Monday, October 27, 2014

Letter from Michael 10-27-2014 (11 Months)

Letter from Michael 10-27-2014 (11 Months)
            It is getting into the Holiday seasons Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Only one of these Holidays do they kind of celebrate here. For Christmas Africans besides drinking might have a BBQ (Braai) and that is about it. Anyway, it has been about 11 months since I have left to South Africa and it has been great so far. One of the greatest things someone learns on mission is patience. It is tried all of the time.
            So I learned that the Post office will probably be on strike even till sometime next year. I would be shocked if the Post Office was off strike in January. I did hear that UPS or FedEx would still work. So Mom, perhaps you can send things to me through FedEx.
            Well we have another Temple trip coming up that I am looking forward to it. The weather last week was very hot at times and then at other times it was cold and raining. I am very grateful for the rain lately. It has been too long. The rainy season came late this year.     Unfortunately we never saw Joyce and Mpumi last week and they did not come to church. Something sad happened to Joyce which is why we have not seen her in a while. It has been a rough week. Throughout most of the week almost all of our appointments got cancelled so we had to do a lot of improvising. We have been tracting quite a bit but it really isn't very fruitful. We need to find more through the members.
            On Tuesday the AP's went on splits with Rabie Ridge 2 Elders and us. Elder Menendez who is the new AP who came with us. He is from Lehi, Utah Just like Elder Todd who is being trained by Elder Christie. A few days after the APs were here President Dunn told us that he is pleased and impressed with the work that we are doing in our District.

- Elder Michael Johnson

Monday, October 20, 2014

Letter from Michael 10-20-2014 -New Zone Leader

Letter from Michael 10-20-2014- New Zone Leader

                        It was another average week in the work this week. On Thursday Elder Harris and I went on exchanges. The new zone leader came with me into our area. It turns out our new zone leader is Elder Warton who I flew with from Salt Lake to Johannesburg. Him and one other Elder from our MTC group is a zone leader now. So exchanges were pretty fun this time catching up with each other and talking about mission and the MTC.
                Anyway, in this new transfer President Dunn gave us a new rule. We have to always have 2.5 kg of pap and 2L of water everywhere we go even when we are transferred. On Sunday we heard the stake president talk about sleeping through the restoration. Lots of funny things are going on in the world which are warning signs to us today. Elder Harris and I were thinking, "Uho!.... Is there about to be a famine, disaster, or apocalypse happening soon or something, haha! We heard from the stake president because the Rabie Ridge ward had a stake conference on Sunday. It was pretty good.
                The members last week did a great job at coming out to teach with us. They are always a great help. We had a lot more member present this week. Hopefully we can have the usual members come to befriend Joyce and Rams. Last week we taught Joyce, Mpumi, and Xolani. I am surprised they didn't make it to church yesterday. We will have to call them today. Only Rams and Kabelo were the investigators who came to church today. I worry about Rams. He is old, recently divorced, has health problems, and is so lonely. His highlights every week are when we come and he is heart broken whenever we have to leave. So we are going to bring members with us so he can have friends other than us who can spend more time with him. His son is the only family member who lives with him. But the son never talks to him. Maybe only a grunt or too. So family, it would be great if you could say a prayer for him. Hopefully Rams can be baptised in November.
Fun Fact: (I have to drink more soda in a week on mission than I ever did in one year back home.)
                You really don't have much control much of your diet when you can't afford healthy food and you are force fed unhealthy food everyday. But We eat some great tasting food though. On Sunday a member cooked us some African style Mexican food. Oh, boy! It was Heavenly! It has been so long since I have had good Mexican food.

- Elder Michael Johnson

Part of Michael’s letter to his mom:
                We got to teach that father lead family once last week. The husband even brought the Book of Mormon to work with him. Oh, by the way. Last week Joyce told us that she gave a Book of Mormon to her friend and challenged her to read it in one week and pray about it and the church. Powerful, eh? That was good to here. She seems pretty converted and has a testimony.

