Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Scatter Brained!

First off here is that scripture I wanted to share with you. When teaching someone it could be a good one to kind of say, "Look at how your life is going! It doesn't work when you try to live this way!" It's Haggai 1:5-7. It talks about how we should consider our ways. It was a random, but really powerful scripture that is nice and can really be applied to people in their lives.
Yesterday at Zone Conference was really a spiritual feast! I was really impressed and grateful to have been taught all those principles yesterday. Elder Chapman and I have been talking about how we can improve and "lay down our weapons of rebellion" to be better missionaries and servants of the Lord. It was a really good talk and I think some great things will come out of it.
The area itself is doing really great though! Elder Taylor and Elder Chapman did a great job on it. We set some really high goals and we feel that we can accomplish them though and take things in this area and in our missionary work to the next level. We are currently tracting a lot, but as well we are reactivating a couple families and working on some part-member families as well. 
Well yeahh, my new area is pretty dang legit. It is really different being here in a white area! I have been in township my whole mission. I had gotten used to the township missionary way of teaching and finding, but coming here really is a new and unique challenge. It's not something I am unhappy about though. I knew that if I was going to grow and improve even more, I would need to go somewhere where I felt outside of my comfort zone. I don't like being around more white people like me. Especially with their proper sounding South African accents. It's way weird for me. I feel bad because I keep teaching super basic to these white people that understand, so it looks like I think they are stupid or something. So the first few lessons was a real adjustment for me in my teaching, but it is really fun to be able to go deep with these people and have them ask really educated questions and such. I enjoy it.
We are teaching a few people that we want to baptize in just three or four weeks. They are doing SO well! And we went finding and have had some great success with that and we are really starting to move more people forward in the lessons and with their commitments! So I think things are just going to absolutely take off! 
Ahh, speaking of Chapman he is a TOTAL stud. I love the guy so much. He is a way hard worker. His father was my old ZL Elder Taylor. So he taught him really well. Follow up training is really cool! You still have a real big influence on the missionary and he definitely has that greenie fire, so it's fun being with him. We are having such a good time. :] I am honestly all smiles. His family is sending me a lava lava and us both packages!! How sweet are those people?! I think that is just part of the tongan culture. I am also going to learn how to bare my testimony in tongan. :] So be on the lookout for that. Elder Chapman is a great missionary. He is very humble and doing a great job with obedience. He was trained well and I can tell he will be a good missionary his whole mission. It really helps when you are trained from the beginning to work hard and give it your all! I want to make sure I am that kind of a trainer as well, I see how it sets the tone for a missionaries entire mission. 
Elder Chapman and I are doing extremely well together, we just have a real big issue finding the houses of people. We have been getting lost A LOT. So that is our issue with the high k's. We are going to try to park the car more though if possible. It's hard with such a huge area, but we will do what we can. 
By the way Dad, and all other BYU football fans, I am talking him into going to BYU for football. He got scholarships for football to SO many different schools. Namely UNR(Apparently they are better than BYU at football), Arizona Blue Sky conference, Oregon State, Weber State, Southern Oregon and he can't remember the rest. He basically destroys. He played offensive line guard. He also played left tackle. I have basically convinced him to play for BYU. I guess Kafusi the BYU coach guy wanted him to play for him. He also talked to Papinga for a while as well. So he says he honestly thinks that he will go. 
The ward seems good! We are the only two missionaries in the ward, so that is different for me. I am used to being in a four missionary ward, but I think it'll make us take more responsibility for the work here. We went to dinner with our Bishop and his wife tonight. I specifically asked him for the names of 4 less-active families that he wants us to focus a lot of our efforts on. Then I asked him for a copy of the ward mission plan, sadly they don't have one. So I asked him to give us an idea of his vision for the ward and then we would make a rough draft of a new ward mission plan and present it to him next time we saw him. He seemed really happy. He is a bit tired as bishop, I can tell he carries quite the burden, but I think we will all do really good as a team.
I also got permission to go back to Mandalay and baptize Esam! I AM SO EXCITED FOR THAT! She is the most golden investigator of my mission. So naturally I am excited.
Last thing. Elder Chapman and I were preparing to go tracting for an hour. We chose a place in Elsies River. We knelt down and had five restoration pamphlets. We said a prayer that the Lord would help us find five individuals or families that would be open to hearing this message. We knocked on eight doors. We got into five, taught a bit, and set a return appointment. One lady particularly opened up the door and was acting really cold. I had the impression to ask her if she had ever lost a loved one, she said yes she lost her husband and daughter three months apart, and then I responded with saying, "Because our Savior Jesus Christ died for us, you can see your husband and daughter again. We want to share with you what you must do in this life, to secure a place with them in the next." She then invited us in and shared her whole life with us and asked us to come and teach her and her 30 year old son.
I have such a testimony of prayer. I have found that a lot of times we get into a routine of praying and we just ask for general things. But as we exercise faith and ask our Heavenly Father for a direct and specific blessing with righteous desires, then he WILL give it to us. We ask for general miracles, but we don't pray for specifics and don't do the things necessary for us to receive that blessing.
Last thing. Elder Chapman and I are working on reactivating an entire family and baptizing the LA couple's children. They are the Leroux family. (Lair-ooo) They have a Down Syndrom niece that has a hole in hear heart that we went and gave a blessing to. Her name is Mashae and she is two years old. The sweetest little girl. We gave her the blessing and she seemed to be so happy and doing so well, but we just got a call literally two minutes ago informing us that Mashae is in the hospital and she has Pneumonia. We are going to fast for her today and going to go give another blessing tomorrow along with some scriptures of comfort for the family. So please pray for them and Mashae specifically.
The church is true. I am so grateful to be part of it. We are all so blessed to be able have the knowledge that we do have. We can't keep it to ourselves.
Keep the faith, and as the band Journey admonishes us, "Don't Stop Believin'."
Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne

