Sunday, December 13, 2015

Week 86- Somerset West

3:23 PM Posted by Unknown No comments
Well this the first from Somerset West. It is an absolutely amazing area. Right on the coast and right next to the ocean. My companion is Elder Williams from West Jordan and is getting ready to go home. But other than that, the work is pretty hard because it is a white area, so we are going to be working a lot with the members and getting them to do the family mission plan so that we get referrals from them. The ward here is awesome and is a functioning ward, and the members are nice. The only thing that could be better is if we had more people at church on a Sunday. There were only about 60 people there and it would be way better if many people come. But that is why I am here. We are going to turn it around!

Other than that, we don't have a ton of investigators, we are doing a ton of service, and church is amazing!! And the sunsets here are awesome! Once again, sunsets over the ocean are the best in the world. I love it and it makes me contemplate the beauty of the earth every night!!

Love you all!!
Till Next Week

Week 85- Headed Back To...

3:22 PM Posted by Unknown No comments
Well it turns out that my time here in Queenstown is coming to an end. And it looks like I'm headed back to Cape Town.

This week was amazing!! We had so many people that we visited and so many spiritual visits with people that it was crazy. Then on Sunday, we had an awesome broadcast for the Africa South East Area, with Elders Anderson, and Runlund, President Clayton, President Cook, and Sister Esplin. They were so inspiring and it was really great to hear the council that they gave for everyone here. Basically, the jist of the council was, pay your tithing, read your scriptures, pray as a family, and keeping the commandments actually means that you have to DO something! 

It was so inspired and it will be nice to see what is the turn out of that.

In other news, I haven't started packing yet for the flight that I'm taking on Wednesday. I'm headed to Somerset West, back to Cape Town to finish out my mission. Or maybe President has something else up his sleeve for me, I Don't know, but I'll find out soon.

Enjoy the Thanksgiving Week and I Love you all
Till Next Week

Week 84- Handing Out The Book of Mormon

3:20 PM Posted by Unknown No comments
Well, this week has been a week of amazing things that have been happening on this side of the world. This week has been absolutely crazy with how many people we have been seeing, and I can't help but notice that the Lord's hand is in this work with how many people we see, and how many lessons we plan for. It is amazing to be right in
the middle of it.

So transfers are coming up this next week. BUT you'll have to wait and see what is going to happen.

But I'll give you the highlight for the week. We have been working with the members in our area and getting their faith up to the point of making sharing the gospel part of their lives. The final thing we do with them is teach them how to test the promises of God. Pretty awesome stuff. Anyways, on Saturday, we had three of our youth with us
and we had an extra 15 minutes before our next appointment. So we took them with us and went to go test the promises. The goal that we had was for each of us (5) to place a copy of The Book of Mormon within 15 min. We took our youth with us, they were definitely scared, and went and did. We not only handed out five copies, we handed out seven, got two return appointments, found a less active, and all had our testimonies strengthened. It was so awesome!! I'm so excited to keep doing this! I'll have more about it in future emails.

I love this work and what it has done for me. I wish that everybody could be here and see just how much mission helps you grow.

Love You All!

Week 83- Twelve Appointments in One Day?

3:18 PM Posted by Unknown No comments
Well, this week has been kinda crazy... That is an understatement to say the least. We have been so busy with all of our appointments. Some of the people we can only see once every other week. So many people to see.

Also, we had Zone Training and interviews last week. So many things were learned about how we can be better and more effective missionaries. Also, it was cool to see President Merrill invite the whole mission to repent of small things that are slowing down the work. Then in the interviews, he asked us to prepare for them by reading the talk, "Becoming a Preach My Gospel Missionary" by Elder Bednar and than to ask ourselves our question, "What lack I yet?" Such an awesome learning and growing experience. And I'm so grateful for it, because I've grown so much.

Also, we have been Testing the Promises of God this week, and it has been amazing!!! We started putting 12 appointments in one day and then we see all 12 appointments!! So awesome! So many people to share the gospel with!!!

Things are going good here in SA. The gospel continues to grow and the church is true!!
Love you all

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Week 82- Playing Taxi?!

7:24 PM Posted by Unknown No comments
Well, this week has been a blast! We have had some challenges, but we overcame them. One of the biggest things that was a challenge was that we only had two cars in our district when we are supposed to have four. So that meant that my companion and I had to pay taxi service for the two Elders in Sada which is about four hours out of our proselyting day to get them there and back. I'm tired as soon as we start leaving to go there. I just wish that they get their car back soon. 

Other than that, not a whole lot has been happening other than the member missionary work that is kicking off. We have started working a lot with the members and it is awesome! Member missionary work is where it is at! I've learned that members are way better at finding people than missionaries, and that the people that they invite are way better at actually staying in the church. 

And tomorrow, we have zone training and interviews, so we are all pumped for that! I thoroughly enjoy my one on one time with President! I have the best mission president in the world! (sorry Nate :P ) So we will see what happens with this round of training. I'm so stoked for it and I'll let you all know what it is going to be like next week.

Week 81- Definitely Summer in Queenstown

7:22 PM Posted by Unknown No comments
Well, this week was definitely summer. It was roasting here, but I guess that is what you get when you are used to the cool of living just off the ocean. I do have to say that Queenstown looks just like southern Utah. And it has the weather to match it. 

So you all may be wondering about my new companion. His name is Elder Hoffman. He is from Clinton, Utah. So I'm working with another Utah Elder. It is so much fun. So Far, So Good! I love getting the chance that I have to serve with different companions. It really helps me learn and grow around other people and to refine my personality skills. It really is easy to see and it is eye opening just how much being around other people makes me want to be a better person. 

In other news, our missionary work is moving forward at a really unprecedented speed here. Member missionary work. It is the key to hastening the work of salvation! I love working with the members, and the cool part is that they love doing missionary work too!!! It is an all around win-win!! I love it!!!

I'll send more updates as they come, but for now, we are pretty much running the same, just faster than before!!

Week 80- Transfer News

7:21 PM Posted by Unknown No comments
So this week was up and down. Because we watched conference last Saturday and Sunday, our week this week was garbage because we normally set all of our appointments then. But we did the best that we could with what we had. We ended up filling up our week pretty good and had a ton of lessons that we taught, and also a ton of people that we found.

