Monday, October 27, 2014

Lessons Learned.‏

Hey everyone!

It was obviously a great weekend seeing as Elder Cook came and visited us. I know that every missionary there felt ultra inspired to work harder and do better. I think it really helped many people catch the vision of why they are here and why we need to be diligent in our work and our efforts. It was so cool because he gave us his apostolic blessing that everyone that we love and care for in any way will be blessed for the work that we are doing here. And that one day we would be able to come to understand that and see those blessings.. So that's great news, I love you all and blessings are coming your way. It was real special to hear that.

When you shake an Apostles hand you really KNOW that they are a man of God. They can't fake the authority that they so obviously have. It's real and there is power with them. I have an even greater strengthened testimony of the fact that this church is being led by God through a Prophet and His Apostles.

This week Elder Dryer and I had a great experience with a recent convert and member family. The husband and wife were having some serious marriage issues. They had both had kids, divorced and then met and married each other and brought their families together. They were having some real problems because of the kids as well as their own struggles and issues. 

So when we went over there for our weekly lesson everything just blew up in our face. They started pointing fingers, yelling and accusing each other for their own unhappiness. It was getting quite out of hand. We stopped them and just took it back to what matters. We pointed out how they had made a goal to go to the temple and be sealed forever as a family. Then right when they set that goal we pointed out how trials and issues started arising in their life. We showed them how Satan will try as hard as he can to disrupt the good things that we are doing. Romans 7:21 explains that perfectly. Then we spoke to them and brought up, "Lord, is it I?" by President Uchtdorf that he spoke about in Priesthood Session, and talked about removing the beam in our eye before helping someone else with their "mote." Then we brought it right back to charity. Love in action. Moroni 7:45-48 We spoke of the Saviors love for us as well as the need for charity in a family. 

Once that was finished and we heard their comments and thoughts I felt inspired to give them an outline for companionship inventory. I challenged them to have that inventory right after we left. They did and it really helped clear up a lot of things for them and they are communicating so much better with each other. I am excited to see how their family relationships improve when doing things the right way and involving the right kind of spirit.

Elder Dryer and I after walking out of that lesson really had a great experience talking with each other. I told him, "Elder Dryer, if you ever wonder if the spirit has ever spoken through you, I want you to remember that lesson we just had." Because it's so true, we were guided in everything we did and said. Once we got out of our own way and let the spirit take over the lesson was amazing. That was a lesson I learned early on in my mission, and it's something that Elder Dryer really just got hit with as well. So that was a great teaching and learning moment that we both had together. And I think a lot of that really came with me allowing him to fall and to try to prevent him failing. Because once I did that, he was able to learn that amazing lesson and something great came from it. So thank heavens for that.

All in all it's been a great week. We didn't teach a lot of lessons, but I really did feel good about what we did as far as work goes. We helped change people and helped them feel the saviors love. Even though on the surface it didn't look like a successful week, we really were able to touch some hearts. And that is what this work is all about.

I love all of you! Thanks for the support.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Letters. It's been a bit dry.‏

This week I honestly have no time to send a detailed email. We just had time to submit stats and email a couple of people, so later this week I will send my mass email!

Just know that I love you all and the work continues to move forward. :]
We hiked Table Mountain here in Cape Town today. Fun fact: Table Mountain is one of the seven wonders of the new world apparently.. I found that out on the hike today.
We inherited a investigator from our ZL's last week. Anyways, we were able to baptize one of them yesterday! So we were really blessed to have that for my son to have his first baptism. The girls name is Forgiveness. She is a champion. I love her so much. She has such a strong testimony of this gospel and is doing her absolute best to do what is right. She is awesome.
A ton of our appointments dropped this week which was a bummer, but we know that next week will be better. That's that faith that I am talking about. ;]
Sorry I don't have more time! Just know that I love you all and I have never been happier. This is such a great work and we are so blessed to be able to be moving it forward.

