Monday, November 24, 2014

#21 Kaofela (United)

At the Joburg Temple Saturday with Departing Misisonaries...E Clegg & E Flynn


Elder Bizimania from Rwanda
Everyone,

Kaofela

Keepin in short this week but seriously a week to remember.  Elder Bizimana and Elder Wilkinson are taking off to go home after two years in mZanzi. I’ll miss them both too much, learned a ton from them.

Tender Mercies are real, they’re sometimes hard to explain, but the beauty of them is that they are so personal that only you could understand them. Truly believe that god loves and knows us individually.

I’m pregnant with child this week, meaning im taking on a greenie for this next transfer. I’m seriously stoked, mostly to just see his face at all the backwards crazy things over here compared to the rest of the world. Seriously everything over here is opposite, it’s wild and I’ve somehow kinda gotten used to it just cuz I’ve been here a little while. And I guess God really wants me in Daveyton cuz I’ll be there for like 7 and a half months like eish. Good thing it’s a sick area, hoping that I can play a little part in the gospel taking solid hold here with the new clusters.

Came acrossed a family this week who hasn’t eaten in 3 days, me and my comp just looked at each other and left a few rands on their counter, but the moral is we have it too good back at home, seriously I can’t even imagine walking down normal streets, with houses that have grass in front of it and have roofs with shingles and washers and dryers and heating and air conditioning and walkways and no dogs or rats. And I can’t imagine walking through nice houses without layers of barbed wire and towering electric fences guarding them, seriously SA is wild. But anyway pay your fast offerings. Learning kinda why we even have them in the first place, take advantage of fasting every month at least it’s so worth it.


Not too much more to say, just tender mercies are real and come when we just are trying our best but aren’t seeing too much light. Keep praying for them, and living right so you can see them. Also all the trees here are turning purple, it’s so legit I wish you all could see it, Africa is unreal.

Also we had a special conference yesterday exclusively for the members in Africa, it was so tight. We had Elder Gay, Elder Bednar, and President Uchtdorf speak to us, and you can see the love that they have for this land, and the through the roof potential in store. Elder Bednar bore a powerful testimony concerning Ebolla, he said that although loved ones are dying, and this disease is real and scary, that he promises to us with all the energy of his soul that we will see those people again, that Jesus Christ was resurrected for that reason. It was sweet. 

All three of them gave amazing talks, and they all had a common topic in mind- overcoming the untrue traditions of our fathers to embrace the gospel culture- and how we shouldn’t allow traditions and ancestor stuff and our culture interfere with the gospel culture. All three of them addressed Ebolla, as well as La Bolla. La Bolla has been tough for us as missionaries, essentially what it’s when the male has do buy the daughter from the parents to be able to marry her, and often times that money takes years to build up, and puts them in struggling debt. As missionaries in South Africa, probably the hardest thing we have to do is tell people things they don’t want to hear about their culture, and often times it leads to hard feelings and at times anger. But we can take this into our own life in a sense that although we don’t necessarily have Africa traditions, we need to overcome the traditions of a natural man and become true latter-day saints. 

Elder Uchtdorf offered an amazing promise to Africa- he left us with a blessing saying if we will strive to become faithful desciples, the Evil One will have no power to drag us down. Amazing lil conference, it was cool to hear from the guys at the top that President Monson is pleading with God concerning the welfare of those in this land. He also spoke a lot about equality, that how our skin color, gender, luxury or poverty don’t make a difference to God. How he loves us all reguardless of those things, and that no one is better than another one, which is something we all need to remember sometimes.

Love you all, you’ll hit the slopes for me if you love me.

Elder T Noah Clegg
Area:  Daveyton
Companion:  Geoffrey Wilkinson



Bizi
also a lil vid of my friend Amo eating chicken bones





African Sky

Cute Lil Kid

"The field is ripe..."



Not sure what they are doing..."thrust in your sickle" pose?

Monday, November 17, 2014

#20 Don't Eat The Cow's Brain First

Beauty of the sky in Africa



When you're eating a cow don't start with the brain.  Pick something more letha (nice) like the eyeball. 

