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Monday, September 30, 2013

The first 2 months went by both quick and painfully long....its hard to explain.

(They said they had a surprise for me after the lesson, and they pulled out a big bowl of bried chicken feet! Apparently those are a "delicacy" here)

Another month down! I am officially a little over 2 on mission, ha ha.  I am moving into the warmer weather here. Today is really nice, and it's starting to get sunny here, the rain is cooling down a bit :)

Well last Monday we went to waterfront and walked around. That place is pretty neat! Lots of nice big hotels, and a really nice mall. There's tons to do, like fishing trips to sign up for, dinner cruises, and there's even a boat you can take out into the bay and shoot clay pigeons off of! Ha ha, I wish! It was the funnest p day in terms of activity that I've done so far though, even though we just walked cool activities really.
Tuesday was their national heritage day, but they call it national brie day.... So everyone just barbeques. We had a branch brie, and it was actually a pretty good time. There wasn't tons and tons of people, but it killed all Tuesday so we didn't do much afterwards! My pasty white skin got sunburned a bit though.... Ha ha.
More in terms of the people and stories :)
We have been sitting with the Pluckey family, a less active family. They are super funny and nice people, and we met with them again this week to talk about what they learned from their reading from the BOM. They said they had a surprise for me after the lesson, and they pulled out a big bowl of bried chicken feet! Apparently those are a "delicacy" here, and they just bite onto them, with the claws and everything, and suck off the meat and spit out the bones! Ugh they are weird to look at, but I tried one! Even though I couldn't completely clean the bone like they did, and I wasn't really a fan, I ate one...
We are focusing big time on less actives, so we have tons of less active lessons, we had 11 this week. One of the guys were focusing on is named Kholiselay. He's  President Sibotoboto's younger brother. We went to see him later on in the week, and he was super down. I asked him how he was doing and he was like "not alright".....we asked him how come and he told us how his little like 1 week old baby died. Ya, I didn't know what to say past that.....we just kinda empathized with him and said we were there for him, then bowed out gracefully.
Nothing insane going on with Mzuko and Sandiswa. We are just still teaching them, but our main focus is still Mzuko cause he said he wanted to be baptized. He is trying to live the law of chastity and word of wisdom, and we are still pushing towards November for baptism, but we will see how that goes! He's a cool kid, but I don't really know how well Sandiswa is helping him along this path....if you know what I mean.
Sibu is still awesome. We are teaching him, trying for twice a week, and he has no problems at all! Its rare around here for someone in college to not smoke or drink, but he doesn't have any issues, and said he isn't addicted to coffee, so that shouldn't be a problem! He's just going to talk to his girlfriend about the law of chastity stuff and he should be good to be dunked! Its pretty cool since I'm the one who initiated all this with him, so he will probably be the first guy that I'm with all the way through :)
On Saturday we went to the Nono's to invite the dad, brother Nkosana, to his daughters talk she was giving in church ( it was the primary program this week ). We got there and Sisanda told us that he was at the shabin, which is like a little bar that's on every street here. Haha, we actually went in and got him out of there! 2 white kids walked into this garage full of drunk black guys....and we found Nkosana just sitting there WASTED! haha, he saw us and was like "sit down! sit down with me!", and then went on about how he disappointed us....haha, he started crying on my shoulder! We took him home, and he drunkenly committed to come to church...ya he didn't come. haha, better luck next week!
We had Xolani, The Nono Mom and children, and Skumbuzo (who was confirmed this week), at sacrament meeting this week. It was the primary program. 
OH! did I tell you I met an Elder from Ephraim?! Ya! His name is Elder Lund! He is in my Zone....but I'm not sure where he's at for sure. He's been out 6 mo. I met him at the Zone thing that we are doing for Zone Conference tomorrow.   
Dad said that the Zone Conferences are fun, it will give me a break, and plus I will meet a lot of new missionaries that came in from the eastern cape!  I have that this week, and then exchanges with the Zone Leaders on Friday, the ZL's now are both African kids that I haven't heard anything we will see!
 I love you and miss you a ton. Be safe :)
Love you
Elder Truscott

Monday we went to waterfront and walked around

Monday, September 23, 2013

2 Months down......Sept 23, 2013

Skumbuzo was baptized after church

 Bantu and Akhona...the recent converts we take fellowshipping all the time! Super cool guys and Super funny! They had never had a McFlurry before so we took them to try one.

