Monday, September 29, 2014

week 42

Hmm well it sounds like all is well and that makes me a happy camper. Life is still going well if you can believe that, we had a few pretty darn awesome experiences this week.

Lets start off with a funny one. We came in contact with a man named Wonder about 2 weeks ago. Had a quick lesson then promised to return. He missed the follow up appointment so I called him and this was the conversation that occurred.
-ring ring-
Me: Hello is this Wonder?
Him: Naw man, Wonder is dead.
Me: Really? Then who is this?
Him: Ah this is his cousin
Me: So if your cousin is dead, why was the first thing you did afterwards is take his phone?
Him: uhh... I'm not sure
Me: Man this is this missionaries
Him: Ohhhhh hey guys! Its Wonder!

I know without being able to hear the tone of his voice it loses some effect, but wow it was so funny that I started choking from laughing. You see this is what happens. Everyone knows I am American as soon as I speak, and believe it or not it is not very common for people here to get calls from Americans. For some reason, the first thing they think is that I work for the CIA. It's hilarious. I've been asked many a time if I'm an agent. To which I respond "do I look like an agent?" to which they say "I don't know what an agent looks like." To which I say "if you don't know what an agent looks like why do you assume I am one?" Crazy Africans. I love them, but they are far from logical beings.

Thabiso's baptism yesterday was awesome! We had a local member baptize him, that was a good choice. Your story of Paul being asked to baptize someone was what actually got me to do that. It went smoothly. After the baptism our investigators that were present asked when they could be baptized. Awesome.

We had exchanges on Friday. Elder Malapula came here (he is from Democratic Republic of Congo) and we had an amazing day! Together we teach with the power and authority spoken of throughout the scriptures. We met a guy named Robin and had a short lesson on the door step, then we went back the next day. After about 3 minutes Robin was already explaining to us the missionary work he was going to do and was put on date for baptism in November. Talk about a prepared individual.

I got 27 emails today, so I'm pretty darn exhausted haha. Lots of typing in reply. I heard from all my favorite people... Paul, Bianca, Steph, and so on. Now that I think about it... Joe did not write me. I retract my statement. I did not hear from all my favorite people.

I'm not sure what else to say. Life is still good. I'm feeling extremely tired. Unfortunately all of my wisdom was spent in all my other emails haha.

Love Elder McClellan

Monday, September 22, 2014

week 41: a blessed week

This week seemed really standard until I started to think about it. Then a whole bunch of spectacular things popped into mind and wow was this a blessed week! 

On Wednesday two terrible things happened. My watch broke and I found out I needed glasses. This was the problem: I had 6 us dollars left for the entire month. Luckily the Lord provided for me through the Scotts (a senior couple.) When they found out my watch broke they called and said they had one for a gungy guy like me (a guy who likes guns apparently) and then they paid for my glasses until I can pay them back! It was amazing how kind and generous they were. Before I could not finish the 3 hours of study without my eyes dying and now I read like a champ. I'm short sighted and have a stigma in my eye or something. I don't know. All I heard was blah blah blah doctor thing doctor thing you need glasses. 

That evening we took Elder Scott teaching with us to one of the most amazing lessons I've ever had. (On a side note I totaled it and I've taught over 900 lessons in less that 10 months! Woo.) We visited Violet, a young mother from Limpopo. A week had passed since we had last seen her and wow a lot had changed. She decided to actually read and pray and wowsers guess what happened!?!?!?!?! She actually got an answer! Who would have thought? Oh wait... Moroni definitely thought that. Funny how listening to the words of a prophet actually gets you somewhere. I should try that sometime....any-who... She bore the most powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon I have ever heard (besides that of Elder Holland) and then proceeded to talk about all the blessings that would soon be coming into her life. I could not hold back tears as she spoke, mission is hard, but teaching the gospel is the most rewarding think I have ever done! 

Saturday all of our appointments dropped so we packed up the car and headed 2 hours north to Lydenburg. The journey there was like eating a cup cake. The drive back was perilous as I drove through windy mountain roads in such dense fog that it seemed to fill the car itself. We passed a sight that said "misty mountain" and me and ah Wong instantly broke into song "far over the misty mountain calls...." And then I swerved because a truck had come into our lane. Oh well. This is Africa. I actually just realized those events are out of order. That's okay though. 

