Dear Family and Friends,
Hey everyone! How is it? I'm doing okay. I have been Transferred again. I was only in Mthatha for 5 weeks. That sets a new record there. no one leaves that area that quick. But i guess president wanted me somewhere where i can be around more missionaries and be closer to civilization. I'm now in Mdantsane 3rd ward. My new comp is Elder Mkhise, from Durban. He's really short haha. I feel like a giant when i'm next to him. He is my District leader and senior companion. He just turned Senior on me actually so its "new" to him. I've been with district leaders for the past 3 transfers so its not new to me haha so i'm helpin him with STATS and stuff. So i left Mthatha on Wednesday when Elder Scott, not the apostle, came and talked with us 3 Elders in Mthatha but yeah thats his duty as a Senior Couple Missionary-helps missionaries. hes based in Joburg at the area office but came down to mthatha for the day and then i went back with them to East London. Elder Scott is originally from Pocatello and then moved to Utah when he got married. They are a really nice couple. gave some good advice. On the way back to east london we talked about cows haha. he has 10 acres back home and wants a few cows. i was enjoying the conversation with them. he's been a cop, a high school counselor and now a professional therapist for the church. He was surprised that i grew up on a dairy farm. haha.
So i'm now in Mdantsane (MM-dawnt-sawn-ae) hope you can pronounce it haha. It is just outside of East London and is the 2nd largest Township in South Africa. Soweto is the biggest up in Joburg. Very big township. Urbanized, lots of ups and downs. Hills and bumps and stuff. actual housing tho to my surprise. Yes there are a few shacks but its mostly government houses. Xhosa speaking area of course. so nothing new there. In church yesterday sacrament meeting was in english and then sunday school and priesthood was in Xhosa and English so it was bit difficult for me to understand some of it. my comp can carry out a conversation since his native language is Zulu. So he can understand people here, haha i just stand there and smile most the time. "just smile and wave boys, just smile and wave". The bishop is very young. probably late 20s. it is a ward but has about 70 to 100 members come to church from what i've seen so far. The other 2 wards have close to 200 people come every sunday and so they are going to create a fourth ward soon, so i've heard. There is 2 chapels, 3rd shares with 2nd ward. we go at 9:00 and then 2nd goes at 1:00. 1st ward has there own building. they are very nice buildings. actual church and not just an old hotel building like Mthatha. Just the 2 of us in the ward. there is 6 elders in 1st ward and then 4 elders in 2nd ward. I'm in a 2man district and 2man boarding. So district meetings are pretty much like a companion study. I miss the 4-man boarding. it was fun and it is the only one in the mission. We stay in Cambridge which is actually in East London mainly because there isn't anywhere to stay in Mdantsane. So its about a 20 min drive to our area every day. there is 4 cars in the zone 1 of them is in the shop at the moment so Elder Whillhite and his greenie Elder Beck are walking in there area. Its the first area for him to be walking haha. he is going home on friday. hes done with mission...but if you do the calculations 3 companionships are walking. We all stay in East london so we take the other elders who are walking in their area to their area when we first go every day. its kinda nice.
Pday today. the nice thing about being here is that we are really close to East London zone so we can get together with them and play soccer or whatever. I'm pretty excited about that part. I get to mingle with lots of missionaries. Including my trainor Elder Heydenrych! :) I'm not sure what we are doing today. everyone is fueled up with soccer since its the end of the transfer. I came a week earlier because my comps last comp Elder Wilson went to the office to serve. So he needed to leave early so he could get all the training for it. so since i was already in a 3some in mthatha i just came here to Mdantsane. it all worked out. I didn't realize i was leaving until that morning. President called me and asked me if i could get packed that fast. i told him it shouldn't be a problem. and now here i am. i like the new area.
I would like some hymns to listen to. any arrangement is fine. So even if you just send a few CDs with hymns that'll be fine. and then i'll get a CD player and whatever. I bought a battery charger at game. my camera was eating batteries like none other. so i put a stop to that and got chargeable batteries and charger.
I love you guys and miss you lots. Thank you for all of your love and support. I'll be ok i hope. its still tough getting refocused and everything. but i'll get through. the lord is on my side. and i know he cares about me to help me get through this. but have a good week!
Elder Robert S. Rigby (CTM)