That pic of the dogs is at Mzuko's house, those are pets I think....I don't really know, but they are always outside in his sand "yard" and they haven't bitten us, but he says that they do bite some people. I attached a pic of what most the dogs here do...ha ha.
Well, this week in Gugs :)
Transfer time! So Elder Creech went to Mdantsane (not sure if that's the right spelling....), and he's in a walking area now. It's still a township, but I hear that it's nicer than Gugulethu. Erickson's new companion is Elder Makombe. He is a South African kid,  He is pretty cool. Really laid back.  I'm still with Gertzen. Half way done with training though! Moving right along! Since Tuks left though, I gave him 200 Rand for his bench press! :) It's super crappy, but I still like it! Something is better than nothing!
In terms of investigators for the weekly update, we are still teaching that Sibu kid that I met! He is freaking awesome, and super ready to hear the gospel and everything! He comes to all the activities, and is really attentive in the lessons and just wants to learn more and more! He couldn't make it to church cause he's doing tests today and was studying, but he sent us a text saying sorry, ha ha, which doesn't usually happen when people blow us off here in Gugs! So we asked him if he wanted to be baptized in our last lesson with him, and he said yes! We are planning on giving him a date this week, so that would be awesome! I met him, taught him, and then get to baptize him, that would be pretty cool :)
The weather was really crappy most of the week...really rainy and groggy, and we had TONS of appointments drop this week. Most of them actually, so it was a really bad my mind was ruining it made for a crappy time a lot of the week....
Xolani...he is awesome! Still wants to be baptized before his birthday, so we are shooting for him to be in Nov. too. During the middle of the lesson, another drunk old guy came in (he lives with like 4 drunks who are his uncles I think). This guy's name is Norman. He came in, gave all of us big hugs, and sat next to me...hahaha, during the middle of the lesson he taps me and asks me for money like "2 rand?" haha. Then he gets up, and starts telling all of us how he used to be a gangster and killed people! He was telling us this crazy story about how all these gangsters were coming after him to get him, and he just started killing these kids, stabbing them! Xolani said that one time Normans dad was conducting a funeral, and a bunch of gangsters jumped out and started stabbing, and the dad looked and was like "that's my son!" and Norman was involved! ha ha, this guy is nuts! If I could get in his head and see his memories I'd be scarred for life I think! I asked Xolani if his stories were true, and he told me that they were! He's killed a bunch of people! And he went to prison for 2 years for stealing a car...never punished for the murders!
On Sat. night we had an appt. with a really cool Less Active family named the Pluckey's, and they were just telling us what they learned from the scriptures this week, and we had a good time with them. After the lesson they told us that the stats had just come out, and yep, Gugulethu has the highest murder rate in the country! hahaha. On the way out of the appointment Bantu ( a recent convert we fellowship with) called and said that he lost his keys, he thought in our car. We drove to where we dropped him off, deep in the township, and it was pretty dark at that point. I found out that Gugs is so dangerous that they have helicopters patrolling and spotlighting the township every night...haha, its pretty crazy!
We are still teaching Mzuko and Sandiswa, and we've met Sandiswa's family once more....don't really know how often we will see them though. Mzuko we are wanting to baptize in Nov. cause he is stopping alcohol and stuff, and Sandiswa we aren't sure. They both came to church this Sunday, which was awesome! Mzuko liked it I think, but Sandiswa told him afterward that she will still be attending her Jehova's Witness we will have to see what happened there next time we meet with them!
This Sunday was good! We had Xolani, Mzuko, Sandiswa, Skumbuzo, and the Nono mom and daughter at church with us, so 6 Investigators! Skumbuzo was baptized after church too! His baptism went really well.... Afterwards he bore his testimony and told everyone that "I am the light, and Satan better watch out because I'm coming after him" with his arms stretched out and he was yelling....
That's the highlights for this week in Gugs and I attached a few pics :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

