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Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014 - Last e-mail of 2014!!!

Merry Christmas

Elder Truscott opening his presents

Elder Truscott and Elder Ratema with their new Marshmallow shooters

Elders with the Xalabile family on Christmas
Well this week for me....of course Skyping home was the highlight. Man it was great and since it was right in the middle of the week it made things go a bit faster from P-Day to P-day for me. Ha ha.
Last Monday we just went to the Queenstown chapel and played some sports. It was super hot, but we played a bit and then went into Sada. Our appt. dropped, so we followed up with some people and it was an alright night I guess.

Like there really isn’t much else to report on besides how great it was to skype home. This week was a slow one. People were busy with Christmas and out with family so our lesson count was low as well.....Christmas was a decent day though! We got up and I opened the gifts you guys sent me, it was really nice :) Ha ha, had some fun with the marshmallow guns, and then just chilled a bit. We had our only apt with the Xalabile family that afternoon, so we went into Sada after picking up some stuff they needed last minute. We had a great dinner with that family. It was really nice and I am really growing to love them. They are great to the missionaries here in Sada. They also got some calls from their son on mission so it made me excited to go and skype.
Well we finished eating, I gave them the one treat box that you sent said Merry Christmas and thank you, and then we shot back to Queenstown to skype!

Chatting was great. I really loved seeing you guys and talking. I had been looking forward to that since Mother’s day ;) haha.
It’s funny, you asked me about the Plaatjies and if I’d heard from them while we were talking, and then right after we hang up, they called and said Merry Christmas and asked how everything was going with me! It was awesome to hear from them, and they did say they were going to email you again, I'm glad that they did :) I love them. They are such an amazing family and I’m glad that they could have a good Christmas. It was great hearing from them and talking to them. I miss that family!

So then the only other thing we really did this week was on Saturday, we went to a members Bro's funeral. Aphelele, a young woman, her brother died last week or so, and Bishop wanted all of us to be at the funeral. It was the first African Funeral service I have been to. It was pretty different. A lot of  preaching and jumping and stomping and stuff, and then lots of singing. But it was nice! And since we are missionaries we got treated like VIP's. haha. We walked in and they ushered us up to the front seats where the family and stuff were sitting, and then up on the stage was where the pastors were sitting, so they took Bishop up there, and then came back to us and were like, you are pastors as well, do you want to sit by your bishop? We said we were fine where we were. haha. But it was nice, and I’m glad that we were able to go and support her and her family. I want to start teaching her family, since neither of her parents are members, so that is what we are trying to do there!

Church on Sunday was good. Last Sunday of 2014! Crazy to think that! But we had a nice sacrament, the Thomas', the senior couple who started here in Sada and then went to East London, were there with their daughters, so the Xalabile's had an amazing lunch after church and it was good to see them, and then we were off for the day! It was a really hot week....only one day was cooler I think, and besides that it was blazing.  But 2015 is pretty much here!! It’s crazy!

I love you and miss you so much mom. Skyping was great and made me miss you so much. I love you so much.
Elder Truscott

Monday, December 22, 2014

3 Days Until Christmas!!! December 22, 2014

.THE POST DROUGHT IS OVER! (4 of the packages took over 4 months to get to him)

Christmas Zone Conference. Elder Truscott as a Shepard (Cleaning closet style)

Elder Ratema, Elder Mariner, Elder Truscott and Elder Williams

Elder Truscott with Elder Malpage 
This week here in Sada was just the more hail storms...its flippin hot here. Ha ha. And ya, the hair was pretty short, I got it cut to a 4 on the sides and a bit over finger length on top cause it was so hot I couldn’t stand it. Cut off the mane for the SA summer. But you can call it the trainer cut as well. Ha ha

The highlight of my week this week was this.....THE POST DROUGHT IS OVER!!  I got like 6 packages this week, which was amazing. geez its been a loooooong freaking time! Thank you so much :) And guess what...this will make you of them was the one you sent in Aug...with those autographed pics of Al :)!! It finally came. Ha ha. So I got that one, 2 of the Christmas ones, one from Gma and Gpa T, and Aunt Kathy's! Thank you very much!

My son is still doing well.  I like Elder Ratema We just did normal missionary work this week for the most part, but we had exchanges with the zone leaders on Wednesday and then the Christmas zone conference on Saturday, so that split things up nicely! This week in terms of appts was alright, we didn’t do amazing but it wasn’t terrible either. We have been doing finding cause Elder Ratema has the fire to tract and find, which is good, so we have been doing some of that when things drop and getting our teaching pool growing.

