Monday, January 23, 2012

January 23. 2012

Well this week has been really hard. I really haven't done anything worthwhile. So I'm sorry if this letter isn't very long. Tomorrow does mark the end of the first transfer, and 2 months from home, which is pretty cool. It seems like everything has gone by so fast.
We didn't have very many appointments this week that kept so we spent a lot of time finding which is hard in an area where everyone and their dog has a strange fear that everyone is out to get them. If you didn't know any better you'd think Alberton is a ghost town because everyone is locked up in their homes behind their deadly fences and dogs 24/7. There are days when I don't talk to anyone besides my companion face to face. We haven't had hardly any success this week and it feels like we're doing something wrong even though I come home exhausted every night because we're working as hard as we can. Our numbers, make it look like we're sitting home all day though.
There are only a few people that we met with this week, but they're the same people we always meet with. The first is Marcus. He's doing pretty well except that he took a couple of backward steps this week which may or may not push back his baptism. It was really depressing because he's one of our only progressing investigators because the area is so tough. I would've been way more depressed if our Zone Leaders (Elder Crawford and Elder Hare) didn't come over and talk to us for a long time. They're both really cool, and Elder Blake and I are some of their favorite missionaries in the zone so we see them a lot. They're pretty good friends
We saw Jessica, the other baptism that we're going to be having in the next few weeks. She's doing pretty awesome. She's reading and praying which makes us feel good. At least we're having a good influence on someone. We also met a new investigator this week named Oliver. He's a pretty cool kid. He's 18 and is from Uganda originally, but he's a way active, cool, and interested person. That is basically all of the people in our area that we taught this week though.
On Friday I went on exchanges with Elder Beenfield in Alexandra. Alexandra is the township that I went on exchanges in before. Even though it's a ghetto, I love it way more than my area. I was only there for 24 hours and I had way more success in my missionary week than I do in a month in my own area. We contacted so many people and they're all so nice and humble. It's a crazy place, everyone is packed in there so tight and as soon as the sun goes down it turns into a giant party. Elder Beenfield and I had to drive home after our correlation meeting that ended at 9, and it was almost impossible to get home because there were so many people hanging out and partying in the streets. It's strange that conditions like this make the strongest members. In spite of all the sin all around them, somehow the members there are so devoted to the church, and are the nicest most humble people to talk to.
That's about all that happened this week though. The best part of my day everyday is my study time. I've learned so much and gained a much greater understanding of the scriptures as I've made a point of praying earnestly before and after I study. I've learned how truly important prayer really is. It's not the words that you say but the feelings of repentance and desire to learn and follow and overcome that you can't really describe with words that constitute the best prayers. The best prayers are the ones where you just open the door of your heart and let what you feel come out, even if you can't find the words to describe them. As I've tried to do this, I've found that I feel more in tune with the spirit. I can't describe it. As I strive to learn and be forgiven and bring my life more in line with the teachings of the savior, I feel more at peace, even when I'm down.
I love you all and thanks again for the letters. I miss you and you're all in my prayers. Have a great week.

Elder Balmforth

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