Alright, so my weekly report on all things Gugs :)
We got back from Eastern Cape on Tuesday you know, so that day we just kind of got back to speed here, did all our shopping and stuff, all ready for the week, and we taught a less active family that night, the Pluckeys (the cockroach house)....They are super nice and they ended up feeding us and we had a good lesson and they wanted us to come back this Tuesday, and they even showed up to Stake Conference which was this week, but I'll talk about that later.
We are still teaching that Mzuko kid and his girlfriend, Sandiswa. We see them a lot actually, like sometimes 3 times a week, but I don't mind, because remember they are my favorite ones to teach! Mzuko's cousin, Aviwe, told us that he wants to go on a mission, and they both confessed to us that they have drinking and smoking problems when they get "bored" I told them that was easy, don't get bored! We are only a phone call away! And since then we have gotten Mzuko to say he wants to be baptized and we are just working with him towards baptism and with Aviwe towards his mission. Sandiswa still comes to the lessons and stuff, and she's learning, but we haven't talked to her about baptism yet because we don't want her to be around Mzuko when we ask, then there isn't any pressure. But we are going to see her family again this week, so hopefully it goes well again, cause this time we are actually going to share a message instead of just getting to know each other! 
Thursday we went on splits again, and just like last week I went with Aviwe, and Elder Gertzen went with a member named Bro. Gova to visit less actives. Aviwe and I taught Mzuko and Sandiswa, and then we went to see Sibu, the guy I met last time we were on splits! So far I'm the only missionary that's taught him, and I taught the restoration of the gospel to him. The lesson went great, and we talked and discussed for over an hour just talking! At the end he said he felt amazing and definitely wants to learn more, and then offered to say the prayer, and thanked God for sending me to I thought that was super cool!! 
W have had a few flat we went to get new ones put on the car and we drove into the city of Cape Town to do it, it was pretty cool, a nice break and while they were putting them on we just walked around the town for about an hour, went into some dealerships and stuff. 
With the Nono family there was trouble in paradise.....we had an appt. set with them, and we went...the dad wasn't there, said he was in a taxi coming home. We ended up waiting over an hour, and then we just said that we'd reschedule, so we did, and set the appt. for Sunday after Stake Conference. Sisanda (the mom) sent us a text the next morning that said to cancel the meeting....the husband lied, wasn't in a taxi, and didn't want to meet with us, and she made it sound like he was doing some shady stuff, cause she said that he was "busy with dates on what's up". "what's up" is an app here that you can send messages and stuff, it's huge here and everyone has we don't really know if that means that he was cheating or something...but I wasn't going to ask! 
Saturday we had the first session of Stake Conference..... SOOOO long! But it was our Branch President's wife's birthday. I asked him if he had done anything for her, and he said nope, it was stake conference! I was like, umm...did you get her a cake and stuff?! He said I told him that I would get her one and he could give it to her, just to be nice cause I felt bad, this lady is super awesome! He wanted me to give it to I told her happy birthday, and she was like " Thanks Truscott, you have to make me something nice!" so that opened the door for me to buy a cake. After we drove to the store and I bought her a cake for her birthday, and we drove to their house in Gugs to wait for them to get home and I could give it to her. They showed up, walked in the house, and realized that why they were gone someone had broken in through the window for the second time in 2 weeks....Me and Gertzen were there, and I'm just standing there with a chocolate cake in my hand like "ohhh dang"...They didn't take anything, so we think that maybe when we drove up (cause we got there before them) they saw us and ran off and we just got really lucky....but we aren't sure! We ended up driving to the mall and I bought them some duct tape and helped them tape a cardboard slip over the window, and then move their dresser in front of the window so nobody could get in! Ya probably up there for a crappy birthday for sister Unis! They were super grateful for our help though, and she ended up making us dinner and demanding that we stay so they could say thanks :) It was just crazy...Gugs sucks for their kids they say, so they want to move. I felt so bad for them! 
Sunday was just another day of Stake Conference and visiting was a super long day....but it put an end to my first transfer! Transfer news comes out tonight, but we know that Creech is for sure leaving to a place unknown yet, we think Erickson will stay, me and Gertzen are for sure staying. It sucks though, cause Tukuafu, the Zone Leader, is going to the Eastern Cape.  We are going to Pancho's Mexican Restaurant tonight for a goodbye dinner for Creech, so that will be fun!
That's pretty much all for this week though! Nothing too crazy :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September 10, 2013