                We don't tract everyday but a few times a week. We didn't really see anyone we had tracted into other than the father lead family. We teach lessons day and night. Most of our solid appointment are in the evening though. We don't tract or find in the evening because it is too dangerous at night. It takes about 10 or 15 minutes from the flat to the area. It depends on the time of day and traffic though of course.

I keep hearing rumours about the post office being opened again and then we find out that it is false. I really don't know when it will open again. It is super frustrating. My guess is it will open up sometime next year. Okay, say thank to Grandma and the Smiths. I really appreciate it even if I don't write back anytime soon. 

                By the way, I heard the movie "Meeet the Mormons" might be going global and coming to South Africa. I don't know if that is true though. On Saturday morning we had to go give a 17 year old boy a blessing because his mother just died that morning. He was freaking out but when we got there we gave him a blessing, said some comforting words, and taught a bit about the Plan of Salvation. He is the younger brother of one of the 18 year old members who teaches with us some times. They don't have the same mother though. So That experience made me think of you and how grateful I am to have you and that I love you! I love you and Dad very much! thank you for supporting me, raising me, and being a great example. I was meant to be with you guys. Love you!
- Elder Johnson

By the way, this year Elder Cook is coming to SA to speak to us! Actually he will be here in SA

by this week.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Letter from Michael 10-13-2014 - Just Another Transfer

Letter from Michael 10-13-2014- Just another transfer

On Saturday we got the transfer news. Nothing has changed in the district except for our new zone leader is leaving now. So Elder Harris and I will be together for 4 & 1/2 months. Church this week was good. 5 investigators came to church. We found some people while tracting. We even found a father lead family on the same street as Joyce, Mpumi, and Xolani.  Rams has had some health problems this week. We missed an appointment with him because he had to go to the doctor. We will check up on him soon. This weekend we started teaching a less active family. They seem very nice and they want us to come again every week.
Fun Fact: In South Africa to pass a class or test you only need to score 30%
....that is incredible! You could pass the hardest classes without even trying.
By the way, Rabie Ridge is the ward or area. But we actually don't serve in Rabie Ridge. We serve in mostly in Maybuye, some in Pumelong, some in Klipfontein, and Friendship Town.  
- Elder Michael Johnson

Part of his letter to his mom:
The restored gospel is the greatest thing there is. Meet the Mormons sounds great and inspiring. I can't wait to see it. What other stories were in it?
 Joyce and Mpumi are still getting baptised this month. We moved it to the 26th as well as for Onkabetsi. Joyce & Mpumi came to church yesterday. We had taught them the Plan of Salvation last week. Joyce really enjoyed it. She participates in church and has a great desire to get baptised and to learn more.
(By the way, next week I'll have a couple pictures sent)
Today I went to the Rhino & Lion park in Krugers Dorp again. This time I got to play with tiger cubs. They love to wrestle a lot... so fun

The mail will never come until the post office is off strike. We are supposed to get mail weekly.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Letter from Michael 10-6-204- Last Week of Transfers and General Conference

Letter from Michael 10-6-2014 - Last Week of the Transfer and General Conference

This week not as much happened. Conference this weekend was good. We saw all of it accept Sunday 2nd session. I liked that they tried to have speakers in different languages. But especially with the Asian guy it was difficult to focus. I didn't like hearing two voices at the same time. It went on till midnight here. Kalebo, Rams, Joyce, and Impumi each came to a session of conference. They enjoyed it. I think it was in the Priesthood session I was surprised to see Blake Mower singing in the choir. I wasn't aware he was in the MTC at this time.
Anyway, our water never came back on till the middle of last week. So we went a week and 1 half without water at our flat. I am very grateful to have it now. We saw Vundisa again last week. She said she really ejoys our church and says it is different than any other church she has been to. She said she felt the Spirit strongly. We have had some more service as well. We helped Sister Ngwenia re-do the foundation for one of the rooms in her house. it was fun but we all got matching blisters on our hands from the service. Also, we did some washing for some members. We washed a bunch of huge rugs that they had.
- Elder Johnson