Monday, March 30, 2015

weekly letter 3

Hey everyone! This week was pretty busy. We ended up teaching prob roughly over 25 lessons this week which is a pretty busy week in the mission field because usually you will have people dropping appointments because they are not home and things like that. It was nice being super busy all day every day but then at the same time it is really draining and I struggle to stay completely awake. My area is awesome though. I am so blessed to have this area be my first because our boarding (Housing) is connected to 5 other elders and then our Zone Leaders are in a small house right next to that so that really helps with not getting home sick and things like that. It seriously helps so much that there are 8 other elders around me that I get to hang out with. They are so awesome and we get along really well which is great. At 6:30 we all wake up and go into the middle housing between us, because it is the biggest, and all come together to get lil workouts in. These elders are from Utah, California, Tanzania, and also South Africa. Being the new guy isn't too bad either. They always tell me that i don't act like a new guy which is nice. It seriously feels like we have been together for months but really I have been in Uitenhage for a total of 9 days. That is crazy! We all have been taking turns reading this book called Visions Of Glory. It seriously is such an interesting book about a man having visions about the second coming and things like that. I really think you all should give it a go and read it! 

I love these people though. They are so kind and loving and they seriously always bring up how big I am. Since I always tell them that I came from Provo, Utah, They are always like "You look like New Zealand Neh?" Then I explain to them everything and then they get it but yea I love them so much. It is a really humbling experience teaching these people. I will show you all the houses and things like that next week because I didn't take any pictures of the houses yet but yea. It seriously feels like I have been here for so long though. Also the money exchange over here blows my mind. You get around 12 Rand per US Dollar which is insane. You can go to KFC and get a piece of chicken and some Pop (like mash) for 15 Rand. And people say that is expensive but freak that's like a little over $1 of our money. We get 715 Rand every two weeks which is equivalent to around $65 US dollars which is alright. Usually I just find myself eating hot dogs and rice or just cereal haha. The cereal here sucks compared to back home. Me and all the US Elders just bag on it all of the time. I have been really craving Pop Tarts and Toaster Strudels too haha they dont have anything like that over here. The members if were lucky will feed us a meal every Sunday but that's if we are lucky. I am super grateful when they feed us but if they don't its not that big of a deal because I understand how much work it is for them to get and make food. People are working here literally for like 2 rand an hour. Seriously If you lived here and were getting paid in US money you would be instarich over here. So Mum n Dad any money is much appreciated to me and my fellow elders. I'm really loving the wheatbix and Meat Pies over here. Prob not as good as back in NZ but still they are good. The other day I went to this bakery and I bought a Meat Pie and it was 17 Rand which blew my mind. That is less than $1.50... yea the US Dollar exchange continues to blow my mind but still we don't really get that much because we get 715 Rand to work with for two weeks but its ok. Hot Dogs and Cereal for life. The mission life has been kind of rough getting used to but I am progressively getting used to it. We went and taught this recent convert named Busi Aka Juicy. She is awesome haha I treat her like my little sister. We went over to her house and her and her little siblings were watching High School Musical and she loves to sing so me and her were singing all the songs haha. I seriously am so thankful for little short moments like this cause it helps a lot. Little moments of what I call "Civilian Life" to help keep me sane and transition smoother into it. 

I gave a talk in church on sunday which was nice. I have a feeling that I will be giving a lot of talks during Sacrament which I am excited for. I just gave the same talk as my farewell talk. Oh and surprise! I HAD MY FIRST TWO BAPTISMS ON SUNDAY! It was cool. It made me so happy to see how happy the two girls where after the baptism.The first was a woman named Nwabisa. She is 26 and has a cute little boy. She is so awesome and I am so excited to see her progress in the church and grow closer to Christ and God. The other girls name is Valentine Xangati. She is 14 and she is a super sweet girl. Her story is awesome. So one Sunday morning, Her and 2 others were walking on the street and they passed our chapel. They said that they all had a strong urge to go inside or that they felt like that they really needed to go inside. So they did. They just walked in to check it out and they walked in during sacrament meeting and sat down. From then on they wanted to learn more and started taking lessons. Our Mission Prez always tells us that the best thing we can do for someone when teaching is the power of Curiosity. We have to make them curious about what we are teaching because then they have a desire to really actually learn about it for themselves. This is a perfect example because along with that strong urge to come inside, they were curious as to why they felt like they needed to go inside and the only way to truly find out and to feed that curiosity is to go and do it. We like to teach a lot of our investigators like that.

