Thank you all for all the letters. I'm sorry that I don't have time to reply to all of them, so I hope this letter covers mostly everything.
This week, while still very rough, was significantly better than the last. It was better because we actually got to teach the people that we set appointments with. Most of them anyway. 2 of the people we're teaching (Markus and Jessica) are getting baptized on the 12. It'll be way exciting, and we've challenged a lot of other people to be baptized and set dates for them as well. Most of them seem genuinely interested in our message too.
Starting with Markus. And yes, I've been spelling his name wrong in the emails I've sent previously. I hate english spellings. He's more than 3 weeks clean and we had his pre-bapt interview, interview. He passed with flying colors. We've even taken him to another person's lesson this week and he bore his testimony to them and everything without even being a member yet. He's way powerful. He's an electrician but is not currently employed because the job market is suffering here too. It's kind of a good thing though because he spends tons of time studying the scriptures. Elder Blake and I read 1 Nephi 20 with him this week, because that is where he currently is studying, thinking that we might be able to answer some of his questions because it's a chapter from Isiah. We were caught way off guard when he started offering insights that neither of us had even considered before. He was teaching us. It was crazy.
Jessica is also doing well. She's going to be baptized on the same day as Markus, and even though she's very young, she's very excited about the gospel and can't wait to be baptized. Her mother Yvonne has been sitting in on her lessons and we challenged her to be baptized also which she accepted. It was way cool. I think her seeing the change in her daughter is causing her to want to change.
We taught the Ntshonyana family again this week also. It is going relatively well except that the beginning of pretty much all of our lessons is a dispelling rumors time. Somehow they keep coming across crazy stuff about the church just on tv. It's a little discouraging. At the end of every lesson they seem excited, then the next time we come, they are concerned again. At least they're reading though. The Book of Mormon is the most powerful tool we have in converting people to the gospel. If anyone is having trouble with family members or anything about the church. Give them a Book of Mormon. It's the best missionary out there.
We also had the Jennings family attend church this Sunday. I about died when one of the speakers got up and started talking about baptisms for the dead. I think that the spirit prompted the family to not pay attention during that though, because they didn't say anything about it afterward.
We also contacted our first referral, and it was an amazing lesson. Her name is Ina and she was a golden investigator. She stopped going to her church because she felt the scriptures were teaching different things than she was learning there. We had a very interesting discussion and she pretty much already believes everything we do, we just had to kind of go through the motions of the lessons while she guided it. It was awesome, and this is the lesson that Markus came to and bore his testimony of the scriptures.
Last Tuesday was transfer meeting, and I ended up staying home all day with one of my zone leaders who we think got food poisoning. Elder Blake and my other Zone Leader went to the meeting and I just stayed home and puttered while Elder Crawford slept. We have a new Zone Leader and District Leader, Elders Foster and Madsen. They both seem to be pretty cool guys.
We also were able to go to the Joburg temple on Friday. It was awesome. It's not quite as pretty as a lot of other temples but I still loved it. I remembered my recomend this time too, so I actually was able to go inside.
We have also reactivated a family in the branch named the Sheasbys. They're the coolest people and they had us over for pizza this week, and I think we're really getting them interested in the church and missionary work again. We're working on getting some good referrals from them.
I guess in the end this week was a lot better than the last. We just barely missed a crazy armed robbery where shots were fired just a short walk from our flat. I'm starting to understand what's up with all the gates and fences. We were literally in the exact area of the robbery within hours of it. We're fine though.
One of the scriptures that I've thought a lot about over the last couple of days is Mosiah 4:21. I'd encourage everyone to read it and apply it in your lives. The whole chapter is pretty awesome as well.
Also, those of you who send me letters and packages, I made a typo on the sheet I handed out. It is Private Bag X4, not Private Bab X4.
I love everyone and I am so thankful for all of the correspondence, It really makes me feel a lot better. I hope everyone has an awesome week and remembers that you're all in my prayers.