Monday, February 29, 2016

Learning Zulu and Afrikaan.... A day in the life of Sin City AKA Elder Flanagan ;) 2/29/2016

Sabona, Lingani? haha that is Zulu for Hello, how are you. My companion is slowly teaching me Zulu and I might start learning Afrikaans. All the members are always teaching me things, they enjoy it haha. I'm sure that the open house for the temple was a very neat experience. Sadly, I wont be able to attend the Temple for 2 short years. Happy Birthday to Chelsey!!! It is crazy how fast the time is flying by, soon her and Issac will be driving cars and burning holes in Dad's pockets haha. I'm glad that you were able to spend time with the Hooper's. Oh, for some reason my lds mail account will not let me look at the blog at all :/. Anyways, this week was a rough one. We started it off with meetings and appointments cancelling. So we weren't in our area for a long time and when we were we could not visit anybody. Wednesday we spent the day in Phola and we did some gardening, ill send a video and pictures of that if I can. Then the rest of this week we had most appointments cancel and nobody was on the streets to contact. Even the members call our area outer darkness, but we will have to change that, it may be a hard area; but with enough Faith in the Lord, anything is possible. Our area struggles a lot with transport and money, so we are trying to find ways to get them out to church. The ward is not being super helpful about it though. Hopefully, we can light a fire in their hearts to help the less actives get to church. 

This week we ran out of food so we were surviving on meals with members and noodles and bread haha. This month I am going to budget my money better. Stake conference was very good. The whole stake was about the size of Gilcrease Ranch ward haha, It was good to see more people than usual. Sadly, not many people from my area showed up due to transport issues. The stake building is over an hour away. Yesterday, we had a late lesson in a Middleburg so It was about 9 o'clock and we were very tired. There are many people with crappy cars so you have to pass a lot of people. I was following a car most of the time, so the car I was following passed the car and then I pass the car ahead of me and as I pass him I realize that there is a hill and all of a sudden there is oncoming traffic coming up fast. So i swerved back into the correct lane and luckily missed the oncoming traffic. 1 more second and Elder Banda and I would have been toast haha, so that's my first close call so far on my mission, I'm sure there will be plenty more to come. But the Lord protects his missionaries as long as they are obedient and trying their best. This week I also had some Ostrich with white corn and mushrooms. It was pretty good, except I do not like Brussels sprouts. 
I love you guys! Keep me posted on the funny things that happen, I always enjoy a good laugh. 
Love, Elder Flanagan AKA Sin City (that's my nickname to some of the missionaries)

Monday, February 22, 2016

When it Rains it POURS! 2/22/2016

Man it is Monday again! This month is flying by faster than the last month! This week has been fast! This week I began with going on exchanges. He is a hardworking missionary, the only problem is his desire has kind of died so I had to kind of lead everything. It was a good experience though. We tracted for 4 hours, my legs were completely dead haha, and when we ended, the walk back was uphill and it was pouring rain. When it rains in Whitbank, it comes out of nowhere and it POURS. We have had many lessons this week, alot have been in the townships Phola and Middleburg, so we drove 700 kilos this week haha, were supposed to stay under 500 kilos, but with our zone activity the drive to Pretoria always puts us over. We were at a members house this week and watched the movie HOME, it was a funny movie. We also watched the parliament of South Africa, it was like a circus of everyone just yelling, literally nothing got done haha. Nothing really exciting happened this week, so I'm lost on what to write about, next week i'll go downtown so I can get robbed or something haha. People here will steal anything, they will even open your car door fast and grab something. It is shocking. Well our area is going good, we have 6 people on baptismal date and we are working on reactivating a'lot of people. This upcoming week is the last week of the transfer, my companion and I will most likely stay together at least this next transfer because he is still training me. I've learned alot from him, he is more like a friend from home than a companion. We both love working out and girls ;). Today I bought 3 sweet looking ties so if you or dad are looking at my bank account, just know its all on pizza and ties haha. Something that doesn't normally happen or atleast not that I've heard of happened in our mission. There is an Elder that lives in South Africa, his visa was delayed to the U.S. because he is going to the Provo MTC and then off to Korea. So the past couple weeks he has been a missionary here. So he will be an expert by the time he actually enters the MTC. This week we finally were able to find someone to do service for. We painted a fence for 3 long hours, but I enjoyed every minute of it. The members gave us alot of pap and chicken, if you dont remember what pap is it is stiff porridge, or like maize that you feed animals but here it is grown for human consumption, it is a staple food. Especially for the poorer people. This past Sunday there were 3 homeless men outside of church, members were willing to feed them, Sis Pat who is pretty much the mom of the ward actually took them in until they can get jobs. We gave one a priesthood blessing and then Ill let you know what else happens next week when I find out more. I'm glad to hear everything is going good! Oh yeah! The past two weeks I've had an intestinal parasite, the water here in Witbank is not good at all. I have never felt so miserable in my life. You get stomach cramps, intense pain, and just about everything you can think of. I received medication and now I'm feeling fine. If you want to lose weight, get a stomach parasite haha, just kidding you will regret it. Well I Love you guys! I give my hugs and kisses to everyone, no kisses to guys of course. I'll talk to you guys next week, if you want me to receive an email in time it should be sent like Sunday morning or Saturday night at the latest because of the time difference, and lastly dont be shy about giving my email to cute girls ;). 