The work is moving forward so much faster now, and just when the good part was happening, we got transfer news.... Let's just say, our companionship got shafted. Elder Wall got the call that he was headed off to Cape Town to go and be a district leader there, and I'm going to stay here and be the district leader here in Queenstown.

On top of that, two out of the four cars in our district are out of commission. That makes travel time way long. And some of the areas are pretty far out. We all live here in Queenstown, but then some of the elders commute to Sada (45 km away/45 min away) and some to Ilinge (22 km away/20 min away). So without cars, we struggle. We need them, especially with transfers this week, where we have to drive to East London to send the Elders out. It has been a crazy time of logistics, but it has been what it is. We are trying to do our best. 

Things are going amazing here, the work is moving forward, hopefully we will have some baptisms soon. And we are laying the foundation for the work with the ward to help them with their missionary work.
I love being a missionary!!

Week 79- To Keep this Short

7:19 PM Posted by Unknown No comments
This week has been a roller coaster of emotions for me. It has been a good week and a bad one at the same time. 

Lots of our investigators decided that they had other things in life that were more important to them than to come to church. But on the other hand, General Conference was Amazing!!! 

To keep the email short, Conference was such a spiritual high for me from such a spiritually draining week! It was a good way to end off the week on a good note! (Elder Laurence is a beast!! Use his talk and grow from it. Take it seriously and Heaven will help you!)

Week 78- Six Months Left!

7:17 PM Posted by Unknown No comments
It is weird to think that I have only 6 months left. It has been a reality that has kept coming back and slapping me in the face this week.

This week has been really good. Our area is on fire!! We have so many people that we are seeing and teaching and the work is really starting to take off!! We are launching our member lessons and they have been going really well. So many new people in the ward!! The only problem is that we have to keep up with them.

We have so many recent converts and investigators that we are struggling to keep up with our Less Actives and members. That and the ward is about to split so that is what all the hype is about now. But we don't want to start with that. We are worried about where the next two or three wards are going to come from. 

On Sunday, we decided that we were going to walk to church from the township and bring some investigators with us because they were not coming on their own. So we made a plan and enlisted some members to help us and then we started walking on Sunday morning. We started off with only 3, but by the time that we reached the chapel we had 13! And a lot of them were investigators! Church was so amazing and fulfilling after that. 

It was the first time that I have walked to church in 18 months. Having a car is such a cushy thing to have, and it really is a great blessing. It is so awesome to see the progress of the members in inviting their friends to church. That is the way that the Lord has set up missionary work, and that is the best way that we can help others come to the church!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Weeks 72, 73, 74, 75, and 77

7:13 PM Posted by Unknown No comments
Week 72:

Well, this week has been a fairly uneventful week. Full of miracles and downturns, but such is to be expected from a mission. It is one of the hardest, yet one of the best experiences that I have had in my life so far. There are so many things that have happened, so many events that have transpired that have really, if nothing else, deepened my testimony of my Savior and Redeemer. So many little things add up over the week and if you are not looking for them, you will never see them.

I decided that I needed to repent this past week of being kind of wishy-washy about writing in my journal. As I've pondered and reflected on days past, I've noticed so many little miracles that have been happening on a daily basis without me seeing them. I'm so grateful for this little thing that has helped me be much more appreciative of what Christ has done for me. And it is awe inspiring for me to know that I am an emissary for the Lord right now, for this short time. I love it, and wouldn't change it or trade it for the world!!

Week 73:

So this week was pretty crazy. It was an adventure of many things that went good and went bad. So to start off, here we go. 

On Monday we got a brand new car! It had under 100 km on it and was so clean and shiny, as only a new car can be. So our first adventure was to go and find Pop-Tarts. We found them, and it was kinda a nice walk down memory lane to see something that was actually made in the US! They were so good, but the only problem with them is that they were R70 ~ $7 for the box. A dollar per Pop-Tart. That is expensive!!! I might only do that one or two more times before I go home, such a rip-off...

Later in the day, we were in Du Noon (a township in our area) and we were heading out, and as we were leaving, some random guy ran in front of our car to cross the street, and in doing so, didn't see the bakkie (small truck) coming the other way. Needless to say, the bakkie hit him on the front corner and then he ricocheted off of our car after being hit. That bakkie ragdolled him! It was scary to see, but then added another dimension to it when we heard him hit our car. (we also had to wash some blood off of our car after this little incident). 

I also have to throw in that we had some awesome lessons this week! Miracles are happening and things are moving forward like they never have been before!!
Then on Friday, we got the news that our Bishop had passed away. So down from such a high week. But it was cool to see the ward rally around each other as this happened. We had a viewing of Meet the Mormons, and we had a good turnout to that, so that was really cool.
Also we heard that the missionary that I replaced due to him going home for medical reasons is not coming back out on mission. It was a sad day.. And my companion felt the brunt of that. 
With so much going on around us, we always need to remember that the Lord knows what he is doing, and He has such a bigger plan in store for us! And It is ALWAYS better than what we think it is!!

Week 74:

Well, this week has been a week of emotions. The week started off good for us and then we both got sick... Something like the flu hit both of us hard on Friday and Saturday. But other than that, the work is moving right along like normal.

Then comes Saturday night and we got the phone call with transfer news. I'm going to Queenstown and Elder Herrick is staying. So that means that I have to pack my bags and fly away. We will see how that goes, so I'm looking forward to a new challenge, but at the same time, I kind of want to stay here. We will know more next week. I'm keeping it sweet and short, because that is how we are rolling right now. We will have more for you next week!!

Week 75:

Well, things have been kind of crazy for me this week. First, I had to say goodbye to everybody that I had come to love, (that is the crappy part of missionary work), I had to pack my bags, and everything that I owned had to be under 60lbs (I had to do some slimming down). I left my companion, I flew all the way across the mission, I got a new companion and a new area, and have been without electricity since I've been here. It has been nice so far. Queenstown is a nice little town about two hours away from anything. It is in the middle of nowhere. I like it and it will be good to see. So far so good, and more details will be forthcoming!!

