Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Zone Conference in Durban

Dear Friends, Family, Best Friends, and Acquaintances,

Yesterday we had something called Zone Conference, and Zone Conference is basically when LOTS of missionaries get together and receive instruction and guidance from the mission president, assistants and whoever he asks to teach. He talked for a lot of it about obedience. I loved it because he didnt just chastise us, or even tell us where the line of the rule is. He gave us this talk on how we can receive blessings as we become more obedient. Super powerful and my companion and I made some goals to become more obedient.

The branch asked me to give a talk on the 21st and I think I did pretty well. Ok I did fantastic (remember humility is my best trait). But I learned so much in preparing for that talk. I studied from Jesus the Christ. Fantastic book. READ it. And Some Liahonas and the scriptures. It's a little different preparing a talk without just searching on google for good Christmas talks. I talked about what all the names for Jesus meant and my favorite was just the name Jesus.
Joseph was visited by and angel in a dream and was told mary would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit (Mathew 1), and was told to take Mary to wife and name the child Jesus. According to Russel M. Nelson, the couple would have already known the significance of the name Jesus because in the Hebrew roots, Jesus comes from the word Jehosua, which literally means Jehovah is salvation. So the name Jesus quite literally refers to him becoming the savior of the world. Jesus=Savior.

As far as our work goes, we now have a progressing investigator. Yayy.
Her name is Geli and she started out as a reject. We went up to her door and she began by telling us what every other person tells us, "Im already a believer," even though we mentioned Joseph Smith whom they know nothing about. So she said that but then invited us in for cold drink. We debating not going in because it could be a waste of time, but we ended up talking with her, and everything was casual, and then BOOM restoration. After that we left her with a pamphlet and invited her to church. She didn't come because of her church but we returned and introduced the Book of Mormon and left her with a copy. Never have I seen anyone accept the Book of Mormon like she did. We left her with 2 Nephi 31 to read and I'm confident she will read and pray about it like we invited her to do. It's amazing how us not giving up, and opening our mouths instead of just leaving after getting soda turned a reject upside down.

Loving the work, Loving South Africa.
Sala Kahle
Elder Preator

Sunset in Ballito

Monday, December 15, 2014

This week we had our christmas party!

We had more people show up to this than we have in church, but we had 3 less active families, and some investigators. One of the members cooked a giant pot of Briani which is a mixture of rice and meat and tons of other spices, and when Indians make it they make it spicy. We were able to hear our mission president and his wife speak in our little branch in Stanger. They drove all the way out here for us. He talked about Discovering the gospel, Embracing the gospel, and then Sharing the gospel. He talked about all the things we can do to share the Gift of Christ with everyone, and it was great because member missionary work in Stanger is dismal. Slim to none. Nonexistent! But I believe he encouraged many of our member to do their best in sharing the gospel. He also showed some sweet youtube videos by the church about Christmas. One of them being the Piano Guys playing Oh Emmanuel which I think is now my favorite Christmas song.

I've attached some pictures of my comp and I and also us with the Mission President and his wife.  The first picture was of the district before transfers.  My companion is now the District Leader, and elder Mackie has been transferred.  Elder Mubumha (or something) from Zimbabwe is the newest District member.

Yesterday we were "teaching" this old indian man who when we contacted him was very drunk and sat us down and told us his whole life story. Dont worry the significance of my mentioning him isn't about him it's about what I felt. He was probably the worst "investigator" we have ever had, but my companion and I wanted to have him at least hear our message. He was so bad, he wouldnt stop talking, and if we tried to talk to him about anything he would shut us down. He said at one point "I dont believe Jesus died for our sins" and when we would turn to John 3:16 he would start saying, close the book close the book, I already know it! To be honest It was very funny and I'm sure most missionaries have encountered someone like this before. The significance in this visit, was that after we had given up trying to share the restoration with him, we bore our testimonies. It was at that point when I was telling that drunk man that I knew the things in those pamphlets, in the Book of Mormon, In the family, and all other missionary literature, is true. Every time I bear my testimony it grows. I didn't realize how small it was, until I found out how much it can grow, and how much it is growing. I encourage anyone reading this, to share the Gospel no matter how you feel. Bearing your testimony in love will never offend anyone, and any friend offended by this offer to share the most magnificent gift of Jesus Christ, shouldn't be your friend. Open your mouths! 

After transfers, I am still in Stanger.  I'm still being trained so my comp and I are still together until Jan 18.  That's when he will probably leave and I'll get someone else.  The mission president told me I would probably start out serving here in Stanger for 6 months.  I love the people though and it already feels like home.

