I felt a disturbance in the force... it’s as though millions of voices screamed out for joy at how cool the Dunns are! Haha yo I miss Star Wars tooo much!! But it’s all good I’ll focus on that in due time :) This week has been pretty great and filled with so much room for activities! We met the Dunns, had a BBQ and a braii, had a great answer to prayers, and many cool moments!
The first thing that we got to do this week was on Tuesday we got to go to the mission home and meet our new mission president and wife! I have heard a lot of great things about them from family (especially the Ryttings) and we all got to see it this week as we met them. We spent a couple hours as we got to know them and as we introduced our companions to them! It was a cool unique way to do introductions as we got to introduce our companions. I speak for myself and hopefully most of the mission as I say that I'm excited to see where they take this mission! I loved the respect they gave to the Omers and the vision that they have as they know they have been called here to progress the work even further! Haha the biggest thing that makes me laugh about “meet the Dunns” is that when we got there, Sis. Dunn just says with a huge smile “SPENCER!!” Haha and I laughed as I shook her hand and said how I haven’t heard that name in 7 months :P What a funny experience.
Also this week... HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!!! To celebrate, we had a BBQ! Haha none of this “Braii” stuff cause on the fourth, it's American! Haha we all went to Benoni chapel (our district and Benoni dist.) and had a BBQ! We tossed a football and then, out of the normal 4th activities, we killed a chicken to cook! Haha welcome to Africa! We had some members tell us how to do it (okay, really it was the Benoni elders that did it but we were there and participated) and then we did it! We killed it, and cleaned it and, unfortunately had to go back to the flat before we could cook it but I’m sure the other guys enjoyed it after it was cooked! Haha that’s how ya celebrate the 4th in Africa! I missed fireworks tho.... #trunkytime haha eish but then on Saturday we got invited to another braii! (Yeah, this time it was a braii cause it wasn’t an American holiday) some members were celebrating their daughters 1 y/o birthday and they invited us! The nice part besides the food was the fact that we were able to meet with some less active members that we never had before met as well as get two discussions with some potential investigators! So we had a good time and got missionary work done as well so we were blessed!
In addition to all this fun stuff that happened, we had a cool experience and answer to prayers! So full story: on Thursday night, we all 4 went to the Tsotetsie family for dinner. When we got there, there was a program on TV called “the bible vs. Joseph Smith” and at that specific time it was comparing the prophesy of Micah to the prophesy of Alma in Alma 7:10. They were saying that clearly Alma wasn’t inspired because he said that Christ would be born in Jerusalem instead of Bethlehem. They got all these archeologists and yada yada saying that they were right and blah blah... anyway, we asked them to turn it off because 1-it was distracting and we’re missionaries and 2-it wasn’t bringing anyone closer to Christ. So what they were saying on TV made sense to our ears but I knew inside that the Book of Mormon was true and that whatever they were saying was wrong; I just felt bad because I couldn’t respond adequately enough to this anti-Mormon stuff. Well anyway it came to Friday morning and in study, I was in King Benjamin but kept getting the feeling that I needed to search more into this Alma 7:10 thing. So I flipped in my [Book of Mormon Institute Study] manual to Alma 7:10 and surely enough there was an entry about it that explained it perfectly! The prophet Alma said the words “AT Jerusalem which is the LAND...” not “IN....the CITY”. The latter is what this program was implying with all their “wisdom” yet they couldn’t read the words right but when you look at it, of course if Alma had said “in the city of Jerusalem” he would have been wrong but he didn’t, he said “at the land” which is true! And in 1 &2 Kings and Luke 2:11 we also find that “the city of David” is referred to as both Bethlehem and Jerusalem in the bible. It just goes to show that in 2 Nephi 3:12, the Bible and the Book of Mormon really do come together to confound false doctrine!! The next cool thing is that when I shared this with Stilgoe, he said “ah it makes so much sense now!” and I found out later that day that when he started his study with a prayer, he asked for help to understand the false doctrine encounter of the previous night. I am glad I was able to follow a prompting of the spirit to help to answer my companion’s prayer and both our question! It just teaches us that we WILL get answers and we can help people get answers if all things are done by the spirit!
So another cool event of the week happened at church. There was a man and his wife and their two kids who came that we didn’t recognize so we invited them into our gospel principles class. They enjoyed it and asked questions and participated in the lesson so we were anxious to get their details after sacrament meeting. So since it was fast Sunday, it was testimony meeting. This man got up and said that he was baptized in 2001 but in 2005 went inactive. Since yesterday he hadn’t been to church in 9 years! But the sweetest part is what he said in his testimony. He said that he knew the church was true because as he looked at his kids and as he felt the welcome of the ward, he knew he was back in the right place! What a cool experience! So we got his details and are planning on seeing their family and hopefully start teaching his wife who is a nonmember :) the Lord works in many mysterious ways!
The last thing I want to share from this week actually happened Sunday night. There is a part of our area named Mayfield and it is far from the chapel and a poor area (all housing is free from the government) so people can’t really pay for the two taxis that it takes to get to the chapel. So the Lord has provided a way for his children to again become active in the church by authorizing a branch to be formed in Mayfield!!! It starts Aug. 1 and we already have a place to rent out for meetings! So we were visiting a sister who lost her husband in December and left here with no job and six small kids. Things have been rough for her (as you can very well imagine) but when she heard that the church was coming closer to her so she didn’t have to pay for taxis, she was happier than words can describe! We had been sharing a lesson with her from John 8 about how Christ is the Light and even warmth of our lives and compared it to the stove that her neighbour just gave her to heat her house. We discussed about different ways that we could make Christ more a “stove” to give us heat in our lives and church attendance was brought up. So as we talked about the new Mayfield branch, she said with tears in her eyes: “the stove in Mayfield is coming!” My friends and family back home, the stove in Mayfield, and wherever we live, is coming! Let us all make it a part of our lives and let its warmth warm us :)
Tha’s ‘bout it! Until next time :)
Elder David Spencer “Tony” Smith
PS Elder Latouche, congratulations my friend and brother :) I’m stoked for you Dude!!!!!!