Monday, January 20, 2014

This Week...

End. Of. Transfer. 

Well it's crazy! I am done with my first transfer! It all happened so fast! It's weird, it's felt like years since I've been home, but at the same time it feels like I JUST got out here. Time sure flies when you are doing the Lord's work. 
This past week was really pretty fun. On P-day last week we had a soccer tournament! It was just supposed to be our zone but one of the zone leaders had a bunch of buddies he invited to come play. Which was cool, but at the same time it kinda took away from the "zone activity" part. Haha it was supposed to be district vs district but all the other districts supplemented their weak players with some of the natives instead. So competition was fierce. Africans are CONSTANTLY fouling in soccer. I mean, more than terry bailey fouls me when we all play soccer together. And they flop on the ground and call fouls on you all the time. It's really annoying... So things got a bit heated, but it's alright it worked out in the end. 
On Tuesday we went and taught the law of chastity to Mlondolozi and it went perfectly! He understood and saw that if he kept the law of chastity and kept himself clean from sexual relationships outside of marriage then he would be blessed and The Lord would provide a way for him and his girlfriend to be together. Despite labola. His brother and him bore testimony that they want to follow Christ no matter what it takes. 
On Wednesday I went on exchanges with the zone leaders! I was with elder kundu in his area. He is my favorite zone leader for sure. We did two hours of service in an older sisters garden out front. This lady drove by and said she had NEVER seen a white person working in a black persons garden. I told her my family had a farm back home and she was way surprised. After we showered off... Using a bucket. We put on our proselyting clothes and went to work. We visited three investigators and a couple less active members. Not ONE of them spoke a lick of English. They only spoke Xhosa. So my companion and I really relied on our two fellowshippers to teach the lesson and talk to them. One of the fellowshippers names is "Shakes." That's his nickname. I have no idea how to say his real name. He has a bit of a handicap on his chest and back, kind of a hunchback sort of deal, but he just got back from his mission in Kenya and LOVES the gospel and just loves to go out with the missionaries. Such a great guy. He lives in a shack that is about as big as a decent sized room in someone's house. He has dirt floors and its blazing hot. He takes care of his mother and grandmother who just broke her hip. Never complains though. Amazing guy with an amazing testimony. So Wednesday was just a good day full if service and not understanding a word being said. Some people were playin music and we were "supposed" to dance I guess. I was dancing and all the Africans got super excited about a white kid who could dance. After that we went to McDonalds to snarf some food because it had been an extremely hot and long day, once we got there we saw a couple drunk guys fighting and one stabbed the other right in front of us. Some guy who was eating at McDonalds was a MMA fighter or something and way buff. He threw one off to the side and pulled them away from each other. Yeahh that was crazy. Then we all ate food and this lady who worked at mcdonalds walked up to us and asked if we would pray for her and bless her. She had been having awful dreams and felt like the devil was trying to hurt her. Right there we sat her down in a corner and gave her a blessing. So that was super awesome. I really thought that was cool. 
On Thursday, we had our weekly planning which takes like two hours. Then we had a braai (barbecue) and wet out to teach some lessons. It was a good and active day full of teaching which was nice. :] we taught the naka boys the law of tithing and went over the baptismal interview questions with Sipenati so that was great. He is SO ready for baptism. Such a stellar kid. And we taught a new investigator named Quamani. The Q makes a clicking sound, it's pretty cool, but hard to say, I am getting it down though. 
On Friday we had district meeting after our normal studies and then went out to eat at KFC. KFC is basically like McDonald's is back home. Everyone WORSHIPS it here and always goes there. It's weird, I actually like it now. I totally hated it back home. But all we eat out in South Africa is weird food, rice, beans and chicken, so I may as well embrace it. We also played soccer later on after teaching some less active lessons and we had three investigators come to soccer. My team stayed on for quite a while. I've gotten dang good at playing barefoot. You really get a TON better at soccer when you serve a mission in South Africa. You either adapt and become better, or get crushed every time you touch a ball. I love it though, can't wait to come home and play in some leagues. Soccer was sweet, after we were driving home and there was a blockade thing with the cops and they had us all get out and checked the car and everything so that was cool. People were like rioting that night and burning tires on the street and throwing bottles and burning trash at cars and everything, so that kind of tells me why I am supposed to be out of township areas by 7:30. It gets NUTS.
On saturday we had another Braai and gorged on chicken, as usual. Then we went to the area and did some service and went and had Elder Smith, our DL, interviewed Sepinati and he passed for baptism!! So this coming saturday I will have my first baptism of the mission! So exciting! I am so proud of him and his faith is so impressive. After the interview we had time to teach a couple of lessons to some less active members, one of which is bongiwe. I have to say I am amazed that she was ever baptized in the first place. We asked why it is important to have faith in jesus christ and she said, "because jesus helps us pray to God." Yeahh so we have a bit of work and teaching that needs to go on with her. 
On sunday we had every single less active and recent convert we teach at church! And four of our seven investigators came to church as well! The chapel was full! The spirit was so strong. Our ever loyal fellowshipper, Luvuyo, gave his farewell talk! Ahh we are going to miss him so much. He knows the area like the back of his hand and knows every member, less active and investigator that the missionaries have worked with for the past year and a half. He came with us every single day except for maybe two. He is going to be a stellar missionary. I am so excited for him. He is headed to Cape Cost, Ghana. I know he will kill it out there. I am going to miss him a lot. He spoke about putting on the whole armor of God and what that means and how we do that, really was a strong spirit and we had the chapel FULL! So that made it fun and helped him feel support, even though both his parents aren't members and didn't come to watch him speak. We drove around and gave sacrament to about ten people which took over 2 hours to do then we spent around an hour driving around trying to find our dinner appointment, so that was frustrating. But they fed us well and we watched part of 17 miracles as we ate. I still am utterly amazed by the pioneers. Man, I gotta step up my game in my service to the Lord. The work is hard here, but I am loving every moment.
We got a call sunday night and Elder Smith was informed that he will be finishing up a training for another elder who things were really going bad with his "son" meaning the kid he was training. So that was really sad. I love Elder Smith and we really got along well and he helped make the adjustment to missionary life a lot easier for me, but the Lord needs him elsewhere and I feel that the Lord is testing me now to see how I do without having Smith there to be such a support. I am going to have to be enforcing rules and stuff like that more I think, but I am up for the challenge. We still will have Elder Okech in the district (he is our new district leader, and probably the most apostate elder I have met on mission thus far) and then we get the elder who WAS training that kid. His name is Elder Rickets and I heard he really is a tough one to be around. Luckily elder Cap and I still get along, but I know we wont be hanging out with the other guys as much as we did when smith was there.
Life is good, the mission is great and I am one happy son of a gun. Keep the faith and do the little things to keep your testimony ignited. I love you all! Keep in touch!
Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne

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