Monday, August 31, 2015

From QT to CT

Molweni usapho!

This week I got some wonderful news. Once upon a time, there was a sister named Linda who was less-active. We started working with her and helped her start coming back to church. She was living with her boyfriend Senzo in Amalinda, East London. Overtime we were able to get the whole family to start coming to church. Senzo's brother, Songezo, and Linda's daughter, Litha, were able to be baptized just before I left East London. Senzo was doing great and coming to church, the only thing holding him back was getting married. Well, after a few more months of missionaries working with them, Senzo and Linda got married on Saturday and baptized yesterday - MOMS BIRTHDAY! How great was my joy! I am still just so stoked about it!

Sometimes the fruits of our labours don't come all at once, but the Lord is mindful of His children. He continued to nurture a willing soul and prepare the way for him to move forward. I am just grateful that the missionaries who followed me continued to work with him. Now it has brought a very powerful kingdom builder into the church. I was just so stoked about that I had to tell you guys about that.

Here in Queenstown for my last week I was able to see two more potential Melchizedek Priesthood holders come into the waters of baptism. DANG STUDS. Lucas Mavumbela and Lwando Tshijila - try saying those names. Both have had HEAVY member involvement and we have been working with them for a very long time (since me and Elder Stegelmeier). I am so proud of them. Hearing them bare their testimonies and say how they are excited to bless the sacrament and go home teaching pretty much made my year. All in all, I really feel like I am leaving Queenstown on SUCH a high. I know that I have really put forth a lot of effort, have had SO much help from my great companions, and the Lord really has shown his hand here in this area, my life and throughout the Zone. I am SO excited because I heard Elder Johnson that was coming here to replace me!!! He is the stud from back in my East London days if you remember. There is no other missionary I would rather have come work with and strengthen this ward and the recent converts whom I love so much. I know he will do great things.

Speaking of my companion. It's been such a wonderful and learning experience these past six weeks that I have been together with Elder Radebe. I really am grateful. I have learned a lot, and we both have grown so much. It hasn't been super easy, but we never grow when things are easy.

I have really been thinking about it. The past few weeks I have started to pray for my future area, companion and ward... So it is going to be really great to go there and see what the Lord has started to prepare. I found out my news a couple days early because President Merrill gave me a special call telling me what's up. I am getting moved back to the Cape Town side. I will be working in Grassy Park. It, just like Khayelitsha, is part of the Cape Flats area.. one of the top ten murder capitols of the world. YES! So I'll get cool stories. Don't worry Grandma, I'll be safe. 

I am so excited to work with Elder Martinez. All I really know about him is that he is an African American guy who was adopted by a really sweet Mexican family in Utah. I have spoke with him a few times and he just really seems to be a sweet and loving missionary. I know we will probably get along just great. 

I plan to go and just learn from him. I want to observe and praise him for the work he and his previous companion have done, then I just want to get after it, start getting the members involved and start really working the area over. I have seen how sometimes elders will go into a new area, they may have more experience, and they just want to do things their way. Forcing decisions and making things happen our way, is not the Lords way. I want to make sure that everything we do is a joint decision and really something that we BOTH feel like we want to see happen. That is something I have learned a lot this past transfer, making decisions in unity. It is better to make a less than perfect decision in unity, rather than a perfect decision that is forced. That is something that was taught to us by Elder Quentin L. Cook when he was here. And I believe it is a really important principle. The Lord said, "If ye are not one, ye are not mine." Just think about that in your business, church and relationship decisions. 

Well usapho, I just want to thank the Lord for these last six months in Queenstown. The whole attitude of the ward, especially in eZibeleni, has exploded in a positive direction. I am just grateful for the Lord and what He has done to help me receive this witness. I hope and plan to see similar miracles happen in Grassy Park.

Love - 
Mdala Mitchell Ryan Thayne

I am attaching a picture from Grassy Park.

Then some pictures of the Baptism of Lucas and Lwando.

Senzo and Linda got married Saturday, so that he could be baptized on Sunday, Mom's birthday!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Over the Moon

What's good family?

