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!