Monday, November 30, 2015

Botanical Gardens and Mount Everest!

Hey fam! What's up. 

This week was sweet! I went on exchanges which is always fun.  Elder Tima from the Marshall Islands came with me to Randburg, and it was fun. We had a plumber come to the flat for like 6 hours though to fix our shower and sink, so after companionship study we were just like...we can't leave these guys here alone, so we just played chess, checkers, sillyhead, and then we kicked a soccerball around in the big workout room.  Afterwards, we watched some Old Testament videos. It was pretty boring.  It’s weird--when I don't do missionary work time goes by super slow. But it was alright because the shower doesn't leak anymore, so I guess it was worth it! 

Then later in the day we were trying to find some less-active members that the ward hasn't been able to get a hold of, which was interesting. One guy left the church and is attending another church like 40 minutes away, another's "address" was a hotel, and the others we couldn't get a hold of because they have huge gates with electric fences, so we couldn't really go up to their door. So not too exciting of a day, but we still got some good work done.

Wednesday was tight, though. We had a zone conference, but it was for the whole mission. The theme was “Overcoming the summits of our mission." We met at this place called the Botanical Gardens.  It is a big area, like a sanctuary, and they have a cool hiking trail with a waterfall and stuff. Anyway, we had normal talks like any other zone conference from President and Sister Dunn, but they had a guest speaker, and she is the third South African woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest! So she talked about it, showed pictures, and it was super cool. Basically, I would never ever climb Mount Everest haha.  After having her explain how many people die, and the physical challenges they face, it's just crazy! She showed a picture she took of a helicopter taking away a dead body, and was explaining how near the top is the "death zone," because the elevation is so high that your organs can shut down, and your eyes will bleed and all this crazy stuff. And you can't just hike Mount Everest, it costs thousands and thousands of dollars (I think she said it was around $40,000), and it takes two months to climb! And she said even if you get to the top, that doesn't count as summiting it, because people so often die on the way down, so in order to say you've summited Everest you have to get up and back down. Just nuts, but it was really cool.  They gave us lunch during her presentation, and then afterwards we went on our own summit! Just up a really big hill and down at the base of a waterfall, so it wasn't as dificult as Mount Everest, but it was still super hot :)  It was a sweet day though.

Lots of cool stuff this week, so because of it we didn't have as many lessons, but the ones we had were pretty quality. We have a new investigator named Prince. Last week is when I had that super strong prompting to talk to the guy who was a former investigator, and Prince is his roommate and we finally had a lesson with him on Saturday. I'm still not sure why the prompting was so strong because I made the mistake of ignoring it and driving away, but it just didn't go away-- it just got stronger until we drove back and spoke with him. So yeah, whatever it is, we have a really important reason to be there. Maybe for Prince, maybe for Kebar (the former investigator), who knows, but we're happy about it, and it was a good lesson. Prince basically said he used to be religious but he's lost his faith and he wants to know how he can get that back. So we talked with him a while about that and told him that that is our purpose, to help people develop their faith in Christ, so it was nice. He wasn't able to come to church though, neither were any of our investigators because they had this huge bike race with thousands of people, and basically in order to get to the church you had to take this crazy detour on the freeway that took like 30 minutes. Luckily it was Stake Conference, because it started at 10:00, but we didn’t get there until not sure what was said, but at least we made it!

So yeah, pretty awesome week. We also went to pick up a member on Friday night but he stepped on a bee and he's allergic, and then the appointment basically cancelled anyway, so we just chilled with him and his dad bought Domino's pizza and Mug root beer, so I was in heaven haha.  It was a complete American meal.

Anyway, love you all. Stay well and talk to you soon!

Elder Savage

The waterfall at the Botanical Gardens in Krugersdoorp, not too far from the mission office.

The view from the top.

Reunited with my son! 
He was pretty tired by the end haha, as you can see.

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