Monday, September 28, 2015

Letter from Michael 9-28-2015
This week we started to teach Nicki's cousin, Aisha. Shane, Renato, Dell, and Thendi all came to church this Sunday. Renato, Dell, and Thendi are progressing towards baptism. Hopefully Dell and Thendi will get baptized on the 11th. Renato's baptism might be in December sometime. There was a primary program at church yesterday. It was a bit entertaining as usual. 

On Thursday I went to Germiston for an exchange. The Elders in that poor area Haven't had a baptism in over a year. Elder Morrill and Elder Vataiki should be having a couple baptisms next month though. Also, Thursday was national Heritage Day. So we went to the ward party for a bit in Germiston. I enjoyed the exchange we were able to teach a new investigator and found some new people for them to teach.
- Elder Johnson 

Part of his letter to his mom:

We meet with President Dunn on the 6th for interviews. It is strange to think that might talk is already scheduled. Is there a topic? Immaculate was basically taught everything before baptism; even the new member lessons. But we have done lots of review. 

We will be watching Conference late. We won't watch it until we get it on DVD.
When asked about the construction on a relatively new chapel, Michael wrote the following: It is new but the ward is growing fast. The chapel has gotten so much more full since I first came here. Sometimes there is not enough room for everyone in the chapel.
I have a small USB that I transfer pics over to. If there is a virus then I just format the small usb.

Part of letter to his dad:

I am glad bishop Sharp enjoys my emails! I know I'm not much of a writer and just give the bare minimum of how the week went. That is quite a shame about BYU.  

Nicky and Immaculate

Immaculate's baptism

Elder Huges'  broken collarbone 

construction on the chapel due to increased church attendence

Elder Rouse's bike accident

Selena in Whitbank, she is now a primary teacher

Whitbank Branch Pesident Nish and his family

Monday, September 21, 2015

Letter from Michael 9-21-2015- Confirmation

This Sunday Immaculate was confirmed a member of the church and given the gift of the Holy Ghost. A less active member named Kristen came to church and also came with her boyfriend who we have been teaching. This was the first time that I saw the boyfriend, Richard, at church. They should be coming much more often now that they have a car. Renato, Dell, and Thendi also came to church. Dell and Thendi are on date for baptism on the 11th of October.

The Rugby World Cup is a huge thing here. Everyone is talking about it. Everyone is upset here that South Africa lost to Japan. Elder Hughes was quite happy to see that England beat Fiji. By the way there is a brand new greeny in my district. His name is Elder Vataiki who is from Fiji. He said last night was the coldest night of his life... poor guy... last night was nothing. He would die if he were sent anywhere with snow. The Bedfordview area split into two areas and so there have been some changes in districts. Our district is now only 4 Elders. It is just Alberton and Germiston. At least it will be nicer for call in reports on Sunday evenings. District meeting on Friday was about meaningful fasting which is something I needed. This transfer we are fasting 42 days for the purification challenge. Each companionship is fasting on a specific day for things they want to improve on to become more effective missionaries.
- Elder Johnson
Quote: "My people must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of zion; and he that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom." - D&C 136:31

Part of his letter to his dad:

Hey! Elder Hughes is definitely getting better. He can move his arm around he just isn't as fast.
Shame that BYU lost. It sounds like it was still a good game though.

Part of his letter to his mom:

Bishop Kirchman did the confirmation. I tried sending pics but of course the viruses prevented that. No we only fast one day but we all take a turn.
Yes, people were there to support at the baptism. Sister Sibeko spoke about the Holy Spirit and Elder Hughes spoke about baptism. 
One of them that went home is in my group. Elder hughes can shower because he got the staples out on Friday. He now has to go back in six weeks. I will probably be gone by then. 

By the way we saw an old investigator from my first transfer here. She came to drop off a package to send to her son who is serving in Durban.

More people from my first area, Polokwane, came to Alberton today. I saw them at church and Sister Koopa's place for the lunch appointment. Sster Koopa is also from Polokwane. I think they were just visiting her though. At Transfers I saw Elder and Sister Winward who were the senior missionaries in Polokwane. I got to speak with them and say goodbye. They got a picture with me but unfortunately I did not have a camera with me at the time. They plan to serve another mission soon next year.

