Sunday, June 22, 2014

I am my brother's brother.‏

Uze Uze Uze Ukuze Uzuze. (You have to come with a naked mind to understand.) - Crazy right? I swear I will never totally understand this Xhosa language.
Well everyone. It's been a good week. Honestly the weeks all blend together for me nowadays, so when I say it's been a good week I could very likely be talking about a week back in January. It's just that mission LYFE. I wouldn't trade it for the world though.
Elder Stegelmeier and I have made a covenant with God that we won't go a single week without teaching at least 30 lessons. I know we can continue to keep it up. It's been going really well and we have been loving it. The Book of Mormon is the most powerful book ever, you should try reading it sometime... like right after you read this email. Pull a Nike and just do it.
This week I think we gave like four blessings of healing to different people. One of them was to Dimpho Nkomfe. Now, Dimpho had some issue with her lungs, which we later found out was pneumonia, and we were called to rush over there and give her a blessing. So we did. We came in and she was wheezing trying to get enough air. It was really sad, then we hurried and gave her a blessing. I love giving blessings, you just see and feel what God feels and see's in that person. Now, of course it's not exactly the same, but you can feel a great love and understanding. Anyways, after the blessing these three Mama's were trying to pick her up and carry her to the car outside. She couldn't stand because she was just trying to breathe.. after a few seconds of them struggling elder stegelmeier and I just decided to do the fireman carry. We made a seat with our arms, sat her down in it and carried her out to the car where they took her off to the hospital. We went and visited later and had some good laughs with everyone at the hospital and gave some encouragement and advice to several people that were sick there. It was a really sweet little experience. Serving others, that's where the money is. I love it.
Then also we had to give a blessing to brother Libazi and his wife today as well because he had such low blood pressure he had to go to the hospital yesterday and spend the night. His wife as well was feeling sick. We were able to bless them and help them feel of God's love as well. It was great. Earlier this week we also helped them clean the chapel. I love those people. While I was sweeping I broke the broom in half, and while I was vacuuming the entire hoover (vacuum) stopped working. They kept teasing how I work so hard that the tools can't keep up. #mlunguprobs
Something that has been interesting to me is that as I have seen the mission become more obedient, I have also seen how the Elders have become more judgmental towards each other. This is a mission-wide thing I have seen. I was reading in Romans 14:12-13 and it really hit me. We shouldn't be putting stumblingblocks into our brothers paths. Rather, we need to help our brothers turn those stumblingblocks into their steppingstones. I have seen how us, as elders, having low expectations in each other results in us making others fall. I think about Elders who had all fallen for a time, and a lot of times instead of others letting us really repent and change, sometimes we had them bringing up the past, or defining us by our mistakes. I know that mistakes of the past don't define you, they refine you. We are accountable to help our brothers out here become better. PMG pg 150-151
So along with that, I have thought about how I personally have had to endure some correction and some chastening. And when I went through that, it helped me begin the repentance process and improve as an individual. I had a thought about how different my mission could have been, if the Elders who were my leaders, companions or even just those who served around me, had loved me enough to correct me and teach me how I could improve. Especially during the first year of my mission, but even now. We are here to serve the Lord. To give it all we got. I believe we are also called here to help each other serve the Lord and give it everything we got. If I am obedient, work hard and have success, I still will have failed in a way if I have not at least attempted to help the elders around me become the best they could be. Doing so would have brought so many more people to the truth and affected the rest of their lives.
So those are just some thoughts that have been weighing on my mind. And it's something I want you to look inward and ask yourself, "Am I letting others repent and change?" Even more than that, we need to ask ourselves, "Am I HELPING others repent and change." All the talents, opportunities and experiences we are given are to have us not only ensure our salvation, but help others become the people they need to be to secure theirs.
Love you all.
Mdala Thayne the First.

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