Guest Testimonies

Monday, December 23, 2013

"We felt the love that Heavenly Father has for ALL of his children"

Hello everybody!!
Aesh (eye-shh): a very common exclamation used just like "jeeze", "whoa" or "oh boy"
Yo (yo): another exclamation to show disbelief
YO! I can’t believe I’ve already been here a month already!! Haha if it keeps flying by like this I think I might miss my whole mission!! Haha 2 years is nothin:) So I have a whole week’s worth of stories to tell but I want to start by saying I love you all very much and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!! It's weird having summer for Christmas but I’ll get used to the short sleeve shirts:) haha Well I guess I’ll start with the funny experience I had right after I emailed last Monday. So Elder Matos and I went shopping right? We got our groceries and went to go into another shop when we locked the car (manually, no auto locks) and he says "wait! The keys are still in there!" Yup, the keys were in there. In the ignition too! Yup, the car was still running.. Haha Elder Matos' Venezuelan currency doesn’t work here either so he only has his allotment card and that isn’t very much haha So guess who got to pay the locksmith R950 rand to come unlock the car? Yours truly!! Haha it’s all good though, considering I’ve done it to myself and been considerably embarrassed. Needless to say, I could understand my companion’s feelings and we got thru it safely:) So a little more about South Africa: people here are even more diverse than in the US! People from DRC, Zim, Malawi, etc all come here! In fact, I wish I would have learned a little more French from my dad and it would have come in handy! We’re teaching this guy, Angelo, from DRC and we gave him a French Book of Mormon and his eyes lit up as he said, "I’m going to read this now!" the work is great here! People, including myself, are so humbled by their circumstances that the message of the gospel and hope for eternal happiness really gets to people’s hearts here in a way different than back in Utah. Maybe it’s because everyone knows about the Mormons.. Who knows!? All I know is it’s great to be here! A little hectic sometimes and weird food but its great!! All great except the sight of five or six 12-year-old boys drinking beer in the street, not being able to stand because they are drunk :( It is a different world here for sure!
So on Friday I had an exchange with Elder Nilsen, one of our ZL. He is an awesome kid! I definitely made a friend and he told me I was an amazing missionary because I follow the rules. Haha I laugh because the rules are the only sense of comfort I really have here; knowing they’ll keep me safe. "Well if that’s what it takes then I’ll keep on doing it!" I told him. He is really powerful and I wish I could be his companion next transfer but his airplane is only 50 days away. Haha so for those of you who don’t know that I can’t drive a stick shift, I can’t. Or at least, couldn’t, until Friday haha. Elder Nilsen can’t and so since I kind of know how it works, I had the advantage and luckily we're doing the Lord’s work because the angels pushed our car from our flat to our area!! Haha I went from not knowing how to drive a manual OR drive in SA (the opposite side of the road with crazy divers and taxis) to doing it all in one day! I’ll just say the adrenaline was flowing like crazy!!! Haha I don’t think I stopped praying the whole drive either!
Then Sunday we had a couple cool experiences! After sacrament, the Joburg 1 elders were sick and left so Elder Matos and I got to direct 2 saving ordinances!! A little 8 year old girl in the ward, Chani Gombo, was baptized and confirmed a member of the church by her father! It was very cool to be a part of and it is one of my "gold nuggets" that I will store away (that’s for you Bro. Cooper.) Then, that evening we had two appointments fall through so Elder Matos and I went to Rhoddes Park in Kensington and went to all these families and sang Christmas carols from my mini hymn book! They were either drunk or sober but it didn’t matter because once we started the hymns, their eyes lit up and some of them sang along to the ones they knew!! It was cool because we felt the love that Heavenly father has for ALL of his children and how happy he will be when they can realize the love he has for them and come back into the fold:) It was almost like your experience Bekah!
Anyways, I’m super excited for Christmas and Skyping my family! Even though I get crap from the elders since I’ve only been out a month haha! We also got invited to several family braiis so we won’t go hungry!! (braii (a br-eye) is a bbq)
It’s comforting to know that whatever my mood is at the beginning of the day, when I can serve all day and feel those spiritual highs I go to bed happy and confident and with a bigger testimony of this wonderful gospel:)
Tha's 'bout all!
Elder David Spencer Tony Smith

Elder Smith's kitchen

Elder Smith's desk on the right