Monday, September 30, 2013

Charity, The Doctrine of Christ

Area- Pretoria, South Africa
Companion- Elder Coon
Letter# 95

Hey there!
The week was pretty good! Well besides the fact that I feel like I am going home with my companion tomorrow... We had Bantu's baptism last sunday and he got confirmed yesterday. He bore the most powerful testimony afterwards and he even touched the heart of one of his daughters who attended and who was always giving him a hard time and not accepting the church. His family came all the way from Durban to see him get baptized and they all loved church. They were so happy and I think Bantu was the happiest guy on the planet that day. He asked me to baptize him and Elder Coon to confirm him. Our stake president thinks he could be the next bishop in our ward. Such a powerful and converted man. 

Bantu's Baptism!!!

I only have six weeks and I know i gotta work harder than ever before. I think what will help me most is what I learned on Friday. In the morning I was reading Moroni 7 about charity and the last verse was the one I never realized what it meant before. It says that we need to ask for charity and as we gain it the result will be that when we Jesus Christ we will see him as he is and we will be like him. I thought it would kind if be like seeing your twin that you never met and how joyous it would be. then we were talking about the Doctrine of Christ in District Meeting and the question was why is love important in teaching the Doctrine of Christ? I had learned it before but I never realized it. It is important because if we teach it with love it basically like He himself were teaching his own doctrine to our investigators. When we gain charity it is the pure love of Christ which helps us become one with him. Then I thought of the quote that you sent in the letter that I just got on Thursday that says "Live so that others who know you but don't know Christ will want to know Christ because they know you." The way we live that way is to develop charity and then we can be able to teach the doctrine in the way that he would have us teach them and they will feel His love for them through us! The best moments that ever happened in my service as a missionary are when somebody has felt his love for them through me and become converted to His gospel.

One more thing... I went to the temple on Saturday and it was Amazzzzzzing! I missed that place so bad after more than 6 months. So the temple was powerful like always but the best part was that the new video was there. I never learned so much at the temple than I did that day. It was a really cool experience. I cannot wait to go back again in six weeks and then to go every single week when I get home!
Well have great week. You're the best! 
I love you! 
-Elder Bobby Dirkmaat :D

Monday, September 16, 2013

2 Missionary Family

Area- Pretoria, South Africa
Companion- Elder Coon
Letter #94

Wow! Nate is a missionary too! weird to think but so excited and happy for him! I'm sure he is loving it even if he was super scared to go to a foreign country. The MTC is fun and sometimes I miss it ha. Can't wait to see all those Elders that I was scared to talk to 2 years ago!

Bantu's baptism is this Sunday!!!! WOOO! He invited his family to come and he was really worried about what he was going to say so he sent us the SMS he wanted to send to proof it and make sure that it was okay. WOW. I don't think he even needs to be interviewed. Don't worry we are still gonna have the interview but man, I don't think that I have ever felt more confident that somebody is ready to be baptized than I do for Bantu. Everybody was always ready but Bantu was ready like a month ago and now his readiness has just multiplied since then. Bantu really is a miracle.

So for the member PMG program the first assignment was to read chapter one and talk as a family about what their duties are as missionaries and how they can contribute. We started it with three families and will follow up this week and will start with Bishops family tonight. One of the families is already doing more than just discussing though! They invited MonaLisa for dinner tomorrow night and for us to teach a lesson afterwards! Love it when members do things like this! MonaLisa needs this fellowship more than ever.

This week was full of giving blessings! Holy smokes. I think we gave six including the one from last week. i love to be able to provide priesthood blessings to others. On Sunday during Elders Quorum the teacher asked us how receiving the priesthood helped us prepare for mission. I never thought about it before but it helps because we receive the priesthood and we are supposed to use it to serve others which prepares us to be missionaries because when we become missionaries we serve 100% of the time. You receive the priesthood to prepare to be a missionary and then you be a missionary to help you learn how to exercise the priesthood for the rest of your life!

Have a wonderful week! I love you mucho!

-Elder Dirkmaat :D

Monday, September 9, 2013

Service, service, service!

Area- Pretoria, South Africa
Companion- Elder Coon
Letter #93


Can I just say really quick that I cannot wait to just talk and tell you all about South Africa instead of typing. Maybe if I could type like Dad it wouldn't be that bad but this'll have to do for now. 

Nate is such a powerful guy! I haven't been able to hear his testimony or anything gospel related from him for a long time, let alone anything for the past couple months, so that was really cool to read his talk. I didn't get to listen to it though. He is really going to be a powerful missionary! Those were some great thoughts that he shared. I think I need to be more like him. Humility is tough! Pretty please tell him to send me at least one email before he leaves in 2 days. 

