Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May 13, 2013

There was no real letter today because of the great Mother’s Day Skype that happened the day before. Jack looked and sounded great.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Dust Off and Get Back On That Horse!–May 6, 2013

So many might think that when you become a missionary life becomes rainbows and butterflies:) That nothing can cause you too loose that spring in your step and cause you to feel tired. Even myself, I looked at missionaries as superheroes and invincible men that did God's work. I guess to a measure this is very true and to another it's only what many see on the surface. Mission takes and makes you into the things God wants you to be and transforms you into the person you are meant to be.

I guess this is best described from a members talk in church a Sunday a few weeks ago. She works with clothing and making clothes. She talked about the cloth being folded, cut, stitched, ironed, and having it happen more than one time. That all of these steps were needed to make a very nice piece of clothing. She then related it to all of us. We are constantly being "folded, cut, stitched, ironed, and repeating of these steps" in our own lives so that we will one day become that beautiful article of clothing. Then she said something that, for as simple as it was, hit home for me. That we need to remember that Heavenly Father is the one turning us and making us. That it is by his hand we are crafted from raw material to a master piece.

This week was a challenge for me. I faced many nights overwhelmed by the feeling of all my responsibilities in my life. I wished I could simply crawl under a rock and hide away. It wasn't until later did I see this was Satan at his best to get me to crumble. I then took my problems to my knees. It's funny many of our trials take us down to our knees to call on that God that gave us life. I guess the sooner we get to our knees the sooner we invite the mercy to overcome the pain. For as soon as I found myself on my knees in prayer I noticed my problems and aching of my heart stop, the love of the Lord was with me. I invite all who read this letter today, if you are facing trials or not, to invite the lord's love to fill the cracks of your life to stand up again.

Not all was lost this week, if this letter sounds like the end of the world cause it isn't. The Ackermanns, the less active family we've been working close with, went to the temple grounds as a family and had an amazing experience. It was able to give sister Ackermann the power to keep going to get over smoking and have the family know this was their goal now. It was really great to visit them yesterday an see many church pictures hung up in nice frames all over the house, the greatest was a "NO SMOKING" sign outside the front door. Then also on Sunday brother Ackermann got the Aaronic priesthood! What a mile stone it was! The entire family has come back in full strength and you can feel the change in them and the home. That was my greatest blessing to be apart of!

So in conclusion, I want to go back to my families cowboy roots to give this final message. It doesn't matter how many times you get thrown from the horse, it MATTERS how many times you dust yourself off and get back on! Never give up and kick the trails in the butt! We are stronger than we let ourselves think.

I'm excited to see you this Sunday over Skype and I hope you all are too.

Love your Son and Brother,
Elder Jack F Dalton

Monday, April 29, 2013

Lighting the Fires and Kicking the Tires–April 29, 2013

It's been a very interesting week of ups and downs, maybe even some sideways:) Still it's been a good week with more unique things happening. I've also had a confirming feeling of my "talents" that has been given to me. This week has been full of teaching, inspiring, and foundation laying. It's one that shows some work is going to get done, and I get to be the one to kick a few butts into gear.

I need to give you some background to "set the stage". Our ward in Rynfield is very nice and seems to get along, this is what many see on the top layer. It's come to our attention that their are some major cracks in the ward and the Bishop is trying to take it all on himself, often with the job of damage control. Many tragic this have happened since I've been here and I've been in the midst of it all, often told of things that are out of my priesthood keys, but since we seem to be the only ones running around to the ward we get to see it all. There is absolutely very limited home teaching being done, more than the average slack. There is also unseen barriers in the ward by class and race. Overall, the ward is missing the "Ward Family" feeling and it's every member for themselves.

We then went into action with what we needed to do. With our position and purpose we've seen and set appointments with key leadership in the ward. We've been teaching about service and using the Savior as the focus point to it all. This has caused many of our leadership to start too "Gird up their loins and be like men". We've also had a long and good meeting with our bishop, who told us he has heard amazing feed back about us and that he wants to send a request I stay for a while. We talked about things in the ward, families he needs us to focus on, and his requirements so we can help him. I felt very complimented that whole time and even at the statement he said " I'm going to be leaning on you guys a lot, we need your help", could he have said anything better to make me feel like a superhero and ready to take action to serve? I don't think so:) We were also given all rights to meetings to be a part of the ward as much as possible! Woo whoo!

From all the work we have been doing in teaching and growing our little tree in Rynfield it's starting to take major roots. I finally feel that the whole body of the ward is finally on the move and heading in the right direction. It's another testament to me that if I simply keep chipping at the mountain ahead it will fall! That is my message to everyone this week, just keep chipping away even if the end is not so clear. Also remember "You can't be wrong by doing right, and you can't be right by doing wrong"-Elder Soares

I'm doing very well and love you all. I'm excited to talk to you all in two weeks:) exciting!

Love your son and Brother,
Elder Jack F Dalton

Friday, April 26, 2013

Pictures–April 22, 2013


The BEST street – I tried to find the BEST address!

The Blessings of Job and the Power of the Priesthood–April 22, 2013

Sounds like your week was pretty sweet and normal:) It's fun to have an easy week of the norm that is full of exciting things:) First tell the Vance's I'm so happy for them and their new baby girl! It's funny to think that when I left there wasn't even a whisper of them having another child:) LOl kind of cool to think about:) I also I'm so excited that Tyler has gotten the call of calls:) I never thought the world could handle two First ward boys in the same mission? I got a feeling that the mission is need of some serious power from heaven, that's why they come knocking at our wards door:) All of us were taught, tested, and supported for mission, a lot more than the missionaries I see out here today. I testify the words of mom, " It does take a ward to raise a child."

Testifying is really what I feel I've been doing the most:) Our week has been a huge blessing and seen miracles. It's funny how last week I likened it to Job in the bible. If that was the case, then this week the Lord poured out a blessing twice as big as before. For example, we were blessed with teaching 20 lessons this week, where the area record is 15. We also have two people on date for baptism and three others we are challenging this week. On top of it all was the amount of the spirit I felt this week and the power I felt by using my priesthood.

