Monday, December 28, 2015

#77 "The Gifts Not Under a Tree"



Eish guys Merry Christmas. I wish you could all come one day to South Africa and play soccer with me in some remote township on the outskirts of Tsakane, on a dirt field with stick-goals with a bunch of sizulu kids. It's literally just like it looks in the movies. I'll try to attach some pictures.

Football


Anyways I've been thinking lots about spiritual stuff this Christmas for once which is a little weird, not thinking about skiing too much.(i guess it's easier without snow everywhere)

Perhaps the epitome of our mortal sojourn is acquiring the praise-worthy ability to understand our Heavenly Father. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

To understand God, we need to understand that His undergirding and overarching purpose is: 'To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.'

This Christmas season, I've thought a lot about gifts, and more about the gifts that God gives us;

"Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"

But what about my wayward children? I didn't ask for that. But what about this financial crisis? Surely God could snap His fingers and fix that. What about this mental disorder? This work schedule? This overbearing bishop? This church member who has offended me? This companion? This area? This addiction? These teary nights? This broken heart?

There is a never-ending spectrum of issues we encounter in mortality; from gender confusion to political dilution.

From broken families to shattered dreams.

If God is the giver of good gifts, then how come he gives me stones instead of bread? Scorpions instead of eggs? Serpents instead of fish? I'm doing my best to be righteous and hold everything together.. Why does this happen?

What I've come to learn, is that God doesn't give us irrelevant gifts, if he wants us to cross a river, he doesn't give us a sick new car, he doesn't give us a pay-raise, he doesn't give us a plasma-t.v.; he gives us a bridge, or the ways and means to build a bridge. If he wants us to climb a mountain, he doesn't give us a boat. He gives us cramp-ons and boots and ropes and harnesses. If he wants me to cross the Sahara desert, he won't give me skis and thick socks. 

We pray for blessings, the literal definition of the word bless is: "To make sacred or holy".(v)

I have a testimony that God gives good gifts, sometimes we, with impunity, use our short-term mortal minds to turn a beautiful fluffy loaf of bread into a jagged, cold, disheartening stone.

Remember, when fierce winds bite at your heart,  it's a loving father giving us that wind to catch our sail. Giving us light to fill our countenance. He's giving us the gifts of eternity. He's giving us the gifts that will not ever corrupt or waste away. That's what a 'blessing is right? Something that makes you holier.

God gives us gifts that bring us back to Him, because isn't the greatest gift of all Eternal Life?

Not saying that he wants us to live in trevail and sorrow every day, not saying that he wants us to fake our imagination into thinking that bad things are actually good. He wants us to be happy, He also wants us back with Him someday. Hence the occasional wind. Salvation is a journey.

He gives us a camel to cross the desert.

May we, this new year, always have the carefully-focused eyes- to see that the stone is actually bread. That the snake is actually a fish.

Anyways I hope you all had a great Christmas, send me some pics of the snow asableif (please).

Happy new years Mhlekasis! Maybe your new-years resolution could be to write letters to Elder Clegg every week? lolol

Elder Tanner Noah Clegg



Note from the mom...loved Skyping Tanner on Christmas.  If you want to read Tanner's all time favorite talk and mine as well about the concept of "stones or bread", here is a link to a talk by Michael Wilcox.  It is worth the read.  If the link doesn't work, just look it up by the name of the talk.

Bread or Stones: Understanding the God WE Pray To


Monday, December 21, 2015

#76 MERRY CHRISTMAS


“...For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest..and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.. and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace... Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the same that came unto mine own, and mine own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness commprehendeth it not... Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him- Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; Wherefore, Father, spare these my bretheren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me nad have everlasting life..Fear not: for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

Shepherd's Field christmas Eve 2009
6 years ago today, I was blessed to stand on the same ground the Savior did two millennia ago. I was able to overlook the sleepy town of Bethlehem on Christmas eve, seeing the quite literally Silent and Holy night. Caught up in a spirit so sublime it can’t really penetrate through this dinky keyboard.

But I can tell you, that although I walked where He walked, and saw things He saw, I didn’t feel Him as close to me as when I’ve walked how He walked.

I have a testimony that the same Jesus who ministered in Palestine, also stands today on African soil.  He walks through the grandeur of South America, he breaths His spirit throughout all of Asia. Covers the length and breadth of America, and offers his merciful arms to Australia, and he even rmembers  those upon the isles of the Sea.

I’m grateful to Him for walking with me through this strange land. Let us remember Him, the little baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, as we each have our own Silent and Holy night, whether we’re in Utah, Ecuador, Washington, Honduras, Spain,  Argentina, California, Japan, Brazil, Russia, Bolivia, Turkey, Utah or Africa. Whether it be under a clear star-filled cold night, or under thick mosquito-ridden heat, Let us remember and reflect on that special baby whose love and kindness adorns and encompasses every corner of the this vast universe. That special baby who caused a new star to illuminate the night sky, who caused wise-men's knees to bend, and shepards to quake. Who gave the world a light that can never be darkened.



