Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Crazy Week!

Well it's a new week! Only two more weeks and this transfer is over!! Can't even believe that. Doesn't feel like I have been out that long, apparently I have though. I'll still be with elder capozzoli for another transfer I'm guessing, so we will probably be pretty tight by the end of it all...
Well Happy New Year!! So crazy that it's 2014 now! We were laughing and joking about how we are done with our mission next year now. Still have a long time till that happens though. Which I am alright with. I have a lot more that I want to do before I go home anyways. We were allowed to stay up for the new year so the entire zone came to our flat and we shot off fireworks all night. Some people shot some off in our flat which made quite the mess though. And of course, the next day we had boarding inspection, so we had to clean up everything. We passed with flying colors!! Elder and Sister Boyce (the senior couple) said in the year they have been here they have never seen it so clean. So we were happy about that.
Oh and I forgot to mention, on our drive back to east London from port Elizabeth we stopped in port Alfred and took some sweet pictures! I'll have to for sure send them out to all of you. They were on the beach but NOT in the water so don't stress. It was so nice to take some pictures. I realized how much I miss that!
On New Year's Day we weren't allowed to go to the area because it was too dangerous. Too many drunks and too much violence. So instead of doing that we were able to go to the chapel and do sports! We played soccer indoors for about three hours then the last two hours we just played volleyball. My goodness I sweat so much here in Africa it's embarrassing. Good thing us missionaries really aren't trying to impress anyone, because we didn't look too hot. 
We had a brai New Years night which is basically a barbecue. Cooked up some chicken and I taught the guys in my district how to freestyle rap. We all are going to make a district rap before we leave. It's super fun and requires you to really be quick and witty. 
I had a come to Jesus moment, as they would say in the south, while reading letters from missionary friends and the family. I really am trying to work on aligning my will with Gods. At times it is frustrating to not be baptizing people left and right. Everyone tells you when you come to Africa that it'll happen all the time! But missionary work is hard! Salvation is hard, so why would missionary work which is bringing others the means to attain salvation be easy? I always am wanting to make this huge difference. In doctrine and covenants section 117 verse 13 it says that our sacrifice shall be more sacred than our increase. So obviously it doesn't matter how far we come necessarily, but rather how much we sacrifice and fight to do what is right. I know that we will find a lot of success and we are able even now to touch people's lives, but this is advice for life in general. We will be blessed for what we sacrifice. In Omni 1:26 it says to offer our whole souls as an offering to him. I really take that as we need to give everything we have to The Lord. I know that in my own life sometimes I tend to hold back. I try to offer parts of myself to him, but I never am willing to make that complete offering of all I have to him. I know that when I have let go of my own selfish desires and tried to do what I know God wanted of me I have felt His hand in my life. 
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday the work was slow. Elder Capozzoli was sick and I haven't been feeling too stellar myself. Since my companion was out of commission we haven
't be able to do a ton of missionary work. So obviously that us been slightly frustrating, but hey, we are planning on hitting it hard next week. On Friday we played a ton of soccer. I decided to go African style and go barefoot. So yeahh my feet got a bit more banged up than usual but my grip on the ball was much better. Wasn't my best game of soccer, but it was still fun. 
My companion and I bore our testimonies in church on Sunday. We both spoke about working to be better tools in Gods hands and sacrificing for him. So it just worked hand in hand. Kind of cool how the spirit works. Church was really great! Except our investigators went to the early church! We used to have church at 9 but because of the new year it was moved to 11:30. So they went to a different ward, but they showed up AND stayed! So that was real exciting. We set dates for all the boys and for a kid from the Nake family to be baptized on the 18th of January. So we are praying that it all works out. Your prayers are definitely needed. 
After sacrament meeting us missionaries are asked every week to go take the sacrament to people who need it. Generally old bedridden people. They have such amazing faith and such sweet spirits. It usually takes us a good two or more hours to get to everyone because it is about 8 or 9 different individuals and they are spread out all over mdantsane. I love them lots though. After that we just went to a members home and ate some NORMAL food! Hallelujah. It was nice to recognize something besides chicken on my plate. 
Today for p-day we are planning on playing some soccer (of course) then heading to somila mhini's house for FHE with the young single adults. So I'm sure it's going to be a good day. 
I honestly can say I love you all! I miss you all, but I am so happy with what I am doing here in South Africa. I know that Gods hand is constantly in our lives. We just need to be aware of it and keep a lookout for our blessings. 
Keep the faith!
Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne 

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