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Monday, January 26, 2015

January 26, 2015 - 6 Months to Go!!!

Elders headed into the Mall in Queenstown


My weekly report for you :) :

I'm officially not a sister missionary anymore! Yesterday I hit 18 months on mission Its crazy. It feels like I’ve been out forever...ha ha. I have to burn my pants tonight!

This week, was soooo flipping hot! I was sweating all week long. But we had a pretty good week! Our districts stats this week were better than they have ever been, between the two of us we taught 30 member present lessons! Elder Ratema and I taught 28 lessons this week, and Ilinge had 26! Pretty good, and this week seems like it went fast...not as fast as last week (which flew by for me), but still fast.

We've been waking up early every other day to go and play basketball with the zone leaders at the Queenstown chapel. That has been really good. Makes sure everyone is up and its’ a better way to get some exercise! Nice and cooler in the mornings so it’s the best time :) And plus now  I’ve got my 6 months to sexy so  I need those mornings ;) ha ha.

Well I had a few cool experiences this week with that whole "testing the promises" thing. We were working on Tuesday with 2 fellowshippers, a young man named Sihle, and Bonga.  Well we had a few appts. drop in a row, and we had about 45 minutes until our next appt. so we decided to split up, me and Sihle would go down one street, and they would go down another, and we set the goal that collectively we would teach at least one discussion. Well we prayed and then went to work. Sihle and I walked, and we decided we weren’t feeling the first house cause it was just full of grannys, so we went to the second, knocked, the guy let us in, he had sat with missionaries before and disagreed with the apostasy, but wondered why we were called "mormons". We opened with a prayer and explained the Book of Mormon to him a bit. He argued lots (like prophets) but we taught a discussion and at the end he was getting pretty argumental and I bore testimony pretty Holland style, and he was silenced, and we closed with a prayer and left. Hahaha. Kinda cool, Sihle said it was powerful. Then we met another guy who as we talked with him said he didn’t believe in life after death. I told him about how he could see his children after he died and he was just like "you believe that?" super sincerely, and we explained the plan of salvation, and taught him yesterday, it was pretty cool!

Friday I was on exchanges with Elder Mariner in Ilinge. Ilinge had been struggling, and for some reason they weren’t having success doing the "testing" thing...they would make goals and never achieve them. Well I wanted to go there and boost morale. So we had a district meeting on it that morning that kinda got everyone excited, and then Elder Mariner and I went out to Ilinge! We had a few set appts. But had about 2 1/2 hours of free time, so we set the goal that we would have 2 discussions and find an unrelated return appt! Well the first house we went to, return appt. Then 5 minutes later, we taught a discussion to a guy about the Book of Mormon! After that morale was high and we went to our set  appts, and then ended up teaching 3 other unplanned discussions! So we made our goal for sure! I was super happy, cause I had been hyping up the exchange all week with Mariner to get him excited about having success and it worked again! I was super happy, and I think it boosted faith in all of us, and we ended up having the best week we have had in terms of lessons taught!

Sunday was a normal day, church (not a huge turnout...we had more less actives come than investigators but I guess it’s all the same) and then we taught a good amount of lessons afterwards! It was a pretty good one.

This is the last week of the mega transfer! I'm excited to move into next transfer, but it should be another good week!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Jan. 19, 2015

Elder Truscott and Elder Mariner

Bro. Badi and his daughter "Nana"

Elder Truscott in the Xalabile's family room

Baby "Nana"

Bongo - a ward member in Sada
This week in Sada was a pretty good one for Elder Ratema and I!  It was just a pretty average week of missionary work honestly.....we have been doing lots of finding, and with that new "testing the promises of God" thing that the mission is into right now it’s been cool. Honestly I had big doubts the first time we did it with Elder Manzini last week, but it worked, and Elder Ratema and I have been setting goals in our free time, like maybe seeing a less active (we did that yesterday, said a specific prayer and the first less active we tried was home and had us right in) or getting 2 return appts, or teaching a discussion, and so far we haven’t ever set a goal and prayed specifically and failed. We have always reached our goals. It’s been pretty good and it’s made the work lots better!