Merry Christmas, I love you guys. Just remember that lil baby.

Elder Tanner Noah Clegg


Monday, December 14, 2015

#75 "Santa doesn't visit Africa cuz it's too hot for him"



It's been so long I almost forgot what a baptism was.

Hey guys, how is the snow?

Well I had like the longest and shortest week of my life all in 7 days. I guess a mission is just like that. Long and short at the same time. Also got to dedicate my first gravesite ever, probably my first and last lol. 
Oliver, may he Rest with God.


It's been a rough past couple of weeks, but I tapped into a lot of light this week, I guess I finish this week with a sure testimony that God really is real, and that he inspires His servants.

In the midst of a very trying time, I asked a friend and fellow-missionary whom I've grown to love, to give me a blessing. As the words tumbled out of his mouth, I cannot deny that the Savior was standing beside him, whispering the words into my friend's ear. The Priesthood Authority of God literally gives the authenticity and perfectness to speak in the name of Jehova. Words came out of my friends mouth that were not his own, I cannot deny that his words were His(Christ's) words. Maybe it's blasphemy, or maybe it's God's power on earth carried out through the faithfulness and worthiness of his Latter-Day Saints.
yes my arm is indeed around a general authority.

God is real, He lives, he doesn't intend for death to be the end. In fact, death cannot be the end because of the Generous One. Mistakes and infirmities and frailties are not an eternal reality, because of that Infinite Being. He brings light to the darkest and most hopeless of human minds, the most shallow and corrupt of human hearts. He brings light even to the slums and dark, dirty crime-ridden sidestreets of Springs, South Africa.


It's a privledge to proselyte during Christmas. I love sharing the gospel. I love this work, because there is always light when you pursue it even through the darkness.

I love you guys, hope you have a wonderful week. Hope you share the video on Christmas.mormon.org with all of your friends. Don't be afraid to share your testimony. DOn't be afraid to make a difference. 

The clouds of Africa are unreal beautiful, I wish you could all see them.

Elder Tanner Noah Clegg

(My good friends, Suzi & Jim Olson, went to pick up their son Jon Olson who was finishing his mission and is a close friend of Tanner's. They sent me these pictures of Tanner on the morning they met him)




Monday, December 7, 2015

#74 This is my weekly letter, sorry it's rubbish, I can't think straight.

Tanner, Oliver, Spencer Smith.  One year ago Oliver was taught & baptized by these guys.  This week he died.  It's been a really hard week for all who loved Oliver.  May he rest in peace.

Everyone,

Eish I thought that Guateng is supposed to be less hot than Limpopo.

Well, it was easily one of the roughest weeks of my life. I guess I now understand why the central theme of the New Testemant apostle's preaching was the resurrection of the Savior. I guess it was always a bit irrelevant to me until now.

I'm just grateful for Jesus, grateful to Celebrate His birth and life this year. There's a certain spirit you feel that gently encompasses the entire land this time of year. It happens everywhere, even in the blazing Christmas-heat of South Africa.

Anyways, I look forward to a baptism this next Sunday, it's been something like 7 or 8 months since I've seen one of those happen, and magically the stars aligned and miracles are happening.

Anyways I love you guys, sorry it's short. Have a wonderful week.  Keep S'Africa in your prayers.

"Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead."

#asaviorisborn (get it all over social media)

Christmas.mormon.org

Monday, November 30, 2015

#73 What is Thanksgiving?

Hey guys, I had like the most hectic week of all time, but it was still great. I guess in short I have like nothing to write. The weather this side is totally bipolar, it's so wild. 

I guess I'm just super grateful that we're coming into Christmas season, I'm super grateful for the birth of a Child who brings stability to the unstable and hope to the hopeless. I was just reading a verse that kinda struck me;

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation recieved by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

...Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you."
-1Peter 1:18-20

It's just cool to know that a loving Father, before the foundation of the world; Knew that His children would stumble and trip; would fall and would cry for help. He knew that we would be imperfect, before the world was even created. It's all part of His perfect plan.

It had to take an infinite being, filled with kajillions of years experience studying the human mind to come up with things like the 10 commandments, which if you study in depth, are alot deeper than what meets the eye. The 10 commandments condemn every single whit of the natural man, leaving no loopholes or excuses or questions. It took a brilliant mind to create that, and even a more brilliant mind to fathom a way- A painful, and anguishing way; But a way, nonetheless to escape the cries of justice through the ceaseless-streaming phenomenon of mercy.