Week 77:

Well, this week is so far so good! Things have been kinda crazy because as soon as I got here, we got the news that the boarding that I was arriving at was soon to be decommissioned. So we lived there for a week, and then off we went. Moving time. Again. But to be fair, the new boarding is amazing! It is senior couple quality, and it is the first time that elders have lived there. Also, in the same week, we had Zone Conference. It was awesome!! So many things that we have talked about, and so many things that I have learned, all kind of rolled together into one awesome Zone Conference. I love the opportunities that I have had to grow and to learn at the feet of our awesome Mission President! He is a stud to put it simply. He has done so much for us as missionaries, and for me as well. Then, on top of all of that, we had stake conference on Sunday, and I had to play tech support. That skill comes in handy more times than I thought that it would. So many little ways that I have used that to help members and investigators alike. Who thought that I would be using that here in Africa. 

So many things are happening, and the work is really starting to take off, mission wide. We are almost to the point where we, as a mission, don't have time to do any finding. We have so many appointments that we have to go to, and the best part is that they are all member referrals!! We also have an area that is close to us that is having 22 baptisms this week alone! And we are getting close! We have so many people that have the potential for baptism, but just have one or two things that they need to work on before they can do it! So to be short, so many things are happening, and I'm happy and excited to be right in the middle of it all!!!

Miracles happen!! Heavenly Father loves all of us!! And I'll talk to you all next week!

(Poster's note: I had a little bit of trouble with this blog for a while there, sorry, but here are the updates I missed because of my messing up.)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 71 - Observing the Sabbath

12:29 PM Posted by Unknown No comments
We had a really slow week to start off with. But we had so many member lessons this week.

We received training on how to better work with the members to get more people to join the church. It really comes from the members and the friends that they bring into the church. Missionaries are best when they are the teachers, but the members are the finders.

To top things off, our training was on how we can better observe the Sabbath Day. It was so amazing!! It really is an important thing for us to follow and obey the Sabbath. It brings so many blessings and can help us grow so much. It was really an eye opener for me to see! How we treat the Sabbath is how we really show the Lord just how much we love Him. Sunday took on a whole 'nother meaning for me this week! Keep pressing on and trust the Lord! He loves us all!!

Love you all!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 69 - Learning and Wearing out Shoes

12:02 PM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, all has not been calm here on the eastern front of the Western Cape! To start things out, we had a baptism on Sunday, we have another two projected for two weeks out, loadshedding (scheduled power outages) is starting to really get on my nerves, and now I have two companions to enjoy all the fun with!

Elder Erampidy is an awesome elder! He is from Antananarivo, Madagascar, so I'm learning the way of the Madagascans! So take that Nate, I cant be in MDG, but MDG can come to me... Who need Fort Dauphin anyways? Paarl is where it is at. What more can you want? But seriously, Paarl is awesome despite all the things that drive me nuts about it. The ward here is awesome and really open to the missionaries, and they help us a ton to move the work forward.

This week has been a good week, a week of disappointments, and a week of learning and growing. I feel like I have so much more to give after this week than I did in the past.

I know that my Heavenly Father lives, and that He wants to bless us every day! It is really amazing to me just to see how the Lord works and how much he wants us to be with our families for eternity and just how important that is to Him. I'm so impressed every day how much things are just perfect and there is really no way that all of this just came together.

I love being a servant of the Lord!! It is amazing!
Love you all!

Just retired an old pair of shoes.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 68 - Another Tripanionship in Paarl

1:29 PM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, it is transfer time, but I'm not going anywhere. There, I'll spoil the fun. That, and I'm going to stay with Elder Castro. So Six month area for me, and 4 1/2 months with Elder Castro. Oh, and we are adding to the mix, Elder Erampidy! So back to tripanionship number three... But Elder Erampidy is cool. Nate knows him, and I met him before while I was in PE.

So good things are happening here in Paarl! It has been fun so far, and it will only get better! We have so far, another baptisim lined up for Sunday, and another for a week or two out. Things are moving faster and faster, and we are trying to do all that we can to stay on top of things.

I love being a missionary and getting to see all the blessings that come from serving the Lord with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. I'll write more next week, but till then, I love you all!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Week 67 - Bolo de Caco

5:24 PM Posted by Janette No comments
Wow. This week has been awesome! I have been really tired from all the work that we have been doing. It has literally been wake up, work, sleep, eat when we can... Much like Nate said, we have too many people to work with, and with this new transfer, we are losing missionaries, and not a whole lot are coming in. So that means that more and more areas are going to be closing down. And that means that the work is going to be more and more. Just getting ready to crash after every single day. It is tiring, but it feels good to know that you are doing that much work.

Also, Bolo de Caco, is amazing. If you haven't had it, try it. (Trent, you would love this). Especially try it with garlic butter. (perks of having a Portuguese companion).

Lots of fun things are happening here, and it is amazing to see just how much the Lord is involved in every little phase of the work. Even in the long days that just seem like they are going to go on and on. But He DOES care. And He DOES Love us so much. It may not seem like He is there at times, He is. Sometimes He just wants us to act for ourselves. Sometimes He wants us to exercise our faith. Sometimes, it really isn't the most important thing that we need to be worrying about at that time. He does love us and care about us, and only wants the very best for us.

I love this short time that I have to serve the Lord, and it has been the most rewarding thing of my life!

Love you all!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week 66 - Happy 'Murica Day!

2:56 PM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, Happy 'Murica Day! Just to let you know, it is not celebrated over on this side of the world, but we celebrated it anyway. :) This week was considerably better than last week. We had a ton of lessons and it was a really productive week.

I love it here in Paarl, and I'm starting to get the hang of the people here. I love it! And hopefully we have a few more baptisms coming up here in the near future, so that should be great as well. Other than that, it was a pretty normal missionary week here in SA, so not much to report back on.

Love you all!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Week 65 - Patience and Temperance

7:55 PM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, all that I'm going to say about this week is that it was very trying. The whole week I was learning more and more about the Christlike attributes of Patience and Temperance. Wow, our week was crap, but I did a lot of learning. Funny how things work like that. But I definitely feel like I am a better person because of it, and I now have a lot more patience than I had last week.

