So I will start out this letter by answering your (Mom's) questions real quick.
1. What do you typically eat for breakfast?
Mmm half the time I don't eat breakfast. We don't get given a lot of money to live off of honestly. So I just don't eat a ton. When I do it is cereal, a banana, french toast or just some toast. Occasionally i have oatmeal as well. Poor missionary probs.
2. How much does a gallon of milk cost? Or a loaf of bread?
A half gallon of milk I think costs like 13 rand? So like $1.30? Something like that. And then a loaf of bread is probably like 11 rand or something? I can't remember. It's been a while since we bought food. haha IM STARVING!
3. How many teens are there in the youth program in your ward/branch?
Mmm I would say we have like twenty or so? Maybe a little less. We have a few more girls than guys here. So that is a problem. The church needs more "kingdom builders." people who have the priesthood. And all the girls are always surrounding us asking when we can come visit them, which doesn't give good appearances. So yeah, that is a problem. There are a lot of less actives though. We are getting them to come back to church. Probably five more youth have started coming so far that we have reactivated. That is not even counting YSA or older! :]
4. Do people make it to the temple very often from your ward?
Mmm not too often. They try to plan two temple trips a year for the members to be able to go. The temple is just SO far away that it is hard for people to make it out there. They are building one in durban which is only six hours away, so once that is done it'll be a bit easier.
5. Are you having any foot rot or anything from the moisture?
Mmm no foot rot. Just cuts and stuff all over my feet from playing barefoot. That is about it. We get mold a lot here. you cannot leave anything out. the moisture in the air really makes it come on fast. haha
6. Where do you get your hair cuts? How much do they cost?
Well the place we go is actually really nice. They do a great job. It is in front of my mirror in our little bedroom. Haha i do the cutting and my companion just cleans it up a bit. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. Haha I basically cut the sides and let the top grow until I cut it again. I cut it WAY short but its already shaggy again. I think I need to buy clippers though. Ours are gone.
7. How are you doing your personal studying, by topic, or reading straight through, or while taking notes?
At the moment I am just reading straight through the book of mormon. I am taking pauls advice. He said go through the scriptures, dont speed through it, but keep up a good pace. Mark up your scriptures as you go and learn the stories. Then the second and third time through really take it slow and LEARN the doctrine. So I am trying to do that at the moment. I just got a PMG (Preach My Gospel Manual) again because mine got lost at the beginning of coming out here, so that is nice to study too.
8. What is the Relief Society president like? How many sisters approximately in the Relief Society?
I would say we have like 30 relief society members. Maybe a bit more. The president really is a sweet wonderful lady. She fed us actually just a couple weeks ago. Very nice and thoughtful. She talked to us about the work we are doing and things like that. I don't know her too well. There is one mama here that I know pretty well. Her name is Mama Mhini. She is AWSOME! We eat at her house a lot. She feeds us and is going to be giving me a Xhosa name soon actually. Always smiling and always happy, I talk about her in the voice note I sent you guys. her husband isn't active, but she stays strong. :]
9. Do you get the church's publication the Ensign magazine down there?
We don't have the Ensign, but we do get the Liahona (world wide publication)! So that is basically the same thing. We have the twice a year General Conference report so that is a nice one to study. I am still saving to get an ipod because it'd be really good for me to actually HEAR them speak. I read so much it would be nice to be spoken to. As a missionary I am more excited than EVER to watch general conference. :] It is coming up in just a couple months! I honestly am just stoked. For missionaries it is better than any super bowl.
10. What is the food you miss most?
I miss good cereal. the cereal here is garbage. Haha just like in Mexico. I miss good home cooked meals. Luckily I get that at DA's (dinner appointments with the members). But I would love to just have some of the white chicken chili soup or something of that sort. Maybe just a nice Subway? I am not sure. I just miss food.
11. Do you ever just walk in silence? How do you get some "alone" time?
Silence? I mean, we drive in silence on occasion. But Elder Cap and I are real good friends now so we generally are laughing and talking about experiences or investigators or stories from back home. Alone time really just consists of when my companion is in the bathroom or if i am on the toilet, or if one of us is laying on the bed doing something while the other is at the desks. That is about it.
12. Are you going to have any mission conferences soon? How often do you meet with the president and APs (Assistants to the President)?
We are having someone from the seventy (leaders in the church organization) come speak to us at the end of this month I think. So that is cool! The AP's I will actually see today! They are coming to go on splits with the greenies (new missionaries) and their trainers (older missionaries doing the training of the new ones). I wont be able to go with them though this time which is a bummer. Elder Dale and Elder Olsen are the two guys. I love them both. They are great missionaries. Hilarious guys.
Roxanne: Just another thought from the voice message he sent us with his digital recorder...this week he is "Going Moses." I guess that's missionary talk for being strictly obedient. He wont lay in bed one minute longer than when the alarm goes off, will stand behind the car to "back up" his companion as he backs the car out of a parking spot, etc. He was talking and then said "Oh my crap! Okay, I heard this noise and then this big lizard just ran away from me. It scared the crap out of me!" Lots of cockroaches and spiders too...like on his toothbrush!
Lastly, he got permission to be on the phone when Talmage opens his mission call in a couple of weeks! Such fun!
Thanks everyone for your prayers and support!