Monday, May 28, 2012

BANANA!!!!!!!!! 05/28/12

Hello Everyone,
Yesterday we went to the army base that is in our area but its pretty far so the other elders took us in the car and to save kilometers on the car, they just joined us.  The other elders are Elder Mikaela from Kenya and Elder Mahavira from Zimbabwe.  They are awesome!  So we go to the army base to visit Revendo, a young kid who is a member.  His dad who is also a member is in the army and away till September.  So we visit him with the young men's president (who is younger then me haha) and work with him on his duty to god award.  When we were introducing ourselves I introduced Elder Mahavira and said he is a new elder and doesn't speak English yet.  I was obviously just kidding but he believed and so we played it off.  Elder Mahavira prayed in shona and they loved it!  So when we were teaching if anyone asked him anything all he would say was BA-NAN-A!!!!! hahahaha, maybe its not that funny to you but these young kids were laughing so hard and so was I.  Then at the end he just started speaking perfect English and it made the youngest kid cry he was so scared of him!  Haha it was funny!
But this week has probably been the best week I have ever had my whole mission!  I have never had to work so incredibly hard for success.  In the township it has always just seem to come, but here in town it doesn't just come you have to find all the work and its not easy.  Most of my mission I just thought God didn't think I could find my own work and that really bothered me!  Last weekend we knew we really needed to find way more people to teach!  So we prayed a LOT and worked really hard on Tuesday we spent for ever at the hospital trying to get our names on a clergy list so we could go and speak to people who have a death or serious illness in the family.  That was not an easy task.  Then we went to other shelters and support groups where the gospel would bring a lot of light into these lives.  Then we followed up on some formers.  It was very slow at first but I have never seen blessings come so quick!  This week we found NINE NEW PEOPLE to teach!!!  NINE they are all pretty cool too.
We were riding up the huge hill when we saw this mom carrying a huge bag on her head and one in her arms so we carried them home for her and met her family.  She was so grateful and she had us teach her whole family!  It was an awesome lesson!  We also had three people visit church and so that was cool.
This week we focused on one of the sisters we are teaching at the university she struggles to live the word of wisdom and so we have been helping her with that.  The other day we taught a lesson on the atonement.  We taught that he died for US!  We showed a dvd on the atonement and she said she just didn't realize what sin was doing and how we have the great gift of being able to repent and be made clean because of the atonement.  It was an awesome spiritual lesson!
We also took some time to kill roaches!  I think I killed a thousand!!!!!   I took video and pictures.  We went through three cans of bug spray!  They had nests up in the back of our fridge.  I think the ones that survived got cancer or something because they are still just dropping dead in random places. hahaha
I have thought a lot about Katee and hope she is doing good.  I can't imagine how hard it must be.  I struggled leaving home but now I feel like this is home and the thought of leaving freaks me out a little.  So I bet its not easy!  Anyways, thanks for everything I love you all, have great week!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Why Don't You Believe? 05/21/12

Well its been an awesome week!  On Tuesday we got to take a sweet road trip to PE and watch the Young Ambassadors concert from BYU!   It was awesome to do something normal hahaha.  Then we slept in PE, I stayed with Elder Cowley and that was a lot of fun.  Then in the morning the windshield of our car was off! hahaha not completely off but loose and so we drove all around PE trying to get it fixed and the guy said that if we would have gone to fast the pressure would have shattered or lifted it off.  So good thing we prayed before we left and noticed it was loose. A real nice guy fixed it for us.
Then we came home and had a normal week.  A lot of our appointments cancelled and that was no fun but we worked a lot with members and I even went tracting, which I have not done since I was in Mobray haha I think?  I hate rejection so I will do anything before it gets to that as long as its productive.  We went and we were rejected hahaha but it was really sad when a guy nicely answered the door and said I'm not interested simply because I'm atheist!   That killed me!  I just don't know how anyone can think there is no god.  Are you that alone?  Why don't you believe in Jesus Christ?  Do you know that means you have no Savior???  Man, it depressed me for the whole day but I realized he will have another chance and hopefully all will be well!
Anyways our flat is really nice but has a really bad roach problem.  They are everywhere hahah.  We kill at least 20 right when we walk in the door at night.  The weather has been awesome!  Its so cold!  I love the cold.  I doubt any of you would think its cold but we do!  Especially when you go down the huge hills fast on the bikes yo I freeze!
This week we have put our focus on asking inspired questions, I think I talked about that a while a go.  It has been really nice to teach by the spirit its awesome to ask what to say and they you just talk!  The spirit is awesome!
We taught a cool lesson to Sister Evelyn.  She received the holy ghost on Sunday and before she did we wanted to teach a lesson on it.  The lesson was awesome and it really made me so grateful that we have that gift to guide and comfort us.
I cant believe Katee is almost home, that flew by!  Meeting the Leach's was awesome!  I also got letters!!! Thanks, Brooke, Liz, Ali, Maurie, and I think that's all.  I really appreciate it.  Also a  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO....Cameron, Clara, Terry, Amanda, and Sandee!
Thanks for everything.

