Monday, December 30, 2013

12-16-2013-First week in the Field in Polokwane, South Africa

Hey everyone!
It has been a good few weeks. My new companion is Elder Haynes from Australia which is cool.  He is 19 and has been out for 5 months. We are opening a new area in Polokwane in the province of Limpopo. 
Tracting here is more difficult in a way. It is hard to get to people's doors because they have their houses surrounded by big electric gates. But we have been placing Book of Mormon and pamphlets trying to get contact information. A lot of people are  gone or going for the Holidays. 
We have gotten to know the members better and visited less active which I believe has help them. We met a less active guy who surprisingly is white. HE is awesome. He knows Ikedo or something like that which is really cool. He told us about some pretty rough things he has been through in life. We shared some scripture with him and tried to bring him comfort. We also taught him about the importance of the Sabbath and sacrament. We got him to commit to coming to church and yesterday he came for the first time in a long while. He said he was very grateful that we came by because he was feeling pretty down and need to hear what we had for him. He said it has been years since he has seen the missionaries. This happened on Saturday. Also, on Saturday we gave a less active member a blessing because he was having medical problems. We taught him about faith and bore testimony.
The work has been slow because it is a new area but we are working to make progress. Our flat was way nicer than I expected. It is very big. I might send some pics of it. There are 2 companionships in the flat. One of them was my district leader in the MTC. His name is Elder Mcclellan. I'm thankful that someone I already know is there. I can feel God's hand in my life every day and his guidance. I am happy to be out here serving a mission and preaching the gospel. 
I have noticed a few things here in Africa. First, is that the napkins are called serviettes. If you call it a napkin here it means "diaper"... oops. I've been asking for diapers. The people in Africa speak very softly. It is super hard to understand people on the phone. Sometimes it seems impossible. I drove in South Africa for my first time today. Thank goodness we are all still alive. It is not very comfortable driving on the wrong side of the road but I will get used to it.It was an automatic which I was grateful for.
Saturday we road bikes which we will be doing almost every day. At the beginning of my day my back tire popped and went completely flat. The front tire got lower and lower by the hour. It became a very tiring day riding around on that thing. It is hot here. So sweaty. Good bye now.
-Elder Michael Johnson  

from letter to Michael's dad:
Hey Dad!
I forgot to put in the main email that we taught 2 teenage investigators on Saturday about the Restoration. Most of the people here are pretty chill and aren't rude to us. The few white people here though I noticed are quite rude. When the see us the cross over to the other side of the street. When we say hi they turn and pretend they don't know we are there. But Yesterday a group of white people said hi back to us which is sad that it is such a great accomplishment. Lionel the white guy who know Ikedo or whaterver is really nice though. Great guy.  He is the less active we got to come to church. Thanks for the report. I'm glad you went to the temole. LOve you, Mom, and jessica very much!
-Elder Johnson
p.s.- I will write in the real letter a bit more like the MTC stuff. It is just hard to write about everything because we are so busy. Today for p day we are bowling and mini golf. We will do animal stuff some other p day

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