In other news, I got to to play with the tigers and lions at a lion park near us. That was way fun and exciting! One of the lions was even named Mufasa, so I got a picture with him, even though he was a little bit angry when we got a little bit close. I'll try to send pictures, although the internet is being kinda slow, I'll probably upload them to dropbox and share the link. But the week went really well.

Love you all!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 64 - Don't Miss the Atonement

10:24 AM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, this week has been fun. I totally realize that I could leave it like that and leave everybody in suspense of what really happened. But really, this week was amazing. So I studied the atonement and a ton of what is associated with it, and I have grown and learnt a lot this week. Basically long story short, I have a new view of the Savior and what He did for me. And then this week, that boiled over into teaching and it was so cool to see. So it goes something like this, we were in a lesson with a less active, and we were talking about the atonement. And suddenly he sits up and says something along the lines of, 'So when I miss the Sacrament, I miss the Atonement. And then I just leave Christ hanging on the Cross.' Wow! It hit me and it was totally amazing to see him take the atonement into his life. So yeah, that was basically how my week went. It was just another crazy hectic missionary week. I love it though, and I'm not sure how I'm going to adjust when I get back home, but I'll find a way.

And seeing as it was fathers day yesterday, Happy Fathers Day! It was a little different here in SA, but it is still fathers day and it is still celebrated here, not as big as it is in the states, but it is still here.

I love being a missionary and all that it entails, and wouldn't trade it for any other experience! Hope you all have a great week.

Love you all!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 63 - Back to a Twosome

9:01 PM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, this week has been an amazing week. Awesome, yet not that awesome at the same time.

On Wednesday, we had to say goodbye to Elder Si'ufanua. He got the call that he was headed out to go to George. Which call means that there are only going to be two of us here in Paarl now.

I do have to say, that after six weeks of teaching with three missionaries, it is kinda hard to transition back to two. So now it is just back to the two of us here, Elder Castro and I. It is weird to just have one companion now, but that is what is in stock for us now.

But other than that, nothing much is noteworthy, other than N. and L. got confirmed yesterday, so everything is official! So much is happening, and everything is going really well. I love it here, even if it is starting to get rainy and not so great, but it is still good!

Love you all!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 62 - Cold Baptism Water

2:59 PM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, this week was awesome and crappy at the same time. Awesome because we got a bunch of work done and we saw miracles this week.

On Sunday, we had two baptisms that we had started teaching from the beginning. The only downside of that is that the water was WAY cold, but it was really amazing. And it was really cool to see them when they came up out of the water.

Also, our open house and ward party was really awesome. We had a great turnout at it and it was way amazing! So both of those were really amazing!

As Nate said, transfers are this week, and it goes something like this. I'm staying, Elder Castro is staying, and Elder Si'ufanua is going to George. So we are all pretty stoked! It is going to be an awesome transfer across the mission. So far so good!

Love you all!!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 61 - Here Comes the Rain

11:33 AM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, this week has been kinda dreary. The clouds have started to come, and the rain is here. Some days it comes down in buckets, some, just a drizzle. Everybody is starting to prep for winter. It is that time of the year.

In the news, we have two investigators that are getting baptized this Sunday! They had their interviews this past week and passed! On top of that, we are having a Chapel Open House and ward party on Saturday. Hopefully it goes well and everybody comes. Even if they don't, we are still going to have a party.

So life is going good here. The work is progressing, and everything is doing well.

Love you all

Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 60: Heavy Pianos

11:24 AM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, this week has been amazing compared to last week. It has really been an amazing experience. We have met so many new people and it has really been awesome, because all of them that we met were in response to a referral from one of the ward members. It has taken a lot to build a relationship of trust with the ward, but it has been worth every effort. It really is cool to see how when you work with the ward members, things get done, and they happen just the way that the Lord set them up.

I've been asked a lot about people who are getting close to get baptized. We have three that are about ready to get baptized, and many more that are in the pipeline. All of them are amazing people, and surprise, all of them were member referrals! It was really amazing to see the interaction with the members and these new investigators.

Oh, and in other news, pianos are really heavy! I think that President Ucthdorf said it best when he said, "Lift where you stand". When you follow that council, everything works, and on top of that, it is really easy to move a piano.

Winter is starting to come here! It is starting to get really cold. I love the cold, but my companions are struggling with it a little bit. But whatever, I love it. I hope everything goes well, and that everybody will enjoy this time of the year.

Love you all

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 59 - Adversities and Trials

9:09 PM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, this past week has been a really crappy week. Throughout the week, about two thirds of our appointments dropped. And it was really frustrating to see, so we had a lot of other things that we did to fill our time. But still... It was bad. And then on Sunday, after Elder Castro had given his talk, all of our appointments for Sunday held, and we had a lot yesterday. As we were looking back at our week, we realized what had happened. Elder Castro's talk was on Understanding Adversity and Trials. Trial, yes. Adversity, yes. I think it is safe to say that we now have a better understanding of adversities and trials.

Fun tidbits for the week;

We need to ACT with FAITH, not REACT with FEAR.

Friday was the 186th anniversary of the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood.

Our closest investigator to baptism finally came to church.

The mormon message "Civility Experiment" is really different when you watch it with people here.

Fasting is amazing. It brings so much power to prayer.

The Priesthood is REAL. It works and blesses lives everywhere

Heavenly Father exists! And He loves each and every one of us!

It's weird to think that I only have one more Skype call.

Love you all!
Till next week

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 58 - Mother's Day Skype

12:37 PM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, Skyping was really really nice! I really love getting the chance to talk to home. I love that time of the year!

Also, church on Sunday was amazing! It was really full. We had over 130 people there and it was amazing to see all the people that decided to come for mothers day. Also this week, we had another crazy week and it was busy as could be. I love being a missionary here and getting the chance that I have right now to work with the people that are around us, and also my companions! They are awesome, that is all I have to say.

