Monday, September 29, 2014

#13 WAKE ME UP WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS



Chillin' in the streets of the deeper township...




Everyone, 

One of my favorite lil kids
Finally, at last today- Rainy season is upon Africa. The brown savanna is turning green, the leaves are all on the trees, and spring is starting to be is full-swing. The sunsets are jaw-dropping, the clouds are something like celestial haha it’s crazy. Maybe someday I will return with a decent camera. I have my film camera but nowhere in Africa is hipster enough to develop film so I’m kinda stuck there. I just had a couple thoughts  this week that might be able to benifit your lives:

First, eish just wanna say that Nephi is the coolest guy. Faith like Nephi’s can’t just be thrown aside, or disregarded as something that is foolish, or false, or unreasonable. Just wanna illustrate a lil point here- So this is the same Nephi who had faith that he would be able to get the plates from Laban. The same Nephi who built a boat to sail acrossed the ocean to the promised land. And in 2nd Nephi, chapter 33 verse 12 we read Nephi saying: “And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not ALL, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day.”  Really this scripture inspires me to have more hope, more faith. Nephi never had faith in vain; no matter how far-fetched the things he did seemed to Laman and Lemuel, they always got done, so it’s just a thought, that we should be hopeful and live our lives in a manner that many of us, if not all will someday return to our Father in Heaven. Give people the benifit of the doubt. Don’t judge on outside apperance. These are just a couple things I’ve been learning out here that I think can help us all. Have faith like Nephi, because nothing is impossible for those who believe in Christ, and listen and follow his invitation to “come follow me”.

Next, It’s when we are coming unto Christ that we notice the imperfections and blemishes in ourselves. It’s through this rigorus cleansing process of following Christ we realize that we as individuals fall so short of the “glory of God”

You might ask “why should I follow Him?” and that answer is plain and simple; He’s struggled and suffered through all of our personal climbs to Calvary so-to-speak. The only way He can be justified in telling us that even when we are in the midst of our personal crisises: “Be not afraid, only believe” is if He, in fact, experienced them as well. That’s why He has reason to council us to follow Him.

Lil kids in Mayfield
 Also, this week I had a touching experience, we found a less-active family, clear out in the boonies in some deep township. It’s a family of 16, living in a two-room house smaller than a decent-sized living room. There is no father in the house, just a 91 year-old gogo and about a 50 year old mama, who provides for the family, but is currently out of a job. They rely on government grants to feed them, but go hungry and have no food for one week out of the month. Our church is really so good, we are believing that the welfare program will be able to reach out and bless the lives of these humble people. The mama said something that stuck in my mind. “Even though all of this is happening, I still believe” Reminded me of the lil scripture in Mark- “Be not afraid, only believe.” Something we can all take to heart. In this life, we all face different struggles. Whether it be hunger, depression, addiction, rejection, sorrow. Whether it be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual you name it. But the thing that Jesus says to us is “Be not afraid, only believe” We are to trust in Him, even though it sometimes seems hard, I believe that one of the best ways we can show we believe is simply through prayer. When you pray, straight up just talk to Heavenly Father. I’ve never prayed so much since I got this side, remember the song “don’t forget to pray”  Love all you guys too much. 