This past week has been quite the learning experience due to the fact that I went on three different exchanges! Wow, that is what I love about serving here, I get to interact with and learn from so many different missionaries from so many different walks of life! I was with Elder Martey the AP (From Ghana. He totally lived on the street most of his life, drove a taxi, fought for a chance to live, found the church, had his life changed and came on a mission. Amazing story.) on Monday and Tuesday. Wow. What a great Priesthood man. He really is so driven and wants to badly to do the Lord's work and do it his way. He is very on task and gets things done. I learned a lot about being efficient and from his faith/almost absolute assurance that the Lord will keep His promise.

Then from there Elder Radebe and I left Wednesday morning to drive out to Mthatha and go on exchanges with those elders out in banishment. Which is totally a bummer, but they are champs about it. I was able to go out with Elder Timba (From Zimbabwe. The sweetest and most humble soul. I am telling you almost everyone from Zim that I have met is so spiritually receptive and powerful.) for a couple hours that night and we went out to test the promises of God. We sat in the car and prayed to God that in the next hour we could teach two lessons to two potential Melchizedek priesthood holders, then we hopped out and went to work.

We spoke to several people until we met a great guy and taught him the restoration, he seemed really interested and asked for us to meet with him again, but this time in his home. We walked away feeling good to have found a 23 year old male.. Then we tried talking to a few others with little to no success. Then just as we were getting into the car feeling like we hadn't met our goal of two lessons taught, I see a guy a few steps ahead of us and I just had the thought to yell out to him, "Hey, stay warm man! It's cold!" He started laughing and walked over and then we were able to strike up a quality gospel conversation with him and teach him the restoration and give him the Book of Mormon. Really a powerful mini exchange. Elder Timba is so humble and so willing to learn and ask for help. I really want to be more like him.

I was then able to go with Elder Matini for exchanges on Thursday. Ohh that was so fun to be able to be with my old companion again. He has grown SO much since we were companions together. He isn't just doing good or being good because he feels like he should, but he is really putting forth effort because he WANTS to. And I think that is making all the difference. I am excited to see where he goes and what he does in these coming months. We were able to do some more finding and follow up on some of their investigators as well. We just used the bullet points of the lessons, back and forth. He was just so amazed. He said, "Thayne," Because you know he struggles with saying 'elder' haha, "I wish we knew the points back when we were companions. It is going so nice now. I remember back when we teach together.. I so died on that day." I love how he talks! But in all seriousness it was really wonderful to do that together. I am proud of him. - So yes, Mthatha is doing great.

All in all everything is good. It was nice to come back to Queenstown. I think I got sick from some nasty food we had in Mthatha, but all is good now. Just had to sleep a lot on Saturday and keep running from my bed to the toilet, but like I said, all is well. Haha I am sure you didn't care to know that last detail, but hey, you want to know whats up? That's what's up, my lunch.

We are all really excited about the work that is EXPLODING in eZibeleni. I have never seen anything like it. Remember the weeks where I would write back home feeling all sad and feeling like our efforts are going nowhere? We would have a grand total of ZERO people at church and just wondering what more we should be doing. Now, everything is different. It took almost six months, but I can say that things are UNREAL. We had 15 investigators at church yesterday. 15. What the... people are bringing their friends, others just are having the "random" urges to come visit the church on Sunday and some people are just being consistent with coming every Sunday. I will be leaving here on SUCH a high.This coming Sunday we will be baptizing Lwando and Lucas. I have been teaching these brothers since back in May with Elder Stegelmeier and they are FINALLY ready to make the leap of faith. I am so stoked for them. Dumisa got the priesthood this past Sunday. Anamandla already got it a week or so ago and is blessing the Sacrament for the first time this coming Sunday. :]

Things are too good.


Mdala Mitchell Ryan Thayne

PS I find out where I am getting transferred to for my last three months on mission this coming weekend. Be excited.

Write me:
Mdala Mitchell Ryan Thayne
South Africa Cape Town Mission
PO BOX 181, Observatory,
Cape Town, 7935
Republic of South Africa

Me with Elder Martey the AP and future president of Ghana

Out the window of our drive to Mthatha.

Picture of me on a sign in a town called Cofimvaba. (Which is where a few of our recent converts are from)

Us at lunch at Mikes Kitchen - Super Nice - with the saintly Farnsworths.

