It's been quite a week.
I am basically loving mission at this moment. Part of the reason is because I had the chance to go back and baptize Esam and Vuyusile. It felt like a hero's welcome home. Yeahh, no more lone soldier.
It was pretty great actually. After attending our church, which was a bit of a bummer because we only had three investigators there, we ran over to Mandalay to have the baptism. When we got there and I stepped out of the car it felt like I had been gone for two years. People were running up and screaming and hugging me. They were all asking a million questions and saying how much they missed me. I couldn't help but laugh because I had only been gone for a week and a half, but they were so sweet and I could really feel the love.
After that we found out that we wouldn't be having the baptism at Mandalay in the little set up pool. The baptism had been moved to Mitchells Plain. (I know right, Mitchell Thayne baptizing in Mitchells Plain. HA.) After fitting six people in the car and driving over I found out that I would not only be baptizing Esam, as I had been told, but I would also be baptizing Vuyusile! I was all for it though! He is such a powerful guy who will actually be getting engaged to a member girl in the next couple of weeks... ETERNAL MARRIAGE!
After a great service and everything I went over with them how the baptism goes down. "Okay good, now plug your nose. Now bend your knee's when I put you under... Yes bend them. Ohh, and don't let go of your nose when I am pulling you up, that never works out well."
The baptisms themselves went really smoothly. The spirit was so apparent. Those that were baptized were asked to bare their testimonies. They all cried. It was a powerful moment. Really one of those days that made mission worth the sacrifice.
After the baptism I was able to go visit with brother Gcina and go around Site C with him and Elder Chapman. Good ol' Chappy was shocked to see everyone living in shacks and doing things. We had drunk people running up to us telling us how happy they were to see us in Khayelitsha and how happy they were that we were white. It was pretty hilarious.
On a sad note. Last week I think I told all of you about Mashae. She is a little down syndrome two year old who has a hole in her heart. We are really close with her family, the Leroux. Anyways, we went and visited her and the family in the hospital last Wednesday. They asked me to give her a blessing. When you give a blessing you just say the thoughts and impressions that come to your heart. I spoke about how she come here, gained a mortal body, united her family and now it was time to go home. She is struggling, and it looks like she will pass away. It was a very spiritual and touching experience though. We have been supporting the family and giving them scriptures and lessons which have been helping them a lot. They have such amazing faith.
Chappy and I this week have also been up to a lot of teaching on some days, and a whole lot of NOTHING on other days. On Saturday we had an appointment every single hour from 1-8. Guess how many of them dropped? Eight. So that was a bummer day, but then the next day made everything good with the baptisms.
We have a fellow-shipper named Leon. He is a nice guy. He is preparing for his mission and comes out with us most days. He tends to try and teach the whole lesson, but he is really honestly so great. He tries really hard. His Aunt who recently went through a divorce has also been really struggling. I was hearing about how hard and sad it is to go through something like that. We were able to testify to her about God's love. And moments like that truly are when we need to reach for God most. She talked about how she is worried that others will judge her. I was able to really feel her on that subject and was able to testify that ultimately it doesn't matter. Most people try to point out the "mote in their brothers eye" but fail to see or take care of the beam in their own. We just need to worry about ourselves. Then once we are good then we can assist our brothers and sisters in their change as we do it with love. She seemed to feel real good about it and she came to church.
Last thing, Elder Chapman is a super buff tongan stud, so his family and him want him to go to a gym to stay fit and keep his muscle. It's for football and everything back home. So I got a gym membership as well so he could continue to stay in shape. He has been absolutely destroying my body. I am so sore every day. I know it's good for me though. I want to keep it up and stay fit my whole mission. Chappy eats a ton though. Let me tell you.
Well we also hiked to a waterfall this week, got chased by some coloured gangsters and their dogs and then also taught a 7 people family that all live together from Zimbabwe. They are all above twenty and SO powerful. We hope to get them to church this week.. And get this... they have a car.
I have no time to tell you all the stuff that happened, but things are going so well. I am loving my mission and loving the people here. Even though they aren't my Xhosa people, they are still amazing and faithful.
I love you all!
Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne