Sunday, April 15, 2012

I Keep Them Laughing–April 9, 2012

Dear Family,

I'm doing very well and have gone through a week that I will always remember. It's starting to get colder here, and all the Africans are bundled up tight. To me it simply feels like Heavenly Father finally turned the AC on for his poor missionary from Eagle Mountain, Utah. I will admit that seeing the leaves changing in the start of April is way cool:) I feel as if I have gone back in time and I’m going to replay fall and winter. I've gotten so familiar with the humidity here I don't even notice it. I'm now coming to the point that it's hard for me to remember I'm in Africa and not Southern California, but the different languages remind me:)

So my week has been full of making people laugh. My personality seems to click with everyone I meet down here, and I just role with it. The start of my week really set the tone of how cool it was going to be. We were able to meet with a lot of people and go to the temple for supplies. I used some of the money I transferred over and got the movie 17 Miracles. We had a movie night that night in our flat. I cooked for everyone and we brought beds in. It was just like late nights back at home. The movie was really inspiring and taught us how much we should have faith and depend on the Lord. I encourage all to watch it and be uplifted.

As far as missionary work this week, we planned on it being a poor week, but it turned out to be one of our best. The thing that made it so crazy was yours truly:) Tuesday I had to do an emergency exchange with Elder Leftwich, because Elder Fagg needed to do a baptism interview. It was then that I noticed how different I am to other missionaries. Elder Fagg and I are very similar. We are both loud and love to talk with people, especially make them laugh. So when we entered into this large families home, I thought I would let Elder Leftwich take the lead, but it was way too quiet for me and felt really awkward. I then did what I love to do, be loud! I started talking and asking questions. I then started to make them laugh. The entire atmosphere changed and it got really fun. There came a problem early on in that lesson however. I was told to sit on one of the weakest green plastic chairs in the world. I noticed how bad it was going to be when I first started to fall, but caught myself. That didn't stop the inevitable. Half way through I fell backward and split that little chair in half! Everyone started to die laughing. I swallowed my pride and kept joking about it. Needless to say I left an impression on that family; they even gave me a broken leg to the chair so I could remember them. Later that week, we were closing a meeting with the Masete family and I started to have really bad abdominal pains. It seems to me that when I had gone to town on the Kool Aid and with all the cool drink (soda)they give us I had trapped gas. I really thought I was going to die! I quickly told my companion I needed to find a bathroom fast, the problem though is South Africa really has no public bathrooms and we were far from our flat. So we rushed to our favorite place, the golden arches. We rushed there as if I was about to deliver a baby, and through all the pain we all were laughing at how funny we looked. I must have stayed in that bathroom for half an hour. Treasure (the ward missionary) and Elder Fagg were in the car waiting. They told me how they both joked as if I had died, then turned to each other really thinking that I might have. They both rushed in, only to find me washing my hands. It was really funny. The rest of my week consisted of joking about how we pronounce words and just being myself with all the people I meet. I can see now why the Lord called ME to serve here at this time.

Spiritually, it has been really amazing to see people change and be healed through the Atonement. I also love how we took a recent convert family to the temple grounds and taught about temples and families. I couldn't help thinking about you. I thought how blessed I am to be sealed to you for all time and eternity; that no matter what happens we can never be separated. It was incredibly beautiful there and we had a testimony meeting that was very powerful. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know it is only through the Atonement he made that we can return to our Heavenly Father. I know that the Book of Mormon along with the Holy Bible contains the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what we are to do in this life. I know that God answers the prayers of our hearts. I know the arms of mercy are extended to all who will believe on Christ's name and repent. Only Satan wants us to think there is no hope. I know now, as a representative of Jesus Christ, that this is all true and that it so simple. The only thing that makes it complicated is ourselves and our ability to act.

