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".

1 comment:

  1. Bless your mother heart Julianne!!!!