Monday, March 26, 2012

Jive, Mama, Jive!! 03/26/12

GREAT!  I left my stupid planner with all the notes in it at home!!!!!!!!!  Freak....oh well I can wing it.  So before I forget I got your letter mom, anyone in the ward who has written me I have written back even if its just a post card.  The post cards get stolen a lot, so I heard. (who on earth would want to steal a post card beats the heck out of me!) Anyways I wrote a TON> so I hope all the ward members that wrote me got their post cards.  I love them all and am so thankful for the support I get.  It means a lot to me.   Oh,  and Oma, happy late birthday.  I also got your letter this week and its always great to hear from ya!  Brandon and Kim, Happy Birthday this week, I hope you have a great day.  So this week is transfers and I have not gotten any solid news, so that will come next week but mom and dad I will have Elder Fozard call you when he gets home.  Man its so weird that their going home its going to be weird but it will be good.  Its nice to see that its not easy for them to leave.  Its a bitter sweat thing!  Anyways the week has been great!  Guess what, ya remember the Mdingane sisters who are preparing for baptism but we were waiting for there family to be happier about it.  Well on Thursday we went to their aunts house and when we showed up we were soaking wet from the HUGE rain storm.  She was so friendly and took us in quick!  Then we taught a little about the restoration and had the sisters bear there awesome testimonies of the restored gospel and of there desire to follow the savior.  They did awesome!  We also bore testimony and the aunt said she would make the family happy about it.  With Xhosa people usually the oldest sibling controls the whole family!  So it was an amazing break through!  Then we committed her to come to church and she said yes!  Which usually mean "I don't want to hurt you feelings so sure, but I'm not really going to show up" haha BUT.......THEY CAME the aunt and the sisters MOM!!!  It was a miracle and a sure answer to our prayers.  It was awesome!!!!!  Plus a bonus+ she is a member of the new apostolic and they love to sing and dance!  So before we left she sang and danced a nice prayer and then prayed.....loud. haha  It was cool!  In my head I was just thinking :"Jive mamma jive"!  These girls deserve to be baptized!  They really want it and they are the most faithful and dedicated people I have taught!  They have not missed one hour of church in over five months!  I can't wait for them!
The weather has been nice this week.  Its warm today but not hot!  You can tell that winter is coming and I'm stoked for that!  We also finished the ward map for the elders quorum and together they came up with areas for home teaching!  Working in this area has been a great experience.  Sure we only had two baptisms but their solid and we re activated many and we really built a strong relationship with the ward and hopefully helped push the home teaching!  Its an amazing place and if I leave it won't be easy to go.  It never is.  Well, I love you all and I'm sure I forgot stuff to say but I'm doing great and lovin it here.  Thanks for all you do.  Have a great week! love ya.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Well its been a great week!  I don't want to jinx it but its been much cooler this week!  I think winter is just around the corner!  So I guess my last summer in Africa is coming to an end.  Usually when things end I hate it but I am SO excited!  I love winter!
Our area is doing well. We have found quite a few new people.  We found this guy last week and he was kind of dodging us and not really interested so we finally met with him again and taught the restoration over again.  He had a total change of heart.  He seemed totally prepared and loved it.  Then yesterday we met with him and taught him about the Book of Mormon and he loved it and understood it so well.  We had been praying that people would be prepared and he was prepared right before our eyes!  It was awesome!
We also fasted with two of our investigators.  Their family is not really happy about baptism and I have never seen any investigators with stronger testimonies right at the start.  They are so faithful!  So we fasted with them and it was a really cool experience.  I know the Lord will prepare a way.   Its just a matter of waiting for HIS timing. it seems like people die here left and right!!!!!  EVERY weekend with out fail we are invited to a funeral.  Elder Fozard and I went to an inactive members funeral and xhosa funerals are the best, we clap sing and jive (dance). haha it was so fun and then after the TWO hour funeral of fun we have the after tears where we eat.  There is always a big line but they make the melanges (whites) go the front.  Which is a little uncomfortable but maybe its because I look malnourished and not because I'm white? haha but it was fun and don't get me wrong we don't just funeral crash we really do mourn with the family.  It was sad to see them bury their loved one and we were not as rude as I sound its just an experience we never get back home and no one knew we were having as much fun as we were.  Maybe I shouldn't share this I sound really bad. but funerals are so different here.
 I forgot it was St. Patties day.  I love corned beef and cabbage but its all good.  I will be there next time.  It sucks seeing my comps and district prepare to go home,  especially Elder Fozard, but I know it will be all good it will be lonley for a while but it will get better then I will be home before you know it.  It goes too fast most of the time.  Well I miss you all so much and I'm so thankful for all everyone does for me while I am serving.  I am so grateful for my family and all that they do for me.  I have been so blessed and I know I forget that sometimes. I am so lucky to have so many people who write and give me strength.  I am so spoiled!  Well I hope everything is going well love you!