Anyways I hope you guys all enjoyed thanksgiving. I had the best thanksgiving, because I was able to see none other than JAMON HAFEN, now called Elder Hafen in the mtc. I nearly cried to see his face, it's like for the next 3 hours I was in this strange fog where I wasn't sure if I was in South Africa or Utah, it was wild. And I'm telling you, it wasn't the same guy who I played soccer with a couple summers earlier. You could tell that he was a bit scared, and a bit jet lagged, but ready to give all he could to our elder Brother.  I gained a stronger testimony when I saw him, thinking about all these vailiant missionaries enlisting all around the world, totally oblivious to where and how they will be serving, but showing floodgates of faith by answering the call to serve, wherever or whatever that call entails. In my mind I saw missionaries blanketing the 4 corners of the earth, carrying the same redeeming message to our brothers and sisters. 

Anyways I love you guys so much, hope you have a great December. Maybe one of these days I'll be able to send pictures of stuff. Have a great week.

Elder Tanner Noah Clegg

Monday, November 23, 2015

#72 "Snow in South Africa (Kind of)"


Well I have to start by thanking everyone for praying for rain. In fact, I think you may have prayed a little too hard seeing as a bunch of garages and petrol stations and township housing is now demolished due to the extreme downpour. I now can't say I've never seen golfball sized hail before. Like legit if I put a golfball and one of these hailstorms together they would be the same size. Springs looked like Utah for a couple of hours, with heaps of hail and cars sliding off the road. As we walked down the road we saw all kinds of dead birds who couldn't escape.  Brakpan-the winter wonderland. 

Anyways even in spite of the weather, the work is still progressing. I don't think there's a better feeling to get back to you flat at night and you can just see in your minds eye a bunch of people reading the book of mormon at that very moment. Things are going super well, and really I don't have much complaint.



The mission has started to go pretty fast, it's weird to think that I'm one of the old ones out here now. I love sharing the gospel with my friends so much. I've really began to gain a strong testimony of the book of mormon. Like I know that's weird to say when I've been out here for over a year, it's not like I've never believed in it. BUt it's just now that I'm realizing the power and beauty contained in it. It testifies of Christ; In a way so simple and so profound, in a way that I could never acredit to Joseph Smith's mind or intelligence or imagination. It testifies of Christ in a way that Joseph Smith never could've written on paper. It's so simple, the truthfullness of the book of mormon lies in it's simplicity. People who try to prove things tend to overcomplicate things. People who try to change things tend to get carried away in thier own imagination. The Book of Mormon is simple, and has a simple message, simple enough that a child can understand the gospel, and deep enough that professors trained in wisdom and intellect spent all the years of thier lives researching it.

Anyways I'm about out of time. I've forgotten what you even are supposed to eat for thanksgiving, seeing as no one is quite sure what that is this sidee. Love you guys so much. Have a great week. Thanks for the prayers. Lekker Wiek (V-ack). Feel free to write me!

Elder Tanner Noah Clegg


Monday, November 16, 2015

#71 "Wait...Mormon's believe in Christ?"



Hey guys, I’m already out of time today. Our week was miraculous. Missionary work is alive and breathing in Springs, it’s unreal to see how the Lord does His work. There are people who are prepared, I can testify to that.

I’ve learned a lot this week, we were able to go down to Rumsig, the cheesiest area of all of South Africa basically, and we had a mission-wide ‘Summit’, which was super awesome, we talked about mountain climbing anad reaching goals a ton so that made me think of the Wasatch front a little too much.

Anyways, we had a lady come who had summated Mt. Everest a afew years previously, she spoke about reaching goals and overcoming fears, there was one thing that stuck with me, she said ‘The miracle wasn’t the fact that I stood on the summit of the top of the world. The miracle is that I had the courage to take the first step.’

That got me thinking about what matters most, and I drew a parallel to the Savior and his miracles;


The miracle isn’t that the blind saw light, the dead stood up, the sick received healing.


The miracle is that, because of Him, the human heart can generate enough capacity and desire to change from a fallen, corruptible being into a Saint. A Latter-Day Saint. The miracle is in the God-given ability we have to grow. That there is hope in a hopeless world, and peace within widespread calamity.

That’s kinda what I learned this week. Also learned that if you eat a spoonful of raw garlic, the mosquitos don’t bite you at night, it’s super tight you all should try it.



Tanner teaching a break out session at the Summit Conference
And just going back to the first thing I wrote, there are so many parallels between life and climbing. No matter how imperfect we are, and how many times we, out of weakness and fear, miss a hold or can’t carry on and fall; There is always someone that we can’t see who is belaying us, who will never let us fall.

Anyways love you guys, hope you have a great week. Pray for rain to hammer Mzanzi, we desperately need it. Always feel free to write me.

I love mission, it’s the greatest. I’m learning that it’s a lot more than endorsing some church. It’s bringing souls to Christ, to His love and His power. And anything is worth sacrificing to be a part of that.


Elder Tanner Noah Clegg

Monday, November 9, 2015

#70 "This area is on fire somehow"

Ho gan did mi bru?