Then just pictures of me with a million Xhosa's outside the Ndabeni family home. I love all these people so much!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Preaching to the sick and afflicted...

(Got these pictures and this message off of facebook.  It is so nice when people take the time to put things out there about our kids.)

Tonight, Sister Farnsworth and I were with it zone leaders and the Assistant to The President giving a lesson on the Book of Mormon to 4 sisters in a hospital room. Great experience.  (Elder Farnsworth)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Missionary Lifestyle

Alrighty, soooo everyone... a lot has happened this week. 

Things have been up and down-then up then-down then-down then-up. But hey, that's what brings growth, you know? I have been learning a lot with things that have been going on. I think that is the coolest part of mission, you never stop progressing, you never stop growing. The Lord will never let you get to the point when you have figured everything out or when you feel like things are all sorted.

NGTHEN YOU FOR HIS PURPOSES, OR, SATAN IS TRYING TO DESTROY YOU FOR HIS. IN EITHER CASE, IT SHOWS YOU ARE IMPORTANT AND WORTH FIGHTING FOR." - A quote that Elder Johnson's Grandma sent him that I thought was worth putting into my mass email.

This week, we got to continue working with Siyakudumisa (Dumisa) in the aftermath of his Baptism and the energy and excitement that has come from that. We gave him a Book of Mormon and the next day he lets us know that he had already given it to one of his friends, but would like to have another. It was great. Then this past Sunday I was able to lay my hands on his head and give him the gift of the Holy Ghost. He kept saying that it felt like wind was just rushing through his body. He was on cloud nine, over the moon, stoked out of his mind. Then later last night we were in a Cottage Meeting with the Nkomfe family and stuff and we invited everyone to share their testimonies and stories of their conversion. Dumisa started to share his then just broke down in tears about how this has changed his life. It's just been so awesome to see how suddenly he changed.

Anamandla is a stud, just got the Aaronic priesthood this past Sunday.

I am now on exchanges with the AP's. Elder Martey will probably come with me, and Elder Lafleur will be with Elder Radebe.

Then afterwords we will go to Mthatha from Wednesday to Friday. Then get back, prepare Lwando and Lucas for their Baptism interviews and then have a crazy last full week in the area NEXT WEEK. So sad, I have two weeks left here. Just going to leave it all on the field. It's how we do it here in SACTM. Trunky isn't even in our vocabulary. So yeahh, I am coming home in three months. Stoked to see you guys, and I can't wait to tell you everything, but until then, still just gettin' after it and teaching the gospel imini yonke ntsuku zonke. (all day every day)

Sorry I don't got more time to tell how things are going. It's been crazy, but as always, things are good.

Stay by the tree.

Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne

 A selfie with me, the Ndabeni girls, Elder Sengane and Anamandla.

Signing stacks of Pass-Along cards.

More Mormon Helping Hands pictures

Us cleaning the walls in our flat.  So dirty!

I have 2 transfers left after this one. I finish this transfer on sept 2nd. TIME FLIES! haha. And yes I do like it. I am still just waiting to know where I am going for my last area so we can finalize all these plans. :] Nelson Mandela is awesome. Look up the song "Nelson Mandela" by Zahara. She is from East London and wrote that song about him. It's super sweet, I think you guys would love to hear it. The guy who speaks in the background sounds like a total Xhosa guy. 

Yes! Please bring white shirts and some ties. All missionaries would love ties. I think if you could bring/or somehow when we get here, we could buy some scriptures for some of my recent converts. They have trashed ones that they had pulled out of the lost and found and whatnot. So some scriptures would be cool.. And yeah just whatever you can put in for elder Ntuli would mean the world to him. THE WORLD. So thanks a ton mom.

I had my paper all printed out to do the ecclesiastical endorsement with President Merrill, but then I forgot it when I went to our interviews because we got surprised and told that we had to go WEdnesday night instead of thursday morning. So I didn't have it all put together. it's a shame.

But yeah, things are good. There have been some real struggles with different things, but I am learning a lot, my poor companion has been having a hard time.H is father passed away a few weeks back. Things are hard for him. But president really put things into perspective that I was sent to be with him because God knew he would lose his father. So I am just trying to be positive and supportive, despite his hard challenges that he is going through.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Make It Rain!


