Monday, July 28, 2014

Letter from Michael 7-28-2014- Robie Ridge 1

Letter from Michael 7-28-2014  Robie Ridge 1

It was sad to leave Protea Glen so soon but my new area seems pretty great. My new area is Robie Ridge.At transfers all I heard about Robie Ridge was great things. People rave about it. Elder Ruekert, my zone leader in Polokwane, had served there too. He went home back to Utah on Tuesday. Robie ridge is a township that some would call very very ghetto. Most people live in tiny tin shacks. It makes Protea Glen look like town. Anyway,  the people are nice I love the ward here. There are so many people to teach here and we have quite a few investigators being baptized soon.

My new companion is Elder Harris. He is almost a year old on mission, district leader, and is from Utah. He is the funniest companion I've had. It is good serving with him. I finally live in a 2 man flat now which is nice. It is not so noisy, more privacy, and easier for cleaning. We even each get our own bathrooms. The only bad part is that the walls are paper thin so we can hear people in rooms around us. My first night here we ate at a members house. We ate "Walkie Talkie" and a ton of pop it was hard to finish but I muscled it all down. I thought I had eaten everything off the bones. Then I see them finding more to eat on my plate. They really finished it off. They eat fat, tendon, bones and all in this country. They never waste. By the way, "Walkie Talkie" is chicken head and chicken feet.  That reminds me of when Elder Harris and I tried a new kota shop on Tuesday. It didn't taste very good and it made me sick for a couple days. I have bad stomach pains and body aches. I am good now but I don't think I will be eating any more kotas anytime soon. If you don't know what a kota is it is a quarter loaf of bread with fries, different kinds of cheap meat, sauce and cheese.

On Transfers on Tuesday it was good to see Elder Haynes and other missionaries I know. Elder Haynes is now a district leader. Elder Dutson went to Orange Farm which is a good township I hear. That was my week in my new area. So far so good.

- Elder Johnson

Part of letter to his mom:
For Transfers we all meet at the office, church, where the MTC is. We gather together in the chapel and find out who our companions are. There are a couple speakers and then the turn on the projector. They project the picture and names of the new companionship and then the name of the assigned area.
Harris is from a little town that no one knows about. "Erda."

Part of letter from his dad:
The transfer was like a meeting instead of just looking at a paper on the wall. The greeny Elders shared their testimonies.
A little bit more:
My companion has been here 1 transfer (6 weeks). Introduce myself at church. I made a funny joke about Utah to begin with that made them laugh. Of course I bore testimony too. The investigators are powerful. They walk a long way to get to church. They have a lot of faith. Funny African names are hard to remember. Blessing, Tiamo (Recent Convert), and Tumi are guys that help us with the work a ton. Every day we take one of them out to teach with us.
Today we are playing basketball with the district. I am so stoked! This will be my 2nd time playing basketball in Africa. The other 2 times were in Protea glen

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Letter from Michael 7-21-2014- An Interesting Transfer

7-21-2014- An Interesting Transfer

On Saturday we got the transfer news. Elder Dutson and I are both leaving. Apparently a lot of missionaries went home or are going home on Tuesday so there won't be enough missionaries to cover all the areas. Our area is supposedly going to open up after one transfer when we have more missionaries. They closed down three other areas too. It is too bad. I like Protea Glen a lot and would like to have stayed one more transfer. There will still be missionaries in Protea Glen though. Elder Mwale and his next companion will take over both of our areas. Which makes a pretty big one. 

Last week I forgot to mention something about Lazarus who hasn't been to church since I have been there. He finally came last Sunday and came this Sunday as well. He wants his family to be taught and come to church as well as a few of his friends. Hopefully all goes well with that. 

Fun Fact: In South Africa the people put 2 liter bottles of water on their front lawn so that dogs don't make a mess in their yard. It actually works too. It keeps the dogs away. I wonder why...

My favorite food that people feed us here is Dumbolo which is dumpling, gravey, meat, and veggies.  A while ago I tried some Mopane worms which was discusting as you could imagine. The texture is not good and it leaves a bad after taste. Many South African kids watch wrestling on TV and so they love John Cina. So when they see me they don't call me Elder Johnson. They call me Elder John Cina. I heard a rumor that John Cina is a member of the church but it probably is just a rumor. 

Yesterday, as Elder Dutson and I walked to Gugu and Lebo's house a car pulled up to us. There were two ladies in the front seat and one of them called out to us. I responded and walked over to them. They said something like, "Hey,  I've never kissed a white man before... is it okay if I kiss you." I smiled and said, "Have a nice day..." and I started walking away. They kept saying similar things as I continued toward Gugu and Lebo's house. Elder Dutson jokingly asked me why I didn't say yes.

Well, Protea Glen was great and am sad to leave but excited for a new experience. We have already said some goodbyes but tonight we are having a big family home evening with the members. It should be nice.

