Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Life is good, this week was quiet. Unfortunately I had a bout of the flu and was unable to work every day, but with the time we did have I feel a difference was made.
Our area is not doing all that well, I came into a pretty dead area and we have yet to get it back to snuff. Then again, the two weeks I've been here have seen some progress. Starting today we are starting a massive "talk to everyone" campaign. Should be fun. You meet all sorts out in the township.
As I did in my first area I already seem to have a "heroism" of sorts. Not that it is wanted; it is a side effect of being a white guy out in the township I suppose. Any-who, it does make me feel appreciated and each day my self esteem gets a bit of a boost ;).However, being followed does get a bit old. I'm glad we have a car! It is fairly often we have to make a speedy get away.
Last Friday I went on exchanges to Germiston with Elder Allan who is from WA! It was sweet, accept for the rain... and the fact we were on bikes, but all things considered it was great! I gained a lot of respect for my former self tearing all over Leavenworth on my bike, It was really quite physically demanding.
Elder Rini is from the eastern cape of South Africa. He is Cosa and has been out on mission for 9 1/2 months. (Today is my 11 month mark by the way.) He was in Serria Leon when Ebola broke out and he got Emergency Transferred to the Johannesburg mission about 3 months ago.
We finally watched General Conference this week! It was pretty darn outstanding. I need to re-watch it though to be honest. The creche (kinda like a preschool) we meet in was extremely hot and it made it hard to focus. My favorite talk thus far was the "Which Way Do You Face" one by Lynn G Robbins. It was outstanding. (Click here to read the talk.)
Anyway, I think that covers it this week...
Love, Elder McClellan
Monday, October 20, 2014
My new area... hmm. First impressions are bleak. Sorry for the poor quality. I refuse to take my camera to the area so I use the phone.
I'm in Katlehong which is a township outside of Germiston. Here are two stories from my first week that tell you how it is.
1.) First day in the area we go to a recent convert's shop and have a lessons with him. While teaching I hear "pop pop pop" outside. I froze. I thought I knew what it was, but I was really wishing that wasn't what it was. Then I hear another burst. "pop pop pop pop pop" Crap. People start running. I Look out the door and people are scattering. Shots are flying. We pulled down the metal roll up door on the shop. Believe it or not 1/16th inch of steel is not very comforting when a few fools with AKs are running around. After a while it gets quiet. We finish the lesson and go out a different way than what we came. I wasn't all that keen on seeing the outcome of the event. The cops didn't even show up for over an hour.
2.) We are dropping a member off Sunday night and I notice a man in his 40s seems to be following a girl who is about 12. We stopped in front of the members house but the whole time I have my eyes concentrated on the exchange that is now occurring between the two. The first time I saw her fall the adrenaline started pumping and by the end I was about ready to beat the guy to death. Long story short. She got away and he woke up (probably) the next day with a hell of a lump on his head. I don't take kindly to the assault of women and the cops are less than worthless.
Church went all right. We got there and had to rearrange the meeting schedule because there were no sacrament cups. None of the speakers had prepared talks haha. Interesting. I'm back in township. Yay... As bleak as this may seem I am still amazingly excited to be here. I see so much potential and I can not wait to see what the next few months will bring. The people are prepared and are very much in need of the gospel.
All three areas I've gone into so far have been pretty dead. It seems that I'm meant to revive all of them haha.
My new comp is Elder Rini, my first African companion. I love him, but it is hard to live with someone who has a totally different culture. Very hard. On the bright side he is a very, very humble man. For that I love him.
I'm a bit distracted at the moment so I'm going to cut this email short. Also, don't worry about me haha. I can tell I have a work to do here and until that's up all will go smoothly. I have absolute faith in that.
Love, Elder Kelly McClellan
Monday, October 13, 2014
The sad news came Saturday that I'm being transferred. It just about killed me haha; for the rest of Saturday and Sunday we went about saying goodbye to people; that was sad as well. In my first area I was that awkward little missionary that didn't know up from down; now that I actually know what I'm doing, I had the opportunity to form some truly amazing relationships with people. A few people cried, everyone said how much they would miss me. It is times like this that I hate serving in Africa. Chances are I'll never see them again in this life, and that is not a fun thought to entertain. As I went about trying to do my last few bits of good in this part of the Vineyard I could not really help but be happy as I thought back over the past 4 1/2 months that I've spent here. From 7 lessons a week at the start to 65 in the last two weeks, we have had some amazing growth! I've baptized 3 people here and next transfer 5 more of the people I've been teaching will get baptized. When I first got to this area I thought it was a bit of a punishment based on the reputation it has throughout the mission; however, it is amazing what happens when you press forth in faith. Nelspruit is known as a "dead area" and the "refiners fire", but it turned out to be 4.5 months of absolutely outstanding missionary work. It feels a lot like leaving home for a third time.
We had the chance to work very closely with Elder and Sister Scott this week and wow was it fun! We spent about 10 hours in the car one day when we drove from Nelspruit to Sabie to Whiteriver to JoJoJo to Hazyview to Sabie to Nelspruit and it was amazing. We drove through some truly African village areas. It is a humbling thing to experience and it kind of makes you think of the "first world problems" so many people are experiencing back home haha.
In the past three weeks we visited the Weitsz family three times I think, and it's really been quite fun to go and see them. Brother Weitsz is in private security so one time we went out there he showed me all the toys from body armor and night vision to a newly developed pistol caliber. Quite fun. When we went out there yesterday we went romping through the woods for a "family" style outing. They are such a wonderful family and have really made my time here in Nelspruit amazing.
As for fun adventures, there really hasn't been a whole lot of that. We have been so busy that we have been unable to do all that we need to. Not to mention it has been hot as fetch. African summers.... I love it. I'm pretty sure I'm going to die when I come home. From summer in Africa to winter in Washington. Maybe i should pay a villager to make me a lion skin coat.... Probably not. Plus I'd most likely get arrested at the airport... but I suppose those really are just technicalities.
Not sure what else to say; hope all is well. Remember who you are!
Love, Elder McClellan