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Monday, December 30, 2013

My first Christmas away from home!

Well my first Christmas away from home.....so obviously that was my main focus this week ;)

Monday was our PDay and we didn't really do anything at all.....just emailed and then did some shopping. There isn't much to do when we are here in Grahamstown!

Tuesday was Christmas Eve so I was kinda checked out a bit. I didn't really want to do anything but we had a few appointments. I was just excited/dreading Christmas in S.A.

Wednesday was Christmas :) I woke up, opened up the packages that you sent me, and then we had to go to the chapel to get the Skype set up for a branch member to Skype her brother. Well after that we were invited over to a less active members house for lunch. Buuut she wanted us to prepare the food too. Haha. Well I've never BBQ'd.....especially over a camp fire thing....so we started the fire  and they got the meat on there....but we couldn't stay there to eat with them because Sibu invited us up to his place for Christmas lunch :) we had to be there at 2 so we left Amanda's place  and went to Sibu!

It was so cool to be able to spend Christmas with that dude! I'm super glad he was here, haha. So we ate at his house, and chilled with him for a bit. Then, at 4 we had another family to go to....to eat. Haha. So we drove to the Johnson's place in town and ate there too.

After that it was time to go to the chapel and Skype home :) I had a plan.....it didn't work....but I had planned that I was going to Skype home last so that nobody was waiting on me. Well it would have been great except the Internet at the chapel went out after 2 people skyped! Haha. So we sat there trying hard to get the Internet going....ya it's safe to say none of us are  technology wizards. Haha, so that's when I had to call and say not to wait by the computer....and that I was going to go home and sleep, and come back in the morning to Skype. Well we did just that....but of course in the morning the Internet still wasn't working. Luckily the Senior couple, the Chase's, let me go to their place and Skype off of their stuff :) I actually ended up skyping Thursday morning! But it was amazing :) I loved chatting, made me pretty homesick afterwards.....haha.

After that on Thursday we had just a normal day of appointments, which most of them dropped....shocker ;)

Friday around 3 we drove up to a members house....and she lives FAR. Like 45 minutes out of Grahamstown! They live on a farm type place, and they are called the Thomas's. They wanted it to be like our Christmas dinner from them, so all 4 of us and the Chase's went up there and they had a Brie (BBQ) for us! Well it was super good. The husband isn't a member and is a super funny guy! He said that he feeds people's animals and stuff, like buffalo, kudu, and that kind of stuff! It would be pretty cool! He said that buffalo sell for millions of Rand. Like one that is on the farm was sold for something like 45 million! What the heck!? But it's cool, I didn't know you could buy them!
Well he bried for us, and he made us warthog. Haha. It was actually delicious! He made warthog sausage, warthog steaks, and then chicken and sausage and stuff! It was super good! We came home stuffed and started exchanges :)

I got to be with Elder Ramoshaba on Saturday. It was a nice day, just changing things up a bit! He's a really funny kid, and we get along really well so it was a nice day :)

Sunday was just church and appointments as usual. The best thing though was that we had investigators at sacrament for the first time since I've been here! It was a lady named Sharon and another lady named Isabelle. We found them like late in week 1 of the transfer, and we have just been seeing them, and Sharon came to church with Isabelle this week, and enjoyed it! We asked her her thoughts and she just said that she needs to read the Book of Mormon, so we read the introduction
of it with her and answered any questions that she had :)

Nothing too exciting. Grahamstown is a pretty boring place to be honest with you.
I love you so, so much. Seeing you was the BEST thing ever :) and I miss you like crazy....almost 1/4 through! Jan. 25 is my quarter mark and then I have to burn a tie!!!
(Tradition ;) )
Love you and miss you more than you can even imagine :)

Love,

Elder Truscott

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Week

Elder Truscott and Elder Graydon (His new Comp)

Elder Erickson and Elder Truscott at the Christmas Zone Conference

Elder Ndlovu and Elder Truscott at the Christmas Zone Conference

 
My week this week, I will tell you all about it :)

Monday we decided to drive to East London in the morning because on Tuesday we had our Christmas Zone Conference there. We thought we would just go a bit earlier and spend our P Day there. Well we just ended up chilling with other Elders, playing some sport, and messing around. Then we stayed with other Elders for the night!

