Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16. 2012

Hello Everyone,
This week was a pretty good week. We had almost nobody cancel their appointments all week, and I've been getting better and better at talking with people that I don't know. It's hard because nobody is sarcastic at all here, which is basically the word that would sum me up.

Church this week was pretty awesome. We set a new record for the number of investigators in Alberton that attended sacrament meeting. Get ready, it's a huge number.. 6.. Believe it or not its actually a ton for this area. Priesthood meeting was kind of crazy because the teacher basically just read the chapter out of the book to us. And he offended several people with the remarks he did make outside of what he read. He talked a little bit about how he use to be a white nationalist, and about how when he was a Branch President in Katlehong he developed a love for "the blacks," but that as soon as he was released apparently that love went away again. Keep in mind that he said this to an audience filled with several black people. I pretty much just stared at the ground the entire time, and looked at the pictures in the teaching manual.
We did teach a bunch of good lessons this week though. The lesson's we had with Umro and his mother Sharon was pretty much like they always are. The Muslim lady that always translates for us continued to throw in her 2 cents which is a little annoying, but it's ok. Marcus' lessons this week were pretty usual for him also. He is almost 2 weeks off of cigarettes though which is awesome. He is going to be baptized on the 29th. My first baptism in South Africa is going to be a white guy. I know. I'm pretty awesome. We didn't get a chance to teach the Ntshonyana sisters, but they did come to church. I'm glad that they came because apparently one of their friends has been telling them some weird stuff about the church that is completely false and they almost dropped us. But when they came to church, we were able to show them that we're all normal, and I was able to clear up some of their concerns. Jessica's lesson's are also going pretty awesome. She is going to be baptized on February 5th, and she's way excited. She texts us all the time trying to get us to come over more and teach her quicker, so that she can be baptized sooner. It's pretty cool. I know that she's only 14 and that she's the Stake President's niece, but I'm still going to count it as a normal baptism. So I should have 2 white baptism this month, which is unheard of. The last person that we taught was Seun. He's an older guy who lives with a less active sister. Her name is Theresa. And I have never wanted to choke an old lady so badly in my life. We were at their house trying to teach Seun, but apparently we're the only people that ever talk to them so Sister Theresa and her mother, Sister Patsy, go of on these crazy tangents for like 20 minutes at a time. Now I know why Seun is mad all the time and always drunk. They would drive me to drink too. At one point we were trying to read out of the Book of Mormon with them, and it took 45 minutes to get through like 8 verses. This is because in the middle of our reading, Sister Patsy decided to tell us (in great detail) about her husband's suicide. It was the longest lesson ever. I think Seun is just talking to us because Sister Theresa is pressuring him to, and it's easier for him to say yes than it is for him to listen to her bug him about it for hours on end.

On a funnier note, Elder Blake has been having some crazy bouts with diarrhea lately which is pretty funny I think. He wears mesh garments and I've given him the nickname "the Strainer." I'll let you figure out why. Anyway, we think we've found the cause. He has not washed his water bottle since he has gotten here and we looked inside it the other day and found that the inside of it is covered in mold. And he drinks out of it everyday. I thought it was pretty hilarious.
It's weird to think that I've been away from home for almost 2 months now. January 13 marked 1 month in the field for me. It's crazy.

I've decided that my favorite part of the day everyday is my personal study time. It's strange how much more I understand and love the scriptures now. I encourage everyone, if you're not doing it as you should, to make time to do it. I only wish that I had more time to study every day. I could do it for like 5 hours a day easily if I was allowed to. I've also come across an awesome missionary scripture. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. Read it if you get a chance. It talks about how to more effectively teach and bring people unto Christ. It's awesome.
Well, that's the week. I love you all and thank you all for the letters and encouragement. I hope you all have an awesome week.

-Elder Balmforth

P.S. Sorry about not sending pictures. I broke the screen on my camera and I have to find a camera shop to see if I can get it fixed.

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