Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hymn Books and Prison!

Okay, the internet wasn't working so I just have a couple of minutes, but the week was good.

I got a hymn book from 1948 which is sweet, and we used it in a spiritual message with a family.  We talked about the hymns and ways the hymn book has changed and then sang some hymns with the family, which is one of my favorite things to do in people's homes because it always brings the Spirit super strong.

We did some service of visiting a member in prison, (his visa expired), and that was a unique experience. My first time in jail. :)

And we got a new investigator! We received an email from church headquarters with this lady's name, and basically she doesn't even remember talking to missionaries before.  But she's chill and allowed us in her house. She had a lot of good questions which is awesome, so we'll see how it goes with her this week!

Ok talk to you all soon!
Elder Savage

Yeoville and a Midnight Snack!

Hey, family! Howsit. This week was pretty good.

On Wednesday I went on exchanges in central Johannesburg, in a place called Yeoville (pronounced yo-ville) and it was pretty sweet! I was expecting it to be different than places I had served because it's an actual city, but it basically felt like a normal township, except the buildings were taller.  In Yeoville there are thousands of foreigners, every one we taught was either from Zimbabe or DRC.  It was fun though.

So last week I think I talked about Tanya, who was baptized. Well this week she was confirmed which was awesome.  She also went to institute, but there were some things that she didn't understand, (they went in depth teaching about Joseph Smith and the Urim and Thummim and stuff), so we had a cool lesson with her basically on that.  We continue to meet with recent converts for a year after their baptism, so we'll just talk to her more about church history, which will be cool.  It is one of my favorite topics.

But yeah, besides that I was sick, which was lame. My schedule for the weekend was super weird because I still tried fasting.  But then I woke up Sunday morning at 2:45am and had to make eggs with toast and honey. . . you know me and sleep, so to give up sleep for food meant that I really needed it haha. But I think I'm better now!

Anyway, talk to you all soon!
Elder Savage


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cow Liver and Less Actives!

Hey everybody!

Ok... so I wrote down some notes on things to email about this week.  I wrote "Ate cow liver, 8 inv's to 2, service, LA members, talked to guy." I know what I was referring to for those, but in case you don't I'll explain haha.

So the week was pretty good, we had a baptism yesterday! If the picture doesn't send it's because the computer just decided to not recognize my camera.  Sorry.  But yeah, so that was really cool.  We have been working with her for awhile.  Her name is Tanya, and she was the one who had a dream that she should get baptized in January instead of November, and it all worked out.  So for still unknown reasons it was inspired!

Building up a teaching pool in this area has taken a little while, and as of last week we had 8 investigators.  Now we are down to 2, so it's a little rough but we're working with it. Basically we're just calling everyone on the ward list, since there's a lot of less actives, and we've gotten an investigator from doing that in the past.  So we're praying we find more people to teach! 
We started doing service for a guy-- we're teaching him how to read and write in English, so maybe something will come from that!

Yesterday we got fed cow liver with mashed potatoes and peas for lunch. It was pretty good, and I ate seconds. Woke up this morning two pounds heavier haha. I should eat liver more often!

And just another cool experience before I go.  This morning we were leaving our complex to email and I saw this guy working on his car, and I just felt like I should go and talk with him.  So I did and I asked him "you fixing your car?" A pretty stupid question haha, but he was like yeah and then started talking for 25 minutes about his cars.  Basically he's not really interested in religion, and he thinks most people are hypocrites, but he's a super cool guy.  We at least built a relationship with one of our neighbors. And he was like "if you ever need anything, just let me know. And if you ever want to come check out my other cars, I have about 30 BMW's in a warehouse in town, just let me know." So not completely sure why I felt I had to talk to him so strongly, but we'll see.

Anyway, gotta go.  Peace out! Love you!
Elder Savage

Baptismal Interview Confirmation and Other News!

Hey fam! 

