Monday, March 30, 2015

Letter from Michael 3-30-2015- Months on Mission

Letter from Michael 3-30-2015-  16 Months on Mission
We finally got the car fixed on Friday. We drove it down that night to the office to swap it for a brand new car. I guess the one we had is going to be sold. So again most of our appointments canceled since we couldn't reach them. We did a lot of tracting and contacting. After we got the car things just went so much better. On Friday we only had 5 lessons but by Sunday we had 17. We had another one of Edwin's friends came to church on Sunday. Esther who is on date also came. Sunday morning I was asked to give a talk of fasting. Two people did not show up to give their talks. It happens almost every week here. They are always conveniently sick the day of.

"I suppose I am talking to some who have had worry and trouble and heart burnings and persecution, and have at times been caused to think that they never expected to endure quite so much. But for everything that has occurred to you which you thought evil at that time, you will receive fourfold, and that suffering will have had a tendency to make you better and stronger and to feel that you have been blessed. When you look back over your experiences you will then see that you have advanced far ahead and have gone up several rounds of the ladder toward exaltation and glory...
Take it individually or take it collectively, we have suffered and we shall have to suffer again; and why? Because the Lord requires it at our hands for our sanctification."
- Lorenzo Snow

Part of letter to his mom:
Investigators we have not been able to see many of them. We had a great lesson with Selena and her husband, William. The power went out so we taught the plan of salvation. William really enjoyed it and is looking forward to us teaching more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The attendance was very poor this Sunday. People act like it is the most difficult thing in the world to come to church. We have tons of less active work to do. Most of the members live far away though. The weather is getting a bit cooler and it rains every now and then.

Part of letter to his dad:

Yes, I am stoked for conference. I appreciate them much more than I used to. Only Esther and Ezra came to church. Esther is on date for baptism. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Letter from Michael 3-23-2015 (No Car!)

Letter from Michael 3-23-2015  (No Car!)

This week was a bit of a challenge for us. On Wednesday our car broke down and we were stranded trying to figure out what to do next. Eventually we got the other Elders to pick us up. They also helped push the car to an investigators house to leave until morning when we could get a tow truck to take it to the car dealership to get fixed. The car is still there and probably will be there for the rest of this week. We had to cancel all but 2 of our appointments for the week. Our closest appointment was a 2 hour walk away then 2 hours back. We mostly did contacting and found some people to teach. We started teaching a new father lead family. The father's name is Charles. 
Another father lead family we are teaching is Kevin and his family. Kevin is the guy in the wheelchair who sat in from of President Dunn, Elder Novotny, and me. We have taught him about the restoration, the Book of Mormon, and introduce the plan of salvation. He is going through a hard time right now. He is now fighting cancer, has diabetes, and lost his leg to gangrene. He is a great man with a wonderful family; a wife and 2 sons. 
Anyway, we saw Kevin with President Dunn and Sister Dunn. They enjoyed coming out with us very much. Kevin committed to coming to church and being baptized. We have 8 people on date for baptism now namely Stuart, Selena, Esther, Queen, Tapiwa, Kevin, Dudu, and Bob. I found Kevin while tracting with Elder Hughes when we were on exchanges.
- Elder Michael Johnson

Part of his letter to his mom:  Yes, it was great having president and Sister Dunn there. We had a great lesson with Kevin. We reviewed the restoration with him and watched the movie. Then we testified and invited him to be baptized. The Spirit was very strong. 
We did not talk to the old man from Czech Republic again. 

Part of his letter to his dad:

It has been hard getting people to church. This week a friend of a member came to church. We will start teaching her this week. Also Dudu came to church. Selena was at her brother-in-law's funeral. Everyone in the branch treats her as if she is already a member. The relief society fellowship her very well.

Red and Black Bug

Limpopo River

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Letter from Michael 3-17-2015  - 6 on Date!

It was a good week last week. As of right now we have 6 investigators on date. Those on date for the 26th of April are Selena Maabane, Bob, Stuart, Tapiwa, and Dudu. Queen is on date for the last Sunday of May. Those who came to church on Sunday were Bob and Selena. 
Last week while tracting we met an old man on the street. At first he said he was not interested. Then we started to talk about life after death and the 3 degrees of glory God has prepared for us. He all of a sudden became interested. We gave him a pamphlet about the Plan of Salvation. He told us about a guy living on that street from Czech Republic since that is where Elder Novotny is from. We went over there to talk to the man but only Elder Novotny spoke to him because I don't speak Czech. 
- Elder Johnson

Part of his letter to his mom:
Sorry, no new packages. I will talk with President Dunn on Wednesday morning. He and his wife are coming out to work with each companionship for one our. My visas says I have to leave the country by the 9th of October and other Elders in my group say they are leaving in October.