He reminded me what time to write him because my email that I had sent him was still sitting in my Out box :(   . Hahah  Poor Kid thought his mom forgot to write him.He did get it an hour later when I realized it. :)

Love you all! -Elder Flanagan the prodigal son  


Monday, February 15, 2016

Worms......The poor mans delicacy

        This week has been long, busy, and hard. We have been dealing with people who are starving, struggling , and jobless. The one common thing though is how they thank God for letting them still somehow survive. We have a brother that has STD's and other medical issues. So we brought him the sacrament and gave him a blessing.
        This week we celebrated Elder Darley's birthday at our flat. It was fun we had cake and icecream. Then we had him stand facing away from us and we threw eggs at his back. It was pretty funny he had huge welts on his back but hey, he volunteered for it haha. We also had to mop the floor and walls because there was egg yolk everywhere, even on the ceiling. Today I bought 5Kg's of protein for 400 rand which is roughly $25 if my math is right. Which is SUUUUUUUUUUUPER cheap. Last night we were at a members house and the power went out so we ate around a flashlight.
      In Africa we eat mashed pumpkin with almost every meal, its pretty good. This week I think a member is making mopane worms, which is pretty much caterpillars. Hopefully she doesn't because even my companion doesn't like them, so I definitely wont! Tell Dad i'm getting stronger doing pushups and other workouts each day. I'm actually getting a little skinnier even though we eat a lot of food. This week the coolest experience we had was we were tracting and met 7 new people to teach! Hopefully they all continue wanting to learn. Ill send pictures later if I can. This computer doesn't have a USB port. 
LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!! 

(Not a picture from him but a picture of the worms. uhh...not sure if I could eat them. :0  )

Here are a few pictures that he sent me.

Christians companion - We sent him some Valentines too!

Apparently this is how you Celebrate Birthdays in Africa in the Mission field...haha.  ;)  This is the welts from the eggs on the Elder back.  Silly Boys.

Friday, February 12, 2016

A little spotlight on the Whitbank Branch Facebook Page of Christian and his companion Elder Banda.

Elder Cosmas Banda from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe has been on Mission for 7 months and Witbank is his 5th Area, his least favorite dish is mogoru (Afval). He likes the Diversity of South Africans.
Elder Christian Flanagan is from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. has been on mission for just a few weeks now and Witbank is his 1st Area of service. His least favorite food/ drink is Amazi. He likes the Friendliness of the South African People.

We wish them all success as they serve the Lord in this part of His vineyard.

Pizza and Name tags 2/8/16

      Haha it is always good to see Jacob getting beat up! I'm glad everyone sounds happy! Things are going good this week. We had a zone meeting in Pretoria which was very enlightening. We set goals to have 60 new investigators and 40 baptismal dates this month. We have two baptismal dates set so far, our investigators are working on overcoming smoking right now. They are doing very good though!
       This week we went street tracting and we met a pregnant woman on the street. She said we could come visit her. We went and taught her and she explained how she was 9 months pregnant and her husband is not supporting her. Some nights she goes to bed without food. She also mentioned that the first time we found her, she was crying and aimlessly walking down the street. She said when we met her she couldn't believe we were talking to her because she saw us as Angels, like literal angels. I thought that was a very cool experience. 
       Anyways, were doing our best to try and help her and our other investigators that are living in very bad conditions. The ward is growing we had 76 attend yesterday, the most they have seen in years. We are trying to work with members to fellowship those that come to church. I'm jealous that you went to the Dunes, I've only been in the field for 3 weeks but I need a vacation haha it is very hard work. 
      Thank you for the box of letters and candy. I'm excited to receive it! We have to go shopping now, but I will hopefully have more to talk about next week. Love you guys!  
-Elder Flanagan

Monday, February 1, 2016

It is good to hear that everyone is doing good! Just buy a big tree and plant it in the front yard haha. Sounds like everyone is keeping busy that is good! 
    Yesterday at church we had 61 members, I think it is a record so far, at least for as long as I have been here. Some of the people at church drive 30 kilos just to attend. It is really humbling to see their desire to grow in their faith. Having such a large area also means that if they are in the townships that we are in charge of or they are far away, it is hard to get them to come to church. Things are going good otherwise. We are mainly working on less actives and members. It is hard to tract here because every single house has a giant wall, barbwire and spikes on top and an electric fence on top. 
   Crime is very common here, but we have not been robbed yet, haha. I have gotten very good at cooking balanced meals, believe it or not I eat veggies every meal that we can. Yesterday, we ran out of food because we are broke so I made Chicken and plain macaroni haha. Later, we met with a sister who's husband is not a member. They love our company and are always feeding us. They are very nice. Her husband is well read in the Bible and agrees with everything we teach, he just needs to take those steps to come to church and accept baptism and he will be a very strong member in our branch. He even knows the way we baptize is the only way to be baptized, he just hasn't said yes yet. In time I know he will say yes. 
   I have yet to eat anything weird yet, the only thing that is different is pop, which is just maize. '. Love you guys, keep me updated on the intersting stories you come across.
 Love, -Elder Flanagan