Monday, July 28, 2014

week 33: life is good

Life has been good but I'm having a life experience comparable to something mentioned in Eragon. There is a part of the story where someone is explaining to Eragon that in the olden days they used to teach young dragon riders to use magic by giving them impossible tasks to accomplish. One that was mentioned was filling a bucket with water when it had no bottom. Now this is how it relates to me - I've been given the task of filling a cup which is already full. I'm not sure why it has been given to me, but I'm assuming that not only is it in effort to help me see that I can use magic, but at the same time discover the true name of the ancient language. It is fetching frustrating. If you need someone to explain what I'm saying ask Joe. Also, the full cup is Elder Ah Wong in case you did not want to infer that due to a lack of wanting to offend.
(In the Toolson household, we aren't sure if Elder McClellan is saying that his companion is so smart and spiritual that he feels like he has nothing to teach him, or if his companion thinks that he is so smart and spiritual that Elder McClellan is having a hard time teaching him!) 

Life was pretty darn standard this week. We tracted. We contacted. We chased people down and threw things at them. When we were in the township we saw this one dude get beat up. On the way to Sabie there were hookers stripping on the side of the road just tryin to earn a buck. If they are ever clothed when we pass I have determined I'm going to give them Law of Chastity pamphlets.  Pretty standard week here in Africa. 

We did have some major successes. We got a new family, we gained 3 new investigators (that's 3 more then the last 6 weeks haha), and we had 2 investigators at church! Woo! Success! I also found out two people I taught in my last area are being baptized, so I'm pretty dang happy about that! 

My current area is hard. In fact it is known throughout the mission as being the hardest area, and that it is dead. I'm refusing to accept that. I was reading in Doctrine & Covenants today this scripture from section 112: "And again, I say unto you, that whosoever ye shall send in my name, by the voice of your brethren, the Twelve, duly recommended and authorized by you, shall have power to open the door of my kingdom unto any nation whithersoever ye shall send them-"

This reaffirmed for me the reality of the situation I'm in. Success in Nelspruit is very much possible because I have been given the power to open the door here. Now I'm just trying to figure out how to do it. Here is what I'm trying:
1) faithful, joyful obedience
2) hard work
3) working with less active members
4) strengthening the members
5) when in doubt, tract
6) working with the branch council

It would be mostly unrealistic for me to have a goal of 20 baptisms while I'm in this area. What I'm doing is attempting to lay the foundation of future success. At the end of my mission I want to be able to hear that Nelspruit is on fire. I've thought a lot about the question, what is success? Well, in my opinion it is continually putting one foot in front of the other in an effort to build up the kingdom. Yes it sucks to not have baptisms, in fact it sucks a lot. But I'm trying and I hope my efforts will one day be consecrated for the gain of the kingdom through an increase of membership. Everyone thinks, "hmm Africa? All you do is baptize." I used to think that, but it appears to not be so. Now the trick is to keep that in mind and not get disheartened on those days that every appointment drops or when no one comes to church. 

Life is good. The work is progressing. And better yet I believe that I'm growing.  

I've been reading a ton. At night we are getting back around 7 to the flat because tracting after dark here is mostly a very stupid idea. 

I hope all continues to go well. I have only 16 months left. Not a lot of time for the difference I hope to make. Some of my best friends went home last week and In a way I wish I never had to be in their shoes. Unfortunately everyone's time comes to an end; I'm trying to use mine the best I can.

Life is good, not much else to report.

Love, Elder McClellan

1 comment:

  1. I love this boy! I know that Casey can empathize with him and the work being hard. I also love hearing how much they have grown spiritually1