Monday, December 15, 2014

Salani Kahle!

What's happening! 

This week has gone by pretty fast, but it was good though! I think I sent you those pics of me and Elder Clegg painting that lady's house and having to use her ghetto outhouse haha. She's like the nicest lady ever though. People here always give us yogurt or biscuits or something to eat even though they're living in super rough conditions, it's crazy. My goal for when I get home is to give the missionaries something every time they stop by, because I know how awesome it is to get free stuff haha. 

Some of their living conditions 
But yeah we had zone conference this week and it was awesome, we had Elder Cook from the seventy and he was way cool. He talked for a little on safety, because it's December so people go crazy, and for a few hours on just the conversion process and working hard. It was pretty motivating, Elder Clegg and I afterwords were just like "Let's go to work!" It's lame though because the government shuts off the power in Daveyton pretty frequently to save money, but they don't tell people when they're gonna do it, so sometimes we have to stop proselyting because it gets pretty sketchy at night with no electricity. But they usually do it during the day, which is good.

The outhouse Elder Savage had to use

We've had a lot of good lessons this past week! We got a referral from a member for this guy who owns his own little gym and he's pretty tight. He's flipping jacked, and he doesn't drink or smoke because he takes super good care of himself, but he's a spiritual guy too. He talks about praying and how his prayers get answered, so the lessons should go well with him! Member referrals are the best. 

Pretty sketchy! 
We also taught this less active kid named Jazz (his actual name has clicks in it and is freaking hard to pronounce) and we had a sweet conversation. He was asking a lot of really good questions about hell and the spirit prison. We teach him again this week and I'm super excited for it, because I've studied and learned about spirt world/prison for a few weeks and I feel like I understand it better than I have before. I honestly don't love lessons where you're just talking and they don't ask anything or have any comments, I'm not that good at giving those lessons because I can get through the restoration in like 5 minutes when they don't say anything. but I'm working on it!

I go on exchanges in another area with a zone leader on Tuesday, so wish me luck! Talk to you all next week, thanks for the emails, love you all!

Salani Kahle!

Monday, December 8, 2014


Hey fam, how's it going! 

This week has gone by crazy fast, so hopefully I can remember some of the stuff that happened haha. 

So like I said last week, my area I serve in is Daveyton, but I live in a four man flat in a place called Farramer. When I first got to the flat it was pretty nasty, not gonna lie haha, but over the past week during cracks of free time I've cleaned a bunch of it! You'd be proud of me mom, my room is super clean, I even vacuum it :) 

So things here are a lot cheaper than America, my allotment to live off each month (not including rent/utilities) is 1400 rand, which is only $130 haha. So I'm learning how to budget my money pretty well, because $130 can go pretty fast! For breakfast I usually have cereal, granola, or pancakes (which are tight), and then lunch is a grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwich, and dinner is something like noodles, hamburger and cheese. I'm getting pretty good at making simple meals haha. My comp and I usually don't get dinner, because people in townships don't have that much money, but it's all good. People still give us coke and biscuits all the time, even though they're literally living in a tin shack. They're crazy nice.  I also ate this thing called Kota, which like originated in Daveyton, it's basically a loaf of bread with the middle taken out, and then it's stuffed with fries, bologna stuff, and a hamburger. It's basically just a heart attack in a bread loaf haha, but it's tastes awesome! 

Elder Clegg and I also got bikes this week! Because we share the car with two other missionaries, and our areas are like fifteen kilometers from our apartment, we switch off between using the car and bikes. But I like the bikes more, it lets us ride around and just talk to the people on the street. Probably a couple of times a day a little kid will point at us and yell "Mulungu!" which just means white person haha. There's no white people in Daveyton, it's awesome.

Elder Savage on his bike in Daveyton
Another thing about Daveyton is they consume more alcohol than any other town in South Africa! And since it's December, it's everyones' Summer vacation, and it's the Holiday season, so people just drink that much more. Like 10 different people came up to me on Saturday and asked to shake my hand. No idea why drunk people want to shake my hand, but it's whatever :). My comp and I were riding our bikes to a investigators house and then I saw this old guy leaning up against a wall, and his briefcase was on the ground and he was trying to pick it up so I ran over to help him. When I got to him he just kept on saying "I couldn't hold it, I couldn't hold it," and I thought, are you talking about your briefcase? Because I can carry that for you. But then Elder Clegg came up and was like "Elder, look at his feet," and I realized the old guy was standing in a puddle of his own urine. "I couldn't hold it." hahahaha I was just like ohhhhhh now I get it, he didn't need help holding his briefcase, he was just insanely drunk. Good times.

