Monday, October 6, 2014

#14 Tumelo huyaki tebe (Remember What We Have)

These lil kids can get to church now because the bishop bought a bus.

Grateful to be in the most amazing place in the world. The other day I was walking through a lil place called mayfeild, and I just took a second and looked. Saw all the lil African kids playing soccer barefoot on their dirt feild with wooden sticks tied together with ropes and shoestrings as goals. Saw the African Savanna surrounding the zozo’s, complimented by the setting sun rays, and the approaching Thunderstorm and warm rain, making the sky something close to Celestial. Chickens flapping and Rogue goats wandering around the piles of trash eating tin cans. Lil mamas cooking chicken feet and pap in the dirt roads, with stick huts selling any fruit you could think of on every corner for pennies. Seriously I wish I could just capture it all in one photograph or something but if I’m honest I can’t. Just gotta appreciate it and always be thankful. Also I never realized how sick it is to watch conference live until I’m in Africa where we won’t get it for like 3 more weeks or something.

Also on a sidenote we straight have like 5 or 6 different languages the Book of Mormon in our flat because of the insane diversity of people found in South Africa, it’s legit, you get like every single country in Africa, all down here in mZanzi. I can now with at least a little bit of confidence tell you whether a person is from the Congo, or Zimbabwe. From Nigeria, or Ghana. From Rwanda, or Kenya. So on and so forth, but even though there are like 12 different “official languages” or whatever in South Africa, it’s inevitable that the Spirit doesn’t speak a language, the Spirit doesn’t require perfect English. The Spirit speaks Zulu, Tswana, Sotho, Shona, Afrikaans, Tsonga, Xhosa, and any other language that you encounter this side. I think that one of the things that I’ve been sent to Daveyton to learn is that a testimony doesn’t require concrete evidence of doctrinal facts or scriptural knowledge. It doesn’t require a life-changing miracle, or a beautiful jaw-dropping conversion story. It doesn’t require having money or material possessions. It doesn’t require everything to be going perfect for you in your life.  A testimony can be as simple as “I love Jesus Christ” or “I know God will help me”. Sometimes we forget that conversion usually doesn’t happen with our eyes, usually doesn’t happen in our minds; Conversion comes from that feeling in your heart, when you feel it’s true, when you feel that following Christ is our one sure way out of any trial. When you recieve some unseen hope based on the belief of the reality of the Savior, and the relevance it could potentially have in your life. Just wanna end with a quick story to illustrate this bond we have with the Savior in an example that allows me to understand:

“A tandem ride with God”
I used to think of God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there, sort of like a president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I didn’t really know Him.
But later on, when I met Jesus, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Jesus was in the back helping me pedal. I didn’t know just when it was He suggested we change, but life has not been the same since I took the back-seat to Jesus, my Lord. He makes life exciting. When I had control, I thought I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable. It was the shortest distance between two points.
But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places and at break0through speeds; it was all I could do to hang on! Even though it often looked like madness, He said, “Pedal!” I was worried and anxious and asked, “where are you taking me?” He laughed and didn’t answer and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into adventure. And when I’d say, “I’m scared”, He’d lean back and touch my hand.
He took me to people with gifts that I needed, gifts of healing, acceptance and joy. They gave me their gifts to take on my journey, our journey, my Lord’s and mine. And we were off again. He said, “Give the gifts away; they’re extra baggage, too much weight.” So I did, to the people we met, and I found in giving I recieved, and still our burden was light.
I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life. I thought He’d wreck it, but He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, jump to clear high rocks, fly to shorten scary passages, And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I’m beggining to enjoy the view and cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus.
And whem I’m sure I just can’t do any more, He just smiles and says... “Pedal”

-Author unknown

This describes how my life seems to be starting to play out. Let us learn to trust in the Savior, even though it seems like the mountain he is taking us over is too steep or too treacherous. He’s sick at biking, and loves the children of God.

Cheers, hope conference was off the chain. Also pray for the post to stop striking so I can get my first letter in three months.

Also gotta bury a dead guy this week by hand.

Elder Tanner Noah

Area 1: Daveyton
Trainer: Elder Spencer Smith

John 16:33
Temelo huyaki tebe. Remember what we have.

I absolutely love Daveyton, I wish you could see it. Its turning green, green with red, with little shacks with goats eating trash everywhere, all under a celestial looking sky with my black brothers and sisters going about their normal day, playing soccer and being happy together.


MOM's NOTE:  Remember the township drunk who Tanner gave the pajama pants & teeshirt to a couple of weeks ago?  He said the guy is still wearing his pants.  So that's good!

He also shared in a letter with me about someone who's really affecting his life:
"I wanna talk about a guy who really inspires me and just makes me want to be a better person, our mission leader: Ronnie. He’s just an amazing ward mission leader.  He lives in this little shack, has no family. He’s 23, has the funniest most awesome voice that I love, has the best smile and is always happy. He works 6 days a week, earning the equivelant of 10 dollars a day, and all of this money he is trying to save up to go on a mission. It almost makes me cry thinking about it. But he still always makes me laugh and is so happy, even though I have no idea how he is gonna pay for a mission, he is still saving all his money for it. He wears clothes with lots of holes in them, but he’s still a good looking young guy, I will miss him so much, seriously will miss him a ton because he just makes you laugh with the way he talks and things, but he is always just trying to bring back the less actives, on Sunday (he doesn’t go to work) He walks to all the peoples houses to walk with them the long dusty walk to the chapel. (which is in the other guy’s more nicer area of the township) I’m getting tears just thinking about Him, seriously I guarantee you nothing short of Celestial for him.  Anyways, he’s Someone who has it figured out, he won’t go to school, he’s sacrificing that for a mission. So essentially for the rest of his life he won’t really have education, which is super rough in south africa.  But just wanted to share that with you.

Some of my favorite kids!

Elder Smith's family sent him the ingredients for a cake...it was awesome

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