Monday, April 29, 2013

Area number 3 here we come....

Hello friends and family,

This past week has been my final week here in the little kingdom of Phuthaditjhaba. I'm moving onto my third area! So the new place I'm going is called Welkom (pronounced velcom), it's a heavily Afrikaans area. My first area of Margate was a mix of the Zulu and Xolsa tribes along with Afrikaaners. My area here in PJ is all Sotho people and now Welkom is primarly an Afrikaans with some Sotho. Welkom is on the very outer edge of our mission so I'm going further into outer darkness haha. I've heard that they have a chapel there and it's a more established branch. I also heard some news that the Bloemfontein district that I'm currently in will be turning into a Stake. It will be the 3rd stake in our mission which is cool. Anyways, my new companion is Elder Ramasanandro, he is from Madagascar. I have met him a couple of times in the past, he is pretty old on mission I think. I'm covering all of the African continent with my companions! First one from Liberia, 2nd from Zimbabwe, 3rd from South Africa, 4th from Zambia and now Madagascar. 

The baptism yesterday went really well. There were 2 people baptized and we had the most people at church I've seen since I've been here. We had 60 people! We actually didn't set out enough sacrament cups (normally only like 30 people there in time for sacrament) so we had to go get some more water and re-bless it. Church was pretty hectic with the baptisms and directing all of the investigators that came yesterday. One of the speakers didn't show up for sacrament so the branch president called my name to come speak, I wasn't even prepare with anything when he called me up as the first speaker. It ended up being one of my best talks I've given because I was just telling what I know to be true with regards to the Book of Momron. I spoke on the Book of Mormon as the keystone of our religion and how satan cannot divide himself so he could not give us a book that leads us to Christ. It was great and I felt the spirit really stong as I bore testimony of the divinity of the Book of Mormon. 

Brother B______ gave a great testimony after he was baptized and it was so great to see how he has come to know the church is true. Something funny happened with his testimony though. In his testimony he said: "At first when Elder Summers showed up I had doubts about joining this church but now all my doubts are gone!" Then after he was done with his testimony the Brother conducting the baptism stood up and said: "Doubts...We all had doubts at first!" Hahaha it was pretty funny the way he said it. The water was so cold baptizing B______, I don't know how people get baptized here in the middle of winter. It was a really sunny day yesterday and it was still freezing. We are using a temporary pool that we have to set up before church and run the tap water through a hose into the pool. I'm glad I was just doing the baptizing and I didn't have to go under! One of our investigators who we started teaching a couple weeks ago, I have talked about her in the past, came to the baptism. Her name is A____ and this past week she even talked about how she wants to be a missionary. We committed her to baptism but she said she is scared of water. She said she enjoyed the baptism and I think it was good for her to see.  

Well onto my next challenge, I'll miss this place! I've met such amazing people and some of their circumstances have truly humbled me. It's hard to say good bye to people but hopefully I'll be able to come back someday. It's amazing to see the strength of some of these saints and the devotion they give to the gospel. They truly are willing to sacrifice so much and disciples of Christ. 

Elder Summers 

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