Monday, February 23, 2015

#34 GREETINGS FROM LIMPOPO


Playing with Lions
Sitting at transfer meeting, listening to Elder Menendez call out all the names of where people are going. All the sudden he says
...and making the 5 hour drive to Tzaneen, is Elder Clegg.

monkeys who swing around our chapel
When you're driving to your new area and you see "hippopoamus crossing" signs, you know that things are getting real. I've been called to serve in a place called Tzaneen- origanally an Afrikaans town, surrounded by mountains. I'm talking legit, straight- green hawaii-looking mountains. Also serving in the surrounding villages and township. Like I'm telling you there are straight up poisonus frogs, monkeys who swing around our chapel, and black mambas who prowl through the bushes. Tzaneen is surrounded by banana plantations and mountains, it's the coolest place on earth, and about 5 million degrees celcius. so pretty hot farenheight i guess.

My new companion is a guy named Elder Laminie, he's a Cape-Town colored (half white and half blacks are called colored over here and it's totally acceptable) he speaks fluent Afrikaans and isiXhosa. Like the two sickest languages in the world. I sometimes have trouble understanding his english, but he is really the sweetest guy, he just is always stoked to work super hard it's legit. When he bears his testimony with his accent and personality it just makes you smile. He is crazy and tells me all the insane stuff he used to do before his mission.

MIssionary work in a town is quite different than a township. I've faced alotta rejection in this short week- probably more than I've faced my entire mission. So I know how 90% of the missionaries in the world feel sometimes now. There's also gigantic bloodthirsty dogs at every single stinking house I swear to you. Like every house in town is guarded by a huge dog, or seven, as well as a gnarly electric fence. It's gonna be a challenge to get past those things and get into people's hearts.

The other day we saw this super sweet complex of houses and all the sudden this prompting came to my mind- i was like 'let's teach the security guard about the book of mormon and then have him let us in'. So we did, we taught him in his little guard station, and then were like "there's a bunch of people inside this place who don't know about this book, will you please let us in?" and he totally did, it was legit. but after knocking about 5 houses we got chased out by an old angry Afrikaaner. Ah well it was still really cool.

When I got here we straight had 0 lessons planned for the next week. Yesterday we had 0 investigators at our branch. So stuffs gotta pick up, I would totally appreciate it if you kept this little place called Tzaneen in your prayers.

We were able to go out to the village a couple times. I'm telling you Tzaneen is like right on the tropical line, it's straight green year round here- the villagers walk shoeless with stuff on their heads- there's mango trees everywhere. There's no such things as adresses in the village, you ask someone where they live and they just tell you how far up the mountain that they stay. They either live at the top of the mountain, bottom of the mountain, or by the river. KInda rough for missionary work but seriously such a sweet experience. And let me tell you- the stars out here at night are absolutely unreal, you can clearly see the milky way, makes me kinda trunky for my camera but it's all good.

I just really would appreciate if you kept me and Tzaneen in your prayers, this place is kinda dead when it comes to missionary work, and we need it to start back up.. I feel a little overwhelmed at times you know, but I keep drawing back on my experience with my buddy Paxton (now elder terry) at skills nationals.

Back in June, a week before I left on mission, Paxton and I were selected to represent the state of Utah for TV video production in Kansas City for SkillsUSA. We had no idea what we were doing, no idea how to work audio, how to please judges etc. etc. We had some great advisors who helped us the best they could, but honestly we were just two goof balls who like taking cool pictures on their cameras.
We decided that we needed to fast.
So we did, and long story short- somehow we came outta there with a silver medal.

I kinda feel like that right now, this kind of missionary work is foreign to me- im used to 17 investigators at church, but I know that the Lord will help us, no matter how unprepared or inadequate we may feel.

Love you guys so much, gonna go see some lions in a sec which will be sweet. They speak Tsonga up here, so my Zulu has gone to whack. Go to my lil brothers baptism this week. Benson I love you buddy, hopefully it'll be special.

Ek lief vir julle
(love you guys)

Elder Tanner Clegg



Lions & Tigers...









hyena
ZL Elder Olson

Using his old film
camera he bought at a 
pawn shop in SLC



And finally...the monkeys



2 comments:

  1. Elder Clegg, I will read this to my family tonight (daughter, 17 & son, 13) and we will channel our love of Africa and the people into prayers for your, your comp and the people in Tzaneen. Your contagious smile and the zeal you and your comp have will work miracles, as the prayers of so many come in your behalf; you are doing a work like no other, you have obviously sacrificed much and are becoming someone new: stronger, shinier, :) and deeper. Thank you for sharing all your experiences on this blog. I think of the millions of members all over the world, praying for the missionaries and those you teach. One thing I learned on my mission: you can call down the powers of heaven to open hearts, doors, opportunities and miracles. That is your mission, your right and privilege. "If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates." (Joseph Smith) Imagine how many ancestors & future African souls in the spirit world want the gospel to flourish amongst their people!! Ask for their help--in specific ways. I know you don't me, but your mom was my roommate in Galilee and your Brown grandparents were a special part of my own deeper conversion in Israel. God bless you, Elder Lamini and everyone around you!!

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  2. Amazing photos of these beautiful animals....

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