Monday, June 16, 2014

Earthly Father, Heavenly Father.‏

What a week, ehh? This week every single night after getting home I collapsed on my bed and was proud of the effort I put into my day. Despite the rain, the rejection and frustrations that come, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Elder Olsen and I were talking after we had gone on exchanges for the day about our missions. About why we were here to serve and what we wanted to feel when we were going home. Something he said which I added onto really struck us both. He said, "I want to go home and look my Dad in the eye and be able to say, 'I did everything I could in South Africa. I have no regrets. I loved the people, fought for the gospel and forgot myself.'" I added on to that and said, "When I go home to Heavenly Father I want to be able to say the exact same thing." 
We were both hit with the fact that we both have our earthly fathers, but we also have our father in heaven. If you ask me, both are essential in our growth from boys to men. Without my earthly father I wouldn't know how to work, love, forgive, serve and teach. Without my Heavenly Father, I wouldn't be know how to do the same things. My greatest hero's in life are my father figures. I have four pictures that are up on my wall. One is Dad's mission picture, one is Grandpa Platt's mission picture, one is Grandpa Thayne's mission picture and one is Christ. My greatest hero's. President Eyering gave a talk titled "The Priesthood Man." Basically everything in that described my Dad and why he is my hero. The best gift I can give you Dad is the assurance that I have been putting everything I have into this work. Happy Fathers Day, I love you.
Well this week was great! Still had our rainy days and still had our not as rainy days, but either way, the work continues moving forward. As I said earlier I went on exchanges with Elder Olsen which was an awesome experience. He is a "retired" AP and SUCH a powerful missionary. While on our exchange we decided to go tracting. On the first house we got rejected pretty harshly, so we moved to the next house. We knocked and a 19 year old guy opened up the door and before we could hardly say anything besides, "We are missionaries..." he invited us to come in and sit down. He proceeded to tell us about his life. Essentially everything in his life the past few months has fallen apart. His family is living off of about the equivalent $400 dollars a month. And that goes to rent, food, schooling and whatever else they need. He said he had prayed that God would send him someone to help him. He then said, "I know God answered my prayers by sending you guys to my home." Boom. We were very moved and taught him about the beginning of the Restoration, telling him of God's love for him and how he has given us families, prophets and prayer to help us through this mortal life. We then set an appointment to come see him the next day. Elder Olsen was back with Elder Bohn the next day and they committed him to baptism. So that is definitely an amazing mission story. Just a week before I told Elder Mashigo I always wanted to walk up to someone and have them tell me I was the answer to their prayer. It was great.
Our area is doing so much better than when we first arrived. We are teaching multiple families and individuals. We have been teaching so much that we were expecting 20 people at sacrament meeting on Sunday. We were sure most of them if not all would come, but of course, it rained extremely hard Sunday morning and only 5 people showed up. Obviously we were bummed, but still 1/4 of them came and it was pouring... So hopefully next week there will be sunshine and we can have more awesome people at church! Limo (a fifteen year old girl we have taught twice), Zolani (a different guy from the Less Active one we work with), Florence (A 22 year old girl from the Ncube family), Shirley (a 13 year old boy from the Ncube family) and then a guy named Happiness (who we found who was once taught by the missionaries. 17 years old.) So yeahh, it was still a good turnout.
Speaking of Happiness, we found him and set a time to come back and see him. He lives like two blocks from the chapel so it's awesome. We went to his house for our appointment (Elder Mashigo and I) and saw him chilling with two of his friends. Both guys were in their early twenties. Anyways we talk to them for a bit and invite them to join us for our lesson on the Restoration. They sat down and we started the lesson only to have another guy walk in an join us. So now we were teaching 4 guys ages 17, 19, 20, and 21. PRIESTHOOD! They all loved talking with us and really loved our message. So we are going to continue meeting with them this week. I am VERY excited about all of them. So pray your hearts out for them.
We also met a guy who kept trying to tell us how God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost were all one person. We pulled out examples: When Christ was baptized the voice of the Father was heard and the Holy Ghost descended upon Christ right then, When Steven (I think it was.) was stoned and saw Jesus on the right hand of God. When Christ talks about coming to earth to do the Fathers will and not his own, and several other examples. He basically said that God does that so people wont be confused by the deep doctrine of them all existing as one being. It was pretty ridiculous. The man "knew" his scriptures well, but he didn't really KNOW them if you know what I mean. He had no understanding and was basically yelling and saying that we don't understand the doctrine. I finally said, "Brother, you are lying. You do not understand the scriptures and you are leading others away." He was confounded. We grabbed our scriptures, shook his hand and walked away.
Brother Gcnia (who is a total stud. He once was a gangster and a street fighter, but had his life changed and is now the elders quorum president. We walk around with him and all the thugs come talk to us and show us respect, it's pretty sweet.) Anyways, he said that the guy we were speaking to beats his wife and leads a corrupt church. So he was pretty amazed at what we said and did. It was a fist pump moment.
Mmm not much more to say. Life is good as a missionary. The work is moving forward. I love you all and I am grateful for the love and support that consistently comes my way.
Shoutout to Talmage for killing it at his first week of college! And another shoutout to Dad. I love you loads.
Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne
PS: Check out this awesome video.

P.S. (He left out the part he sent us about all the stabbings, stealing, tire burning, trash throwing, etc.  I guess he didn't want to worry all of you!) Well yeahh, things here are all good and crazy. I can't complain. Things here are nuts in a way though. Stabbings and stuff always happen. The other day a truck wrecked and boxes of "cool drink" (soda) fell on the ground. Literally over twenty cars stopped and crowds of people ran and started stealing all the cool drink off the street, running to their car with it and driving off. We all couldn't believe the dishonesty and lack of integrity.  An old fat tata ran with a case trying to escape before anyone stopped him and slipped and fell on his back. It was funny. Then people started burning tires and trowing trash and stuff at cars. It was crazy.

family, I gotta go. 

Ndiakhuthanda Wena, (I love you)

Elder Thayne

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