Monday, August 4, 2014

week 34: the Lord's work

I guess I could say we had a pretty busy week. So I've been in Nelspruit for about 8 weeks now, and for the past 5 months it has been averaging about 10 lessons a week. We pulled out 17, 4 new investigators and had 2 at church. Boom. It was powerful! We had splits with the Zone Leaders Friday (my trainer just became my ZL, so that's funny.) Anyway, Elder Martin from Switzerland came with us and it was pretty darn awesome. 

Saturday we started off with every hour full, then everyone dropped. Fetch. So what did we do? Well, at first we moaned. Then we tracted. And tracted. And tracted. And tracted. We went out with a load of materials and came back empty. While tracting we even had 2 lessons! That was pretty sweet, very rare for that to happen. As it was getting dark we started walking home but I still had a Book of Mormon and L2 pamphlet in hand. For a moment I thought of just holding onto them for the next day but was immediately prompted to try one more house. This house was cheesey. Like I'm pretty sure it was made of gold. I had to push a button to talk to them. Fancy stuff... Anyway, I pressed the button and at first a young man answered and was uninterested. I pressed forward and inquired as to others that stay there and he then directed me to his father. After a brief conversation over the intercom he agreed to come outside. One he was there  we did a brief BRT kinda deal and then I'm not exactly sure what happen. I'd say I went for it, but I'm pretty sure it was not me that was going for it. I can't really remember anything that I said, but it was all about the Book of Mormon in relation to the Plan of Salvation. We got his details and walked away and will try to meet him this week. Yes yes I know, this sounds routine, however it was quite a special experience for me because I'm pretty sure that it has been the only time I have completely gotten out of the way and let the Spirit work. I'm not even sure how it happened to be honest, but as we walked away from that man I'm not sure I've ever been so happy. I cant even really express where the joy came from, but it was overwhelming and at that moment I again had it confirmed to me that this truly is the Lord's work. The day was long, the sun was hot, but at that moment all seemed worth it.

I was able to speak to one of my converts the other day and man is he doing awesome! Brother Thabang from my last area. He has two callings, got himself a temple recommend, finished the Book of Mormon for the first time. He is powerful! He is a great man, and truly is my best friend here. Later that night I was thinking about the concept of success and I've decided that I don't really care what the rest of my mission brings. Do I want success? Sure, but if I'm not able to bring the gospel to another soul I will be content. The work of the Lord is not really about quantity in my opinion, its about quality. Could I baptize more? Yes, but then they would just end up going less active. The sacrifice of two years and a bit of money will be well worth it for Brother Thabang's conversion alone.

We are attempting all that we can to build the unit at this point. We are trying to contact previous investigators, increasing the amount of less active member work we do, tracting like crazy, and almost literally shouting from the street corners the message of the restored gospel. Most of it is not really working haha, but oh well. The best we can do is our best and the Lord will do the rest. Oh hey, that rhymed. And now my thoughts are on Princess Bride.

I'm not exactly sure what else to say. Oh yeah, today was amazing! But I'll talk about that next week. Oh wait no I won't... I'll be emailing later in the week next week as well. Hmm. Basically today we drove to some of the most beautiful views and hikes on earth. I can't upload pictures, so google the Three Rondavels, Mpumalanga, South Africa*. It is pretty sweet. Next Monday I'm going to Krugar again!

* (editor's note - found online - "The Three Rondavels are spectacular peaks which look exactly like rondavels ­– round and fat, rising to a peaked top, but much, much higher than any traditional dwelling. In fact, when you stand on the viewpoint, 1 380m above sea level with the Blyde River Canyon below, you'll still be looking up at those three distinctive peaks which tower 700m above the surrounding countryside. South Africans know the rondavel as a traditional beehive-shaped hut built and used over centuries by indigenous people as their homes. These three geological formations were also once known as 'The Chief and his Three Wives'. The flat-topped peak was named Mapjaneng ('the chief') after a legendary Bapedi chief, Maripi Mashile, who defeated invading Swazis in a great battle near here. The three peaks are named after his three wives (from left to right) – Magabolie, Mogoladikwe and Maseroto. Apparently these mountains were formed when erosion wore away the soft underlying stone, leaving exposed slate and quartzite that shape these dramatic rock formations.")

(photo of the Three Rondavels found on Google)
I'm a pretty darn blessed missionary. I've gotten to do all of the Preparation Days everyone wants to, but no one gets to. I love it. Also, I have yet to serve in Johannesburg! Wooo! That's pretty rare haha, most missionary's never even leave Joburg.

Did you hear they pulled 300 missionaries out of west Africa? Hmm crazy.

Life is good.

 D/C 130:21 "And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."
Over the past few weeks I've really put this promise to the test. It does work, really. I like the fact God has to do what He Himself says. I've done a lot of thinking upon those of our Brothers and Sisters who have weak testimonies or are wishy-washy about the church. Why? Well, I'm pretty sure that its because they have yet to test this promise. There is a less active member we are working with who blames the church for his misfortunes... what? I called him out tuff. I basically told him that since he got baptized he has not lived the gospel in the slightest and then proceeded to ask in who's right mind would you deserve blessings? He is now going to try living the gospel... he says he can already see a difference... think? Pft.

In Malachi God suggests we test Him in regards to tithing, is this not applicable to all aspects of the gospel? Glen Beck has an amazing conversion story and as part of it he gives an account of doing that exact thing. He had just signed a multimillion dollar contract, and though not a member, he paid tithing. Why? To see if it is true. It is a pretty simple concept.

Alma 32:38-39 "But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.
Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your ground is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof."

I don't really know who reads this, and I don't really know if anyone cares about what I have to say; however, I have lived this gospel, I have tested it. I've tried to find fault and at times I've done the opposite of the right to see if said cursings were true (they are by the way). The point I'm attempting to make is that this gospel is true, there is no way around that. Your faith may be weak, you may have doubts, but that does not effect reality. The best way to gain a testimony I've found is by doing. There is not really any way around that.

Alright this is not working, unfortunately I'm exhausted from a long day of driving and mountaineering. Here is the moral of the message I'm failing to convey:  the gospel is true, if you don't know that for yourself, test it.

Not sure what else to write, I'm pretty sure I'm going to fall down the hill walking home. Then again I may just get mugged since its 10 o'clock... anywho...

Love ya lots, 
Elder McClellan

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