I'm so happy to hear that Jacob is okay. I was worried when I saw the pictures and got a little scared. I know Jacob is tough and he can do anything. Bear Lake sounds like fun, enjoy it for me too! Mom Happy Birthday! Sorry I can't be there, but I will be thinking about you all Friday long. I hope my package gets there soon. It has my gift for your birthday, along with a tape. Have fun with it and party. Do whatever makes you happy:) Dad stay strong and be happy through these last months of school. You should start to think up gifts you might want for your birthday from
Africa. I've been reading in Alma lately and there is a chapter that really applies to you. I think it was chapter 17, but I could be wrong. It talks about High Priests and their qualifications. While I read it you were in my mind. Jill stay beautiful. Keep growing and enjoying life. I hope the play is awesome and I'm sure you will rock it! Your a Dalton! Write me whenever you want, your big brother will always listen.

I love you all and will send pics next time. Be excited for them, they are really cool:) Still no package from home, but I still have hope:) Don't feel too bad, I know how much you love me, I feel your help from your prayers. Continue to be happy and tell me everything. I love you:)

Love your Son and Brother
Elder Jack F. Dalton

Monday, April 2, 2012

Africa is cooling down, but the work is heating up!

Dear Family and World,
I love Africa! We've had such a great week, and it's been nuts. We've gotten 5 new referrals, set three to be baptized this week, and continue to pour out our hearts in the work. I've had many ups and downs this week. I feel like I'm suffering from whip lash. I love this place and can tell why I've been sent here to labor for my God and King!

FIRST OF ALL, I GOT MY FIRST PACKAGE!! Right after leaving email, I received it. It made me so happy! A lot were jealous, but soon got over it when I started to share with them. It came from "Aunt" Joanie, who is so awesome!!! I was jumping up and down yelling in so much joy! I will admit there was some major dancing involved! Thank you so much. I can't tell you what it means to have things all the way from home here on the other side of the world!

So I've had many experiences so far while I've been on my mission. This week included: needing to use the bathroom so bad, but finding out South Africa doesn't do public bathrooms or ones in stores! I almost died that day, running around for two hours not being able to find "relief", talking to an extremely drunk woman and three other guys, while my companion was talking to others. They kept saying how "They need Jesus" and "They wanted to change", but it was hard to talk to them when they could barely stand! Man, did I laugh at some of the things they said that day! It was So much fun! :)

I have a nickname now by which I am known. My new name is Mdala Bumba, which means "Elder Huge". Every one can't get over how big I am to them and how much, they say, I look like a “thug”. I need that when I'm walking through Hillbrow at night! I laughed when I found out what it meant. Plus everyone here thinks we are either police or drug lords. It's funny when you think about it.

I've found a new fire when I search my scriptures. They seem to come alive and hit my heart with such a force that I know that they are true. I've been reading lately in Alma and I’ve read all of Mosiah. I really love how they go out and preach with boldness. I tend to liken them to me every day. I know that if I do what they did, I can bring many souls to the knowledge of the truth. If only I could preach like Abinadi, except for the whole fire thing. I love my calling and the service I'm in now. There is no other place I would rather be and I know now that two years is going to go fast!

My companion is fine, but he needs to go in for more tests. He isn't sleeping well at night, but is strengthened by the Lord (with the help of his companion) I really love taking care of others.

I love you all very much and can't wait to hear more from you. I'm jealous you heard conference, because I don't see it for another two weeks (that’s what you get for being on the other side of the world). Continue to be happy and take the words of the prophets to your hearts. I promise that as you do so, it will greatly bless your life.

In closing this short email this week, I leave you my testimony. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that the arms of mercy are extended to all men that will repent and take on his name. I know that
all the writings of the prophets are there for us to know the will of our father. I know we have a living Heavenly Father who wants us all to be like him and give us happiness in this life and the one to come. I know as we walk by faith and not by sight the blessings come with great force. I know Thomas S. Monson is the modern prophet to warn us of danger. I know I love my scriptures and my companion. I know I have been called by a prophet of God to bless the lives of those who will listen to our message. I love you all and seal this testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love Elder Jack Dalton,


The first picture on the left is a picture of Jack’s area. The picture on the right is Jack enjoying a sandwich called a “khota”. It is a hollowed out loaf of bread filled with meat and cheese. (He doesn’t want Trish Austin to see this picture for some reason.) The bottom picture is how far he had to climb to get to the “top” of his area. (He needs to climb after eating that sandwich!)

Jack's AreaKhota SandwichWalking to the Top