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
ALWAYS FORWARD SOUTH AFRICA!