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.
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!