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Monday, July 13, 2015

The last E-mail from SA 7-13-2015

Elders Near Simonstown, SA viewing Penguins

Elder Truscott and  Elder Vanfleet

Elder Truscott and Elder Castro

Last Hike up Table Mountain at Sunrise

I can’t believe that this is my last email home. I am feeling very strange about it all to be honest. I have had a tough week thinking that it’s going to be over. It just hits me really suddenly sometimes and I get really sad about it. I don’t even know how to describe my emotions.
I'm writing a bit later this morning because today we woke up super early (4 am) and hiked Table Mountain before the sun went up, so that I could watch the sunrise onto Cape Town. It was a super awesome time.
It was something that I wanted to do, and since it’s only today and next week left, today it was :) I have some pretty sweet pictures from the last week. Last Monday we went to an area where there are penguins, so we have some pics around the penguins there, and then it was a super nice drive home in the evening so we took some pretty sweet pics as we came over one of the mountains. And then of course the pics from this morning are super awesome. We went with the Khayletsha Elders, so my friend Elder Mariner (not sure if you remember, but I was around him when I was in Sada) was there and it was a nice time! Cold as can finger actually split from the cold I think, ha ha, but it was worth it to see the city from there in the morning. I guess all I will say about our week was that it was really nice.
Wednesday I was with Elder Vanfleet on exchanges, and then on Friday I did my last exchange ever. I  was in Paarl with Elder Castro. Elder Dangerfield and I worked hard and we had an amazing weekend. Gave out 3 baptismal dates on Saturday, and are teaching some people that are really doing well. The story of Bellville has just been trying to improve. We have been working in the area hard since I got here, and I'm super happy with the progress we've made in the Bellville area.
I guess I won’t email you next week huh? cause you will be on the plane this time, so I was planning on telling you my two year experience next week. But it makes sense that I'll send it today.
The past two years, everyone says that they are the best 2 years of their life. I would agree, it has been the best 2 years for my life as well.
I look back on the person that I was before I came here and had these experiences and I feel like a totally different person. It’s a really weird feeling. I know you said that among the list of my converts was you, but somewhere along the way I was as well. I don’t know how to put the last 2 years of my life into words. It’s really hard for me actually. I have had amazing experiences that I know have matured me and helped me realize what is important. Out of it all I have learned so much. I truly hope that Heavenly Father is proud of the work that I've done. I guess it’s normal for everyone to think what they could have done better.
I have changed, and I have learned that having an Eternal Family is so important. It’s something I took for granted back home. But being here where family problems and broken homes are the normal has opened my eyes to how blessed I have been in my life. Not only with the circumstances of our family, but that I have such a great mom and dad and siblings. I'm still learning and trying to fully understand the eternities, but what I do know is that God is our Father in Heaven. I think the whole "testing the promises of God" thing that came into the mission a while back exploded my testimony of the fact that God is mindful of us and will magnify our righteous efforts in what we do. I was pretty skeptical of the whole thing when it came out. I won’t lie....but when I started doing it in Sada I fell in love with it and
it has grown my faith in my Heavenly Father so much. I know that missionary work is His work. Why else would he help us accomplish every goal that we take to him?
I have found so much joy here in South Africa. I don’t really understand how or why, and it still blows my mind how when I see or call people that I served almost 2 years ago they get so excited and how they miss me. I don’t know. I didn’t do anything special. Some of God's greatest children have hard lives, and I can’t even begin to say how grateful I am for the people here who have loved me and helped me so much. I can’t wait for you to meet just a few of them.
Through the hard way at times I have learned that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. I came on mission and I didn’t really know my purpose or why I was here. That was a bummer. But I know that only Jesus Christ could have helped me change. I have changed so much.
Obedience brings blessings and happiness. It’s the only way. I probably learned that lesson the biggest over the past 2 years. That if you want to be happy, just be obedient.
You asked about my favorite scripture, I would have to think about it. But I can tell you that my two favorite people in the scriptures are Paul the Apostle and Alma the younger. They are two missionaries who changed a lot to be how they were. Mission hasn’t always been easy. It’s been pretty tough mentally (not really physically besides watching any muscle that I had disappear, ha ha). I've learned that Satan loves to play mind games with me. Maybe I'm mentally weak or something, but he gets me every time. I love the people, and it’s incredibly hard when you get an SMS telling you not to come anymore from a family that you really want to have these blessings. You have to learn how to get along with many people. And through it all it’s taught me that you should enjoy every moment, because the past two years, as long as it seems sometimes, went so fast. It still hasn’t fully sunk in that I'm almost done. I can’t even begin to tell about the great experiences and all the hard times, but I am so glad that I told dad while driving in the truck that I think I should serve a mission. It’s been a life changing and improving experience for me. One that I'm very grateful for. I feel like I just scratched the surface of what I've gained here, but I still have lots to learn and improve on. I can go on and on. But I guess how I sum it up : I love my mission. I am terrified to leave because I absolutely love what I'm doing. I know that Jesus Christ is there to help us change and that He and our Heavenly Father love us. I am very grateful the gospel in my life, and for the time I've had to share it.
The only thing that I can think that you NEED to know before you get on that plane to end this wonderful experience, is how grateful I am for you and everything you have done for me mom. I love you so much. I can’t wait to hug you and tell you all about these 2 years in person :) I love you.
Elder Truscott