Driving in Downtown Durban is ridiculous.  Today I ran a red light because if I hadn't, I would have gotten hit because EVERYONE surrounding me kept going!  There were horns going off and people everywhere.  The cars crossing that had a green light were pissed.

Oh, so I bought a Guitar also and I played it and sang at the Christmas Party!  I also got my first mission haircut today.

South Africa is wonderful. It already feels like home, and I drink so much guava juice its fantastic. Cheers!!

Sala Kahle (stay well)
Love Elder Preator

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hello from the greatest place on earth!!

Hello from the greatest place on earth!!
This last week was pretty sweet, lots of things happening. Tomorrow is transfers and our small district is losing Elder Mackie who served in Pheonix. I'll miss him because him and I could quote Zoolander very well. Other than that, my comp is now district leader, and I am 1 transfer down!!! So great. The time really does fly out here. I cant believe its already December, and Christmas is right upon us!!! 

Anyway, the mission is pushing the work during Christmas time because everyone wants to talk about Christ (maybe not Joseph Smith) but Christ nonetheless. 

So, Summer. Its weird that there isnt snow falling. The winds here are really bad so I guess we might be having Christmas during the WINDter. Nah but its sweet, sipping ice cold drinks and tracting in the sun. Have fun in the states.

Anyway, dont have much time, but I know the Lord loves each and everyone of his children, and I'm having the greatest time of my life recognizing his hand in all things. Pray to Him every day and talk to everyone about the Gospel!! Sorry I have no time! 

Love Elder Preator
Sala Khale

Monday, December 1, 2014

Staple Foods in Africa - Sala Kahle

Dear Friends and Family, 

A staple of food in Africa is pap. It looks the same as mashed potatoes, but is kind of flavorless and comparable to rice. It is meant to be handled with hands and many Zulu cultures eat with their hands. I did this at some investigators' home and burnt my fingers. That was fun. Anyway the food here is really good, and most often involves curry, and chicken. Chicken meaning that they throw in a whole chicken, bones and all into the pot and they put out plates to put the bones on while eating. Indians always serve curry and its always spicy and I love it. So far I havent come across anything ridiculously weird that I am reluctant to try. My comp was talking about the whole goat head thing and that scares me but its been good so far. 

I'm learning Zulu! Slowly and steadily I'm learning the basics like hello, goodbye, how are you, etc. Now basically 90% of the time we greet Zulu people in Zulu, and some are surprised when they hear the "white man" saying it. I would recommend that anyone who wants to hear what Zulu sounds like should look it up on youtube or something. They click and make some sweet sounds with their tongues and I'm falling in love with it.  If the person is Indian I say "hows it". So yeah and I've learned a couple phrases and a sentence that specifically is built to sound cool. It's the frog jumped over the fence. And it's spelled "Ixoxo ligxuma ucingo". X's are clicks from the back of the tongue and C's are that tsk sound I think. With the very front of the tongue. Also H's make a weird SH sound but it sounds like you're getting phlegm from out of your throat. Sala kahle means stay well, and I love saying it. 

As far as people we are teaching, we havent really added to our teaching pool much and our progressing investigators are still the Tembos, and the Mtiyanis. The Tembos' situation is still pretty complicated, but hopefully the mission president who is getting involved will be able to solve them. Anyway, the Mtiyanis ask more questions than we do and our lessons become interactive conversations so that is a very fun experience. And I often see how little I know concerning the Bible. I know what I'm studying now.

So the other day was the end of the semester, and kids in school had their prom. Here it's called the Metric Dance, but its crazy like prom nonetheless. We were driving that night and traffic got so backed up we would have sat there for hours if we hadn't just said forget it and loop back around to where we came from. We saw Ferraris and Aston Martins and all kinds of sports cars taking kids to prom. I also got stopped in a roadblock and breathalized which was sweet. 

As far as service goes, we don't. We do service at the hospital and Clinic, but we sit there and label the whole time. I've put on my tennis shoes twice. Twice. I wore shorts in public once and my jeans once. By the way, my slim jeans fit in here. Everybody wears skinny jeans and button ups and fancy shoes. Even most of the poor people. 

The Lords work is hastening and I'm so glad to be on a mission, and thank you to all who are supporting me back home! I hope your Christmas is a great one, and ill try and enjoy it as we attend our back to back dinner appointments on Christmas, sipping our cold soda in the hot sun. ;)

Much Love from Africa!
Elder Preator
Sala Kahle (stay well)