So it was a normal week of missionary work, and then we had zone training and interviews on Thursday. The training from the zone leaders was nice, it was about retaining recent converts, and then how to rely and recognize the spirit. We pretty much decided that recognizing the spirit was the hardest thing and that it was one of the reasons we were even on earth....still looking for someone who can give me a solid answer on that one. And while the zone leaders were doing their training President Merrill took us out to do our interviews. He told me that Elder Ratema and I were staying together, which I was assuming so it wasn’t much news....and then just said how I'm doing a good job. Basic stuff honestly. And then President gave his training, where we listened to a talk by Pres. Uchtdorf about hope, faith,  and diligence type of thing. It was super powerful, he explained the morning of Christ's resurrection super well and it was pretty good....and then we ate....and back to missionary work! haha.

We taught a good amount of lessons this week, and Sunday was super good for church attendance! When we walked in there were more people in sacrament than I've ever seen in Sada. We had 9 investigators, and around 5 less actives that we've been working with or trying to work with that came!! And then we had scheduled to do Noluthando's baptism interview with the zone leaders that night. Well after church we decided to go and run through the baptismal questions with Noluthando...she didn’t know them super well, and when we asked her if she was honestly ready to make that promise, she said no...and that she needed to sort some stuff. But we rescheduled it for Feb. 22 (same date we'll try for for Iviwe) and she said she would prepare herself...so it sucked for us but it’s better than being baptized and not being ready.....

I'm glad that things are picking up here....it makes it lots more enjoyable! But I will probably be on exchanges in Ilinge this week cause they haven’t been having the same success we have here....so we'll see what we can do there.

I love and miss you.

Love,

Elder Truscott

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015

A Springbok 

hahaha, ya we each got different color of glasses for the different Power Rangers...
red is the leader, so me, and black is Elder Mariner, 
white is Elder Ratema, and yellow is Elder Williams.

Elder Manzini in the PJ's, Elder Truscott and Elder Lund 
So this week in Sada was a pretty good one! Not much to report on early in the week honestly..it was just a completely normal week of missionary work in Sada.
Tuesday morning we had new Elders training for Elder Ratema and I at the zone leaders flat, we basically just went over how everything was going and focused on teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ more effectively. It was good I guess....even though in the past they took the Elders out to lunch, but none of that on Tuesday. haha.
But then we just went out and taught for the week! Thursday morning we had our zone meeting, so we all got together at the Stapleys house and watched the conference from Cape Town where Quinton L. Cook came and spoke to the missionaries. They got a recording of that so that is what we watched. Then after that we went out to lunch the 4 of us in our district, got sandwiches, and then Elder Ratema  started saying his stomach hurt a bit.... Well we went on with our week, on Friday the AP's were in town and went on exchanges with us unexpectedly. It was wierd. They had planned on coming to Queenstown and going with every other companionship besides Elder Ratema and I...and I didn’t know why, but I didn’t really care honestly. So we knew they were going to be with Elder Williams and Elder Mariner, and then when we got home Thursday night they told us they changed the plans and that Elder Manzini was going to come with us.
Well it was actually a really nice exchange! There is this huge "Test the promises of God" Thing in SACTM with the assistants right now....where basically you set goals and then tell them to the Lord and ask Him to help you, then work hard and have faith that the Lord will help you reach them...well I like faithful goal setting better as a name then "testing the promises" Cause I don’t think God ever promised me father led families...but it works whatever you want to call it!
We set the goal to contact a Less active priesthood holder and find some father led families. In the down time we had we prayed and first off found a less active priesthood holder that Bonga led us to. Then later Bonga led us to a father led family! Pretty cool, and we will start teaching that family this week!
But that is a cool thing to use when we are trying to find people, cause we did it Sunday as well and it worked again! So it was a nice exchange, and the AP's ended up sleeping in our flat until Sunday.
Saturday morning as a zone we all went to Ilinge and did finding around that area. It was pretty cool actually. Made for a nice morning, we just all split up and went out to find people and help the Elders there out! Then off to Sada for our day!
Saturday night the AP's had a leadership meeting and just talked about the zone. Queenstown is doing really well which is cool!
Sunday was a good day as well....we had 4 investigators at sacrament meeting. Mfundo (a new guy we found on exchanges with Elder Manzini), Noluthando (who is scheduled to be baptized on the 25th of this month!), Soso, and Ukhona. Then we went out and found lots of people, taught a few lessons, and had a nice night :)
Last night though, Elder Ratema's stomach was hurting so bad that he couldnt sleep! I felt really bad for him, its been hurting since Thursday, so about 1 we went to the doctor cause I figured that there was no point in waiting until morning since he's just sitting in pain. So we went and Elder Stapley met us there, and he saw the doctor and was told to lay off the soda and drink more water. But after an IV for a bit he was better and we went back home and slept!
So it was a decent week this week! This week ahead I will be on exchanges with Ilinge probably on Friday or Sunday, and we have zone training and interviews with President on Thursday, so that is something to look forward to as well!
We are really hoping some of the people we've been finding will start progressing!
I love and Miss you like crazy!
Love,
Elder Truscott

