Monday, November 23, 2015


I never thought I could love someone else this much. I remember at the start of these past two years, I had this feeling that I truly understood what it was like to unconditionally love someone. I felt as though I truly desired and hoped the best for others. I thought I really loved and knew my Savior. I have come to the conclusion, that I was wrong.Moroni 7:47-48"But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen."I have come to realize that charity is something that we must work for. I thought that I had charity because while at home I loved being around people. I have further come to realize that it is part of our condition as mortals to have the tendency to be selfish. It's always about, how does this benefit me? What do I gain from this? As part of overcoming the natural man we need to focus less on the me and mine, and move forward with a tunnel vision on the thee and thine.
Charity is a natural consequence of heartfelt service. My love for ALL others has grown as I have laid it on the line, daily, to their blessing. As I have focused on changing and blessing others, I have felt the Lord focus on changing and blessing me. It's been amazing.
"Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye." -H. Jackson Brown, Jr. This quote kind of sums up my feelings. As I have grown to love others, I have come to see them in a more eternal and divine way. I now see them for where, with the Saviors help, they can be. I no longer focus on where they are currently. My heart has been changed without a doubt.I think the greatest love I have gained is a love for the Savior. I now understand at a greater and deeper level the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for His love and sacrifice in my behalf and in all of yours as well. He has paved the path, and just asks us to walk it.I truly can say I have loved my mission. I have loved every moment. Just thinking back on all of these people I have served and loved in each and every area I feel tears start to fill my eyes. My life has forever been changed because of the love that I not only have given, but also by the love I have received.I love you all. Thank you so much for the support and prayers you have sent my way throughout these past two years. I have felt that sustaining power from both sides of the veil. I love you, and am going to continue to need your support and love as I make the adjustment in coming home. I have really put my heart into this and I think it's going to be hard for me at first. I know this is Gods work. This is the truth. I have lived the gospel and seen its changing and sanctifying effect in so many peoples lives. No young man, who is physically and mentally able can miss out on this chance to serve a mission. The Lord has called each one of us to bless, build, lift and inspire others to rise up to their divine potential. As we lay down our sins and our fears at the Saviors feet, He will lift us up to salvation. And in Him saving us, we are expected to help lift others to the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom which God has prepared for all who will repent and change.After all, this is all about Him.Love.Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne

Monday, November 16, 2015

"God is Easily Pleased, But Hard to Satisfy." --George MacDonald

Wow. Another week down. This coming week is the last full week of my mission. I know, I know, I say this all the time, but I CAN'T BELIEVE IT HAS GONE THIS FAST. I have so many mixed emotions.

The funniest thing happened. This elder has a South African Flag that he has everyone sign their name and put their most often said quote on it... Well, I couldn't think of anything that I said all the time. Then I asked the elders there what they thought. Elder Mohale said, "Cmon Boza, everyone knows what you always say! 'I love you man!' That has to be your quote, that's how we all know you." Everyone then shouted their agreement. It was a wonderful feeling to have that be part of a legacy that I get to leave behind, my love for my brothers. They can feel it, and I love that.

This week has been an interesting one. We really hit the ground running... and then we just haven't really stopped. Last Monday I was in East London when I wrote everyone. After emailing, we went out and played soccer with the Mdantsane and East London Zones then rushed over to the airport to make sure we didn't miss our 6:00 PM flight. Well, jokes on us, we got there and then, AFTER we turned in our car, we found out that our flight had been suspended so we needed to sit around for another couple hours til 8:00 PM for our new flight. So we pretty much just chilled out in the airport, read our Preach My Gospel's and tried contacting people. We spoke to people til everyone in the area around us had kind of dispersed. We got a few contacts and sent them to the elders though. No effort is wasted!

The rest of the week can be summed up in one word: Transfers. We have sat down, reviewed, revised, prayed about, counseled and planned out the transfers with President Merrill a few different times this week. I love seeing how he, as a priesthood man, works in his life. It is inspiring and makes me want to do more, and be better.

I have thought a bit about "Enduring to the End" the past few days... The reason is obvious. I am almost finished with my mission. Wow, this is one of the hardest things to come to grips with. James 5:11 says, "Behold we count them happy that endure." And it's true. It's a wonderful feeling to now see the finish line up ahead and to know that I have been giving everything. Each stride takes effort, but it's a wonderful feeling to know how far I have come, and to be able to feel change and strength that I have gained. Yes, at the end of the race is usually when you are the most tired and the most aware of your weakness, but at the same time, it is the moment when you know how much you really have invested. How hard you really tried. 

