MOTHERS DAY WAS AWESOME! It was a heavenly day. It was not only mothers day, but it was also my brother Halsten's birthday AND Elder Stegelmeier's (My companions) birthday as well. I didn't do anything for him... don't you worry, I have something planned for my companion. I couldn't be SO obvious as to have his birthday party on his ACTUAL birthday. We have something planned later this week when he doesn't see it coming. But yes, it was great seeing your lovely faces. "Grayson.... you look like a MAN!"
The Zone Conference was amazing. I really got a lot out of the training. The thing that really stood out to me in Elder Evan's training was when he was speaking about how we need to help others live the gospel of Jesus Christ. In all it's aspects. Something that was mentioned in a stake conference in East London a while back was, that the celestial kingdom is represented by the sun. The moon is something that just reflects the light from the sun, and the stars are something that don't have enough light to really help or bless anyone else. But the sun is different. The sun only gives. So just with us, as we strive to become celestial beings, we too must only give. And that is what we are out here doing as missionaries all day every day. And it's the most fulfilling and wonderful experience. I know any Elder who is truly doing his best and trying to make the most of every day will agree with me. So as I thought about that, thing that really hit me was the fact that when I am here, I must give and help others partake of the blessings of the gospel in ALL aspects, and then that is not something I should stop when I am home. My mission has started, but it won't ever stop.
I have had a lot of thoughts come to me as of late. My mission has started, but it will continue at home. I need to be mindful and prepare for how I am going to be an effective disciple of Jesus Christ in my life at home as well. Thinking about how to be better for when I am home isn't taking away from my mission, it's preparing me to help others fulfill theirs. It was a foreign thought to me, but something that was cool to consider.
Elder Stegelmeier is doing great. He is working hard and really just so consistent and solid. He is teaching me a lot. I have to say, God hooked me up for my past two companions. I have honestly loved and learned from all my companions, but Elder Freitas made me and Elder Stegelmeier really makes me have to sprint to keep up. I love it. Whatever you ask E. Stegs to do, he will do it.
The entire Zone seems to be doing well. They were all very pumped up after a little Zone meeting we had together Friday night. We set goals and created a "Faith Extension Month" plan for them. We are excited to start implementing it today. Every week we add a couple things we are going to do as a zone to help us create miracles. I'll let you know how it goes. We just hope by the end of this transfer to have each one of our 5, 5 & 5 (Five Recent Converts, Five Less-Actives and Five Investigators) at church the last Sunday. It'll be a powerful way to test the promises of God but focus on all aspects. We created a plan and we are involving all our wards in the work of contacting, meeting with and fasting for these people. The Zone seemed excited. After the little meeting we all knelt and offered a prayer covenanting with Heavenly Father that we would do all we could to make that happen.
We all loved President Merrill's and Elder Evans training's. I know for me, they both seemed to just hit me right between the eyes and tell me exactly what I needed to hear. God does know what He want's his servants to say.
We have a WONDERFUL father-led family. We are focusing on the father, his name is Khaya. I love this guy so much. He came to church this Sunday, after like three weeks of us asking, in his huge Taxi bus thing and everyone was super excited. The Bishop, his councellors and everyhone was offering to help fellowship. Khaya really enjoyed it and said he will for sure come back next week. He is probably the person we are MOST excited about.
Ohh, and we just saw our Mfundisi (Pastor) Tata Matoti here in the email shop. He says he is taring through the Book of Mormon and wants us to come read with him tonight. SCORE.
We really have been testing the promises of God. Basically that means - God has given us all different promises. We can search for them in the scriptures. Christ has said in 3 Nephi 18:20 That whatever we ask in his name, will be given. This is of course if our desires are righteous and it is in the Lord's will for you. We just need to learn to ASK - Then we SHALL receive. test God's promises. If you are doing school, kneel down and make a covenant promising the Lord that you will always study the scriptures, attend the temple, pay your tithing, etc. As well as include how you will do everything you can to be successful in studying and getting your homework finished. Then petition the Lord for his help in doing well in your classes. HE will make it happen. We apply this in our missionary work every. single. day. I know it works. When we pray and dedicate the next, eg. 2 hours to finding a father led family, and ask the Lord to help us while promising that we will do EVERYTHING in our power, He always answers the call. Every time. Try this in your life. I know it works. "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." - Joshua 1:5 He has promised that. Let's put that to the test and do all we can in our power then, as it says in doctrine and covenants, stand still with the utmost assurance and wait for the Lord to reveal His hand.
D&C 84:88 has an amazing promise that we are entitled to as we live up to our covenants.
All I really am saying is, CTR. You'll be happy you did.
- The pictures are randoms with a drunk tata, Mama Nkomfe was the mama we celebrated mothers day with (I love my South African Xhosa Mama), then pictures of us at a Zone Conference with the Mdantsane, East London and Queenstown Zones. - I have served in all those zones, so it was super cool. The humans actually catered at the Zone Conference so it was GREAT seeing that wonderful family again. Then last picture was with Elder Stegelmeier and I doing some stuff with the lights on our phones. If you look close, lightning struck in the background. SUPER COOL.
Mission is the best. You should all go. Grandma and Grandpa Thayne and anyone who is an older member of the church and is able, you need to go on a mission. You will be blessed SO much, and you will be such a blessing and support to the work throughout the world as well. If you want to, then the Lord will provide a way.
Love you everyone.
Mdala Mitchell Ryan Thayne