Let me start from the "least" to the best to me, even though all these blessings are great. We tracted about a week ago into a Father Lead family with the surname Sothoani. The first time the husband opened the door right away and let us in, first shock to me. We met his wife and little boy and began to give our message of the restoration. Afterward, through different miscommunication, didn't see them for many days, this got us worried we had lost them. We then chose to go back around the time we found them, they were so happy to reach us. They had told us that we had brought the most "unusual" spirit last time and they knew we were men from God. Through the week we taught again the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation. My favorite was teaching the Plan of Salvation. They are a very smart young couple that as we taught kept saying things like, "Oh, that makes sense", "Interesting", and " I never knew how it all fit together". Probably my favorite thing in that lesson is when Vuci, the father who has studied religion, put together how the Book of Mormon helps the bible to fill in the gaps. The spirit was strong and we are now excited to go back and teach about Baptisms.

The last two major miracles happened to my beloved family the Ackermanns. We pulled up on Tuesday this week to have a lesson to find on their gate a "For Sale" sign. My heart sank immediately at the sign and thoughts swamped my head that I might loose this family. Inside I said a prayer that we might continue to teach them and not loose them. As we went in we were told the the man who they were renting from needs to sell the house and that the first person with the money can buy the place. We also found from Oma, which is grandma in Afrikaans, the Brother and Sister Ackermann were talking to the people now and would be back soon. When they got back, we had a long talk with them about what was happening. We taught them that this was the first major test since they've started to change their life. We also poured over the scriptures to teach them to continue in faith and show courage in their tithe. It was very powerful to listen to how they would continue to go forward with faith. They expressed a great hope in even if they have to move again, It maybe that Heavenly Father has something better for them. I was on the verge of tears at the family I love so so so so much. I then began to teach about how great blessings come from "burying the weapons of our own rebellion". That was mainly to Sis Ackermann and her smoking habit that we were working on, because she is the last one in the family that was struggling to give it up.

Needless to say the blessings have sense began to pour out. We just stopped by the next day to check on them, to have Sis Ackermann very excited to tell us that Saturday was the day she's giving up smoking, I was shocked! Here was the woman that never said she would give it up. The woman who needed a list of things to happen first before giving it up. Yet, she told us that day we left her with a new sense to change and talked with her husband. We then planned on fasting together and that we would give out blessings after. It wasn't long until they told us of blessings. They said that a ward member just showed up with two huge black bags full of clothes for the twins! And how that day they were worried how they would buy the twins new clothes on top of everything! Then this Sunday we got the news we were waiting for, Bishop told Brother Ackermann that 2 more weeks until he could get the priesthood! I could've died at that news! So I can testify that blessings are coming to this family, I'm very excited what the Lord has instore next.

So that was just the first side of the Major blessings. The second also involves the Ackermann family. Brother Ackermann on the way from a far away job picked up his friend to come and stay with them. The two have been friends for ages and his friend was going through a very hard time. His wife had left him for another man, his job had fallen through, and the people he was staying with where horrible abusers. So as a result we met brother Albetus, a 52 white Afrikaans broken man. That's just the kind of person missionaries help! The Ackermanns had told him a lot about the church and how they were changing. He had also noticed the change of heart in Brother Ackermann ( Who just for the sense is only 42), from party man to calm church goer. Our first lesson was on Christ and the atonement, but it quickly changed to a power house of the spirit and tears as we talked to Albetus. He told us that the words we were speaking to him were hitting home. WE then invited him to church with the Ackermanns the next day. After church, when we went to break our fast with the Ackermanns and give blessings he was sitting with Brother Ackermann watching a Restoration video to understand the church. It was cool to see the Ackermanns testifying of their religion again and to see how far they have come. But before giving a lesson we needed to give oma and Sister Ackermann blessings. I'll tell you these blessings that I had the right to give where a powerful testimony to these women that god loved them. It also answered the questions of their hearts as they told us after. We then gave a blessing to Albetus.

Later, as our lesson went on Albetus asked us where this power came from? He told us as soon as I placed my hands on his head all of his worry left him and he felt a comfort never before known, and he wanted more of it. We would go on for the next two and a half hours teaching. He had questions about the temple, why there where so many churches, Joseph Smith, what God expected of him, and (my favorite) how do I join your church? It was a missionary dream to have someone really asking us questions of life and then accepting them on the spot. After it all he was so determined that it was time to change everything and listen to everything we would give him. What a humbling experience to see someone broken notice the prompting of the spirit and answer the call to change! It was Freak'n SWEET!

So needless to say we've been rocking it and the Lord has been blessing us for it:) I'm happy and excited to see all of the change Rynfeild is making from when I first got here. It has turned upside down and moving at a powerful rate, especially for a town area!

Have a great week and know I love you so much:)

Love your Son and Brother,
Elder Jack F Dalton

P.S. Oh I almost forgot, I've already made solid plans to Skype you on mother's day! So Woot Woot!


The Week Like Job–April 15, 2013

Sounds to me like you are happy and well. I'm very excited and laughed very hard at the fact that Jacob finally bought his colored jeans, yellow ones too! That is so Jacob's style and fashion, I'm sure he rocks them wherever he goes.It makes me also feel very weird to know that Jillian got her driving permit, and one the first try no doubt! It's weird to imagine my little sister driving and my little bother. I'm sure that will take getting used too when I get back, but now they can drive themselves everywhere.

I've thought a lot about you guys this week. This week was one that challenged the thoughts of missionaries, with the challenge of why am I here. We had three days this week in a row cancel on us and we were left with no one to teach. When a missionary has no one to go and see, it kind of blows up their purpose. I felt myself feel very discourage, this caused me to ask myself serious questions. Then came a great lesson I learned, it was a beautiful spiritual confirmation of patience and long-suffering.

After the first day of no one to teach, I was prompted to study the account of Job in the Holy Bible. I read about this man who was being blessed right and left, one who was doing the things he should be. Then a great challenge was placed on him, where Satan caused many of his "possessions" to be taken away, even to the loss of his good health. Job was in the depths of great affliction and suffering, yet still he persisted to praise god. My favorite part of what Job said something like this, "Gird up your loins and be a man". This statement made me laugh so hard! Basically the scriptures were telling me to man up and go forward.