This week went by really fast and I am having a hard time remembering what we did! We did tons of service on saturday! We started off the morning by going to a spinnathon. Our stake President loves to cycle. He is sponsored by a team. The spinnathon was for charity and there were tons of people there. There was a huge canvas with probably more than a hundred cycle machines. The stake president and his friend cycled for 10 hours straight for 410 kilometres each! Stake president broke a record and raised R50,000 cause he broke 400 k's. He organized a team from our ward mostly of the YSA but we were at his house for lunch when he was organizing it and they needed 2 more on the team so he asked us! Since we were on a team we showed up at our appointed time and each cycled for an hour and then switched. Wow it was tough! I don't know if you have ever been in a cycling class at the gym but it was a lot like that. There was an instructor at the front telling us to up the resistance or stand up or what not. I was beat at the end! After that we went to the Josephs house. They are a member family, the same that had us over for my birthday. We are doing lots of projects for them. In the past we have built and mounted some cupboards, finished a coffee table and hung lights around the gutters of the house. On Saturday we built a brick wall around a drain in the corner of their yard so that they can raise the level of the grass. It's nice to be able to help them out. We usually go help them for like 2 hours every week. 

Leshego was confirmed this week since last week was stake conference. He was late to church but Stake President told us to confirm him during priesthood and he will be sustained next week. He is still continuing to make new friends at church and loves it! He will get to go to a YSA convention at the end of the month. 

The success with the members is getting better! We didn't get to teach many member lessons the past week but some came to us at church asking if we could come on certain days so now they are getting excited for us to come! We are also going to start a pretty sweet program involving PMG. We are gonna teach them a principle from it and give them chapters to study or an assignment. For example we will teach them lesson 1 and then they will study it and next week they will teach it to us. We will do it with 4 or 5 members at the same time and it will take like 2 months to complete. 

Wow, Sara is awesome! She one upped me! My turn, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! :D I hope it was a day to remember. I love you I love I love you! I'm sorry that all your goodbyes have to be so close to your bday(me going to college, Nate going to college, Nate going on mission) but you are gonna have the best birthday ever 2 years from now! ;) 

Till next week,
Love ya fam bam! 
-Elder Dirkmaat :D

Monday, September 2, 2013

Powerful Convert

Area- Pretoria, South Africa
Companion- Elder Coon
Letter #92

Hey family!

Thanks for the email! ;) haha

The temple sounds like it was a really great experience! I def can't wait to watch the new movie. I heard that it is still only on the west coast right now. The Joburg Temple will possibly be very different the next time I get to visit after mission. I heard that they are going to close it for a while when the Durban Temple opens so that they can make some major renovations. That would be pretty sweet and I hope that what I heard is true!

I am wicked excited for a temple surf day!!! ough! It's gonna be nice. All is well in Pretoria. Can't say we've had a perfect day like that but things are happenin! Leshego is a powerful convert. We visited him last night. He sometimes calls us and asks us to visit so we go at night after all our lessons just before we go home. I think he really likes us to be around so that he can learn more and feel the spirit. He was telling us that he used to be so worried about obeying the commandments and that they just seemed so difficult, especially the law of chastity. He was scared and still is a bit that if he even talks to a girl for too long that it will lead to other things. He asked us, "If you keep the law of chastity too long won;t you turn gay?" He learned quite a bit about girls though since he started obeying the law of chastity. His desire for a relationship with a girl is now on the eternal perspective. complete opposite of when we met him. Powerful! He has made many huge changes in his life at the age of 20 and I look up to him tons. His friends and cousins tell him that he is boring cause he won't go drinking or clubbing with them but he tells them why and I can tell from the experiences he shares with us that he is looking forward to the celestial kingdom. The decision to get baptized was 100% his. We pushed him for a while and he kept getting cold feet but when he decided he wanted it he gave 110%. He knows that he has made a covenant with God and he is determined to hold his side of that.

This week we had a lot of cool experiences with the members. We were able to teach like 7 lessons to members this week. We go and teach them certain principles from the lessons in chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel. We haven't received any referrals to their friends yet but I know they will come. We have got a couple referrals to people that they have met at stores and stuff like that. Those people are always difficult to get in touch with but we are still going! the members are learning and growing though, that's for sure! We are gonna start doing this thing where we teach them a lesson and then next we come back and they teach the lesson to us. Should be cool!

We had Stake Conference yesterday and the Sunnyside ward was there so I got to say hi to a bunch of people from that ward. They always always always ask if Sara is still waiting and I say "Nope, I'm waiting." ha. Lots of those people though, especially the kids, look sooo different and have grown up tons! it's weird. And it's gonna be even weirder when I get home....eish man.

I will finally get to go to the temple again at the end of this month! I have been waiting forever cause It's been closed. I think it's been like 6 months or more. I cannot wait. thanks for sharing your experiences going to the temple Dad. Receiving answers like that is an amazing experience!

I love you!
Be superstars!

-Elder Dirkmaat