Monday, November 4, 2013

South Africans are my Favorite

Dear Family,

Everyone seems pretty anxious about transfers so maybe we will start there ha ha.  I am now with Elder Nondala from South Africa!  He is a really great guy, and he and I are already getting along great!  I am training him but I feel almost more like he is training me, he was baptized about two years ago but is very ready and prepared to be a missionary and its been an honor to work with him for even the few days that I have.  Ha ha he talks a bit fast for the Ghanaians to keep up but he is great.  Elder Halavaka is training another South African, Elder Mabizela.  It's a pretty sweet apartment full of missionaries.  South Africans are just like Americans which makes them some of my favorite people to be companions with, you get the relativity of an American but the adventure and experience of an African.  I think my favorite thing is that they just grew up so differently than we did in the gospel.  We all know the same doctrines and principles but we were all taught them in a different way.  It's just cool to see the different approach they have on missionary work.  I really like Elder Nondala though, we are going to have a great time together.  
Thank you very much for the Thanksgiving package!  I really do appreciate that!  We are really looking forward to thanksgiving, I am the only Elder in the apartment that celebrates it...but Elder Nondala's birthday is around the same time so we are going to do it right :).

Yeah, apparently Elder Gann's family is totally willing to bring over stuff for me!  Since you sound like you are getting close to starting on some caramels...could you plan on a few boxes for me?  There are some people that I want to give them out to here, President and Sister Judd, some of the Sr. Couples, Elder McDonald, people like that.  I think they would really appreciate and enjoy it, I know I would:).  And I would love some as well if you can:).  Ill get a list together of some other things that I could use.

I really appreciate all the prayers and fasting!  I really can feel it, missionary work will never get easy....never ever!  I struggle almost every day with X, Y, or Z, obviously you get more accustomed to the work and all that it requires but its never easy.  Satan always find new and cunning ways to drag you down and try and ruin the work.  He is pretty good at what he does, especially with missionaries, sickness, home sadness, no success, rejection, worry, doubt, fear, stress, the list goes on forever. Missionary work is hard so I appreciate all the help that everyone is sending, it does not go unnoticed :).

- I really enjoy training!  Its a great experience.
A couple of nights ago we had a few appointments fall through, we sat down to look at our planners and decide who we could go see for the last appointment of the night and no one was really coming to mind.  It was getting to just about that time where we could almost start walking home but I just didn't feel like the night was over.  I knew that we still had someone we were supposed to see. As we sat thinking, it only took a couple of seconds and I had a very clear thought to go and see Emmanuel and Sarah who were recently baptized.  They have been having some pretty rough financial problems which is causing a lot of marital problems which has been so hard to see.  We had just seen them the day before, and had ruled them out earlier in the day that we didn't need to visit them again, but I knew we needed to, so we started walking to their home. As we passed a fruit stand, I again had a prompting to buy them a little something and take it to them that evening.  I bought them a 1 cedi pineapple and we were on our way. As we approached the road their small house is on there was a woman sitting on the curb with her head down, we nearly passed her by but then I realized that it was Sarah. She, in previous visits had been very sad reserved and blocked off and really hadn't wanted to talk with us about what was bothering her...but as we sat down with her that night she just opened up. She told us all that was bothering her, and we had one of the most spiritually led lessons that I have had since coming to Tema. We were able to offer some small advice and let her know that her Heavenly Father is aware of her situation and has promised her help through the Holy Ghost...if she asked for it. We had a solemn but spiritual lesson with her that night and then were able to give her a pineapple to finish it off.  Totally lame, but was something that really meant a lot to her. I was so grateful for the guidance that the spirit offered that night so that were able to be in the right place at the right time, and to do our little bit to lift someones hands that hung helplessly down. 

-We walked past a car wash the other day and Elder Nondala asked howw much it cost to wash OUR car, I just laughed.....he totally thought we had a car ha ha.  

-apartment inspections by the office couple!


-To tell you the truth its horrible going to the mission home!  I hate it!  It's quite the process and it just makes you so tired.  It was nice picking him up though, a bit nerve-racking but fun.  They all sit on one side of the room and trainers on the other then they calll two names they stand up...and thats your next three months ha ha.

(From Kim:  A few months ago...the church sent a photographer to Ghana who met up with Taylor and followed him for a whole day in Koforidua---his last area)  The MTC President complimented Taylor on his Modeling career the other day...and Taylor was confused...the MTC President told him that these pictures had been used as part of a recent Mission President Training...and then sent them to Taylor...who sent them to us.  Since then, one of these photos showed up on the Church's Facebook page...Apparently there are some pictures with the Sisters in his mission and one of his great friends in July New Era Magazine...One of the Elders on the cover of that magazine is one of Taylor's good friends from Utah State.  I'll attach a few here.)

-I got a big envelope filled with small envelopes from Jeff and Courtney and fam!  And two letters from Elli that were from forever ago but seem like they got forgotten for a bit ha ha:). Thank you...thank you very much!

Okay about out of time :(.  Love you all so much!  Stay strong, be safe.

Love you all so much,


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