That means hello in Khosa. I am already starting to pick it up. It is everybody’s first language here. My goal is to speak it fluently by the time I come home! But wow…what a week. The first day I drove around and met our investigators and our members and they were all super friendly. All of the kids always want to hold my hand. I always dance with them and do handshakes with them and jump around with them.. they all know me. Whenever I see them they go “ELLLLDAAAA TAYYYYLAAA” and run up to me…cutest kids I’ve ever seen here. I attached a couple of pictures of me and the kids so you can see! Another thing that is super funny is whenever a group of girls wave at me, and I wave back, they scream like Justin Bieber waved at them! hahahaha its halarious. I’m like famous here hahahaha.
So, after the first day I was feeling good. We are driving home and a guy stops us on the road and says “there are 8 crooks in the area and they are all armed, get inside right away.” I was like, is this a joke?!? And when we get in our house we heard noise and a door slammed so we were freaking out to say the least.
I also met the bishop the first day, he is an 80 year old man whose English is iffffffy to say the least, but a super nice guy. My trainer and I have eaten KFC and McDonalds a few times, haha it’s so good here!
Speaking of my companion, I have come to find out he was ranked number THREE in the entire country in espn.com recruiting rankings in the class of 2013 for football, look him up. Pulu is his last name. He is a total stud and we already have a great bond. We work really hard…Jacki and Jason… I am not a lazy boy anymore hahahaha! Hard work pays off tremendously. We teach really well together. He brings his guitar and sings to the people after the lessons and they love it.
We already have FIVE baptisms coming up, FIVE. The people here are so ready to here the gospel it is amazing. One story I would like to share is about a guy name Yanga (E-an-ga). He has been getting lessons for two months and has already been asked three times to get baptized and he declined each time. I knew this so I was not going to bring up baptism during the lesson. We were having a really good discussion and the Holy Ghost said to me… “baptism…baptism…baptism” I was like oh boy, here we go…. So this is how it went. I said, “So you were talking about being righteous…and the way we are righteous is by keeping the commandments…and one of the most important commandments Christ gave us is to be baptized like he was. So, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God?” And he looked at me and said… “yes, I’m ready.” Then I said “Heavenly Father loves you and is very proud and happy with the decision you are making” And then he smiled and the spirit was so strong I didn’t want to leave. It is amazing what the Holy Ghost can do if you listen to it!
We have two fellowshippers, which means recent converts, who come with us to every single lesson we teach. MJ and CJ are their names. They are 23 and getting ready to serve missions. They bring such a strong spirit too. They come with us from our first to our last lesson everyday. I bought them dinner the other day just as a thank you because they never ask for anything, they just go.
The food here is freaky. I’ve already dropped ten pounds, hahaha. The grocery store is a little interesting but it works! I always get Red Bulls hahahahaha…. shhhhhh… but they taste FREAAAKY. haha. This place is super cool though, I already love the people. Something super funny is here in Mthatha…goats and cows roam free. They always cross the street and just walk around hahahah. There was 12 by our house the other day.
But, Mthatha is a little scary too. A missionary got stabbed the other day by someone and now we are teaching the guy who stabbed the missionary HAHAHAHA! Sorry mom, but everyone needs to hear the gospel! Poverty is also super sad here. Most of the peoples houses are maybe a little smaller than my room at home. But they are super grateful for what they have. They walk miles to get to the church building.
Speaking of the church building… let’s just say it could use some upgrades. It used to be a night club and the chapel is the size of the primary room back at home. But we pack it in every week. The “Font” we use is a blow up swimming pool hahahahahahhaha. But a baptism is a baptism!
We have yet to tract here…we teach so many lessons we don’t have time for new investigators at the moment. It is super cool. We drive to an appt and then get into the car and drive to another. Yet to walk. I love it hahahaha. Every single lesson we teach, out of the four of us who teach the lessons, I have prayed EVERY single time haha. But the weather is freezing… I dont really know if I am in Africa or not…. it’s windy and rainy and just cold! I did drive for the first time yesterday… I picked it up pretty easily but it is still freaky driving on the other side of the road!
I’m so grateful to be where I am and my love for these people is amazing. My love for the gospel and for Jesus Christ has grown to heights I couldn’t even imagine. I know that this is the true church back on the earth today. I wouldn’t be 10,000 miles away from home teaching to people if I didn’t know for a fact this is the true church. I love you all and pray for you everyday!