Luke 9:62 (One of mine and E. Johnson's favorites) says, "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." 

This isn't me looking back and focused on what has happened. I am just taking a moment to share how wonderful it has been to be out here serving the Lord. I have NEVER been happier and have NEVER felt like I have done something so important. I am grateful that I have endured my mission. Not in the just painful "hanging in there" sort of way that we think about. But a deliberate and constant effort to magnify this moment that the Lord has allotted to me. As I have endured in this way, I have felt the Lord shape and bless me in my life, and I have seen him do the same with those whom I serve. Enduring has been a sanctifying process that has helped me come to see and know the Savior in a way that I never had before.

With all this, I am not saying that it is over. My calling to be a disciple is a lifelong one, and I do realize that. I plan to apply and live everything I have felt these past two years. The Lord has taken the time to invest in me, and that is something I am eternally grateful for. I left for mission out of duty, but I want to stay out of love.

I plan to do the best I can with these last moments. I have a life and ministry ahead of me at home, and I plan on keeping Christ at the center of my life as he has been for these past two years. "God is easily pleased, but hard to satisfy." I know He has approved of my mission. I feel that He is pleased. He is not satisfied though. Now, He wants me to give back and bless even more people's lives. I just love it. Thank heavens for this blessing of a mission. 

I'll see you all soon.

- Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne

Us at a Garage in Somerset west.

Exchanges with Elder Williams.

Elder Martey and I in the car, that's where we spend most of our time together. Driving.

Me and a bunch of cute kids in the Langa branch that we visited on Sunday.

Monday, November 9, 2015

It's Going Down For Real

Monday, November 2, 2015

Highways and Byways

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Beam Me Up Scotty


Pretty sure I love it so much. I have been able to come to one of the most BEAUTIFUL​ parts of South Africa, Port Elizabeth. Sadly, my entire mission I was never able to serve this side, but now I get a little taste of it.

This past week was pretty crazy. We went to three different Zone Trainings in Cape Town and were able to hear a lot of sweet counsel and testimonies from our Zone Leaders. President Merrill's training was of COURSE amazing. Really hit the nail on the head and is giving us more vision than ever on how we can move missionary work forward by sanctifying ourselves, setting long-term and daily goals then holding ourselves accountable to them. It's cool to learn from all these Elders and their different experiences.

One Zone training was all about how mission and our companions really prepare us to be a good priesthood holder and a good husband to our ETERNAL companions... AKA my future wife. So all in all, I guess I am going to be a pretty sweet husband by the end of all this. I know, I know, I have a lot to improve on, but it was eye opening.

So after all the Zone Training's and everything we flew out here to PE. Friday was pretty cool, we were able to go on some real quick mini-exchanges with my son (the missionary I trained), Elder Dryer. Gosh it was so good to see and talk with him. He has really grown so much and is doing some great stuff. He has turned the area, which was once dead, completely around that he is serving in. Such a sweet guy, and I am really proud of him.

Then on Saturday & Sunday I went on exchanges with a STUD of a missionary. I was with Elder Branch. We had a great time talking, teaching and learning together. We have a lot in common. He plays for the Dixie baseball team and is a super good player. So I guess I got a sweet connection there! Anyway, we were able to really focus and talk a lot about growth on mission and what service to others really ends up doing to us. It's just awesome to try to pour the things I have learned into other missionaries, and at the same time learn from them as well. Anyway, the moral of the story is, he is a total stud.

We went to spur and got some icecream, as an early birthday celebration for me. Anyway, he got all the workers in the place to sing for me and do this cheer thing. So after they all sang and everything was good I was super stoked and put my hand up to give them all a high five as the walked away... one by one they walked past me now even acknowledging that I had put my hand up 

Cool things that happened: This week I met a family, the Chimuti's, who are best friends with the Dube's. Yes, Edward Dube of the Seventy. Anyway, they asked me if I would be willing to take something from them over to the Dube's who are staying in Sandy, Utah. I am so down. So yeahh, I get to meet them when I come home! YAY!

Also, the Sunday we came to PE there was a baptism. It was funny because Elder Branch and I were helping put it all together. People were asking me stuff like, "Where is the Bishop? Elder can you get everyone inside? Who is baptizing who? Elder, how can I help?" Haha I was just thinking, "What the heck? I am totally not a member of the ward and this is my second day here, but whatever!" So we just took care of business. It was a cool baptism.

