Monday, June 30, 2014

Letter from Michael 6-30-2014- Baptism of Sanele


It is hard to believe that it has been a year now since I got my mission call. Time feels quick. On Friday he (Sanele) had an interview for baptism. The district leader said he is powerful and prepared. Yesterday was the baptismal service which went well. His sister who is a member spoke about baptism and then her friend spoke about the Holy Ghost at the service. Sanele is a great kid. We will encourage him to go to mutual and seminary.
            We have some new investigators who are both potential father lead families. We had our first lesson with Fannie. Elder Mwale was on exchanges with me at the time. He understood what we taught and what we all read together in the scriptures. He said next time we can teach the whole family. Then we started teaching someone named Prisca who lives next to the church and her friend next door is a member. She said on Tuesday we can teach the whole family. We found where some more members stay. One night I became hungry and we went to get a kota at the kota shop. There we met a member who has been inactive for a long time and invited us to come over on Tuesday. Her name is Refilwe. 
            In case you don't know what a kota is it is a loaf of bread stuffed with different kinds of meat, fries, cheese, egg, and sauce. There are some pretty good kotas out there.
            Sister V is recovering well and appreciates us coming to help her. I love getting fed by people as a missionary but it seems like every time we decide to buy something to eat immediately after we get fed by someone. So as missionaries we are either very hungry or over stuffed. This was a good week and ended so quickly.
- Elder Johnson
Part of a letter to his mom:

Thanks for the updates! I am grateful that you are getting better and that you and Dad enjoy talking about me. Scary about Sarah! I will pray! I am happy to hear that Austin and Chase are serving. I have never heard of a mission like Chase's. That is a very unique mission! Love you!
Elder Johnson
Fannie is a man. Prisca is 16. Both of them said we can teach the whole family next time.
Mwale is doing great! I enjoy teaching with him.

Part of letter to his dad:
Sanele's sister came. No one else from the family. I like that Sundae Monday thing! Brilliant. I will email Preston.

We meet the new president on Thursday. I actually miss driving a manuel car. I might want one of my own one day. Especially since they are cheaper. Also, I am used to driving on the left side of the road. It makes more sense in a manual to drive on the side they drive on here. It is better to have your good and on the wheel. Shift with the left.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Letter from Michael 6-23-2014- Baptism next Sunday

                This week went by very quick. Sanele has been coming to church and gets baptized this coming Sunday. He is 16 years old. His sister is older than him and is also a member. The rest of the family has not been taught yet. We hope to get to know them and start teaching them soon. 
                This week I had some good studies especially  on Wednesday. Elder Dutson and I found some great scripture to share with investigators to help them understand and progress. We did get dropped by one investigator named Paul. It was sad but he wouldn't hear anymore. Something about him changed dramatically. I had my first lesson by candle light this week. The power keeps going out in certain places in Protea Glen. Sister V went four days without any power and it was just her street.
                We have tried to visit more members to get more referrals but there is not much we can do when we don't have a member list or a map. Next Sunday will be a good one with the baptism. Hopefully we can get Gugu and Lebo baptized soon as well.
- Elder Johnson

Letter to his mom:
Wow, I am very grateful to hear the surgery went well and you are recovering! It is an answer to prayers!  Life should be much nicer now. This week was better as far as my companion's motivation. Sorry I don't write specifics. It just feels long and tedious. I will send a hand written letter sometime. I got some from you, one from Grandma DeDen, and one from Calvin. I will respond to them. One letter I got from you was disgusting. There was black stuff all over it. I might send a picture of it to you sometime. Well, get well, be good, and I continue to pray for you.
- Elder Johnson 

Part of  his letter to his dad:
We taught Sanele. He, Gugu, and Lebo came to church. THINGS TO PREPARE FOR MISSION: Worthiness, Study Book of Mormon everyday, study the New Testimate, Preach My Gospel, help the missionaries with teaching, Seminary and Institute are important, and Mission Prep classes. PARENTS: take your sons for home teaching and service. Family Home Evening every week. Invite missionaries over. Study the scriptures together as a family. Serve and care for those in your family. Be an example. Invite friends and fellowship......

