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.


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

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