Monday, January 31, 2011

Loving the Mission 01/31/2011

Okay Hello!

So Wednesday is transfers, but I'm thinking we are both staying here another six weeks.  I'll express my feelings about that if it really happens.  We will see.  Dad, I am LOVING my mission!  I can't believe you would even ask.  So...long lost cousin drama, why does that not suprise me?  I can't wait to hear all about it.  I hope grandma is doing okay with everything, I know how family drama really is upsetting for her.  I absolutley love Knysna.  We should have at least three baptisms in February but were scheduled for 22.  We have 30 baptismal dates, which is cool but hopefully they won't fall through.  The one Elder Leach baptized on Sunday (Lindelwa) was my FAVORITE investigator.  I can't wait to see her again.  It gives me such great hope.  So we had 20 investigators at church on Sunday.  They filled the tiny chapel.  President and Sister Probst were there.  We had district training on Saturday and it was an AMAZING spiritual experiance and I love roll playing with them.  I learned so much and it really resolved a lot of my teaching concerns.  So about the pills in the mail.  I was just about to go over some package details, no, I have'nt gotten your package yet, hopefully this week.  So #1, it is very humid so things like jolly ranchers or anything that gets sticky quick like suckers are not good.  Obviously chocolate will never work because it's so hot here.  So the pills are capsules and it is so humid they will just disolve.  I am serious, I asked other missionaries.  The pills here are fine and hopefully, I will just be able to persuade a DR.  in my next area to just give me a new script.  He won't know when my last check up was.  Also, some great things to send in a package would be like cookie or brownie mix instead of tons of candy, but I love the sour patch kids and the jellie beans.  I am not complaining.  I LOVED the package, I am just trying to help.  Well this week I was proposed too, sexually assulted and hugged by drunks ALOT!   I also was led into the jungle when I was tring to help a family get some fire wood (because that is how most of them cook).  So about 15 minutes into the jungle feeling lost, the man turned around to talk to me and WOE this mans DRUNK.  So I was just wondering around the jungle with a drunk man listening to him tell me about nature as if he was Steve Irwin.  I am such an idiot.  I also got a flu bug, like nose throat, eye type flu and I am sunburned, like FRIED.  Just imagine how it feels when fleas are eating my burned, sore FLESH!!  I don't mean to complain but WHAT THE FREAK!  Did I do something wrong here?  I guess just laugh about it, which is what I've been doing.  I don't mean to boast or anything, but I've been suprised at my great attitude towards all this.  Mom and Dad, don't you be putting money in my account.  It reminded me of Jeffrey R. Hollands talk about how when he got home he went to the bank and all his money was still there.  I just lose it every time I read that talk because I know my parents are the same way, they have always sacrificed for there kids...well stop and save your money for yourself.  I am loving it in Knysna, I know whatever happens on transfer day is what the Lord wants but I just hope I stay!  I'm sure I will.  I'm sure we both will but I'll have Malcom let you know.  I'll find out tomorrow.  Anyways things are good here.  I'm going to send a package in April or March, but I will try and get you some pictures.  I can't upload them because Elder Leach has my cord and we never go to the mall for pictures, so I will really try.  Mom, I don't get to talk to Elder Leach, we are not allowed to communicate unless we are in the same district and now my district consists of me and my companion, so it gets a little (or more) lonley.  It's all good.  I'm doing great, really so I don't think I'll have time for individual emails today.  Sorry but mom I'm glad your doing good.  I love you and thanks for everything.  Calee, it's totally fine so stop worrying.  Mom and Dad, I love you.  Katee....keep up.  I am being humble Kate, I promise haha.  I'm jealous you got a church tour.  We don't do those because no one can walk to the church or they won't.  One time Elder Leach and I had an investigator who worked for the alarm company and it was the only way to get him there, so we tried setting off the alarm, haha.  Anyways, I love you all so much you are all great.  Thanks for the love and support, I will talk to you next week.

P.S.  Letters this week are from Mom and Grandma of course.  Then Amanda and Laura.  Thanks for writting.  Laura, yes, I got your Christmas card, didn't you get my letter?

P. S.S.  I can't freaking believe Katee got to talk to Marissa.  I'm literally frustrated.  That's not fair, she shouldn't get to do that.  Missionaries outside the states can't.  It's in the white handbook that no one can! duh....I wanna talk to someone and everyone I talk to is not American....Oh well, just kidding Kate.
Katee............have a great FREAKING week.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Email from 01/24/2011

Okay, your emails this week were lame!  I did not get one from Calee and I always worry about her and the baby SOO?  What the heck is she okay??

