Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Weekly letter 11

Yo! What an awesome week this has been! Towards the ending it got super stressful but no worries. We went to the aquarium for P day and that was pretty fun. A squad of like 14 of us elders went and it is always super cool to get with other Elders to spend time with them. We got to the aquarium early and so we went and just sat next to the beach and watched the ocean which was really nice. Still cry a little/die every time I see the ocean because I am so close to it and still can not even go in. 
This week, so our area is supposed to have 4 Elders in it but since a lot of the missionaries the were supposed to come did not come due to visa problems there is only my companion and I. So, there is another boarding for the other two elders and it is just down the street from us. We are supposed to be checking up on it every now and then just to make sure that it did not burn down or anything like that but we are lazy and so we just never went over there to check it out. So we finally go to check it out and so we walk in. Everything looks fine and clean except for the fact that there are 70 billion spiders running around like 4 year olds in primary so that was disgusting. We continue to investigate the boarding and we realize that the fridge is dead quite. We then realized that the power had tripped and the fridge had been off for the past 2 months. We do not know if there was anything left inside the fridge and so we hoped and prayed that there was nothing. We were scared to check the fridge and so we decided to check the freezer first. BAD IDEA!!! We open up the freezer door and instantly a flock of flies just dart out of the freezer and it seriously smelt so bad. There were like hundreds of maggots completely covering the freezer it was nasty. They were all wiggling and ugh it was so gross. On top of that, There was Frozen Meat in the fridge and so since the fridge had defrosted there was a pool of blood at the bottom of the freezer and mold everywhere. Disgusting. Anyways enough of that crap.

So yea this week was crazy! Taught 40 lessons this week which is crazy! I want to know what the mission record is so that can be my next goal but man this week was nuts! I also went on exchanges with my Zone Leader Elder Wells and that day we taught 11 lessons with him. He said that the highest he has ever taught in a day is 8 and so I was like YO! Since you coming into my area, we breaking 10 and so we managed to get 11 which is super awesome. I had a great time teaching with him, we flow really well together! It is super cool to see how other missionaries teach and what they know and learn from each other. It was stressful because I was so dead towards the end of the week and so I was struggling to get those last few lessons but it all worked out.

One of our investigators here name is Anthionette and she is awesome. She works as a security guard at the Volkswagen factory where Brother Mendu works and I guess he passes her every now and then when he goes to work and so he told us we should see her. We taught her the first lesson last week and it went well and we told her to pray and things like that. Then this week we taught her on the Book of Mormon (The Donaldson Papers Style) and so were reading the first chapter of The Book of Nephi. We get to the verse about Lehi seeing the pillar of fire/light and right after we read this she kind of gets a confused look on her face. She then said
"This story is reminding me of a dream that I had."
I was like, What.... Then I asked her to describe the dream that she had.
She then described that while she was living in the next city over, not in the house she lives in now, she had a dream. (Previous to this she did not know that she would be moving as well) She dreamed that she moved into the area of where she lives now and that she was outside of a house, The house that she lives in now. She said that she saw a pillar of light coming down from the heavens right over the house. She didn't know what was going on and so she looked up and she saw the heavens open. When the heavens opened she said that she saw God poking his head through the clouds and that he was staring at her. She then began to tell us that she has these dreams or visions all the time. She says that they always come true as well. When she was telling us I was super jealous because I think that the Gift of Prophecy/Visions is one of the coolest gifts. I then interpreted the dream and told her that her vision was God telling her that in due time she would move into that house and that when she moved into that house, The Word of God or Gods church, something along those lines, would come into contact with her.
She is so ready for this gospel that it is unreal. The crazy thing is that... 6 weeks prior my companion and I were standing outside of the Volkswagon Company waiting for Brother Mendu to come outside and give us some ward papers that he needed us to deliver. He was taking forever and so I was feeling a little impatient. We were parked in front of the factory and there was no one outside and so I wanted to teach someone so I wouldn't be wasting anytime. I prayed to Heavenly Father and told him to send me someone whom he has placed and knows to be ready to receive the gospel and I said that I will teach that person. I ended my prayer and looked around ready to go and teach whoever came around the corner of the street or anyone that came out of the building. Now, I was looking for a Potential Priesthood holder, one in particular whom might be a source for a father led family. So I was standing there looking for a Male to teach whom I thought was the one that Heavenly Father had placed for me. A minute goes by and then finally I see someone walk out of the Volkswagon Factory. It is a security guard but the problem is that it was a woman! I was thinking to myself.... NO.... that can not be right I am looking for a potential Priesthood holder. I then felt my heart start to race as this woman started to walk closer to me. I was freaking out and my heart started to beat faster and faster. Just as she almost got to the front of our car she crossed the road. I was like... Oh not meant to be I guess.... Then I got the strongest impression that I needed to teach her but I kept thinking how weird it would be for me to run out to her and stop her and so I just stood there and watched her walk away. I was like dang... I am pretty sure that I just denied a prompting from the spirit. Then Brother Mendu came out and we got the papers and as we left and was driving away I was super disappointed in myself. So the reason I am telling this is because that lady that I had refused to teach was Anthionette! The spirit was telling me to go and teach her because she was the one that Heavenly Father had placed for me. I am so lucky that Heavenly Father gave me a second chance to teach her because those opportunities are very rare. I definitely will try my best and never deny the promptings of the spirit as well because as Alma 37 says: by small and simple things are great things brought to pass It just goes to show us that The Lords work truly can not stop. That His work will progress no matter what. It just depends on if we want the blessings or not. The Lord blessed me with a second chance to redeem myself. That is all I have time for today but I love you all and love hearing from you! Hope everyone has an awesome week!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekly Letter 10