The next day after church we drove to Sabie to visit the Weitsz family. I love them so much, they are kinda quirky and their house is a bit chaotic, but the Spirit in their home is wonderful. They are such faithful Latter-day Saints. The best part is when we were about to eat and looked over to see the cats feasting on dinner. I figured that If I had survived township food I could survive a "bit o'cat" flavoring. Awesome trip.

We came home and taught Thabiso a lesson. He will be baptized this Sunday! Woo, which also happens to be my 10 month mark. Mission is almost half way done, it makes me sad. 

This week I also typed up a branch mission plan. I looked up examples and wouldn't you know it, some people over did it again and they had novels from branch mission plans. That's stupid. I proceeded to type up a 1 page, 2 phase plan that related the baptismal covenant found in Mosiah 18 to their responsibility to share the gospel. Powerful. I guess it helps that I wasn't going to be going to some council meeting and shouting across the table "my plan is bigger then your plan"....

Any-who now that I got my  rant out of the way I do have to say, life is amazing. I love it. I feel like a big pimp in a little palace if that makes sense. And I mean the good kind of pimp, not the bad kind of pimp. 

The church and gospel is true. It really is, next week I will share a cunning reason why. 

Actually, testimony is more important then a time restriction. Settle into your seat for "Elder McClellan's lesson of logic #1". (I'm partially stealing it, but I'm expounding on it also). 

K let's look at Nephi breaking his bow. It is logical he will make another right, of course it is. Alright, bow is broke. Let's make another. But is it time to go hunting yet? I don't think so. You see, most people would not notice or realize this, but different bows need different arrows (length and weight of arrow matters a lot.) So Nephi, he makes himself some new arrows as well. Logical. However, is it logical that a poor woodsman and uneducated fellow such as Joseph Smith would include such a small and insignificant fact such as new arrows if his heart was set upon leading people into the fiery but figurative depths of hell? I think not. It may seem like a small thing to hang your faith on, but when you consider the hundreds of seemingly small and insignificant facts that are present throughout the Book of Mormon, it is not logical that they were all put into the book to deceive. In fact, they were put into the book by inspired men to offer little verifications of fact.  If anyone disagrees with this, please go hit your head against the wall until you drool uncontrollably because that may be the only thing that saves your hard heart in the kingdom of God. Probably not, but yeah. 

I love you all a lot. Stay good.
Elder Kelly McClellan 

Monday, September 15, 2014

week 40: Life is awesome

Life is awesome and wow was our trip to the temple amazing! We got to the temple at 4 for the 5 o'clock session. Unfortunately, they did not have people for that session so it appeared as though our trip was in vain. The Mission President heard of our driving 5 hours to come and he set up a special session of Sealings for us to do so that we would at least be able to do something in the temple. It was the first time I had done those and wow was it a spiritual experience, I really wish I could write about it. Darn sacred things! Anyways we were able to seal 40 sons to their parents and 10 couples in an hour, and then we managed to get into the 6 o'clock session! Woo! It was quite interesting though... It was an area office trip... so... the Area President was there as well as 3 other General Authorities and half a dozen other church leaders. (If i counted correctly.) It was a pretty cool thing. It doesn't really matter of their calling, as Sister Scott says "they put their pants on the same way as us," but it was cool to be able to see faithful leaders of the church in such a humble setting. 

While driving to the temple we had quite a weird experience. I was traveling at 120 kmph on the N4 and then all of a sudden I looked forward and a mini tornado thing appeared in the middle of the road! There was no way to avoid it, so we drove into it and it dragged me across the road into another lane and sped the car up to 135 haha. It was one of the craziest things I've ever seen! 

Life is awesome. We had Zone Conference on Friday and wow that was powerful as well. We talked about everything from the Godhead to the power of conversion in the Book of Mormon. It was an awesome uplifting experience. The Dunns are very intelligent people, the way they ran the meeting and how the doctrine was taught was quite amazing. I love them. Equally as amazing as the Omers.

Life is awesome, but unfortunately we did not get to go to the caves. It costs 30usd and unfortunately that's all I have to my name... so it is either eat or go to the caves at this point. Sometimes I hate being poor haha. We did however get to see some amazing things in our travels. 

Life is awesome, last night I spoke to Brother Thabang Mothata on the phone. Wow he is doing amazing! I baptized him 6 months ago next week and he is already an Elder, he is now the Ward Mission Leader, and he is making his first trip to the temple this November! He is an amazing person and such a wonderful example of what a faithful convert can accomplish. His conversion is amazing and from what I hear he puts his heart into everything he does. I've said it before and I'll say it again - he alone is worth the sacrifice of two  years and I thank God daily for the privilege it was to be able to share the gospel with him.