Tuesday we had to be at the chapel at 8 in the morning, and the beginning was just a normal Zone Conference. We had training from the AP's and President Wood, then had everyone bear their testimony. We had a nice lunch that all the senior couples made, and then had our Zone Reports.  Then we had our little white elephant present exchange (it's white elephant because you can only spend 20 rand, this is equal to $2.00) After that we watched our movie, we watched Ephraim's Rescue. The conference was a good time, it was just fun to see a bunch of  Elders. Especially to see Elder Erickson again, haha. It felt good :)
We had a good time there, and then we drove back to Grahamstown Wednesday morning. Boy was I tired on Wednesday! I had a headache after the drive and we still had to go out and do work.....

Thursday was alright :) since Sibu is here, even though he's in the other Elders area we decided we would go teach him :) I pushed for that cause he's awesome and I wanted to! So we went up to his
place in the township and read the BOM with him a bit, and it was super cool to have a lesson with him again!

Well Friday we just had a pretty basic day. It was HOT here....like  sweating all day long HOT....which I hate. But we went about our day, and we had an appointment at like 6 with this guy named Malachi. Well we were there and we met his sister and her ex husband. The guys name
is Douglas and he was from Scotland,  His ex wife named Sharon said she was looking for a
church, so we invited them in on our lesson. We were just teaching the Restoration. Well they sat in, and Douglas was telling us that we were "about 45 degrees off"....haha. Well he sat in on the lesson and was  great until we got to the part about Jesus. He flipped out and disagreed that Jesus was perfect and sinless....he stormed out cause he didn't agree....kinda confused the lesson a bit! Well we just continued and taught Malachi and Sharon, and about 15 minutes later in comes Douglas, he apologized, and said that "I think I'm the one that's 45 degrees off". He then proceeded to listen to the restoration through Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and requested that he got a Book of Mormon, because he was more than interested. Pretty cool turn around! We invited them all to come to church and.....they didn't show up. But we will follow up, and it was still kinda cool :)

Sunday was decent. I gave a talk in sacrament meeting, on the Spirit of Christmas and how we can be in it. Sibu said it was good. Haha. After church we sat with Sibu and read, and then he fellowshipped with us all day! We just visited a few people cause our appointments dropped, but just being with Sibu was awesome :)

Apparently everyone is out of town right now for holiday, and that is why it's been so slow....I hope so cause so far Grahamstown has more dropped appointments and non scheduled time than Gugs.

But that is my week for you!! :) I love you so so much!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Transfer week :)

Map showing the location of Grahamstown, SA
Ok I will tell you all about my transfer week :) I'm officially in Grahamstown now!!
Last Monday I got my call that I'd  be going to Grahamstown with Elder Graydon as my new companion! I'll  take you through the week of getting here and everything :)
 
So Tuesday was packing and saying goodbyes. I took my member journal around to the members who I wanted to write in it. We had already planned with Bro. Unam and Sis. Renee that we were going to see Zodwa on Tuesday night, and they would take us out as a goodbye thing after :) so around 6:30  we met them at their place and followed them to the hospital again to see Zodwa and find out how she was doing, plus to say my goodbye. It still sucked and she still didn't look very good, but she was doing better than before. After the visit they took Hlophe and I to a mall to eat some pizza and hang out! It was super awesome, and I honestly miss Gugulethu and those people so much.

Wednesday was transfer day, so I had to be at the mission home around 9:30 to get out of there.
I am in the actual town of Grahamstown, and there is a small part of township in my area. 

Grahamstown is just a little old town, and it actually reminds me a lot of the little towns in England! There hasn't been a baptism here for a long long time.....like almost 2 years in my area, and from that I hear the work is super hard, so that sucks. Hahaha. And it's a little bit colder here than it was in Cape Town, at least the last few days have been. The chapel here is just a nice house that they rent out! Ha ha,it has a swimming pool in the middle of it where we do the baptisms if we get any! But the branch is small small small! Even smaller than Gugs!

Something cool did happen though! So Sibu is here in Grahamstown for the holidays, and I gave him a call Saturday night telling him to come to church....we walked in, and there he was :) ohhh I was so happy to see that kid! It was awesome having him there :) Made me realize how much I miss Gugs.....like I would go back so quickly if I could.

