Elder Smith was released as Zone Leader after seven months and transferred to Pimville in Soweto for his last transfer. Here he is with his new, and last, companion, Elder Manuma.
Here in the SAJM, all the elders were issued the “purification challenge” for the Sept/Oct transfer. Put simply, we are purifying ourselves of 3-4 specific things that don’t allow the spirit to fully testify through us. Each companionship in the mission is assigned a day to fast, making a 42 day fast throughout the entire mission over the course of this transfer to help us purify ourselves.
The story where the challenge originates comes from a missionary in Uruguay who describes his experience:
“A member informed us that he had an investigator that was ready to be taught and he volunteered to attend the first discussion. The discussion went along as usual. At the conclusion, my companion and I bore witness of Joseph Smith and then turned to our friend. He paused for a moment, looked at the young lady and said, “I know that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God.” The room filled with an extraterrestrial force. The investigator started to cry.
As we walked home, I was baffled. The man said the exact same words that we had said but the result was dramatically different. When he spoke he had an influence that we did not have. There was no question that the influence was the Holy Ghost, but this man seemed to have it in a different way...”
This elder goes on to describe how he searched for how he could gain the same power and eventually spoke to a well-known church leader who told him how he must purify himself to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. He said:
Go home and fast for a day in the attitude of fasting and prayer. Make a list of every behaviour that ‘pokes’ at your spirit. Once you have made your list, then go to the Lord. Covenant with the Lord that you will fast from the things on your list for 42 days. In other words, for 42 days you will do nothing that appears on that list. You cannot just stop old behaviours and start new ones. You need the help of the Lord. Each morning go to the Lord and specifically promise Him that you will avoid each item on your list. Ask for His help so you can have extra strength. At night go over the list with the Lord, if you have failed on some items, figure out why. Tell the Lord. Ask for more strength the next day.”
So this is what we are doing! And its only been two days now but on Wednesday, Elder Manuma and I saw 2 investigators and the spirit was very strong in both lessons. It came to the point where they started crying as they felt the love of the Savior for them and the personal relevance of the plan of salvation. Nosipho, one of the sisters told us how she has felt for a while that this is the path that is right for her but that it just hasn’t been the right time until now. We explained that she could not only see her mom again but that she could live with her in the celestial kingdom forever! She was very attentive and then began to cry as we testified that her mom was being taught these same truths in the spirit world and was waiting for her. She then agreed to be baptized on the 11th of October! How sweet is that!? How great is the power of the spirit!! And how wonderful it is when we decide to humble ourselves to obedience and sanctification so we can carry the spirit more in our teaching! I love it! Pimville AND its missionaries will be totally different after 42 days!