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015 - 2 Weeks left!!!

Elder Truscott and Elder Fonua in Panorama

Elders Celebrating the 4th of July at the Starlite Diner

This week went pretty fast for me as well.
Last Monday we just went to the mall and walked around. We were exhausted and I didn’t want to play sports, so we just walked around and then Ryno Kruger came and we ate dinner together. It was a pretty nice day and a much needed rest. I've been so tired lately. I guess it comes with the lifestyle here.

I am super jealous that you got to spend the 4th at the cabin. I miss that place. It seems crazy that it’s been 2 4th of July's since I've been home. Sometimes it hits me how long it’s been since I've been in Utah.
Wednesday I was on exchanges with Elder Fonua in Panorama. So we did that testing the promises thing, but instead of just testing the promises for a ton of lessons the mission realizes that the way to get real growth is through member we had the specific goal of getting 3 referrals. From anyone. So we just asked for them all day long, and we got a ton. It was great and showed Elder Fonua and myself that you don’t get them unless you ask and that sometimes you just have to be bold and ask. But it went great and we had a nice day, and got decent list of referrals for Panorama to follow up on.

On the 4th of July we went to Starlite Diner (kinda funny cause I was there last year too!) But we went with Elder Carnieletto and his comp Elder McCarroll and Elders Pahulu and Me. It was a nice time and we had a good dinner and desert :) Made for a good time after a day of work!
The week was a pretty average one to be honest. It went really quickly and we were just trying to do missionary work. The average lesson per day in the zone right now has been 3, so we decided this week to try and teach 4 every day just to up the goals and try to get the average a bit we were shooting for that, some days we got it and others no...but it was a good week.

Sunday we got some bad news, the taxi service that was picking up people in the Kraaifontein area was cancelled cause the taxi drivers were getting into arguments about the different we had to call a great member to give Sam a ride to church cause she usually takes the taxi, but was getting  confirmed so she needed to be there! But it worked out and she made it and was confirmed. Ryno confirmed her and it was really nice! She was excited.

We are still teaching Simba and he's doing well. For some reason he wasn’t able to come to church this week, we were expecting him, but we will see what happened when we see him tomorrow. We're also teaching a guy named Michael who is pretty cool, and another guy named Jose who really is loving the Book of Mormon, the only thing holding him back is the work. So we are working with some nice people, but again we are trying to build the numbers in our teaching pool....looking for some member referrals! But they will come we're trying to work with members more.
Crazy to think that I only have 2 weeks left. It actually freaks me out.....ha ha. But I'll keep trying and  working hard!

