Well right off the bat Elder Chapman and I hung out with Elder Mchunu (One of my best friends on mission.) and his companion Elder Williams all p-day (Monday) last week. It was pretty nice. We went to the gym and played squash with each other. Elder Chapman is actually way fast for a big guy, and he has been playing for the past three transfers, so he pretty much destroyed us all. We then went to a couple members homes with the two tag-along Elders. We gave a spiritual thought and a prayer to a man who recently fell and hurt his back. We would have gave him a blessing, but we have been directed to try and leave those things to members in the ward so they can gain experience and be supporting and helping each other. They need to be able to be self-reliant without always relying on the missionaries to give the blessings and visit the sick. So the bishop and the brothers home teacher had been sent the day before to give him a blessing. It was a really good day, lots of fun and relaxation with a good end on a spiritual note.
As of late though I have had to dip into my home account WAY too much. The reason being, all of our food that Elder Chapman and I bought for the cycle is already gone, our stove broke and we don't have microwave AND on top of that Chappy doesn't have any home account at all.. And the guy sure eats a lot of food. So it's been a lot of cheap pizza's, mcdonalds and relying on dinner appointments with the members for us to survive the past couple weeks. Doesn't sound like Africa does it? Poor chappy eats a lot, so I've had to help him out until he gets his home account card again. So there is a bit of an explanation on why money has been seeping out of the card, sorry! He is the best though, so he is worth it. :] His parents thank us.
Tuesday was definitely another great day. We went to teach a bunch of less-actives and recent converts. We taught Rodger specifically about enduring to the end. Rodger is someone that Elder Taylor and Elder Chapman baptized. He made some HUGE changes in his life and is really making the change stick and we want him to continue on the path that he has started. He was once drinking, in and out of prison and all around one of THE worst people I have ever heard of (not to sound judgmental). Everyone who knew him was pretty disgusted by him. But now, only two or so months after his baptism, he is extremely well loved and respected by most people. People have seen how he changed and are really coming to him for advice and help with things. It's really cool to see his level of conversion.
So Rodger plays a role in how our Wednesday went. So on Wednesday I went on exchanges with Elder Winebrenner. He is a brand new Elder from England and this was the first exchange of his mission... Yay! We get along pretty well. Anyways, we were still in my area and we had the car, the issue was I had NO idea where anyone but Rodger lived. So we drove there, called our appointments and explained that I wouldn't be able to find their houses and just rescheduled with them.
We parked the car at Brother Rodgers house and started walking in Elsies River. Three white guys, us Elders and our fellow-shipper Leon, in the coloured area was a pretty big shocker to everyone who saw us. We said a prayer asking Heavenly Father to open peoples doors and their hearts to our message. Specifically asking him to help us find those who wanted to change or grow closer to him. Well we picked a street (little did we know it was an off limits area for tracting because it is so dangerous in that part of Elsies River) and started knocking doors. We knocked on ten doors, and got into eight. It was the most powerful day of tracting I have had my entire mission. Every house we got into, we taught the opening subjects of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and worked on building a relationship of trust with each person/family. We set return appointments with all eight households and are planning on seeing them this week.
3 of the houses that we got into were because we told them that Rodger had heard our message and changed his life. They had known Rodger before and were shocked. They let us in and loved what we had to share! The spirit was so apparent and we felt as though we were on cloud nine. All smiles. Elder Winebrenner wants to do exchanges every week now! As I said, it was a highlight of my mission. I have an even further strengthened testimony of the power of prayer and God's ability to soften hearts of stone. D&C 84:88 "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." I felt that promise.
The rest of our week was kind of a bust. Our appointments dropped like flies every day and things just didn't seem to work out... But after my experience Wednesday I couldn't be brought down. This is a great work that we have undertaken. Satan will try to do everything he can to slow it down, but we can take heart, we already knows who wins in the end. It's a nice feeling to be on the winning team.
Before I end I have a real funny story for you guys. You probably wont think it's funny, you had to be there.
We had two fellow-shippers in the car, JJ and Leon. Both of them are super white and a bit dorky. And then we also had a female investigator there whose name is Tammy. JJ and Leon had been telling us a bunch of riddles. Anyways JJ said, "So did you figure out the riddle?" Then Leon looked at him with a cheeky grin, "Which one!?" Then they burst out into the most ridiculous dorky laughing fit I have ever heard. Tammy just started looking out the window smiling and me and Chappy couldn't help but almost die laughing. It was hilarious. Maybe you had to be there, but it was great.
Anyways, I love you all loads! The church is true! Find someone this week that you can be an example to.
Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne
Here are some good ol' pictures for you guys. If you didn't want to see this ugly mugg, sorry.
One is me with my BRAND new scriptures. I needed them super bad because my other scriptures I had since I was eight. They have been pretty bruised and abused.
Then there is me and Chappy with our fellow-shipper Leon.