Exchanges on Wednesday....I was with Elder Malpage, the zone leader. It was a good day, just a normal day of missionary work honestly. I didn’t think I was going to enjoy the day as much as I did honestly. I wasn’t too excited about that exchange but it turned out to be fine and we taught good lessons, had a powerful day, and ended the day in the village with the Miselo family for our FHE!
So Saturday we had our Christmas Zone Conference......I was bumming pretty hard that we didn’t get to go to East London...cause last year that was the most fun part. This year's Christmas zone conference wasn’t as fun.....I guess they aren’t supposed to be fun but hey, it’s Christmas. We pretty much had a serious conference for the first bit, and then the end was good. We did some Christmas skit thing with Santa and then the Nativity scene (which was kind of weird cause the audience was just the Stapleys, Pres. and Sis. Merrill, and the AP's).....and then watched a movie. We got to watch Heaven is for Real, the one about that book you read! It wasn’t bad, at least it was an actual movie! And then we talked about it doctrinally. After that we went off to the Xalabile family for an FHE with them. That family is really nice and GREAT to the missionaries in Sada....more so than anyone else.
While we were at the FHE Bonga texted and asked if I could teach the Priesthood lesson in church, which I said yes to, so I picked up the manual and then got reading that night. Sunday was good, can’t  complain! We had some new investigators come to church! We tracted into their house last week, and taught them on Tuesday, and they came, their names are Aqhame and Zizipho, and then Soso was at church, so not bad! I ended up teaching gospel principles class last minute, which was good cause then I focused on things to do to make it to the Celestial kingdom and kept it simple with our new investigators, and then after that class Pres. and Sis. Merrill left to make their flight, and then I taught priesthood which was different because the only guys there that can speak in the class were Elder Stapley, my comp, and the quorum president....and a recent convert, but it made for a boring time honestly.
The Xalabile's feed us every week nobody else is signed up, so every week.....haha. We went there after church for lunch and it was great! And then had some appts that dropped and some that held that day!
I love and miss you so much. Trust me, you aren’t the only one who is excited to skype. Man I'm excited to see you guys! I love and miss you tons!
I love and miss you so much!
Elder Truscott

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014 - Elder Truscott has a son

Elder Chaparadza and Elder Truscott

Final District Pic before transfers

Elder Truscott with the golf ball sized hail

Elder Truscott helping clean up yards after the hail storm

Elder Truscott with his new son Elder Ratema 

Elder Truscott hiked up a mountain in Queenstown, 
As for my week here, it seems like a kind of long one!  Last Monday we went out and said some goodbyes after playing sports, and Chaparadza spent Tuesday packing and getting things ready to leave. So Tuesday was a really slow day, just here in Queenstown for the most part! So Elder Chaparadza, Elder Kaufusi, and Elder Arthur all left, so on Tuesday afternoon they drove to East London together and Elder Mariner, Elder Winebrenner, and I stayed behind and were together for that night and Wednesday.

Tuesday night after they left I had to go and do some baptism interviews for Elder Mariner. They had been teaching some kids whose Aunt was a member, so I interviewed them and they were baptized yesterday.

Then Wednesday was another kind of slow day.....we were up late on Monday and Tuesday I wasn’t really feeling well at all...feeling like I had a cold, and my sinuses were all messed up and of course my ears started having problems again.....but we visited a person from Elder Winebrenners area, it was a members mom who was in the hospital from a heart attack. So we visited her, and gave her a blessing, and then went out to Sada for our appt. in the village. It was a nice time...and then afterwards we drove home and the zone leaders told me they were close to Queenstown with my son! We got here right after them, and I met my son! So my new comps name is Elder Ratema, he is from Klegsdorp SA, which is a few hours from Joburg, and he's 19 years old. He's a pretty cool guy, I like him so far....he's really comfortable with everyone and jokes around and it’s not been too bad. The first week of training wasn’t too tough, it just wasn’t the best week to start. Ha ha ha. it was pretty slow.

