Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Almost Done in South Africa!

Hello everyone!

The pictures of the temple looks sweet. I'm really excited to go and get married in it *cough cough* I mean see it. That was a premature marriage joke. What?  #thatsnotfunny!

Things on this side of the pond are great. Still teaching and preaching and stuff. We may have a baptism on my last day, but other than that, I don't think anything else will happen that soon. We have had a lot of great investigators recently, but the problem is that none of them come to church. So, maybe there will be a lot after I leave. At least I hope so. #prayforthem

On Saturday we were cleaning the chapel, and one of the members brought us crocodile meat. Oh. My. Goodness. It was so flipping good. Maybe it was spiced nicely, but it was delicious. Like a mix between chicken and hake (fish). I would definitely switch all of my meat to it if it was cheaper. He said it was quite expensive. #southafricanredneck

My mission is almost over and I'm getting really tired. Motivation is running a little low, but surprisingly its still there. #enduretotheend

Love you guys!!!!

Elder Preator

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

July/August Compendium

July 11th

Here’s a pict of a dang quesadilla I went and made myself. (from scratch) With cheese, pork mince, and hot sauce. Another picture takes you closer to the action, but more specifically the melted cheese. If you notice the attempt at a tortilla turned to pita bread on the outside, you’ll notice that I made that myself. I kind of liked it better than the traditional thin tortillas. Just saying. 

The other picture was our commute today to get our car serviced. If the picture doesn’t do it justice, I’m sorry. Its supposed to show the taxis (before I pulled out my camera [while driving] I could see like 30 of them) in the shoulder lane. This is what happens in South Africa because no-one cares. If there is traffic, its every car for itself.  we were completely stopped, and then emergency cars couldn’t get through because there was an added lane that wasn’t supposed to be there. And of course after they parted the waters cars followed after them just to get ahead.

Anyway, aside from my rantings and culinary masterpieces, we did actually do missionary work this week. We taught some very wonderful people. We met a man waaaaaaay in Inanda, the more shacky part of Durban north, who is a supervisor in a construction business, so he has a car. Teaching somebody without a car is like the hunger games, where the odds are NOT in our favour. Maybe thats inaccurate, but people are lazy. His name is Thembinkosi, and we should be following up on him this week. Pretty cool guy. Loved the idea of the Book of Mormon. Its nice at this point in Kwamashu because we actually have people to teach. Theres a few families we are working with, and on sunday some of the young adults took us to a family they found. They found them because, when they were walking by the house, the family was playing Motab stuff super loud. So the Lord works in mysterious ways. But seriously, the Lord has blessed us with like 1000 referrals, and a lot of work to do. Its fantastic, and I’m prepared to give it my all for the next 3 months. 

Tarzan from Chatsworth (that really old and deaf guy) died this week. Elder Halford told me. We were the ones that brought him back to church, and he was faithful until the end. He was pretty sick most of the time, so in a way, I feel some joy that he’s in a better place. The Lord really is in this work, and he really does care about his children. 

Love you guys!!
Elder Preator

July 18th

So, we had a great week. My companion Elder Hamilton and I went all in. We got up every morning (including this morning) to run. Its freaking cold in the mornings so I normally run in my sweatshirt and a hat. Later in the day it does normally heat back up though, so yeah, I’m still in Africa. 

We visited like ALL the less actives this week, and through that we got a few investigators. It was pretty rewarding. Overall a great week. 

We also had whats called Brunday which is Braai sunday. So we all got together and braaied at our place. We cleaned everything up, and found a wire rack and now we have a braai stand. 

August 1st

It is super cold here. 

Our boarding flooded last week... Its great to hear how things are going for you guys!! Sorry about last week. Mondays are always nice for a break from the spiritual. So, when people tell me to focus on Mondays it isn’t nice for me. My companion and I put in 44 hours this week, excluding all of our meetings, which means we went out at 10 and got back at 9:30 with no lunch breaks a few days this week. We have lots of potential investigators, plus a few that came to church. So the work is really progressing. Apparently, the word around the mission is that we are on fire, and Hamilton and Preator are the hardest workers. I don’t know how that rumour got started. Kind of makes me angry because I have a reputation to keep. Just kidding. 