I love you so much mom! I hope you know how much I miss you! I had a dream that I was home and it was super wierd. hahaha. I love you and miss you tons!
Elder Truscott

Monday, June 29, 2015

101 Weeks Down and 3 to Go!!!

Elder Truscott and Elder Takavingei

Elder Truscott,  Elder Dangerfield, Elder Malpage and Elder Lafleur

Elder Truscott and Elder Dangerfield

Elder Lafleur and Elder Truscott

Elder Malpage and Elder Dangerfield

Yesterday Samkelisiwe Ndaba was baptized!
Well this week had a lot going on...
Tuesday we had our zone training. It was supposed to be set up to show the correct format of a district meeting, cause Pres. Merrill has been feeling that district meetings have been losing their purpose a bit and not being as powerful as they could be. So Elder Dangerfield both did a meeting using the District meeting outline of things, and then we split the zone and did half with me, half with Dangerfield, and then switched. It was really good. We did it on the Book of Mormon. He did his on likening it to our investigators, and I did it on finding with the Book of Mormon. They both went really well. After that it was lunch and then out to the area to do some work! After that on Tuesday we taught a few lessons and it was really good.
Then Wednesday we were on exchanges with Milnerton. I was with an Elder Takavingei here in Bellville. We taught a few lessons and had a really good day. He's a nice Elder. He's newer on mission, only been out about 2 months, and he is from Zimbabwe. Nice dude though and we had a nice day!
Thursday and Friday were slower days, an then Saturday we were on exchanges with the assistants. We were both working here in Bellville, and I was with an Elder Lafleur. He's a funny guy and we had a good day! We didn’t have tons of appts set for the both of us to share, so we did lots of finding. Bellville area has been doing a swing lately. We had some great progressing people, and they kind of are fading out, so we have to hit the roads again and try to keep finding new people, but the way here is through  ember if those would start coming in it would make things lots easier! But until then we are working the old fashioned way! Ha ha. So we did lots of finding, taught a good amount of lessons between the both of us, and found some more people to go and see and pray that they will progress!
Sam was super excited for her baptism! Yesterday Samkelisiwe Ndaba was baptized! She asked me to do it, and I was happy to. She is awesome, and I only pray that she stays active and stays in tune with the church and gospel. But it was held right after church, and a few members stayed to support so that was nice. After the baptism and church we went out teaching! Met a referral from a bro. John and she was great, and then taught another family and finished the week off at the Krugers! Like I said, we're  teaching some good people, but I want  to teach lots of good people, so we will be finding and trying to find the prepared ones this week, probably until the end of the transfer, but it’s going well!
It was a good week, can’t complain, and I hope this coming one is as well!
Elder Truscott

Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22, 2015

Elder Truscott at a Lion Park in Paarl, SA

Well this was a long and tiring one. I am so exhausted I don’t even know why.
But this morning we went up towards Paarl where there is a lion park. It wasn’t as cool as the ones in the Eastern Cape, but it was a good time, and I was able to get some good pics for Carley with me and Flat Carley with lions and stuff. haha. And there was also a chimp part where they had a few chimps. It was a fun time, and made for some good pics, but some cool videos I'll have to show you guys as well!
Most of this week was just basic missionary work. Nothing too exciting happened the 2nd week of this transfer honestly. We did lots of driving for things in the zone, but when we weren’t doing that we were trying to teach and find people!
We have zone training tomorrow, and one of the things we are going to talk about it using the Book of Mormon, so we asked everyone to specifically try to find and teach with it. So we were doing that this week, and we found a few people...lots of them live outside our area, but hopefully good things come of it! I guess that is what you get when you find in the main town of Bellville, people come from everywhere. But it was an alright week of proselyting and working, I can’t complain!
The coolest part of this week was that Sam passed her baptismal interview yesterday after church! She has been progressing so fast, and we set the goal of the 28th with her. Then we weren’t sure if she was at church cause we didn’t see her, so we thought we may have to push it back a bit and talk to her, but she was there! Super excited and wanting to be baptized! So they announced it in sacrament, and then the interview was straight after church and she did well, so it looks like next week Sam will be baptized! That is exciting for her! She's super smart and it will be great for her! She also sent me an amazing SMS thanking me for introducing God to her life. It was pretty nice :)
Besides her, we had her cousin Ntomethembu, and Andisiwe's sister Aphiwe at church. So we had 3 people we're teaching. We were actually expecting more, but next week should be good as Sam will be getting baptized and we are going to try to invite lots of people to join us for that!
The work is coming along here in Bellville. We are teaching some sweet people, like a guy named Simba who is starting to read the Book of Mormon, Aphiwe and Ntombethembu, and Patricia, whose husband is a member. But we are filtering through’s a process as always! But it’s been good.
We have zone training tomorrow, then I’ll be on exchanges with Milnerton on Wednesday, and then with the Assistants Saturday, and then the baptism hopefully it makes time go by quick!
Crazy to think that I will only email a few more times before I get to talk to you face to face...I can’t wait.
Elder Truscott

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15, 2015

Saying Goodbye to the District on transfer day

Elder Kupka, Elder Carnieletto  and Elder Truscott

Elder Truscott with his new companion Elder Dangerfield
This week for me was long. For some reasons the last few transfer weeks have been long.
Monday and Tuesday we went around and did some follow ups, but lots of it was saying goodbyes for Elder Prisbrey. He was off to East London!
Then Wednesday we were at the mission home pretty early cause everyone was leaving. It was super crazy to see Kupka there and talk to him. He said it didn’t feel real...I'm sure I'll be in the same boat. But I saw him for the last time for a few weeks, and saw off Elder Prisbrey.....and towards the afternoon Elder Dangerfield came in. He's a cool guy! He's from the Isle of Man, just off England and it’s a small island. He's pretty cool though and we're getting along good, he's a funny dude. I'm glad, lets my last transfer be peaceful. haha.
Elder Dangerfield and Elder Mei are now here in the Bellville ward! Elder Mei replaced Elder Mendenhall, and he's from Fiji.
So it was a kinda slow week with the whole transfers and stuff, we didn’t really teach a lesson until Thursday, but from then on we had great days! We are seeing a few people that are really starting to progress and its exciting! Sam and Ntombethembu, even though they weren't able to come to church cause they were working at their mom’s braai stand, are still loving it and wanting to be baptized, and we just started seeing a guy named Jose who is really interested in the gospel and we have high hopes for him as well.
The people we saw this week, even though they weren't tons in number, are progressing well and we set up lots of times to meet different families next week, so that should be awesome.
I am thinking that it will be a great transfer, I want to finish strong and the thought that next time its transfers I will see you guys really freaks me out, it doesn’t feel real to me, but I am still 5 weeks away so I have time.
There isn’t tons to talk about honestly this week, my new comp, visiting some nice people, and the only bummer was that a family that we have been seeing and was doing really really great....dropped us this week cause the board of their church found out we were visiting them apparently and weren't happy with them. We are going to stop in to grab some of the stuff we left them, but that was a bummer. We will keep trying though!

I love you and miss you so much. I can’t believe that it’s so soon now. Thanks for all that you do, oh, and to be honest I still have to find out about the place in Joburg....
Elder Truscott