This week was off the chain.  Got to experience parts of the cow that I never even thought were edible in my dreams.  TIA this is Africa.  We don't waste anything here, all the way from the tongue to the tail to the hoofs to the bones.   You might wonder what a cowbrain tastes like.  Just imagine rotten hamburger put in a hamster cage, filled with dead hamsters for a year, and then put in a blender and served nice and hot with flies on top.  The smell alone had a license to kill, and the brain is just not the place to start like I did.  But seriously I could not be more greatful for my call to Daveyton, wouldn't have it any other way.  Ama Skoppo.
And the Zulu and Sotho and Xhosa lokals here eat it up like it's candy.  

The rain here is insane.  It turns the streets into muddy red swimming pools, and out in our area most of the roads are dirt.  We almost got our car stuck like 3 times  driving out to a deep township called Minanawe, but it's all good.    The "Cluster" is booming and the new one is about to open.  We literally are just about a couple priesthood leaders short of having enough for a ward, so these cluster things are really helping the sacrament come to the people, which has been amazing to watch.  

Also, a lil spiritual thought for the week:  Alma 29:9-10.  It's when we share the gospel with others that we become deeply converted ourselves.  Cool concept.  Everyone can help out in the work of salvation.  

Driving on the left side of the road is officially second nature, don't even think about it anymore. Also, I haven't gotten a letter since I've been here so that's sweet, blame the quality postal service over here, lotta corruption throughout the government this side.  But a blessed land nonetheless.

I'm dying on the inside because ski season is upon us you lucky dweebs, you better hit that up, I'm seriously so jealous.  I remember always going up to Heber to stay overnight and catch an early chair to shred up the first tracks of the season with the brus.  But now, instead of finding perfect slopestyle runs, it's finding people who need to hear the gospel, and although they both get the stoke high and the froth real, the latter is definitely way more important in the eyes of Heavenly Father.  

"I'll go where you want me to go dear Lord, I'll be what you want me to be."  

Sharing these lyrics because to be honest I was so down to answer the Lord's call to BE clear over seas in South Africa.  I was even down to SAY what He wants me to SAY.  But I don't think before I came out here I really wanted to BE what He wants me to BE.  Because it's hard to BE what He wants you to BE, and I was content with the Tanner Clegg I was back at home.  But the beauty of a mission is finds a way to carve a holding place right into your heart, which makes you realize that being how the Lord wants you to be isn't really much of a sacrifice or burden at all.  It's a better, more excellent way.  A privelege to be shaped by the Master.  And I didn't know that till I got out here if I'm honest.  All we have to do is "commend ourselves to the Lord" (Ether 6:4) and let the furious winds (trials) push us towards the Promised Land (Eternal Life).

If you get 10 free minutes, take those minutes and read Ether 6:4-12 and draw parallels to the Jaredites journey and our daily struggles.  It'll be the best 10 minutes you spend all week (unless you hit the slopes).

Love you guys, sorry I've got no time.  I just wish you guys could all experience Africa one day.  It's truly a different world over here.  

God is Good

Unkulunknu nungile
Elder Clegg
Area:  Daveyton
Companion: Geoffrey Wilkinson (goes home in 8 days)


A VIDEO OF TANNER EATING THE COWBRAIN...Hope it works on your computer.  Just click it.


Monday, November 10, 2014

#19 Elder Cook and Elder Andersen Come to the Cluster Meeting





Sorry, I've got kantlane time today, but

Whoaa.  Sacrament meeting yesterday.   In our tiny garage we were overflowing, all the way outside....people stacked on top of people.  We were blessed enough to have Elder Carl B. Cook, the area 70 president of Africa, in attendance as well as Elder Wilford Andersen of the 2nd quorum of the 70, from back in SLC.  Talk about a small room packed with the Spirit. There's something about a General Authority's testimony, when they say that "God Lives", you just feel it inside you that what they are saying is real.  It was amazing truly, two general authorities in a tiny garage in Daveyton, with music and the outside world blaring all around, but the spirit still eminent.  