Okay, well after some sports and teaching I am hopping on to finish emailing for the week.
I first off hope you guys know that I KNOW that repentance is real. I have felt the succor of the Lord in my life as I have been willing to make the changes to grow close to Him. He always stands beckoning, but we need to make the effort to step towards him. The Atonement isn't just about making us clean, but it's about changing who we are. So that we no longer have the disposition to do evil. He took the punishment that we deserve, and offers us to change and be happy. And THAT's why he died on the cross, and that's why God sent him to show us the way. He wants us all to come back to him. That is why I am on a mission. Because this life isn't all about us, that's what the world wants us to think, but God teaches us to focus on others. "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." People need to know of the good news of the gospel and the ability they have to repent and change. It's the greatest gift that has been given to man. So there is my little preaching moment.
Things this week have been going pretty well. We have had a lot of different opportunities to teach and do things to go outside our comfort zone, and that stuff has to be pretty uncomfortable because I have a very wide comfort zone! We were at a prayer meeting where everyone was speaking Afrikaans and preaching/swaying and saying "ohh Jesus." We then were asked to share a bit to comfort the family. I had done it before, but that was with Xhosa people, not coloureds, so it was really weird for me, but it went pretty well. People cheered and grunted a lot. My son even said a few words!
We have been attempting to teach loads this week. We got a bunch of new investigators from our Zone Leaders. They have been teaching like six girls in a dorm in our area. Well when they realized that it was in our area they gave them to us, so now we have a bunch more people to teach. One of them (Forgiveness) was baptized on Sunday. So that was pretty cool! We were able to get them to volleyball on Friday and then help them meet a few of the ward members and start feeling comfortable with all of us.
I got new running shoes after going barefoot for over nine months for hikes and playing soccer. I have soccer cleats, but you can't really hike in those... It is so nice. I forgot what it's like to have those things. They feel like springs on my feet. I swear I can jump so much higher! They were especially nice because we hiked Table Mountain today. Table Mountain is basically stairs the entire way up, and we all died. Not really, but it was a rough hike. So worth it though. You can't be in Cape Town and not have hiked Table Mountain. I mean, like I said, it's one of the 7 new wonders of the world. So you can't miss out on that. My feet are so tired and sore, but I did get quite the leg workout, so that was good.
Well that's all I have for you guys, I have to go now and do the work. Sister Silomi's mum died last week and I am speaking at a prayer meeting tonight then on Saturday I am speaking at the funeral.. I don't even know the lady, but it's alright. I am going to be teaching the Plan of Salvation to a couple hundred people. People show up in numbers to these things. 
Ohh sidenote, I forgot to tell you guys about something crazy that had happened in Khayelitsha when I was there. We were walking past a huge church with all this singing and our appointment had just dropped so I grabbed Elder Ngobeni and our fellowshipper Luyanda and went inside. The people saw me, the Mlungu, and pulled us up front. The preacher said, "Looks like we have a student paster from the UNITED STATES OF USA here with us tonight!" So I got up and just started preaching from Romans 7:21 and took off. It was pretty funny. People were shouting, "Amen! Sweet baby Jesus!" And other stuff like that. At the end I bore my testimony and people were shouting and clapping. Then the guy said "Thank you elder USA." I am sorry I forgot to tell that story! It was awesome. Little did we know in coming days people would see us in the street and invite us in to preach to them in their homes. 
There was probably three or four hundred people there. It was crazy. Now imagine that many people shouting sweet baby Jesus.. it was crazy!
That's really all I have to share this week! It's been a cool week, just a bit slower than usual.
Love you all!
Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne
Letters are welcome.
Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne
South Africa Cape Town Mission
PO Box 181, Observatory,
Cape Town, 7935
Republic of South Africa

Monday, October 13, 2014

I Scared the "Hell" Out of Her.‏

Dear family, friends, acquaintances and people I hardly know,
You guys will learn why I titled this email that way later on...
It's been another kewl week. I am for sure enjoying life as a missionary! We got a new car. Toyota Etios. It's the worst car ever. Basically a tin can on wheels, but it has some get up and go since it's so light, so that is cool as well. We got the new car because the other elders couldn't drive manual, luckily, I can. Thanks Dad.
Some elders and I sat down and wrote some raps. That was pretty cool. Mission life is so funny, especially when you are trying to put it down in a poetic way.
We also bought cookie crisp for R15 per box. Which is dirt cheap. So we bought six boxes for what equals about eight dollars.
At Burger King we met four people who wanted to be taught the gospel. We started teaching them the message of the Restoration of the gospel and the manager had people take a quick break to hear us then we prayed for all of them and got their details. It was so cool! 