This week was pretty good. I'm always trying to use different resources from the church with investigators we have. Previously we found a lot of church magazines in our flat that we gave out to people, and this week we've watched a lot of the D&C videos with people. There are some pretty awesome ones in there like Zion's Camp and the John Tanner story, and people usually find comparisons to their own lives, so we've enjoyed watching those. And yes, I do have them all memorized hahaha.

We also have been working with a less active member, and he loves the scriptures but he just hasn't been coming to church.  After meeting with him 4 or 5 times he said that he had a friend who wanted to learn more about our church, so we had a meeting with them and shared a message on faith. His friend, Matthew, is from Malawi, and he loved the lesson. And Luke is super into it as well.  Matthew wasn't able to attend church but Luke came again! It's nice because Luke isn't just getting more involved for himself, but also for his friend, so he'll be an amazing fellowshipper for him.

And yeah, I also had a cool experience on Friday.  I did my first baptismal interview and it was awesome. At the end of it the Spirit confirmed to me that the man really was prepared for baptism, and it was nice to have that confirmation. I prayed for it beforehand, and the Lord blessed me with it.

So yeah, definitely a week of ups and downs.  It’s always rough when an investigator drops you, but I know that no effort goes wasted, so we'll just keep working and finding new people!

Love you all and talk to you soon!
Elder Savage

Zoo Day in Africa!

Hey!  This week went well.  We went to the Johannesburg Zoo last week which was fun. 

Friday we went to the temple which is always awesome. We only had a few appointments set for the day, and our 4 o'clock cancelled, but I'll come back to that.

So Saturday was tight.  All the priest-aged young men in the stake had a two day mini mission.  On Friday they were at the chapel getting trained by recently returned missionaries from the Stake.  Then Saturday was the day that they went with the full-time missionaries for a full day of proselyting. We walked in the chapel around 7:00 am on Saturday morning, and I see this kid I didn't know and I started talking to him.  Then he ended up being our tag-along for the day and he was sweet!  He lives in downtown Johannesburg.  We were having an alright day, but our battery in the car died so we had to jump start it like twelve times during the day.  Thats good though because I'll never forget how to jumpstart a car now!  Anyway, so in the planning session we told Gilbert (that was the kid's name) that we were going to see a guy named Philemon, a member, and his family.  It was the guy that cancelled the appointment on Friday.  When we got to Philemon's house Gilbert's like "that's my uncle! haha.  We were just like no ways man, but he was like no seriously these are my cousins we're seeing. And even though Gilbert lives like 30 minutes from them he hasn't seen them in years, so it was pretty cool. Things worked how they were supposed to I guess.

But yeah, it was a cool day, and all the young men loved it and felt the Spirit super strong.   I just realized that I think I am used to having the Spirit let me know what to say in lessons, and I probably take it for granted, but I try to thank God for it.  It's pretty cool being a missionary.

I'm still loving the Jozi mission and love being an Elder.  I’ll talk to you again soon!

Elder Savage

In Africa they don't say "zee-bruh" they say "zeh-bruh", apparently we (americans) can't change the pronunciation because we don't have them.  :)

Mmmm . . . big boy.

Took this picture a split second after the bird pecked my camera.  haha.

Zoo python

The elephant was sick! (cool) We threw sticks to it and it ate them and then threw it’s trunk up and spit on us as a thank you haha.

“Monkey, hold me!"

Giraffe.  I have a sweet video of the elephant, but I can’t send it on myldsmail, buuut I guess it’s just a few more months before you’ll see it.  :)

I was trying to take a picture of the crocodile, but then the camera focused on the plant, but it looks cool so I’ll pretend like I did it on purpose.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Creating a system for calling less actives!

Hey howsit for you?  It’s going pretty well for me. Well just now our investigators are getting back, so that's pretty cool! This next week has filled up pretty well, so it should go smoothly, the way it was before the holidays.