Monday, August 18, 2014

Yeah. I'm Gone.

The time is far spent, it's time for me to move!

I have been called to go to Panorama! It's part of the Belleville ward. I am going to be in a Six man district. We have the ZL's (one of which is Elder Ramat on of my companions I had in Mdantsane) then we have the Durbanville elders who is Elder Bell and his new missionary, then we have me and I am follow up training a Tongan elder named Elder Chapman. So naturally I am really excited.
It'll be a bit weird for me though to go to a partially white area. I honestly have gotten so awkward around white people. The other day I was talking to a white lady and I said, "Okay, well it was nice talking to you Ma! Shap!" She just stared at me for a minute then said, "okay!" haha it was pretty much a fail. I just forget how to communicate and interact with white people. I feel weird standing with a bunch of Mlungu's. I honestly think inside my brain I believe I am a Xhosa or something.
I am sad to leave my district. Elder Ngobeni, Elder Bohn, Elder Pitsoane and I have had so much fun and done so much work. I am going to miss them all quite a bit, but I know I will enjoy my new district as well. Me and Elder Pitsoane especially have gotten tight this past transfer, it's sad to leave, but I will see all these guys around the mission.
This past week has been just a lot of us trying to prepare new things for Elder Ngobeni (who will be getting a new Elder to train) and his son! We have been working on filling out the area book (which basically is just a record of everyone who has been and currently are being worked with by the missionaries.) and also have been finding and trying to set everything up for the four baptisms we have coming up in two weeks! I am sad to leave all those people behind, but I am going to get permission from my mission president to come back and baptize one of the people. 
The girl I am going back to baptize is named Esam and she is 25. Probably one of the most sweet and searching people I have met on mission. Anyways, she is totally going places and is so on top of everything. She started living the word of wisdom before we even taught her, she reads everything, she has never missed church, she came to mormon helping hands and other activities and she is just so cool. I found her while I was out tracting with my previous companion named Elder Mashigo.
Things are just going well.
I was able to see Monwabisi (Happiness) and Chuma, the two guys that we baptized last week, as well. They are literally glowing. Probably the two most happy guys in all of Khayelitsha and Mandalay. You can almost see it. We were walking and I see some guy running/skipping up to us from far away with THE biggest smile on his face. Right away I knew it was Monwabisi. No one else on this planet is that happy. He just was telling me how his mom is going to support him with going on a mission and he wants to start fellowshipping with the missionaries so he can prepare to go on mission as well. So I know him and Chuma will do so well even after I leave.
At church it was a sad, but at the same time, happy goodbye. I realized that I had really grown to love the people of the Mandalay ward, and they in turn really grew to love me. We took pictures and I got lots of goodbye letters and attempted hugs. (I quickly dodged out of them, no worries. :]) It was just really special to hear from people the impact us missionaries were able to bring as we worked and served there. It was a happy and fulfilling day.
Brother Gcina who is probably the most once-gangster-now-converted guy I have ever met was probably the hardest goodbye. I'll see him again on tuesday, but he told me, "Elder Thayne, never doubt the difference that you made here. I have seen a lot of missionaries come and go, but you have done something to remember." It was one of the most humbling things for me to hear. Even though I am going to miss out on a lot of the baptisms and "fruits" of my labor, I was really comforted to hear that from our Elders Quorum President. He is probably the best friend I have made on mission so far. By the way dad, he wants to come to Utah and ride a horse before he dies. 
Our mission prez, President Merrill came to visit church and sit down with us to talk about how he wants us to be obedient and striving to build better relationships with our wards. He spoke about leadership and different things like that. So it was a good reminder to continue trying to step up my game while in the service of the Lord.
Here are just some pictures. One is of me and Esam, the girl I am going to baptize. Speaking of the baptism we are trying to make it happen at the beach!!! How cool would that be?! Then there is a picture of our whole zone at panorrotis pizza. It was all you can eat! Not the best pizza in the world, but it's something! :] And then its just me doing a cheeky smile with brother Gcina's son.
I love you all! Sorry for the short email last week! I have been very busy with the Lord's work! I am so excited to go to a new area and stretch and grow as a missionary, and as a person. I love how God gives us these challenges because he knows we can handle it. It's so true. I have so many setbacks and weaknesses, and its the hard things that we go through that make us so much stronger and helps us go through the process to become a celestial being.
Lean on the Lord and watch Him work miracles in your life.
Elder Thayne
PS Write me people! I wanna hear from you!
Elder Mitchell Ryan ThayneSouth Africa Cape Town MissionPO BOX 181 Observatory,Cape Town, 7935Republic of South Africa

