Monday, April 27, 2015

weekly letter 7

Yo yo yo! Man time is flying! I already finished my first transfer as a missionary! Even though it is a long time it is crazy to think that I only have 16 transfers left of my mission. This was awesome!  Nothing crazy but just overall awesome progressive week! Woah... ok... Freak I was so sick this week it sucked! Being sick sucks as it is at home but it suck 10x more out on mission! I was dying like literally dying. I am pretty sure I died during one of the lessons. I was teaching and then I legit just fell to the ground and died. Then I kind of woke up and the investigator was like 
" Is he ok?"
And then I got up and continued teaching... Nah just kidding that didn't happen I lied. But man legit died... They don't even have like dayquil or nyquil so yea shame... Anyways... One of our Zone leaders are going home on Wednesday so it is just crazy to think that I just started and he is already leaving! But, this transfer is going to be so fun I can already tell. We have a lot of fun things planned for this transfer! Also thanks to everyone that is sending pictures! I got to go and print them off and now I have photos to go through when I miss home so that really helps. Also the other elders always nag about how they wanna see who I hung out with and family and what not. So thanks to everyone and keep sending them!

I love hearing about all the peeps back home getting their mission calls! That is so crazy that Max, Gabe, Tweet, and Colton will all be serving in the mission all together! So jealous, someone from back home needs to get called to South Africa for sure. Kupka and Vanfleet are cool and all but... eh ;) (They went to Timpview)

Lessons are going well. Like I said nothing too extraordinary this week but my area and people are definitely progressing. We had 2 baptisms this week and they are awesome! First ones name is Jackson and he is super sweet! He is 16 and I seriously love this dude. I am so excited for him because he is going to be such a powerful priesthood holder. I know the lord has big plans for this guy. The other ones name is Sibu. He is 9 and he may be young but this is one intelligent kid. Man, he is both intellectually smart school wise and also gospel wise. The elders and I predict that he will easily become the bishop of our ward in the future. It was cool baptizing them because I actually got to hug them and congratulate them unlike my first two with those girls haha because I had to just shake their hand... Eh... I still miss that alot haha. I miss hugging people regularly but it all gucci. Only 22 1/2 Months to go ;) 

That is about it for this week! Im sure there was alot more that happened but I forget haha. But yea love you all keep sending photos! k bye

Monday, April 20, 2015

weekly letter 6

Yezzuurr! what it do everyone! This week has been really nice! I have really gotten into the rhythm of things so I am super glad about that! We did not utilize our time as much as I wanted on some days but no worries I know that it will come with time! We taught 25 lessons this week which is good I guess because that supposedly means that we are "killing it' according to my Zone Leaders, but I know that we can definitely get 30+ a week if we actually really utilize our time right! I guess it is unheard of to have that many lessons because the week that we had 33 my zone leader said that was higher than hes ever seen on his whole mission. But really it didn't seem like that hectic of a week. I am glad that I have been super blessed to be able to come in to the mission at such a high note. My first week here I did around 27 lessons and other Elders said they had around 5 lessons their first week. So I am super happy and glad that the Lord has blessed me with these people and these lessons so that it can set the tempo for my whole mission!

But YO! The whole Xenophobia or what ever it is called has gotten people scared! Apparently last time it happened people didn't even leave their house for 6 weeks and so all the stores and everything was closed due to riots and burning cars and whatever. I think that would be sick if it happened while we were here. I know the Lord will protect us but I am sure it it comes the missionaries will be evacuated but man so people are kinda scared about that. Also since they are burning and killing foreigners I do know if many people will want to try and burn me but whatevs haha

So this week, man... we went to the beach and I can honestly say.... it sucked..... It seriously sucks so bad being so close to such a beautiful beach and I cant even swim in it haha but no worries it still was such an awesome view. We went to Jefferies bay and the beach that they have there is called dolphin beach. It is always so nice to be able to go out and do civilian things on Mondays like going to the beach and playing sports! It gives me a well deserved rest from everything and in my terms, "keeps me sane". 
This week we also had Zone Training! I love my mission president. He is such an awesome guy and so it was really nice being able to see him. It was really nice getting to spend time with white american adults haha (reference to last weeks email) We had some awesome training and then got together with all the elders in our zone and ate food prepared by the senior couples. It was pretty funny because afterwards the next morning, all the elders in our zone had stomach aches and diarrhea problems haha!! Our Ap's came over and sarcastically marveled at our "Zone Unity" We had interviews with the president Merrill which went awesome, like I said I love spending anytime that we have with him. One of the things that he said has really motivated me and helped me. 
He invited me in and sat me down. He said
"Elder Greening, I have a problem with you."
I kind of was like... what the... hoping that he was being sarcastic and trying to be funny with me because that is usually how he is haha. So I just replied with
"Oh" hahha
Then he said.
"My problem is that you are becoming a missionary too fast. When I asked your companion how training was going he replied. President I am not training him, hes training me."
Hearing this made me super happy. It shows that I am doing something right. Really though I am just super happy and blessed and thankful that the spirit and our Heavenly Father has prepared me to be out on a mission. I can not even imagine how hard this all would be if I had not been prepped as much as I was. I can not wait for all the experiences that are in store for me. 