Monday, June 8, 2015

Last Transfer!! June 8, 2015

Elder Kupka and Elder Truscott

Elder Kupka and Elder Truscott

Elder Truscott, Elder Pahula, Rayno Kruger, Elder Prisbrey and Elder Mendenhall at the Kruger’s Braai
Well this week was kind of a long one looking back at it!
This morning we went into Cape Town to a place called Green Market Square. There are just tons of vendors there selling all kinds of things, so I got a few paintings that remind me of Africa that are kinda cool. So it was a good time!
Last Monday we were planning to go there, but by the time we got towards Cape Town we didn’t have time to go there and then make it to Mowbray for our finding activity that we did as a zone. So we just went straight to the chapel and waited with some other Elders. The finding activity was good though! Everyone in the zone, except for Paarl, was there and we all split up in different parts of Mowbray and handed out Books of Mormon and got details and stuff! It was a good time and there was some nice experiences that the Elders had. I think I talked about it last week, but our car has been broken, the clutch was out. Well it was out all week until Thursday, so as I tell you about my week just know we got rides everywhere until Thursday morning. hahaha.
Tuesday was MLC, so we went to Cape Town and sat at the office for a while and talked about things in the mission...and then got a ride back to our flat, but like I said, we had no we just kind of prepared things for when we did. Luckily one of the days we were car-less I got to be on exchanges. hahaha. On Wednesday I was with Elder Kupka in Panorama. It was his last exchange ever. Dang. Haha, Elder Kupka is going home this week! Totally crazy, he has about 2 days left in SA! But it was a great exchange and we taught some good people, and did some good finding, even though it was rainy all day, so we did some finding but got pretty wet....haha. I love Elder Kupka though. He's awesome. Thursday it was back to Bellville, but luckily we got our car back that morning, so we could start our work! We  taught a few appts and did some follow ups from the beginning of the week, and got a referral contacted who is pretty cool and we will be seeing him again this week. Luckily we got our car back in time for the Botha's. haha. The week was pretty hard in general for Bellville cause of no car, and then on Friday when we were going to go to appt's we got a call from Paarl and we had to rush down there cause they got in a car accident. It wasn’t a big deal, but we went down there cause we had to give them stuff for a chapel open house they were doing, and it just made it first priority when they called and said that they had an accident, so because of that we stayed way longer than we were planning and pretty much had to cancel our people for Friday as well....made for a REALLY slow beginning and middle of the week.
Saturday I was on exchanges again with Elder Decebal Cuza in Milnerton. It was a nice time with him, he's a funny guy. We had to end our exchange at half 5 cause we had to be at the Krugers, but we had a goal to teach 5 lessons before we ended exchanges....and man, things dropped, but we did it! We taught 2 lessons in like 30 minutes at the end to meet our goal, it was pretty good! Then like I said we ended exchanges and we went to the Krugers cause they had a Braai for me cause I'm going home!  I know it’s not until next transfer, but they wanted to have the braai with us 4 since new elders are coming and they like this group, so I got a going home braai a bit early. It was really nice of them though and it was a great time!
Transfer news came out Saturday night as well! I am getting an Elder Dangerfield, and Elder Prisbrey is going to East London. Elder Pahulu is getting a new companion as well and Elder Mendenhall is going to Uitenhage, so we've been talking about that a lot! But it will be good! I'm hoping for a good last transfer.
Sunday was church, and Sam and Ntombethembu were there! It was great to see them cause we weren’t able to teach them all week! The car being broken and the Paarl thing really made us behind this week, so Sunday was spent looking for the other people we're teaching and trying to make times to teach them again!
It was a bad week in terms of teaching, but a good one overall I guess. I can’t complain too much! I'm looking forward to my last transfer on mission. I have some pretty crazy feelings about being almost done. It feels surreal to think that I'll be home next transfer....I can’t picture myself doing anything else or being anywhere else....but I guess it has to end. I still have 6 weeks though, so I'm going to work hard and hopefully some success will come!
Well I love you and miss you so much!
Elder Truscott

