Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Reports - and a Bit of Exercise

Time moves on, and the work presses forward, with interviews, a change in boardings, creatives lessons, and interesting finding experiences. I'm almost shocked to see that my second transfer is over in two weeks. Mission is truly an experience, a stretch (mental, spiritual, and physical), a learning curve, and a bold and powerful set of life lessons.

This transfer was my first interview with the Mission President (President Zackrison). First, my companion and I arrived after teaching a couple of lessons, with Sister Zackrison and the Thaba 'Nchu Elders waiting (peanut cookies and apple juice at the ready).

Sister Zackrison and I got to know one another and chatted quite a bit regarding family, friends, experiences, and doctrine before President Zackrison called me in for the interview. We discussed various matters regarding the area, my progress, my family, and my observations. By the end of these two years, I'll be more than set to take on any job interview (backed with the right skills, of course).

That Friday, my companion and I changed boardings. We moved from Mandela View (near Bloemfontein) to Thaba 'Nchu (alongside Botshabelo). A lot closer than before - and now we have the Thaba 'Nchu Elders as our next door neighbours (who were kind enough to help us move).

Later that week, we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders, and Elder Brimhall came with me into the Botshabelo area. Interestingly enough, I have found exchanges to be the most exciting part of missionary work thus far (and tomorrow we have exchanges with Thaba 'Nchu Elders). It gives the investigators and members an opportunity to be taught by someone different, with different styles of teaching, and the missionaries themselves to see and learn these different styles as well.

We had a powerful lesson with a less-active member. No plans, except for the impression to speak about endurance. And, low and behold, we found out that this less-active member once had a desire to serve a mission, but that desire faded, along with the burning passion and vibrant testimony of the Gospel. It was time, and a test of endurance.

Elder Brimhall and I were able to relate experiences and teach without any preachy overhaul, and the things we said surprised even ourselves. One, these experiences prepare us for others. Two, that fire won't always feel the same as it did the first time it came around. Sometimes it goes away. Sometimes we need to push forward, as it is a test of faith, and a trial to refine us as individuals. Do we really know this? If it was right then, it must be right now.

And three, a fire needs to be nourished. If stop feeding our testimony, it will perish. If we stop asking God, how can expect an answer? If we stop reading, how can expect to keep on learning?

By the end of the lesson, he was smiling from ear to ear, asking us to return for both him and his sister that same week. And this is only one of the number of experiences thus far.

Even Mother's Day was an experience to note, as we visited Bloemfontein to phone back home. The service at Church focused on the divine nature and role of mothers, and we were able to speak with our mothers back home as we went to the couple missionaries' homes.

And that is my report for the week. Much more has happened, and much more is about to happen. I continue to pray for you all, family and friends.

Even at this time that my arms feel like jelly. Yes, Elder Hammon and Elder Keizer made me gym this morning with bench presses and all manner of weights (and even a bit of protein). Yep, I'll be coming home with muscles - at least, that's what they've set out to accomplish.

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