3, 2013

New Area

Area- Pretoria, South Africa
Companion- Elder Center
Letter #81

Hey Hey Hey!
I'm now back in Pretoria! This time I'm the the Pretoria 2nd ward and it's in a different zone even though it borders the Sunnyside ward. It's gonna be a  learning experience for sure! The ward is predominantly white which is different. The communication is different and I almost feel like a greenie again cause I'm different again! I hope this is not gonna be how it feels to go home! I'm gonna be a weirdo!

My companion is Elder Center from Ely, Nevada. He grew up on a farm and is a total country boy with a big truck and all! ha. His previous companion was from Australia and also was a surfer. We get along really well so far and I think we'll be able to do some good work! He's been on mission for 15 months but he's 9 days older than me. 

So far we have taught 3 lessons, 5 or 6 dinner appointments and tracted a lot. Lots of people like to hand out flyers at the stop lights so we decided to also do that on Saturday. We handed out 59 pass along cards in almost an hour! When we went to church the next day we found out that at least  the members had seen us doing it and they thought it was cool except for one of the youth that is preparing to be a missionary. He thought we were crazy and he said he doesn't want to go on mission if he has to do things like that. Hahaha. We even got two phone calls within an hour of passing them out and got to deliver 2 free dvd's! That was cool and I think we'll do it again and even bring some of the young men along to help us. It's nice to do that instead of tract cause more people are able to see us and we get to give the details to more people. We still gotta tract but I enjoyed doing that. 

I really hope that everybody in Vosloorus is still doing well. It was a bummer to have to leave after only 3 months. Now this might be my last area and it will be for 6 months! 

I don't really have too much to say except that I love you and I'm glad to hear all the stories from home! Keep learning and growing in the gospel! I hope when I'm your age I'll be solid members like you! Ollie is gonna be the star running back when he's in high school!
Have a super week! 
-Elder Dirkmaat :D