This week was pretty cool, it resulted in a lot of great work being done with the members and everyone.

I landed a super sick pair of "African Swag Pants" as us missionaries call them. They were given to me by an elder who was overweight on his luggage. They are basically some cool looking sweat pants. Just thought I'd let you know. I am pretty pumped about it.

We were able to baptize Siyakudumisa! It was such a powerful experience for me to get down into the water twice in three weeks. 

You RM's probably remember, but missionaries jobs on baptism days are always crazy, especially since the wards usually need to be coached with everything. So just before walking into the font I said a kneeling prayer asking God to calm my mind and help bring the spirit as we had that experience. It was amazing to me how I would have a thousand different thoughts running through my head, but as I put my arm to the square, the whole world seemed to stop to watch. Every time I say, "Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ..." I just get hit with the spirit so hard. I love that feeling. We have a few more people that are going to be ready on the 30th of this month. It's awesome. - Member work, it's how it's done.

We had a lot happen this week, but due to time I can't share everything. We had our car get ULTRA stuck in the mud, but I swear half the men in eZibeleni, drunk and sober, came out to help us get the car out of the mud. So sweet. We are both so worn out from this week. We taught loads of people.

Also, we had this really angry white Afrikaner guy who after we walked away from knocking on his front door, hobbled up to us from where he was down the street and started screaming at us in Afrikaans. We didn't understand a word. Bare in mind, this guy is probably 80 something years old. Anyway, we kept trying to calm him down and tell him we couldn't understand, but then he pointed to his two dogs (super small and annoying) and started yelling, "You're trying to kill my dogs! I am calling my son and he will destroy you!" Well, we were trying to tell him we were not going to kill his dogs, but he wouldn't have it! "Yes you are! I now you people, SATANISTS FROM HELL!".... Whoa man, that escalated quickly. It's fine though, he just had some serious issues. We walked away shaking our heads hearing him curse at us. Matt 5:11 - "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." So it's all good. I have learned to just shake that stuff off. Persecuted for the Lord, YES!

I am so happy with where everything is. It's not perfect, but I am figuring it out. It's almost sad how at the tail end of our mission, we finally start to get how all of these things start to work together for the ultimate good of those we teach and even ourselves in our personal progression. Faith - Obedience - Diligence - Member Work - Charity - God's Hand... it all works together for accomplishing God's ultimate goal of bringing to pass our immortality and eternal life (Moses 1:39). Dang it! Why do I get this all at the end? Can't wait to continue making it happen though for these next few months.

Love you abantu.

- Mdala Thayne

Monday, August 3, 2015

Life is Good!



I have a lot of sweet news to share with you. Things are going great here in Queenstown for Elder Radebe and I. We are still figuring things out, but we have really been trying to serve the members and show the members in town that they can trust us. Anyway, the eZibeleni members after a prayer meeting yesterday basically stood up and were telling us how much they appreciate our work and how they want to work along side us. When the Town members heard that, I think they gained a lot more trust in us as well. It's been great. Our bishop, Bishop Vali, is really happy with the people who are getting baptized and he is staying on top of getting them the priesthood right away which is awesome.

This coming Sunday we have that brother named Dumisa who is going to be baptized. We have really tested the promises of God when it comes to him. We found and started teaching him just under five weeks ago, and he is SO solid. He is getting baptized just five weeks after us saying hi to him in the spaza shop. I think sometimes we really do drag out the conversion and teaching process. It can happen quickly as we involve the members. As we have been having Cottage Meetings with members in eZibeleni, we are inviting our investigators to come, then they get smothered in love, invited to church, and the adjustment is no problem for them. It's been really amazing to see how the members are the key. 

So as we have been talking about, Elder Radebe and I decided it's time to test the promises of God with baptizing people. So we are planning on setting and preparing several more people for baptism on the 30th of this month. Hopefully that will come to pass. I think we finally have caught the vision for how this is all going to work together. We are pairing up a tailor made fellowshipper + one family with each investigator. We are getting them to family home evenings and cottage meetings and getting things done that way. Things are great. I'll have to give you more details in the future.

