Guest Testimonies

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"It’s motivating to live the right way and work super-super hard so I can set a good example."

This week’s letter consists of answers to many of my questions.  As he says, he frequently runs out of email time so he didn’t write a blog post, but this letter was informative so I wanted to share it. -Mom
Elder Ah Wong baptized Ezrom's daughter, Violet.
                Alright I have to apologize I ran out of time really quickly today in email. I always go in with the best intentions and game plan for how I’m gonna do it and then, like today, I’ll get an email that is unexpected  and my whole thing will be thrown off haha. Oh well I guess it’s all part of it :P and for that, I’m glad I have typie :) so here I go- I think I’ll answer all your questions first then go from there!!
1-How is district leading and working with Elder Ah Wong?” Well, I love both and being DL has its challenges! It’s amazing to see how experience that can only be gained thru companions and time help you to learn how to live and work with all sorts of companions! That being said, the Lord blessed me with Elder Ah Wong because we are very similar and he is just so easy going that he is able to put up with me haha. I love working with him. I don’t think I’ve ever realized how hard of a person I am to live with. I don’t know if its mission but I think I’ve become a bit OCD and stressful. Part of me knows that’s bad and I should be more patient but the other part of me understands because this is the work of salvation and so I can’t just be skippdy-doodle or else my accounting before the Lord won’t be that fun ya know! Another thing I’ve learned so far is that it doesn’t help to complain about any problems because it is what it is so I try to only focus on the good things and the future! District leading, like I said last week has been very eye opening! It’s motivating to live the right way and work super-super hard so I can set a good example. Idk mom, tell me what you think, whenever I make a small mistake I apologize and say I’ll do better and all I get is a weird look like “come on Elder Smith, you were 2 minutes late.” Now it’s not the two minutes I’m worried about but it’s the example that I’m setting. Maybe I’m too worried about being perfect? :)
2-Nelspruit details: so Nelspruit itself  is a town that has its white parts, black parts, colored parts, and then mixed parts make up the majority but it’s all got one thing in common: $$$ or should I say RRR (*R for Rand= South African currency) Haha they are all cheesy! (*Cheesy /Cheese/Cheese-boy = Expensive/Luxurious/Posh)   All nice cars and nice houses and big gates and big mean dogs Haha it’s a far cry from township where you have humble people and humble circumstances. Now all of that is Nelspruit town. Our area goes all the way to Komatipoort by Mozambique, up to Bushbackridge in the north and down on the borders of Swaziland. So it’s about a 3-4 hour drive from one of the ends to the other. It’s BIG! That being said, then you have Kanyamazane which is the other elders’ area and branch in the middle of ours and that’s a township. So for us, we cover the whole range from village to cheese-boy town. Haha but we mainly work in town because that’s where the chapel is and where people can get to church. Once a week we usually pick some far area like Sabie, Lydenburg, Hazyview or Barberton and go there to strengthen the members and teach the few investigators who are out there that come to church. We don’t do finding there cause it’s pointless to teach someone who can’t get to church for baptism. It’s all good tho because they’ll get their chance for the gospel. We’re striving to build up this kingdom so we really only try to teach those who are keeping commitments hardcore. Haha it’s funny to then look back and see how many joker-ish people we had in Daveyton. What that means tho is that we do a ton of finding! Tracting isn’t effective during the day cause everyone has a job and isn’t home so we are trying to do as much parking lot finding as we can. Haha it takes a lot of motivation to get ourselves excited to go talk to grumpy white people :P you can imagine that we jump at the chance to talk to a black guy in a car! It indicates someone who has transport to church, somewhat humble, kind and not rude like most white people. Now don’t get me for a racist cause there are some very nice white people! In fact, in my 11 months on mission I actually taught my first white guy on Friday!! Haha funny thing to think about right? Missionary work is different here that’s for sure but it’s an area that’s teaching me! No time to be lazy here! Haha another funny thing I noticed is that my planner is a lot less full -____- and I like teaching so that sucks a bit but it’s an adjustment. I think that helps build mine and Ah Wong’s relationship because we spend a lot more time facing adversity and finding ways to overcome and still have fun! :)
Found him!  Thanks Google Earth!
3- We live in a complex called Villa De Sutene in a suburb called Stonehenge. That’s where us, the Swans and the Scotts live! Have fun finding us!

We do most of our work in Stonehenge (teaching a lot of students who are down to learn and at a crucial point in their lives) so you can take a look at the streets :)  then a place called “Steiltes” and “West Acres” we spend less time because its more affluent and less kind :P
4-That lady who we thought was a golden investigator is Prudence Tshabalala and we were so excited for her except when we tried to check on her yesterday we knocked and nobody answered (now the funny thing is there were people inside and funny enough when they saw us in the window, they figured they’d play hide-n-seek and not answer for us) so that’s discouraging. What most likely happened is that her brother in law (who is a pastor) probably told her his opinion on us and the Book of Mormon so now we’re trying really hard to see them but they don’t answer our calls or our knocks :/
5- I too loved conference and I love conference  talks! Like the last two weeks I have uploaded 2 talks that have really helped me! I was glad to steal them from Elder Bizimana back in Daveyton because I listen to them as part of my morning routine. The Brethren really are an inspired bunch aren’t they?! It’s crazy somewhere I heard that they receive revelation and do things like 25 years in advance to help us prepare for the future! Now idk if that’s true but it’s pretty amazing! And thank goodness we have this gospel, eh? I have loved being able to read your testimony every week for almost a year as much as you say you have loved being able to share! It is a part of parenting I think I chose to skip out on back home and that choice I regret. But here we are now and I’m thankful you didn’t give up on me! :)
Love, Elder Spencer Smith
Never miss a chance to share the gospel!

This is how we do service projects in South Africa!

We use machetes to clear the forest.

The first cluster meeting in Daveyton.  They met their first time after I had already left for Nelspruit.
Clegg and the Daveyton kids!