In the end of the account of Job, comes the happily ever after part. In the end, after showing faith unto God and never giving up, he was blessed with double he had at the start. He once regained all that he had lost and was given even more. I testify that this promise is true to all of us. How often do we feel overcome with the struggles of life or the temptations of addiction that we "seem" to lose everything we had? How often does it seem like the heavens have shut their doors and left us too the wolfs of Satan? It is often in these times do we show the faith we believe in and often need to fall to our knees in humble prayer. At the time of great pain and anguish it may seem that there is no end to the torment, but I tell you there is! The hope we have in Jesus Christ and his everlasting atonement gives us that light at the end of our tunnels of challenges. And similar to Job, if we endure well what is placed before us, we will receive our own blessings greater than the first.

My challenge to you my family, and even to all of those that I send this too is to seek the testimony of the Savior. Learn to use his sacrifice and his gospel to give you the light you need in your darkest of hours. The reinforcement is coming, the day dawn is breaking, and the train is coming in to rescue you; all you need to do is trust in the lord's timing and power. He asks you to jump off the edge, so that he can make you fly!

As we did our best to endure well, mainly tracting. We found a new Father lead family to begin teaching. WE also had more lessons on Sunday that made up for our lost three days. So this is my testimony, it is true, and it is for you.

Never give up your Faith and Hope in a better world! It is coming!

I loved General Conference so much. It always refills my tank spiritually. My favorite talks were from Elder Uctdorhf about tittles we hold in priesthood session, President Thomas S Monson's talk about obedience in Sunday morning, and finally Elder Holland's talk about faith leading in Sunday Afternoon. It was an awesome conference and the place to be. It was also cool to think that I only have one more until I'm back home with all of you, and the next time there is a Spring conference I'll be back!

Thank you for all of your prayers that lift me and protect me. It is amazing to be on the receiving end of so much faith:)

Have a great week and enjoy work/school:) Also again Happy Birthday to MOM! Your the best looking and hottest 40 year old I know:)

All my love and know All is well:)

Love your Son and Brother,
Elder Jack F Dalton

Pictures–April 8, 2013


The Work Still Moves On–April 8, 2013

It looks and sounds like you had a pretty fun time on your vacation. I loved all the pictures and will print them off. Everyone looks great and is changing so much. I fear when I get back I might not remember who everyone is, just kidding. I hope you all feel well rested and ready to face another end to the school year. I also want to answer one of Jill's questions from her letter, "yes you have my permission to wear my jacket:)".

This week, well since the last time I wrote you on Friday has been full of craziness and fun things happening. We've had people ask us when they can be baptized, the broken hearted just showing up to church, and Families being united through the gospel. On top of it all, I was spiritually recharged at conference:) It's funny how every conference speaks the words of truth to my heart and tells me exactly what it is I need to do. It was also a blessing to promise Less actives that if they came there would be a talk just for them, even better was seeing them be touched by it.

So to talk about the two that asked us when we could baptize them. The first was the elder son of sis Ackermann, his name is Gavin. Earlier we went to give him a blessing and talk to him about what we do as missionaries, he also told us how now was the time for him to change his life. The very next appointment, before beginning the lesson, he told us he wanted to be baptized. We were pretty shocked and there was much eye rubbing. We then placed him on date and began to teach. Since then we've gave him scriptures to read and movies to watch with his less active family as they are now all coming back to church. The Ackermann parents see it as a miracle that their son, after so many years of rejecting, sees that now is the time to repair his relationship with god. They even told us how he is reading the Book of Mormon in the morning even, it's those little things that tell us his desire to repent. On top of it all, this Ackermann Family reminds me so much of Eric's family. They have all kind of fallen away, but have felt the spirit call them all back as a family. This gives me hope to be able to invite my own family back when I return.

The second person is named Celeste. Celeste stays with one of our recent converts, she's the cousin. She has been attending church for a while and now felt ready to meet the missionaries. After our first visit, talking about who we are and asking her to read the Book of Mormon, she told us she had prayed and knew it was all true. She then knew it was time to be baptized. Having two people this week so easily accept the Saviors invitation to come unto him, is a testimony to me. It shows me that our prayers for prepared people is being answered and that the lord is really preparing them for us.

To continue on the theme of "Prepared people", let me tell you what happened after the first session on Sunday. We had watched the Saturday Afternoon session on Sunday morning and just got finished. Elder Msangi wanted to go out in the sun for a little while until the next session. Many of our members did the same and we were all out in the parking lot in front of the church. As we were leaning against the car talking to members, for some reason my attention was turned to the gate at a white truck pulling up. I felt very interested on this truck and had a certain pull to it in fact, not soon later others noticed my gaze and started to look. The white truck came in and pulled over to our bishop and a few members, it then parked and white people got out. My missionary hunting senses were going off the chart and I found myself walking toward these people, before our bishop waved for us to come over. We met a older sister named Belinda that day. She's been going through one killer storm of life: with deaths, drugs, and marriage problems. Her Cousin that day took her in his truck and told her that the only way that she will gain peace is through God, they then set out to find her a church that morning. They then felt impressed as they passed our church, that this is the one. Even as Elder Msangi and I told her things about the gospel, she was holding back tears. I almost was overcome myself and wanted to hug this poor woman who had seen so much darkness in her life, to tell her it will be okay. This was another testimony of people just coming to the truth. We then gave her something to read and made an appointment to come and see her.

Now back to my favorite family, by far on my mission, the Ackermanns. On Sunday we went to their house for lunch and to wait for the last session of the day. This family is making so many changes in their lives to come back it is humbling to be apart of it. Brother Ackermann is preparing to receive the Aaronic in two weeks, then the Melcezedek in July. I have never seen a more humble man search the scriptures and have a huge desire to bless his family. After lunch, with Bro & Sis Ackermann and the grandma, we taught out of Section 84 the Oath and covenant of the Priesthood. I loved talking about the priesthood and how it blesses, also reminded myself what I promised to do. This family is making leaps and bounds to come back.

