Guest Testimonies

Monday, July 14, 2014

"I learned a valuable lesson this week, and it turns out we all have a choice!"

♪♫ It’s a beautiful day in the mission field, a beautiful day for a p-day. Would you be mine, could you be mine? I have always wanted to be a missionary just like this, I’ve always wanted to be in the mission field like this so, let’s make the most of this preparation day, since we’re emailing, we mind as well say, will you reply, will you reply, won’t you read my email. Won’t you read? Won’t you please? Please will you read my email? ♪♫  Takin' it back to Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood this week!
                But aanyway kids it’s been a fast week this week! That’s a good thing and a bad thing but, as the wise mkhulu (1) Coach Evans would say, “It is what it is.”  Nah but it was a great week! Last p-day we had a fun zone activity, I learned a valuable lesson this week, and it turns out we all have a choice! Stay tuned =D
                So last Monday, we had our zone activity and it was actually something different than braai and sports! Haha we went to East Rand Mall and did a photo scavenger hunt with our whole zone! It was too funny! We had to get pictures with stuff like an “Afrikaaner”, “a nice looking girl with an ugly guy” and “a white waiter” haha and a bunch of other stuff that is unique to mzansi (2) J haha it was a blast and so we got 3 points for a picture of the item and 5 points if a missionary was in the picture! The best part was that our group (Daveyton 1 and 2 and Etwatwa) won!! So we got bragging rights and a Cadbury dairy milk bar :) so that was a fun way to switch up the p-day routine!
                Then, in addition to being the zone scavenger champs, I was able to learn a valuable lesson over the course of the week. So on Thursday in weekly planning I set the goal to, as the white handbook says: “avoid all forms of worldly entertainment” by not singing worldly music. The thing is I forgot to write it down in my planner so I forgot about it. Then on Friday at district meeting, Elder Allen and I started singing “Die Young” by Ke$ha (yeah great choice right? Haha who knows where that came from but it did) and my companion reminded me of my goal. Well, I kinda had some pride and came up with an excuse that I had changed my goal. So that was Friday but then Saturday came. So we were going to a lesson and a car pulled up behind us bumping “I’m different” by 2Chainz and so I started rapping along. It’s not a very good song and definitely a “worldly form of entertainment” but I justified singing it. During the rap I got the impression I should stop because of the goal I had set on Thursday. I justified though and said it was too hard of a goal for me and that I could work on it later in my mission. Well, that was a mistake. So we went into this lesson and simply, I couldn’t teach. My questions weren’t inspired and just plain bad questions and my thoughts were just empty words. I struggled thru that lesson but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why! In a later lesson where we were teaching about the Holy Ghost, my comp said something that really hit me. I can’t remember word for word but it was too the effect that he was able to have the spirit with him always as a missionary. Not because of his badge but because he had learned what he needed to do to keep the spirit with him. This hit me really hard and right then and there I knew why the previous lesson was so hard: I didn’t have the spirit. So I decided then and there to work for my goal and sing music that is in line with my calling. Again, as the wise mkhulu Coach Evans would say: “No Excuses!” And I realized that the spirit can help us keep our goals as well as give us the motivation! So how’s that for a pride-swallowing valuable life lesson!? And it isn’t even finished! At church, in gospel principles class, we learned about agency and I learned something that caps off my life lesson. When we make good choices, it strengthens our agency and makes it easier to make more good choices!! Hence the motivation I received to keep my goal and not allow myself to tell myself it was too hard. On top of that, consider this: if good choices strengthen our agency, then what do bad choices do to our agency? And who influences those bad choices? Things to consider :) but until next time, it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood! And thanks coach! Cheers :)
Tha’s ‘bout it!
-Elder David Spencer “Tony” Smith

(1) Mkhulu is Xhosa for a wise & revered grandfather or elder.
(2) Mzansi is the Xhosa word meaning the country of South Africa.