The teaching is going super well too! My favorite guy is named David, and he has a daughter Lesego and they're both super tight. He's been investigating the church for like 9 months, which is crazy! He comes to church, pays tithing, and keeps the commandments, he just still hasn't been baptized, so we're working on him. But the discussions we have with him are awesome, he asks super good questions and really wants to know more about the gospel.

One of the member's homes
Yesterday's fast sunday was very cool, too. We have this investigator named Pule, and he has this growth on the side of his face, and he's always super sick when we see him, and he can hardly talk or eat, so I prayed and fasted a lot for him. Then in the afternoon we dropped by his house and he was sitting in a chair (he usually lies down inside because he's in too much pain) on his front lawn and he was just like yeah I'm feeling a lot better. I didn't even realize until that night that we had fasted for him, and then he was totally blessed for it! So that was a cool experience.
A new cluster/church in Daveyton

Well the days are already flying by, it's nuts! I'll keep sending you some pictures that I've taken, I made a ghetto ping pong table in our flat hahaha it's tight. Love you all, talk to you next week! Peace

Ping pong table Elder Savage made in his flat
... Including paddles! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Post from Stephen's Mission President

We received a few more pictures of Elder Savage from his Mission President's blog!

Stephen with his Mission President and wife, President and Sister Dunn. 

 Stephen with his trainer Elder Clegg. He's only been out since September!! 

Elder Savage's Transfer Board picture 

Monday, December 1, 2014

1st Week in the Mission Field!

Hey family! 

This week has been pretty nuts! The MTC went by super quick, which was nice, and on last Tuesday I got my new companion and area! So my comp is Elder Clegg, he's from Lehi, and Mom, he said his mom will probably try to find you haha. 

So my first area is a township, it's called Daveyton and it's tight! Quick lesson on South Africa, they have Cities, Towns, Townships, and villages. So some townships have small houses and are like made of bricks, and then others are straight up tin shacks, it's nuts! But yeah in being in Daveyton reminds me of the story Grandpa Savage told me about a missionary who went to SA and said the only white face he saw was his when he looked in the mirror haha. Besides the other Elders, I've only seen two white people, except one was an albino black person, which was straight up the weirdest thing i've ever seen haha. We tried teaching him in a person's house, but he wasn't very receptive of the gospel. 

The culture here is crazy different than America. They speak differently, like they say hows it, and all the black people either speak zulu or suto (no idea how to spell it) or swana, so there's like a thousand different greetings, they're kind of difficult to get used to haha. They have like three different handshakes, so I never know which one to give people. But one of the weirdest things is how easy it is to go into a random person's house and just start teaching about the gospel. We don't tract too much, but when we do we just walk in, and people tell us their phone numbers and they have like no problem trusting random strangers in their houses. 

But we have a lot of investigators, so the teaching is going great! My favorite lessons are the ones where they read the scriptures and just ask us questions, because that's when I feel the spirit the most, and it just helps me answer their questions. 

Anyway, I don't have as much time to email today, but thanks again for all the emails, they're awesome!

Talk to you next week!

Elder Savage 

 Elder Savage and his trainer Elder Clegg! 

 He's a real missionary now!!! 

Elder Savage with some investigators 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Week 1- First Week in the MTC

Whatsup everybody!

So this week has been good! It's definitely been the longest week of my life, not in a bad way or anything, but it just seems like such a long time since I got here! Like I talked about a little in my last email, my companion is Elder Phiri (pronounced peery), he's 22 and he's from Zambia! He's a cool guy. I had to explain a couple things to him, like what dry wall is (the only houses he's been in were just cement blocks) and the fact that ironing the inside of your shirt doesn't do anything haha but he's a great missionary. He has a pretty cool conversion story, too. He used to tell the missionaries he would be at his house, and then like five minutes before they got there he would run away and call them and be like oh sorry I'm busy! This was when he was 18, so the missionaries stopped coming, and about a year later he was like "I need to change my life." He knew he needed to go to church, and he had a few choices, so he picked the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and then was converted and is now serving a mission! It can be difficult because even though he speaks English, it's his 4th language, so I've had to learn how to communicate better with him, but it's been good! 

