Another day another dollar...but not really. It's just been another great week. We had MANY investigators show up to church and are having many people progress and show greater and greater commitment and desire. It's really amazing to see how the work has improved so quickly here in the past three months I have been able to serve in this ward. It's been great.
It's been really fun to have Elder Matini still close by. He calls me a couple times every week asking me to define things for him, asking me for scriptures talking about certain things or asking me for advice on investigators. It really made me happy that we worked hard and did great together. Because we worked hard, he was happy, and he has trust in me as a missionary. That's what it's all about. We definitely have a real strong brotherhood! Us being together was a turning point in BOTH of our missions.
Elder Pope is doing really well. He is getting more and more independent. His knowledge of the scriptures and teaching has taken a very dramatic turn. He is doing great with all of that. I am excited to see who he will work with this coming transfer and see how he continues to grow and improve. I love him a lot.
The area itself is progressing very well. We have four people we are preparing for baptism. They are all very prepared people and all have a lot of support. They have shown great commitment as well, so it'll be great to see them progress in the gospel and grow in the church. Brother Songezo, Sister Priscilla, Usi and Litha. Mama Priscilla was the lady I met my FIRST day in this area. She said hi to me, then I asked where she lived and if we could come teach her. She said yes, we taught her, and invited her to church and she hasn't missed a day since. Usi was found when Elder Johnson and I were on exchanges tracting in the pouring rain. We were wondering if we should just head back to the boarding and wait it out since we weren't getting into any houses, but we decided to kneel down and pray and then go knock on a few more doors. Elder Johnson said, "Lets go to that house." I told him I thought we had already been there before, but let's give it a try. We did and that is the day we met Usi. She has been powerful since then. She defends the Book of Mormon to everyone who opposes it and has a really strong testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Then Songezo is the guy who has made HUGE changes in his life. Anyone and everyone can see it. He openly acknowledges the Lord's hand is his life and is going to be a powerful priesthood holder. He is brother Senzo's brother. And then there is dear, sweet Litha. She is Sister Linda's (Senzo's girlfriend) daughter. We are baptizing her as well. She is basically like my second little sister... Don't worry Afton, you are still my favorite sister in the whole world. But litha is so fun and so sweet. She asked me to baptize her just yesterday actually, so that will be awesome. We as missionaries are really trying to have the members to the baptizing and confirming, so mama and usi are having the members be involved with that which is great.
Anyway, that was just an ultra long and detailed description of our investigators.
I was able to interview two brothers that Elder Soko and Elder Johnson have prepared for baptism, and that was such a powerful experience. To really come to know and hear from them the WHY of them joining the church and their testimony. It was great for me to see the change they have undergone and the stories of their conversion. One of the brothers, named Tanyaradzwa, was actually walking down the road wondering what he should do with his life. He said he was depressed and just sort of at a loss. Well then he saw Elder Matini and I walking, and he waved at us. We came over, taught him a bit about the restoration of the gospel and invited him to church. Since that day he has never missed a day of church and has had the blessing of being taught by the other elders. It was special for me, being one of the elders to find him, to be able to interview him and see that change. It was a little love note from the Lord.
I also received an email from Elder Manzini! He is doing great and applying what he has learned from mission back home! I guess things are going well for him! I was happy to hear from him. He was our AP last transfer!
Well transfers are coming up this coming week! I should know by the next time I email where I am going and who I will be with! Exciting times as always. This past transfer and my entire time in this area has absolutely flown. It's almost sad how fast it went! The area though should be doing really well for a very long time.
This week we had a huge riot that went down all day in Scenery Park. Huge fires and they started setting up little barricades so that cars couldn't get in. People out here will riot because they don't have enough schools. So then they will burn down a school in an attempt to prove their point. Pretty interesting way to go about it!
We also went to the Zoo and got to see the giraffe again that I saw at the beginning of my mission. Then we swung by Mdantsane and I was able to see several of the people I baptized back there still strong and faithful in the gospel.
This weekend as well we were asked to teach all the youth in the stake. We were to focus on preparing for our mission. So we really encouraged and had a great lesson with 300 youth about all of that. We had a lot of them come up and thank us for it. Really cool learning experience for my district and I.
Well, the Lord is good and the work is amazing. I really can't complain. I attached a recording of one of the songs the people sang at the Old Apostolic church we visited last week.
I love you all!
Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne