Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Broadcasting live from a small dirty internet cafe that by some miracle has A/C, it’s Elder Hackmeister!

Glad to hear that Cali was a blast! I loved the pics that dad sent, it looks like you guys had a ton of fun! I’m glad Cody was able to go too! Hope everyone had fun! It’s funny looking at an ice rink sitting in the middle of Dodger Stadium, man that must have been cool!

The branch really is in apostasy. Go and read Alma 4:8-10, that is the branch to the tee. We have been focusing this week on visiting the members and chastising them lightly by reading some scriptures with them on what they promised when they baptized and how they can be like Christ. The problem here is that everyone gossips and backbites. That is not ok. Even in church people gossip about each other. So stupid!! But we only have to hold the fort down til the 16th I suppose. Then Pres Shulz is coming. If this sort of thing was going on back home, they would bring an apostle or something in and he would give it to everyone in sacrament. Really I don’t understand why the people act like this.  The problem started a few weeks ago when a member died, he was old and got sick. The family were not members but he was so the culture is that the church the deceased belonged to hosts the funeral. Well, the Branch President didn’t want to organize it so the Branch Mission Leader who is one of the ex branch presidents organized it himself. The contention grew from there. This guy, the ex branch pres, is a trouble maker. He is the root of the problem and is also one of the reasons the other ex branch president stepped down. He is so prideful and tries to always run the branch even though he has no authority. So we have been trying to calm him down as well and have him lay off the branch running.  But other than that it has been a pretty good week! Sadly we didn’t work as hard as we could have I felt, so that’s a downer. We will do better this week for sure though.

It’s weird to see how time has gone by though! It’s been 6 months since I gave my farewell, that’s an odd thought...It feels like yesterday! It’s great to see how much I have learned though. I know that the Lord has blessed me sooo much! It’s amazing to see how he uses me to help in this work, and how he improves me. He guides this work, that is for sure. We are going to have another baptism this Saturday for a woman named Grace. She has been waiting for a while so it will be sweet! It will be a good week and I will be sure to take some good photos! Thanks for doing the IDL! And thank you for the packages as well!!! I will appreciate them! So did you pack the IDL in the packages? I'll be sure to take out some money in anticipation of the air drop haha!

So I have kind of a cool story, well I thought it was interesting anyway. One of the songs that was on the iPod you sent is called Lullaby and it is sung by Josh Groban and a South African group called Black Mombazo. Well Elder Moleme was looking through the iPod and found it. He listened to it probably 10 times. I asked him about it and that song is a deep part of South Africa. He told me about it and I don’t even feel worthy to type it out because I know I will mess some of it up, but I will try. So South Africa didn’t get independence until 1994 and during the time before, the blacks were treated like slaves pretty much, working in the mines and domestically only. If the government even suspected a black person of speaking of revolt or anything like that, they would send the police to their homes and kill them on the spot. A lot of times, these innocent people would have an idea of if the police were coming. Lots of them had young children. So as they prepared to die, they would write a poem or something on a piece of paper and give it to the child. That is all the child would have to remember them by, if they ever learned to read since they would wind up orphans on the street, not knowing if their parents had abandoned them or if they had been killed. This song Lullaby is one of those. It was found in a crib with a baby. Nobody knows who the mother was. But the poem was put to music and has become a symbol and reminder of this time. Go and listen to the words, I can’t even imagine what that would be like. Moleme said as we were listening to it that if any older people from South Africa hear the song they begin to cry. There is another song on the ipod by Josh Groban as well called Weeping and it’s from South Africa too and describes the whole situation of segregation as from the governments point of view. Interesting, I am glad Elder Moleme was able to tell me about it. It adds such meaning to the songs.

I love you soooo much! Thank you for all your support and love! I know that this is the true Gospel of Christ! He leads us today and guides us through a prophet! We visited the funeral of that man on Saturday, and it was so sad to see how his family didn’t know about the plan of salvation! They were so sad, we will teach them though! I know that God loves us and he is watching over us each and every day! I love you and I hope you have a great week!

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