Monday, April 2, 2018

Headed to Botswana!

Playing guitar with a recent convert

? Getting ready to sneeze?

Some tourists from Asia jumped into our zone picture!

March 12, 2018
It is good to hear from you guys. We had a good week! I just got back from paint balling. We did really good and had a lot of fun!!!! We had a lot of success in the area this week. I know just by our planning and pre-set appointments this coming one is going to be even better! We met with a less active member this week who was a really strong member when I was  here last.  He said he will come back church.(this was after church yesterday so I have hope he will be there next week)! We have a goal to invite one person a day to be baptized and will let you know how it goes!!

April 2, 2018

This week was good. I am getting transferred to Botswana to a place called Broadhurst (Gabarone). I will be with Elder M. He is a GREAT guy.  We have served around each other quite a bit. I love the pics they are so cool. I am doing really good, real good. I watched all of conference except the Sunday afternoon. I will probably watch it during the week sometime. I know this transfer will FLY. I don't plan on telling anyone that I am finishing so I can stay focused.  The pastor lady went to Limpopo on vacation but got back recently. She reads the Book of Mormon and prays so it is just a matter of time... 

Your Son

Saturday, February 24, 2018

BABY LIONS!!!! And a random llama....

January 22, 2018

Okay, so I sent last week's email just now. The power went out so that's that... Last p-day we played with baby lions and it was sweet!!! They were 6 months old so they were a bit aggressive but it just made it cooler! Hopefully we can play with cheetahs in the future.  Mams (Mamelodi) is good.  We have 3 baptisms scheduled for the 11th of February.   We also played sports like all today (hacky sack, rugby, ultimate frisbee) and man I am sore! I also carried another missionary up 3 flights of stairs just for kicks. I am trying to eat a little healthier so to come home in better shape.(look out Dad) All in all the week was good. I ate some cow intestines and hoof on Saturday and it was pretty good. Sticky though...  

January 29, 2018

So I had a good week. We went to Witbank for a baptismal interviews/exchanges. Me and my companion are going to send some missionaries to Bronkenspred soon so we can see how it is. Maybe open the area next transfer. ​

February 5, 2018
Dear Family, 
The lions were at a park kinda thing. They were 6 months old so they were a bit aggressive but it was cool. One bit my shoe lace off haha. And cow hoof is VERY sticky! but nice. I am glad to hear the report on how things are going. 

And the baptisms are on for the 11th. And our investigators are good but our main focus has been on less active members by Bishop's request.     

Your Son
February 12, 2018
It makes me really sad to hear the story of that boy... Stuff like that happens here all the time. the other day we were driving down the street and saw a mom beating her son, about 11 years old. She was putting the waylay on him, it was sad.  The baptisms went through alright... We didn't take pictures though.  All is good, we had a great week this week. Went on exchanges with the elders in Pretoria and Witbank. We have zone conference tomorrow,  Ulysses S. Soares will be there so it will be chill. 
 All is good here on my side of the pond. I am just living in the moment best I can, I don't have any complaints. Love you so much man!!
Your Boy

February  19, 2018

Dear Family, 
We had a great week this week. We found some good new investigators that seem promising. One lady knew it was true in the first lesson and was baffled. She is loving everything we are teaching and she turned out to be a minister in her church.

Love you all! 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Highlights from the Last Two Months

Editor's Note:  I have been terrible about getting Jackson's blog updated.  Here are a few highlights from the last two months. 
Thabo's Baptism 

Birthday Celebration

Our District with our Zone Leaders (Mafikeng)

Thanksgiving Turkey


An activity we had recently

November 13, 2017 - January 15, 2018
I have had a good week, me and Elder Flood still get along.  All in all I am doing great. I am actually starting to enjoy opposition/challenges.  Elder Flood is probably going to leave in a few weeks. I take it I will replace the current group in Bots when they come out. That being said I might finish my mission there. BUT, you never know when it comes to transfers... 

We had to travel to Bots on Monday so I didn't get to email. Had a good week this week. A lot of our investigators left Mafikeng because they were students going home for the Holiday. We will now work with less actives and members. Wish us luck. Zone  Conference was yesterday it was good. I am glad to hear all the updates. We get transfer news Saturday night so I will update you on Monday. 

We found a turkey for Thanksgiving and I doctored it up and cooked it and it was actually really good! I was proud of myself.  I got transferred. I am going back to Mamelodi..... I will be a Zone Leader in the Pretoria Zone. It should be interesting... My companion is on his last transfer so I hope he is still motivated. 