I also made a big plate of Jello with orange slices in it.

Love you guys!! 
Elder Preator

August 8th
The work is going well. We had a TON of investigators at church and less actives. It was awesome. When I walked into the investigators class, my comp was like, your teaching, so then I taught, and not to toot my own horn, it was great. But, yeah. Running out of time. 

Its getting way too close to the end. I don’t want to leave, but I do. I’m conflicted. 

Love you all!!!!!!
Elder Preator

August 22nd
This transfer, things got all flipped, and it turns out that I will be with Elder Hicks for the rest of my mission. He was serving in Phoenix, but we went on emergency exchanges for a week, and president said that he feels I can continue to help him soooo. Yeah. He’s a great guy though. We ran a 10 k the other morning on a whim. Seemed really easy, so we upped the pace this morning for a 5 k, and I was super tired. I’ll keep going though. I’m going to beat the slump. 

We had a baptism this sunday. Elder Hamilton took the pictures so he is going to get them to me next week. We baptized nomfundo, an 8 year old, however, we were in charge because the family was pretty less active, so yeah. We reactivated them, and taught her, and got her baptized. Working with others as well. Going to do a lot of finding this week. Looking forward to the last transfer!!!

Love you guys!!
Elder Preator

August 29th
My companion is awesome. He likes to run. I like to run. So, we have been running and working hard. That basically sums up my lifestyle. I have reading D&C from start to finish, one section a day, and I planned it as a countdown, so I’m on section 101. I’m reading it with the institute manual so I am getting a lot out of it. Also, our mission president has been pushing for Book of Mormon reading, so I’ve been cramming that as well, I’m about to finish that though and start going through it backwards. But yeah, Reading, Running, and Hard work. 

We have had investigators show up to church every week. Different ones, everytime, but investigators none the less. One of them was a referral that we got from the other missionaries, and we are going to start teaching her this week. She seems super interested and loved church. 

I am with elder Hicks officially. In Kwamashu still. Emergency exchanges (not my fault) put us together, and now its permanent and Elder Hamilton has been sent to Newcastle to be with my trainee!! At least he still gets a part of me:)

Love you guys! Can’t wait for snow!!

Elder Hicks says hello back to you in response to your initial greeting.

Bye!! Love you.

Elder Preator

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Out with the Old, In with the New (Mission President)

I'm emailing on a Tuesday this week because yesterday, we had a zone meeting with president, and goodbye interviews. The Zackrison's are leaving! It came so quick, I remember thinking that when they leave, it will only be a short season before I joined them. I am excited, however, that the Thompson's are coming. It will be quite wonderful to see a new perspective on missionary work, and to get to know someone the way I knew President Zackrison.  #changeistheonlyconstant

One thing President told me in our interview was that I shouldn't get my masters from BYU but that I should go to a big technical school. So, yeah. It doesn't change my immediate plan of BYUI and maybe transferring into Provo, but after that, I'll head off hopefully to one of those big schools! I'll try and pay for it too don't worry.

Also this week, a missionary came back to marry a girl...we went to the wedding. #interesting

Anyway, the work is going, love you all!!
Elder Preator

Monday, June 13, 2016

Last Few Weeks in Kwamashu

May 23rd

My new area is fantastic! Although the most interesting thing we did this week took us out of the area. I finally had the opportunity to go to a rugby game!!! It was awesome. The KZD sharks up against the Kings from Idon’t know where. We won 58 to 0. Kind of difficult, they had the upper hand for most of the game, as you can tell from the score. I did manage to bring my cord with me:) 

Also, at the Sharks game, we went and parked and because we were late, we parked a bit out of the way. When we got back, the GPS was stolen (in the other kwamashu’s car) and Elder Agabu’s camera was stolen. #Don'tLeaveValuablesInTheCar-DUH!

