Monday, January 26, 2015

#30 Wa Shisza

Just gotta say im so grateful to be in Africa, i just think of that every time im biking down these dirt trails, and straight-up no joke kicking goats out of my way, seriously kicking them out of the way. Just imagine a beat mountain-bike trail surrounded by dirt and green and tin shacks and mamas carrying huge baskets of stuff on their heads and kids playing soccer with sack cloth and stick goalposts under one of the most majestic backdrops- the huuuuuggge African sky.

Gotta see the waters of baptism this week, pretty insane experience. First off last week our chapel got robbed- tsotsies broke in and took all the water pipes unfortunately. But luckily we were still able to have a baptism, i was able to baptise this young women here named basetsana, luckily her full name doesn’t have any super prominent clicks, just mostly slurs. But seriously such an amazing experience getting to do that, takes me back to when I got the opportunity to baptise my little brother max. Except unlike Max, these Africans are absolutely horrified by water. The family of the ones we baptise stay clear out at the north cluster- so luckily bishop has a straight up bus and he took the whole family on the journey to the only font around- but if im honest i would’ve preferred baptizing someone in one of those mosquito infested ponds.. but unfortunately the crocodiles probably wouldn’t really wanna sit around and patiently watch the service.

It’s amazing to see how this stuff literraly changes people’s lives. The gospel transforms them in front of your eyes. My testimony is growing that miracles are real.. the rough thing is that we are in a township of a million people, so it’s rough that you can’t just teach them all at once.. but god knows the ones he wants to be a part of His church on the earth in these last days, and if you’re faithful he’ll guide you to them.

Also I’ve realized how important the family and marriage are, don’t sell for anything short of a Celestial marriage. Trust me societies literally flip upside down when the value of marriage is lost, it’s happening before my eyes. I’ve never seen so much ugly evil, yet so much good and growth of the church and beauty in my entire life.

Also realizing the importance of the atonement. Like none other does the mission throw the biggest trials in your face. Not just mission life itself, but rather the Lord allows your weaknesses, infirmities, fears to get thrown right in your face, with such a force as to almost physically knock you over. So many nights you just plead and plead in prayer, for some kind of help from the things that are killing you. But honestly it’s when these things are killing you, that you’re coming closer and becoming more like Christ.. truly he walked the lonliest route, truly he felt the most hurt, fear, trials, temptations and overcame them.

Sill learning how to access his sufferings, to gain help from his experience in walking through our life. But we’re so lucky to have this unseen grace, this enabling power that we learn can be accessed by so little as a prayer. Grateful for that.

Biked through my fair share of lightning storms this week. Ill attatch a picture of my shirt. I was getting just a little down thinking eish im freezing biking through this gnarly African rainstorm when back at home people are throwing down gnarly triple corks in the x games today (it was Thursday). But then i remembered I’m doing this for the Savior, and that beats skiing anyday.

Saw a bolt of lightning slam a telephone pole right in front of us, sparks flying everywhere. Also laughed probably harder than I’ve ever laughed before when our member, Ammon was so fascinated by the electric window opener in my car you would think it was Christmas morning with how much fun he was having opening and closing the window.

My conversion is growing.. i honesly didn’t really have much of a testimony before my mission- but although i don’t have all the answers, I can tell you that I really truly believe that this is honestly the work of salvation. I believe that God and Jesus Christ are real. My testimony is with Ammon when he exclaims “blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land”

Truly believe that in some form or another the Savior walks with us every day. Listen to his voice when you see the beauties of nature, when you see the wrinkles from years of smiling caressed on one’s face, listen to His voice in the laughter of children, and look for His multitudes of tender mercies and subtle spiritual experiences he personally provides in our lives on a daily basis.

You know my testimony isn’t totally there, but I can comfortably and honestly say that I believe that this Jesus Christ we all talk about is real and alive and loving and we can tangibly feel His loving influence if we look for it and seek it through our lives. I believe the Church is true, and truly stationed at the head is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Too jealous to my friend Elder Sterling Smith who is serving in the Galapagos Islands, I literally hate you. Also for my friend Chandler Beck, who will be joining me in Africa in the Ghana, Accra mission for two years. Grateful for my awesome friends. Also you would think our cluster was stationed in SLC, Utah just cuz we have a general authority present in the tiny old day-care center at least monthly. On Sunday Elder Cook, the Africa Area Present was there. Always a tender mercy when a general authority comes the day you have a baptism.

Love you guys,
Elder Clegg

Monday, January 19, 2015

#29 Kunjani (How are you)

check this cool cloud

Hello mFuetsu’s (brothers and sisters),

Its been one of those tough trying weeks. Sometimes you just gotta remember that you go through all this stuff for the savior. The chapel got broken into, so there was no church there, but luckily we have our two clusters. Had more people at church this week than ever before.