Elder Andersen said something that stuck in my brain, "The Spirit is the same everywhere.  I've travelled the whole world and have yet to find a place without the same, sweet Spirit.  It's everywhere.  No matter where you go."  Powerful.  I'd have to agree with him there, the Spirit over here is just as real as it is over there.  Seriously, probably the best sacrament meeting I've ever been to.  And it was great cuz there were like 50 people there.  We're gonna open up another cluster in like 2 weeks in another part of our area called Mayfield, so by next month our area will have 2 clusters, a ward, and a branch in it so it may be a little hectic to keep tabs on everything, but fun and legit and awesome nonetheless.  

Found a cool lil scripture that applied perfectly for the occasion.

D&C 6:32-34:
 32 Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, astouching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them—even so am I in the midst of you.
 33 Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward.
 34 Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.
Although there's corruption, drugs, violence, immorality, gunshots everywhere, on every corner over here, we can find hope, safety, and refuge amidst growing worldly rubbish by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  "Fear not little flock", the little flock of East Daveyton, South Africa is gonna boom.  Although Babylon is surrounding, darkness and evil is truly gathering (you should see the weekend nights over here eish) we will be fine because the Lord is on our side.  Although the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is small in number in comparison to the rest of the world, we need not fear.  Seriously, too greatful for this experience of being over here.  Lot's of things go bad or are hard or scary, but seeing the good makes it worth the grief.  Wild to think I've been over 4 months out here.  Jealous of you guys cuz ski season is like 15 days away and I'm dying if I'm honest.  But it's so worth it to aid the Savior in helping someone's heart change and point towards him.  

"I wonder when he comes again, Will herald angels sing?
Will earth be white with drifted snow, or will the world know spring?
I wonder if one star will shine far brighter than the rest...
will daylight stay the whole night through?  will songbirds leave their nest?
Then when that blessed day is here, He'll love me and He'll say,
"You've served me well my little child, Come into my arms to stay."

Alma 29:9



mPhetzu Clegg
Area:  Daveyton
Companion:  Geoffrey Wilkinson
Exercise mornings...doing a flip

It's greening up here in Africa


Walking the streets with Elder Wilkinson
Transfer day with Kewuti, Smith, & me

Sunday, November 9, 2014

#19 (EXTRA lettter) HOW TO PREPARE FOR A MISSION By Tanner Clegg

Ellie's seminary teacher asked if Tanner would write an email to their class.  He wanted Tanner to share how the kids could prepare for a mission.  This is what he sent today to Ellie.