Ok, love you all! I hope you haven’t changed too much. Everyone looks way bigger. Katherine looks like mom. See you in a few months!

Elder Preator

May 30th

This week has been eventful. It's the week of transfers, and it turns out, that I will be staying with Tan another transfer!! We did take sweet pictures because we thought for sure we were separating. Anyway, we received a lot of referrals, either from the church, or from members, or missionaries. We have a lot of work to do! Its amazing that the church has all these “traps” set up that if someone presses this button on the internet, it takes them to a page, where if they want to learn more, they put down their address and stuff, and then they send us there. We visited one, but theres a lot more to go!

We also got tons of McDonalds. #It'sGoodForYou-Really

We saw some missionaries off, (the picture of me with the guy at the beach) Elder Jacobsen and some others. That was sad. They were going home, and it makes it seem so much further for us. Oh well.  #CanWeSayTrunky?

Love you guys. 
Elder Preator

June 6

Hey guys!! So, this week was interesting, on the spiritual and not so spiritual side. We’ll start with spiritual. :)

One of our investigators, Ma Cleopatra (sweet name right?) well, we have been struggling to see her, because she works a lot, but she has been coming to church, and on Saturday when we went, she told us all about how at church she received her witness that these things are true, and that this is the truth that she has been looking for all of her life. So obviously we committed her to baptism. Hopefully she will progress, and we will be able to teach everything to her! :)  #CleopatraMovedToDurban?

So, this week was very hectic as well, because: RIOTS. On wednesday last week and thursday, and a lot this morning, people have been violently protesting against...Umm. I’m not sure, but ya know, neither are they. Most people, come up with this idea that they don’t want this or that, (normally trivial things) and they protest, and then tons of people see it, and go protest for the fun of it. Because, who doesn’t want to burn tires and get shot right? Well, anyway, we drive up to Kwamashu on wednesday, only to see people parked on the side of the road, and police everywhere, and people turning back saying theres no way through. When we get closer we see burnt tires in the road and the police are trying to keep people back, so they can shovel off the refuse. They also knocked down all the barriers and put rocks and bricks in the streets, sooooooo. Yeah. Pretty difficult to get through, but it wasn’t so bad. Later that day, on our way OUT of Kwamashu, we find that after the police left, they set ablaze more tires, and this time, they were still burning, and it was so cool looking. After that we found another route home, and the next day it was cleared up, but then this morning, the other missionaries told us their landlord told them that it was happening again today, but worse. Apparently police were shooting, and there were burning tires again, and this time it was talked about on the radio. Today they were protesting someone in government. But they said there was like 500 people involved making a human barricade so no one could get in.

Yeah, other than that, our week has been pretty good. Getting some investigators going. We also found out that we are now responsible for Pheonix, the neighbouring indian area, because the missionaries got taken out. We are going to attend there once a month.

But anyway, love you all! Thanks for your support:)

Elder Preator

June 13th

Well, this week, there weren’t any more riots other than Monday, which I told you about last time. Apparently some terrorists threatened any Americans living in SA though. Thats fun!

In an alert issued on Saturday, the US government said it had “received information that terrorist groups are planning to carry out near-term attacks against places where US citizens congregate in South Africa, such as upscale shopping areas and malls in Johannesburg and Cape Town”. 

so yeah. Other than that, we went to all the big malls this week, and contacted some terrorists. And it got cold this week. Like, really cold. Everybody started cancelling on us this week because its cold. It even rained a bit on Sunday, so not many people came to church. Its kind of a weather dependent thing here. Too Hot=sleep all day Too cold=sleep all day Rain=don’t risk it, sleep all day. But, we did have some good appointments. Cleopatra, sick, but she insisted we teach her anyway, and then she proceeded to go to work the next day. Still sick. #IWantThatLifestyle