I just thought I would tell you about that. It was pretty crazy. Elder Dryer is doing so good though! I am loving being around him! He is working real hard and loving the work. I think he is adjusting to missionary life a lot better than he was at first. It was a bit difficult for him at first, but he is finding his groove. He has already improved so much with teaching and connecting with people. I know by the end of these 10 weeks he will be ready for whatever challenge. He really came prepared, but also ready to be taught. He is a great guy. Like I have said, we are different, but we both love the work, and that unites us.
We were able to teach quite a bit, but we hope to see a few more people this coming week. We found and met with some great people who I feel like have a lot of potential to move forward and make changes in their life. Our fellowshipper Brother Rodger told them he that they should come to church and be baptized right when we met them, they accepted. It was so cool! Being bold really works.
We met with Lorenzo and his sister Maroldine. Lorenzo when he was 16 got shot by a gang in a driveby. They were trying to shoot the guy behind him, but nailed him instead. So for the past five years he has been trying to recover. He is in a wheelchair and shouldn't even be able to talk according to docters. He asked me to give him a blessing and I did so. He then said he wants to start coming to church, get baptized and grow confident in his worthiness with the Lord.
I don't have loads of time to email so I am sorry! But things here are going really well for me here. I am so happy with life.
Here are some shots for you guys with what happened this week. We ate ilusu again this week. Goat stomach. Yummy, right?
Love you all,
Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne
Things here are going so dang well. We are working so hard and doing SO much good. Well guess what? I DEFINITELY cast out a demon this week. A woman was bed ridden and had been convulsing and hearing/seeing things for a few days. So naturally, the people, when they heard who we were, asked us to go preform and exorcism. We went there and I was asked to give the blessing. It felt so creepy there. So I laid my hands on her head, and gave her a blessing of peace, and in the name of Jesus Christ I commanded whatever spirits that were not of God, to leave. It was pretty gnarly, not gonna lie, but so cool! I have never done that before until then! Satan's powers are real. I have seen and realized that SO Much more as I have been on mission. You can literally guess and know what he will be doing next. Because he is always in such opposition to anything and everything that is good. What a jerk, right?

Monday, October 6, 2014



Molo Buthi's,

Well things this side are, as always, going really well! I am honestly really loving and enjoying mission! We have some of the greatest guys in the world here, all trying to push the Lord's work forward. It's a wonderful quest to be a part of!
"Your vision becomes clear when you look inside your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens." -Carl Gustav Jung
I was really impressed and loved the talk, I think it was in Priesthood session by President Uchtdorf where he spoke about, "Lord, is it I?" I really think that is something that we all need to do! We all need to just stop and take a moment to look at ourselves and from there make the changes necessary to become better and improve. Many times we, being blinded, will look at and try to point out others faults in an effort to help us feel better about ourselves. Really we need to take some advice from Michael Jackson and start with "the man in the mirror." Only once we do that will we be able to improve ourselves and lift up others while we are all fighting to make it through this probationary state that we call life. Life is hard enough without us making it harder on each other.
Conference was amazing! I LOVED Elder Hollands talk so much. He seriously just pumps me up with his speeches. I was super grateful to have heard it because there are so many poor/destitute people out here in SA and sometimes it's hard to know how to deal with them. They always ask for money, but honestly money will not truly help them. It reminds me of peter, "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." So cool. I just basically apply that to how I deal with people here. I don't have money to give them, but I do have a testimony to share and love to show. So I give them that, and I think that has been a blessing to them. We can raise up and help others through this gospel. It is the greatest blessing/gift that we can give. So missionary work is where it's at.
Look up and read those two talks! I am still excited to hear the Sunday Afternoon Session of conference next Sunday after church! Speaking of conference we had three investigators come to watch it! Monica, Malvin and then a boy named Aya. Monica and Malvin actually just went out and bought themselves new clothes just to be able to come to church. Malvin got a slick haircut and was looking pretty classy I have to say. They loved church and all felt the spirit. Monica told me that she wants to be baptized, so it's too cool to hear from her and know how the words of Prophets really can hit someone. I promised them both to have a question in their mind and as they listen their question WOULD be answered. They all said that happened. Real nice to see how the Lord works through his servants. Revelation really is what our church is built upon. Aren't we so blessed to have men that are entitled to revelation to help guide us through this wicked world? 
Also, I would like to challenge you all to start using social media to spread the good news of the gospel. I feel like at times I did just that, but I realize that there is so much power that comes with all the people we are able to reach and touch with our words, photos and videos. So lets all post something now about our testimonies, what makes us truly happy, or about how life is just worth living.
The flame of my faith is burning as bright as ever! I am so happy. I am training Elder Dryer. It's a new experience working to help an elder adjust and get into missionary life, but it is something I am learning a lot from. I realize that I just have so much to work on and improve on, but I want to use it as an opportunity to grow instead of get down on myself. I love my companion. He is a great guy! He is from Ogden Utah, plays the drums, loves music, and is big into computer networking. Real smart guy. He has a testimony and loves mission already, so he will do great. 
I love you all so much. Never look back, we have so much ahead.