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