 (here's a pic, of me with Xolani :)

I didn't get the chance to email yesterday because I flew to East London in the morning. It is pretty cool....there is a lot more plants and stuff, and they said they have way more wildlife, so I guess that's where the cool animals are! We just had a little training/trainee training with the Mission President, and then we bunked at another missionaries flat, but it was good to see the other kids from my transfer! Stratton and Sanders are pretty cool guys! And I met a few of the trainer's...Stratton's trainer is Elder Murphy and he's super cool!!  I'm half way done with training! Just flew home this morning at 8, landed at 10, and showered and got ready and finally get the chance to email!

It was a good week! Nothing that was super nuts, but another one down! Almost done with my first transfer! And my 2 month mark is coming up too!

(Alright, here is the weekly recap for you :)

So I went and bought a pillow, like I said I was going to do cause the ones here we were at this bedroom store and I got this huge pillow, but me and this guy started talking, and he was an older gentleman, and he asked what church and stuff, and we got talking....then Gertz came over and we talked to him, found out that he was a catholic guy but stopped going cause him and his wife were "missing something" and they've been searching and stuff. He was smart, especially in bible apparently he graduated a bible study course he said...we left him with a BOM and told him to read it and talked a little about it. He said he would! I've got to email him today and follow up. I thought that was kinda cool :) I went on exchanges with Creech this week on Wednesday, and we just drove around, cause most of our appointments dropped (a huge problem here since everyone just tells you what they think you want to hear....) but he was good at reading a map, and I had the addresses, so we didn't get lost too bad! We met a few people, and went to McDonalds for dinner. When we got out of the car, this guy just ran up to us and said he had just been kicked out of his apartment cause he didn't have any money, and he wanted us to pray with was kinda weird, but we prayed right there in the parking lot and then Creech bought him dinner. I thought it was kinda neat, but weird at the same time.....
We are meeting with Xolani still, the guy who is quitting alcohol, and he is great! he came to church for the first time since I've been here! and he is super nice and cool, and when we go over there this old guy who lives there is ALWAYS wasted out of his mind....he sees us and runs, grabs his restoration pamphlet and new testament, and just rambles on and on super loud so we cant teach...but its hilarious!!
Ha ha, on Friday we had a few fellow shippers with us and we were going to check on the Jola Family, a family that we have taught but they dropped an appt. and we were going to follow up on them. We were just walking away (they weren't home) when we heard a bunch of people yelling. We turned and ran to the fence to see a bunch of wasted black old men yelling at these younger kids who were apparently "gangsters" and freaking out at them! Then one guy ran towards them, chucked a vodka bottle at them as they were running past, and missed and it hit the cement fence and exploded.....nothing too much but it was still the most exciting thing I've seen in Gugs so far :)
We're still teaching Mzuko and Sandiswa, and we're supposed to see Sandiswa's Jehovah's Witness family tomorrow (which will be interesting cause they told Sandiswa that she couldn't attend our church on Sunday). Aviwe, Mzuko's cousin, and I went on splits with Gertzen and a recent convert named Akhona, so me and Aviwe went to see his cousin, who was skeptical of meeting with us Aviwe said. He's just a university kid who is super cool, and said he doesn't like the other missionaries because he feels like they are interrogating him. I understood and we just sat there for about an hour and chatted, and I told him that we basically just tell him what we know is true and then tell him how he can know it too. He said he liked that a lot and was super interested. I told Gertz that he was good and we set up an appt. for Thursday. He showed up at church on Sunday with Aviwe!! In all we had 5 investigators at church this week : Sibu, the Nono mom and daughter, Skumbuzo, and another guy I'm not sure of his name though, and Xolani.