- Elder Johnson

Parts of his letter to his mom:
Gugu and Lebo went to church. Senele is still coming. Lesego we have not been able to see. People are always busy and we have to reschedule. I forgot about the bird. I will write it down so that I don't forget.I will pray for yours and Dad's health.

parts of his letter to his dad: We didn't teach Rose. She said she would come to church but did not. We did not teach Lesego. We had many canceled appointments. I done't know much asbout transfers. I will no more on Tuesday when the transfer happens. Elder Haynes is now District leader. I know he will be great!

Monday, July 14, 2014

7-14- 2014 Last Week with Elder Dutson

7-14- 2014    Last Week with Elder Dutson

                Last week we started teaching a referral from a member. His name is Lesego. He is 18 years old and enjoys church. He wants to make changes in his life and is excited about the gospel. We taught him at the church with a member named Bongani. Bongani is in his twenties and is preparing to serve a mission soon. He makes a good for fellowship for investigators and recent converts. We have been getting referrals from members here in there because we have been visiting. That is the best way to find people to teach. Every member should pray and find people for the Elders to visit.
                In our tracting we found a lot of potential investigators. We set up appointments with some of them. One of our lessons is an inactive member that we found while tracting. It turns out most of the houses around the church have people who used to be members but stopped coming for one reason or another. The inactive member we found was Rose.
                Next Tuesday is transfer Day. Most likely Elder Dutson will be leaving. President Dun said transfers are going to be a bit different from now on. He is making it better and a more spiritual experience. So we will see how that goes. I like what President Dunn is doing with the mission. He has been changing things here and that make that work much nicer. Last week Elder Dutson sent his 1st letter back home and he is over a year now on mission. I don't write or email much but at least I do some.
                There are some funny things I have noticed recently. One is when people ask me if we have McDonald's or KFC back home in America. It just cracks me up. It is "Kentucky Fried Chicken" not "Kenyan Food Corporation." I also have noticed that we get a lot more funny looks, stares, and comments about our race here in Protea Glenn as Apposed to in Polokwane. People here aren't used to seeing white people. But it is fine. I just gets a bit annoying sometimes. By the way, Sister V is much better and even came to church this Sunday. It was good to see her there again. Anyway, it was another good week and I'll send the transfer news next week.
- Elder Johnson

Part of letter to his mom:
We have a ward mission leader. His name is Tumello and he is going to serve in Ghana soon. The mission president has not told us how it happened either. He is saving it for another time. (Grizzly attack)

Part of his letter to his dad:
Gugu and Lebo came to church. Sanele is doing well. The Vodacom tower was taken over a long time ago. I emailed Brother Jones but I don't think he ever got the message. . It sounds like a great trip with the priests! Great story! That makes for a good lesson. I don't remember the name of the bird but I will tell you next week.

Michael’s SD card got a virus or something when he put it in the computer at the internet café to send photos. Now he can’t see any photos. He is going to send it home and we will try to see if we can recover them. Does anyone have any ideas? There are no photos this week.                                                                       

Monday, July 7, 2014

Letter from Michael 7-7-2014- New President

Letter from Michael 7-7-2014- New President

                President and Sister Dunn are great. They are fairly young, excited, and enthusiastic. He told us about some maxims he wanted us to learn. We talked about obedience, working with the members, and Diligence. He told us a bit more about getting mauled by a GRIZZLY BEAR! He had to get 500+ stitches or something like that! Anyway he seems nice. They are from Salt Lake, Utah... shocker.
                At the beginning of last tranfer the Joburg area of the mission was closed. Our mission song says, "We have been called to build the kingdom in Johannesburg" but now we have been called to build the kingdom AROUND Johannesburg.
                We got two new investigators which were both referrals from members. One of them came into the church on Saturday when we were cleaning for service. He said he wanted to repent and join the church. So we will see how that goes. We taught him the Restoration and about the Book of Mormon. That is the best way to find investigators who will progress. It is all about the referrals from members. So people back home, help out the missionaries in the work. It brings out the most success and progression in people. Also, we got some potential investigators in a very unique way. They kind of rescued us. It is a story I would have to write or talk about when I get home from my mission. They are a father lead family and we will have to try to teach them this week. By the way we finally got the member list! We have been seeing more members and looking for less actives. This Sunday someone finally got called to be in charge of the I/RC Gospel Principles class.Those were the highlights for this week. 
-Elder Johnson

From letter to his mom:

The week was good. Sanele was conferred a member of the church. Gugu, Lebo, and a referral from the members came to church. Good job on the studying. You are laying up treasures in heaven that bless you in this life as well. The Lord has been looking out for us and I have been reminded in the scriptures and experiences I've had about remember to give thanks to God for all of his tender mercies in our everyday lives.
Elder Johnson
The bishop confirmed him. 
Joburg has proven to be too dangerous. We are emailing now because we did our activity first. They saved us from a angry drunk man, but all is well.

From letter to his dad:

We did not teach Prisca or Fannie. We will try next week. I have mentioned briefly about the church history sites. I found the egg on the ground. & no they just have random fire everyday in the dead dry field which is Protea Glenn. 
Elder Johnson
The photos were taken from: It was a lion park near Rumsig



This tower got highjacked by homeless people. So now the tower is taken over by them and it is just a sqauter camp in there. It must be a very scary place.