Okay, well dad your's was a good enough one, mom yours was too short and Kelsee the same.  I won't complain!  So the couple on facebook is the Stephonson's.  They are wonderful.  They are origanally from the UK and have been all over.  He tryed to get me to skype you at his house!!!  They are not members they have just been stubborn investigators for I kid you not like 40 years.  They have fed the missionaries once or twice a week for those 40 years.  They are great people.  They had not come to church in over a year but now they have come the past two weeks!  I think Malcom would totally get baptized but is just waiting for Barbara.  They are great and they LOVE me!!!

This week I have started to love our investigators, but I can't get the ones I left in Paarl out of my head.  I hope they are doing good and accepting the message well.  I can't wait to see them again one day. 

So, I will tell you about a few of our golden investigators.  We have Luanda and Veronica.  A great Xhosa couple, they have two little kids and they LOVE the gospel.  They are so friendly and so prepared.  They know it's true and they have such a strong spirit to the.  They have been coming to church and they love it.

Then we have Laticia and Cipreian.  They are also a great couple who are also very prepared.  They love reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church and they are just progressing so quickly.  The only issue is that they live together, unmarried.  There is a tradition here called laboula.  It's wicked!!!   The husband has to pay the wifes parents ALOT of money before they are married!  It is so dumb.  Satin works in crazy ways so the only thing stopping them is that.  The reason he could not pay the parents was because he did not have a job and cound not find one.  Well low and behold after a few lessons and coming to church HE GOT A JOB!!!  I was so excited and he said "I think it's all because of you two"  and I said, "nope it's because of the path your beginning to take".  I'm so excited for them.

Then there is Chancy and Memory.  Chancy is a 24 year old pregnant woman who's husband is sadley living in Malawi but he is trying to get back.  So her and her mom live here in the big ol SA!  I love them they are so funny.  They give me so much comic relief.  However, everytime I see Chancy's big ole belly, I just wanna touch it.  I think it's because I am jealous I can't touch Calee's belly.  I know I'm weird!  They are also progressing they just are not coming to church yet.  We will soon get them there.

Then there is Noluvu and Nopinky.  Two great sisters.  Noluvu looks like a black Laura Thomas (Carlston) and she has a HUGE black baby boy.  So cute, so she reminds me of Laura.  She is so excited about the gospel and knows it's true.  I can't wait to see her continue to progress.

Then there are more but these are my favorites.  So they mostly speak Xhosa (clicky) but it's so hard and I'm not getting it but lots speak Afrikaans which is much easier.  I'm not speaking either of them but I love learning afrikaans.  There are a lot from Malawi, they speak chacheywa and I will never get that one.  Some small struggles I have had are how sexist the african men are.  They drive me freakin crazy.  I think it's because I have so many women in my life that wouldn't put up with it, like, Grandma H, mom, Aunt Lezlee, Jodi, Mer, OMA!  It just bothers me comments like "this is my house and she'll do what I tell her".  Even my companion!  It's nuts, but I love 99% of the cultural, well okay maybe 98%.  Also there are people who don't speak English at all.  What about them?  Are they just lost forever?  It bothers me.  And, the FLEAS, my gosh, they are so bad here.  My sheets are soooo bloody, they seriously eat me alive.  It's no fun.  Also mice and rats and roaches in homes during a lesson!!!  You would think I would be used to it by now, but nope.  When I see one I loose my train of thought and think ugh, I've only seen that in a trap when my dad is walking out from the garage or I think my mom would kill you all!!!  Yikes, but it's a cool adventure.

Also, I got some letters and some people think my transfer was because of the heat, no, I could have been fine there.  It was another Elder needed to be moved and it was just a good option for me to leave because of the heat.  Just thought I'd clear that up.

So letters I got this week were, Janelly (who I wrote you before I got this letter so sorry, I'll write again and thanks for the stickers), Laura, Mer, Brooke (thanks for the pics), Emily, Amy (even though it was clearly written in November), haha.  Nan, so thanks for the letters and keep them coming. 

It has been hot a few days but mostly cool and cloudy.  I have been really blessed.  Dad, yes President Probst does know Royce and loves him.  I have been drinking TONS of water this week and it helps tons.  The branch here is great.  Small, but great.  We have had a few dinner appointments and we have some this week.  Most of the strong members are white SA's from Cape Town or Joberg who retired here or from the UK who retired her.  Then some members from the township.  The township is on the mountain and so we can't have investigators in our car, so we have been walking up the mountain in the morning and then walking with them to church and let me tell you, there is nothing more frustrating then getting there and thy are not coming.  Ugh, this is where the Christ like attribute PATIENTS comes in.