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ran Out of Time!

Hey everyone!

Things here are so good! I honestly can't complain! I ran out of time today trying to respond to individual emails and all that stuff. So I apologize.
Yesterday we baptized four people into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Chuma Majozi- Lives across the street from the church. I found, taught and baptized him myself yesterday. 
Monwabisi Mbangi (Happiness)- Found him again, taught and then baptized him as well yesterday. Probably the most loving and happy guy I have ever met. He wants to come live with us in Utah by the way family!
and then one was a ward baptism of an eight year old kid and then the other guys (ELder Bohn and Pitsoane) Baptized a guy named Zanithemba. 
The work is truly moving forward! I am so sorry I ran out of time and didn't give more detail on how things are going! I love you all so much though! Please keep in touch.
Love Elder Thayne

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ukulele dayz!

Ukulele dayz? What am I talking about. Lemme tell you.. Well things here were going extremely well. Then our car broke down and was in the shop for 2-almost 3-days. So that pretty much blew our week, but on the upside, I got really good at playing my new ukulele. 

We now have written a total of three songs. One is about Banana Pancakes. The other is about "The Girl I Left Back Home." Which is a funny missionary love song. Then we are writing one about mission life. So maybe I'll send a video of us singing and rapping them for you guys sometime. It's been really fun. I bought an instrument so I could try to expand my talents and improve in a lot of different areas on mission. I decided that I would use mission to change and improve myself, so why not get better and singing and playing an instrument. I think I am getting semi-close to mastering the uke though, I may just need to get a guitar. It's been quite entertaining for all of us. We preformed for sister pat and half the ward on Saturday. So that was pretty fun.
Sidenote: Dad I totally learned Somewhere Over The Rainbow. I know how much you love that song as well!
Things here are going well! We are a bit bummed with how some things ended up happening with our baptismal dates. After teaching and preparing them they all of the sudden went MIA on us! Satan definitely starts working SO much harder after you help someone do the right thing. Anyways, a few didn't come to church which resulted in us pushing back their baptisms, and then we also had to push back a few dates because we want to use them getting baptized as an opportunity to teach their families and educate them on what their sons are preparing to do! That way we can hopefully teach and prepare the whole family for baptism. So I think that'll go well. It is working well with the two guys we are pushing forward for baptism next Sunday. Monwabisi (Happiness) and Chuma who are cousins and doing SO great. We met with their families and are going to meet with them again this week. So I think this will go well! They are doing great and I am SO excited to see how things go with them. So pray that all goes well and you will get some pictures of people dressed in white next week!
I went on an exchange with Elder Bohn and we really had a great time. We met and taught a family. They are really awesome. They loved what we taught and I really think the Father is willing to make the changes that will be necessary. So things in their area are going well. Elder Bohn is a very obedient and hard working missionary. And on top of that we are pretty tight. We are really similar! He is the one that I sing and rap with all the time. Elder Ngobeni and Elder Pitsoane like to rap with us as well though. I think Elder Bohn and I may room together after mission with some other friends. It's a thought at least.
Our investigator Thandi stabbed our less active Zolani that she is living with. So we went over there and talked with them. It was pretty crazy, but we tried to help them solve it. We are going to go see them in the next day or so.
I don't know. There isn't too much more to report. Just a picture of our district and stuff. Mom, don't worry I am cutting my hair today!
Keep in touch everyone! Thanks for all the love!
Elder Thayne