Monday, July 20, 2015

Transfer News. It's all the rage.‏

TRANSFERS! It's all anyone can talk about. When we got called by the Assistants last night informing us of all the transfers and changes that are happening, we immediately were getting bugged by the whole zone, "WHERE AM I GOING? WHO IS MY COMP?" We missionaries can get a little desperate for this stuff when we know we may just be living with this guy for the next six weeks. It's valuable information.
So as for my news, I am staying in Queenstown. Super stoked for it. I will continue to work in eZibeleni, but we are also absorbing another area and merging it with our own. The town elders, their area is HUGE, are getting taken out of Queenstown. The reason being, there aren't enough missionaries coming in. The total number of missionaries is leveling out from the huge intake that the church had for a couple years after the age change announcement. So I will not only be covering eZibeleni now, but also the entire town area. Which is kind of crazy because the area is huge. Now I have six weeks to learn a whole new area, balance it with all the work we have going on, worry about the Zone all baptizing people, and get to know a new companion. SCORE.
Really, you gotta love it. Every time you start feeling like you know how things are going or every time you start to feel like you are in control, God has life throw you something you just didn't see coming. I am glad though, I know I will learn SOOO much. My new companion is Elder Radebe. I believe he is from KZN (Kwazulu natal) which is basically Durban side. He used to serve in Sierra Leone , but was taken out of that mission because of some visa issues. He is a pretty cool guy. I have talked with him a few times and had him sleep over at my flat as well. I'll be training him as a new ZL. I know he is a good missionary though, so I look forward to it. It's been forever since I had an African companion anyway, so I am super stoked.
It's going to be a legendary week I think. Elder Stegelmeier and I have a few more lessons that we have scheduled, and then he will hop on a plane and head home in just a few days. He is such a stud and is ever focused. Asking about less actives that we should follow up on, how we can help our investigators progress, and continuing to help me organize things for the zone this upcoming transfer. He has two days left, but no one could ever guess it. It's been a powerful and instructive past three months with him.
But, life goes on! And the work MUST go on, even without Elder Stegelmeier. I am super excited to get Elder Radebe! It'll be the first time I have served with someone who is the same age as me on mission. 
This past week the Town elders and us have been really working to have everything set up for this coming week. Since the town and eZibeleni area's are merging, we are wanting to be as effective as we can right off the bat. We don't want to have a slow start. So we did a lot of exchanges and I got to know a bit of the area. They have been putting forth a lot of effort these past few months, so Elder Radebe and I are going to be working a lot to keep working with the members and getting things going in our now massive area. Elder Crowell and I went to ward council for the first time since I have been here. We shared about the family mission plan, told of some goals, and basically just told them to put on some gloves and a good pair of wranglers and get ready to work. They were all excited to work with us.
This week, just a real quick cool story, we were visiting with a guy named Siyakudumisa, we call him Dumisa for short. Anyway, Dumisa is a 20 year old stud, we have only taught him the Restoration, read the Book of Mormon with him and basically had him teach us the Plan of Salvation. We found him while we were grabbing a snack at a little spaza shop. We set an appointment with him and he has never dropped one since.
He came to church two weeks back, and then just showed up again at church yesterday. He then told us how his mother has been giving him some major opposition when it comes to him meeting with us and coming to this church. His mother is a sangoma, which is basically like a traditional healer/witch person. Well, he said he was about ready to walk outside and go to church and his mother, who had been fighting about him doing this for a couple weeks told him if he walked out that door to go to "that church" then he can expect to no longer have a place in her home. He came to church. When I asked him why he came even when his mom said that he said, "I have been praying, just like Joseph Smith did to know the truth. God has told me this is the path I should take. Don't worry, God has been changing me, I know He can do the same with my mom. She will come around." - What the...? POWERFUL. 
