Monday, December 9, 2013

Oct 21, 2013
Dear family and friends,
This week has been incredible! I was transferred to Osizweni on Tuesday; it was a long bus ride and I was sad to leave Durban but I was so excited to come to the Newcastle zone. I have heard great things about this zone and I can now say for myself I understand why people love this zone. This is the 2nd largest zone in our mission with 18 Elders and 4 couple missionaries. Newcastle is currently a district and is working towards becoming a stake.
We have awesome couple missionaries that live right next to us. We live in town here in Newcastle which is about a 30 minute drive away from our area in Osizweni. There are 4 of us Elders working in Osizweni along with the couple missionaries. This is my first time working closely with couples and it is a lot of fun, it makes our work a lot easier! They help us organize family home evenings at members homes where we can invite investigators and neighbors. They also organize activities here to get the community involved and to get the church recognized. Osizweni is currently a group (not a branch) but is big enough to be its own branch; they will become a branch once they can secure a location for a chapel. Sacrament attendance apparently is about 70 to 80 people, we had 82 people at church yesterday. We meet in a very small school and we were running out of chairs!
The area here is just awesome! The work here is really moving along and it's nice to come into an area that is doing so well. There are going to be 4 baptisms this Saturday and we currently have 6 or more baptisms scheduled for next month. The youth here do a lot of missionary work from what I can see which makes our work a lot easier. We actually are teaching so many people here that we have had to go on exchanges with some YSA's to cover all of our appointments, that's a first out of all of the areas I have served in!
The longer I am on mission the easier everything becomes, I feel as though the Lord is just pouring down blessings upon my head. Every morning I wake up I just feel happy and peaceful with so much hope! I don't know how to describe it to be honest. It's amazing what the gospel of Jesus Christ can do for us, it provides each of us with an eternal perspective instead of the limited scope which the world provides.
I was able to speak in sacrament meeting since it was my first Sunday. Apparently it is tradition here that they introduce the new Elders by letting them speak. Of course I didn't find this out until Sunday morning! Haha. Luckily speaking is very easy when the spirit is with you and gives you everything to say. I decided to speak on sacrifice and I just got up there without an notes and gave my talk. Everything that needed to be said just flowed to my mind and I was grateful for the Lord's support. I even bore my testimony in Zulu at the end which was a lot of fun, I was kind of nervous about that though! Apparently I did alright, it is awesome being able to speak with click sounds! Don't worry, I'll share my testimony in Zulu when I come home.
Thanks for your love, support and prayers. I wish you all another great week and I'm happy to hear that the Cougars are playing well!!
Elder Summers

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