Definitely a week to remember.   I'm loving life here in Gauteng, my comp is a straight mhlegaas, he can carry like 40 copies of the book of mormon on his head at once, cuz he's from ghana, accustomed to carrying killograms on killograms of water on his head everyday.

I saw miracles this week, I saw that people are being prepared for the gospel, they are out there, against all odds.

Had a couple thin-veil experiences which was a breath of fresh air. There's nothing that tugs on, and even ripps out your heartstrings, more than seeing a grown adult-investigator, the most down-to-earth, REAL, and stable person under heaven; Break down and cry real, honest tears because they need the assurance, peace, and stability that the gospel provides. It's a beautiful thing to see real tears, not these fong-kong seeking-attention worldly tears, but the ones that come when a person catches a glimpse of the plan of salvation, of the relevance of an Eternal Savior, of the personal impact and influence He has for us. How he can tie up loose-ends, how He can stabilize the un-stable, How, when everything worldly is going against us, He can stand with us. And how all we need is faith.

He didn't just rebuke the waves and wind in the meridian of time. He is still in the business today. And I saw that in the eyes of an investigator, yearning for the 'peace that passes all understanding'. It was one of the more eye-opening experiences I've had.

If you dont have a crisis, you dont need a Savior. If you are fine on your own, you don't need a Master. But, like Isaiah says: "All, we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;  and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all."  WE all need Him, whether we know it or not. His atonement is the force that keeps the universe intact, the catalyst that gives a stable platform for our unstable mortal footsteps. The incomprehensible factor that calms and soothes and reasons justice, that freely gives grace and strength to those who seek it.

It was just cool to see it come to life in the life of a friend.

Anyways this area is on fire somehow, things are working out. The smell of baptism is in the air. Something I haven't tasted for like ages. So that's exciting.

Anyways I love you guys, hope you have a great week. Are the ski resorts open yet? Is there any snow on the ground? Always feel free to email me.

Elder Tanner N. Clegg

South Africa Johannesburg Mission

Monday, November 2, 2015

#69 What is Halloween?

Tanner's Trainer Elder Smith's last day on his mission.


I’ve fallen into this horrible contacting habit, when I talk to people on the street or at their door, often the first thing I say is ‘don’t push us away yet, we’re not Jehova’s Witness’, because everyone knows them and has heard their story and thinks that we are them.
Anyways that bad habit disastrously backfired this week when the person I said that to was a Jehova’s Witness. I was dreading that day.

Well, it would be super tight if everyone could pray for it to rain in South Africa, we’re in a freak heat-wave and the normal rainy season should be now, but instead it’s blue skies and dust storms on the daily. I guess on the bright-side it’s nowhere close to the Tzaneen heat.

Anyways I had a solid week. Up’s and downs, but a lot of up’s.
I got a new companion, Elder Arthur from Cape Coast, Ghana; My second Ghanaian companion. He’s a super sweet guy, and he’s crazy good at soccer.

It was weird to see a lot of my good friends on mission go home on Tuesday. It’s also weird that I’m something like 16 months out on mission. In the moment the work feels slow, but then you look back at all that’s happened and you feel it’s gradually slipping away, kinda like the Sprinkbok’s hopes to win the worldcup.

Well, I’m a little scared for this upcoming week, seeing as it is ‘guy-fawkes day’ on November 5th.
I’ll tell you time and time again that South African sunsets are unmatched.
 I’ll see if I can attach a picture or two.

Well, this week I’ve learned something. Not this week alone, but more over the course of my entire mission; Don’t count mistakes, count miracles, because you can’t count on mistakes, but you can always count on miracles. We had some straight, Heaven-sent miracles placed in our path this week. There’s this really cool family called the Van Rooyen family. They are straight Afrikaans, and we started teaching them this week. Anyways at the coclusion of our 2nd lesson, after testifying of Joseph Smith and the book of mormon, a baptism invitation somehow came out of my mouth, and somehow they accepted it. December 6. Like whaaat? White people in South Africa like don’t get baptized. Let alone afrikaaners; So it was a miracle, and kept my faith alive.

Well, did a lot of teaching, tracting, contacting, a mix of about everything this week. It’s a privledge to be in such a diverse area.  Springs holds slums, towns, townships, run-down highrises; Some of the most prosperous of South Africa, some of the poorest of South Africa. Locals, Foreigners, about every class, every denomination, every color you could ever imagine. Yet we are teaching them all the same message. We are testifying to each one of them that God lives, that Jesus is His son, and that Jesus bought their souls with the price of his undefiled blood. Kinda wild that the gospel can apply to everyone.

I love the thrill I get from skiing, from being on top of those high alpine basins, looking down at straight powder. I love the thrill I get from climbing, from surfing the perfect break; but there is a certain unsurrmountable thrill associated with sharing the gospel. From getting rejected 100 times and seeing someones life change 1 time.