Bee Bopp Sha Boodie Boo! Another awesome week this week! How about as I am typing this "Complicated by Avril Lavigne" came on in the email shop and so I starting singing it really loud totally blanking that there are 3 other grown men next to me and they just gave me the most confused death glare ever hahhaha! Swaggy... Anyways, this week was sweet, I taught all the other elders how to play touch rugby and we taught them how to play Ultimate Frisbee so that was sweet. It felt good to legit sprint and what not. Definitely should have stretched though because YO! my body killed for the next couple days. The Lord blessed us with more referrals and new people to teach so my companion are pretty stoked. This week was seriously like Drop Nation! we had made 40 planned appointments and probably 16 of them dropped so we had to scramble around and go find other people to teach and luckily we at least got 29 lessons this week haha. All goods though I just keep praying to Heavenly Father to legit guide us like one day we had 4 apts drop in a row -_- 4 Hours of just scrambling around so that we could still teach people haha and I was just like... Heavenly Father please tell me where we are supposed to go seriously... haha it worked out though.

I gave another talk in church on Sunday and it luckily went great! I swear the bishop likes to have me speak or something but no complaints because I love giving talks. I was super stressed though because the bishop called us at like 9 pm Saturday night and asked If I could give a talk -_- Come on Bishop -_- It worked out though! Spoke on the importance of baptism! It started off like this.

-There are over 15 million members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and that number is rapidly growing every day. They have many things in common but one of the things that they have in common is that each and everyone of them have gone through both, baptism by immersion in water, and baptism by fire being set apart as a member of the church and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Regarding the baptism by immersion, if done properly, it takes no more than 15 seconds for the baptismal recited prayer to be said and the person getting baptized to have already come out and already on their way to get dried and changed. Now the question that comes to mind is what could possibly be so great about this 15 seconds? How can this 15 seconds change my life?

I didn't write it down but as I remember it went something like that haha so there is a little sample for those of you that missed it haha.

Now, regarding the new investigators we had. One of them, his name is Doug, and he is awesome. He is super open and has had some sweet experiences. So the missionaries found him months ago and then they called us and told us that we need to go see him. Apparently, he had prayed one night to God asking him to send help and guide him to the church where he should go and then the missionaries show up the next day knocking on his door. He also had another experience where he had been driving to a city 16 hours away and so he was super tired. 2 hours away from his destination he saw to people on the side of the ride whom looked like they were hikers and they were quite tall. He pulled over and they got in but they did not say a single word to him and so he assumed that they just needed to be dropped off at the next city so he didn't think anything of it. He started to doze off while driving and apparently he had fallen asleep at the wheel. The only thing he says he remembers is that he felt a small tap on his shoulders. He wakes up slowly and looks towards the direction of the taps. One of the guys had tapped him and without saying a single word and very calmly he points forward. Doug had drifted over into the other lane and was heading towards a 16 wheeler truck. Startled he swerves back into the correct lane and I doubt he felt tired or sleepy after that happened haha. So then he pulled over at the next city and the two guys without saying a word, get out and start walking away. 
YO! I strongly believe that those two guys are of the many translated beings here on earth today because... aint no way anybody normal gonna calmly not say a single word while you are headed towards a 16 wheeler truck haha. But man I know for a fact that God has some awesome things in store this guy and I am so excited to continue in teaching him! I asked him to get baptized and he said yes but as he comes to know it is true but I mean... Duh its true so hes pretty much in it to win it haha but he is awesome. We also had another agree to get baptized so that's swaggy but we will talk about her another time! 
That's all the time I have for now but thanks for everyone's email and things like that! Hope everyone is doing well and everything is going good! I love you all will talk to yous next week!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Weekly Letter 9