So, mom, just keep checking my bank account.  I am trying not to use it, but like I said with the prescription crap it was not cheap.  I try not to use my own money but some things are so expensive like, my haircut today will cost 80 rand, but it's only like 10 US dollars or less.  Just keep track of it and is my car money in their with the money I got from my farewell?  I don't spend much, so I am not worried. 

Mom, please send me Elder Leaches posts, like copy and paste them to my emails.  Katee's letters too.  Mom, I hope your tape isn't to sad, I'm just on the edge of being great, haha, just kidding, I want to here you blubber, seriously I do.  It will help me.

Well things here as you can see are great, we are just trying to stay busy with our overwhelming 30 baptismal dates and trying to help them all progress.  We'll see.  I am doing good, this week will be a good one, it's the last week of the transfer, Feb. 2nd.  I'll know if I am going, but I am 99% sure I will stay here and so will my companion.  Which is okay, I love Knysna.  I do still miss Paarl and the LaVita's and Elder Leach, but I am doing great!!  I hope you all have a great week and always remember I love you and I am so thankful for you two and the love you have shown our family and all the sacrifices you both made to have us be the best we can be!  You are both the best and I love you!!!  Have a Lekker weak.
Elder Balmforth

Monday, January 17, 2011

Email from 01/17/2011

Hello Family,
Yes, I am drinking enough water, haha, we just got emails from President P saying how much we need to be drinking!  I'm trying.  This week was warm but not too hot! I'm doing great.  It's cool to hear all the fun stuff your doing, it's weird to think people are still living normal lives.  Well, we did not have district training this week because some stuff came up so they moved it to the 29th, which is only a few days before transfers.  I think we will both stay here.  Right now my laundry is at the laundry place because I'm too prideful to handwash.  I just love Tamsyn, I am glad you are staying friends with her, I miss Elder Leach so much, most missionaries get to stay in the area they were born in for at least 2 or 3 transfers, so it's hard but President Probst told Elder Leach I would see Paarl in the winter!  So that's comforting!  I am doing well in Knysna and I'm not loosing my sense of humor here, I've just learned when I want to be funny, I just share it with myself in my head and then laugh!  Elder Nzuki never knows why I am laughing but he wouldn't think it's funny anyways, haha.  I have been getting so many letters!  I love it, it's hard to find time to write all of them back.  I just barley got some from Mer, Oma, Brooke, Mom and Grandma.  I am so behind but I will give up my p day nap time and write them all back because I love getting letter!  The Phillip's also sent me a letter, that was nice.  I am so glad that you met Sister Bryers!  That is so awesome.  I am now in the same zone as her brother and we might even get to do exchanges sometime.  He is an awesome Elder and good friend.  Things here are good, the spirit has been so strong latley.  We have even had 3 investigators start to cry and they say "I don't know what's wrong", and I love it!!!  I love the spirit, it's so amazing how it can touch so many and reveal the truth to those who seek it.  I really love teaching, especially when they are truley listening.  It is so frustrating when we find people here to teach and then they don't speak english and it's hard because I just think what about them.  Are they just lost, how can we get to them?  The drunk people are also frustrating.  I can tell you, you have never ever seen sooooooo many drunk people.  The smell is awfull.  Sometimes I think I get a little buzz just smelling their breath!  It's fine as long as I won't be judged for that one!  Well, I'm doing well, I was teaching a lesson the other day and remember that rat I told you about?  Well, the dang thing found it's way out and I FREAKED.  It was so unexpected but we tried to just get the spirit back as best we could.  Mom, I am so glad you get to teach about gratitude.  I have tears in my eyes talking about this.  The people here have NOTHING!  I sent you pictures of the shacks and those are nice.  We teach on dirt floors, the homes smell.  There is no air conditioning anywhere, no stoves or ovens.  It's like camping and not gilrs camp camping.  Girls camp would be paradise for these people.  They eat a food called pap, which is like rice but lookes like mashed's not nice, and they live in a place where someone is raped every 20 seconds.  Would you want your daughter walk around a place like this?  That is why there are no sister missionaries.  But the people here are so happy and humble.  I'm not sure exactley how to express it.  We DAILY take for granted things like the temple, stake patriarch, beautiful church buildings, wards.  If they want a patriarchial blessing they wait till he can come or they pay tons of money to go to him.  But he can't do a lot at a time.  They can't make covenants in the temple because they would have to travel days to Joburg and that's very expensive.  They meet in small rooms for church, unless they have a building.  It's so sad how us Americans just take it all for granted.  We are truley lucky mom, I can't express that enough. I eat normal food now, we don't get a lot of das.  There is an old english couple here who feed us on Wednesdays.  I miss our food and the food Grandma makes!!  But it's not bad. I am beginning to love the people of Knysna but I am missing my investigators in Paarl, but I know they are in good hands.  Well I am really doing good and enjoying my time here.  I have realized that my time is soooo short, and there is alot to be done.  I hope you have a great week, I love you all thanks for everything you do for me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Email from 01/11/2011