Just sometimes gotta realize that God lets you go through stuff to shape and transform you.

Sorry guys not much time this week. Love and miss you all. Enjoy the x games.

But over here in mZanzi,
“we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God”
“Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you.
Behold my Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify; and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me.

Choose this day to serve the Heavenly King of Glory. Go help someone in need.

“He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

The actions are inevitably connected- when we find ourselves coming unto Christ, it’s then when we realize the reality of our inadequacy; how small our presence in the world really is. But as we realize that we as mortal human beings really aren’t much, as to the sheer majesty of God’s creations we are but a tiny dot, and we learn to rely on the Savior, it’s then when we realize that although we are small, insignificant, seemingly unimportant to a higher power, the Eternal creator of the whole universe, of galaxies and cosmoes ond atoms and molecules is exactly and perfectly tuned in and aware of your life, He’s literally your Father.  

And although maybe we don’t mean much to the world, we don’t measure up to anything of much significance in the eyes of scientists and theologins, we mean the world to Him that created us, because indeed our quest as His children is His work and His glory. Just keep in mind when you’re ever doubting, that you have so much Eternal potential and significance flowing inside of you, that you should never feel or be under the notion that you should give up. Keep going hard, keep trying. Stay strong in the gospel, and the rewards are Eternal.

Sorry to get kinda spiritual, props go out to my boys Tom Wallisch and Gus Kenworthy and Joss Christiansen, bring home the gold. I’ll watch re-runs in two years. Also learned how to play banana pancakes on the guitar.

Ngiyukathanda (I love you guys),

Elder Tanner N Clegg

Monday, January 12, 2015

#28 Mosquitoes and Straight up Miracles

Carrying people across the flashflood river...

If I’m honest I hate mosquitos.

Sleep with the window closed and die of heat.

Sleep with the window opened and get eaten alive by mosquitos.

You pick.

It’s been a great week, everything is so green over here. We are just about exactly mid-summer this side. Just as the heat, mosquitos and rain have picked up, seemingly so has the missionary work. Lots and lots of people coming to church. Lots and lots of work to do. 15 investigators at church yesterday.

This week I got chased by a tsotsie (thug) who was tryna steal my bike while we were biking back from Minanawe to Daveyton. Like this hitta jumped out of the bushes and just started sprinting after me, good thing for me we’ve biked our legs off the past few weeks so basically Lance Armstrong’s got nothing on us, so the dude gave up cuz he couldn’t catch me.

Unfortunately the cluster areas are pretty sketch, but you do what you gotta do for the Lord and His work.

It’s really interesting- back in Daveyton people still get pretty hyped to see a couple of white guys, but out in Minanawe no joke- the kids like cry when they see us. We have an investigator who has a little kid and every time he sees us he just straight up starts bawling. Some of these younger people haven’t ever seen a mulungu before. They think we’re monsters or something it’s wild.

On Wednesday it rained like a straight up hurricane. Flash flooding is the real deal. We were out in Minanawe, teaching a lesson. Since all the houses are made with tin roofs, we were shouting to teach this guy about the book of mormon, and soon it became helpless. We then realized that we better get outta there cuz the road we drove in on is now a straight up river with rapids and trash floating down it (ill attach a picture) it was mad, I had to reverse backwards through a river for like 300 yards to get out, I was super surprised we didn’t get stuck.

Afterwards we saw a paralyzed guy in a wheelchair with his little brother trying to push him back home through the river, so we went to help this guy. We literally pushed a paralyzed guy in a wheelchair down and through and across a river to his house. I wonder if wheelchairs float, it might be something to put into consideration if you're in mZanzi.

After that, there was a big river covering the main road in Minanawe where everyone usually walks across, so there were a couple people who didn’t want to go across. So I put a fat guy on my back and carried a couple of dudes across  (i'll attach that picture) it was legit. Needless to say my clothes are taking some serious beating, but all is well in Zion.

Almost nailed a goat this week. Also almost got bitten by a duck, and a dog. We were tracting some house, i went through the little gate, looked up and saw a nice pile of dog poop. Suddenly red flags started popping up in my mind, and all the sudden this raging ball of fur comes charging after me. I ran and slipped out the gate, pulling it shut barely in time to see the teeth and claws slam into the gate at full speed. Needless to say we didn’t go back to that house again. There’s too many township dogs here, when one comes to bite you, just pretend like you’re picking up a rock and usually it’ll bounce and you’ll be shap.

Too many babelas muzungus, but the work is truly progressing before our eyes. Weird how skiing, surfing, wakeboarding, climbing, photography, etc etc have been things I’ve found solice and excitement from in the past, but honestly missionary work is equally exciting. Think maybe because it’s the most important. My mission means absolutely everything to me. It’s got my priorities set straight. You realize that there’s allota God’s children out there besides just you. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the entire world. Even though there’s alotta difficult. Alotta tears. Alotta fears.

