Haha so much for corny blog openings :P to clarify though, there are a lot more blessings that we have received as opposed to trials here; I just had to make my opening line sound “scripturey”. Man time is just flying though! We’re already in week 5 of this transfer and I can’t believe it! I feel like I barely know my companion and this area yet we’ve been together for 4 weeks now. I guess that goes to show you that time really does fly when you’re having fun!! And mission is meant to be fun! To quote a good friend’s advice before I came out here: “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong” and I 100% support that statement! Mission is a fun experience and if you’re serious and stern all the time, you may not enjoy these best two years as much as you could! Now, that being said, I feel that the Lord has provided me with the opportunity to learn from a companion that you really CAN have fun while being obedient. They are not two separate things and they can both be achieved together. As we can figure that out on our missions, we will be hooked up and it will set a pattern for our lives back home when we don’t have a white handbook but when we still have all the commandments and advices from our leaders. As far as lessons learned so far on mission, I’d rank that as the biggest one I’ve learned in these past 4 weeks here with Elder Stilgoe in Daveyton.
So some good news/bad news about the whole blog thing is that: Good- Elder Graham, the new missionary being trained by Kewuti, brought on his mission an Alphasmart keyboard. It’s what we used to use back in the good ol’ elementary days for keyboarding class and it has the little 4-line screen to see what you’re typing and its approved by the church for missionaries to use! (At least that’s what he says; that other Missionaries in the states use them…) but its super nice that he lets me use it for the little free time that we have because I get to type my blog as the week happens and then just take 5 min to upload it on email day! Soooo convenient and nice for #missionlyfe. The bad news is that sometimes (like last Monday) technology fails so hopefully this time, it’ll work!
YO YO YO so this p-day (may 19th) I got to jam with one of the coolest, talented, and most humble guitarists in the SAJM, Elder Edeyoach (Eddy-ow) from Polaou (Palau?). Yo he is amazing and we had a blast playing some classic music and I finally found someone who taught me “snow (hey oh)” by the Chili Peppers!! Washa! Needless to say, I had a great time on p-day.
But in other news!.. My new favorite holiday has got to be Mothers Day!!! I’m definitely not a mother but I got to Skype home and talk to mine on the 11th and man that was the best!! Technology truly is a blessing and how cool is it to be able to talk, laugh, see faces, and even say a family prayer from 9555miles away!?!? And a bonus is that instead of bringing any feelings of homesickness or trunkiness, it dispelled such feelings and just brought a smile to my face the rest of the week. Another lesson learned on mission: I LOVE MY FAMILY TOO MUCH!!
This week we’ve have also been able to have zone meeting! That was fun to go to and meet more missionaries and create more friendships. It was weird being the new guy again in the zone but it means that I’m progressing! And we have a zone activity on Monday so it’ll be fun to develop those friendships a little further.
As far as the work goes, Daveyton is pretty sweet! We’ve been doing a little finding and have found a couple new investigators to teach and so we are planning to put some more people on date to be baptized! But since I’ve been here, I’ve noticed something that’s really crucial as a part of missionary work and the thoughts of Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley tell it better than I could when he says: “There is absolutely no point in doing missionary work unless we hold on to the fruits of that effort.” I’ve heard it before on mission but haven’t really SEEN it until here in Daveyton where a lot of the lessons we teach, about 50% are to try and reactivate less-active members. It’s been sad to see these people who were just baptized without any support system, without a calling, and some without much of a testimony anymore and who attend others churches while still saying they believe in our church. On one hand, it begs the thought of what were previous missionaries thinking when they thought this person was converted and what do I need to do to make sure the people I teach truly have experienced conversion BEFORE baptism and on the other hand, what can we do as missionaries to help them find/dust off their testimonies. It brings a new dynamic to the work that I haven’t been able to see yet but it’s a cool thing to be a part of. In the past 3 weeks we’ve had one sister and a brother come back to church and start reading their scriptures! The Word is True!!!
Stilgoe and I are having a blast being companions and we are able to work hard and have fun. One of the things I’m glad to learn from his example is that we can still do missionary work and have fun! I think sometimes I forget to smile and laugh as much and lets be real, that’s just boring! So I’m glad I’ve had someone to remind me to just have fun because again, in the wise words of Don “Beef” Sorenson: “if you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.”
And so I conclude my post with that advice kids, if you’re not having fun in living the gospel, you’re doing it wrong!
p.s. Cardon Smith, are you really coming to serve in Johannesburg!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?