Monday, August 29, 2016

Potholes, Prayers and Playing Soccer

August 28, 2016

This one was taken awhile ago, on our way to a lesson

Me and my greenie hit a pot hole on his first day so we had to put on the spare

Some kids from a family that LOVES me​

Hello Everyone,
This week was very interesting. I got a call to train Elder H. straight  from the MTC. Our first couple of days we weren't able to go to the area because of riots. The other remaining days were very slow due to the time of the month. At months end people get paid and go to town to spend their money. The training is going well,  Elder H.  was able to put two of our investigators on date, Khutsong and Letsabo. We also have a car now but I am probably going to institute the P&W routine (park and walk). Everything is going well, we have 9 people on date but a few of them are probably gonna get bumped back. The stakes are being raised, we have a lot of good people getting better but are losing some of the investigators we have. We are SUPER busy right now, the work is going great. Being a trainer is difficult because now I have to lead the area with a greenie. It is a honor and a privilege to be where I am and doing the things that I am doing though. This week we had a few cool experiences.   I have my window down a lot because the AC doesn't work in our car. We drove by some guys and a drunk guy practically jumped in our car asking for a blessing. We just said a prayer with him and drove off. It was quite hilarious. And the kids here love missionaries. We played soccer with some random kids the other day, they are fun! The members and everyone likes us as well. I am really starting to LOVE the mission now. Things are going good, I cannot complain  Everything is well, I hope everyone is doing great!

Elder Voyles

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Press Forward

August 22, 2016

A little bit of my MASSIVE area

​A fellow American(pit bull) in a far away land, for some reason this dog loved me!!

A Mamelodi sunset

Hello Everyone!
This week was AWESOME! We got 9 new investigators, all of which are solid and have follow-up appointments! We should have about 13 on date by weeks end. Mamelodi is turning into the promised land of the mission! We also had stake conference this Sunday! It was about 40 min away from our chapel and most people don't have cars but we still had 2 less actives at church! We meet two guys from Zimbabwe, they are students there, and they have a lot of questions! All of which we were able to answer by the whisperings of the spirit. They were satisfied and super eager to meet again! We did have one guy confront us at this squatter camp, he wasn't letting us talk and being kind of rude. I got dishearten/frustrated but we went back a few days later for a lesson with someone and people were asking us who we were and apologizing for the incident. It actually worked to our advantage because it sparked people’s curiosity about us. So, lesson learned. Sometimes we are made to suffer to bring about greater good. All we can do is not complain and look inward, but keep an eternal perspective and press forward with a steadfastness in Christ. Nothing else to report really, I hope everyone is well!
So, I just finished training this week and tomorrow I am going to get a greenie to train... I am super excited and look forward to meeting him. The weather is going to get hot here pretty soon so it will be interesting to see how hot. And a lot of the people we teach are younger! It is super fun because you can see them progress so much faster than others! I love the area and everyone in it! We will be having a car this transfer, I got to drive for the first time since the beginning today and it seemed pretty normal. All is well on this side of the globe. I am still looking for shoes because my size doesn't exist over here so wish me luck. 

Elder Voyles

Just call me Las Vegas

August 15, 2016
Me and my comp getting ice cream

 This is a sphatlo which you buy from street shops for the equivalent of $1.25 and they are HUGE

         We had a great week this week! We received a lot of referrals and meet a lot of new people as well! We went around an area of Mamelodi West called D16 to find new people. It went well, we are meeting with 6 new people this week because of it! We also were able to speak with this lady Namonde. We rarely get to see her because she is SUPER busy. So whenever we get to see her I pray the spirit may teach her as much as possible. Me and my companion were able to speak to her about the Plan of Salvation. We also bore testimony on there being one true church that is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was so much fun! It got me thinking. As a missionary, every day we meet with people and commit them to progression of different ways. Every time we do that these people accept (or don't) to change their eternal life. What a blessing it is to be a part of that processes. Being a missionary, a set apart representative of Jesus Christ, has blessed me so much. It is an absolute privilege to be a part of our Fathers work here on earth. We also have 2 new investigators, Khutsong and Letsabo. Khutsong is 14 and Letsabo is 9. I love those boys. They came to church with us yesterday and loved it! I feel such a unique spirit with them. They remind me a lot of me and my little brother Cooper how we love and hangout with each other.
        Now, on a bit of a different note. I had an interesting week walking the streets of Mamelodi. For some reason drunk people looove speaking with missionaries. Add that with the fact that everyone in Mamelodi drinks, every day, things get interesting. For example, two drunk old guys argued about the bible with me even though I said absolutely nothing...Hahaha. Me and my comp just slowly backed away then just slipped away when they were talking with each other. We also made friends with these guys at "Scratch Corner" which is a place people don't generally go but they always want us to take pictures with them. And, of course, they allllll call me Las Vegas. I always say that my name is Elder Voyles, but none of them can pronounce it so they just call me Las Vegas... That will have to do I guess. Other than that, not much to say except I hope everyone is well and enjoying this wonderful gift of life!