Then the highlight, I want to talk about was a little talk that Elder Martey (my companion) and I just had. He just pulled me aside and sat me down apologizing for how he has been "prideful." He brought up a few comments that he had said or things he had done that as he thought about it, were a bit prideful and inconsiderate. He pulled out his scriptures and asked for my forgiveness and help to improve and learn how to love people and be happy. Wow. How amazing is he? His entire life he has been fighting just to survive. He lived on the streets most of his life and put himself through high school by going to school in the day then driving a taxi all night. He was on his own. People never have loved or helped him his entire life until President and Sister Merrill and a few who helped him get out on mission. I have learned a lot from him and his life, and am continually amazed at his humility and desire to grow and improve.

Of course, while talking to Elder Martey as he spoke about moments where he felt like he was prideful, which were super small and almost unnoticeable, I felt like I was the real prideful and spoiled one. I just had a good look in the mirror moment as I compared myself side by side with him. I realized I still have a long ways to go, but serving, loving and learning from him will really make all the difference for me in the long run.

So yeahh, life is about others. "If you spend your life just focusing on yourself, we are ultimately destined to end up all by yourself." - Elder Branch. Check the newest Mormon message. It hit home for me.

I love you so much family... and friends. I am learning so much. I am super happy. I MISS YOU ALL!


Mdala Mitchell Ryan Thayne

THINGS ARE GOOD! Here are just a few pictures from the week. 

A picture of Elder Payne, from an island in the west indies, and I.

 Elder Martey, Elder Winebrenner, Elder Ludvigson and I after a zone training. 

 A picture of me and my future wife holding hands and an up-close.  

A picture of us with a couple I had met in Mdantsane who moved this side.

A picture of elder branch, me, and a sweet fellow-shipper named Brandon just taking some selfies! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Hey Parents

So things are going alright over here. I am still super shell shocked with the whole change of scene. Going from meeting coloureds and working with members to filling out excel sheets and calling elders to repentance, is quite the change. But it is eye opening and instructive. President is so wise and so powerful. I think something I have already learned from him is to not panic when things don't go according to plan. He is calm in the face of adversity and never skips a beat when it comes to faithfully going to the Lord in prayer with a question in mind.

Transfer week was crazy. We were super dead tired after picking up the new elder on tuesday, running him around and helping him feel like a champ, then driving elders to and from the airport all day Wednesday... Everyone in East London missed their flight which caused problems, but we are always learning. I'll attach a few, of the MANY, pictures of groups we had to send off. These are some really great elders who have sacrificed so much to come and serve the Lord.

Then on Thursday I had to say bye to some of my favorite missionaries. Elder Radebe (a previous companion), Elder Labrum (a homie from the lehi north stake), elder prisbrey (an elder I have been around my whole mission and future roommate), elder palmer (my MTC companion), and elder bradley (a super funny elder I met for the first time as we sent him off). It was weird to see these elders at the end of their mission. They served well and I loved hearing their testimonies of what they have learned and felt while on their missions.

Also, this week I have for sure spent more time with President and Sister Merrill than I have for the entirety of my mission. It's pretty great.

I don't have much to say. The highlight of the week was going on a mini exchange with Elder Dean yesterday. We were only together for two hours. We offered a prayer to Heavenly Father asking him to bless us to teach four different people and set some return appointments. We were able to teach those four lessons. We contacted a ton of people. The best part of it was the street we decided to tackle was called "Goliath" Road. So we pulled a David and slayed it. God strengthened us for sure though.

Well, Elder Johnson the beloved sent me this quote about missionaries, and I enjoyed it. Thought I'd send it your way.

Somewhere between the whirl of the teenage activity and confinement to the rocking chair we find a strange creature called a missionary. Missionaries come in assorted varieties: Elders and Lady Missionaries. They come in different weights and sizes and colors, green being the most common. 

Converts love them, young girls worship them (the Elders type), dogs hate them, the law tolerates them, most people ignore them and heaven protects them. A missionary is truth with a pocket full of tracts, wisdom with a scant knowledge of the Bible, faith with 69 cents in its pocket and 2 weeks until Dad's next check. A missionary is a composite; it has the appetite of a horse, the enthusiasm of a fire cracker, the patience of Job, the persistence of the fuller brush man and the courage of a lion tamer. 