We have 14 missionaries in our Zone and I am in the EXACT same area... It is cool to hear about the stake changes. It will be interesting to come home to. My package got here, it is the Christmas one so I am going to wait to open it. My companion's  name is Elder M., he is From Bloemfontein in Free State Africa. He is a really good guy. 

The week is good, December is SLOW in Mamelodi, church attendance drops and people don't have time for missionaries but its all good. We turn our focus to less actives these times so we have a plan. After emailing we are headed to Witbank for exchanges, it should be fun.

Exchanges were good, It was nice to get a change of scenery... The Elders out there are doing good. I owe them a cake because they tripled  their people on date for baptism this week. I don't know how I'll get it to them now that I think about it... 
My Zone is 14 strong, they are all good guys. The members remember me other just a few.

Just wanted to tell you all that I am doing good. My new companion is Elder R. from the US. He is a really good guy. The district is losing an area, me and Elder R. will be adopting it, it will keep us busy which is good.  I am excited for the coming transfer. We are looking forward to some baptisms which should be nice. 

The hakey sack you sent in my Christmas package is a total hit! Last transfers practically all the missionaries were playing in a huge circle! It was pretty cool. This week as Zone Leaders we met with the Stake President.  It was very productive. We planned a reactivation activity in Mamelodi 2nd ward (not the ward I am in) because it is a dying ward. It is going to be a branch soon. I hope we get to reactivate some priesthood holders. We also have to visit a group in Bronkenspread, it is a city that doesn't have missionaries in our Zone. Hopefully next Sunday to see if we can open the area. 

Love you all,

Elder Voyles

Monday, November 6, 2017

Mafikeng Update and More Neat Pictures

October 23, 2017 - November 6, 2017

Me with zebras in the background

Water Buck 

Kudu bull (good to eat)
Springbok (there is a black one in there!)

Me with the other Elders

Dear Family, 

The baptisms went great. Members usually give the talks but it is who the investigator wants. We have a pretty big turn out, it takes place right after church so most people will stay.   We did have transfers and Elder Flood and I will be staying together. Elder Mills and Elder Jaker are new. Elder Mills is from California and Elder Jaker (pronounced 
jack-a) is from Uganda. They are just what the area needed. It will be hard but good for them. They are both kinda new.

I had a good week this week. It flew by!!! We are already half way through transfers. The new Elders are doing great! They make my job easy, which I like.  I am glad things are going well at home. Fun fact. Pretty much all of the game parks in South Africa or neighboring countries you can drive around yourself. We should come back and I can be our Safari guide. Me and my comp are still 100%.  To answer your question, his name is pronounced just the same as Flood. It was translate from Waipuke which means "many waters". But now its just Flood. 

There is opposition in this work but nothing that ruffles my feathers too much. I am just starting Ether right now. I usually read about one chapter a day. I really try to study it. My knowledge has increased very much!! Man, all I can say is that the Church is true..

Your Son & Brother

Monday, October 16, 2017

News from Africa

Left to right Peter, me, Rhino (Tsapelo) 
Rhino is his nickname, he is an investigator that we play rugby with at NWU. Peter is his friend he brought to church with him. 

From Left to Right (Me, Gape, Stanley, President L., Elder F.)

Jackoranda trees
(In Southern California, these are called jacaranda trees)


The police cars in Botswana

Our living room

October 2, 2017

Dear Family,
My lens is not broken, the pics were from my comps camera. We went to a game park just to check it out without intention to go in so I didn't bring my camera. We didn't get to watch conference, my comp just downloaded it so we will watch/listen this week. As to your questions about our mission president...he is a rule follower. I wouldn't say he is strict but he is strait forward. The mission is really young, its only 3 or 4 years old. It was formed from other missions.  He  is just what the mission needs. 

I have just begun the Savior's appearance in my personal study recently!! It is great isn't it?  

We have found and investigator at the University and he is on date now. He is way cool, kinda quiet, but genuine.  His name is Thabo.  

Have a great week!

Your Missionary

October 9, 2017

 Dear Family,
I don't have much time, we have to drive to Botswana today for Zone Conference tomorrow. I had a good week. Thabo is on date for the 29th. Stanley and Gape are getting baptized on Sunday.    I hope you all have a great week! Let me know how all your individual weeks go! Love you so much!!!

Your Son & Bro

October 16, 2017

Gape and Stanley were both baptized! Thabo is going to make it as well, I am sure of it! As for languages I have learned just the basics of Tswana, Zulu and Afrikaans. I feel I know more Afrikaans than the others.  