Switching gears, on Thursday, we had zone conference with all the missionaries in Cape Town, and Elder Evans of the First Quorum of the 70, who is the current Executive Director of the Missionary Department, was the presenter for us. It was really amazing, and I learned a lot about missionary work and some of the finer things that the Missionary Department has to deal with on a global level, as well as ways that we can improve our mission, and ourselves right now. I loved it and it was such a great day! (These are some times that I really love being a missionary! :D)

In other news, MIRACLES HAPPEN, EVERY DAY!!! It was really amazing to see miracles happen in our week, and to see even little things that help not only us, but also investigators and members. It really is amazing to see, and to be a part of some of them. Also, celebrating birthdays is awesome! Especially when the members don't think that you know when their birthday is. Missionary power right there. All we do is ask the ward clerk. It really has been an amazing week, and Skyping home was the cherry on top of it all.

I have to second what Nate said about The Book of Mormon. Read it. It changes lives, and there really is nothing better that seeing somebody light up about what they read, and how they have seen it bless their life. It is such a simple thing, but it has Eternal Consequences. Heavenly Father blesses us not for how much we read, but the simple fact that we did read, and that we made the effort to read. I love it and it is amazing. The Book of Mormon has definitely changed me and my life, and I have seen it change so many other people's lives. So let it change yours!

I love you all,
Till next week

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 57 - Cape Town on Fire

8:09 AM Posted by Janette , No comments
Picture from a news story about the earlier fires in March

Well, this week has been a HUGE transition for me. I'm not used to teaching with three missionaries. I'm only used to having two in a companionship. But it has been good. And the amazing thing is that even though we had to go to Cape Town to pick up Elder Castro, (and that ate a bunch of our Wednesday) we still had a really good week. And the mountain is still on fire, so that is cool, but scary at the same time.

And the weather here is changing... it is starting to be winter (well autumn) and that means that it is flu season here. And guess what. We got it early this year. I guess that's what happens when you have two other missionaries around you all the time. But it has been fun, not being sick, but having two companions. We have gotten a lot of work done, and it was cool to see so many people there at church on Sunday. It is really an amazing thing to see the fruits of your week. I love being here and it has been a really spiritual week. We even had a baptism! Given, it was a child of record, but we had a hand in getting that taken care of. I love being on mission and love having the opportunity or the chance to share the gospel. It really does change lives, including mine. It has been amazing to see how much mission has changed not only those that we teach, but also me.

Love you all!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 56 - Tripanionship!

3:46 PM Posted by Janette , No comments
Well, this week has been a really busy week, and we have been having an insane amount of fun while we have been working hard. This week has been really amazing just to see the amount of work that is being done, especially when I felt like it wasn't that much. The Lord works in wonderful ways and helps us to fulfill all of what He expects of us.

Paarl has been great, and it is only getting better! It has been way fun, and it is going really well here. No, I'm not hinting that I'm going to be moving, in fact, just the opposite is going to be happening. I'm going to be staying with Elder Si'ufanua here in Paarl. And we are getting another to come and join us in the fun that is happening here. Elder Castro will be joining us here. He is from Portugal. So now I have two companions, one from Samoa, and the other from Portugal. So this will mark the next adventure for me. That and it will be interesting to see how the tripanionship works out. Nate just got finished with his, and he sent it my way. Funny how those things work out sometimes.

But this week is going to be great as well. We are already almost fully booked out for the week, plus a trip to Cape Town on Wednesday to go and pick up Elder Castro. Fun things are happening, and if we Pray (like Nate said) and we are OBEDIENT, things work out a lot better for us!

Life is awesome!!
Life is short, so make the best of it!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 55 - The Direction of the Spirit

2:26 PM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, this week has been a whirlwind. I'm going to have to keep this one short, because we are going into Cape Town today. To start off, mother nature decided to do the hot, cold, sunny, cloudy thing, and mess with everybodys head.

So it has been a fun and exciting week. I love being a missionary! There were so many little things that just reaffirmed my testimony this week and added to what I already knew about the Church and My Savior.

I really am grateful for the Spirit and it's direction. That was one of the things that I found out this week, well, not found out, but rather had that knowledge added to. It really is amazing to see just how much the Lord has a hand in everything that we do as missionaries.

I'll let everybody know more about my week next week, but for now, I have to go.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 54 - Zone Training And A Wedding

3:04 PM Posted by Janette No comments
This week is going to be short. Lots of amazing things happened this week. We were way busy and it was a crazy busy week. We met so many people, had a ton of really amazing lessons, found a new way to teach, had zone training, had dropped appointments like nobody's business, and yeah, just the normal life of a missionary!

Zone training was awesome, as usual, and we had some really great discussions about missionary work. I always love trainings/conferences because they pump you up spiritually that you can't get any other way.

Also, one of our investigators got married so that he could continue on the path to baptism! We are so excited for him! It has been fun to get to work with the people here, even though the weather is still hot during the day. It isn't as bad as it has been, but it is still hot.

The weather here is a lot like Utah weather, in fact, as we were driving here for the first time, it really looks like home too. Lots of dust, and a few misquotes, but not to many. It is starting to get colder here, but I love the cold, and can't wait for the snow that should be coming sometime in June, I hope I'm still here for that.

But this week has been really good. I love it here and we are starting to get the hang of working with those that are here (it is a totally different culture here than in Port Alfred).

And yes, I did burn a shirt for my year mark, but I forgot to send that last week. Anyways, I hope you all have a great week!

Love you all!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Week 53 - Easter Monday

8:18 PM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, this week has been awesome! It has been such an amazing time to work with all the members and to get to meet with and teach our investigators.

The reason I'm emailing on Tuesday, and not on Monday is that our entire country was enjoying a Public Holiday yesterday, which means that all the email shops were closed... I don't like that when I don't get to email. So here I am today, writing a quick email before I have to go to an appointment at noon. Yesterday, we went with all the youth and hiked Paarl rock and Gordons rock. Both were awesome, and the youth were so cool. All of them made it to the top and all had a fun time

Also this week, I celebrated by year mark. Wierd is all I have to say. I don't feel like I've been out a year. But this means that there are only a bunch of once more on missions left, e.g., only one more general conference, only one more birthday, only one more mothers day, only one more chirstmas, only one more new years. So Flipping WIERD.... I don't want to end my mission, It is so fun, but at the same time, I can't wait to be home again. I love the chance that I have to serve here and help and teach the people here.

