This week was hard. It was rough, but hey it's what I signed up for.
On the bright side I learned how to count to ten in Afrikaans, it's a nice conversation starter, because my Afrikaans is straight rubbish so when I open my mouth the people they can't hold back their laughs. My TsiPedi and Tsonga aren't much better, Zulu is definitely my mother tongue this side but unfortunately no one in Limpopo knows it.
And more good news- I've found a good way to indroduce the book of Mormon with people, it's called you just pick out someone in the crowd and say "eh eh catch neh?" and toss em the blue book before they respond, and they have no choice but to catch it and talk to you, and get them nfl recruiters this side im telling you these south Africans have soft hands. Lil rougher w/ afrikaaners they think you've commited capital crime if you toss them a book of Mormon.
Just one of those rough weeks.. not much more to say, just super grateful to be clear up here in Tzaneen. It's stretching me and pulling me and making me learn how to not just work, but work smart.
It's just.. everyone here in town I swear has got "their own church" and everyone in the village of my area has no transport or desire to drive clear to the chapel in Tzaneen. It's a crazy complex area that's tough to figure out. Times I've wondered if really this is the Lords work, I've heard all these amazing missionary experiences from friends and family through the years, all these crazy unreal stories about how they found so-and-so, this and that. At times I've failed to see His hands in this work..
Just like wondering "how on earth are we gonna do it. How are we gonna help this area accept Christ. I've been given stewardship over the like 50,000 people who live in this area, who all need the gospel even though they don't know they need it; How are we gonna do it?"
I think if God intended for everyone in Tzaneen, or to put it straight- if God wanted everysingle person in the world to perfectly hear the gospel, He would've come up with a better plan than just sending a small band of imperfect 18 and 19 year olds into the four corners of the earth, declaring these glad tidings of great joy among the people; Such a sacred message carried by a very sparse and imperfect group of young men and women.
Doors slamming in their faces, baptisimal dates falling through, facing rejection and shame on a day-to-day basis, being scorned by the learned, looked down on by their own brothers and sisters who we just wanna help to get back home.
In short: Everyone needs this but no one wants to listen to it.
So, I think if God intended for every single inhabitant of the earth to be preached the gospel in it's fullness he would've manufactured a different plan, involving better, more qualified people-and involving a way for every single one of these people to attain a perfect understanding of right and wrong- of the truth and of the cunning wiles of the devil.
So I guess I'm trying to say, that as I was walking the streets of Tzaneen this week in the hot African sun, facing a lot of long hours and a lot of rejection; a lot of fallen-through teaching appointments and a lot of discouragement, seeming as if the monkeys were even mocking from the sidelines; The thought comes to mind:
"Elder Clegg, maybe it's your turn to accept this message you've been spreading, maybe this is God perfectly teaching you the gospel perfectly in it's fullness. Maybe He's sent you clear to South Africa to preach HIs gospel to you, and now you're learning it perfectly at it's fullest by trying to get other people to hear about it."
I know that we get sent on missions for the people, it's honestly not about us at all. And I know that angels are preparing people, and that we need to keep going every day so the right one will be put in our path.
But what I'm saying is that God loves all of His children, just as much as he loves me; And I believe he'll give everyone the same opportunity to hear, feel, experience the gospel like I'm starting to right now. I don't have to worry about imperfections, I don't have to worry about every single person in town, or every single one of the 7 million in nkowankowa and mokgolobotho hearing the gospel perfectly, that's God's job. He hastens the work. It's my job to do my best, to learn and to grow- and to keep going so that one person whom I've been sent to Tzaneen to find might open up their hearts to us. Even Mother Teresa, who was revered by millions was only a 'single drop in the ocean' but if she didn't try, the ocean would be short a drop.
Like back on the shores of Galilee, when Jesus was teaching the multitude of thousands, and all that could be gathered was a few loaves and a couple fishes. But that small offering to Christ resulted in an immense congregation being fed. Although we can't do much, we can give our sacrifice to Christ who magnifies it an hundred fold, yea, even more.
Anyways getting a new comp tomorrow, mixed feelings I'll miss my cape town colored. We've worked crazy hard together to try to build this area.
Just keep Tzaneen in your prayers. Love you guys and miss you so much.. just one of those rough weeks we all have. Tzaneen will change, it will budge- just giving my small imperfect sacrifice to the master who will magnify it beyond comprehension. Just one of those times you've gotta rely on the Savior. Because that's the only thing you can do.
Elder Tanner Clegg
"Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.
Prone to leave the God I Love.
He, to rescue- me from danger;
Interposed his precious blood"
MOM's NOTE: Elder Laminai is getting transfered. He and Tanner drove to Johannesburg today for p-day so they are ready for transfers tomorrow. So I chose from old pictures to put in the blog. Tanner will get his new companion tomorrow and make the 5 1/2 hour drive back up to Tzaneen. Thank you for all your support and prayers for Tanner & Tzaneen. Sometimes, he says he can feel them.