Monday, July 7, 2014

week 30: God's Window, waterfalls and work

Alright, this week was sweet.... it may or may not have been because I only spent 3 days in the area haha.

The entire time I was in the North East Zone (Limpopo) I kept hearing about a place called God's Window, unfortunately it was just a bit too far to go to, but Monday that all changed! We had to go to Joburg Wednesday so we went for it. So we drove the hour and a half to God's Window and oh man... it is South Africa's Grand Canyon. It is amazing. It is basically a 1500 ft cliff looking out over the vast forests of Mpumalanga. Since I've been on mission I have kind of disregarded safety and fear so I decided to lay down on my belly and look strait down the cliff... It was all well and good until the wind dun near took me off. 

All in all it was an amazing day. After God's Window we trekked to 5 different water falls, all of which were astounding!

Later that night we went to Sabie to visit some members and had a Braii. It was a sweet day. 

One of the few days spent in area! We had a great day and pulled out a strong 5 lessons, quite hard to do in our area during school holidays! We had a huge shambock lesson with a less active brother named Elvis. His excuse for being less active and not doing what he should was because he was only in the church 3 years.... that ticked me off. We shambocked with love and he yet again promised to come to church. He did not. Hmmm reading this it sounds like we beat him verbally, please do not mistake how this was worded as a lack of ability and sensitivity in reaching out to  LAs. We reactivated 50% of our less active members in my last area. I do infact know how to do it. So yeah...

Well, on Monday our fearless leader President Omer was replaced by the new up and coming President Dunn. Wednesday our zone had a chance to meet with him. It consisted of first a 4 hour drive (during which we saw multiple heard of wild horses as we drove through the mountains!) Once we got to Gauteng we stopped by Santon. Now let me teach you a bit about Santon. It is the richest city south of the equator and as such it is infested by Americans and Brits. We stopped by Santon city mall and oh boy, it was like being a kid in a candy store. Literally at times actually... 

Let me step back and explain something to you right quick. I spent 6 1/2 months in what you call a township, basically a poor nasty area no white person in their right mind would want to go to. So, when you first get to the area everyone seems weird and the girls are uhm... to put it nicely... uhm... Not pretty? So imagine if you will going from a township to the richest city in the country which is inhabited with Americans and Brits. Now, imagine further, it is school holiday and every single woman in the city is at the mall. I know on a mission girls are a no go, but if they know you're American, the women flock. It is pretty funny. Anywho, now you understand why this trip to the mall was such an amazing occasion haha. Though it may have been slightly unfortunate... I may or may not have walked into a pole when I turned to look at an American girl who was speaking. Technically speaking I did nothing wrong so don't you judge me.

After we left the mall we went to meet President Dunn, he is flipping sweet. As one person put it he has the "greeny fire" and it appears as though he is going to begin cracking the whip fairly soon. Only time will tell.

I went to KaNeymazane on exchanges. The best part of the day was driving the Backie around. We did have 7 lessons, but I missed manual so much. It was nice. I did however almost roll down a bank. There is an area there called Penar and man it is sketchy. The roads are about 3 feet wide in places, made for a fun time!

We spent literally all day at the chapel draining the font. Hours and hours. It sucked. What we had to do was use a garden hose to drain it after creating a vacuum. Sometimes Africa is just too ghetto to be fun.

Anytime we have a lesson planned on Saturday or Sunday they drop, so we have turned these days into service days! First we went up to the McCarthy's and grabbed some machetes. Our task was to clear a perimeter around their property. After a few hours, lots of sweet, and a little blood we were finished! Next we went to the Mahule family (investigators), we mounted cabinets for them. After both of these service projects they both fed us. I nearly died from being stuffed.

Sacrament was powerful this week! The testimonies were sweet and I had the opportunity to confirm Shanella. 

This was hilarious, when the confirmation was about to start the branch president stopped us and called every Melchizedek priesthood holder in the branch to come up. There were about 10 of us. I guess he forgot the memo about large groups of brethren being encouraged to all help at once. Oh well. The day continued quite routine until we got to Elders Quorum. We basically practiced every ordinance. It was a special experience to see a book given a baby blessing and the branch president be ordained to the office of a deacon teacher then priest. Sometimes I just have to shake my head at the things that happen haha. Oh well, I'm not presiding. I did however take it upon myself to correct them when they said a teacher could ordain a deacon. lol... Africa...

That night we had a BBQ with 5 Americans, 1 South African, and a Malagasy. It was to celebrate all of our countries statehoods since all of our independence days were in the past few weeks. It was sweet.

Not much else to report, however as I read Psalms 18 this week it really hit me, so you should read that. It was good.

Elder McClellan

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