Monday, July 13, 2015

┼ My Comp is Dying ┼‏

No... not really. Elder Stegelmeier is still working hard and being a stud.. but this week is his last week on mission. Moment of silence please.
This week Elder Stegelmeier and I were on exchanges for five days in a row. Yeahhh... pretty much the worst. We were completely destroyed and SO tired. We had the Assistants for a few days, then we left the morning the Assistants left to east london, to go to Mthatha. While on an exchange with Elder Lafleur (the AP) I learned a lot. He is a killer missionary and really loves the work. I can see why things were going so well in PE, he really works hard and works WITH the Lord which really is what we can attribute all success towards. We had a great few lessons with investigators in members homes, which is what we have really been focusing on the past couple of weeks, and it is really making things happen here in eZibeleni. Baptisms will shortly follow. Hold me to that.
When we went on exchanges in Mthatha I think I had the best experience with exchanges I have had thus far with that district. First, Elder Timba - Who is a BRAND SPANKIN NEW missionary - and I were able to go together. We only had a few hours and the other elders had all of the appointments. - typical of my exchanges - So we decided to test the promises of God and see how He would help us find those who have been prepared. We said a prayer and got after it. We walked right up to a group of tata's who were talking together, we started sharing who we were and stuff, and after some light conversation and some surprise on their side at the fact I could speak a bit of Xhosa, they directed us inside a house. 
So we walked in to find out that it was a TON of mama's and a guy who were sitting there waiting to hold a prayer meeting for a funeral that would be happening that weekend. After we shared who we are they said they would like us to share something. I then opened with a prayer and sold Elder Timba out and told everyone that he would be sharing his testimony. He just looked at me in shock as if to ask, "HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?" But I just stared back smiling at him. So he then stood up and bore a powerful testimony on the Saviour and the Atonement. Lots of mama's were grunting and whispering "yes". And you know if when you are "preaching" and mama's are grunting in agreement, then you are definitely saying something good. Then I just shared a scripture on the atonement from Alma chapter 7 and talked about the assurance of a Resurrection, but of our personal responsibility and role for our own Salvation. They loved it. At the end we had to go out to our car just to get more pamphlets and everything. They were all really excited. They started asking for pictures, Book of Mormons and hugs.. They got straight up rejected on the last request, but it's fine.
We then visited a few others and then closed our exchange. Elder Timba is a dang good missionary. He is from Zimbabwe... well, you Mlungu's in America don't know this, but the people who come from Zim are some of the sweetest most humble people I have ever met. Hands down. They also have the sweetest and funniest names. Names like, Forgiveness, Beauty, Lovemore, Hardlife, Lucky, etc. They are so legit. What do you think about that mom? I could name my first son Hotstuff, or Happyfeet. Gotta love ZIMBABWE.
Then I was able to go on an exchange with Elder Lafond. Now, Elder Lafond is one dang cool ginger. His name is Parker.. Pretty sure almost every parker I have ever met has red hair... except for maybe Elder Parker Johnson out here, my cousin and a few select others.. And yes sisters, I am sure you still remember that good looking devil elder johnson even though I haven't been with him for a good four and a half months, if you want to email him his email is 
Anyways, the whole Mthatha district really has a great desire to be better. Elder Matini told me how he has really helped him so much. Even while on exchanges we were trying to visit the homes of members, we tested the promises of God and we had great success in meeting with a lot of new potential priesthood holders. We had prayed and told the Lord we had an hour and wanted to find and teach two potential priesthood holders, we had decided to tract only around a members home. So we went and knocked out those first two lessons pretty quick, then we had ten more minutes. I asked Elder Lafond what we should do, if we should go back to the car and head over to the next appointment, or what. He then said, "Well, we told the Lord we would do this for an hour, lets not cop out at 50 minutes. Let's go over to that house." - STUD - We walked over, and used every trick in the book at the front door. We got inside and sat down with an entire family. A father, mother, two daughters and a few sons. It was a powerful lesson and elder lafond just told me that they went back and taught the family again yesterday with the branch president and had another great lesson! So dang cool.
Sidenote on the cottage meetings that we set up. They went pretty dang well. We did have a less active guy named Lubabalo, who is a relative of the Ndabeni family, show up to  one of them and it was really awesome. We taught on the atonement and it was super powerful.
Anamandla, the man of all men, came to church again on Sunday after being out of town for the past three weeks. He is in 2 nephi chapter 15 or something like that. So sick. We also invited a guy, who we met at a spaza shop - little run down shop that people usually put in what we would call a garage back home. Siyakudumisa is his name. We just call him Dumisa for short though. He is super legit and also came to church and loved it. 
We found a guy named Moses a few weeks ago and have been teaching him. He is an old Tata that lives in Zone 1. He is so humble and so sweet. He can't read really because of his eyes, but he is such a stud. He accepted baptism and told us he is going to pray and find a job so he can have money just to go to church. yeahh I love this guy.
Then Elder Lafleur and I found a family that elder steglemeier and I just went back and saw yesterday. The guys names are Benjamin, Noah and Milani. Super smart guys who had read the pamphlet and were asking the best questions. Stuff like, "When God created the heavens and the earth... where was he standing?" Then also more relevant questions like, "How can we come to know for ourselves that what you are sharing is true?" We are just excited about all these people.
All in all it's just super awesome out here. I am loving my life so much. I have been thinking about how I only have three transfers left. WHAT THE HECK? Why is the time going so fast? I know I say this like every other email, but it's just dang weird. Thinking about life without waking up and reading the white handbook, or swatting away girls hands when they try to hug you is really weird. Lucky for me, I still got a while more of it. I love it, and I love my life. I have been reading in Ether. Read over Ether chapter three. The brother of Jared is such a good example of faith and diligence. I learned a lot from my studies.
The Lord has called all of us to do something special. He has sent us here, around the people we are, for a reason. So do your best to find out what that reason is and live up to it. You will be happy you did. My buddy sent this out last week in his email and I loved it.. Ben Franklin once said that "Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind rather than on outward circumstances." Attitude determines altitude. Remember that.
Love you all.
Mdala Mitchell Ryan Thayne

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