--We just got some really rough news, my companion just got news about his father passing away two weeks ago.. he just found out now over email from his sister. So support and prayers for Elder Radebe will be welcomed for sure.--

The zone is doing well, but we are seeing a streak of casualness with all the elders out here in Queenstown. We are going to have a meeting with them on Friday and talk about that. Also, they are setting sky high goals and not even getting close to reaching them, so we will train them on that as well. We have great elders, just a lot of young ones. Goals, when we set ones that make us stretch, but that we are able to achieve can help build our faith, but if we are still miles below our set goal, then that can lead to discouragement. So yeahh, just more of the boring Zone Leader stuff that you all probably all just skim read through anyway. All in all, that's my life right now, so there you have it.


We met a guy who drifts cars and stuff for a living. Anyway, his name was Papi Super Magic. Pretty powerful name I have to say. I thought y'all would get a kick out of that. I guess he is pretty big in Durban with all his drifting and stuff.


So I had a cool spiritual experience, and a very humbling one this past week. Last Monday, us elders were all playing basketball outside the chapel. We finished up after a pretty nice game (I thought it was a nice game because for the first time in forever I actually killed teams) and were about to leave, just as my companion was locking up the outside gate he said, "Elder Thayne, do you think we should go make sure the chapel is locked up?" there had been workers that were working on the grounds. I just said, "Nahh Elder, we gotta get going to shower so we can be on time for our first appointment." When I said this I felt an impression that I should go check on the chapel door. But I thought... nahh, we will be back at the chapel in like two hours, so then we can worry about it then. 

So ignoring what I felt, I just had him hop in the car. We were about thirty seconds away from our boarding then a car ran a stop sign right in front of us and we slammed into the side of their car... yeahh. Bam. That was a whole dramatic story and I wont bore you with the details, but let's just say, I have learned how to keep my head while I have been out here on mission. But yes, that crash resulted in a lot of problems and hoops we had to jump through. At the end of all that, we drove our brand new, now busted up Chevrolet Aveo over to the chapel only to find the door unlocked and wide open. At that moment everything hit me. Not only had I felt the impression to go close the door because it was open, but I also had the impression, and if I had followed it I would have completely avoided that car crash. We would have been at that same intersection a couple minutes after that car ran the stop sign, we would have gone home safe and just carried on with our day. We went home that night and I realized why God had impressed those feelings upon my heart. I repented and vowed to follow every feeling and impression that comes to me, no matter how inconvenient or small. Then throughout this past week we have had different moments almost every day where I felt an impression, acted on it and witnessed something amazing. 


I felt an impression to go check up on a brother named Zinathi. We went and had a lesson with him and he was saying how he was so shocked we showed up. How he had been feeling like he wasn't needed or loved and he had decided to not worry about church anymore.

While we were in a lesson with Dumisa, Siya Dlanga and newly baptized Anamandla Homane were fellowshipping. I had the impression to invite each one of them to share how prayer and receiving answers to prayer has changed or blessed their life. After they all shared the spirit was so powerful and they grew closer together as brothers. Which is making all the difference. That weekend we had the Ndabeni's and Anamandla with us doing a massive service at Dumisa's house. It was awesome to see how service brings people together.

AND SO MANY MORE. I just don't have time to tell them all.


While we were at a big FHE we were having with a bunch of less actives, members and investigators one of the sisters, Nokuthula Funcuza, was having a terrible headache and asked us to give her a blessing. We calmed everyone down and brought the spirit back again. Elder Radebe anointed her and I was able to bless her. Then, as we laid our hands on her head to give her the blessing, I started speaking and this little six year old kid from the Xaluva family came and laid his hands on her head as well. Elder Radebe quickly swatted them away, and he kept trying to put them back till someone grabbed them. After the blessing the spirit was strong, but when Elder Radebe and I got back in the car we couldn't stop laughing about that kid. I don't know, it was funny. Maybe you have to know him. Just imagine a little chunky six year old kid, who randomly says funny things in broken English and probably loves ice cream more than life. That's him.

Well, I love you all. Hope everything is going good. We are going to baptize a lot of wonderful people, the Lord truly is raining his blessings down.


Mdala Mitchell Ryan Thayne