It's been a brutaly difficult week to be totally honest. Tzaneen is the best, but also the most difficult of the areas in this mission. But it's been a rewarding, stretching, testimony-building one.
Started off with a legit mountain bushwack hike. too bad ill have to wait two years to develop my film. Also for all the cuts to heal from my legs cuz I swear every bush and tree in Africa is like one level under a cactus.
Endured some crazy heat. Like the sun must really love Tzaneen cuz it never seems to wanna go away.
All week we've been promoting and advertising a lil finding project- in the village and Tzannen; where we were able to get access to a primary school out in Mokgolobotho village, and use our chapel here in Tzaneen.
So the big day (thursday) arrived. And at about 20 past Four we had 1 investigator, and about 15 kids who didn't know english. (ill attatch a picture)
The next day we did the same thing in Tzaneen, and luckily we had two sisters from the tea plantation show up. There's a big mountain overlooking Tzaneen, and the whole mountain is blanketed with tea plants. There's like a mansion on top of this tea mountain, and that's where they stay.
One day we were conducting a "survey" about families in a parking lot, we saw these two ladies and helped them put their groceries in their car. They agreed to learn more about our message- and invited us to teach them at their resturant at the top of the mountain.
We've now been teaching them for 2 weeks, and they were the only ones to come to this 'movie night' we threw together in the chapel. I was a little discouraged at first, cuz we were expecting a bunch of people but it turned out okay:
We watched "the restoration" about the life of Joseph Smith, and his divine encounter with the Father and the Son.
Instantly at the part when the 14 year old boy Joseph left his house to 'ask of God', it's like the spirit of the Lord penetrated through the chapel windows, floors and ceiling. I can't say I didn't feel something, because I did. And I was praying the whole time that these sisters would feel it as well.
When the lights came back on, and my companion stood up to testify and close the meeting, there were already tears in their eyes.
I gained such a more eye-opening testimony of Joseph Smith on that day.. that he really did see what he saw.. I totally believe that.
Everytime mission has gotten rough since then I've just thought of hymn 26, and how people need to know about it.
Our mission President made the journey up to Tzaneen this week for zone conference. I got another addition to my testimony that I was 90% called here because of my Mission President.
Also in church on Sunday it was kinda distracting when you have monkeys jumping around outside by the baptisimal font. A baptisimal font that through 'much fasting and mighty prayer' will be cracked open soon. There are families. There are people in Tzaneen who need to be baptized. Who need to be baptized soon, who not only need to be baptized but need to know that Joseph Smith really saw God and Jesus Christ, and that through him the pathway safely back to Heaven has been carefully, beautifully hand-placed by our 'Great Jehova', and it's here on the earth today. The only way that baptisimal font's gonna crack open is through fasting, mighty prayers, hard work and miracles.
Anyways I'm short of words this week. All in all one of the rougher weeks on the mission for more reasons than one.. Really days get extremely long sometimes, and the work gets hard occasionly. You're testifying all day to people about the plan of happiness without being happy yourself.
But it's during these rough times that we gain the testimony. It's during this contrast of happiness that you can more easily see the good vs. the bad. The truth vs. the fake. There's times where only adversity can teach you principles of the gospel. That only adversity can keep you safely on track back to our Father. That only adversity pushes us towards God enough to qualify more fully for his 'extended arm of mercy' in our behalf. That we feel a little bit of dark, so we can enjoy more fully the light.
Just keep Tzaneen in your prayers. We need it here bigtime.
Love you all so much. God Bless.
"though we live in a failing world, we have not been sent here to fail...God, who oversees the interlacings of galaxies, stars, and worlds asks us to confess His hand in our personal lives..Have we not been reassured about the fall of one sparrow and that the very hairs of our heads are numbered? God is in the details! Just as the Lord knows all of His vast creations, He also knows and loves each in any crowd-indeed, He knows and loves each and all of mankind..Of course we cannot fully comprehend all this now! Of course we cannot know the meaning of all things right now! But we can know, right now, that God knows us and loves us individually. Part of God's 'ample provision' consists of imperfect people like you and me, committed to shining and serving in our appointed orbits, knowing all the while that we are encircled in the arms of His love"
Also, sweet news. Sipho was baptized in Daveyton by Ronnie. Elder Savage and Elder Rini attended the baptism. so proud of Sipho!!
Some Zone Conference Pictures (Courtesy DunnsinJoburg blog)