Update on Mama Xangati! (The one I talked about last week) She wants to get baptized before May 5 because she is going into surgery then so we have like two weeks to teach her everything! That is going to be both awesome but also hectic but no worries she already knows a lot and her desire to be baptized is inspirational. Now for the rest of her kids... they still need to be baptized. And I know that her son Arthur is reading this cause he reads the blog haha but yea he definitely needs to get baptized. 

That is all for now though. Also I hope that everyone is enjoying my wonderful selfies. #Thatfacedough kk love you all till next week!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Weekly Letter 5

This week was good! Another busy week this week man. We did 33 lessons this week which is a super crazy amount of lessons! Seriously so the Lord has blessed us so much because usually people drop appointments and are not home. I am continually growing closer with all the Elders in my area which is always good. Elders: Wall, Dean, Wells, and Willhelmson are all from Utah. We always talk about how much we miss seeing american brands and talk about how crappy cereal is over here and how much better america is haha. They also asked me if I had any girlie friends that would like to email them hah so let me know if any of you are interested in good looking Missionaries haha. I didn't tell you all yet but God has truly blessed me. Not only is there a guitar in our housing. There are two! Elder Dean and I just jam on those things all the time. It seriously is so nice.
One thing about over here though is that their fruit is seriously so expensive. Well expensive in the fact that we have $70 to spend every two weeks. I miss fruit so much haha. Lettuce is super cheap though so I am very happy about that! Now lettuce has been added to the rice chicken cereal diet haha. Gotta get them greens in the meals na mean. Most of the elders try to work out all together in the mornings too so im getting back into my routines. Gotta keep repping them VasBros na mean! All Kiiiinnnddzzzz A Gaaiinnzzzz!

How about general conference thoughhh. Man I swear, they were all awesome talks no doubt, but the Quorum of the Seventy are stepping up for sure. Their talks were awesome! We watched all the sessions except for the Sunday Afternoon session. I have to wait till next week sunday to watch that one. It was cool and kinda weird thinking that we were watching the Sunday Morning session live @ 6 Pm over here last night while all of you were watching it Sunday Morning @ 10am. 
One of my favorite talks was by the presiding Bishop. Bishop Causse man his was very powerful and so applicable to this generation and time. We must constantly be asking ourselves. 
"Is the Gospel still a wonder in your life?"
What a powerful question. Then we have to ask that question in more simpler terms. Do we consider The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, The Gospel of Jesus Christ to be a miracle in our lives today? If yes then what are we DOING in our lives today that shows God that we still cherish and utilize this blessing/miracle. It was seriously such an awesome talk! There were so many more revelations received in that talk but that one especially stuck out to me. 
Another thing, Man i was so surprised by the choir that sang during the Saturday Afternoon Session. I thought since that they were just all selected from YSA that it would suck haha. Their arrangements of the music were amazing! Not as good as the madrigal choir back at Timpview but you know what I mean ;) 

So on a SERIOUS NOTE: Something has been eating at me for the past couple of weeks. Something that I failed to let everyone know during my farewell talk. The thing that I wanted everyone to know is one of the biggest reasons of why I am serving a mission. 
Everything happens for a reason. God knows all and with that being said he knows the intents of our hearts and because of the intents of our hearts he has placed certain people in our lives to influence and to bless and also to receive influence and blessings from. 
We all have set people that God has foreordained us to bless and to save. We are all messengers of God and so God has placed people here on this earth for us to share our message of the Restored Gospel to. When I say the word people, I do not mean strangers whom we might think I am talking about. These people are more than that. They are children of God. Not only are they children of God but they are our Brothers and Sisters. Our Brothers and Sisters are crying every night, praying to God to please help them. Some people do not even know that God exists. Some people do not know that God is also our love Heavenly Father. Some where in South Africa my brother is crying because he doesn't think that he will see his dad who just passed away ever again. Some where in South Africa my little sister is crying, hurt, depressed, lost because she thinks that no one loves her and could never love her. They are constantly crying, unknowingly waiting for us to deliver this message to them. Let them know that families are forever. Let them know that they are loved and can feel that love by living the commandments of God. I have been blessed with the knowledge that can help these people, my brothers and sisters. Only through the Gospel of Jesus Christ can these people be saved and it is up to us to be able to go out and save them. These people are so ready for the Gospel in their lives. I am so excited to continue Gods work and his plan. I am already down one month of my mission. Its the least I can do for someone who gave me everything, and for Jesus Christ whom allowed me to achieve eternal salvation.

