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,
ALWAYS FORWARD SOUTH AFRICA!
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!)