Wednesday, July 2, 2014

week 29

Well let's see here.  I'm not sure why, but starting is always the hardest part of these emails.

I guess let's start off with the highlight, we had a baptism! Shanella Chitsora was baptized yesterday by Elder Brackett and will be confirmed by me next week. It was another amazing experience, each baptism I've had thus far has been spectacular in its own way. This one was the circumstances under which it was performed. Our chapel is above a furniture store and funeral parlour. Its ghetto. Our font is basically a huge fibre glass tub. To fill it we have to hook a garden hose up to a normal tap in the kitchen of the "chapel", this means we have a garden hose with each end cut off running about the chapel while it's filling. It took about 5 hours to fill... Anyways, the baptism was flawless but due to a lack of bended knees it ended up a bit like a show at Sea World. Got me and the rest of the front row nice and wet! We are now however left with a problem. The font will not drain... so this upcoming Friday after district meeting we are going to use buckets to empty it, "how great is my calling" (Bruce R McConkie.)

The week went well but once the weekend hit all fell apart. We did not have a single lesson Saturday or Sunday. Not only did our Sunday lunch cancel, but so did Saturday and Sundays dinner. That's all right though, we managed to.... uhm... well actually we did not accomplish much of anything these days. Well, actually (yes it is again an actuality) Elder Brackett did manage to break the gate at the church when he flung it open as if he were a lumber jack. Due to my cleverness and the Leatherman in my pocket we were able to get it fixed in a jiffy. As the gate fell off of its track Brother Admire just looked at me and softly spoke "aye wena" ( I think that's what he said), I nearly fell over laughing.

On Wednesday we drove to Sabie again to have a lesson with the family out there. On the way there we drove through a forest fire, all the long while I was following a logging truck. As soon as the smoke cleared I was pulled over by a very grumpy traffic control officer. She claimed I was going 116 in a 100. There was literally no way, I was behind a logging truck in thick smoke. Anyways, I was polite and pulled the "I'm a pastor from America going to teach a family about Jesus" card. She went and consulted with her fellow officers and then bid me farewell failing to give me the 500 Rand ticket she had previously mentioned. However, before I left she did not fail to ask for the bribe she was originally seeking. It was freezing but she said "ïsh you know... its hot out here. On your way back why don't you bring us a few cokes?" I drove away after assuring her I would. We did not pass that point till 10ish that night sooo.... No coke for the crooked cops. Once we got to the home of the members we had a nice chat, ate dinner, shared a lesson that turned into a he said/ she said debate, and looked through some night vision goggles. Pretty sweet way to spend the evening if you ask me! The family we visited have the surname of Weitsz and I love them. They are some pretty awesome people.

The days here in Nelspruit are long and hard. Town is not nearly as productive as township, but we kinda take what we can get. This past week we did go on exchanges with the APs (assistants to the president) and as Elder Davis and I trackted we found 3 father-leds and set 6 return appointments. That's pretty dang impressive! That was sweet day. On Friday the ZLs (zone leaders) came up and went on splits with us and KaNyamazane. Elder Searil from Idaho joined us and we had a blast. We spent most of the time talking about irrigation, but before he left he did manage to lasso me. Literally, he took a lasso out of the boot (trunk)of his car and lassoed me. Pretty sweet day.

That's kind of the big updates for the week... today however is going to be amazing. A few months I spoke of a place called Gods Window. Well, we are going to visit today! From what I've seen it is the most beautiful place on earth, but I'm not sure yet. I'll send lots of pictures next week to show you. After we go to Gods Window and a few other places the Weitsz family is going to have a Braii (like a bar-b-q) for us and the KaNamazane Elders.

Yesterday I hit my 7 month mark. That's pretty crazy, mission is flying by and I'm not sure how I feel about it. The more time I spend here in RSA the less I want to leave. If it weren't for the terrible economy, the terrible race issues, lack of chastity, and over use of alcohol I would even consider raising a family here. It was funny the other night a member compared their president to Hitler. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but as beautiful as it is and as much as I love these people this country's problems run deep.

The sad news for the day is that this is president Omer's last day as president of the Johannesburg mission and President Dunn will be taking over. I have mixed feelings about it haha. Sad and happy. In his last letter to me he wrote:

"The assistants returned from their exchange with you very impressed by you as a missionary. I second their impressions. Thank you for your faithfulness. You will learn many things from this experience and others you will have. Learn the lessons well for you will draw upon them as life goes forward. Thanks for all you are doing. Please know of the love that Sister Omer and I have for you! President Omer"

I'm definitely going to miss that guy but hopefully I'll be able to attend our mission reunions in the next few years. 

Life is well and after a spiritually amazing week I'm more sure now then ever that this church is true.

I wish time was moving slower.

Love, Elder Kelly McClellan

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