Elder Hughes with broken collarbone and Michael Sept. 2015

Michael at September 2015 Transfers

More of September 2015 Transfers

Monday, September 14, 2015

Letter from Michael 9-14-2015- Transfer Confusion & Baptism

Fortunately Immaculate was baptized on Sunday and it went well. We managed to last minute print up a program for her baptism. Renato, Dell, and Thendi were also there. Our lesson with Renato went well. He wants us to start coming every Wednesday night. We are getting to know him a bit better now. I forgot to tell you that last Sunday I got to teach the Elders quorum class. It actually went well and there was good participation. The lesson was about the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. It was my first time teaching in that class.  

On Friday we went to the Hospital for Elder Hughes. Unfortunately the staples have to stay in longer which means a longer time with out a shower. He uses a lot of deodorant spray, "shower in a can." He has to go again this Friday. 

On Friday night we got the transfer news which shocked us all. Elder Hughes was leaving even though he has only been here for 6 weeks. The members quickly noticed a pattern that all of my companions are English, they get injured, and they only stay 1 transfer. Just today we received a phone call from the AP, Elder Warton, saying that he was sorry but there was a mistake when the news came out. So actually Elder Hughes and I are staying together. 

We had a great lesson with one of our less actives. We brought an active member over to fellowship Musa. She seemed to enjoyed that. We had a great discussion about the light of Christ and showed a video of Elder Bednar speaking about the light of Christ. We have been using many Mormon messages in our teaching lately. After the lesson since Musa has a 10 year old son we played Uno. So it was like a family home evening for them.

There is a Catholic church in our area that has a huge statue of the virgin Mary. Lightning has struck it 3 times fairly recently in some of the storms. It damages the statue each time and they even put metal conductors around it to try to stop the lightning from hitting it. It seems a bit strange... quite a coincident.
- Elder Johnson
Quote: "No man knows how much he can endure until he must. Strength, patience and ability increase with necessity."
- Rchard L. Evans 

Part of his letter to his dad:

Hey, thanks for the BYU update. It sounds like a great game. Those are some very long passes. They just have to get the running game started. So Hill is out for the season then? 
It was nice of Dan to give you the tickets!

Part of his letter to his mom:

Ya, Hughes's pain is wearing off. 
That is funny, I am trying to imagine you yelling or cheering like Dad for the game!

When asked: So did you get to baptize Immaculate? Yes I did.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Letter from Michael 9-7-2015  - Beginning September

This was an interesting week. On Monday we spent all day in the hospital to get Elder Hughes 2nd set of x-rays. Lo and behold there was no difference in the new x-rays. It was no shocker to us but they ended up deciding to do the surgery on Elder Hughes's collarbone. On Tuesday night we went back up to the mission home to stay overnight. Elder Hughes left at 5:30am to go down the street to the hospital. I ended up staying the day with the Florida Elders. I was with Elder Smalley who is training Elder Ete from Samoa. It was fun serving with them and I was surprised that I even spent the night at the Florida flat. Elder Hughes didn't come out of the hospital until Thursday. Poor guy... he was in so much pain. He can't shower until Friday when he gets the stitches out. At the Florida Elders' flat we made chocolate muffins and then at the end of the day we took it to the Gallant family. They are actually members in our area. We go to the Gallant's every Wednesday night for a dinner appointment.
Immaculate had another interview on Thursday night. Fortunately she passed and is able to be baptized this coming Sunday. She changed her mind and wants me to baptize her instead of her husband, Nicki. He will baptize their kids later on. Shane and Renato came to church. We Had another less active come to church. Her name is Kirsten. She hasn't been to church in the longest time! I never have seen her there until yesterday. We had a great lesson with her and encouraged her to talk with the bishop on Sunday. Thankfully it help and she started meeting with bishop on Sunday to get her life in order. One less active, Giselle, came back to church a few weeks ago. She has not missed a week since then. 

"Coming together is the beginning;
keeping together is progress.
Working together is success."

Part of his letter to his mom:

Transfers are next week Tuesday. I am so excited for BYU football! My visa and one other Elder's visas got extended to December. I think today we will sit in the flat. Elder Hughes can't do anything.

13 weeks left. Doesn't sound like much, eh?

Part of his letter to his dad:

(After opening his dad’s email and finding nothing but an attached photo, he wrote: Must have been some play. Tell me the details... just like Mom always asking for details about my mission.")  When his dad finally sent the correct email he wrote: So far I saw the BYU pics. Looks cool.
Sounds like an awesome game and ending especially. Poor Taysom Hill can't ever catch a break. He gets injured the beginning of every season. Shame. It sounds like the back up quarterback is doing well though

(When he saw a photo of his mom opening presents, he wrote: Is Mom opening present or is it the kids... I can't tell.