Monday, August 22, 2016

Goodbye Ladysmith - August 22, 2016

Hello everyone,

So I have exciting news and sad news, I am leaving Ladysmith tonight (or Tuesday morning depending how specific you want to be). It is sad to be leaving but at the same time I am excited because I am going to a super awesome place called Umlazi (pronounced um-la-zee).

Umlazi is the 2nd biggest township in South Africa, and I get to live in the township which will be super awesome. I know my mom will hate this, but is the most dangerous place in the mission. That's only if you aren't careful though, if you stay out of the places you shouldn't be, then you will be fine. My new companions name is Elder Chapo, he is from Zimbabwe. I am excited to have an African companion again.

It was tough to say good bye to all the people I have met here in Ladysmith. The members are so amazing and I will miss them so much. I will also miss Elder Smith, he is super awesome and we had gotten really close over these last 6 weeks.

I will definitely have a lot to say next week after my first week in Umlazi, its a pretty crazy place but missionaries love it so I am super excited.

Love you all and have a great week.

Elder Knutsen

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Missionary Vacation - August 9, 2016

So this week was as close to a vacation on mission as you can get.

On thursday we went to Durban for zone conference. zone conference is always fun because you get to see other missionaries and I was able to see Elder Jonga, my companion from the MTC. we had a great meeting and then we went back home, 

So for transport we took a big taxi down to Durban, taxis here are like big vans so we packed 15 missionaries into one and drove 3 hours to Durban in the morning and then 3 hours back that night. it was quite the experience. 

Then on Sunday we were invited to go to Dundee's ( a place about 45 minuets from ladysmith) Branch president's farm, now His farm is about 2.5 hours from dundee so that was another long car ride we got to take which was fantastic. we wanted to save on mileage so we put a couple guys in the bed of a bakkie (truck) and I drove that to the farm. it was so much fun there, words and the many pictures I took cannot describe it. it also looks nothing like a farm back home. It was so much fun though, it was kinda like a vacation but at the same time on Monday we worked for like 6 hours pouring concrete at their house. their house has a ton of stories also which I will tell everyone about when I get home but it is too hard to type them all out.

Besides all that we just had another week of hard work, Elder Smith and I are in a 3 some now with one of the missionaries who we live with because his companion just finished his two years and heads home now. The guy we are with now is named Elder Eastmond. he is a great guy who I have lived with since I started mission.

I dont think anything else really happened this week. just more teaching and the usual missionary stuff.

I love you all and hope you have a great week.

Elder Knutsen

Pinetown Zone Conference - August 5, 2016

Playing a rousing Book of Mormon game!

These group of Elders piled into a taxi and made the 3 hour trip one-way to attend the zone conference in Pinetown.

Monday, August 1, 2016

A wet week! August 1, 2016

So this week really wasn't to exciting, all we did was work super hard and smash all our goals for this week which was great. 
We have had huge storms all week also, tons of lightning and rain. we were teaching one lady in a little shack that couldn't have been any bigger than 10 feet by 8 feet with a 7 foot ceiling, it was made completely out of metal and while we were teaching her the storm picked up, like the sky just opened up and it POURED, hail lightning and rain. One of the biggest storms I've seen, so we are teaching her and with the house made out of metal it was quite loud with the hail pounding on it, we all had to sit right next to one another and yell almost as loud as we could just to hear one another. it was pretty funny. It gets alot colder here also than people think, most of the time its hot but in the winter (right now) it gets pretty cold. 
This week we are going to Durban on Wednesday and Thursday which I'm excited for. Durban is so nice to go to, the weather is always fantastic and when we are there we can go to McDonald's and get mcflurries instead of out here in Ladysmith all we have for fast food is KFC which gets old after it being the only thing you have for 4 months. 
Its crazy to me that I have been out for 4 months now, time goes so fast. It seems like just yesterday I was getting on the plane to head to Atlanta. there is a good chance I only have 3 more weeks in Ladysmith which would be sad because I love it here but everyone says once you get to your second area time only move faster. One of the guys I live with goes home in a couple weeks, I cant even imagine being at that point. it blows my mind to think that one day I will be the old guy in the mission.
That is still a long time away though, for now just have to keep going one day at a time, thats one thing I've learned big time, is to live in the moment. When you worry about what happened and whats to come it ruins the NOW which is the most important thing. So thats what I've been focusing on is to take it one day, hour, and minute at a time. live life to the fullest by getting everything you can get out of right now.
Hopefully someone enjoys my wise words of advise haha. Have a great week everyone, I love you all!
Elder Knutsen

Best week ever - July 25, 2016

Hello everyone!
Man this week was awesome, Even though everything didn't always go according to plan I think it was one of my best weeks on mission. 
We were able to get quite a few new investigators this week, like 6 new ones which was great so we have about 12 people we are teaching currently. We also now have 7 people on baptism date which should all be baptized on the 14th and the 21st of August. It would be sweet if we were able to accomplish that. 
So the biggest problem we have with our investigators is that they dont come to church. lots of people dont have cars here and some people walk an hour to church so its not the easiest thing for people here. But this week we had 8 investigators at church! it was so awesome. I was giving a talk and one of the guys we are teaching walked in and I barely could control myself when I saw him walk through the door. 
We are just working super hard here in Ladysmith and the area is on fire right now. Even when we get "bunked" ( appointments fall through) we are able to find new people to teach. its actually hard to be able to give everyone enough time during the week and hopefully we can just keep getting even more people to teach.
Last night we had a HUGE storm. tons of lightning and thunder which I love, oh and the most rain I have seen in a long time. It felt like a late fall Washington day which was great. Today also just has been rainy all day too which has felt nice. 
We are going to Durban again next week, literally every month since Ive been here we have had to go there. Its alot of fun to go there though because you get to see the amazing beaches and all the friends I have made so far.
I think thats about it for me this week! I look forward to all the things Elder Smith and I have planned for this coming week.
Have a great week and I love you all,
Elder Knutsen