One of the first things I learned when I got here was the difference between an adapter and a converter! A converter converts the 220 volts into 110, and an adapter fries your alarm clock and electric toothbrush charger! hahaha so maybe you would be able to send me a new charger in a month or two :) But don't try to send any packages or letters in the mail, because the postal service has been on strike for a few months, so I'll update you if a find a way that isn't really expensive. Because right now to send a 4 pound package would be a couple hundred dollars. 

I think I talked in my last email about this MTC. It's the smallest in the world, there's only 12 of us Elders here haha. So even though my companion and I are District Leaders, it's only four us and 4 other missionaries, which is cool I guess! There's six Africans, five Americans, and Elder Ainslie, the Brit haha, he's hilarious.
We're really busy here, either learning in class or teaching the "investigators," which are really just the instructors. But even though they're acting, the spirit is still really strong in our lessons, and I'll ask questions that I had never even thought about asking them! Teaching makes me excited to actually go out in the field and talk to people in their homes.
Sorry I can't really send pictures back, the network here is too slow, but I'll be able to send some next week once I'm in the field! 
Anyway, love you all! I know this church is true, and I'll be teaching that in a week! Thanks for all the emails! Peace

Elder Savage on the airplane
South Africa MTC
Playin a little game of foosball 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

First blog post!

Hey everyone!

Stephen landed in South Africa around 11pm Wednesday night for us, which was Thursday morning for him. Here are some of the emails he sent different family members about his trip!

Thanks mom! Yeah the flights were good, I slept for about 4 of the 8 hours to London, and then 5 of the 10.5 to South Africa! But I'm still soo tired haha. We flew with like 20 missionaries to Dallas who were going to Portugal, and then slowly we met up with others going to Johannesburg, Mozambique, and Zambia. The past days went by pretty quickly, but I'm excited to get a good night's sleep tonight because I've been up for awhile! I'm not sure when my normal pday is, but we just got here at the MTC a few hours ago, and have just got settled it, got some shots and filled out paperwork and are now emailing! My companion is from Zambia, his name is Elder Phiri, he seems like a pretty cool guy! There's only 11 of us for the next two weeks, apparently this is the smallest MTC, so it should be good. 

(Christie sent Stephen a couple pictures of his nephew, Daxton). Hahaha those pics of Dax are amazing! But yeah the first flight was uneventful, and then the second flight (8 hrs) I had two seats to myself so I just slept. I woke up and I had this thick cheetah blanket on me, and I was super confused and then this black lady on the next row over was like "I put it on ya. You looked cold." Hahaha I was just like wow that's like the coolest thing anyone's ever done for me. And then I sat next to a french guy on the 11 hour flight and played this trivia game on the monitor, but a lot of the questions had to do with the UK because that's where I flew out of, so it was basically impossible. 


Thanks Jeff! Yeah I was reading that talk at like 3am on the plane last night, and I wrote like a page and half on what I thought about it. I'm really crazy tired right now, and I don't have the notes that I took, but basically I thought it was a pretty good post. One of the things I disagreed with was when he was talking about dark feelings, and how God doesn't put those in our hearts, but what I thought he failed to mention is that the dark feelings we get when we encounter something bad isn't God telling us it's bad, it's just the Holy Ghost leaving. And also I thought his thoughts on the new temple movies was a little haughty, you know about him not being able to receive revelation because it was too over dramatic, because I know I receive revelation each time I watch the movies. But I really liked the quote by that BYU vp about how a lot of LDS movies and literature tugs at your heart strings, and that makes us think we're feeling the spirit, even though it's just sentimentality. And also one of the things that I'll continue to ponder was the quote where he said something like If you think the spirit is confirming an answer because you feel good, or telling you no because you feel bad, then you're basically the devil's puppet. That spoke to me because that's how I've tried to determine if I feel the spirit that way for the past little while, but I feel like I never really have a clear understanding of what the spirit was trying to say. So all in all, he said some good things that are definitely worth thinking about. Thanks again for the read! 

We're not sure when his P-day will be yet, but we're excited to hear all about his first few days/week there! Send Elder Savage some emails or letters at, or via Here's a picture of his MTC Zone!