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Years!

Elder Mariner, Elder Truscott, Elder Williams and Elder Ratema

Entle (the girl I interviewed), and the othr guy is her brother.

Elder Truscott with Investigator Precious
This week here in Sada was alright....
Last Monday night I got to go and do a baptism interview for the other guys' investigator named Intle, she's a young woman who was super ready....so that was cool. The interviews are always kinda fun because you get to see what they know. Ha ha. So she was baptized yesterday and I  heard it went really well!
New Year’s was good!! So we had to be home by 6 both New Years Eve and New Years Day....so we were back in the flat early both days. On new Year’s Eve we busted out the package that you sent with the New Years stuff and the glasses and beads and everything, and we just had a nicevnight with the QT Elders in the flat across from us playing games and stuff! Then on New Years Day we had a braii (like a BBQ) at the QT chapel with the missionaries and Elder and Sister Stapley for lunch. It was a bring your own meat thing and it was pretty fun! We ate lots of meat and played some games before heading out to our area for appts!
This week in terms of appts was better than last week for sure. As people are getting home from the holidays I think it will just continue to be better and better. And I don’t know if you remember me talking about the investigator Akhona, who was trying to quit smoking and was really cool, well he is back from the bush now and when he gets back from school scouting in East London we are going to start teaching him again which I’m really happy about! So hopefully the work continues to go well!
So something cool happened though! Remember us sitting with the really difficult lady named Precious in Grahamstown? Well we were driving out of Sada and I saw her jump out of a taxi in Sada! I stopped and we talked, apparently she is on vacation from university and visiting her grandma in Sada. She said she'd come to church, didn’t.....but I asked her if she's still sitting with missionaries and she knew who they were...but it sounds like it’s been a while since she has...so who knows, but it’s a small world!
Another funny thing that happened this week deals with a Chinese guy we know from Sada. Well there is like one chinese family in Sada and they have a little shop that we go to to buy biscuits and stuff....well this one guy (I don’t know his name we call him Chinese) really likes us....so he called us one morning this week and told us he was in Queenstown shopping for stuff to sell at his shop, and wanted to take us to lunch! hahaha, so we met him at KFC, and he was super awesome! He told us to get whatever and he paid, and he's a hilarious little chinese guy. Ha ha. I love him! But we had lunch with that dude and then went to Sada for the day!
Church this week was alright. We had a few investigators there, and one that I’m pretty excited about is a lady named Amkela. She's friends with a member from Queenstown and we met her last week at the email shop! Well we had an appt with her Saturday and we sat, discussed a bit about what we did and the Restoration, and then she came to church! And she lives far so he had to take taxi, which was cool!
So we had her at church, our investigator who's close to baptism named Noluthando, and her cousin Babalwa. So it wasn’t too bad but we were expecting more!
You were right, it was a flipping hot week this week....and I’m guessing it is going to be like that for the next bit as well. haha. Summer time in SA ;)
Love you and miss you guys,
Elder Truscott