There is another family we are working with, Absalon's part member family. Absalon is a less active, who after our visits with him, has got the burn to come back with his family. He's mechanic who everyone relies on and is the humble enough guy that will do anything for his friends. His wife has a broken leg and is home bound right now from a car accident. He also has three girls (tough man). We've been seeing him and his family for the past few weeks and seen some great changes. When we first got there, as an example, no one in the family could pray and we needed to teach them. Now you can ask anyone of them and you would see a person who has been praying for years. They have also been doing family prayer and family scripture study. We have great hope to baptize and complete this family.

In conclusion, this week has been very cool and is a testimony builder to me. I think my favorite talk was Thomas S Monson in the Sunday morning. I'm doing well and full in the faith. I'm excited with what I am doing and know there is no greater work or place I could be than here. Stay safe and happy:)

Love your Son and Brother

Elder Jack F Dalton


Can You Come Over Right Now? . . . Oh Yeah!–March 25, 2013

I'm so excited to hear that you are all very busy and working hard. I'm sure the spring break will be very nice to find those restful moments to keep going. I'm excited to hear that Jacob wants to go out for football, very manly. This week has been a week of miracles and many answers to my prayers and the prayers of my companion. We have been on much bended knee asking for more families and much success in bring more of God's children to him through his son. I find it a complete blessing in my tness just how the lord is working everything out. It's funny how at the moment it may not seem that anything is happening, then out of no where the lord drops a spiritual bomb in Rynfeild.

One of these spiritual blessing "Bombs!" (SBB) happened early Thursday morning. We had just gotten up for the day and were still getting all together when we got a text from our recent convert white family. It basically said, that they had a woman that worked for them and was extremely interested in the church. On top of that she wanted to see us now and had a family of six with most of the kids in their 20's with her husband! Needless to say Elder Msangi and I looked at each other with dumb founded faces! Then in a sudden burst we were finishing getting dressed and heading out!

When we got there we found our Recent Convert father talk to us about her. She and most of her family only could speak Zulu and Afrikaans. So our plan was then to have him translate as we taught. This woman, named Flora, had been working since she was 15 years old to provide her kids with a better future, you could see the marks of the hard labor from over the years, and she also told us that she had been in the Catholic Church most of that time as well. However, when we sat down she said, "I have this overwhelming feeling coming over me of peace and warmth", she could tell she never had this feeling ever in her church. We taught her alone and made plans to meet her family, because this, she said, is what she wants for them all. We also gave her a Zulu Book of Mormon and she started to cry and kiss the book, I had never before seen such a person truly understand what we were giving her until now. My heart was deeply soften to see one of my lost sisters coming home and knowing just from our presence that we were messengers of God.

The SBB's don't stop there at all! I told you about the Ackermann family, the less actives we found as we were tracting. Earlier this week we taught them about the spirit and at the end of the lesson the father and mother talked with us. The father expressed the desire to receive the priesthood and get his family to the temple. They both expressed how they felt it was time to really get back and have all the blessings we taught them. Again Elder Msangi and I were caught off guard, you don't normally prepare to have the entire family after a few visits say " We know it's true and we are done falling away, help us reach the temple"! And when I saw them the next time reading the scriptures as a family and Brother Ackermann reading about the priesthood my heart could burst. Then at church when I saw them come in to sit, let's just say there was much eye rubbing and clapping of hands. They then met with the bishop and set out dates with goals and said to me "You are now always going to see us at church!" It was brilliant!
We've also been able to meet with other Less actives and a part member family to get them on the path of becoming a "forever family".

Finally, the last biggest thing that happened was on Wednesday. The Campbell family is a very young family that are very cool members. They remind me of you and mom at an early stage. They had their first baby girl on that day and we decided to go all out for this family. To give a little background for you, we see them every Monday night for family home evening and I've grown to love these two very much. Sister Campbell is a recent convert who's family hates her husband and also is very hurt that she would become a Mormon. Still both of these two have stuck it all out in faith no matter what , even with not having much friends besides us and Brother Campbell's brother and wife. So I decided to spend most of my Easter money to buy them a card, pictures of their new baby, roses, and a very cool balloon to show they were loved. It was all worth it when we walked into the hospital room and gave them these gifts in front of their family. We would later find out that us going to be there for them has started to soften their parents hearts and got us many referrals of hospital workers. All I could say was "When you are in service of your fellow man, you are only in the service of your god".

I wish I could write all the things that have happened this week, but it would take too much time. The biggest thing I learned to sum it all up is " Stay the Course". You'll never be wrong by doing right!
I love you all and wish you a great week of work. Just keep looking to that vacation:)

I'm well and working hard, thank you for your prayers.

Love your Son and Brother,
Elder Jack F Dalton

I Would That You Would Experiment on My Words–March 18, 2013

It sounds like another crazy week in the "desert" dad calls these months. I'm sure your all looking forward to the future holidays and time to relax together. I can say that my side of the world has been full of much work and it makes me very tired. This past week my companion and I have found our theme in how we are going to work and also our message to our people of Rynfield. It all came to us while we shared Alma 32 with a less active young adult called Nati. For all of you that need to remember what the chapter is about, it's the teaching of Alma the younger to the poor Zoramities about the seed of faith and allowing it to grown into a tree of everlasting life. It also talks a lot about reaping the fruit we receive from our patience and diligence in nurturing the tree.

Our week was placed with much work and dedication. I'm so happy to have a companion who will stand with me and willing to push the wheel next to me. We visited many members, less actives, and investigators all with the same message of putting the work into their "spiritual trees". To also give the fruit of these trees to others, much like Lehi desiring to share the fruit with his family. We just all need to see that "our family" is really every son and daughter of God. Our effort has shown that we are dedicated to these people and will soon give us fruit at the right time.

This week we also have placed much time in finding more prepared people. The greatest blessing of my week came from this experience. On Thursday we took out a member to teach with us and we found time to also go out finding. I challenged Elder Msangi to try and contact someone, because he needs the practice using English. He then approached a large home and knocked on the gate. A young teenage girl came out and then quickly ran back inside saying "I'll get my mom". MY heart sank in fear at the thought of a white Afrikaans woman eating alive my poor companion. Just as my fear was taking me, a smaller girl ran up and shouted "THE ELDERS ARE HERE!" Come to find they were a very less active family and was in great need of our visit. We shared our message about trees and I got the name "Elder Peaches" from my description of the "desirable fruit" Alma talks about.