That is all for now though! Everyone send me pictures of them cause love and miss you all! Also all the elders want to see pictures of all friends and stuff so that they can put a face to all the stories that I tell from back home. That phrase is crazy too. I think its so cool that I have gotten into the habit of saying "Back Home..." Also it takes maybe 2 months for packages to get here so family if you are thinking of sending one start ASAP and also letters may take a couple days but letters are awesome! But yea... Bye I'm also trying to learn Xhosa which is like a click language but yea I am excited k for real bye

Elder Nivah Greening
P.O Box 181 
Observatory 7935
Cape Town, South Africa

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

weekly letter 2

What it do doughhh! man the MTC was awesome! It was seemed like forever that I was in there and you are always so busy that I would always forget that I was still in Provo. Its crazy to think that I will not be seeing the Provo temple for 2 years! I seriously had the best district! They are such awesome missionaries and they are going to be serving in the Provo mission so everyone pleasse!! If you see them anytime please show them love and take care of them and also tell them that you know me and that I love and miss them! The missionaries serving in Provo is all the Sisters: Cluff, Cruz, Sandall, Heninger & Elders: Edlinger, Vanderzeal, & Riddle! Seriously if you see them tell them I love them and feed them food! And email me if you see them. 

It was so nice seeing all my friends from back home in the MTC as well! Seeing buddies like Elder: Jacobs, Grey, Mckay, etc. & of course elder Murray got to hang out with him again which was really nice before I left which was awesome!!! Also saw Sisters: Millard, Studdard, Olivas, Taylor etc. which was really nice. Still sad cause couldn't hug them just handshake but it gucci. Oh yea and by the way Mum - gave one of the shirts away to this Elder that I became real cool buddies with from Aussie haha. He heads to the Philippines in like 3 weeks but yeaaaaa love you. 

So yea surprise, Im in South Africa haha but dang that flight... Long story short... I left Utah on a plane at 8:45 AM tuesday morning and arrived to Cape Town at 11:30 PM. had good food though haha. But that flight i seriously got so insanely hammerd. Also the time change was pretty difficult to get used to for a few days. I think we are like 9 hours ahead of yous back home but yeeeee it all goods because I am pretty much used to it now. 

Now let me tell yous about the mosquitos here. They seriously have been destroying me while I have been here its been insane. They seriously love me and keep waking me up at night because they are just having a feast. They always tryna get at me and im just like
 "Yo, Get off me I aint interested in no making out with mosquitos"
 and then they be like
 "Na man, We finna eat right quick hammie"
Yea they suck so definitely gonna have to start wearing bug repellent or something to sleep hahah.

Now my mission president is an awesome guy. His name is President Merrill and he used to be in the Air Force. He played College Baseball so we relate on the sports side which is nice. He took us up to signal hill which gives a great view over Cape Town! Also in the picture is my MTC companion elder Martinez and also the Assistants to the President right now they are awesome as well. 

My Area right now is called Uitenhage which is an awesome area. The people are seriously so loving and caring and I am so blessed to be serving here. We dont have enough missionaries right now so there used to be 4 missionaries covering the 2 areas in Uitenhage but now there is just me and my companion Elder Meijesen. Hes an awesome guy, super humble and super nice guy from Johannesburg, South Africa. So since it is just me and him, we have to take care of both areas with only two missionaries. Not much training time for Elder Greening but its all guuciiee No need cause im One Hunnit na meannnn haha. So that mean that we are extremely busy all the time which gets super crazy trying to plan for all these people. It sucks because I want to grow friendships and make people happy but on the mission there just is not enough time to do it. Two years seriously is not enough time but I definitely am going to make the best out of it. I told my companion that we need to start sifting through our investigators and start making choices on who we need to drop because if they are not committing them selves to make a change in their lives and live the gospel then we have to move on and use our time more efficiently in trying to find people that are because like I said I only have 2 years. I dont got time to just hang out and share messages with them every week just because they like the feeling of the spirit that we bring with us. Its tough but I know everything will work out just gotta trust in the Lord to help.