Love you all, tell Shad I say hello

Elder Preator

Monday, May 16, 2016

Great Week in Kwamashu

Today was eventful. We went to this place to go paint balling. Super intense, and great at the same time. We lost. Both rounds. But hey, technically we aren’t supposed to keep score. ;) 

I forgot my camera cord again. I will send photos next week. :) This week, I had to do  four baptismal interviews. The other missionaries in Kwamashu had four baptisms yesterday, so that was great to witness. Literally. I always witness. But, baptismal interviews are some of the nice perks that come with being a district leader. It’s so cool to see and talk to all these people that have determined to change their life. And they are people that normally I meet just before their baptism, so I get to see the product of months of teaching and praying. The work is wonderful. I even had to do an interview for this other missionary a couple areas away because our zone leaders were busy. Great week though. Tan is cool. Work is great. Their are about 1000 less actives here, so we are looking for them everywhere, and teaching them, and teaching their friends. Its getting cold too. 

In case you were wondering, I do have a testimony. I haven’t borne it through email in a long time, but yeah. This gospel is true. And the book is blue.

Love you all!

Elder Preator

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Birthday in Kwamashu

We didn’t do much actually for my birthday. The other branch happened to have a branch activity where we watched a movie and braaied so that was fun. They also bought me cake! :) We were able to watch tommorowland. I do feel older. One more year and I can drink! :) #onlykiddingwehope

Things are going well here in Kwamashu. My companion and district are awesome. We had poker night last night with some members in their branch. #pokerwithnametags?

We also got fed twice yesterday, and this is a selfie of the first one. The second was the poker night. So there you can see my companion Elder Tan (the asian one), Elder Agabu from Zimbabwe and Elder Christensen from Washington state. The other area in my district is Stanger, so I might be able to see some familiar faces!! 

Love Elder Preator

Friday, April 22, 2016

Moving to Durban with Elder Tan

Great. So. This week. Ready?

We went to Dominoes on Wednesday, and after we came back to the car and drove home, we discovered that my companion's and Elder Shraedel's bags were gone. Someone had remote jammed our car, so when I locked it, the lights showed it was locked, but it actually wasn't. So, yeah, my companion lost his camera and his scriptures, and Elder Shraedel had their car keys, which means, that they don't have a car now. So, we have been taking them around.. That was the highlight of the week:)  #IDon'tNeedThatKindOfExcitement

The real highlight of the week was the baptism. Sister Happy. She was very happy needless to say. Her family wrote some very touching things in my journal because..........

I'm leaving tomorrow to serve in Durban with Elder Tan from Malaysia. So, yeah. Thats the news. #GettingATanInDurban

 Elder Martin, Sister Happy & Elder Preator

Cows in the Street (really, are you sure?)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Composite Emails from Richards Bay

March 7, 2016

This is Mdu. We baptized him yesterday! Things are going well. Theres a family we are preparing for baptism, the Baxters. And now I’m staying for another transfer, so hopefully I will be able to see them through.

This week went well. Bit on the lazier side, probably because its the last week of the transfer, but thats just excuses. We did teach lots of people. Obviously the highlight was seeing Mdu get baptized. Super cool.:) Well, hope all is well. Love you all!

Elder Preator

March 28, 2016

Well, first off, I haven’t been transferred. I’m still here in Richards Bay with Elder Martin and things are going very well. I apologize for my lackadaisical self last week. You didn't receive an email because the internet wasn’t working or at least thats the excuse I’m going with! :) #lazymissionary

Things are going well. Teaching the people repentance and what not. Fun fact though: this Sunday all the senior couples from the Johannesburg mission were on “vacation” in Richards Bay so our attendance was substantially greater. One of them updated me on the snow storm, and the closure of DIA as one of their children’s flight paths was frustrated and rerouted elsewhere. I wish It was cold here. Its way too hot. I sleep on my back with my thin sheet and a fan on, and I wake up sweating. Miserable, but there are early signs of winter coming on, like my skin not burning off after a few hours in the sun. #lovinsummer

So we were in our area, the township part of it, and as we had been tracting for a long time, we decided to “explore” and we found this trail and took us to some scenic spots. 