Hello I'm doing really well! Knysna is wonderful!  So here are you answers!
my Companion is, nice.
he is the district leader
he does work very hard!
the weather this week has been warm but I've been feeling better then I did in Paarl!  It's still a struggle but I'm just going to keep my big freaking mouth shut!
(ps if I don't answer its because I'm trying to stay positive;)
The people are very kind but VERY flakey its discouraging but its still great!  We are working really hard and seeing blessings and miracals everyday!  I've never been in the beautiful white areas because elder nzuki prefers not to go there which is fine but some day I'll go there!
You could preatty much tell why the other elder got moved from Elder Leaches blog, I feel really bad for him but I hear he is doing very well!
The Zone Training was AMAZING!!!!!!!!  I love to be taught and not teach!!  For a day!  It's the best! I LOVED seeing the other elders!
I have been getting letters, its just sooooooooo hard to find time to write!!!  I am trying though! After the holidays they just flowed in and there are some I have'nt even had time to read yet!  But I will today!  I have enjoyed writing grandma! It's great to talk to her!  I love to hear from her.
I would LOVE to send some pictures but I won't be able to print them until we both want to go to the mall on p day:( I hopefully can soon though!)
Okay so here is the med story #1 pay off my card plz!:)  So I had to get another DR HERE to write the perscription because the pharmasist won't give me an american perscription......dont ask why! So I had to go to a dr, that was 280 rand (around 40 dollars) but the church will re-embers me on my MSF card. then the DR tells me that he can only put me on the med for another 6months because I had my scope 6 months ago and I have to have one every year!!!!!!  Uh uh no ways!  I;m not doing that again! Esspecially with out my mommy!  hahaha so I talked to our sr couple (because we have to have all dr visits and stuff approved by them) and she is a nurse practitionar and is great! She said I probably would have to get the scope done in about 6months:( because I need the pills and there's nothing else todo.  So I dunno we will cross that bridge when we get there but for now I have enough meds for 6 months. Just check my card often! ugh im so frustrated with my body why does it have these issues.  Oh well there managed now and dont worry about it!
Can you maybe put some ranch packets in that box:) if its still with you?  If not that's fine!  And you don't have to send packages all the time!  Although its greatly apprectiated!!!  And your the best for sending them to Elder Leach thats really nice! I freaking miss him!  It's hard but I really am doing great!  I never thought I could just take care of my self like this and I can!  I'm doing good and the days are FLYING by soooooooo fast!
We are teaching ALOT of people and because of this new cirriculum the 1st presidency is doing we have to extend the baptismal commitment on the first lesson so needless to say we have 26 baptismal dates!  Its hard to keep them all orginized (Elder Leach used to do all that for us) but I'm managing quite well I suppose.  The people in the town ship here seem to drink almost 24/7  its so darn annoying!!! I can't quite handle them I'm sick of being hugged and litterally bowed down to by these sweet drunk people!  But I seriously have been trying to see people as Christ would but I think he would just cry!  Its so sad to see these people so far from our heavenly father! So I guess if I don't get any baptisms here thats fine but I hope to at least get some people closer to our savior!  Its amazing how your life can change when you strive to be like him and be nearer to him.  Thats what I hope to do here! Well we have the zone leaders coming to do exchanges on Wednesday night and Thursday day and I'm so excited they are both from Utah!!!  Elder Cannon and Elder Young!  It will be a fun day!  Then we have district training which includes our tiny district of 2 and President and Sister Probst!  Oh how I look forward to doing some roll plays with my mission scary!
So just an fyi the branch meets in a little rented  Its small but great!  The church is the same every where its so true and amazing!  I also email here to!
Courtney and Liz happy birthday!!!!!!! (i think?)
(maybe provide me with a birthday list mom??? ahahaha if you have time!
Ps I did not get to see any elephants but almost ran over a baboon, scary little fetcher.
Well I'm really doing great!  I'm enjoying the work more and more every day!  Thanks for all you do for me you both are truley the best parents in the world!  I love you both so much I hope you have a great week love ya!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pictures from Paarl by Elder Leach