Why no email sent yesterday: The power was out in witbank and we had not modem in the chapel. 

Elder Novonty playing the recorder

Township Mailbox 

Zipline- April 2014

the Mosque
the river
Witbank or also known as eMahlehleni


Monday, March 9, 2015

Letter from Michael 3-9-2015, eMalahleni

Letter from Michael 3-9-2015, eMalahleni

It has been another good week for us. We have some new investigators and have three people with a baptismal date. Stuart, Tapiwa, and Dudu are all scheduled to be baptized in April. I believe I never mentioned before about Crisben. We thought Crisben was an investigator but found out that he is actually a member who holds the Melchizedek priesthood. He is from the Kongo and speaks French but is learning English. Last week we started teaching Crisben's friend who is also from Kongo but prefers speaking English. He really loves America and wants to live there. Anyway he said he would come to church with Crisben on Sunday. 
On Saturday we went to President Nish's farm to do some service. It was a lot of fun but it was hard hand blistering work. There is a steam that runs through his property. We might go fishing there for a future P-day. On Sunday Tapiwa, Selena, and Selena's daughter came to church. Selena and her daughter have been fellowshiped very  well by the members. For Tapiwa there is only one active member in the young men's program and he is only a deacon. We have had a few more member presents lately. we are trying get to know more members and know them well. Bro. Masike came to church yesterday. I had never seen him at church. He was in the branch presidency but then went less active because he got offended. We even had a new member come to the branch yesterday. Not far from the chapel there is an area called Klarinet. The branch boundaries are changing next month and the members there will be coming here now. It will be very helpful for this branch. On Friday night Elder Novotny was driving and accidentally swerved into the other lane. The truck (bakkie) next to us had to brake hard. The two guys in the truck were clear raging and tailgated us and shined their brights at us. They followed us where ever we went. Eventually we went into a neighborhood and drove fast around a bunch of different turns until we could lose them. Good thing our car is faster.
- Elder Johnson

"Why do we fall, Master Wayne?.... so we can learn to pick ourselves back up." - Alfred
(I use this quote when teaching a few times.)

Part of his letter to his mom:
The horses here get funny growths on their skin because of the polluted water. This morning the water came out of the sink so brown that it was almost black.
I don't know if I told you told you but for a while I have been thinking of ditching the fire fighting idea. I am more interested in doing something like physical therapy or becoming a chiropractor. 
Part of his letter to his dad:

We only saw Stuart once last week. We taught the law of Chastity. We are going over the commandments with him again.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Letter from Michael 3-2-2015, Progression in eMalahleni

This was a pretty good week in our area. In fact it was the best week I think I have had in Witbank. We have received some referrals and found many people while tracting. A couple of our investigators are becoming more serious. Stuart and Tapiwa are on date for the first week in April. We finally started teaching Selena and her husband. We taught them on Saturday and things went well. The husband might take some time though. Stanley has gone up to Zimbabwe with his family for a family event up there. We did get to see him though before he left and we shared the Word of Wisdom with it. He enjoyed it and understood pretty well. He is a smart guy. He is willing to make some sacrifices to keep the commandment. We still have not set a baptismal date yet for him but we will try when he comes back from Zimbabwe. 
Today is our zone activity and we are bowling. I don't think I have gone bowling since my very first P-day in the mission field. Elder Novotny actually plays a few instruments. On mission he found a recorder and plays it every now and then. Often times he even sticks the recorder up his nose and plays it. It is ridiculous! On Friday I taught district meeting. The assigned topic was dress and grooming. It went well. I made a game out of it. 
- Elder Johnson

Quote of the Week:
The gift of the Holy Ghost comes after one repents and becomes worthy... The Holy Ghost bears witness of the truth and impresses upon the soul the reality of God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ so deeply that no earthly power or authority can separate him from that knowledge."
- President James E. Faust

Part of letter to his mom:

We were not able to make it to Middleburg to see Quintin this week. We taught Stanley once. Nothing yet has come from the father lead families we found the other week. One of the families heard some false information about the church from their real estate manager. Shame. President Dunn told me that he will let me know about the coming home date next Monday.