Mothers Day!!! Hope that everyone had an awesome week this week and did awesome things for their mother! It was so awesome getting to skype you guys even though I didn't get to skype the rest of the family because ran out of wifi data! South African problems! This week overall though was awesome! We went to a food place for lunch called Grillers which apparently is South Africa's idea of an American Diner. It was cool though, they had a bunch of license plates from the states all around the diner. Still always in awe at the conversion rate of the money because we ordered a burger meal with chips and onion rings for 26 rand. A full meal for like $2.10 or something like that. INSANE!!! I got to go to the beach again. Well as close to the beach as we are allowed. We cant go on the and so we found this walk way and so yea... got as close to it as we could haha.

This week we have been focusing and praying for new investigators. Since we are having so many baptisms and what not, our investigator pool is lessening. We found a lot this week so I am super excited to get to teach them. One of them, his name is Monde. It is actually pretty odd how we got into contact with him. We were received a referral from I think was from the mission office and it gave us his details. He received a friend request on facebook from some guy in England. I guess he was a missionary and he does online proselyting! How nuts is that! So crazy how this gospel is using technology for good now a days! So they started talking about religion and things like that and so yea! First lesson went awesome with him and then we will be seeing him again later this week! 

Our recent convert Jackson (Baptized two weeks ago) Is going to receive the Aaronic priesthood this coming Sunday! I am so excited for him. Seriously the lord has big plans for this guy! It is so cool seeing people that you baptized, and watching them progress in the gospel! I know that he is going to be such a blessing in his home as well. Blessing the lives of his non member family.

So this week we had multi zone training this week and it was awesome! We had David F. Evans come and speak to us and teach us! So Elder Evans has been a General Authority for 10 years now and is the Executive Director of the Missionary Department and so he is over all the missionaries in the world! Now he was a powerful guy! you could just feel the spirit radiate around him which was awesome. It was so strong that when I was giving the opening prayer, I was getting a little teary eyed with the spirit being so strong. 2 other elders and I even sang a special number and honestly it sucked and like the spirit must have been having him hear something else because after he finished he said it was beautiful so I really don't know haha but he was awesome. There were two things that he taught in which the spirit confirmed to me as most important for me to remember. 

1) On how we as missionaries need to build up the kingdom of god.
He focused on how Yes, we need to baptize but there is no point in baptizing people whom are going to become less actives. Missionaries get that a lot because every missionary wants to get baptisms but it does not help the Lords Church by baptizing his children into less activity. He taught us on how we need to focus on families. And by families, not just your immediate family, but also the extended families. He talked about how tracting and proselyting is one of the most ineffective tools of finding people to teach. Yes if the spirit guides you to certain people then by all means street contact. But, if that street contact gets baptized and has no friends/family whom are also in the ward and then goes inactive... then what is the use."it would have been better for you that ye had not known me." (2 Nephi 31:12)  Missionaries should focus on receiving referrals through everyone the come into contact with because that is building up the kingdom and allowing people to more likely stay in the church and be active if they have friends and family whom attend the church as well.