~~Preparing to serve the Lord~~

Dear Ellie’s seminary class, 

So you wanna go on a mission.
Everyones like “go iron a shirt” or “wash your clothes” or “go to bed at 1030 and wake up at 630”.
Although as important as these things may be, and how beneficiary they can be for you, to be honest they aren’t the most important things you can do pre-mission. They would be great for you for physical reasons, physical adjustment; but the mission at least over here for me is mostly a mental thing.
 Your mission has a way of pinpointing your weaknesses and infirmities more than a mulungu (white person) like me sticks out in a township in South Africa. Meaning that it throws all the things you’re bad at or need help on in your face, making you sometimes feel like an idiot, or useless or unqualified.  It drives you to your knees, through tears praying to God to know what to do, if He loves you, asking for divine help from above. It makes you wonder if you’re really supposed to be out there. If you’re adequate or worthy enough to be out there.  It makes you wonder if Heavenly Father is really aware of your struggles. “Why is he allowing me to struggle so much!!?” I tend to think stuff like this all the time.
But I guess the answer of why we struggle comes from a song by our favourite lil mama Pink.
“what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
Whaaat worst song in the world but it has some real substance to it.
God allows us to struggle out here on missions cuz he’s trying to shape, or mold us into someone who is more fit for His kingdom, therefore allowing us to touch others to make them fit for His kingdom. There are some lessons we learn in life only through adversity, or super hard challenging stuff. Growth is painful, but certainly necessary for our end goal: The Celestial Kingdom, and eternal life with God. The greatest of all His gifts. Salvation isn’t easy, it’s not a cheap experience according to Elder Holland, but I’d bet you my skis and even my jeep that it’s sure worth it, even though it means going through allota rubbish.
In a nutshell, at least from my point of view, the overriding experience divised by our Father in Heaven for the missionary in the mission is to learn who God and Jesus Christ are, and to develop a relationship with them, through serving others, and through adversity. John 17:3: And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
God allows us to get to know Him and His Son, through adversity and serving others, to qualify  us for Eternal Life. I’m sure Eternal Life is off the chain, straight sunny pow day in January.
So what do you do Pre-mission?
You develop a personal love for our Savior, Jesus Christ. The same guy who died for you because God loves you. You pray alot. You don’t just read scriptures one verse a night like I did to justify myself saying “i read every day” lol you guys are probably alot better off already than me.
If you don’t know what to read, just study the Atonement. Particuallarly out of the Book of Mormon, the book of mormon seriously is legit. But yeah to the atonement: Everything else is an appendage. Study the Atonement, and begin to understand how big and necessary and personally important it is for you in your life. Every other principle, doctorine, attribute etc branches off from it. Develop a humility, love and gratitude for Jesus Christ. We all don’t even stand a chance at all without Him.
That’s all you need. You just need to love our Savior. That’s the secret to a mission. You keep going every day because the Savior kept going all night through Gethscenemy. If you love the Savior, you’ll be chap(fine). Go on a mission because you want to serve your Master.
Anyways, I wish you guys all the best. Think of how cool it is that you’re in the only true church on the face of the earth. Also think of how many lost brothers and sisters you have out there in the world waiting for you. Whether it be in Africa, Idaho, Europe, Austrailia, or heck maybe even China for you guys.
On mission it’s sometimes hard, but you start to just catch glimpses. Glimpses of a plan so grand, so pure, so beautiful. Glimpses of God throughout the land. Glimpses of His love. Glimpses of his arms of safety outstretched touching all his children, no matter the color of skin, all throughout the far corners of the earth. You start to tap into some kind of realm that you’ve never before seen. Something more real, more beautiful, something unexplainable that comes with the changing of one’s heart to point towards Christ, whether it’s the heart of an investigator, or your own personal heart.  This is the work of Salvation. This is the only real work on this Earth, that has real inevitable Eternal, lasting blessings attatched. Basically it’s the most important and most beautiful and most fulfilling, and you can be a part of it. Essentially it’s the most important work for you and for others that you will ever do, in the eyes of Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father.
The best part is it’s okay if you’re imperfect, it’s okay if you don’t have a testimony. That was me 4 months ago, and still me in a sense today, although my testimony has grown since then.
Sorry to get a lil spiritual on ya, this whole spiritual aspect to life is a new thing to me if I’m honest. But in the end you have to keep in mind that a mission is meant to be fun. Seriously some of the funnest, happiest times have been experienced while seriving over here in mZanzi. But I just want to end with a quote that sits in my shirt pocket every day out here: 
“Never let a problem to be solved become more important than the person to be loved”
-Thomas S. Monson
Love you guys, you’re His elect, and the world needs you. Don’t let your personal issues effect you from serving. Fix them if you have to, but make sure you get out here on a mission.
Cheers
Saligahle (the hl makes a clicking noise) 
Elder Tanner Clegg

Alma 26:11-15
Also just the nature of Africa, or wherever you go, there’s alot of wicked, it’s like Babylon outside of Utah. You gotta have courage like the Army of Heleman, so remember these scriptures as well-
Heleman 5:12

Monday, November 3, 2014

#18 SPIDER BITES, DRUNK GUYS, AND DEATH CHILIS


I love the kids!

Not too much time fellas, Mzanzi is going well, yesterday night me and Elder Wilkinson were teaching a powerful lesson, and all the sudden a drunk guy named bongani walked in, and begged us to pray for him (honestly nothing out of the ordinary yet). He went to fetch his wife, and we finished the lesson which was sweet.