It was a testimony to me not to fear cause anything can happen and because of a little faith we now have a family to bring back.

Needless to say that my spirits are high and I look forward at this area with much hope. I understand true growth comes with time and patience. No tree was grown over night, but with day after day of work. I close with the words of the last verse in chapter 32 of Alma, in which I firmly testify I know is true: "Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence,and patience, and long suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you."
Much love and prayers for all of you:)

Love your Son and Brother,
Elder Jack F Dalton

More Picture of Rynfield–March 11, 2013


Pictures–March 11, 2013


Rynfield. Another Town, Another Adventure–March 11, 2013

Sounds to me like you've had quite the week and full of people coming and going. Myself I've been doing much of the same, "Coming and going". So you new that I was moved areas and left the improved Witbank with much sorrow since the members I visited cried at my departure. I was then shipped to a new place called Rynfield which is another town. It was very fun to meet my companion, Elder Msangi from Tanzania. When he looked at me for the first time all he could express in broken English was "WOW, what a big elder!" I was so happy to finally have my first real black companion, especially since I found out the horrible news that my MTC companion was sent home with some girl issues.

It was very cool as well to be told by the APs that I was sent to this area for a very special reason and that I was called to repair yet another area. I felt very honored at the thought of now being considered an AR, an Area repairman. At least that is what many of my group called it when the aps talked to me. Apparently, my companion has had a very challenging time with other companions and the area is suffering on the missionary side. I guess this is going to be my "special skill" for my mission. Kind of cool to think I'm the guy that President can look for as a tool to repair things.

Our teaching pool is very low and the commitment of the investigators is very low. The upside is that the Ward is amazing and full of awesome people. It's also the most white ward I've ever seen besides being home. They all welcomed me very openly and told my companion that I was going to whip him into shape. It's not good when the Ward notices the missionaries have been slacking. None the less our Ward Missionary leader is minted and will do anything for us. His own son is going on a mission to the Netherlands. I have another adventure and my work is cut out for me. I almost feel like I need to train my companion again, because he's had to learn English to be here and it didn't hit me until this morning that I'm now Senior companion. He's been out 6 months and I've nearly been out 13 months.

I'm excited and ready to do my best in another cool town. This one seems a little more promising with people willing to listen. I wish you all the best and the best of luck:) Jillian don't get stressed out about UCAS, they only try to scare the ones who aren't going to be committed. I know you and have been through that school, you're the right material for it. Jacob I'm so proud of you for dancing it all up:) your such a stud and I want pictures from prom. Mom make sure you sleep a little this week, I know how easily work takes you over until you crash. Dad, great news on the new jr high move, that will make your life a little easier:) I also want to see the alien they pull out of your hand!
Much love to you all and best wishes from Africa:)

Love your son and brother,
Elder Jack F Dalton

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It’s Time to Say Goodbye. A New Adventure is Coming–March 4, 2013

Mom and Dad, it sounds like you've been having a blast down in good old New Mexico. I'm very happy about all the pictures with our awesome family. Everyone keeps getting bigger and better, I'm just a bit jealous of not being there. I hope you sent my love there, because there is no greater place to have true joy but within your family! On that note I got word that I will be leaving my Witbank Family and traveling to a new Area. I have no idea where I'm heading, but everyone is convinced that I'll be sent to Botswana. I guess we'll see what happens and take on another challenge:) The rest of my week was full of teaching and service. We taught our white father lead about the Plan of Salvation, Moved the township elders to a new flat, and We made an A frame roof for a tuck shop.

Just last night we were talking with our Father named Reinheirt with his less active wife about the Plan of Happiness. They have a small little girl and we talked a lot on the importance of family. We even taught a great amount on the Restoration of the gospel, speaking on how a restoration as needed after Christ's church fell with the death of the apostles. This how ever lead us to our longest talk on how the Holy Ghost answers our prayers. We read scriptures and talked about the holy ghost as a light in a dark room. It was one of my best lessons I've had with him and the spirit was so strong. What a good way to have my final lesson in Witbank.

My leaving is very bitter sweet on the fact their was no church this Sunday because of stake conference. So when next Sunday comes and they see Elder Meyers with a new comp they will ask "Where is Dalton?" I'll have to silently disappear from the area I've done so much work in and have started to really to put out success. I'm just grateful for the patience of the Lord with me and the lessons I've learned in this challenging area.

On Thursday we moved two sets of missionaries that work in the township to a "better" place. They stayed in our area, but close to downtown which is very dangerous. Their building also had frequent power outages and loss of water, more normal than for Witbank. So in hopes to place them in better place we moved them across town with all their stuff. They moved into a place named Ridge view, a gated community, on the snobby side of town. When we got teir we also found they lived on the top floor of the apartment complexes, of course it had to be the top floor! Still it all seemed very nice and their flats are huge, we thought it would all work. Then later this week the same problems came to them, no water at all for the past two days. It's simple irony I guess.

Finally, my favorite part of my week came from building and hanging out with the McDonald Family. They have been converting a huge wooden crate that was used for the mines moving large equipment into a tuck shop. Now a tuck shop is like a small little store by the road that sells food and drink. So that day we made and placed the biggest A frame in the world using 8X6 freakin logs with just four guys. I will say my hulk skills were needed that day! It was just so nice to be around the McDonald's and talk about everything. There is something special when you get a bunch of guys with power tools together. The only bad thing to happen was I nailed my left thumb with the hammer, man did it feel sore that day. On top of that I wanted to "express myself", but their was the little kids around, talk about self control.

So that is my week in a nut shell. I hope all is good wherever you are and that my love finds you there.

Love your Son and Brother,

Elder Jack F Dalton


Monday, February 25, 2013

Pics of a Lot of Stuff–February 22, 2013


So there is A lot of pics of places I've been and my crash on the little bike. Also the picture of the two freezers and coke fridge are the ones we helped to move out of the McDonald's butchery because the township started to strike and riot.

