This week has been up and down, side to side, and in every direction that you can imagine. Ever since Elder Palmer has joined our crazy set up it's been a week of laughs and craziness. It's been really fun this week to go out with him and to have him notice how funny our area's situation is. We tease Elder Bangater all the time, and both laugh at how by the book he can be. We've come to the conclusion that a dying missionary is either too tired to care or becomes so strict like a robot to feel like he finishes his mission with flying colors. The latter is what Elder Palmer and I are working with, and with two easy going guys that love to joke, it's gasoline to the fire!
We've started what we call the memory of the day. It's were we write on a sticky note our funniest memory and place it up on the wall. Needless to say, every one so far has come from me. I try to tell everyone that Heavenly Father puts me in the funniest places, and I have crazy things happen. It’s fun being the guy that everyone enjoys being around just to see what happens or what I'll do next.
We've been able to do a lot of splits with us being in a threesome. It usually means Elder Bangater goes off with a ward missionary and we go off to tackle more appointments. It helps to really move the work along and to helps me test my knowledge of the area. We've found a lot of blessings from that ability of our placement.
I still love teaching and found that I have a great ability to handle the tough conversations; the ones where no one knows what to ask or answer. Take the example that we had last night: We have a less active trying to come back to church named Musa. He's 37 and has formed a habit of smoking. We are trying to help him overcome it. Last night we took a member who has overcome the same issue. As we entered the home, I could tell that someone had been smoking. In my mind I just said "This is going to be crazy". At first, after the prayer, I thought Elder Bangater would take it and start off. I was wrong, he was too nervous and had no idea how to handle "pointing out the elephant in the room". So I just took it and started being straight. I thought, “If Jesus was straight forward, I guess I could be too”. I was blessed, because it worked, and the spirit was heavy there. We strengthened him as well as gave him a blessing. The member we took to help gave a lot of advice and you could see Musa's heart being pricked. I chalked up all of my abilities to handle and run a difficult conversation to the many many talks I had with mom and dad.
I know still that the Church is true. As you study the scriptures and see the miracles that happen right in front of your face you see that it all just makes sense. This religion is not something that is just magical or a fantasy, but truly works and is real. My testimony of this church and the Book of Mormon is undeniable now, I could never deny it from everything I've seen and been able to learn. It's true. If you really want to know it too, just start doing what it asks. Read, ponder, and pray. It's that easy.
A mission is a struggle. It's like life. If it wasn't hard, it would never be worth it in the first place. I know that tough times come, but I never joined up in the pre mortal life and for a mission with the thought that this would be some pleasure cruise. Luckily, we have help from Heavenly Father and prayer. Even more, he gave us families to help us constantly to up hold ourselves. I've been blessed so much from having you support me time and time again. I'm so grateful for all the letters, emails, pictures, and packages you give me to help me continue the work. It does more that I could even express in words. Until you witness mission life, you won't know how it feels to receive emails and letters from the ones you love so much! Thank you!
I love you all so much! Keep up all that you do!
Love your Son and Brother,
Elder Jack Forrest Dalton
ALWAYS FORWARD SOUTH AFRICA!
What a squatter camp looks like. this is one of the townships I work in called Tesitesi.
This is Zandie who I confirmed Sunday, she's the darker one. with her sister and her sister's little boy. We helped them pack and prepare to move to Durban. I'll miss them a lot! Of course, there is Elder Palmer!