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

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