 After he walked in with his equally as weird wife,
These 2 drunk guys were trying to steal my salad
 there was a big pile of these crazy 
I gave them a pass along card instead...
deathly hot chilis on the table that we were using to teach the plan of salvation somehow. Anyways me and elder wilkinson said that maybe eating a chili would help Bongani not wanna drink beer any more. So he picked one up and started looking at it, then everyone in the house started chanting eat it eat it, even the Zangoma (witchdocter) gogo came out of nowhere and started chanting. So this guy drunk outta his mind put it in his mouth and chewed it fast and swallowed, and I've never laughed so hard in my life- he went crazy. Like he was already crazy before being drunk but he went mad crazy. He asked us to pray through screams and tears and fire breath, and i guess in Africa when one person prays then everyone prays so he was screaming while praying cuz his tongue was on fire and the Zan Goma was praying weird witch stuff and Elder Wilkinson was praying and laughing and it was honestly the weirdest experience of my life, all the way up until he wouldn't leave till i gave him a picture of Jesus and he Hamba'd. 

Anyways, I've been thinking loads about the pioneers over here as well as the mormon pioneers who came acrossed the plains. Also have been thinking of the principle of having gratitude even in times of hurt, or times when your world is flipped upside down. Gratitude interestingly is supposedly the remedy for trials, even though sometimes its the last thing we wanna think about. Something we can all implement in our lives a lil more. I just feel the spirit every time I read this excript from Francis Webster, a pioneer who came acrossed in the Martin Handcart company (the company my triple great grandpa Henry Clegg came acrossed) anyways, he says:

"Not one of that company ever apostatized or left the Church, because everyone of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives, for we became acquainted with Him in our extremities. I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other.  I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it." he continues "I have gone on to that sand, and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me.  I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew that the angels of God were there." "Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a PRIVILEGE to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company."

 Like whaaaat. Major chills. There's something to be said about one of the fastest ways of getting to know God is through the fiery eye of a personalized trial. Whether it's pushing a handcart hundreds of miles through snow, tears, and bloody footprints. Or anything twisted Satan can come up with in these latter days that we need to overcome. It was prophecied by some important guy that "The mormon pioneers would respect the generations today for what we're going through" so I guess we cant expect much less than the tough times that the pioneers came through. Super daunting, I feel like I would have just said I'm fine leaving the church and living a normal, warm, easy life. But keep in mind that Francis says that it was a Privellege to go through those extremities to know God, so there's some value to be accounted for by trials that help us get to know God. Even though they sometimes suck to us to be totally honest. The product in the end is worth the journey. Good thing Heavenly Father loves us enough to help us out.

Anyways sorry to be spiritual for a sec, This gospel and stuff tho is pretty amazing when you start to picture it a little bit. Anyways things are good, summer is like here. It's hotter than Hadies but it's all good. We should have a new cluster coming into our area this week, the missionary work will start booming. Also fast and testimony meeting in the lil cluster was insane. Like the average mean time for a testimony is literally 25 minutes, so like 6 people bore testimonies and we went an hour over time. Powerfull ne?

It was also touching to hear the 90 year old gogo's testimony, who talked about how she prayed for years to be able to take the sacrament, she prayed for Jesus to come visit her. She then told the story of Zacheus in the tree, how he just wanted to see the Savior making His way through Jericho. And then Jesus told Zacheus to come down cuz he's coming to his house. And the gogo said, now Jesus has come to my house, when I couldn't go to His. Touching. A lil testimony of the love our Heavenly Father has for us personally, whether on a large or small scale.

Elder Clegg
Area:  Daveyton
Companion:  Geoffrey Wilkinson

One of my favorite lil girls


"Come, little child, and together we'll learn 
Of His commandments, that we may return
Home to His presence, to live in His sight-
Always, always to walk in the light."
Alma 56:47

We finally found some animals to ride in Africa

Elder Wilkinson and Elder Clegg


Playground for the lil kids

Playground for the big kids