We have a powerful member who stays in a house by this lake in the village. My comp told me 'don't worry, they killed the crocodile in that lake'.
|Matching ties for Benson's baptism|
Unfortunately water this week was in short supply, so we spent quick a bit of time driving water jugs from members houses in the mogolobotu village (where there was no water) over to the village closer to Tzaneen where there is water, filling them up and then driving them back.
Never realized how nice it is to just have water.
As well as electricity:
like for whatever reason the South African government is doing this thing called 'load shedding', where basically they cut the electricity for a period of time from the poor areas. and it's usually unexpected, and is a little troublesome for missionary work. Especially in a village. But I'm not gonna lie, it seems as if in-the-dark discussions are more conducive of the spirit. With no light except maybe a candle, the fireflies, and the brilliant stars above. (there's like 0 light pollution way up here)
It's amazing I get to see both sides of the spectrum- the cheesiest (richest) of mZanzi and also the poorest. It's a challenge tryna determine where to focus on the most- in the village you've got the problem of transportation- in the town, you've got the problem of angry afrikaaners and pit bulls and miles of electric fencing and barbed wire.
|Dam at Tzaneen|
But there is a way past the scoffs and security systems, into their hearts. It's allowed me to get a little creative with how we do missionary work. The restored gospel of Jesus is truly necessary and needed by everyone, lots of people just don't know that they need it.
I'm exhausted. Tzaneen is tough, but we have like 18 new investigators after this week, and we had three at church which is three more than last week. So just keep Tzaneen in your prayers. It would mean the world. Never been so tired mentally and physically, but doing my best to help the Lord turn Tzaneen around into something amazing.
Learned one thing this week:
Sometimes in life we shy away from things cuz we don't think we are good enough, or capable enough to accomplish that thing. we decide to rather, leave it to someone else- or even ignore it or avoid it altogether. But honestly hard things are put into our lives for a reason. We are inadequate, we are uncapable- percentage wise it's nearly impossible for an average human to make the slightest difference in the world. But this beautiful quote sheds some light on us: "no one makes a bigger mistake than the person who didn't do anything cuz they could only do a little"
|Pday with Henderson, Clegg, Olson & Laminie|
Like for me I get anxiety and frustration cuz theres like 7 billion people in this world and there's like 88 thousand missionaries or something. And even in Tzaneen, there's two of us, and it's a powerful week if we just see 30 of God's children.. but truly speaking in a literal, factual percentage statistic, that's next to 0.
So why do we do it? Why does the Lord even send people on missions. Why do we try? Why do we get so excited over one baptism when there are 6.99 billion others who haven't made that step?
The answer to my prayer came in the testimony of a departing missionary I didn't even know; He tells the story:
There was once a little boy, walking along the sea shore. The sea was at low-tide, and stuck on the beach were numberless starfish; helpless and immobile due to the receding ocean.
The little boy was walking amongst the starfish, picking them up one by one, and tossing them back to their home, saving their lives. An older man, walking down the coastline stopped and observed what the child was doing, and puzzled said 'why are you doing that?' there are countless sea stars stranded on the beach, you can't save them all. You can't even make a difference.
The little boy responded by simply picking another one up, tossing it into the ocean, and then looking at the man and saying "I made a difference to THAT one".
Maybe it's foolish to say that you can make a difference in the slightest statistically. But you make an eternal difference in the life of someone else. The Lord is the one in charge. He will hasten His work in His own time, and in His own way. But that doesn't mean we can't at least try to make a difference in the life of someone else.
'how great shall be your joy with the one soul you have brought unto me in the kingdom of my Father'
Maybe we can't make a difference to the world, but we can make a world of difference to someone else.
Testimony meeting sunday was powerful. A brother told a story how his brother was shot last week by tsotsies, but he was still able to clearly and calmly testify of the devine mission of Jesus Christ, with his triumphant victory over the grave, The Plan of Salvation, and forgiving others.
|Benson & twin sisters|
I love you Benson, it's so awesome that you were baptized. Seriously so proud of you. I guarantee Jesus was smiling that day. Maybe even crying (cuz over here was an insane rainstorm)
Weird to think that over a year ago I was opening up my call to serve.
Elder Tanner Clegg
|Benson & mom|
It was different not having Tanner here for Benson's baptism. But, we were able to include him. Tanner gave the "baptism talk". He recorded into a recordable USB drive and then downloaded it on p-day onto my dropbox. And we were able to play that at the baptism. The 10 minutes during the talk...finally felt like we were all together again. During the talk, Benson kept wiping his eyes. It was so sweet. You could tell he really missed Tanner & he felt the Spirit.
Also, Benson wore a matching tie with Tanner. The 1st one we sent to Tanner in Daveyton...he was wearing it for the first time and a young man said he didn't have clothes for church. So Tanner took it off and gave it to him. I told Benson that Tanner had given the tie to someone poor. Benson laughed & said "At least I can match with a beggar." So, we got a 2nd tie to Tanner and he and Benson both wore it on Saturday.