About pigeons:
Yes, from plucking them. We cut the meat off of all the pigeons after we boiled them. Then we seasoned and fried. They were yum yum. :)

Plucking the pigeon

Monday, June 16, 2014

Letter from Michael 6-16-2014

Transfers were last week. Elder Robins, from my MTC group, is now serving in Polokwane. Elder Haynes' companion after me was excited to finally meet me because apparently he heard a lot of good things from everyone in Polokwane. I taught about that sacrament in the Gospel Principles class at church. Four investigators came to church. The area definitely  has improved since before last transfer. We hope to improve much more. We cooked and ate pigeons on Saturday night. T'was pretty good. No, it didn't taste like chicken... it tasted more like beef. This week is just a short letter.
-Elder Johnson

Parts of letter to his mom:
Sanele is doing great. He is getting a lot of support from his sister. He is 16 years old. He is about as good of an investigator as Cynthia was. I heard Cynthia is still doing great and active. Sister V in our ward knows Bro. Jones and we talked a bit about him. I heard a story from others about a missionary from the past but it ended up being about Bro. Jones. Cool! Sister V was in the hospital and it now stuck in her house for 6 weeks. Every other day we check up on her and see if she needs help with anything. 
I MUST... and I SHALL pray for you, Mum. :) I already knew Suzie is going on a mission. She emailed me a bit about it when I was in Polokwane. Cool though! I am glad Phyllis got the card.
I have a cool pigeon story to write to you guys about by the way. Next we get a ward list which will help with the work a ton. Because we still don't know where a lot of the members and less actives live. 
I don't know if I already told you but for a while our phone was not working properly. We could only hear when the loud speaker was on. I forgot when I was making a call. While I thought it was still ringing I was singing a song. Later on when they saw me they asked why I was singing to them. Oops... I didn't here them answer because the phone was mute. hahaha. 

From letter to his dad:

Kabelo asks a lot of questions and studies but for some reason avoids formal lessons.

In Joburg

Mission shoes: It is not the is the mileage!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Letter from Michael 6-9-2014

Letter from Michael 6-9-2014

June 9, 2014
This week we had zone conference. We talked a lot about the importance of the Book of Mormon, eating healthy, and budgeting. After they fed us a great pork meal. It was President Omer's last conference. The new one, President Dun, is coming at the end of June. I heard a story about him how he survived being mauled by a bear. Awesome! Anyway, I will miss Omer. He is pretty great.

The past couple of times there has been a guy named Kalebo. His girlfriend is a member of the church. But she dumped him. He was impressed that she had such a great faith in God and Christ that it took priority over everything. So he became curious about the church and has been coming and will continue to come. He asked a lot of great questions and asked what would be the best way he could know the truth. We explained about the Book of Mormon and gave it to him. Also we gave him a Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet. He wants one of those Gospel Principles books that we teach class with. I think he will progress well and this Sunday 4 investigators came to church. Kalebo, Gugu, Lebo, and Rose. The other day I tried "Smiley" I think it is called. It sounds like a drug but it is actually a cow's face. And those were the highlights of the week.
- Elder Johnson

A little from his letter to his mom:  I have been reading the grneral conference which is great. I got grandma's Easter card, another letter from her, from Nick, & Jessica.

with stitches

Men in Black

The Church in Protea Glen

Monday, June 2, 2014

Letter from Michael 6-2-2014

Letter from Michael 6-2-2014
So  we have two investigators Gugu and Lebo who want to be baptized. But problems have come up from their parents and the bishop that has discouraged. We tried to clarify things for them and give them motivation and uplift. It seemed to help but I worry about them now. 
We decided that working with the members will be the best way for us to find investigators who will progress. It should go well since we have tons of member families in our area. In Polokwane we only had about  4 to visit. 
- Elder Johnson

PS: News from Polokwane:
I heard that Desmond and his friend Zachariah who we have been teaching went to institute or something. Also, a former investigator, Mojelefa, walked to church on Sunday.
- Elder Johnson

Part of letter to his dad: We never saw that guy again. (The man they met on the street last week) He must not be serious. Today is Elder Dutson's 19th Birthday by the way. Yeah, he walks at a more reasonable pace now. I hope and pray all goes well for Letitia and Jason's kids. I got the General Conference in the magazine. I couldn't watch it but at least I can read it now. 

The drawings below are  by Michael.