 Here's me swinging on a vine!

In front of the beach. It was cold that day....

Trail of Exploration.

April 4, 2016

As for Conference, we actually watched it live. Well we watched Saturday morning at 6 pm on Saturday, and then Priesthood, and Saturday afternoon on Sunday, and then we watched part of the Sunday morning one live at 6 pm as well. Very great conference. They talked a lot about eternal marriage and families...at least that’s all I heard. haha. But really, its amazing how much more I get out of conference on mission than before. #learningfromconference

This week was good though. We keep getting stood up for our 5 and 6 o'clock appointments, which just happens to be the time of the sunset. So we’ve been taking some sweet pictures.

Love you all!
Elder Preator

April 11, 2016

Well, I guess I can tell you my release date. I was hoping to make you wait a bit longer, but I think its time now. My exit date is October 3rd. 13 days before my entrance date. There is a group that is going home a month early so the new mission president won’t have to deal with their going home. #lightatendoftunnel

Things this week were pretty hectic, and it went fairly quickly. We had exchanges with the AP’s so they took us into their area for a change, so we went to Durban. That was the craziest exchange ever. We went to their ZTM and then we all went to McDonalds, and needless to say, 18 missionaries on the roads of durban. Scary. Chapman was pretending to be a taxi driver. Elder Mvinqi would like slide the door open at red lights, and step out and yell “Durban, Durban, Anyone for Durban?” And then he would quickly get back in and we would drive off. Chapman also wore a bucket hat like most taxi drivers and was hooting everywhere haha. It was great! #fakeuperinafrica

Love Elder Preator

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Baptisms and Weights, Oh My!

Yeah, this week was pretty great. We planned on the roof, and found a sweet dam, taught lots of lessons, baptized some people and bought weights. We are working out like day and night. With the weights, the better I feel the better I work so its definitely worth it. And theres this mission culture where everyone works out a ton 6 months before they go home so they can go home looking good. I’m just getting a head start on it. #feelinggoodandvain

We listened to Charles Dickens a Christmas Carol on audio. That was sweet. They acted out all the voices, so for like scrooge it was some old man who emphatically reads his prescribed lines. It was really sweet. #sweetistheword

Our baptism went well. I might have mentioned it last week, but I forgot to fill the font (basically my first baptism as a senior companion) so we ended up snaking the fire hose into the font and double timing it. Super great:) So their names are Gugu (the Mom) and the Owami (the Daughter) They’re doing great and they just got confirmed yesterday. We have a baptism this coming week as well. His name is Mdu, and he’s super cool. I think he’s already planning on going on a mission  We had our gospel principles class yesterday, and when he stood up to introduce himself, he said, “My names Mdu, soon to be a member of the church.”

In regards to the talent show pictures you sent me.  I was wondering which one of the young men was in the front looking super old. Haha. #gottalovethebishop

Love you guys! Hope all of you are having a great week!
Elder Preator

Planning on the roof

Baptism in Richards Bay

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Super Teach Week!

We are pretty sure it was a tic bite that made us sick last week. Super minor case, so we didn't need to do anything. By the time it was self diagnosed I was back on top again. 

Its great to hear that Rachel is suffering from her wisdom tooth extraction as I did. #JustKiddingSorta 

Hey is Rachel going to be a senior when I get home? I keep doing the math but it blows my mind every time.

My companion and I had a super great week. We taught more this week than I think I have in any other week on mission. Every day we came home and flopped on the beds. Work is going well. We should have 2 baptisms next week and several the beginning of March. So those pictures are to come!!

Love you guys. Enjoy the pictures.