Monday, May 14, 2012

It's Like Riding a foot. 05/14/12

Well what a week!  I'm here in Grahams town and its pretty sweet!  Its just a really old town with lots of history.  There is a town ship near by but the other elders work there.  I work in the town area and its a lot of fun!  One of the funnest parts is we are riding bikes!!! hahaha I have not ridden a bike in probably five years and my butt hurts so bad!!!!  And my thighs but I guess its a good way to beef up!!  It is sorely needed!!!  But riding the bikes have been a lot of fun!  Its nice and cold here too!
I'm excited for this week because the BYU Young Ambassadors are touring South Africa and President Wood is letting us go!!!!  It will be pretty cool!  So we get to drive to PE for that!  It will be good to see other missionaries as well!
Its really just been a crazy week with not a lot of info!  The branch is really small.  We meet in a house and Elder Nye (Senior couple) is the branch President.  A huge part of my area is a large university so that's pretty cool! we teach a few students.  We have awesome fellow shippers as well.  They come with us everyday all day!  So that is awesome!  OH I will get to see the Leaches tomorrow!!!!!!  I'm really excited about that!  It was fun to skype Katee yesterday she looks really good and sounds way different!  maybe its because I haven't herd her voice in forever!
This weeks district meeting was on receiving Revelation through the Book of Mormon!  It was really good to study and the cool part is that we got to practice what we learned.  That same day we went to our last appointment and our investigator didn't read the Book of Mormon so we read 2 Nephi 33 with her where Nephi bears his testimony that the record is true. I t really touched her and she came to church with her family!  It was great.  Jeffery R Holland said that no bad man could write such a book and no good man would write it unless it was true!  I have thought about that a lot and I know that it is true!  If that's true then Joseph smith WAS a prophet and the church is TRUE!  Its the best evidence!
Well its been a great week!  I am so happy I got to talk to the fam!   I hope your all doing well sorry this is so short!  Have a great week.


Monday, May 7, 2012

WHAT!!!!!!!!! 05/07/11

HAHAHA, so crazy week.  Elder Giles is doing AWESOME!  He is not letting it effect him!  So yeah this week we have been expecting transfer news.  It usually comes Sunday or Monday but president loves to keep us on our toes.  So, we figure of course if either of us go it will for sure be Elder Giles.  So its Friday morning and we are on our way to District meeting which is a good 30 min drive to Mdansane NU 13 chapel.  Give or take, and on the way our phone rings and the number was not saved so I answer "hello this is Elder Balmforth" "hi Elder Balmforth, its President Wood how are you".   I had been having a real bad head ache the whole night before and I could feel it turning into a migraine so I did what I had to and took the strong stuff (that I never take).  Its the only thing that can sort of prevent a migraine.  So long story short I was really "loopy" and I have NO filter on my mouth when I take these.  So, I reply "I'm fine president how are you" he says "I'm fine, Elder Balmforth I need to talk to you....your leaving".  So I reply by yelling "WHAT!!!!!!!" hahahahahaha he was silent for a minute and then laughed.  I didn't remember perfectly, so after a few hours I realized how weird I was and called Sister Wood to tell her the story.  She just laughed and said its funny.  Oh man mission is so crazy!!!!  So yeah, after six weeks in Mdansane I am leaving!  Crazy, but president says I'm needed in Grahamstown.  It is a small mission branch sort of like Knysna and George but smaller.  The Branch President is a senior missionary named Elder Nye.  Him and his wife came when I was serving in the office.  I hear they are great!!!!  So mom I bet I can  skype for a little on Sunday? Not to sure yet.  I am taking Elder Leaches spot sort of.  I will be in his biking (not motorcycles) :( area. it is a town area which is a nice way of saying its not a town ship.  I haven't taught wealthy and or white people in a LONG time, so this will be interesting but really fun.  Elder Leach says its one of his favorite areas!
In church on Sunday the Bishop stood up and said we will now sing families can be together forever and after we sing everyone needs to go sit with their families. (they don't usually sit by families here!!!!!!) So needless to say that was depressing.  I even looked around to see if by some chance this was a joke.  Maybe they would be here? hahahaha funny!
We had a baptism on Sunday and it was awesome.  We worked really hard with Yonela.  She has come a long way and is really excited about her baptism.  I wish I could be here to see the rest of them!!!
We taught an awesome lesson to an investigator named Thandekazi!  We taught about prayer.  I love the fact that prayer is just talking to God.  I think people take it as some poem you have to recite to him, but its not.  He is there to be thanked, he is there to talk to and ask for help.  I shared the experience when I finally knew someone was listening.  I was in the MTC and obviously a little home sick.  I prayed A LOT but questioned if he heard. (I know stupid doubt) but its true.  I asked for some comfort to know that he heard me and that whole day was signs and comfort.  They had so many lessons on comfort and the Savior and home.  It was awesome!  I felt the spirit really strong as we testified that He is there and He DOES hear us.  I love prayer and know that I have a strong testimony of it.  I would be really lost with out it.  I know prayer is real and He Will listen!!!
I can't freaking believe Katee is 16 days away!!!!!  That's so weird but its good.  I am happy she will be home.  Well happy Mothers day soon and HAPPY BIRTHDAY JANELLE!!!  I hope you had a great day!
Love you all!