Elder Evans was talking about how missionary work, or even anything in general pertaining to bringing people closer to Christ blesses not only us, our family, and also our future family. As he said this the spirit hit me with a question. The question that the spirit had told me was this.
"How bad do you want to bless your family?"
That question hit me so hard. The blessings that come from us not only as missionaries but also as children of God as a whole are very real. We may not understand what blessings we are going to receive from doing something as little as reading just a few more verses out of the Book Of Mormon or adding on that extra blessing to a prayer but it does affect us. Not only you but also, your family, and your future family. Then there comes a second question.
"What blessings am I restricting from giving my family because of my disobedience or lack of diligence?"
"Is watching a movie at 2 am really worth giving up the blessing that Heavenly Father would have given had you not watched the movie?" (Some missionaries do make that mistake)
Now what if that blessing that would have been given was to your mum. Or to your dad or even your sister. Your mum crying at night to feel love from her Heavenly Father or your dad pleading with God to please help him, give him the strength to go through another day in this dreadful hell here on earth. Or even your little sister, praying to Heavenly Father to please bless her with a friend at school. Sometime to just once say hi to her and to play with her. Obviously we do not know what blessing will come exactly, but why risk it. Once again,
" How bad do you want to bless not only your family, but also your future family?"
I think we can all take the advice from Elder Evans and use that in our own lives today regardless of being a missionary or not. 

The mission is going great and I am so grateful to be allowing God to shape me the way he wants me. Because I know that He can do so much more with me than I could ever do by myself. I love you all so much and cant wait to hear from you all next week!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 8 {and nivah's address!}

(Elder Meijsen, Elder Wall, Elder Wilhelmsen, Elder Dean, Elder Mongalo, Elder Wells)

(Elder Wilhelmsen, Elder Dangerfield)

Yo yo! What it do dough!? This week was awesome per usual. We said goodbye to our Zone leader that finished his mission (Elder Mongalo) which was kind of sad just because I love these guys and I already know that it is going to suck always saying goodbye to my fellow elders every transfer. It gucci though! It was cool because during transfers most of the Elders within the area will be sending off other Elders at the airport so I got to meet more missionaries in the mission at the airport and it felt really cool walking down the street in a flock of 20 Elders! Missionary work seriously is so cool though. I just think that it is the coolest thing hanging and being around so many people who have devoted 2 years of their life to the lords work. 

Everything is going good though. 32 lesson week this week and my companion and are on track with baptismal dates but I have been a little stressed out about finding more people to teach. I have been asking a lot of people for referrals and just really want to broaden our investigator pool. We have been baptizing a lot so our investigator numbers are dropping but I know that the lord will provide as long as I do my part. My goal that I have set for myself is that I want to have at least one baptism a transfer (6 weeks). Apparently the other elders say that goal is highly quixotic but we will see ;) I know the lord will provide if it be his will!

I finally saw a family from america!!! I was so stoked it seriously was so nice seeing a white american family! They were the sherwoods from New Mexico and they were visiting because they had come to SA to hunt. Apparently there is this really nice wealthy family that houses people that come to hunt and I guess that family gets a lot of LDS families that come through. I guess the families are always asking how they can get a hold of the missionaries in the area and apparently they always want to take the missionaries out to dinner! JACKPOT!!! That is money so hopefully it works out because that would be awesome! I would be seeing LDS American families all the time and getting free food! OH YEA! also the family that houses the people are not members so yeeeeee. The possibilities for missionary work is amazing because at the families house they have over 50 employees that work there. YO! 50 families to be converted! that would be NUTZZZZZ. Anyways I am pretty stoked but later tonight they said if they can they will call us and take us out.

I love these people so much though. I can honestly say that one of the greatest experiences that I have ever had is seeing the light of Christ increase in a person. For example and this is a couple weeks ago. One of our less actives her name is Mama Frans. (If you hadn't noticed... Most older women we call them Mama out of respect) anyways... Mama Frans was inactive and then I finally convinced her to come back to church because in my own words I said. 

"Mama I am giving a talk in church this Sunday and if you do not come then I will cry because that means that you don't love me"

She came to church and during my talk the spirit touched her heart. Since then she has been fully active and she told us that ever since she started coming back to church people have been complimenting her,Telling her how beautiful she is and asking her what her secret is. She knows that it is the light of Christ growing within her. It is one of the best feelings, seeing people that you love grow closer to Christ and seeing them change! 

Thanks to everyone that continues to send pictures! I have already printed off almost over 100 but yea love you all. Also hope that all of you can do something awesome for your mums on Mothers day this week! 

If you want to send Elder Greening any packages or letters you can send them here: 
Elder Greening -(Very important)
P.O Box 181
Observatory 7935
Cape Town, South Africa