I Want to be a Cowboy!–February 25, 2013

Sounds to me like you are all having a good time right now and things look up:) First off, CONGRATS TO MY LITTLE SIS FOR MAKING IT INTO UCAS!!! I'M SO EXCITED! (Lots of eye rubbing) I think that is by far the best news of the week. I also love the news that Dad is going to move a lot closer to the new middle school, means I'll be taking Jill to school! My week has been one of service on the Farm again and did I feel like a true cowboy. This last week was almost like a fun break, but we sure did work our tails off. I'll explain what I mean.

So, our mission has been cracking down on how many kilometers we are able to drive every week. That includes the K's we use to go to meetings and transfers, which are at least 100 K's from us. This pushes down really hard on the ability to get around our vast area to visit our members and investigators. This week we had a meeting like that and it ate many of our K's, so we asked our McDonald family if they wanted our help we would just need a lift, they had no problem with that, they love us. To back tract a little, the meeting was on Tuesday, we got new bank cards and got the information that Botswana will become it's own mission on July 1st. This means any missionaries up there at that time will transfer missions! I'm up for transfer at the end of this week and it could happen to me, way awesome! That mission would also cover Namimbia, So maybe I could serve within three countries?! We'll see I guess and the only reason why I have high hopes, was after President Omer announced the new mission he looked directly at me and singled me out. All my group at that meeting said I was gone for sure. HaHaHa!

Later in the week over Friday and Saturday we were out on the Farm of the McDonald's just hanging out and doing service. Friday was a very chilled out day, but we made Boerwvores, it's like a bratwurst. They own a butchery in a township and so we helped to make some that day. I never knew meat was such a good lotion:) It was a blast! Later I taught them how to rope their calves and we had a laugh the entire time. Saturday was the best though, We helped them take four huge cows down to a sell yard! I never knew how hard it was to load animals into a trailer and how stupid these cows can be. I got my work out that day for sure.

It got better as we got to the sale yard and had to place the cows in a small loading slot, because his back of the trailer swings open to the right and was larger than the opening we needed them to go. Lucky for us only one got out and we had to chase it around, still very stupid animal. We then waited for the auction to take place so we walked around looking at shops, the other animals, and had some freaking sweet food! We also helped Grant, the oldest brother, load three pigs for slaughter and I thought cows were dumb! Still the whole day was a blast to do and it continued when we got back to the farm, because another guy came to buy three calves. This meant I got to use my rope skills I never knew I had. All in all it was so much fun to help at the farm and give service to a family that could use as much help as possible.

I'm excited to find out what happens to me at the end of this week and how things go with all of you. I love you all very much and hope you stay happy:)

Love your Son and Brother,
Elder Jack Forrest Dalton

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Zone Meeting–Feb. 2013

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Witbank, my love!–Feb. 17, 2013

Sounds to me that you all are still doing the same back at home. I'm glad to hear that you all are moving forward to be the best that you can. Tell Jacob that he shouldn't spend his money too fast:) Tell Jillian not to worry to much about the draw, take the advice that Dad gave me " Be prepared for both out comes"! Jill I'll keep you in my prayers:) Mom it sounds to me like your the Big boss lately, I hope they know what they have. I swear that your business only runs so smooth, because of you:) Not only do you hold them together, but also the family. Dad I'm glad to hear/ read your writing, it makes me feel very calm headed like it'll be okay:)

So this week was my Hump week and now I'm officially over a year in the service of my Lord. I was expecting some crazy cool thing to happen, a way cool light show, or maybe evolve like a Pokémon does . . . nothing. Still it's a very sweet time to think I've made it this far and now I know I can make it:) I will agree with you that time does pass very very quickly to a missionary. A week seems like a day, a month a week, and a year a month. I felt a sense of pride and emotion as I read journal entries from a year ago, much of it came from my readings of a few days before I left home just hanging out with all of you. I understand the joy in record keeping now.

For this new and last year of my mission I want to improve myself in every way a person can improve. I want to be a better man and missionary. I have written out my goals and given myself a new sense of trying to commit. I really want to work towards at the end of my mission looking back with a proud sacrifice given. I want that fulfillment of a successful mission given and many lives changed. I want to be "Always Forward Elder Dalton".

This week has been a good one. We've gotten two more investigators, one of them being a father lead family. The first one was a referral from a member, his name is Odon. Odon comes from the Congo and wants God in his life, but he wants only the truth to set him on the right path. This man has been through a lot in his life and is very cautious when we teach. I'm glad that he is, because he wants to pray over everything we give him. The other is a white Father of a less active wife. His name is Reinheart and they are a young couple that we are trying to help come together with the gospel. This guy loves his family so much, his wife and daughter are his entire world. Our first visit was very nice, but a little awkward cause we didn't want to come on too strong to scare him off. We simply talked about the importance of family and family prayer. As we went on talking the barriers melted down and we joked a little. It went so well that they invited us for a Braai next visit:) A true sign that a Afrikaans enjoys you is he invites you to braai with him. We both are really hoping to make it good with them.

The rest of the week went on as normal until the end. Saturday we went out to our other Father to give a lot of service. I've never mowed so much grass in my life for one house. It was so much fun to be out there with his whole family and to be fed twice! We even took out his pellet gun and practiced shooting. He was very impressed by my ability to shoot, I hit a bottle cap from 30 meters and a bird on a wire from 50 meters. I will admit I was amazed at my skill too. The only thing that was bad was I got extremely sun burnt. My face was as red as a tomato and arms roasted sticks. It was so bad that I couldn't get to church, but passed out.

All is okay now, because of a loving branch. As soon as they heard I was down, they all call to see if there was something they could do. We were brought tons of drinks and creams for me. Then they even brought us dinner to our flat! If that is not a sign of love for their missionaries I don't know what is! I told Elder Meyers That we must be doing something right!

