Monday, 7 March 2016

Five Weeks

Five weeks. Pouring rain. Blistering heat. Countless rejections. Receptive spirits. Kind faces. Tears. Unexpected moments. The hand of God working. Yes, just another transfer in the life of a missionary here in the South Africa Durban Mission. This time from Bethlehem.

Much has happened, including my laziness in writing an update on my missionary affairs. And yes, the excuse will always be, "We were too busy working."

On Sunday, we had a fast and testimony meeting (as did every other Latter-day Saint congregation worldwide). It was good to see some investigators attend, as well as some less-active members. With all the work Elder Ncube and I have been putting in, it's been good to see a steady incline in Church attendance.

The testimonies borne were beautiful. Starting with one member finding purpose, meaning, and answers from the scriptures. It's the little things that count. To a young brother and sister duo rallying up to bear their innocent testimonies concerning what they knew to be true, including the line, "I know that God wants me to be kind to my sister."

I was touched to see the faithfulness of some in all their challenges, but at the same time sorrowful for the discouragement resulting from the hardheartedness of others. One young women commented, "Some people know the Gospel. Some don't. And others don't even want to know."

The Sunday before, I was privileged to give a talk on missionary work. I've come to realise that much of my success in exciting members comes from sharing how I came to know the Gospel. For that, I am grateful to the family that never gave up on me. I am grateful for their diligence, support, and I constantly think of them - even today.

The First Counselor in the Branch Presidency here in Bethlehem committed himself to distributing five copies of the Book of Mormon, including an extra copy for his wife to distribute. The members of the Elders Quorum gathered together to visit one Brother after his release from hospital to share with him what had happened at Church. Together the brethren committed to more concerted member-missionary efforts.

It truly began showing fruits as the Young Men from Bethlehem and Phuthaditjhaba challenged one another to a game of soccer. Some of the less-active Young Men heard and invited their nonmember friends, and a few of the brethren from the Elders Quorum came along. In the meantime, the Young Women celebrated two birthday parties (don't tell the Young Men).

Two non-members and a few less-active members committed to joining us at Church the following day. And guess what? They kept that commitment.

It's been exciting with all the ideas Elder Ncube and I have been trying to implement. Even with the experiences we've been privileged to share with others. I continue to be at awe with the amount, and depth, of sacred experiences He allows me to share with others. And the trust that others have in sharing sacred moments with us. The Lord is in this work - of this I have no doubt.

Transfer news came, and I wasn't really surprised. Elder Ncube will be leaving for Kloof, while I get paired of with Elder Human from PE. It will be exciting working with him. I look forward to seeing what the Lord can do with us.

Stay strong. Trust Him. And know that He is there.

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