Monday, January 28, 2013

January 28. 201

I'm finally in Botswana! And it's freaking awesome. It took me like 2 days to get from Soweto to my new area here. I'm in a village called Molepolole, and it's one of the biggest villages in all of Botswana. Botswana is the land of 2 million people and 3 million donkeys. I'm way out in the bush, it's like I'm camping in my area. It's all little quad sized dirt roads throughout the whole area and everyone rides around in these little donkey pulled karts everywhere. I stay in a pretty big house with another companionship, but it's still like I'm camping because there is like never any water and it's like a million degrees out side and we're always dirty because we're working in the bush. I love it though. The only thing that could make this place more awesome is if I had my shotgun.
My companion is from Kenya, and his name is Elder Naku and he's like 25. He's ok. I've heard some horror stories about him, but so far he's ok. I'm hoping for the best. 
Bots is awesome, except that yet again I'm starting from scratch in this area. We almost literally have no one in our teaching pool right now, and literally no one that is ready to get baptized anytime soon. I feel like a clean up crew for other missionaries areas that they've destroyed. That part sucks, but everything else is pretty awesome. At least I left a ton of awesome people to teach in Soweto. That comforts me a lot.
Only like 9 months left. It's crazy to think, but I'm way excited to see everyone again. I love and miss you all.
Elder Balmforth

Monday, January 21, 2013

January 21, 2013

So it's official. I'm finally leaving Soweto. It's a weird feeling though. I thought that I would be a lot more excited than I am. But I'm really sad actually. I've spent a quarter of mission here and it's crazy but I love it. I am excited to see where I'm going though. I emailed President Omer saying that if the Lord felt like I should go to Botswana this transfer, I would not be opposed to it. We'll see how it goes tomorrow. Wherever I go, I just hope that I have a good companion. The hardest part about mission is dealing with someone you're forced to be with every minute of every day. Wish me luck.
This last week has been incredibly rainy almost every day, which is fine except that it was raining really bad Sunday morning which caused our church attendance to go down significantly. But we still have some really awesome families that I'm going to be really sad to leave. I don't think they have any idea how much I care about them. Someday maybe.
This week I've been studying Helaman, it's calling me to repentance pretty hardcore. It's also reminding me that my prayers kind of suck. I've been paying attention to a lot of the prayers that people say, even members of the church and we all have our own vain repetitions whether we realize it or not. Sometimes I do it without even realizing it. When I realize it I have to stop and start over again. I've begun to realize that when my prayers cease to be refreshing and insightful, it's because I'm not putting enough effort into it. Also something that I realized, which I should have a long time ago, is that to pray in the name of Jesus Christ is more than just to say "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." We pray in the name of Christ when our mind and desires are the mind and desires of Christ. Sometimes when we pray and don't see answers or feel like we're being heard, it's because we're just saying "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." I've had a big problem with this lately. I feel like I'm on a spiritual plateau. But there's an awesome quote I found this morning that is helping me. It says: "If we learn to ask 'in the spirit' and according to God's will, then 'it is done even as' we ask. This has helped me even since this morning when I read it. I hope it helps you too.
The rest of this week was pretty uneventful, but it was good. Sorry it's so cold at home. It'll be weird to see snow again. Anyway, I love and miss you. 
Peace out.
Elder Balmforth

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 14. 2013

hello. This week has been pretty awesome. I got crazy sunburned. I will be very surprised if I come home from South Africa without skin cancer. That sounds like a bad thing, but it's because we've been finding and teaching some awesome people and a lot of them are father led families. 
This week we had 2 families at church and a bunch of other random people we're teaching. I am really hopeful that the families we've found will be baptized. They're so awesome and humble and have a desire to have happy families rather than just get drunk and live. It's so awesome. I'm so happy for all of them. The bad part is that I'm probably going to be leaving on the 22nd, so I probably won't get a chance to see them get baptized. It's lame. At least I know that I did my best and found people.
Nothing really crazy happened this week other than that. We taught a crazy amount of lessons which was awesome. Teaching is so much more fun than finding. But we've been very blessed this week. 
I love and miss you all and hope you have an awesome week.
Elder Balmforth

Monday, January 7, 2013

January 7. 2013

hello family and others,
I hope that you all had an awesome new year. I also hope that none of you spent it like all the people in soweto spend it... crazy drunk... not a pretty site. The worst part is how all the drunk guys seeing you and trying to give you a hug and shake your hand immediately after you witnessed them relieving themselves in the middle of the street in front of a bunch of children. Other than that it was great for us. It has been crazy hot here. Some of the hottest days I've experienced. It's so wierd to sweat in January.
My stay in soweto is coming to a close. There's like a 95 percent chance that I will be leaving on the 22nd. It's ok though. I'm sad though because we've found and are teaching a bunch of really awesome families. We had an awesome family named Gideon and Gloria come to church yesterday, which was pretty awesome. I'll be sad to leave them, but I am ready for a change of scenery. I'm hoping that Presiden Omer will send me up to Botswana. I've been hinting at it to him.
Desmond was confirmed this week. He finally came back from Limpopo this week. He's still doing really well.
It's strange getting back into a regular work and teaching schedule after the holidays with everyone being gone. It's nice at the same time though.
The only real horrible thing that I heard about this week is that apparently you can't buy or sell guns on ksl anymore. I'm pretty heart broken about it. Now I have to pay taxes on all of my firearms. Dang it.
Anyway, I love and miss you all and hope that you have another awesome week.
Elder Balmforth