Dear Family,  
Transfers are tomorrow. We get the news the Saturday prior.(the 14th) The other Mafikeng town area is being whitewashed (all new elders are coming in). Two good Elders are coming which is great.  My comp is from Hamilton New Zealand. Let me know what mission she is in. He knows people all over New Zealand. I cant belive Davis is that old now... Hyo... As for the Christmas call all is well. What ever works is fine. I will let you know when the package is here for sure. I am grateful for your diligence Mom. I have reflected on that these past few weeks. You are a great example to me. I hope you have a good week. Let my fans know I am still alive and I am still wearing a tie. Love you so much!


Elder Voyles

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Big Game Park and Finding Success in Mafikeng

Editor's Note:  Here are the updates from the last two weeks.  Jackson was able to visit a big game park.  It looks like his lens is cracked or has something on it but the pictures are still pretty neat! 

A village in Mafikeng

Visit to Pretoria

My companion--Elder F from New Zealand

Me after a hole-in-one

A little braii in the backyard

Trying to find an investigator in the game park

 A giraffe taking a bow

Pumba at the waterhole

My companion on the phone with the rhinos

Baby rhino!

Rhino Family

September 18, 2017

Dear Family, 
This week was​​ good. We put this girl Gape (gargle the g) on date yesterday. My companion and I get along great, he played professional rugby back in New Zealand for the Chiefs. The new area has a lot of potential. We are seeing things progress. The new place is nice. We are actually moving today.  The office couple is coming up to help. They are the Owens from Arizona. I will take some pics when it is all done. We stay in a separate flat from the other companionship. 
Your Son

September 27, 2017

Dear Family,
I went on some adventures this week. I hope you enjoy the pics.  I am feeling old, both in age and mission. I don't really know a lot of the missionaries here  in South Africa because I was in Namibia so long. It is weird to see all those people who were younger than me on mission now. I am emailing today because Monday was a public holiday and all the email shops were closed and yesterday when I was emailing the mission president made a surprise  stop up here in  Mafikeng.  Me and my companion are doing great.  We pass the rugby ball around here and there. We go to practice with some rugby players at the university when occasion permits. From the looks of it we are going to get a few investigators out of it as well. We have two on date for baptism- Gape (mentioned in last week's letter and Stanley. Gape is a student and she had met with missionaries when she was young. Her mom was a member but had passed away. She is on date for the 8th. Stanley is in his late 40s and is VERY knowledgeable about the church. He was taught about 5 years ago and was on date. We don't really know what happened but a few weeks ago he came back to church and now wants to be baptized. We are finding a lot of success at the university here. I hope you have a good rest of your week.


Your Boy

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Goodbye Namibia---Hello Mafikeng (South Africa)

Warthog Skull

A HUGE Kudu skull



A beautiful Oryx



A really cook rock formation

August 21, 2017

Hello Fam Bam,
I don't have too much time to e-mail everyone. We went to a game park and were there like all day. It was WAY sweet!!! There were no predators in the park so we went on a 9k hike. We went on so many different game trails though so it was probably close to 15k. I got a lot of sick photos so I will send as many as possible. We saw Springbok, Wildebeest, Kudu, Orix, Warthogs, Baboons, and a few other unidentified animals. It was so cool. We were legit walking through African bush! We got some baboons to call back to us....we would bark and they would bark back!   I only have 2 more weeks in Namibia. I have truly fallen love with this country, it is so sweet. The people, the food, the culture, the country as a whole is wonderful. Maggy is going to be baptized on Saturday. I am soooo excited for her!  I probably have to go now. I hope you enjoy the eclipse and let me know how it goes!!
Elder Voyles

August 28, 2017

Dear Family,
I had a good week, we had a baptism on Saturday. I like that quote you sent, it's like another one I know. "Get comfortable being uncomfortable." It is something I am learning. If there is no opposition, if everything is completely calm, you are probably doing something wrong. It is now my last week in Nam. I am sad. This country as a whole has changed so much in the past months. I feel like Ammon in Alma 26:12.  I will never forget it as long as I live.  The Gospel is true (Die Kerk es waar). Have a great week. Love you!
Your Son

September 4, 2017

Hey Fam!
I touched down in Joburg (Johannesburg) about 5 hours ago. I am going up to Mafikeng tomorrow. I don't have a lot of  time. I will fill you in on the details next week. I will send pics next week. Sorry, duty calls!
Your Son/Brother