“The Lord God will proceed to do a marvelous work among the Gentiles..which shall be of great worth..not only unto the Gentiles but unto all the house of Israel, unto the making known of the covenants of the Father of heaven unto Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.. And I would, my bretheren, that ye should know that all the kindreds of the earth cannot be blessed unless he shall make bare his arm in the eyes of the nations. Wherefore the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel. Wherefore he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered togheter to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.’
(1Nephi 22:9-12)

Sometimes days are hard and long, but then you remember that you are the Lord’s missionary. You have been blessed with the opportunity to fufill the promises of the Abrahamic covenant. Offering blessings of Eternal Families to the ends of the earth. Helping people become Heirs of the Covenant that God made to Abraham.
 No other kind of work results in an end-product of Celestializing families. It’s the art of rescueing. We’ve been called to rescue, and anything is worth it for that. It’s daunting that imperfect 18 19 and 20 year olds are the means by which the lord ‘makes bare his arm in the eyes of all nations’, but whoever the Lord calls, he qualaifies. It’s crazy that ‘the kindreds of the earth cannot be blessed unless he shall make bare his arm in the eyes of the nations’, makes your calling as a missionary seem more real.

Well in closing it’s just super weird and strange that the less you care about yourself, the happier you become. It’s a super weird phenomenon, but when you are selfless, you are happy

Anyways I’m just really hoping it’s gonna rain soon. We literally had a stake-wide fast for it to rain just barely. Sorry my letters are lacking lately. We were invited into some zulu prayer-hour this week with some investigators, where everyone prays at the same time and spins around in circles and yells a lot. I tried to take a video. Maybe I’ll be able to get it better next time.

Love you guys, miss you guys a lot.

Elder Tanner Noah Clegg

Monday, October 26, 2015

#68 Building Zion in Babylon

Hey guys, I'll pre-apologize for being short on words this week.

Springs is a crazy city, one day I'll miss walking up and down these run-down crowded streets piled and bustling with people of every nationality and color. Just about every nation of Africa has claimed a little piece of the pie in the cbd of Springs.

Anyways, we were able to watch conference this weekend. Pretty un-delayed compared to times in the past. I just picked out a thing or two from the words of our modern prophets and apostles;

What the world values is different than what God values. What God values is different than what the world values. The world praises the skeptics, applauds the cynical minds; Exalts the doubters. The World says that faith is uneducated. The world says that putting trust in things unseen is merely a scapegoat that self-alters 'true' reality: to falsly justify and soothe the dark times of human life, and to bring some artificial faith-induced light to the horizon of the unknown; to conjure up a post-mortal destiny. To create desperate, un-proven happily-ever-afters. 

The world will tell you that unbelief and being slow to trust in unseeable, good things from God is more educated and admirable in comparison to being believers.

But the thing is, it's easy to be skeptical. It's easy to be cynical. It's easy to doubt.

The world views a pathway of Christianity, or frankly any world religion; As the easy way, as a scheme to create blind security, an effort to alter reality, or a way to fathom up idealisms like 'life after death' or 'forever families'.

So what I'm trying to say is that I've learned that looking at eternal truths through a faulty, peer-influenced mortal scope is easy. Being a modernized pharisee and enlarging points of doctrine under a magnifying glass of criticism is what the world is viewing as intelligence, and is the easy way.  Being a disciple of Christ is not easy.

What I'm trying to get to, is that you should believe. Believe in God, and believe in Christ, and if you do not have ample evidence to justify your belief, do not pay heed to the mocks and cries of that great and spacious building, adorned with material wealth, and worldly elegance. You are on the right path, even if you cannot see the tree of life through the haze yet. Keep believing until God unveils His face to you. He will, trust my testimony on that one. Even if it takes a lot of fighting the urge to give into unbelief. The world will always praise the accuser of sound doctrine, who looks for a chink in the armor of mormonism, or of any sect for that purpose. But, as the Savior declared, we must be lights to the world. A world that is slipping deeper and deeper into a bottomless chasm of darkness and obscurity, who is frantically clawing and grabbing at anything and anyone it can take down with it. A path of unbelief is slippery and miserable. A path of belief is secure and happy. 

Believe in God. Because at the end of the day, God lives, and the scriptures warn us about giving into unbelief. If you believe, He will give you enough assurance to ignite your lamp of testimony, to guide and illuminate your paths through the long and complicated nights. If there's one thing that Jesus sjamboks (rebukes) in the scriptures it's when His followers didn't have faith, and it's likely a similar story today. Just hold on to whatever faith you have. Always remember that God loves you. Also remember that we worship a backwards God, or maybe we as people are backwards. We say 'show me a miracle, then I'll show you my faith'. God says 'show me your faith, and I'll show you a miracle'. Merely enduring in conjunction with believing through the thick and thin qualifies for the measure of faith necessary for God to reveal miracles in your life. So just hold on, and be believing, and everything will work out. 

