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,