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!

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