Cheers mhlegazz
 Elder Clegg

Area 1: Daveyton
Trainer: Elder Spencer Smith

Lil kids who love us in Mayfield

School for the kids


Fast food...not quite McDonalds
Elder Smith and our friends in the township

Monday, September 22, 2014

#12 8ta Bizimana matata



If you ever want a big laugh then feed a  Xhosa and a Rwandan (my flat mates) some pop rocks from America and just sit back and watch the commotion.  Our district leader, Elder Bizimana, from Rwanda(one of four missionaries in the history of Rwanda to serve an LDS mission) speaks fluent Swahili and French- so it’s quite the experience teaching him English. He also has an unfair advantage on us when we play scrabble... because I swear... any letters you put together are somehow a swahili word. Also trying to teach a Swahilian how to say “brocolli” or “elbow” is no easy feat. 
On a lil sidenote, you guys better be appreciative of ziploc bags, I never realized how much I rely on ziploc bags until I got dropped in a township in Africa. Also, shaved my head completely this week because mZanzi is like an oven and it’s only the beginning of Spring over here on this side of the world. I’ve never had hair this short, it’s kinda nice though.  Needless to say, I miss greatly the autumn vibes and this time of year from back home, but I trust that South Africa is currently my home, and the place that I should be. Plus I love it here, because you don’t have to worry about forks or spoons or knives; I’m getting pretty dang good at eating stuff with my hands. A trait I hope in two years I will bring home with me, along with the ability to speak some click.
This week has been crazy. Super weird, mixed with some very awesome spiritual moments, and some freaky moments. I do feel like there is a higher power watching over our safety over here. We got in kind of a sketchy situation one day, we were teaching this super solid investigator who seemed like he was just perfectly gift-wrapped & lined up for a lifetime membership in the church. The first time we taught him, I noticed some weird Hebrew writing all over his dresser and stuff, he was also right out of jail, but this guy was so promising that we neglected a couple red flags. He came to church just after one visit, even bore his testimony in church that he didn’t have any more desire to smoke or drink or do bad things. He seemed totally changed. We were stoked to come and teach him again, but upon arriving at his place, there was a different atmosphere. He had a weird Bible on his table, he had a friend whose eyes were like glazed over, and he started throwing all this weird doctrine at us, beginning to be angry, also locking the door to his house. His friend started speaking some weird Sotho language, and we noticed an open knife on the table, weird symbols and stuff drawn in his Book of Mormon, they were beginning to be very contentious. Luckily, my companion and I know Spanish, so we were able to let each other know that we had to leave. So we faked a phone call, and were able to get out of there. Kind of a scare, but we are definitely blessed and watched over. Also cool that we were able to stand up still for what we believe in, which is the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The saddest part though is dropping someone that seemed so promising.
On the positive side of things, I’ll mention a tender mercy: So my companion needed some rands from the ATM, which is usually a hastle to go to, because the ATM’s over here sometimes don’t work, and sometimes totzies(thugs) hang out around them. Anyways so we didn’t really wanna go but we did because my companion needed some money. We pull up to the garage, and there is a police car with no tire- and four cops chilling on the curb with their big vests and guns and stuff. When we got out, one of them called me over, which was kinda scary because I thought he was gonna like check to see if I’m old enough to drive. But they were interested in what these young white Americans were doing in mZanzi, so we explained and taught. The day before out of the blue, we had written our testimonies on some copies of the Book of Mormon, and we were able to place them and teach them. After that, my companion found out that he actually had the money that we came to the ATM to get, so he didn’t even need to use it. It seemed inspired that we should go there just to meet those people. Cool little experiences going on over here. 
Seriously so grateful for being in a township in South Africa, like seriously it’s amazing, I wish I could just drive one of these colorful safari bus things they have down here with all you guys in the back just to catch a little glimpse of it, this will definitely be something that will ultimately change my life. Not only mission life, but the perspective of South Africa. I’ve also started picking up drawing, and hopefully soon will start learning how to play guitar. So that’s pretty tight.  
Also if you’re ever down to have your mind blown, start reading Jesus the Christ, it’s really something else, brilliant is the word I think. I dunno, also, always remember to pray.  Pretty cool that the God who created the stars, worlds, and cosmos, actually wants you to pray to Him, because you’re more important than all those things to Him. Really interesting and comforting getting to study more in depth the capacity of love that Heavenly Father and the Savior have for us. I believe that there truly are ministering angels, and miracles being wrought around us even in these last hectic days. 
One more thing- the papers are in the process, a new meetinghouse is being formed in our area, so all the people too poor to afford public transport will be able to make it to church! It’s been too cool to watch with my own eyes the literal growing of the Lord’s Kingdom here in Daveyton, South Africa. I also sometimes get kinda troubled, looking out at the millions of untouched zozos and township, thinking “how is the promise of every single person on this earth hearing about the gospel gonna be fulfilled” but we gotta just keep trying, and keep doing your best. Give a light to those who never knew the way. Even though as missionaries amongst a sea of a million other people, we gotta just do our best with what we can, however seemingly small of a difference that we are making; the Lord will make up the rest.  