Elder Truscott with Sibu at his baptism in Gug's


We visited a few people here this week, but to be honest I can't really report on too much cause I don't know them yet. We just taught about the restoration a few times and stuff like that, but the work is slower than Gugs! I never thought I'd say this my first month out, but boy do I miss Gugulethu!

Love and miss you so so much!

Love,

Elder Truscott

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013 - I get my transfer news tonight!!

Elder Truscott with Akhona
Elder Truscott with Elder Hlophe

Elder Truscott, Elder Cobabe , Elder Hlophe, Elder Makombe
Elder Truscott with the Nono's recently baptized Sisanda and Anelisa
 


I get my transfer news tonight!!! Speculation is that I'm definitely leaving....so this was my last week here!
Well my last week in gugs! Boy was it a crazy week. A crazy ending at least!

I'll start just from the beginning of the week though! That way you have to read the whole thing to get to the crazy part ;)
So Tuesday morning we didn't have anything to do, so we decided to go do something since I'm leaving! Well there is this huge memorial thing called Rhodes Memorial on the side of the mountain, and I had never been there, so us 4 decided to go up there and look around! It was actually pretty cool!!

Wednesday we went to visit Nwabisa Plaatjie's mom. Her name is Pamela, and we had an appt. with her. Well we get there and she is in bed and some guy in the house tells us that she isn't feeling well. We ask her and stuff, and she says that she hasn't eaten in 2 days, and that she just feels weak and her "nerves hurt". We gave her a blessing and left. Well that night we had an appt. with the Plaatjie's also, so we go there and we find out that Nwabisa is at her moms house and they are taking her to the clinic (they have public "clinics" that are free)! We take Langa there and follow to the clinic and just gave our support. Later in the week, on Friday, we get a call from Langa Plaatjie and he was like "Hey Elders, we need your help" they needed us to take Pamela back to the clinic cause she was feeling really weak again. We rescheduled our appointment and shot over there and took her to the clinic. Nwabisa was super freaked out and you could tell she was exhausted and worried, I felt super bad!

Friday, before the Nwabisas mom incident, we went and saw Zuko for his "going to the bush" ceremony! They had big like bush trees in his yard in kind of like a circle and he was sitting inside them naked with just his blanket on! Haha, they were slaughtering sheep and everything! It was pretty crazy! We didn't stay for the night time part cause we had appts. To get to, but it was pretty cool to see him!

Alright so Saturday was the branch Christmas party. It was a pretty fun time and then elder Hlophe and I left. We had an awesome day, and then that night it was my last appt with the Plaatjie's! I wanted to do something cool for them, so I told them that we would get dinner :) well there are like 3 burger kings in S.A., and they are the rage! The Plaatjie's had never had it and they had told us how they wanted it! So we drove to town on Saturday and I bought Burger King for everyone for our last appointment :) they were so happy! Hahaha, and afterwards they said how grateful they are that we love them, and how they can feel the genuine love we have for their family. It was pretty cool!

Ok Sunday is where things get totally INSANE! So first of all there is this young woman in the branch named Zodwa. She is like 16 or 17  and is Unam's little sister.  Well we are driving to church Sunday morning and sis. Renee calls us and tells us that Sanele won't be at church to be confirmed because Zodwa was shot 4 TIMES the night before!! We were like WHAAAT!!?? And they told us to come right after church! We drove there after church and found that family mourning like crazy! Unam was super distressed, oh my gosh it was terrible! Unam told us the story, and in short she was warned against going to this party by her family, but she went and came home, and about an hour later she went back out. The story goes that she got in a fight with her girlfriends and went to this guy in a car. Apparently she knew the guy so she got in the back seat, and like 3 minutes later there were 3 gunmen that opened fire at the guy driving. They pretty much missed him and shot Zodwa 4 times! One in each leg, one in the side, and one in the head!! So Unam and Renee invited us to the hospital to go and see Zodwa, so we drove up there following them, and went to the trauma unit. Right
as we got there she was going in for a scan to see if anything was damaged by the bullet to the head! Oh my gosh seeing this girl being wheeled out and down the hall like crying/mumbling with blood and bandages on her head....I can't even describe how bad I felt. After the scan she went back to the trauma unit and in there only one person at a time can go and see her. Unam took my oil and gave her a blessing, Renee went in and then they were like okay Elder Truscott you can go in and see her. I walked into the room and found Zodwa like perched up and she said she couldn't talk very much and had a headache. (She didn't know she was shot in the head, she only thought it was in her legs)! We talked a little bit. And it was the worst! Oh my gosh it was like the worst thing I've seen on mission, she had this wound on her head that I caught a glimpse of and I just felt so bad for her!! We spent lots of the day just with the family and talking, and I think they really appreciated our love and support.

