Wow. Another week down. This coming week is the last full week of my mission. I know, I know, I say this all the time, but I CAN'T BELIEVE IT HAS GONE THIS FAST. I have so many mixed emotions.
The funniest thing happened. This elder has a South African Flag that he has everyone sign their name and put their most often said quote on it... Well, I couldn't think of anything that I said all the time. Then I asked the elders there what they thought. Elder Mohale said, "Cmon Boza, everyone knows what you always say! 'I love you man!' That has to be your quote, that's how we all know you." Everyone then shouted their agreement. It was a wonderful feeling to have that be part of a legacy that I get to leave behind, my love for my brothers. They can feel it, and I love that.
This week has been an interesting one. We really hit the ground running... and then we just haven't really stopped. Last Monday I was in East London when I wrote everyone. After emailing, we went out and played soccer with the Mdantsane and East London Zones then rushed over to the airport to make sure we didn't miss our 6:00 PM flight. Well, jokes on us, we got there and then, AFTER we turned in our car, we found out that our flight had been suspended so we needed to sit around for another couple hours til 8:00 PM for our new flight. So we pretty much just chilled out in the airport, read our Preach My Gospel's and tried contacting people. We spoke to people til everyone in the area around us had kind of dispersed. We got a few contacts and sent them to the elders though. No effort is wasted!
The rest of the week can be summed up in one word: Transfers. We have sat down, reviewed, revised, prayed about, counseled and planned out the transfers with President Merrill a few different times this week. I love seeing how he, as a priesthood man, works in his life. It is inspiring and makes me want to do more, and be better.
I have thought a bit about "Enduring to the End" the past few days... The reason is obvious. I am almost finished with my mission. Wow, this is one of the hardest things to come to grips with. James 5:11 says, "Behold we count them happy that endure." And it's true. It's a wonderful feeling to now see the finish line up ahead and to know that I have been giving everything. Each stride takes effort, but it's a wonderful feeling to know how far I have come, and to be able to feel change and strength that I have gained. Yes, at the end of the race is usually when you are the most tired and the most aware of your weakness, but at the same time, it is the moment when you know how much you really have invested. How hard you really tried.
Luke 9:62 (One of mine and E. Johnson's favorites) says, "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
This isn't me looking back and focused on what has happened. I am just taking a moment to share how wonderful it has been to be out here serving the Lord. I have NEVER been happier and have NEVER felt like I have done something so important. I am grateful that I have endured my mission. Not in the just painful "hanging in there" sort of way that we think about. But a deliberate and constant effort to magnify this moment that the Lord has allotted to me. As I have endured in this way, I have felt the Lord shape and bless me in my life, and I have seen him do the same with those whom I serve. Enduring has been a sanctifying process that has helped me come to see and know the Savior in a way that I never had before.
With all this, I am not saying that it is over. My calling to be a disciple is a lifelong one, and I do realize that. I plan to apply and live everything I have felt these past two years. The Lord has taken the time to invest in me, and that is something I am eternally grateful for. I left for mission out of duty, but I want to stay out of love.
I plan to do the best I can with these last moments. I have a life and ministry ahead of me at home, and I plan on keeping Christ at the center of my life as he has been for these past two years. "God is easily pleased, but hard to satisfy." I know He has approved of my mission. I feel that He is pleased. He is not satisfied though. Now, He wants me to give back and bless even more people's lives. I just love it. Thank heavens for this blessing of a mission.
I'll see you all soon.
- Elder Mitchell Ryan Thayne
Us at a Garage in Somerset west.
Exchanges with Elder Williams.
Elder Martey and I in the car, that's where we spend most of our time together. Driving.
Me and a bunch of cute kids in the Langa branch that we visited on Sunday.