Monday, July 18, 2016

A River Runs Through It

July 18, 2016

We had to pretty much walk through a river to get to an appointment on time
This is a meal I made myself. Cooked beef with sweet chili sauce. As well as my homemade bread (yes Mom I make my own bread)

My lovely bread 
P-day last week we stopped by a KTM store and I saw a sweeeeet supermoto (KTM 690cc)

So, this week was good! We had the confirmations of the people who were baptized and it made me so happy. So the people who are our newest church members in Mamelodi 1 Ward are: K***- a 23 year old man who has been taught for a long time. He struggled with some things so it has been a long time coming. He did have a a great experience that he told us about--he was praying to know the truth and the spirit answered him very powerfully. He now wants to go on a mission! D*****- a 13 year old girl was taught since she was 8 and just now was baptized. She knows pretty much all the basic doctrine in and out. M***- a 16 year old girl has been taught along with D***** pretty much the whole time. She loves the gospel so much! and lastly P*****- the young boy who is 9. He is M***'s little brother but a spiritual giant! He whips everyone into shape! They have all taught me so much and it makes me so happy to see them confirmed in the church! 

Fun fact, Bill Gates was in our area yesterday. He was here for a Nelson Mandela thing. I am loving Mamelodi so much.  Anyway, I am doing great and loving my mission!

Elder Voyles

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The First Two Months in South Africa

July 14 ,2016

Editors Note:  I just now got around to getting the blog up and running.  Below are pictures and excerpts from the first couple months of Elder Voyles' Mission

At the Johannesburg temple


Mopane Worms

Outside the apartment

A cool power plant in Pretoria

Some "unleavened" bread I made (I didn't have any yeast)

First baptisms

At the internet place

June 6, 2016

Hello from Mamelodi,

Things are good here. I am designated driver in my companionship and driving on the wrong side of the road is pretty easy to get use to surprisingly. I have only driven on the right (wrong) side of the road a handful of times so far. I am also getting better at not stopping at stop signs and red lights at night because you WILL get robbed. Everyone looks at me funny because I am a molungo (white guy) but it is fun being the center of attention some times. The mission is fun though. 
June 13, 2016
Sooo, it has been an interesting week.  To rewind a bit I am in Mamelodi 1 District and it is huge. My trainer and I were whitewashed (when they take the two previous elders out and put two new ones in) and we have just been trying to get up and running. We were given 5 investigators with baptismal dates, 10 progressive investigators and 24 less actives. We have been going around talking to and getting to know everyone. All the investigators with baptismal dates are awesome, we need to have them come to church 5 times in a row to be baptized. They are all scheduled for either the 26th of June or the 10th of July. Other than that we are still breaking the ice. 

On a  different note, I ate these things Mopani worms this week. They eat them in the Lion King!!! They taste like dirt and have a very heavy fish taste as well. I will attach a pic. Other than that the food is okay and I am getting the hang of how the people of Mamelodi operate.

Funny thing you mention the car. Our car was automatic at first but it had a gas leak so we got a manual. I have been driving it pretty good. This morning we (I) got into a wreck. Traffic was crazy and I inched out and a car clipped our bumper. The other car was a Land-Rover Defender and it only popped its tire. Our front bumper got ripped off. Everyone is okay, it wasn't that big of a deal. We won’t have a car for a bit and we are waiting to hear what will happen. My first accident was in South Africa...HAHAHAHA.