So my week was a crazy one that just ended terribly! As far as the people here go I started handing out my member journal to people so they could write little messages in it or whatever and put their contact info so I can stay in touch :)

Zuko is off to the bush now, and it sucks that I won't be here to see how he is when he gets out! I will have to email him and stuff :) The Nono's are doing great :) Sisanda and Anelisa were confirmed
yesterday by Elder Hlophe, and then Sisanda gave the closing prayer at sacrament meeting.

Oh, and Mandela died this week too....but nothing really changed except its all we heard about for the week.

Love and miss you, Thanks again for everything that you do for me :)

Elder Truscott

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

Elder Truscott at the top of Table Mountain

Elder Truscott with the Plaatjie Family


Well I will tell you all about my week this week :)

You might notice I'm on a bit later than usual...I'm sorry! This
morning we woke up early and hiked table mountain :) it was my second
time hiking it, and it was kind of a killer cause it was a lot hotter
than last time! It is Summer time now so the sun is out early ;) hahaha,
Elder Cobabe didn't make it up.....and Makombe and I sat at the top
and drank water for a bit waiting for Elder Hlophe. But it was a fun
time this morning!

I gave Sis. Eunice the rest of the candy and goodies that you sent as
well :) worked out great cause of course she cooked for us again :) it
was funny, they have never heard of s'mores here....and that is the
flavor of the pop tarts that I took this time! I told them to try them
and tell me about them.  We came to church yesterday and we saw
Sis. Eunice giving little pieces of pop tarts to the Relief Society
women who were going crazy over the pop tarts!! Hahaha. Apparently
Africans love s'mores :)

Thursday was Thanksgiving.....it wasn't anything special this year! It
kinda sucked to be honest. Just a normal day here in South Africa and
then I made the food that you sent me for dinner :) Hlophe and I had
some potatoes and gravy :)

As for the people here in Gugs :)
The Nono mom and daughter have officially been baptized :) it was a
pretty nice baptism!! I did both of them too :) I was super happy, I
love being the one who gets to baptize the people....I think it's
cause I'm new on my mission still and it's fun for me :)
It was a great baptism though. They were so excited. And they even
surprised us and brought brother Nkosana! That was his first time ever
coming to church and he was there to see his wife and kid be baptized
:) I was so happy when I saw him there! It was awesome!

The Plaatjie family....dang it was a tough week for them! Nwabisa's
CAT scan was this week, and the good news was that they couldn't find
anything wrong :) that was a HUGE relief for them, and I was super
happy. BUT for Nwabisa it was a tough week. She works at a bank and
early this week some guys came in and robbed the bank at gunpoint! It
was super scary for her and everyone at the bank was scared of course.
To make things worse, like 2 days later she was in the same complex as
the bank is in, and she was shopping at a place called Ackermans. Well
guess what, 5 guys with guns ran in, blocked the doorway, and aimed
the guns at everyone telling them to get down and don't say anything
or they will shoot them! Apparently Nwabisa had a gun pointed right at
her! They took the money and booked it out, but MAN was Nwabisa
terrified. She is still having a tough time emotionally cause she was
so terrified! So we have been visiting her and making sure that the
family is doing well.
 
Tons of our appointments dropped this week, which sucks. Like the
Gova's maid, who's name is Sandy I found out. We weren't able to teach
her this week cause Bro. Gova was at the temple in Joburg. I'm
thinking next week will be better for appointments sticking though!
That's about it on my end for this week :) just a couple of baptisms!

I will get working on those pics of the baptism but the computer that I'm on SUCKS! and wont even let me get the pics off my camera...Hopefully I can load them next week.

I love you so so much! I love and miss you like crazy!

Love,

Elder Truscott