Well it's reaching the end of the transfer. Anyone who has been a missionary knows how that starts to take a toll on the elders who have been in the area for a long time. Elder Matini is fighting strong though. We plan to just keep working hard and end on a high note. Now is the time to cowboy up.
This week was a little bit different. Still had a lot of cool experiences, just wasn't a walk on water sort of week. It would be SO hot one moment, then pouring rain the next. Really kind of killed our "seek and ye shall find" vibe. But we were able to find some new investigators and make things happen which was nice.
We spent a lot of time this week following up on investigators that we have only taught or contacted once. Many of these people fell through. Didn't really give us the time or take us seriously.
We also got flipped off twice this week. Which was really weird for me because most of the time people love us elders. One guy pulled over his car and yelled, "Hey Elders!" Gave us the bird then he was on his way. The second person was a lady who was walking down the street. I asked if she lived at a house she was walking toward and she said yes. I told her we would love to visit sometime and share a message of the gospel with her. She just walked away without saying anything, then turned around, yelled at us in xhosa, and gave us the one finger salute. - Really some heartwarming moments. Persecuted for the Lord... YES!
We had a lot investigators at church yesterday. So we felt a shower of blessings. We walked to this tata's house to walk to church with him as we had planned. But he stood us up. He wasn't at home. Naturally we were frustrated and discouraged. But then as we started walking back to the church we started inviting anyone and everyone we could see on the way to come to church with us. One sister, Ayanda, who was in her mid twenties was about to catch a taxi to go to her church. After some good conversation and everything we convinced her to come to church with us. We kept walking for a good five minutes to come across a brother who was walking the opposite way towards his church. He had his big white robes on and looked like some catholic priest. Anyways, we talked to him for a while and even Ayanda joined in and convinced him to come! So we had those two come with us to visit church. They only could stay for the first hour, sacrament meeting, but they both LOVED it and had us take their details and asked us to call. They also said without a doubt that they would come next week as well. It was pretty special. No one could believe that we had just found them on the road and brought them to church.
So after that, Elder Johnson and I were speaking about how that could be a great way to do finding and help get people involved. So now on Sundays we are going to go to the area at about nine and start knocking doors and inviting people to come to church. On just the walk back to church Elder Matini and I found two solid people, who have already visited church and really enjoyed it, so how many could we bring if we did it for a good hour and a half before church? Just a thought.
Also I had a thought that I mentioned to the assistants. It's about how we could help those investigators that want to come to church and partake of the blessings of the gospel, but just don't have the means. In my homie Elder Clegg's mission (jo-burg) they have a "cluster" program. Basically local people will meet together and have a mini sacrament meeting, talks and a lesson then go home. Just in his area he is over two or three of them and it is wildly successful. Elder Chapman and Ludvickson were telling me the struggle it is to get people to church because it costs so much money and is so far away. I thought of my own experiences and I just thought I'd mention that idea to the assistants. I think it's something we could all talk about and see about implementing in the mission. I guess it has been such a blessing there. So why not bring some of those blessings this side? President is going to be calling me in the next couple days to ask more about it.
Last story. We knocked on a door to have a lady open up to us and invite us in. She called her mother and father in and we were just getting real excited. We were thinking, "Ahh man, a Father-led family just invites us inside and is already sitting down with their Bibles ready to learn? God is hooking us up fatty status." The father then sat down and asked if we believed church should be on a Saturday or a Sunday. I replied that in our church we attend on Sunday... Oh no. He started pulling out the Bible and was trying to tell me how corrupt and wrong our church is because we worship on the "wrong day". I then was able to pull out several scriptures that told him how after Christ was resurrected they met on Sunday. I explained to him why the Sabbath itself was a holy day and why we do what we do. They were confounded. I also explained that ultimately, it doesn't matter too much about who is right and who is wrong, we just need to know where the truth really lies. We gave them a Book of Mormon as well as a Restoration pamphlet. They gave us a book called "The Great Hope." We invited them to read and pray about it and said we would come back to share more and follow up. They also want to teach us... haha Yeahh, we will see how it goes. So there is my 7th Day Adventist story for the week. Really nice family, I think I may bring backup next time because I was a bit on my own for that. Elder Matini just sat there staring at me to teach. He apologized after, but I told him it's no worries. He is now really motivated to learn his bible. Luckily the Lord helped me out with the spirit of remembrance and teaching as well.
So yeahh, this week was a bit hard. We got kicked to the curb more than once, had weather and the world against us and even felt a bit sick this week. But Elder Johnson has a quote he wrote in my planner that I think fits weeks such as this.
"Cowboy up. Dust yourself off, get back in the saddle, give it one more shot. Sweat and blood it takes all you got, cause the road to heaven is a hell of a ride. Tough get goin' when the goin' gets rough, cause you know you gotta COWBOY UP."
Love you all.
- Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne
So the pictures are just us Elders with youth in our ward. Elder Matini and I got given pop tarts by elder chapman... big deal. Then a picture of elder matini, me, mama prescilla, vuyo and all the little kids in their family. They were all at church on sunday as well. So sweet. Email shop where I email every week. Not bad right? Picture of the outside, and inside of our missionary flat. Then a shot of our church from the hill above.