Be believing. Have hope. Love God, see the good. Remember Christ.
Elder Clegg

Area 1: Daveyton
Trainer: Elder Spencer Smith


Do I dare?
No GREAT CLIPS in Daveyton


My first homemade buzz cut...It hasn't been this short since I was 4

MOMMA's NOTE...I did shed a tear or two when I saw Tanner's hair.  But I'm so proud of him for "letting it go" while he's out.  Like Elder Bednar said in his talk yesterday at the Ogden Temple Rededication, as he talked about the equalizing power of the temple, that it's in losing our individuality that our true individuality shines through.  


Tanner wrote me one other little thing in his letter to me that I thought I had to share....

"Also gave this super homeless like crazy dude my pajama pants and a shirt. Tried to give him shoes but he wouldn’t take them. This guy like just walks around naked with a blanket, he is beyond dirty but I'm happy he accepted some clothes. Other missionaries in the past have tried to give this guy stuff be he always refused. His feet are seriously like straight callus. His fingernails are black and he has some sweet nappy hair. But man i just love people like that you know. Man i would love to hear their life stories. And I'd love to just give them all my money but i have none anyways.. lol"


Lastly, people ask if I'm worried about Tanner.  I tell them "He's safer in South Africa than he was in the school parking lot"...which is true.  He'd be doing flips off the bleachers and stuff, and in South Africa I know he's on the Lord's errand.  But when he was "set apart" by the Stake President, he was blessed with physical protection.  And he was told he "would know when to enter, and when to flee."  And, that's when I realized, he was going to a country with a high crime reputation.  Number 7 in the world for Crime...even sisters are not allowed to serve in his mission.  But I feel at peace and not worried.  And when I do worry, I say a prayer and remember the saying "GO TO SLEEP, GOD IS AWAKE".

Monday, September 15, 2014

#11 BELIEVE


Monday, September 8, 2014

#10 MAMBO VIPI My Friends



My companion Elder Smith with the cute lil kids in Mayfield


My family on the streets of Mayfield with me
September 8, 2014 (2 months out)

MAMBO VIPI My friends!

As I can envision the miraculous change occuring along the Wasatch Front, with the leaves turning red, yellow, and orange, the Spring is officially among us here in mZanzi.  Normally this time of the year, I’d be wandering through the high alpine basins, with a bow and arrow in hand.  Although autumn is  hands down my favorite time of year back at home, I trust that South Africa is the place I’m supposed to be for the next two years.


It’s really amazing how your mission seems to point out your weaknesses; highlight your shortcomings.
The gogo who loves the Book of Mormon
Sometimes when we go through hard things, at least for me, I just want the easy way out- I don’t care if I come out on crutches or in a sling or on a hospital bed so-to-speak, I just want a way out.  Heavenly Father will help us get out, but he doesn’t want us to come out of hard things with an injury or handicap, He designs our lives in a way that we go through trails that pinpoint our weaknesses, and lets us struggle in them so we won’t come out weaker, but that we will come out stronger than we were before.  This concept is tough for me to accept.  But I'm learning to try and embrace the refiner’s fire rather than avoid it.  We just have to trust that He is in the details.  He is behind every circumstance, waiting with open arms to bless us and love us if we only believe.  Elder Holland teaches us “nothing is impossible to those who believe.”

"these people thank Heavenly Father they woke up"
So on Saturday, we had the opportunity to work out in Mayfield. We came across a family of 16 less-active members who couldn’t make it to church anymore because they didn’t have money for transportation, and they are way too far to walk (the gogo is 91 years old).   So we are tryna arrange for the bishop to pick them up in his bus.  It was super touching, they told us about how they fear like every night for their lives because they have a couple sons gone rogue because of drugs etc.  And they always come back super angry.  But they said that they know their God will protect them, and they told us that they would pray for US.  I was like are you kidding?  They are the ones who need the prayers, but either because of the nature of the spirit in these African people, or the Christlike love that they possess, they turn outward instead of inward in these challenging situations.   I mean goodness like we are so blessed to even have food every day.   These people in their prayers thank their Heavenly Father that they woke up that morning.  Something that I don’t think I’ve ever done.  Maybe the trick to getting through challenges is turning outward rather than inward.