It likes letters from home, invitations to Sunday dinner, conferences, checks, testimony meetings, companions, baptisms and visits from the Mission President. It isn't much on tracting in the rain, ladies who slam doors, hats, apartment houses,  transfers, shaking hands at arms length, alarm clocks and, last but nor least letters that start "dear John". Nobody rises so early or is so tired by 10:30 p m. Nobody else can knock so boldly with such a shaky hand. Nobody else can get such a thrill at the end of a disappointing day, when someone says," Won't you come in, we have been waiting for you." 

Yes a missionary is a queer character. It can get homesick, and temporarily loose faith in the human race, but a strange lump rises in its throat the day it receives a letter of release and on arrival home its return talk will probably contain the phrase once considered trite: "The time I spent as a missionary was the happiest time of my life."


- Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne

Cooking with President and Sister Merrill

Sending Elders home at the end of their missions.  Elders Prisbrey (future roommate), Labrum (home from Lehi North Stake and future roommate), Elder Palmer (companion from MTC), Elder Bradley, and my companion Elder Martey.

Cooking with Elder Martey my companion from Ghana

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

In the 11th Hour

I feel like things are always happening to me that I don't expect. I guess that is just missionary life. I signed up for this, so it's cool.

I have been in Grassy Park for six weeks, but my time has already come to an end. In the 11th hour of my mission the Lord called me to go serve in the office for my last six weeks. It'll be a big change and I know I'll learn a lot. I'll get to rub shoulders with some of the best of the best.

It's hard to leave, especially when I feel like we just got everything really starting to move forward, but I am happy that an awesome elder is replacing me. Elder Lafleur, who is the AP now is going to come and replace me here in Grassy Park, I know he will do an amazing job. I really look forward to hearing about the sweet things that they will do.

My new assignment is really different. Basically I don't have an area. My companion and I will be bouncing from area to area working with different elders throughout the mission and learning from them. We will be attending the Mowbray Ward whenever we are in Cape Town, but then when we are in the Eastern Cape we will be just bouncing around different wards with the Elders. It'll be cool because I will get to go back and see all of my areas.

Goodbye's in Grassy Park were pretty fast. We had General Conference - WHICH WAS AMAZING - so I just was able to say bye to most of the members right there, then went to two other homes and said bye to members there. I mean, it's sad, but six weeks really isn't a long time to really get attached to an area and to people. So I just told them I love them, and to take care of and work with the elders coming in.

Highlight from Conference: (I know this is a week late but we just barely saw it...) Henry B. Eyring's talk in priesthood session really hit me because of the recent changes in my last weeks of mission. 

He said,"Whatever your calling in the priesthood, you may have at times felt Heavenly Father was unaware of you. You can pray to know His will, and with the honest desire to do whatever He asks you to do, you will receive an answer.

Heavenly Father will allow you to feel that He knows you, that He appreciates your service, and that you are becoming worthy of the greeting from the Lord you want so much to hear: 'Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.'

It is my prayer that every priesthood holder will reach out in faith to rescue every soul for whom he is responsible. God will add His power to His servant’s efforts. Hearts of people will be touched to make the choices that will bring them along the gospel path toward happiness and away from sorrow.

It is my prayer as well that every priesthood holder will feel the loving and watchful care of Heavenly Father, of the Savior, and of the prophet of God in his calling in the priesthood.

I bear you my special witness that we are in the service of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. I testify that He has called you and me into His service knowing our capacities and the help we will need. He will bless our efforts beyond our fondest expectations as we give our all in His service."

That hit me between the eyes. The Lord knows me, he knows my calling. He knows what help I need. So I can trust that he will make me live up to and do what I am asked. I am excited to go out swinging these last six weeks. Your prayers, as always, are welcomed.


Mdala Mitchell Ryan Thayne

Goodbye's next to the taxi with the Mbombo Family.

Goodbyes next to their car with Brother Vincent and his family.

Goodbye with the district and our STUD of a ward mission leader Brother Michael Tonkin.

then a picture of me and Leslie, one of the cutest little girls in Africa.

Then a picture of me with the Chifarimba family on their couch. 

And a picture of me with the Kapela family on their two couches with my comp wearing sunglasses indoors... haha.

Then another picture of Michael Tonkin and I

A picture of a kid we call 2 chainz looking out of it.