Monday, November 24, 2014

week 50

Well let's see here. I'm in a pretty sour mood. So... let's see. I'm alive. The week sucked. I got no money so there is nothing fun to do today. Part of my allotment vanished. 

Hope thanksgiving goes good!

I'm trying to figure out calling home at Christmas, but it kinda seems unlikely. I got no money to pay for it, nowhere to do it at, and there are no senior couples here... So don't get your hopes up. 

Love, Elder 

(Editor's note - obviously, Elder McClellan has had a bad week! Hopefully he will explain in his next letter what happened to his monthly allotment; from his short description, I am not sure if he had cash stolen or if something happened on the banking end. It's hard to get such a low letter when we can't call and check on him. Just like the rest of us, missionaries will have bad days. Please pray for Elder McClellan's money to show up and for him to have a better week - thanks.)

Monday, November 17, 2014

week 49

For Christmas mail, use the Discovery address, DHL or UPS. Since it is a private courier I don't have to pay, and there is no risk of it getting stolen, so all is well.

Alright let's see here. Hmm, basically I got transferred because my last area was not for me. I went and accomplished what I needed then President Dunn, being the great and inspired man he is, sent me packing, and for that I'm pretty darn grateful. As for Hammanskraal, I completely love it, but it is not doing so hot. There have been definite improvements over the past two weeks though. We have about 10 solid investigators. Not terrible. The problem we face is that the chapel is forever away from our area. It costs about R40 ($4) to get there, which seems pretty minimal, but when you are talking about people who only have enough for the bare essentials at times it is pretty hard to get them to church, and by extension to progress and become converted. The branch is well staffed as far as leaders go, the Elders Quorum president (at least I think he is...) is absolutely outstanding! Best elders quorum lessons I've ever had  by far. The area has only had 1 baptism this year, but we just may get 6 next month.

However, I have had 15 baptisms in the past year, so I'm pretty darn happy with that. The mission standard is 24 before you leave, so hey, I'm doing good. South Africa really isn't all that easy to baptize in. The problem being that this is the new Sodom and Gomorrah haha. People love what they are doing, and most never act enough to find a reason to change. Oh well, I love this place. 

Man, Joe looks darn good in the Senior pictures you sent. 

Dropbox is being a tad bit difficult, so I'm not sure if these pictures will ever upload, but hopefully! (note from Shannon - file was empty, sigh. Hopefully we'll have better luck next week!)

Life is going good, oh and hey, I found a new internal evidence that testifies to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. When Nephi and his brothers head out to get the plates from Laban they say that they are going "up" to Jerusalem. It kind of just annoyed me to be honest. Just because you go north does not mean you're going up. So I investigated, and come to find out, Jerusalem is at a higher elevation then just about anything else in the middle east. Then again, I'm sure a young farmer from New York in the early 1800's would have known that. 

Also another thing I found was the over use of the word "and" in 1 Nephi 2:4. ("And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness.") I know the guys translating this were by no means rocket scientists, but it doesn't take much intelligence to know that the verse is written so poorly it hurts. I looked into it and discovered that when translating from ancient Semitic languages to a modern tongue the over use of the word "and" is impossible to avoid because of their ancient writing style. Then again, I'm sure you would learn that over the years while feeding chickens and milking cows. 

Well that's all I've got for you today.
Love, Elder McClellan

Monday, November 10, 2014

week 48: new companion, new area

Alright, crazy news. I'm in a new area! Woo, so happy about that haha, because this place is so fluffy I'm going to die. On Wednesday I talked with President and he informed me to start packing. By Thursday at 8 am we had already left, and at about 1 or 2 I was in my new area. It is called Hammanskraal (part of the Soshanguve branch, Pretoria stake.) My companion is now Elder Silvester from Clenton Utah. We get along like pees in a pod. We had such a powerful end to the week that the APs (Assistants to the President) called us to see what it was that's working so well. I'm really glad to not live with an African anymore. Great people to mingle with, not so great to board with. 

Also, Elder Brackett is in this district. He was with me up in Nelspruit. We just have boat loads of fun now that we don't serve together. For example, we all went to the ZLs (Zone Leaders) flat last night and upon arrival we found a bag of bouncy balls, PVC pipes rapped in foam, and a tazer. What did we do? We had a war. It was one of the funnest things I've ever done. I chased Elder Riley around the flat with the tazer a bit, attacked Elder Brackett with a chair, and then watched my companion nearly knock his teeth out with a bouncy ball. We fled once the neighbors began to get angry, haha. Great Times.
In a few weeks we are going to go play with monkeys.
That's pretty much the update for the week. Yeah.
I love y'ah all lots. Hope you have a great week!
Love, Elder Kelly McClellan

Monday, November 3, 2014

week 47

First off, the postal service here has pretty much collapsed. Don't send anything by USPS... if you really really want to send something you can send it by UPS or DHL. Send it to this address:

3 Phillips Ave, Discovery 1709, South Africa

Don't feel like you need to send anything. Also, as far as my companion is concerned, he has more money than me haha so he is fine. Not all Africans are as poor as people think, and his family seems very supportive.

Let's see, where to start. Hmm, as far as Ebola, it is not a concern. There has only been one person in South Africa to have it, so in all reality it is more dangerous in the States, and I doubt you have lost any sleep over it being there. 

I can not tell you how badly I want to watch Frozen. You broke my heart a bit with that and the news of red cups at Starbucks ;) and I'd be lying if I didn't say I miss our Walmart trips as well. However, I'm loving my mission, so I guess I can't complain too much!

This week was pretty quiet really. Now that I know how to get around, I've kinda started taking over and we are having more success definitely! We gained an amazing investigator on Sunday and in all reality it was the highlight of my week. Her name is Maggie and she is the cousin of a returned missionary. Though she is only 14 she is amazingly intelligent, and more importantly her heart is in the right place. She just may be the most earnest seeker of truth that I have encountered to date, but only time will tell.

I don't really enjoy church here to be honest. Testimony meeting turned into more of "preach what you want" kinda deal and I'm in the most stereotypical Elders Quorum you can imagine! It is all "do your home teaching", "why did you not bring your books?","home teaching", and then the lovely Elders Quorum president we have tends to get upset and yell at people. The lesson Sunday was on giving blessings. First off, anytime someone mentioned oil he would say "we are not talking about that today" then at the end of class he started talking about it. He was making it sound as if consecrated oil is not important in the slightest, so I quoted from a church manual the importance and symbolism behind it. To which he got a wild look on his face and went off on how we have no healing oil. how we do not worship the oil, and so on and so forth. I was so appalled by his ignorance that I had a hard time not leaving. He also taught that priests could participate in blessings, they just can't give them... oh boy, me correcting that false doctrine opened up another can of worms. Sometimes life is just hard.

Nothing all that fun happened this week to be honest. I'm good. Not sure what else to say, I've already used up my patience for typing today. Sorry. Had to send a few long emails to others.

Thank you for everything!

Love, Elder McClellan