A quote that has inevitably helped me out through testing times is-

“no amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time.  We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home... the only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give up.  It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us: It is the very sign of his presence.”-C.S. Lewis


"wooden soccer goals with sack cloth soccer balls"
It’s been super sick lately because we’ve been doing more work out in the DEEP township areas; I’m talkin like no roads, just lil dirt paths, wooden soccer goals with sack cloth soccer balls, zozos and everyone gets water from one tap within a big area.  It’s so humbling and cool to be able to serve in these conditions.  Conditions that to us seem so third world, but to these people is an every-day reality that they love and accept and find hapiness in.  Every morning I wake up and I still feel a little weird that I’m in Africa.  But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This week was really amazing- at church on Sunday it was testimony meeting, a like 17-18 year old investigator from Mayfield who was visiting the church for the first time stood to bear his testimony.  He was in his Spongebob T-shirt and he said that he was so grateful he found the church, he is like a lost sheep who is finding his way.  For whatever reason his words kinda touched me, especially cuz I feel like a lost sheep all the time.  After he ended we sang “I need the every hour” and I was all teary because  goodness, we really do need Him every hour.  I dunno, it says it straight forward- we need Him every hour in joy or in pain.

Anyways, just wanted to say a big thanks to everyone who wrote me letters for my birthday!!  Keep them
Tanner Todd & Tanner Clegg LHS Grads '14
coming!  Haha Elder Todd arrived safely and I got the lil package he had from you guys, seriously made my day.  The South Africa postal service is currently on strike, so you’ll have to forgive me if you’ve written a letter and I haven’t responded.  Hopefully after the strike I’ll get any letters that have been sent.  Also I buzzed my head this week so that was a first.  Also got kissed by a toothless drunk guy so that was a first as well.

Love you all.

 Hankunamatata

It means no worries and is actually a real legit word down here.

-Elder Clegg   

Area 1: Daveyton
Trainer: Elder Spencer Smith

My birthday song video...If you missed it on last week's blog. 


One of the Elders in my flat with the lil kids at church


Monday, September 1, 2014

#9 BIRTHDAY WEEK... HOPEFULLY NOT EBOLA WEEK



They have nothing but they thank God everyday to just be able to wake up in the morning.

19 years old, I still feel like a little kid.  I remember a year ago on my birthday I was crammed in a car with Grant, Bubba, Mccall, Jakell, Jordan and Preston going down to St. George to climb around and chill.  I would've never imagined that one year later I would be on a mission in Zanzi (South Africa).  Anyways, it's been a crazy crazy week, the rioting has come to a close- allowing us to go back into our area again. The Ebolla disease has been giving us a scare, everyone if you don't mind- pray for this to stop spreading.  I believe that we need missionaries in Africa, because many of our brothers, and Christ's strongest followers and leaders still need to find the gospel over here, so please pray for a miracle.

Something I realized this week- NOBODY is too poor, too rich, too uneducated; too smart for the gospel.  Sometimes in Daveyton we tend to overlook the drunk homeless man in the gutter due to whatever reason- but I learned that we can learn so much from these humble people who have nothing.  They have nothing but they thank God everyday to just be able to wake up in the morning. To be ALIVE. These people thank Him to just even be ALIVE. Man it's an example to me- I've been soooooo blessed.

I've been getting to know my mission president really well- he's sooo tight.  We like doing all the same things- he climbs and skis and lives that Wasatch-front mountain lifestyle it's sick.  Something he said stuck out to me- he told me: "if this really is the greatest message the world has ever heard, we should spare no expense traveling to the ends of the earth to share it with people"

It's truly an honor to be one doing this, and I have to send a shout out and thanks to all my friends entering the field, and who have served missions in the past, or are currently serving. Thank you so much, I have a map in my room with all your guy's names on it- it motivates me a ton.  So thank you.

Also, if you have time- listen to Elder Hollands talk titled "Lord, I Believe." it brings me to tears every time and is so relevant in my life.

Anyways, thanks for all the love and birthday wishes!! Seriously helps me out so much. Love you guys, pray for God's children in Africa. I'll try and attatch some photos in a sec. Love you guys

-Elder Clegg

Area 1: Daveyton
Trainer: Elder Spencer Smith

Not quite sure what he's doing...

Tanner's Birthday Song...I don't know who made the delicious food for him.  But it looks better than chicken feet!



Kinda looks like he's gonna do a flip...this is the high school they painted at