ANyways I love you guys a lot. Thanks to everyone who writes me emails, it seriously means the world. I'm getting a new companion tomorrow, I'll definitely miss learning everyday from Elder Broadhead, and I look forward to even more adventures in the next six weeks.


Elder Tanner Clegg

"The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones"

Monday, October 19, 2015

#67 Modern-Day Pilates


Downtown Johannesburg, my favorite city.

Currently Brakpan and Springs are on cloud nine due to the Springboks taking the W against Wales on Saturday. Trust me when I say that missionary work is a shade under impossible during a rugby game in South Africa.

Had a couple special experiences this week, One of them was getting to go back to Daveyton; To see the growth and strength that is continually occuring in that special land, truly a place locked deep in the heart.

Also had a couple of those teaching experiences where you open your mouth and it's filled, where you had no idea how those words possibly got into your mouth, epecially when oratory and public speaking are a huge weakness.

So all is well in Springs, we get to watch conference on Saturday and Sunday which is nice. 3 or 4 weeks late is a lot better than how it was up in Limpopo, with power faliures and stolen electrical chords, plus just how remote it was. We get it a bit faster down here in Gauteng.(only like 4 weeks late bru)

We also were able to drive through Johannesburg cbd, through Hillbrow and Yeoville and Parktown; I always feel the spirit when I drive through that beautiful and crazy place, it just leaves me in awe to think that there is a temple of God in this diverse and dangerous, crime-ridden land, with angel Moroni sounding the trump for every nation and people to come, find purpose to life, and meaning for hapiness. Such a blessing. Got collects the elect out of the rough. He glorifies saints out of the ghetto.

Anyways, I've learned a thing or two this week about something called pride. Just as the Savior always has, and always will lay the cornerstone, and even be the cornerstone to His Church; it's the natural-man ailment of pride that lays the crumbly cornerstone to apostasy, basically if you resolve the issue of pride on a world-wide level, you solve every other issue that plagues the earth. More importantly, if there is no pride in the church, then the church grows and beautifies. Sometimes you get kinda tired or kinda lose zeal to do missionary work everyday, sometimes I've found myself a little like Pilate, wanting to 'wash my hands' so-to-speak, in response to answer God's call to serve. We can't be like Pilate and turn our backs on the truth, refusing to play a part in this latter-day work. There are callings to magnify, lives to bless, prayers to be answer, and the cool thing is that everyone has different capacities, different strength, and different abilities, all God-given, for the benifit of His children and the building and strenthening of His Kingdom. I hate to think of God as a stern, waiting-to-punish us Father for slacking or doing things wrong, I believe He is grateful for every sacrifice, whether it be small or great, to carry out His work here on earth. I think that one of the reasons that God sents nappy highschool kids on missions is because He wants them to get to know Him better. After a little over a year of being out here, I believe that God is an all-powerful, infinite, glorified being, who created and rules over stars, and moons, and galaxies and children without number. I believe that He is deep, and serious, and mysterious etc., but I'm also tempted to believe that He's a jovial, loving, merciful, easy-to-please, gentle, kind Father. A kind of guy that you would want to be around, the kind of guy you would want to learn from and remain close to; A true friend who always has your back, who always gives you love and hope.

Anyways, I'm short of words today. It's a privledge to serve in this area. I wish I could bring all you guys to South Africa one day, I think just a week here and one day in a sacrament meeting here would have the potential to change lives and enlarge perspectives. 

Also I've randomly been meeting tons of people from Manzini, Swaziland which is where Leo is serving and like just a couple kilometers away. Pretty wild.

Love you guys.
Elder Clegg

"Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the ressurection of the dead, being the first that should rise." -Jacob


Monday, October 12, 2015

#66 "Love & humility"


Huya morra everyone, hope everyone enjoyed watching the US getting eaten alive by the springboks in the rugby world cup. I was really hoping that America would win so these afrikaaners would be humbled and more accepting of our message. Eish. Whenever someone makes a point about it this side I just say 'eyy wat es rugby?'

Funny story, we taught a less active guy named bonganai, I tickled his little boy to death, he was crazy ticklish and super cute. Everytime I leave his house, I take his little two year old with me and wait to see how far I can get until he starts bawling cuz im stealing him, it’s kinda funny. I  usually just get out the door and take two steps then he starts hyperventilating then screams.

Anyways it's been a hectic and trying week, I've learned a thing or two about love and humility. I guess I'm just really grateful this week for the Savior. 'All things that are unfair about life are made right through the Atonement'.  I believe in Him, that He loved people in the meridian of time, and that he loves people even today. He healed and lifted in Palestine, he heals and lifts in South Africa, and all over the world.

"As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day...and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces..When the poor and needy seek, water and there is none,and their tongue faileth for thirst..I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee."