I love all of you so much and truly miss you all! Keep sending pictures and emailing and stuffs!  

Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekly Letter 4

Man this week has been awesome. So many miracles are happening within my ward. A lot of work needs to be done cause the past missionaries.... eh... haha but man this area seriously has been going through the refiners fire for sure. It is coming along though, just need to sift through whom the lord has prepared me to teach compared to those who just like us to come around for some bible studying haha. One thing I really miss in all seriousness... is seeing a white american family. Seriously haha it would be so nice to just run into an american even if its just for like a few seconds. Thats how desperate I am haha but its alright.

One of the things that my ward lacks greatly is friendship. No one really knows each other that well in our ward which really sucks and I am super excited to change that. We had a ward activity this week which was so awesome! This whole week on top of our regular lessons, we spent a lot of time driving around and trying to contact and invite our members, less actives, and Investigators and the turn out was awesome. I love these people so much and I am super excited to work with them and growing the ward.

This week we got this thing could the Donaldson Papers and man they are awesome! Its a talk given by Elder Donaldson from the Quorum of the Seventy to the missionaries in the Las Vegas Mission. It is seriously so powerful and we got it sent to our mission and I am loving it. Seriously the missionaries around the world will seriously greatly benefit from this talk because it is straight chastisement and revelation from God. So many missionaries are wishing that they had received this talk at the beginning of their mission which is why I am so grateful for it. At first it just seemed like a chance to rebuke all the elders but after reading it I freaking love it. It teaches how we need to teach and how serious this calling to be a missionary is. A lot of missionaries just do not get that. This is a serious privilege and us as missionaries have been set apart and have the same name that the apostles have. ELDER! But its all good I am definitely sending it to all the homies on missions because it is a change that needs to happen. It gives awesome ways on how to teach and everything too. I felt kind of bad having to rebuke my trainer and be the new guy coming in and changing a lot of things but man..... Aint no body got time for that. It needs to be done in order to fully utilize my time here on the mission because 2 year is not a long enough time.

We had tons of miracles this week but one that really has stuck out to me was yesterday. So the girl who I had first baptized, we have been teaching her family. We had not been teaching their mum though, she is seriously so awesome and so nice, their whole family is just awesome. Her mum came to her baptism and has been coming to church every now and then. So yesterday at church while we were watching conference, since we still havent seen them, she was sitting next to me. She hits me, leans over to me and says.
"I want to get baptized. I want you to baptize me."
I was seriously so happy. Oh man.. I didnt say anything I kind of just nodded my head because it was during one of the talks but on the inside I was freaking out haha. So I waited until the congregational hymn. Right when it started I just shook her hand and said
"Wow mama that is so awesome! When did you decide this?"
I was super excited but then she said something that I will never forget. Something that I still have not been able to get over. She said.
"I want to change, become a better person"
When she said those words.... It hit me so hard.
I replied "This gospel is the best way to do it"

Those words that she said sunk deep into my heart. I kept repeating them in my head. I started getting teary eyed and every time I repeated them in my head the tears just kept coming. (Typical Nivah) Seriously even now while I am typing this, those words still hit me so hard. That is why I am here. That is why I am on a mission. That is what this gospel can do to people. This gospel can and will change people for the better. Only through this gospel can we really allow our Heavenly Father to shape us and change us and perfect us as we grow closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Through out the rest of conference those words just come resounding in my head. What a miracle. We haven't even taught her a single lesson. These people of South Africa are so prepared by the Lord. They are so prepared to finally find what thing they have been missing all of their life. The reason why we are here on earth and what we need to do to finally be eternally happy and have complete joy. I love these people and I love this gospel so much. What a wonderful blessing to have in our lives. I love and miss you all! Till Next week!