Elder Preator

Monday, February 8, 2016

Richards Bay - No more puthu!

I haven't taken any pictures with Elder Martin yet, but I will. Do not worry. And he is very fun. Probably too much fun. Let's just say he has seen Napolean Dynamite a few times and we sometimes get on a quoting spree.  #troubletwins?

He also told me that because of his dad's work they travelled a ton, and lived in the netherlands for a while, and visited like all of Europe, some of norht Africa, and he's been to utah and New York and canada and just everwhere. I'm super jealous. But yeah, this transfer is going to be way cool. We are going to work our hardest and see what happens. 

Both of us were pretty sick this last week. Between the tic bite I got, and the bad puthu and tomatos, we didn't have much time to do much missionary work....Because we were either sleeping, on the toilet or super nauseous. #firsttimesickinalongtime

Go broncos!

Love Elder Preator

 And a picture of me and all the Elders from Madagascar

This is a picture of me and Elder Eastmond

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Introducing Elder Martin

This week was nice. We baked some nice cinnamon bread so that was the highlight of the week. #chefforhire

Today is transfers, so I'm losing Elder Odhiambo, and I'm getting Elder Martin. He's from Pretoria and I've met him before. This next transfer should be pretty great! We have some anticipated baptisms on their way, so something to look forward to. 

One of those pictures is of part of the township. I think I am going to start taking lots of pictures now. I bought a new memory card for the camera, so theres no limit!

Love you guys lots. Don't freeze to death. Its anticipated to just get hotter here!


Elder Preator

Friday, January 29, 2016

Safari in Richards Bay

Things down here are going very well. We had a baptism last week. His name was Aarond and he was confirmed yesterday. He is 20 years old and white. Not someone that I thought we could baptize. But, he has a solid testimony, and his parents, are returning less actives. 

Richards Bay doesn't have it's own Stake (yet). It was part of the Durban stake, but now it is its own district. Basically a Stake, with no keys. President Zackrison holds the keys for the district. The missionaries are all pretty close by. They come to town every Monday, and Saturday to play soccer and email and whatnot. We get to see them all the time. 

They switched out our tiny Aveo, for an Isuzu Bakkie (truck) stick shift. The same one I was driving out in Botshabelo. Super big for this town, but no one else could drive stick, and we didn't want it getting stolen in the township. Thats been our last couple of weeks.
Obviously, we went to the game park, and we got to go with two bakkies, so we went on this long 4x4 path. We bottomed out, and took some sketchy runs anyway, but it was worth it. We saw hyennas, and vultures, and tons of things we didn't think we would see. After 2 pictures at a time per email, I have shown you most of what we saw. There's a lot more pictures, but you can wait to see those. It's only like 9 months anyway. #eatenbylionswouldbeexciting

It's cool to see that you didn't sacrifice performance for looks this time with the pine wood derby car. Nathan must have won some award though. With the church activities and their celebration of mediocrity, there must have surely been a separate prize for each person. #pinewoodderbyrocks

Ok, love you guys! Hope all is well. Just know that I'm over here sweating every day, all day, everyday, allday. #renderingtheflesh

Elder Preator 

Missionaries from the Durban Zone

Pictures from the Game Park:

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year's on the Beach!

So for New Year's we physically couldn't do much. Everyone in all of
Richards Bay goes to the beach on New Year's and spends the night. We
were there that night until midnight, but the next day was more than
ridiculous.  #partyondude

We live in a nice neighborhood right next to the beach. So
everyone was packing in, driving on the grass, parking on the grass
and walking. We waited to get INTO OUR NEIGHBORHOOD for 1 hour. We
went back to the beach on Saturday because we always play soccer there
on Saturdays, and there were still people there, and this one man said
he had been there since Thursday. They drank all night and all day,
and we even played soccer against tons of drunk guys. I have a
testimony about alcohol and the idiot it can make you become. #mission

Love you all!

Elder Preator


 Elders Schraedel, Doney and Preator