Monday, January 26, 2015

week 59

Well ,yeah. Sorry about last week haha. That was a pretty terrible letter.

This week was much better then the previous, so I have a bit to talk about. The FHE groups are going awesome! We again had the one in Kekana and we started the one in Temba. Powerful! A total of about 25 people between the two, that's over double the amount of people that come to church each week from our area! We are trying very much hard to not do anything besides get them started; we now have local members taking up the weekly organization of it. We have two more we are planning to establish; hopefully we can get that worked out over the next few weeks. 

Keamogetswe is doing really well, we have just a few last things to wrap up with her and then she will be interviewed this Friday to see if she is truly prepared for baptism.  I'm confident that she is and I very much look forward to it. She knows the gospel well, and her testimony is about 10x stronger than mine at the time I was baptized. 

Besides that we have a few new investigators, but since we do not know yet if we are closing the area or not, we are not trying too hard to find new ones. It appears we are about to drop about 5 people, which makes me sad, but they just are not doing anything. 

The funeral for Brother Nhlapo was quite wonderful. Funerals here last a week. 99% of the time the burial is on Saturday  and the nights leading up to it there is a memorial service at the dead persons house. We went Thursday and Friday then also Saturday. It was pretty awesome, lots of singing, lots of stories. Oh yeah, and about 1000 people show up because there is free food haha. Exciting. 

I found out I can do scholarships and FASFA when I get home in November, so my goal of going to college next January is still alive! I'm quite excited for that to be honest. Not sure how it is going to work out, but hopefully it does! 

But yeah, that was my week. 

Love y'ah all lots. 

Elder Kelly McClellan

Monday, January 19, 2015

week 58

Hmm, not sure what to say.

This is my favorite member in the area, Abigail...

The Family Home Evening groups were a huge success. 15 people attended the first one.

A long-time member died this past week, so this one will be full of funeral things.

Yeah. I'm really tired of emailing haha. I'm alive.

Love, Elder McClellan

Monday, January 12, 2015

week 57

Well, this week stats-wise was amazing, but the progression of the area is a bit stagnant. The church is just too far, and it appears that because of this our area will be closing in 5 weeks. I suppose the stake is tired of us missionaries doing everything and the members not trying. I think they are going to try and help them realize their personal responsibility by taking us out.

With that in mind our work has changed a whole lot. We are not really finding any new investigators and we are spending a bunch of time trying to establish 4 group family home evenings. Our hope is that these will strengthen the conversion of the members after we are gone. Unfortunately, they will be pretty much cut off from most outside sources of help when we are gone, so hopefully these will help.

Luckily it appears we will have 1 baptism before the area closes! Keamogetswe is doing awesome! She came back from holidays at her aunt's down in Cape Town and she is super serious now. We are working towards the 8th of Feb. Pretty much every hope I have has been placed on her getting baptized, at least then I wont feel like I wasted the last 3.5 months of my life when I leave this area.

We are really running into the problem of "you can't help those who won't help themselves." We have put a crazy amount of work into this area with nothing coming out of it haha. Okay, that was a lie, we have had little successes, but at times it is hard to see them as such.

Church in Africa can really be quite interesting at times. After the sacrament was finished being passed on Sunday nothing happened for 10 minutes. Literally we sat there in silence. It was bizarre and I'm so very glad we had no investigators there. The Branch President just sat there until finally the Young Men President got up and told him the sacrament was over. After which President just kept sitting there, and finally after a few minutes he got up and continued on with the meeting. Weird.

Anyways, that's about what I've got for now...
Well, hope all is well.

Love, Elder Kelly

Monday, January 5, 2015

week 56: pretty darn spectacular

Well, in all honesty, for New Years week we did pretty darn spectacular! Last year at this time I had 2 lessons the whole week, this week we had 26! And better yet 5 people came to church! Powerful. Best week this area has had in over a year, all on a week that is commonly the worst of the year. It is quite easy to see the hand of the Lord at times life this. 

This week was full of weird things happening. First off, how our investigator Bongani came to church. As Sacrament meeting is about to start, I pan around the room to again be let down by the sight of no investigators at church... but just as I was about to refocus on the front, I see a bright pink blur out of the corner of my eye. Bongani had walked in wearing a bright pink suit, with a white beater shirt, and a diamond cross chain. POWERFUL! It was all I could do to not get out of my seat and go congratulate him for being such a man. I'm very much considering getting such a suit for my home coming talk. In Priesthood meeting when talking about home teaching he raised his hand and said "we need to have a good approach to these people" then fluttered his suit haha.  Anyways, church goes great. Kind of. 

Old people here are... kinda out there. A member of the Stake Presidency was with us and every few minutes he "felt prompted to bear his testimony", but in all reality he was just trying to correct the false doctrines being spread by the elderly.  Then at the end of the meeting our Branch president gets up and reminds everyone to close "in the name of Jesus" to which the stake man  gets up and says "Sorry, but he means in the name of Jesus Christ" to which the Branch president gets up and says "Oh yes oh yes, I was just making a short cut." Seriously, sometimes church here turns into a bit of a comedy because they are so new to the church that they are still learning how to run it. 

President Miamane (Branch President)

Everything I own is kind of in shambles. Yesterday morning the hemming on my suit pants came out. We were running late because my broken alarm did not go off, so I had to try and sew it in the car. I forgot a knife, so every time I would want to sew a new place I had to curl up into a ball and bite the thread. On the back of my pants though I couldn't do it, so very majestically I took the wheel, while my companion was trying to cut the thread with a pen. I believe he still controlled the gas, break, and clutch, but could not see the road. Going 120 kmph. It was awesome. Mission!  Anyone who seeks to criticize me for being unsafe please save your time. We were still by far the safest drivers on the road that day. This is Africa after all. 

Hmm, oh yeah. We got transfer news Saturday and Elder Silvester and I are staying for at least another 6 weeks. This is good and bad. At the very earliest the Branch will be back in 6 months to our area. So, basically, we are spending all our time on members. They took the Branch away because they did not know how to run it. So, we have to train them, and more importantly help convert them, so that the stake will allow us to meet in Temba again. So yeah, no baptism for a while haha, but this work is about building the kingdom, not making your mission look flashy. 

It is so very hot here. I have an expression to use to describe it, but on second thought and at the warning of a fellow missionary I decided that y'all would probably just be offended by it. It is funny, what's just fine here is terrible there and vice versa. Weird how that works.

Anyways, I'm out of things to write. 

I love y'all a lot.

Elder McClellan