This week, since the first few days were spent saying goodbyes and not making appts., was pretty slow. We taught a few lessons, like maybe 2 each day, but it wasn’t that great. Luckily Elder Ratema really wants to do that greenie fire for it, ha ha, so we have been finding a lot, and if everything holds next week we will have 7 new investigators at least! So we are working hard!
So Thursday, Elder Ratema's first day in the field, we were out doing work, and it was super hot in the day, and then all of a sudden it started we were going to follow up on a referral from Sechaba, and we decided just to go in the rain, so we were at the door of the house around back, and then it started hailing HUGE pieces of golf balls! It was coming down SUPER hard, like they were just hitting everywhere, so we were running through the mud back to the car, and I had my backpack over my head to cover it, and it was coming down so hard that I knelt behind the back of the car to shelter myself, and I reached into my pocket to grab the keys and SMACK! A big piece of hail hit me square on the head and man it hurt....still hurts a bit, but the massive goose egg is gone down. Ha ha. Dang. It was a crazy storm though, it broke people’s windows all over Sada, even went through peoples roofs, and our car is super dented all over, ha ha. So from the storm peoples yards were really messed up, so we did some service in the afternoons this week. We helped Sis. Chipo clean her yard on Friday afternoon, like raking up all the fallen apples and apricots and leaves and stuff, and then on Saturday we did the same thing, only this time there were lots of weeds, at Sis. Mkoti's house. They were really appreciative, and both times they fed us lunch after helping them and it was nice.

So Elder Ratema is fitting right in, he's a great teacher. He went out with the missionaries tons at home so he is kinda used to it I think. Sunday was good as well....we had 7 investigators at sacrament meeting, which is more than I've had since  I came I'm thinking that the Lord will speed up the work to help Elder Ratema have a great first experience! And then we had lunch with the Xalabile family, and then did some baptism records and had an FHE with the Tyatyeka's...kind of a lazy Sunday and we ate good!

Then This morning we went as a zone and hiked up a mountain in Queenstown, the zone leaders wanted to do it and talk about the goals we had for this transfer and for ourselves....and we woke up and it was kinda rainy and groggy, but we went anyways, and then half way up the mountain when we couldn’t see the top or the bottom we had our meeting and went down. Ha ha, but it was a nice  morning!

I’m looking forward to the transfer, hopefully things keep going well and hopefully I can keep helping Elder Ratema!

Love and Miss you guys,

Elder Truscott

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014

Elder Truscott with Elder Chapradza

Elder Truscott, Soso and Elder Chapradza

Elder Truscott, Phila and Elder Chapradza

Elder Truscott and Elder Chapradza with
"2 little girls I dont know their names then Aphelele, Sizipho, and Nosipho"

Well this week seemed like a super long one for me....haha. But I DID find out my transfer news, I've actually known since Tuesday, but I'm going to be training a new missionary here in Sada!

Last Monday was a scorcher....much like today. It’s getting REALLY hot here in summer time is here for sure. It sucks. haha. So we didn’t even play sports last week, we just ate out and shopped, and then took it easy, but I think today, since the Mtatha Elders are down here, we will play sports with them.

Tuesday was just a normal day, we were teaching and doing the regular appt. thing, and we were about to start a lesson with a young girl named Zandisa (recent convert) when Pres. called and told me that I was going to be training a new Elder. He is from SA, and I'm not quite sure his name. It should be good! So that means that my time with Elder Chaparadza was only a week, but its fine. He has been in Sada for a long time. He will be going to Paarl to be the District Leader there for his last 8 weeks, and then Kaufusi is leaving to Cape Town, and Mariner is getting an Elder Williams who I don’t know at all. So it should be a good transfer coming up! I have high hopes
Friday I was on exchanges with Elder Kaufusi, which was really nice. Kaufusi is a sweet guy, and it was a nice day. We were in Sada, and we taught a bit, saw some people that are potential investigators, and just had a really nice day. It was a nice change for the day honestly. All week the lessons were pretty slow....I am glad that I'm training this next transfer cause it will be a great opportunity to get the area going strong. Things are kind of slowing down, and I think a change in comps will help it out. So this week was a bit slow, we taught just a few lessons each day pretty spaced it made for a long feeling week. But since we've known since Tuesday the news Chaparadza said some goodbyes this weekend.

