Monday, December 15, 2014

week 53: a few stories

Alright, well basically to answer your question, this is how Africans in my area celebrate Christmas:
Step 1) Spend all your money on booze instead of food (in two weeks they will start begging for money for food) 
Step 2) Go to a rally point (such as a family members house)
Step 3) Drink as much as you can
Step 4) Be a terrible person. 
That is Christmas in Africa. That is why we don't go out into the area haha. 

I told you last week that I was going to send you a spiritual thought, and I totally was. But someone just stole my Preach My Gospel book out of my backpack, so that thought is lost. Sorry... maybe next week. This week was crazy haha. So first I want to start with a few stories. 

Friday I heard tale of a kidnapping. So of course I pursued this, and found out that earlier in the week a group of Totsies (gangsters) kidnapped two Elders (I don't know either well) and dun tossed them in the boot (trunk of the car.) Long story short, after racing around the streets the thugs rolled their car, with the Elders still in the boot. Basically, the Totsies got all messed up, and the Elders opened the trunk after the crash and walked away. Powerful or what? 

Tale 2: This happened a few months ago, but nevertheless, it is still amazing. Two of my buddies went into a teaching appointment, and when they came back they discovered their car had been fire bombed. Crazy, but even crazier still is the fact that every single Book of Mormon in the car was fine. The covers and pages were completely fine, while the rest of the car was just a metal husk. Powerful. 

Also, those are both true stories, not your typical "Mormon myth." I heard one from the Area President, and the other I saw with my own eyes. 

Tale 3:
Alright, so I'm in Africa right? Well, as is to be expected, it is a bit ghetto at times. In my area it is ghetto all the time, because it is just a mixture of townships and villages. So Saturday we were tracking down a contact when there was suddenly a puddle in the road. No big deal right? Well, what was 2 inches deep where we checked was about a foot deep 3 feet further. Never the less, the Toyo did us proud and made it through. However, the grass is not always greener on the other side; we rounded the bend just to discover a fetching swap covering the road. Choices: go back and get stuck (we would not be able to get the speed up to make it through), or go forward and maybe make it. So, we pressed forward. My comp checked it out and pointed out the solid parts of ground. We made it to about three feet from the solid road - again, bam! The ground underneath the front left tire that looked completely solid gave way and we were stuck. The mud nearly covered the tire. I was more than sad at this turn of events haha. After a quick prayer we set out to get it unstuck. In the process I ruined 1 pair of pants and my shoes still smell like that blasted infernal mud. Basically we rocked and pushed the car out of the swap. But I am not sure how. Like, wow it was stuck. Pretty sure we had some assistance of the Heavenly type. The Africans just watched. They were all waiting for us to leave the car and go for help so they could rob it. Ha, we showed them.

(The mud we got stuck in. Powerful.
You cant really tell how swampy it is from this picture.)

Let's see here, now that the tales of the week have been shared, let's move on the the climax. We had mission tour! Elder Cook of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy came and taught us. It had three parts to it:
1) This is what you're failing at
2) This is what you need to do
3) Then a security briefing (I feel like this was due to the kidnapping)
It was awesome! I even took notes, unfortunately they were in the Preach My Gospel that was just stolen... so ... yeah. Can't share those either.

Saturday night we got a text message at 8. We were giving talks the next day. Gosh dang it.  I chose to talk on Page 7 of Preach My Gospel - the foundation of faith. That's what I was going to share today... but yeah. They were powerful talks! All four of us missionaries spoke, and people actually paid attention. I was totally preaching fire and brimstone up there. Totally shambocked those with weak testimonies and then proceeded to tell everyone that they had no excuse for not reading the scriptures every day. It was powerful, I got about a million hugs and hand shakes afterwards. People dun loved it. The Spirit was strong. Then I had literally 15 seconds warning for teaching Gospel Principals. Oh well, I'm pretty sure a year ago I would have died in that situation. Improvement and progression? 

On the downside that one health problem that I had for that time has come back, so I've been sick a bit lately. Sick every morning. Sick when there isn't food to eat. Annoying, but oh well. Worse things have happened. 

But anywho, I'm going to go email President and ask him to get us a Backie. Have a good week.
Love, Elder McClellan

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