So last week Friday I was out Proselyting with one of the AP's in a township called Gugulethu. We taught a few lessons in the streets and gave out some copies of the Book Of Mormon. We went over to a little shop out on the street where people buy candy and things like that and taught the worker there. As we were teaching him these 3 little girls came up to buy things and so we kinda had to just give him pamphlets on the restoration and then leave it at that. These little girls were probably aged 6-9 and we were just talking to them and saying hi and things like that. We said bye and started walking away. As we were walking I felt something grab my hand. I turned around and saw the youngest girl which I thought to be around 6 year old. She looked up to me and asked me
"Can you hold me?" as she put her hands up openly towards me.
It broke my heart. Naturally i went to pick her up then remembered that we cant do that. I sadly said that I couldnt and then she got really sad and said
We said bye again and then walked to our car. 
These people are so loving and so nice and seriously are the most humble people I have ever met. They are so ready to receive the gospel and I know that it is my duty, opportunity, and blessing to do so. They are so receptive which make our job a lot easier. My first lesson out in the field was aweome as well. I committed my first investigator to Baptism which is exciting!
We agreed on him getting baptized on April 19. I am so excited to help these people and share with them something that will change their lives forever. K Bye

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Weekly Letter 1

Hey Everyone! This week seriously has been so amazing. I can easily say that i have learned more in this past week than i ever did during the four years of seminary. Not sure if thats a good thing or a bad thing. My companion is Elder Martinez. Born and raised in Compton, California and went to West Jordan High School for his Junior and Senior year. He's an awesome guy and he was converted three years ago. Him and I get along really well since we both played a lot of sports and also love the lord which is pretty much all we need right? haha no he is awesome, find myself leading pretty much more of the discussions and lessons but no worries he is getting a lot better the more I work with him. Its crazy because the district that I am in is my companion and I and then another elder are going to South Africa but then the rest of the District is going to Provo, Utah for their mission. So you all better take care of them because I love them and they are awesome. Our district gets along so well which is both a good and a bad thing. Since we are super comfortable with each other we work really well together but then again we also tend to get off subject and talk about personal life and things like that but we are working on it. 

My companion and I are the Zone Leaders of our zone but half of our zone left for their missions on Monday so that was really sad to say goodbye to them. I wish i could show you pictures but i haven't been able to figure out how to add pictures since there are so many restrictions on the computers so I might just have to wait until next week when I am out in the field.

Oh yea ps. I haven't received my reassignment yet but I will most likely be reassigned somewhere state side so that I can work there until my visa processes and I will figure that out probably tomorrow. So next time you hear from me I will be emailing from somewhere in the states who knows where but dont matter na meeeaaaannnnn. Its just still crazy to me to think that On Monday I will already be out in the field preaching and what not. Its swaggy dough. 

So this week was crazy it seriously is so awesome but it is hard. It is really hard getting into the whole missionary state of mind. Our days are seriously so scheduled out and we don't have anytime to relax or anything like that. Learning so much from the teachers and preparing lessons all the time i seriously have been dying to just have time where i can just sit and read my scriptures for hours and that seriously is so strange because literally i never would read but now I find myself loving every opportunity get to read the scriptures.

This whole experience has been so amazing. Throughout this week I have noticed how much of an influence the spirit has on us. The spirit brings so much peace to me and allows me to feel of Gods love. Being a missionary and feeling the spirit as often as we do is amazing. I have noticed a huge change in my life but the one thing that has really stood out to me is the Christ like attribute Charity. Charity is the pure love of Christ. Before the mission I loved people and it was always so nice to see friends and make new friends and overall love people. Ever since I got to the MTC my love for people has amplified x 10982... Yes that many crazy huh. But really. Before the mission i cried a lot but now i find myself literally crying all the time. I'm used to it so i don't make a big deal out of it or anything but i mean now... ill finish a prayer and start crying, listen to a Mormon message and start crying, every time I testify of the gospel of Jesus Christ I start crying. I really just love my teachers and district and this gospel so much. I really miss hugs too, which sucks too because I love my sisters in my districts and my teachers so much and also some sisters are down and things like that too and i just want to love them and comfort them but I cant because I cant walk over to them and talk to them because that's considered "Flirting" so thats too bad. But honestly my love for people has seriously grown so much and I love it.

I don't have much time and hopefully I figure out how to add pictures and things like that also thanks to the Murray's for my first package! My district loved the muffins haha. 

You can send me letters through dear elder for free but only till Monday because then ill be gone so yea., its on the blog and mum packages can be sent or whatever my mailing address till monday is
Elder Nivah Keola Greening
2009 N 900 E Unit 132
Provo Utah 84602

They don't give us much time for emailing in the MTC so sorry if i couldn't write you back but in the field ill be a lot better! Also please send pictures of you all. I brought zero pictures and really miss everyone so please send me pictures and yea love you all till next week!!!

Moroni 7: 45,47-48
"...Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him..."