I love you guys, I apologize for not writing anything. I'm privledged to be working with the best missionaries in the universe this side. Please have a great week you guys. Totsiens.

 Also Leo (Elder Fuchs) whatever you do, don't eat the moppani worms tail-first, eat them head-first.

Saligahle,
entanda eStqogo zako wena.

Elder Tanner Noah Clegg

Monday, October 5, 2015

#65 entanda nsqogo zako

Elders Broadhead, Clegg, Hlophe, Ndwandwe and President Dunn


Another week Pelile in the city of Springs, South Africa. My Afrikaans has expanded it's vocabulary, my Zulu is getting more manqoba zonke day by day, but most importantly my testimony is growing and strengthening drop by drop. Bikki bikki maak mier.

All you mhlegaaz are lucky to have watched conference. Clear down here in mZanzi we've gotta wait a month or two.

Funny story.  For pday we played rugby for a few hours and playing rugby in the heat is super exhauasting.

So after we finished playing rugby in the Rynveld chapel, we were driving back to Springs and I was super thirsty and hot. So anyways it was close to rush hour at the exit that goes to Daveyton on the left, and Springs on the right, and so during high traffic there's always a bunch of guys selling cool times (like these super good Popsicle things) to the people waiting in their cars. So I was looking for two rand everywhere and I couldn't find any money, and I really really wanted one of those cool times.

So finally, when we reached the guy I looked in the backseat for some money and I saw the boxes of Book of Mormons we have, so I grabbed one and I was like 'can I trade you this for a cool time' and he was like 'ya baba' and so I gave him the book and he gave me the cool time.

So me and my comp laughed our heads of after that, I'm pretty sure I committed an unpardonable sin, but hey I think it's a good investment to him to trade a little cool time for a book that can bring eternal salvation into his life, in my defense. I probably would've given it to him anyways, even if he wouldn't make the deal.

Anyways I'm short for words, I'd just like to share what I've learned this week;

There is this one question that's haunted my mind for months: "You believe in God? Do you really believe that a loving Father would allow so much poverty, suffering, crime and pestilence to plague the African continent?"

It's a broken record, and it causes you to think deep..

I guess one thing I've picked up in the past year is that our present sufferings have a purpose, and that our God is a respecter of the recompense of reward, meaning that when unfathomable, unspeakable ugly-faced demons cause your heart to shudder, as you see the calamities of the world- as you feel cold sorrow for the sicknesses and depravity, and poverty of humankind, we must remember that someone a lot better and a lot sincerer and a lot bigger sees, and feels, and cares about those suffering children, including you. The reason we wander through strange valleys; famished in hope and abundant in sorrow, is because God knows what it takes to be like Him. He knows what it takes to be happy, and based on the simple fact that every person's chemical makeup is as diverse as the people of South Africa; God tries us to our various capacities, he lets us struggle just enough to know he lives and loves, and to ensure a glorious homecoming in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Whenever we experience adversity, we are experiencing a loving Father who is Celestializing a growing child's future. Whenever we see the sufferings of the world, we must assume that their eternal reward and happiness will be unequivocal to their struggles. Without bad there cannot be good. Without fear and complex and hopelessness, there cannot be faith and simplicity and hope.

I've acquired some sort of testimony of this Jesus Christ. Google won't prove to me that Jesus is the Savior, but on my mission I've learned a simple, yet insurmountable principle; Our faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

By the revelations of the Holy Ghost, I have faith in Jesus Christ. I have a testimony that he walked on water in the Fourth watch of the Hebrew night. He rebuked mighty winds, he calmed the Galileean waves. He will calm our storms. He will calm our tempests.

I believe that he restored life and hope and stability to the lowest of the low, He humbled the greatest of the great, and he spoke peace to the fatherless. He took on my name for a brief, but infinite second in a blood-stained olive grove. Now he's asked me to take on His.

Furthermore, I have a testimony that the same God who touched the untouchable, who lifted the unliftable, who comforted the comfortless, whose hands were driven by nails into a cruel wooden cross; also appeared in the spring of 1820, in a sacred grove of trees, to a pure, inquisitive boy of 14 named Joseph. I have a testimony that the same God who bears scars on his hands and feet, spoke to young Joseph. I believe that he stands today, Lord of lords, King of kings, beaconing all nationalities, languages, colors and personalities to come unto Him, to believe in His gospel and to be saved.

I'm grateful to be a member of the Church. A Church of so many different colors. I'm grateful to be a Mormon because being a Mormon brings me closer to Jesus.

"He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (quoted by Abinadi, while standing in shackles and chains before King Noah)


Well I'm not sure what else to write about, thanks for your prayers and for your support. I love you guys so much. Keep this land in your prayers. Sorry for no pictures, if you were in this email shop you would understand.