Paarl 3 Jan 2010IF
Paarl 3 Jan 2010 3Paarl Dec 2010 2Paar Dec 27 10 3

Monday, January 3, 2011

Email from 01/03/2011 Transfered to Knysna

 HELLO okay joint email! sorry about this but imma go play with some elephants in a little bit!!!
Okay so yes I got emergency transfered No it was nothing I did!  I was so worried it was me and so I just asked president Probst what I did and he chuckeled and explained to me the situation.  Elder Leach needed to help another missionary who was struggling with some real issues.  I DID NOT WANT TO GO but I know Elder Leach can really help this Elder. It was SOOOO hard to leave and yes I am homesick but from Paarl!  I miss it there and I really miss the La vitas and other families!  So it was monday night and I had just laid down for bed, it was dark and we saw the phone light up, we both darted for the phone like usual, Elder Leach won and I was injured, like usual. The phone said aaa pres Probst, Elder Leach answered the phone and they talked for a little bit and then I heard the words "well isn't there any on else" and then I heard "well I dont want him to go but I think Knysna would be great for him" So yes I am in a place called Knysna (silent K people) its actually Elder Leaches 1st area and he was here for 3 transfers and he loved it he would always talk about it and I would always say "I hope I go there"! my new companion is Elder Nzuki from Kenya he has been out for 11 months and he's nice.  It's a two man district so I hardley ever see other missionaries.  I flew here and I have been here since Tuesday. He had me out of Paarl preatty fast, but anyways Elder Nzuki is good, its VERY diffrent from Elder Leach but we work just as hard and actually I recieved another call from th APs this morning telling us they were happy with our work and so is President! Elder Leach had a hard time but he will be fine!  Do you know the Walkers, like Eric and Laura, well there brother did the baptismal interview on my companion in Kenya!  At least I think it's him? Cool right small world! So our flat is great its even nicer then Paarl. I did mass murder a few roaches the other day and then had a hard time sleeping but I think I got them all! hopefully! The people are great! The people in the township have a really hard time keeping commitments though! It's frustrating but hey what can you do! We are just trying to help them keep commitments! The branch is about 40% black and 60 whites from ether SA or England, its a holiday area or alot of them retire here. It's small peaceful and BEAUTIFUL! And there is a jungle on one side and an ocean on the other! Most days are cool, very few hot and some even COLD!  I love the weather! I dont know people well yet so I will find one you can FB mom! We do have a car, and on Monday we will be going to Port Elizabeth for zone confrence which is about 5 hours away! It's hard because my companion can't drive so I have to but at least Im' not walking!  I dont think I need anything else to specific mom but thank you! Its cool because every one knows Elder Leach and so I talk to them about him and it's great!  So the other day we were teaching a lesson and Icould not concentrate for the life of me! Wanna know why okay, I'll tell you! There was a giant RAT scratching at the wall right by me!!!! uh uh I dont do rats not yet anyways. So I just kept making faces to my companion like "lets get the crap outta here" hey the spirit left and I wanted to follow it!!!  Knysna is great though really I think I will like it alot! I miss Paarl and Elder Leach but mission is all about changing....changing your life and others! I wish I could tell you more about who we are teaching but I don't really know any of them yet!  Elder Nzuki has only been here like 3 weeks so he's new too!  I hope to get to know the members a little bit better though!  I dont think thats Elder Nzukies desire but I want to do missionary work its always easier with the help of the members! So the other day we went into a house and every one was smokin weed and getting drunk or actually they were drunk! A lady jumped up and wrapped her feble drunken arms around me and shouted "happy new year" "YES" 'white locations" dont ask what that means but it freaked me the crap out! Normally with Elder Leach we would NEVER enter into that situation, but some elders do it diffrently but it won't last because I'm not going into that atmosphere again!!!!!!  The spirit will not help us there and with out the spirit we are nothing! So I might write a sentece to each of you but I don't have alot of time we are on our way out to go in the jungle area with the Geore Elders. Elder Bryers is in george so that will be fun!  Hey thanks for the prayers and all your love and support!  Tell Katee good luck and I love her!  I'm so happy that she is enjoying her time so far! Love you all! Oh and I'm taking care of the perscription today yes I got it!