Church on Sunday was alright. Nothing too exciting, Mihlale and Nokuthula were confirmed, and we didn’t have tons of investigators at sacrament meeting, the one we did have is Soso, an 18 year old girl......and the other was a child who's friends with  Zandisa and we've been teaching her.
This morning, the reason I'm emailing a bit later than usual, is that we had a trainers training. Basically just go over some stuff before our new comps come....It’s just me and Elder Best (who's in Mtatha) who are training from our zone, so it was just us 2 doing the training with the Zone Leaders. It was nice...just chatted about the expectations of the greenies, what our expectations were, and what we are expected to be doing...

This next transfer will be a good one! I'm excited, and hopefully I can give the greenie a good  experience! I have my fingers crossed he's cool...but if not I guess I’ll have to try even harder than usual to get along with him., hahaha.

But that is my week this week!

I love and miss you!

Elder Truscott

Monday, December 1, 2014

December is here! - DEC. 1, 2014

The Miselo family.

Elder's eating Thanksgiving dinner. All you can eat ribs at the Spur restraunt

Elder Truscott reading the Liahona

Sada Ward baptisms
This week was an alright one I guess. The tripanionship is over since Swacina is going home about a week early for family stuff, so it’s only Elder Chaparadza and I right now.

Last Monday we just played sports, it was the It wasn’t bad’s good for me to get some exercise, cause I can feel it big time while running. Ha ha ha.

Tuesday was a really good day in terms of teaching and stuff. We had lots of appointments scheduled (and at this point it was still the tripanionship), so Elder Chaparadza and Elder Swacina went to teach, and me and Bonga went and taught people, and we just did that most of the day until we met back up for an FHE that night. Bonga is growing on me a lot. He's a cool guy. He and our ward mission leader, Sechaba, are pretty cool.

So Thursday was Thanksgiving! We didn’t really have any plans....and nobody invited us over for dinner or the three of us, Kaufusi and Mariner, and 4 of the Elders working in Queenstown, went to a restaurant called Spur on Thursday night after our appts. For Thanksgiving dinner :) ha ha. On Thursdays they have an all you can eat ribs and wings we did that and it was lots of fun! Not quite the traditional turkey, and no family again this year, but we made the most of it.

Friday I was on exchanges with Elder Mariner in an area called Ilinge. It was a nice exchange! We just had district meeting in the morning, had lunch, and then went to his area and taught a few lessons. Ilinge is pretty rural as well. I met one of their members who claims to have a "Spirit husband" so that is pretty wierd. But it was a nice day.
Then Friday night Sada Ward had a "funeral" for Elder Swacina since it was his last day in the area. It was a really cool thing for them to do for him actually. They surprised him with a big celebration, and drinks and snacks and it was lots of fun :) Elder Mariner and I went there after our appts were done in Ilinge, so we were a bit late, but we still made it for some and it was a good time. A cool thing for the ward to do for him for sure.

Saturday morning Elder Swacina had a career workshop in Queenstown since he's going home, so Elder Chaparadza and I dropped him off at that, and then went out to Sada, and boom....Swacina is gone. From that workshop he went to East London, and then I think he's flying to Cape Town today, then back home tomorrow..... I get a bed now so it’s better....ha ha ha. But we went out to the area after dropping him, and the young men and young women had a fundraiser on Sat. morning to save up for the FSY camp (EFY). They did like a talent show thing and we could buy food for 10 Rand, so we did that for lunch and had a nice time, and then went out to teach. I find teaching lots better now that it’s down to the two of us....for some reason the teaching didn’t quite "click" like it did with my tripanionship with Kupka and Carnieletto.

Sunday was a good day as well. We had two baptisms....again I didn’t really teach them much so I don’t really feel too involved....but it was for a 16 year old boy named Mihlale, who is a stud. And a 19 year old girl named Nokuthula. She's cool too but more quiet. So that was right after church, and also that one kid that we baptized my first week here, Umpho, was that was good for him too. After church and the baptisms, we went out teaching after eating lunch at Bishop Xalabile's. We went with our ward mission leader Sechaba and two young women, Nosipho and Aphelele, so we brought the army to people. We taught a few lessons, and it was good.
In all, this week wasn’t too bad. Not my favorite Thanksgiving week ever of course, I missed you guys like crazy....but its better this year since I know it’s my last one away :) ha ha.

Today is Elder Arthur's Birthday, so the Stapleys made a cake for him and we surprised him before  emailing....and it was really nice. It was nice for them to remember. Arthur is from New Zealand, and is a really cool guy, I like him!
I love you so much and miss you like crazy :)
Elder Truscott