Stay safe, have an amazing week, and I'll talk to you next week :)
I love you :)


Elder Truscott

This picture is me with the package :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

September 2, 2013

(Elder Truscott and his Companion Elder Gertzen) 
Here is the news, mission related, for the week. Well we've been teaching a few different people. One of them is the Nono family, and the mother and 2 younger kids come to church every week, but the dad never does....he's a drunk who just kind of sits and drinks when he's not at work. The mom, named Sisanda, had us over to teach them as a family, and trying to set up a time when the dad would be present and sober was difficult, but we did it and started teaching them. So far its going well, the little boy they have is super cute, and calls me "Elder Scott" and always gives me high fives when I walk into church. haha. The dad hasn't come to church, but he's reading the pamphlets that we leave with the family a little and then will comment and listen to the lessons as we go through them, so that's a good thing! Their house will be in the middle of a lesson, and a rat will just dart from around the kitchen cupboards and run under the fridge....and they will just not be bothered at all! That's normal for them! There are Tons of rats in their house, its gross.....! Another few that we're teaching is a young boyfriend and girlfriend we met while we were looking for a less active. The kids name is Mzuko and he's a super cool 18 year old kid. He's dating a 14 year old and her name is Sandiswa. She's a Jehovah's Witness, so we don't know where she'll go, but they are my favorite people to teach so far just because there is a real cool atmosphere in the lessons....just normal people talking, asking questions, and joking around, so its going well! Mzuko says he wants to come to church! That's really what we're trying to get, is everyone to come to church with us, but lots of empty promises come from the people in Gugs.....
We visited a less active family this week also, and we just went in randomly, we were in the area. I've never been in there before, or met them....we walked into the house....cockroaches everywhere....running literally all through the walls and floors, over all the wiring and stuff....oh my gosh it was everything I could do just to sit down on the couch for fear of what would crawl out...but come to find out that missionaries haven't been there for almost 2 months, and the husband is having a really bad time at work and was super emotional, so we popped in, I didn't say much, and left. but at church the wife said that they were super grateful for us visiting!
I went on exchanges again this week, with the AP Elder Chikara. He's a South African kid, and I wasn't sure what to expect from this exchange... He turned out to be super cool, and we did a bit of work, just went around, had a really chill day though. We taught, but mostly just visited with the people, and he said that he think its effective just to stop in and say hi, let them know we care, and then go, not try to shove a lesson on them....I agree. We had a bit of time, so he took me out to a parking lot kind of by the ocean and let me get more comfortable driving stick on the opposite side....I'm good if I'm not in first gear...ha,ha,ha, that kills me every time! But then we went to a dinner appointment we had....let me just say I'm glad to know not all of SA is like Gugs, because this was a dang nice area. It was in a gated community with gates to get in, and the people were American (She worked for the US Embassy or something like that, so they put her up in that house....) and they made us hamburgers, green beans, french fries, and a cake for was amazing and felt good to see other parts!! One last thing....if you come on a mission thinking its going to be luxury...think again, I need to buy myself a new pillow or something cause I can't sleep here.....the pillow sucks. That's the weekly news, nothing too crazy so far, but I'm sure something will happen eventually that will make you worried ;)
Love, Elder Truscott