Also, it will take a long time for a visa. Maybe up to a year, they just increased the already steep requirements. Things are going good.  I am having a blast, the mission is the greatest thing in the world. ​

June 20, 2016

Dear Family,

I am kind of glad we don’t have a car anymore because driving is massively stressful in the townships but walking is hard. Our area is huge. As for the food though, I ate Mohodu (cow intestine with digested feed still inside) and it was no bueno. Other than that I am eating well, I am probably gonna get fat hahaha. I am staying positive and loving the work! I feel my relationship with my Heavenly Father growing as I rely on him so much. I am growing so much in so many ways. I feel like a completely different person from a few months ago. 
 June 27, 2016

This week has been pretty hectic. When we tried to go to our area on Tuesday all the roads were blocked off with burning tires and rubble (we couldn't get in)... Turns out there was rioting because of some political issue. All in all there were 22 buses burned a handful of cars as well and plenty stores looted. Due to the riots, they moved us to Sunnyside area and we spent the week there. We were a threesome companionship with one of the APs and we had some great lessons. I learned a lot from those couple of days. We also had Zone Conference which was really good. It talked about doing what is right even when it’s hard. They gave the story of the ugly duckling and how the other ducks ridiculed it. But when it had grown and took flight after a flock of beautiful swans it realized what it was. So like Pres. Monson has said in the last general conference, "Choose the harder right, over the easier wrong" My advice to everyone is just that. Always remember, there is no honor in compromise. 

July 4, 2016

This week was great! My companion and I are still walking but truthfully it is not that bad . We had to walk really far to a dinner appointment but the food was good motivation. I didn't have any strange food this past week but I did have what people call 7 colors. It refers to the items of the meal, there has to be 7 different colors and it is just so much food! It is practically a feast. We went on exchanges as well.  I went with an elder from Mamelodi 2. His name is Elder G. We had a very positive day but it started late, they had a flat tire from hitting a gnarly pothole. They got it fixed and we still were able to get 4 full lessons that day. So, I am living in a good flat in a place called Faerie Glen. As far as our car, we HAD a Chevy sonic, light blue until our little accident.  As far as the weather goes, the mornings and evenings are cold, afternoons are hot.

So a little spiritual message I have this week refers to prayer. This past week Heavenly Father has answered many of my prayers so specifically. We are told in the scriptures that whatever we ask of Heavenly Father which is right he will grant us it. (3 Nephi  18:19-20) "Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name; And whatsoever ye shall ask the father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you." In his own time and if we have a broken heart and a contrite spirit of course. I prayed really hard this morning and said that if Heavenly Father would give me the fire, that I would push so hard for the next 2 years and on. I felt the spirit so strong when I did so I can promise you I will continue to press on no matter what may be placed in front of me. Mom, thank you. I am so proud to be your son and am so thankful for the way you raised me. It has made me who I am today.

That's what I felt I should share this week. Now I am off to our district activity, a “braai” or BBQ. A braai is a lot like the BBQ at home, the food here is actually really good. They eat the same stuff pretty much, they do have this stuff called pap which is like grits, and samp, a maize bean stuff that is good. There are only a few things like the things I have previously mentioned that are strange.  All is well in Zion. (Africa).   You need to light some stuff on fire/blow stuff up today for me to celebrate the 4th!!

Elder Voyles

July 11, 2016

So this week was pretty good. We had 5 baptisms and it was so much fun. It is such a blessing to see the Gospel take root in peoples lives, you can see their face just get brighter after their baptism. We also had transfers this week but nothing changed for me and my companion. I'm pretty sure we won't have a car still. I feel like each week I learn so much. The mission got a new President and he is a good guy. He is from Zimbabw. I look forward  to the things the mission holds in store. I am excited I am staying in Mamelodi! It will be fun to see the progression of the area. A neat little experience this week, a random little girl came up to me in church and she said she was scared to give a talk in Primary. I told her I would go with her and whisper what she should say into her ear as she gave it. It went well and she wasn't nervous anymore. Our Heavenly Father works the same way, we may be scared to share the gospel sometimes. But as long as we open our mouths the spirit will whisper in our ear what we should say. That's about it this week, I did have a pretty funny experience as well. Everyone in Mamelodi loves to sit with their friends and drink beer. They do it all the time!!! We were walking down the street and we passed this group of guys at the same time as a lady going the other way. They all whistled and waved at the girl but I waved back like they were waving at me and they all started laughing so hard. Me and my companion laughed for a good 15 minutes after that. Anyway, I hope everyone has a good week.