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.
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