Elder Tanner Noah Clegg

PS...Mom's note:  Another story wrote in his letter to me:

Then we went and taught a Malawian guy who lives clear out in the boonies. . Anyways it was a cool experience, we drove clear out on this gravel road super far from the church to meet this guy who was baptized in Malawi recently. He then moved this side and is now staying in a place close to Eloff, in this secluded little village that the gospel has never gotten close to. A bunch of his friends joined us for a restoration lesson, and although we couldn't really commit them to church, we did place a whole bunch of Book of Mormons and pamphlets and videos to hold them over until the church does eventually reach them, it was a cool experience.

Monday, September 28, 2015

#64 KONY 2012


Well we've been doing a lot of finding this week. We've been trying to hunt down KONY.

anyways..

It's inevitable that missionary work among the Afrikaans breed of people is slightly impossible during the rugby world cup. Especially when the springboks are playing. I guess on the downside, when you rattle on gates, no one comes out or they just yell at you to leave during the game, but on the upside we've just been yelling 'ey let us in so we can come watch the game with you'. It hasn't been super effective as of yet.

Another upside to Springs, (in comparison to Krugersdorp) is that a much smaller fraction of the people think that we are Jehova's Witness, which is nice I guess. 

Our flat is in a town called Brakpan, being interpreted into English; 'Dog dish'. Brakpan in essance is the punchline of any South African Joke. I'd invite you to google 'jokes about Brakpan' but I'm scared about what you might find.

Anyways the work truly is progressing, we are currently covering two wards; Springs and Selcourt, so basically you never have any downtime.  I haven't written in my journal all week so I have to think hard about what even happened.

Tuesday was super monati fela, mostly because I got to go on exchanges to none other than Daveyton, aka D promised land. It was amazing to see some of the people who have made deep impressions in my life, who hold special places in my heart. It was amazing to see how far I've come since I was just in the hustle and bustle of the hectic atmosphere associated with an African township, just about a year ago. It was cool to see how things have grown there. When I first was there, we had one ward. ON Tuesday, when I went back, we discovered: 1 ward, 1 branch and two clusters, with a new group soon to be formed. None of that growth is credit to me at all, it's just God's arm reavealing in this remote land. IT was amazing to see people who you had maybe taught one or two lessons to, who in just one year later, had been baptized and held callings and are preparing for missions. I guess long-story-short, when the work is tough and you can't figure out why you were sent somewhere or when people don't seem to be baptized; Just wait a year, and then you'll be able to see. The Lord has a different perspective than us. The Lord worked miracles in that beautiful area. I'm grateful to have been able to watch it with my eyes.

I'm just really grateful to be a missionary. I'm grateful to go into this vast, beautiful world carrying a message with potential to make relationships eternal. I'm grateful to be in perhaps the most transcendant and diverse and complex country on the entire earth, sharing a message to unite men of all races, all nations, all cultures. I'm grateful to literally sing, to a colorful field of nationalities: 'Hark all ye nations, hear Heaven's voice'. Please pray for the Salvation of this beautiful country, only the gospel will unite men of all races, nationalities, and backgrounds. Pray that the Lord's arms of mercy will be revealed and extended to this land. Only the gospel will save the world from the calamity of it's self-destruction. Only the gospel will stabilize this wild country, only the gospel will reach deep enough to speak peace to It's tragic background.

"Wherefore, all mankind were in a lost and in a fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer" (1Nephi 10:6)


Angels of glory
shout the refrain:
Truth is Restored again

well sorry im short for words this week. I love you all. always feel free to write me, miss you guys tons. also sorry for no pictures, you guys in America live in luxury with computers that function properly. Count your blessings Majitos.

Elder Tanner Noah Clegg

also S/O to my boy Elder Leo Fuchs who is currently laboring with the Lord about 150 kilometers to the east of me in Swaziland. Keep that lil Brazilian in your prayers.



PS.  Mom's NOTE:
He got to go on exchanges in Daveyton where he spent the first 7 months of his mission.  So I heard from a couple of FB friends who "spotted" him, these are what they said:


  • Hi sister Clegg...thought I'd share these with you....I saw elder Clegg today...he was in Daveyton...it was really nice seeing him again


Keitumetse Tumi Zwane
Always a pleasure...he's such a good kid...approaching people at the mall...preaching the Gospel...I can bet he was born to do this...he do it with such ease...you have a wonderful boy!
And he's funny too
The last was:

Maria Gaitsi Madumane
Greetings Mrs Clegg. My name is Maria Madumane from South Africa. We were fortunate as a family to meet your son Tanner. What a great your man, a soldier. I won't forget the 1st we meet him so young ,fragile,shy guy. We were one of the first families he taught. And we were the 1st family to serve him pap (porridge). We made wonderful memories with him. He was moved to other areas and he visited us last night oh I must say he has grown even his testimony and he's love for the gospel and bringing souls closer to God. We are so proud of him he is a blessing to us and the world. U r truly blessed. My family sends their love to you and your family