We then sent a sweet mama (Mama Ndabeni) to go talk to his mother and tell her what the church is all about, and like Dumisa said, she is starting to come around. Miracles happen daily. Dumisa mid week smsed us and asked what he should do because his mom was telling him he couldn't go to the bush if he kept going to our church. I right there said a prayer and asked God for a scripture to send to him. The Book of Mormon was lying open on my lap. As I prayed I felt the book start slipping off my knee's, as I grabbed it my eye got glued on this one verse. Alma 1:25 "Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith; nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and they bore with patience the persecution which was heaped upon them." - It was so cool. God always will help us. Even in the little things.
Also, we are baptizing this really powerful guy who's name is Anamandla... which means "power." Go figure. That should be happening this next weekend. It didn't happen this week because it didn't fit in bishops schedule... Wow. Whatever though, we are still trying to work with our leaders. Our relationships with the ward members are great, so hopefully many more baptisms will come. By the way, Anamandla is someone who has had massive member involvement throughout his conversion process.. Member missionary work is definitely the Lord's way. I hope you are all involved with the missionaries working your side.
I sent something to my friend Heidi Stenquist, and I thought I would just add it to this email as well. - For the majority of my mission I have just put forth raw effort and hard work and been able to baptize quite a few people, but I realize the BEST way to baptize and retain is by working with the members. Elder Mchunu, in our mission, has come up with a six step process for helping members do their member missionary work.
1) Talk about their conversion. Moroni 6:3 - they covenanted to endure to the end. We encourage them to live up to their duty and the covenant they have made.
2) Help them catch the vision - Start with the leaders. Luke 22:32 - Christ focused first on Peter, who was the leader of the apostles. 
3) Help them develop faith and overcome doubts - spiritual confidence. Mosiah 17:2-3 We need to remember how we felt at the beginning of our missions when it came to doing something simple like passing out a Book of Mormon, we also need to be patient and helpful to the members as we help them develop greater faith.
4) Give them the tools to do the work. (Book of Mormon, Pamphlets, Pass-along cards, etc.)
5) Demonstrate and practice with them. PMG pg 162 2nd to last bullet under ideas to help members. Role Play with them. 
6) Help them test the promises of God. PMG pg 162 7th bullet down I think... something like "help them set a date to invite someone to..." When you set a date, give them the tools, practice with them and help them build their faith, they will be able to reach out and invite that person or accomplish that goal they have set. When they do that, then they gain a witness. Once they have gained a witness, their faith grows and it'll be easier for them to invite someone next time. Then it is just a repeated process.
The steps for building faith are: Desire - Faith - Action - Witness. So build the members faith and then you will baptize many.
MOM. The family mission plan, something you sent me MONTHS back is something that is sweeping our mission. Every Stake President and Bishop in our ward is going to be taught and briefed on what it is and it is going to be implemented big time in our missionary efforts this side. You were definitely inspired when you sent that out. It is going to help the work move forward this side so much. I have been told by so many missionaries to THANK YOU for sending that this way.
Super stoked Mom and Dad that y'all are coming to pick me up. The Jabangas already promised to slaughter a pig so you can eat it's head with us. Welcome to Africa.
Love you usapho.
Mdala Thayne
Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne
South Africa Cape Town Mission
PO Box 181, Observatory,
Cape Town, 7935
Republic of South Africa
Don't be a stranger.

To explain some of the pictures. The one in front of the huge house is Elder Ntuli. We went and knocked and GOT INTO THAT HOUSE. Those people are the owners of Twizza.. Which is basically like Coke out here. Super sweet. Then also you will see a lot of pictures of us at the Ndabeni pig pen. We just hopped over the fence and helped them feed the pigs. Our pigs at paisley farms are SO spoiled. Then a picture of me with the Jabanga's as we were painting the inside of their house. Then us with bishops big family after a DA. And then also another picture of us elders at the Bomela's home on friday night.Ohh and the one where the elder is smacking his head is when we were at the Dlanga's house for an FHE. So sweet. :]

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