I'm glad to hear the English classes are doing a bit better each time you email me. What is your favorite thing about the calling?

I love this gospel, I love this church, and most importantly I love Christ. 

I'm not really sure what else to share. Unfortunately time is pretty limited.

Also, there is a mail strike on. So if you have not sent the package yet hold off for a few weeks. If you have sent it pray it makes it ;)

Love, Elder Kelly McClellan

Monday, September 8, 2014

week 39: recipe for a "perfect man"

The confirmation of Nelly went quite well. She is an amazing person, her mom was unable to come so she walked 10ks to church by herself and was there early to make sure she would make the confirmation! 14 years old, only baptized one week, and is already willing to sacrifice more then most members in the States haha, powerful. I've confirmed quite a few people now and it's amazing to me to see how the Spirit directs it differently in each case. The blessings have varied so much, and at times I've said things I've never even thought about, the Spirit is pretty darn amazing. PrettY darn. 

It's just now starting to become summer, I miss fall. Here there are only two seasons. Hot and less hot. It doesn't really get all that much hotter than it does back home, but it's a different type of hot. The sun here feels different on your skin. It doesn't even really give me a tan. I hate it. If it's gunna be hot I at least gotta tan up a bit. 

After we travel to the nether regions of our zone to give a blessing later today, we are going to go out and view a few different waterfalls in the Sabine area. I've already seen them, but it's not too often back in the States you get to go to a jungle oasis, so I figure we might as well do it again. 

We got special permission from President Dunn to go to the temple on Thursday! I'm so excited, I haven't been in 10 months, so I'm looking forward to being able to attend a session and learn a bit more and then be reminded of things and stuff. Then Friday we are going to Pretoria to attend zone conference. Lots of driving over the next week. In fact 2 entire days will be travel because we are so far out haha. Oh well, I guess it's time for some edification. 

Next week we are hoping to go on a crystal tour. Basically you hike 2km into a cave to see some of the most spectacular crystal formations the world has to offer. Very excited for that. 

I've gotten to Job so far in the Bible. Job is the man, even when things are at their worst he is really flipping faithful. I wish I was more like Job; one thing I've noticed is that how it always mentions his integrity and in round about ways how he lives up to the covenants he has made. I suppose that is the recipe for a "perfect man". 

I love life, I love my mission, I love Africa. 

The Jehovah's Witness family is doing very well, we had a powerful lesson with them yesterday in which we helped them realize who Jehovah is. Basically we taught them the Godhead. They are coming around. 

I now have to talk to President Dunn , so I'll talk to you next week.
Love, elder McClellan 

Monday, September 1, 2014

week 38: baptism!

Dun dun dun dun! We had a baptism and it went absolutely amazing! Sister Nelisiwe Mdluli (Nelly) was baptized by Elder ah Wong as I had hoped and this Sunday shall be confirmed by the one and only me. Pretty excited for that, I don't really like getting wet, it just makes me miss swimming, but confirmations are outstanding to perform. The Spirit that is present is just amazing when they take place. 

It appears I have been made the conductor. The last two weeks I have conducted the baptisms in our branch and President said I would continue to until someone else was found haha. Last week was pretty terrifying. President Dunn was there and so was an audience of 100 people. That, combined with the fact that I had never conducted, left me with a tiny feeling of inadequacy. Apparently I did well because president Dunn complimented me on it and I have now been assigned to do it each time. 

This past week was pretty darn good. 6 weeks have passed since I got elder ah Wong as a companion and we have managed to average 16 lessons a week compared to the previous 9 or so (if I remember right) and have had a steady increase of investigators at church. Everyone from President Dunn to the zls (Zone Leaders) have commented on how well we are doing, so that's sweet. 

Not sure what else to report. Uhm. Really everything was pretty standard. 

Last night we did have the most amazing lesson with a new father led family we contacted about a week ago. He is Jehovah Witness and she attends another church, but man were they open! We managed to show them some Mormon messages and everything. They were pretty darn impressed it seemed. They have amazing potential and I'm so excited to be able to spend the next 6 weeks helping them to come unto Christ through the restored gospel. 

I'm sorry, but as for time it's kind of short. 

Love, elder McClellan