Monday, March 12, 2012

The Rat Dog 03/12/12

Hello All,
We are walking down the dirt road and we hear barking around the corner so as usual we each pick up a brick and prepare to throw it.  As we turn the corner we stop and and look down, my Ugandan companion says Elder.....Is that a dog?  I look down and laugh so hard....... " a Chiwawa!"  I haven't seen one of those in FOREVER! hahaha he is still confused at what it really was hahaha.  The town ship dogs are usually mean and hungry so we have to defend our selves but even I wasn't to scared of the Rat dog.
We have had a great week this week.  We were able to find four new investigators and were pretty excited about them.  They were all found this weekend so we have appointments this week.  I pray they go well!
We had a great lesson with our recent convert.  She is AWESOME she is in ALMA in the Book of Mormon and she understands so well.  She has one child and stays by herself.  Her husband left her in 2007 and she hasn't heard from him since.  She is so self reliant.  At the same time she is so very poor.  She makes African beads to sell.  She is so humble.  She does know about the church welfare program but would never ask.  So the other day we had an awesome lesson with her and when we were walking out we saw the Van Sickles pull up with the Relief Society president.  We went and talked to them and they said the Bishop stopped by to visit our recent convert and realized how she had nothing!  He had them go to get a list of food that she would need!  When they asked her to make a list she didn't know what to do she has never received help before and was so confused at what to ask for that she said "can I give you the list tomorrow!!!!!!  Man, we do not know how good we have it!  My heart melted when I herd this.  She is so faithful and has great trust in the lord.  I know it is because of her obedience and faith that she was able to find the church and is know receiving help that she never even expected.  I LOVE THESES PEOPLE!
We have been working hard with less actives while still trying to build our teaching pool.  We have been teaching these two sisters they are the most powerful investigators I have ever had.  They would NEVER miss church but their mom doesn't want them to be baptized now, obviously their old enough but it would cause problems in the family.  So we are going to visit their aunt who has al ot of control with the mom.  We will fast and pray with them so hopefully they can be baptized!.
So the other day we were visiting Siphokazi, a recent convert and her son Pakamisa the 6 year old with down syndrome, and he put a hair piece on and said in xhosa " I'm Oprah" hahahahahahahaha I about died. That kid is so funny!
Well as you can see the week was good.  I got letters which was great!  And Brooke, yes I got the tape but don't chance sending stuff with out the Jesus stickers again hahahahahah.  It was an awesome tape, thank you!   MOM and LAURA happy birthday yesterday!  I hope you both had great days!  And Grandpa B happy birthday tomorrow, ya old fart.  Have a great week love ya.


Monday, March 5, 2012

No Time 03/05/12

It has been a great week. We had zone conference and it was amazing.  We had a training on working with less actives.  It has been a huge focus in the mission and its not easy work.  People often forget the sacred covenants they make and we are all here in this life to help and lift one another.  One of those covenants is to serve others.  We can do that by going to church with the thought in mind " who can I serve today".  We can also help others to keep active in church so they can receive the blessings the lord has to offer them.  We learned a lot more then just this, but I really like those few points.  We also learned a lot about prayer and what a meaningful prayer really is.  I'm getting kicked out of the email shop now because its closing.  I am really working on having meaningful prayers.  I know that our Heavenly Father is there and that he loves us.  I know he will answer us.  Our area is doing good.  Its been one of those weeks where everything just drops but we spent the time working with less actives and recent converts.  These people are legit!  Our area is on fire and I love this work.  I sent off a few letters and grandma I got your letter.  Thank you!  MOMMA HAPPY BIRTHWEEK!!!!!  I love you all, sorry this is a lame email I will spend more time on one next week.

Elder Balmforth