My mission means absolutely everything to me. I can only be grateful to be in such a beautiful, majestic land and culture. I can only be grateful to serve around these amazing African brothers and sisters. I can only be grateful to be a missionary.

Lastly, Elder Hamilton from the quorum of the seventy came to the Chris Hanni cluster. In this hot, little wooden zozo he told us that the bretheren, and the quorum is aware of this cluster. That Elder Bednar, Elder Holland, Elder Oaks are the minds inspired by God to put forward the cluster innovation. And oh how it’s working.

Funny how the only place I’ve met general authorities is in a tiny garage we call a chapel in South Africa.

In His closing remarks, after telling us how the APOSTLES are aware of us, he expressed how going on a mission was the hardest, and best thing he’s ever done. I second that testimony. Being here means everything to me.

I love you all, serve a mission. Help someone in need today. Love the savior.


Elder Clegg

quick miracle story-
Walking through a squatter camp the other day, saw a guy in his “front yard” raking his dirt. Offered help- while trying to get him to let us help, his wife came out and said she needed to talk to us.

A while back she had a dream, a dream about Christ, saying to her “I’m coming to fetch you”

A couple months back, Elder Wilkinson and I were out contacting people or something, and she saw us, this dream of the Savior came back into her mind. She rushed over to talk to us, but we must have hamba’d  too fast and she missed us.

She feels like one who God needs us to find, her name is O---. When suddenly we showed up at her little zozo door, in a township with close to a million people in it, I don’t think it was anything short of a miracle. She agreed to let us teach her, told us about this dream. We bore testimony that we were the servants of Christ, that He was literally “coming to fetch her.”

She agreed to be baptised February 8th, she came to church for the first time yesterday.

Monday, January 5, 2015

#27 What even is golfing?

New Years 2015
Just got a testimony this week that hard work pays off.

Also broke my nametag in half.

Plus i think it freaks Elder Savage out that I can blow bubbles off my tounge.

New Years 2014, me, jakell, mccall, jenna, and grant (Honduras mission)
 Also thinking back a year ago when me, grant, mccall, jenna, jakell were loading up the truck w/ surfboards heading to long beach for New Year’s. I don’t think I would’ve ever imagined that I’d be in Africa exactly a year later, preaching the gospel to my brothers and sisters in the township of Daveyton. Haven’t slept in any church parking lots with my hammock lately tho.

Anyways we started the week off right with a little game of golf on Monday:

Golf over here isn’t golf. There's a biggish patch of grass with a broken-down barbed wire fence around it in the middle of our township. In Africa, we call this thing a golf course. We used plastic garbage bags and sticks off trees for the pins and flags on the greens. There’s no one to make you pay, so as long as you can make it past the first hole where the old drunk dudes who think they’re good lounge around and criticize your swing, you’re home free.

So basically you swing and hit your ball, and you have to run straight after it or the little kids will run outta the bushes and steal your ball. There’s kids using the ‘greens’ you’re hitting to for soccer games. There’s people making out under all the trees. Everyone uses the golfcourse as a shortcut from point a to point b. You have a whole new set of challenges rather than just waterhazards it’s wild. Think they need to come up with a new name for township golf.

On a spiritual note this week was awesome- we’ve been working hard, and finally saw some ‘fruit’ i guess you could call it.

On Sunday at church, we’re just sitting there and like no one was there at 9 oclock when we were supposed to start. The normal members started to trickle in around then.. I was still a little discouraged because i thought there would be at least a couple of investigators at church. All of the sudden, during the sacrament hymn, literally the floodgates were open, and we had investigator after investigator pile in, sooo many people came in that we had to stop the meeting, and make room in the tiny little day-care-center-now-church for everyone. Seriously guys im telling you we had a multitude come to church on Sunday. I couldn’t help but just smile watching all these people we met the weeks before make it to church. At the birth of the cluster(about a month ago) we struggled to manage to have 30 people at church. Yesterday we had 71, it was insane.

A sacrament meeting I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Just really the best way to end off the week. I was just astonished, we somehow had 14 investigators at church. Easily the best sacrament meeting of my entire life. Elder Savage and I couldn’t even sit and watch the testimony meeting(which was surprisingly over 50% English yesterday) because there wasn’t enough room, we had to sit in another room and listen. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it.

Kinda funny that a couple of 18 and 19 year old kids are hyped over some people coming to church. Like where else in the world do you find teenagers worrying over whether someone is gonna make it to church or not? I’m just really grateful to be on a mission. Don’t pass up the opportunity if it presents itself in any form to you.

Well guys, i hope your new year was great, I miss you tons. Love you lots.


Elder Tanner Clegg

 “Teach me to walk in the light of His love
Teach me to pray to my Father above
Teach me to know all the things that are right
Teach me, teach me, to walk in the Light”