Mom, you asked what we do on P-Day, well, since we are kind of in darkness, not quite outer darkness, we basically do what we can! Mostly it involves hiking or biking or physical activities. We are just over an hours drive away from Cape Town, and are only allowed to go there once a transfer, because the KM's are to far. So I've been spending most of my mission as what we would say here, "in banishment'. :) It has been fun, and I've loved it!

Well, I'm going to keep it nice and short this week, I have to go teaching now! :D

Love you all!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Week 52 - Hump Day!

1:07 PM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, this is it, hump week for the mission. It is so wierd to think that this week marks the one year mark. It has been a good year so far and is looking like it is going to be a good year coming up.

Paarl is nice so far, and it has been quite an adventure. We have been white-washing the area and things are picking up quite nicely now. It is actually getting really exciting. This week was our first week at church, last week we had stake conference, and we got to finally meet all the members. We have had an awesome time so far! It really has been fun to get to work here and really start from ground zero. So far so good. We have a ton of potential work that we can do, and it is really amazing to see that the ward is wanting to jump on to the train with us as well.

Speaking of that, we have a ward! Not a branch, and it was so cool to be in a ward again. I almost forgot what being in a ward was like. It is going to be way different when I get home back to Utah and have like 200-300 people in one ward, so awesome to think about. The work is definantly moving along here and it is just getting started. I love being a missionary! I wouldn't change/trade it for the world.

Till Next Week

Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 51 - Welcome to Paarl

12:29 PM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, this has been an interesting week. That and a crazy one at that too. Transfer week was this week, and I had to move all the way across the mission. It sucked. I don't like moving at all, but that is what we do as missionaries. But, it is all good. I am going to miss Port Alfred, but the next new adventure is about to take place.

So Paarl is awesome! Mom, you were wondering about what it looks like, think Utah! It is awesome! That and grape and olive vineyards everywhere, plus lots of old buildings. So far, so good. It is amazing.

So my companion is from America Samoa. Elder Si'ufanua is awesome and it has been a good time with him so far. But our little companionship started out as a tri-panionship. Elder Trepenier was the other one that was with him, but then we killed him... Missionaries killing other Elders. (If you don't know, killing a missionary means that he is going home, and you were the elders that were with him.) So now there are two in Paarl... But that has been really fun so far.

And then today, we hiked Lions Head here in Cape Town with our whole zone (I'll try to send pics). But it was great and fun!

In other news it turned out that my stay in Paarl is going to be spent whitewashing the area. That is scary to do. (Both elders are new to the area and know nothing about it, starting from square one in almost every aspect) It is kinda nervewracking to think that we are going to do that, but that is what we were sent there to do. Lots of potential in the area, and lots of fun on the way!

I love you all,
Till next week

(We sent him a birthday package with ties and goodies.  It got there in 6 weeks.  He said he loved the ties, but he did request that we "not to send so much chocolate. I would much rather prefer skittles or jelly beans. I think I'm more of a fruit person than a chocolate person."  We've heard this from others who served in South Africa - our American sweets get too sweet.)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Week 50 - Heading to Paarl

1:34 PM Posted by Janette , No comments
Well, this is the day. The last day that I will be sending an email from Port Alfred. I got the news that I am being transferred. But the location is forthcoming.

This week has been awesome! It really has been. We started off with going to Grahmstown to do two baptisimal interviews for them. Then the rest of the week was just absolutely insane with teaching appointments. Then to zone conference where we got to see Meet the Mormons as well. I'm going to have to get that when it comes out. It was awesome!! Lots of things learned at conference and it was really awesome. One of the things was about Joseph Smith and everything there, and I learned a lot of new things. The other was a scriptural thing, "what beholdest thou?" Really awesome, and it changed how I teach. Long story short. It was awesome.

Here is our chapel. It is just a little building. It fits about 50 in the chapel. only has 4 classrooms, and one foyer area that we use as another classroom. Small and compact. It is a converted house that they made into the chapel.

For the other news, I hate transfers. Having to know that you are not going to see people again sucks. I got the news on Saturday that I am being moved to Paarl. It is about 45 min east of Cape Town, so that is where I get to go.

And I have to say thank you for all the birthday wishes. Elder Weber and I had an awesome birthday week. Mine was on Tuesday, his was on Friday. So much fun! I'm going to miss Port Alfred, but a new adventure awaits me.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 49 - Working With the Members

10:49 AM Posted by Janette No comments
This week has been AWESOME!!!! It is truly an amazing experience to be here in Port Alfred right now. I love being a missionary! As I think about what has happened this week, it is amazing to see just how much the members are growing.

It has been interesting as Elder Weber and I have started focusing more on the members that we have in the past, and not just only focus on investigators. Our members have started bonding together in ways that are truly amazing. That and we have had more referrals from the members and less actives because we have been working with them, and let me tell you, they are solid referrals. Wow, is all I have to/can say. It is amazing what working with the members can do.

For example, we have been working with Brother M., he has never been to church since I've been here. He has had several health challenges and has been in and out of the hospital. This week, he was at church!! It was really cool to see him here for the first time in a while. And we also had K. here. He was baptised about two years ago and then went right less active. So this week was the first that he had been back to church in about two years! That and he brought his WHOLE family with him. It is amazing!

So in short, things are going good here. That and speculations are running high about next week. Transfer week. So next Monday I will know where I am going (if I'm moving), but everybody and the rumour mill has started churning.

Last week was really good, and this week is only going to be better!

Love you all!!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 48 - What is a Miracle?

8:26 AM Posted by Janette 2 comments
This week has been good and it has been bad at the same time. Lots of things were learned and I am very grateful for the opportunity that I had to be here. It is always interesting for me to see, especially at the end of what I think is not a very productive week, just how much work we did. This week I was feeling like it just stunk. It seemed that everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Then when we were totalling up the stats for the week, it made me feel a little bit better about the week. I think it is really interesting just how much a little change in attitude can change your entire week. But I'm doing better now, and this week is going to be awesome!