Elder Voyles

Three Months!

August 8, 2016

Ashee (Hello) Everyone,
This week has been slow but eventful at the same time. I went to a Labola Party for a Member in our ward this week. Labola is the bridal costs the groom pays and it is very ceremonial. It was fun to see these ooooooold African ladys dancing and singing Tswana songs. I to have picked up some Tswana and when I speak it people go crazy! In Mamelodi people think I am Afrikaans(the white african people). So whenever I speak their language and tell them I am from America they LOVE me! One lady even started clapping haha! I am really getting comfortable here. I have just about finished up my 12 week training and I have learned so much!! I encourage everyone to watch the most recent MTC broadcast and more specifically David A Bednar's portion about teaching by the spirit. It Is awesome! I love you all but am now gonna wrap up.
Have a great week!!

Elder Voyles

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Paintball, Pap, and Preaching the Gospel

August 1, 2016

On a hill above my area

Paint Ball--Magupani Zone vs Pretoria Zone

Hello Everyone!
Sooo, this week has been good! We had two days of exchanges because my companion  is district leader and had to do baptismal interviews. I went with Elder G. one day and then with a zone leader Elder B. We got two new investigators and the spirit was strong. I think teaching the Plan of Salvation is my favorite. So many people wonder where we came from, why are we here and where are we going? As soon as you tell them they can see their child again or their parents in the next life it truly changes there life. We spoke to a lady named Tambi and made her that promise and she broke down. It was sad but so amazing at the same time. I love being in lessons and feeling the spirit of truth working through me. Sometimes you start speaking and you don't know the next word you are going to speak but it just comes out. It is my favorite feeling! I wish I could GoPro everything! I love my area and everyone in it. It is such a blast!

On a little lighter note, I think I am becoming famous in Mamelodi. People see me, a lekgowa (white guy), they grab my hand and start talking to me. Once they hear I am from Las Vegas they all freak out. I have people that say, "Hey Las Vegas!!" They all want me to come drink or smoke with them but I say "Noo, no. I am a missionary".   It literally happens every day. Things are fun here. Our Mission President, President Chandembuka, approved paint balling for a P-Day activity so we went today. I never thought a year ago I'd be playing paintball in the African bush. It was the equivalent to 15 US dollars. It was sooo much fun, it was one zone vs another—Magupani zone vs Pretoria Zone.  I’m in the Pretoria Zone.
It really brought us all together. I like these guys here.

So when it comes to my cooking, allotment is 1,450 rand a month equivalent to about 120 dollars. Things are pretty cheap if you go to the right stores. So I have been eating good. The people here love me, especially because I have been learning a little bit of Setswana and Zulu. They can’t believe it! We have seen some crazy stuff but it hasn't ever been too bad. I am loving the mission more and more. I am really starting to get the hang of things. I love you so much and thank you for everything.  Give the fam my love and regards. 

Dear Coop,
Your week sounds like it was fun, I miss the ranch. Stay adventurous and fun! I love you so much man, you are a stud. Have a good week and keep me posted on the dirt bike stuff that sounds like so much fun!! Live every day without regrets of your words and actions, try to live like the prophets of old. I look up to them so much. In Preach my Gospel there is a line I like "Just as vital as what you do, however, is who you are." So try to become the best version of yourself you can be!

Elder Voyles

July 25, 2016

Outside the Mission Office

Steak, Pap (like grits), Homemade Bread and Dried Fruit

Hello Everyone,

This week was interesting. Tuesday morning I got pretty sick until Thursday. I had a stomach bug and some pretty bad body aches. I slept for two days but now I am all better and we got back after it ASAP. We weren't able to go to the area Tuesday and Wednesday but we still had a successful week compared to a normal one. We have seven new investigators. One of which was a very spiritual experience! We went to a regular’s house and she wasn't there but this lady named Ntabisen was. We started with the Plan of Salvation and she just started crying. It caught me off guard but ultimately it went great!! Both her parents are dead and she still has a strong belief in God and His love for her! I felt prompted to share with her the analogy of the refiner’s fire and she really understood that it has made her stronger in faith and spirit. We have a lesson with her tomorrow so pray she is actually going to be there. All in all a very successful week!
Mom, I will just buy shirts and stuff here. I don't need much at all. In the package, just send your love (and by love I mean whatever you want just don't send an empty box).  Tell grandpa Happy Birthday and I love him.  He is a strong man and a good example.

To Cooper:  Be thankful for everything we have!! Coming here made me realize how well off we are! It is such a privilege to live in the country we do with the law and rights we have. Love it all and be so grateful!!!

Elder Voyles