We had three investigators at church yesterday, two of them we've been teaching.  The other one is a homeless man, but we really have no idea what his intentions are-- he either wants to learn the gospel or wants us to help fund his business. He's showed us his business plan and certificate like 3 times already and we're just like...okay we'll see you Tuesday at the church. We'll see how it goes haha.

So this last week of the holiday season we were trying to find effective activities, and we had previously asked for an updated ward list, so last Monday morning our ward mission leader comes riding up on his little scooter with the newly printed list, and we realized that we really don't know that many people in the ward. Part of the reason is that there's so many less active members, but basically we just started calling everyone that we didn't know and setting up appointments. It kind of reminded me of working at Verisk Health because I'm calling a lot and I have a system written out on the list, certain symbols mean different things ie checkmarks=we've visited them, x=called didn't get ahold of and so on. So it's been pretty cool, and we've met a few members since.  The coolest thing that's come from it is we visited a guy, Brother Willibroad, and he's from Camaroon (not sure how to spell that, it's a country near Nigeria). He's a member, but his wife and 3 kids are not, and they've been to the church and they've even gone to a sports night that the church had! The oldest son is 12 and he loves the church, so we're really hoping he can motivate the rest of his family to come.  It could turn out to be awesome. We've only met with them once though, so we'll see!

Another cool lesson was with a guy named Cosmos. We've been to his house before, but he's been in Zambia and his sisters are the ones we've visited.  They’re semi active, but we met him because his sister was supposed to be there for a lesson but never pitched. So we started talking and then realized he was a member and that he was even sealed with his wife in the temple, but he told us that he hasn't been to church in 6 months,.  He's not really sure how he's gone down this path, but he asked for our help, so we made a plan for him to pray and study from his scriptures because he obviously hasn't been doing that. So we went to his house again and started in 1 Nephi 1 with him again, we studied it and discussed it with him, which was cool. It's crazy, I've read that chapter so many times by myself and especially with instigators and members, but there's still new things that I pick up on. So it was a cool lesson, and we're glad that we can work with him some more.

Yup, pretty good week altogether.  Oh and really quick before I go, we had a lesson with this old lady who was baptized a few years ago.  Long story short, her daughter lives in Loomis! I was like no way, you are the first person I've talked to in a year (including all the missionaries I've talked to from California) who has heard of Loomis!  Her daughter is not a member, but she lives on King Road haha. I was just like, yeah, I know King Road-- I drove on it every day.  Small world huh. 

Cool, talk to you all soon!
Elder Savage

Parktown Prawns!

Hey everybody! What's up. This week was alright.  We just focused on less actives and members because all of our investigators are still on holiday, but we helped some people out!

We had some fun on New Year's Eve and New Year’s day and just spent it with a lot of other missionaries.  We played sports like crazy haha. I was pretty sore and even a little sunburnt, but it tanned out.

We just had a couple of lessons this week.  One was just helping a kid with his Duty to God lessons, which was fun. And we met a less active guy in our area who we're working with now. And we just got an updated ward list, so we're going to go down the list and try to visit everyone, since there's a lot of ward members I still don't know.  Hopefully we can get some referrals from that-- that'll be our goal!

So this morning we were just chilling in the study room in our flat, and then my companion freaked out and was like "It's a prawn! It's a prawn!” Basically, there are these bugs here called Parktown Prawns. I'm not sure if I've talked about them before.  Basically, just imagine a jerusalem cricket/potato big, but 4x bigger, and they have huge antennas and front legs like a grass hopper. So one had snuck in under our front door last night and chilled in our place, and then gave us a nice little surprise. So I wasn't going to deal with it, so we put a plastic bowl over it and then left for a couple of hours.  We had to take other missionaries emailing, and they're from Tanzania and they're used to these types of things, so they took it outside and we slaughtered it. So yeah, my anxiety was going pretty hard hahaha.  Big bugs make me paranoid, but I guess I survived :)

But yeah, the work should pick up this next week or two and should be good! Thanks again for the Christmas candy-- I now have diabetes.

Talk to you next week!
Elder Savage