Most of our set appointments dropped and we had to go to backup lessons or we had to go to do finding. It was hard and made me appreciate having good weeks. But I must say, it was really a rewarding week, only now that I look back on it and learn from the experience. But it ended with a huge spiritual Sunday! Fast Sundays are awesome! They are so strong and powerful, especially when we have our recent converts get up and bear testimony like they have been in the church for their whole lives. One of our recent converts said something along these lines in her testimony, "Let's not just plug in (to the gospel and the church), but let's actually turn on the plug as well." Wow, she is amazing! So many little things like that, that make life so amazing. Then to top it off, Sunday school was awesome!

One of the members of the branch presidency was leading the lesson, when he asked the question, "How would you define miracle?" That caught me way off guard. Over the course of the lesson, he showed, because one member asked why miracles had stopped, that miracles still are happening today. So I have been thinking a lot about how I would define what a miracle is and it has been really rewarding to dive into some of the examples of miracles in the scriptures. 

So the question is, Without using a dictionary or looking it up, 'How would you define what a miracle is?'

I would love to hear what everybody thinks and maybe we will have to present it to the Schmuhl uncles for what they think.

Miracles DO happen, ALL the time. All we have to do is look for them. They are all around us and they are amazing! I love being a missionary because I get to see lots of miracles in my day to day life. The Lord really does love us and wants the absolute best for us!

Love you all!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Week 47 - Wishing for More Time

1:16 PM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, this week has been amazing, but long at the same time. The one thing that I don't like about being a missionary is how much there is to do, and how little time that you have to do it in. I wish that I had more time in the day to get stuff done, but I don't. It kinda makes me a little bit cross, but I have to work with what I've got.

This week has been really crazy with all the random weather that we have been having. We will wake up in the morning with almost perfect weather, and then by noon it is absolutely horrible. Then on the other hand, if we wake up and it is cloudy, then by about noon it clears up and it is a hot and humid day for the rest of the day. So the weather has been crazy and makes it crazy right in the middle of the work day. But it has been fun.

In other news, we had the zone leaders with us so that was fun to have them here. When they normally come, since we are an isolated area, we have to double book the day, and that normally kills us for Thursday or Saturday. But this time, we had them here and we didn't even skip a beat with the rest of our week. That was really fun and interesting to see that happen. So that means that we are crazy busy with everything. The work is doing good and it is fun to be here.

Also, we had a priesthood session on Saturday, and it was awesome!!! We had EVERYBODY there. ALL of the priesthood holders, except for the one inactive that we are currently working with. That was fun to see them all there. It was also really rewarding to see them all there.

Then on Sunday, we had a third hour combined and we went in with the youth, and they were talking about seminary and how important it is. People here don't realize just how important it is for the kids to be going. So it was cool to see the parents realize it and to have them fired up about seminary as well. This week has been awesome! I can't wait to see what happens this week!

Love you all

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week 46 - Sugar Rush

10:16 AM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, this week has been crazy! But it has been crazy good. I love being a missionary, and I love getting the chance to interact with the people here. I love getting the opportunity to work with them and to interact with them! I love it. Nuff said.

But this week has been really busy, we have visited so many people and gotten so many lessons taught. On top of that, we had the traveling assistants here with us for a day. That was really interesting. All they do is exchanges with everybody in the mission. That would be fun, but it would stink. No area, no boarding. Just exchanges all day for the whole transfer. It was fun to have them here.

And later in the week, we did a whole bunch of tracting. I must say, I don't like tracting that much, but we did get a whole bunch of new investigators, so that was good. We will have to see where that takes us.

In other news, we made a whole bunch of stuff this week, apple pies, wasil (which I must say is really good when you make it with mango juice), and a whole bunch of other yummy stuff. On Sunday, the Wheelers gave us a cake and I could feel the sugar hit my system, and it didn't feel that good. Sugar kills me now, especially since I don't have my bike to burn it all off. I'm still working on getting back to the point where I can have a super fast metabolism, but that will have to wait till I get off mission.

I love being here! I can't wait to see what happens and where I go. I wouldn't change my experiences for the world.

Love you all, and I'll talk to you next week

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 45 - Come Back, We Miss You

2:51 PM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, as promised, this is going to be a little bit longer, just because I have a little bit more time to write, plus I prepared a little bit.

This has been another hectic week here in Port Alfred! It has been awesome, and I can't think of any better way to spend my time then with those that are really seeking after the gospel or those that have strayed a little bit. Our major focus for the past transfer was working with the less actives in the branch and helping them find their way back to the fold, and it has been really rewarding to see people make the transition from not having the gospel in their lives, to having the gospel be a daily part of their lives, and then they love it! It is so amazing to see the change, and it is humbling for me to know that I went through something like that as well. But how grateful I am to have friends that reached out to me and said, "We miss you". And it is humbling to be on the other side of the spectrum now to be the one saying, "We miss you". And the great thing is that we are having a ton of success with that. We have so many more investigators because and only because we have worked with the less actives. They are truly amazing and it has been great to see them be awesome!

In other news, here is a story that happened yesterday. We got a dvd referral for a guy named Mxabisi (yes it has clicks), but his short name is Bobby. So we went over to his house and found out that we had seen the guy before. He is a car guard (somebody that watches the cars while you go shopping) at Buco (kinda like Home Depot, African Style). Oh, and he only has one leg, and he stands and watches cars all day long, making only cents every once in a while. But anyway, we go over and give him the dvd, and then he starts going off about something in Xhosa, and then talks a little, then rambles, and then all of the sudden, he is just like, "Thanks for coming, I'm busy right now, I'll see you later". And the weird thing is that it was so abrupt. So it caught Elder Weber and I off guard and we just had to leave and hope for the best. We will see him later this week and talk to him and see how he is doing. Yup, missionaries in SA get shot down at the most random times too :).

These are some cool things that the Wheelers showed us that really made me think about some things. I would really recommend watching them.

"New Day for the Book of Mormon" - Featuring interviews with scholars and historians, this documentary tells the story of the coming forth of this unusual book of scripture and how it is affecting people today—even some people you might not expect.