Four liters of PowerAde and some aloe cream later, I'm fine. My arms are all back to normal and my face isn't killing me any more. I'm glad to hear from you all and now think it's cool that I'll see you in less than 365 days:)

With much love

Your Son and Brother,

Elder Jack Forrest Dalton

Car Crashes and Spiritual Confirmations–Feb. 11, 2013

Wow! what a week it has been and one so full of surprises. It's been full of car crashes, powerful spiritual lessons, and fun in the woods. It's also very cool to think how this week is also the week I turn one year on mission, never thought I would get here, but look at me now! I hope you are all doing well and that this week has been just as fun for you as it has for me. I wonder if Jacob is having a fun time working now and how Jill is doing on her own. So first thing first, a car crash! The last Monday Elder Meyers and I went to the McDonald Farm to go do service on our P day, part of me wishes to say that we sacrificed our free time for service, but the truth of it was we had sat around the flat looking at each other all day instead. Plus the McDonald's rule and area great joy to be around. As the day went on with moving things, being attacked by rats, and putting up sheds, we decided to go down to the lower farm to see the place that the branches fathers and sons camp would be. We went down to the bottom to chop wood, clear space, and build a bridge across a small creek then head back. On our way back home we came to the main road. We were off the road waiting to enter when a truck pulling a huge trailer behind it thought it was a good time to overtake a taxi. His trailer bounced off the road and clipped the right side of our car, basically making it look like a bat to a piñata. The best thing was he kept on going. We were all dazed by the thing and amazed he didn't stop. It wasn't till we pulled up to the gate of the McDonald's Farm that two black guys came to tell us the license plate and low and behold the man came back that hit us. It was a old Afrikaans man who stated by yelling at us in his language. It just made him more mad that we didn't speak Afrikaans, and he came to the conclusion that "your damage is your damage and my damage is mine." We were lucky enough to grab both the plates on the truck and trailer as well as the companies phone number on the side of the truck. No worries though, we were all okay just mad at this guy for being stupid as well as stubborn. What a P day. The next big thing to happen to us this week was our appointment with Quintin and Elisa on Wednesday. As we drove to Middleburg, we discussed our goals with this next lesson and our desire to extend the invitation to Elisa to be baptized. We were kind of nervous to do so, because one she was white and second Afrikaans people aren't the most open people when it comes to expressing themselves. We started the lesson well talking about prophets and completed talking about how the church came to be. At the end came the time to put it out there and it landed on me. I've placed many on date before with out any real concern, but this one made my stomach twist. As I extended the invitation we were blessed with a beautiful confirmation full of the spirit. She had been reading the Book of Mormon and the pamphlets at work, as well as talking to Quintin about the things she learned, and the best thing we could have ever heard was how she told Quintin she wanted to join this church! It goes with out saying there was extreme dancing back at the flat that night! We had then placed her on date for the 24 of March. That was the miracle of the week. Finally, Friday and Saturday were a lot of fun. We had been invited by the Branch to the camp out and help the McDonald's to prepare for the camp. It was a blast to see everyone is a casual sitting, it reminded me of many camps back home. That night we ate, I taught them how to play capture the flag (which they soon became addicted too), and I got to tell scary stories that made some of the young men scared to go out to pee. It was so nice to be out there and just talk to really connect with the entire branch. That morning I woke up to a firecracker tossed near our tent and jumped out of the tent half naked, they all got a laugh. We then went on a huge hike to a dam and walked through some serious tall grass bigger than me. It was fun. I'm doing well and loving this area. The work may be slow but it just makes the success that much sweeter! Much love and I wish you a great Valentines day! Love your Son and Brother, Elder Jack F Dalton

Monday, February 4, 2013

Breaking the Record–February 4, 2013


I kind of feel bad for the poor letter envelope i sent. I hear that you all attacked it like a school of piranha! Still I'm glad that you loved to get mail from me. I hope that it was a really great gift. This week has also been a great gift to me and Elder Meyers. We worked hard this week and have been trying too continue to grow our little branch. There has now been great success in the tilling of this area. I think being out in the farming and coal mining parts of South Africa I liken the work of this place too growing corn, it sure takes a long time too grow. Yet, it's awesome in the end.

This week was great in the fact we had just under our attendance of last week and we made an all time high of our lessons! Now to some it may not sound like much, but we had eight! All of them less active with great spiritual accomplishment. One was with Quintin and him meeting his home teachers, it was awesome to see the branch finally coming together to support the lost members. The branch has been focusing a lot with us to pull people back. I've never really felt this way about a certain little branch, they are really growing in my heart with the work and trust they place in us. I'm starting too see why my mission president told me that I would feel accomplished here.

I'm doing really well this week and have a lot of service with one of our members on their farm. I love you all so much and hope you loved the letters:)

Your Son and Brother,

Elder Jack Dalton

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sickness and Triumph–January 7, 2013

It has been crazy for me to think that it really has been almost two weeks since I saw your beautiful faces and heard Jacob's weird deep voice. That was a blast to know that you are all doing so well and have started to change in unique ways. The holiday season really wasn't too bad when it came to the feeling of homesickness, instead it was just a positive feeling of "I can do this!" Thank you for all of your prayers and the love you continue to give to me, every bit of it moves me along. There were even times when I felt you guys were just down the street and that I would soon be back around you, it was also nice to think I'm getting very close to being out one year from you (CRAZY!).

For this week I can't really say that too much has happened in the way of moving the work forward, but a lot has happened in the case of large experiences. The first was having New years eve at our stake center with our entire zone. That was so much fun to be around everyone. We spent a lot of the time playing sport in the late hours, playing capture the flag, and watching Disney movies on a projector. It was the greatest to hang out with Elder Fagg and hear him talk about how close he was to being home, most of the time it was every 30 min. Still it was nice to be around my Zone "Family" for the holidays. I was really blessed:)

Except the remainder of my week would not be so awesome. We left from our Zone early Wednesday morning to get to an appointment that day and I had awoke with a sore throat. At first I didn't think too much about it and went on with the day. That day went fine and we placed another investigator on date for baptism. It was then early Thursday that my throat got a lot worse and was really tight that it awoke me from my sleep. I was able to control it and the later that day called my mission mom Sis. Omer. She told me that I was too far away to go to the clinic in Florida by the mission home, so I would need to sort out some kind of help in Witbank and work with the complicated paperwork of payments from the mission office. After about two hours of trying to find somewhere that would take what I had, nobody could help me. So I called back Sis Omer and said to give me two days to fight this on my own and I would treat the symptoms. Man was that a bad idea! Saturday I woke up with a completely white throat and some bad bowel issues. I was able to talk to Sis Omer and tell her that we had left over money for bike repairs in our flat and that I could use that. She gave me permission and off I went to experience the south Africa emergency room. It was nice too an end, and the people were very nice to me. The doctor took one look and said she knew I had strep, Elder Meyers who was waiting said she came out and talked to most of the staff about me in Afrikaans. She made a clinching motion by her throat then a thrust downwards, everyone including Elder Meyers leaned back in disgust. Anyways all is now okay and I got the medication I needed, the only down side I was sick for five days.