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015

 The sushi bar: Elder Pahulu, Elder Truscott
Elder Malpage, Elder Prisbrey, Elder Fonua, Elder Mchunu, Elder Kupka,
and Elder Mendenhall
Well this week in Bellville went quickly.
Last Monday after hiking Devils Peak we were pretty exhausted, but that night we started exchanges and got right to it!
Tuesday I was with Elder Fonua in Bellville. We had a nice day, but since it’s starting to be winter time here, it has been colder and rainy all week. So Tuesday was a really rainy day. We didn’t really want to go out and tract in the rain, so we did some following up in the morning, got some nice lessons, and then it stopped raining in the afternoon so we did some finding and met our goals for the day and had a nice time! We had a sweet lesson with a guy named Simba. He was saying how he really likes the way we do things, and how we just talk about what we believe and then invite him to find out for himself and stuff. It was really cool. He understands great and it was one of the best discussions we've had with him!
After our last appt. Tuesday we were back on the road and went on exchanges with Mowbray on Wednesday! I was in Mowbray with Elder McCarroll. It was a nice day. Elder McCarroll is a sweet guy and totally spoiled me all day. Like I even felt bad, ha ha. He made me a big breakfast and bought me dinner, I told him the next exchange was on me.  But we had a nice day. We did work in the office (Mowbray is the office area) in the morning, and it took more time than we thought it would, so we were running late all day, but we still had made the goal to teach an unplanned lesson, find a father led family, and hand out a Book of Mormon and get the guy's details. Well like I said we were running super late, but we just took a few minutes to find in the main area of Mowbray. We taught this guy working security, first guy we talked to, a father led family, we taught him, got his details, and gave him a Book of Heavenly Father definitely helped us out with that since He knew we were late. But it was a good day.
Thursday, I’m not going to lie, I was dead tired. After the hike Monday and then two days of going hard on exchanges I was exhausted. We had a great lesson with Sam and Ntombethembu though. They are doing super well and they loved church last week! I'm really excited about them and they are really happy and excited about learning. Finished off Thursday at the Bothas, which I always look forward to.
Friday was a super slow day, but then back to the exchanges game on Saturday. We were with the assistants, so I was with Elder Malpage, and Prisbrey was with Elder Mchunu, and we were all working in Bellville.
Elder Malpage and I had a really nice day. We went out in the morning before lunch with one appt. scheduled, and ended up teaching 4 before we went and ate quickly. Then we went and contacted a DVD referral and taught one more lesson, before meeting up with the Panorama and Durbanville Elders, Prisbrey and Mchunu for dinner. We went out and got all you can eat sushi at some place that Kupka and Fonua knew. It was pretty fun! But then on the way home the clutch on our car pretty much completely gave out! It wasn’t going into gear, and we were on the equivalent of the freeway and the revs were just going high and no speed...we were like ohhh crap. So we drove in 2nd gear the whole way home and it was pretty much pooped. Sucks big time on Saturday night!
So Sunday we were left with no other choice but to take a taxi to church. hahaha. Won’t forget that, it was pretty fun. But this morning we took our car to Toyota and who knows when it will be finished. I'm hoping before we have to drive to Cape Town for MLC tomorrow. haha.
Church was good I guess. Unfortunately nobody we are teaching was there. Sam and Ntombethembu were waiting, but I don’t know what happened and they never got picked up at the stop by the taxi, and it was rainy so they left. Sucks big time on that one. Then after church since our car was out of  commission we got a ride home from Bro. Hein, and then Elder Prisbrey and I had an appt. with a family that we had to get to, so we ended up taking Durbanville's bikes and riding all the way to our area. Hahaha, took us just under an hour, but we made it there! Shauwn and Carey joined us with the family we were teaching and it went really well!
The work is going alright. I can’t complain. We've just got to get these people to be at church and stuff, but we are teaching a good few, and we have a nice list of people, and we are always trying to find more!
This week is the last full week of the transfer, next Wednesday is transfer day! So we'll find out news on Saturday! Crazy to think I'll be getting my last companion! But it will be a good week! MLC tomorrow, and then I'm with Elder Kupka in Panorama on Wednesday, and the rest we're still planning.
I love you!!
Elder Truscott