"Living With Purpose: The Importance of Real Intent" - worldwide devotional for young adults with Randall L. Ridd, Second Counselor in the Young Men General Presidency on January 11, 2015 at Brigham Young University–Idaho.

Both are awesome, and I would like to hear what everybody has to think/say.

I love you all!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week 44 - Still in Port Alfred

1:40 PM Posted by Janette No comments
I'm going to keep it short and sweet this week because I have so much to do, and so little time to do it in.

Well, this is the end of the crazy eight week transfer! And... I'm staying in Port Alfred with Elder Weber! It is awesome!!! I love serving with him. In other news, all of our lessons have been in the double digits again!! 53 lessons this week, which left us very busy and crazy insane running around like chickens with our heads chopped off. But it has been very great to see the progress of the branch. Sunday was a bummer though, because it was raining, and not many people showed up for church, but it was still a good Sunday nonetheless. I Love getting to know people and serving them.
Other than that, our week has been good, and I love serving!! But I'll have more for next week when I actually get the time to sit down and write out more about my week.

Love you all!!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 43 - Helping Some Come Back to Church

10:40 AM Posted by Janette No comments

Well, this week has been awesome! And it has been a really busy week! I love being busy. Having nothing to do stinks... I'm glad that it was a productive week. I love being a missionary. It was really amazing to see the branch function without President and Sister Wheeler. The members are capable, and when we trust them, they rise up to the bar and perform like it was second nature to them. It was also amazing to see close to the same attendance at church, but even better, our Less Active numbers are going down! It really works! People do love the gospel and they just need somebody there to tell them that they are missed, and then all the sudden, they start coming back to church and everybody is like 'We missed you. Where have you been? What can we do for you?' It is truly humbling to see the members rally around the less active and invite them back to church.

One of my Spiritual Highlights for week comes from when we were meeting with a new investigator that Brother N., the first counselor in our branch presidency, referred us to. The lesson that we had with him about the restoration and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God was really amazing. He is one of those that has definantly been prepared to hear the message of the Gospel and it is amazing to work with him!

I love the Gospel. I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Xhosa for this week is "landuka". It literally means... well nothing, signal processing, I'm thinking. It is a space filler. Closest translation to English would be "um". It's a great word to say the least.

And Nate, pineapples for a dollar? That's nice, how bout the picture for nothing (courtesy of the pineapple farm).

Other news, Game parks are awesome!!! Petting Giraffes is way cool. Zebras are funny, especially the ones that think that they are photogenic.

Anyways, Till Next Week
Love You All

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 42 - Weekend in East London

5:50 PM Posted by Janette , No comments
I'm still not used to this whole 2015 thing... It is a burden sometimes...

This week was just another witness that the Lord really loves his children and that He leads and guides the church! The attendance at church this week was again almost double of what it has been. It was only five less than what we had last week! We are still working hard, and hopefully we will see the number of our less actives dwindle down and die. But that just means that they are going to be active members once again! It really is amazing to see how the members rally around others and how we can really use the church as a strong point.

So other than our week being basically insane, it was really good. And throw into the mix, we had zone training and interviews on Saturday in East London. So that means that we had to leave here on Friday evening, drive two hours, then sleep over, have training, then drive back, and then right back to appointments! Crazy week, but it has been really rewarding!

Thank you everybody for keeping me in touch with what is going on back at home.

I love you all!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 41 - Great Attendance at Church

3:43 PM Posted by Janette No comments
This is weird, I still don't feel like it should be 2015.

Mom, before I forget, I got both packages that you sent on Jan 7, so this past week, and both of them were really well received! They were awesome! So it takes about a while to get mail here, but I do love receiving it none the less!

In other news, this week was absolutely crazy! We were so busy and it felt really good to be that busy. It was just pushing the line of being almost too unbearable, but it was just this side of it. We were in double digits for member present lessons again, (that always feels good to be that high), and we had 12 Recent Convert lessons, and 20 Less Active lessons! Elder Weber and I didn't think that is what really happened this week, and we had to add up the stats twice a piece, and the answer came out the same all four times that it was added up. We also on Friday had exchanges with our Zone Leaders. They were so fun to be with and we did a ton of work with them, so it was really nice to have them here. I think that might be partially the answer for why our week was so busy! We had so many lessons and it was rewarding to see the payoff on Sunday. Normally we have about 45-50 people at Sacrament Meeting, and on Sunday, we had 75! Of those 22 were Less Active and it was really awesome to see them come to church! Oh, and in addition to that, (a background story first) time to people here in South Africa is really an elastic kind of thing. You say 10:30 and it can mean anything from 10:30 to Noon, so we struggle to get people there to church on time. That being said, on Sunday, we had all of our young men there before Church started, and three of them were there 30 min before so that they could prepare the sacrament! So amazing and powerful!

And this week, on Sunday, at the Wheeler's for our Sunday Dinner, we got to see the Silcox. They were one of the senior couples that was in PE while I was there, so it was fun to see them again.
This transfer has been way fun and exciting, and I'm excited for the rest of the three weeks to see where that takes us!

Love you all!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 40 - Happy New Year!

3:17 PM Posted by Janette No comments
Well, Happy New Year!!

This is going to be an interesting year full of awesome stuff that is going to happen. This new year is full of lots of exciting potential. I'm happy because we have done a ton of finding since the new year started, and we had a bunch of new investigators at church after only one lesson during this past week. I love working with them and seeing the light in their eyes as they learn! And we also had a ton of recent convert and less active lessons this week, even with the holiday. (We weren't supposed to proselyte except for fixed appointments, but the truth is, there was nobody here, and those that were here were all drunk beyond imagination.) It was boring to say the least. It is nice now that holidays are over, because people are coming back, and that means that we are doing a whole lot more teaching. No Teaching, No Fun. Lots of Teaching, Lots of Fun.

And in other news, Sister B., the person that was baptized in December finally got confirmed on Sunday! It was so awesome and fun to see her receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and to see her light up!

This week has really been awesome and inspiring to see just how much the gospel means to me and how it has changed my life! I wouldn't trade it for anything!!!

Love you all!!!