Finally we have had small, but very meaningful triumphs in Witbank. We are now up too six investigators and two of them are on date. One we just met at church this last Sunday who was invited by the missionaries shopping. She was a wonderful lady and very interested, it was only too bad that we didn't have longer to chat with her because my pain medication makes me very loopy and I needed to get back to the flat to sleep. I'm slowly learning that their is my sight on life and Heavenly Father's sight on life, I just need to turn my view to his. Often what I would see to be progression isn't the way he wants us too, but in a completely different way.

I love you all very much and very excited to hear your having a fun time. Good luck with getting back into the groove! I hope this letter eases your first day back. Have fun Dad entering the desert valley of the school year, you can do it:)

With lots of love,

Elder Jack F Dalton


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year From Africa–January 2, 2013

Party Time! That's what it was like for all missionaries the past week. It has been a lot of fun, but often it's a bitter sweet sense. We've hung with our entire zone, had a spit with our branch president, and my favorite part talking with all of you. This holiday season has been such a blast and a very cool time for me to reflect on were I've been and what I have before me. I hope that it has been just as fun for you all.

For Christmas and for new years we gathered together as a zone to play sport, have braais, watch some good holiday movies, and have a blast together. However most of the time we were just winging it and caught in a confusion of "what do you want to do" from time to time. It was really nice to be around my friends and especially my trainer Elder Fagg. I can say he's been trunky for home by the way he kept reminding us about the amount of time till he would leave. He made sure even today that I knew he only has 19 days left. Besides that we hung around each other talking about the great time we had together in Jozi. Time is traveling as I often sat thinking about I was just with Fagg. It helps the feelings of homesickness you get around this time with the thought you only have one more to cover.

Christmas was harder that New Years for me, mainly for the memories we've made the past few years. The traditions have a funny way of creeping back into your mind and let you reflect on life. I found myself thinking about Disneyland, making homemade gifts, and decorating the house. It was a good time and a happy one to remember. It was even fun to be around our branch president on Christmas with all his little crazy kids. We had a huge spit with lamb and tons of games, it was so nice except the pool part were we had to sit and die in the heat. It got even better when I was able to hear and see all of you. I was so happy and proud to see the small changes that are happening, Jacob's voice being one! I was so thankful for that time.

I must apologize for how short this message is,but most of what I wanted to share was said in our call. I promise a longer one next week:)

Much love from me and Africa. My branch president also says that he doesn't sound Irish.

Love your son and brother,

Elder Jack Dalton


Tender Mercies! You’ve Gotta Love ‘Em–December 18, 2012

First off sorry for not getting a hold of you. Yesterday was a public holiday and all the email shops were closed. Please forgive me:)

This week has been the best among all the weeks in wonderful Witbank. We've gotten transfer news, had many braais, gotten many new investigators, and I even got my way awesome second package of doom! I've really needed a week like this and with all this happening it shows me too look at how nice the area can be if you cherish the small blessings as much as the large. We can't cry when a small rain cloud enters our blue sky, but praise god for the sunshine we receive. I'm learning how to best take this lesson one day at a time.

So transfers is tomorrow and we found out that Elder Holman is going to a be a new Zone leader! He was so happy about that news, one because he's been a district leader for a year and I know second it's to finally be able to move after being here 6 months. I love cracking new jokes at him about being a Zone leader. I'm very happy to hear that he will be moving up and out, it really helps missionaries to move and keep it fresh. Myself nothing new, I wasn't called for anything besides my untold tittle of the rebuilder:) I'm glad that is the case, leadership can be hard and training really test your "faith" aka patience :) Still this transfer will be huge with half of our district and zone being swapped around. I'm excited.

With the news of Elder Holman leaving and the miracle of having a car we scheduled many appointments to visit members, this ended up with a braai almost every time. We first had a good time at our Branch Presidents house. We had a big one with every kind of cut of lamb and chicken. Afterward we had a ton of ice cream and cotton candy, he owns his own machine. Then we all decided to run it off by me teaching them to play capture the flag, we had a blast. Next we went out to the McDonald Farm, yes no pun intended, were we helped to unload 2 bulls, 6 sheep, and 12 very bad smelling pigs. I say bad because when they opened the doors to let them out, I was on the receiving end of the putrid aroma blast. I nearly died of that stench, it made me a man. Then of course we had a good old braai with tons of laughter. Most of our members are farmers and it's so much fun being around them. I could see Elder Holman enjoyed himself, most of the time it being his first time at people's homes.

There also came a few investigators too a pool of none. It showed me that you can still find water in the desert. We now have three investigators all potential priesthood holders. Two stay together and are best friends from Zimbabwe working security. They love the Book of Mormon and have a great desire to learn about us, they were referrals from members. The next is a member of the branch who was long excommunicated and is what you call a true Afrikaners! I'm a good six inches taller, but the man intimidates me at times. He has a large desire to come back and his family is all behind him. The wife pulled me aside at church and said take your time and really make sure he gets it, we don't want him to mess up again. To be honest I think the reason for his excommunication is he might have killed a guy! Still I like him.

There are also many members we've talked with that are preparing referrals for us, so hope is not lost.

Finally that package was freakin awesome!!!!!!! I got it yesterday after my district beat Elder Fagg's at soccer 2 to 0. When I got it I did my package dance and the contents made my night so much. I have to admit that the Zebra cakes were the first to go. Thank you so much for all of it, it was exactly what I wanted and I can't wait to set it all up today. I must say your all very good at putting a package together:) That was perfect! Whoever got the shirt for me is a champ, I nearly died laughing! Thank you so much, I felt your love from it:)

Well, I'm excited to Skype you in a week from now! Crazy, I never thought I'd make it to the second call home! It will be so good to hear your voices! I Love you all so much and wish you the best Christmas break ever!

Love your son and brother,

Elder Jack F Dalton