Well today I kissed Jessica. You can look her up on natgeo. She's like 100kg's. Did it out of pity, I wouldn't wanna be that huge.
On a more serious note, Mountain School is raging on in the villages, so now the missionaries are required to return home before it gets dark outside. If you don't know what Mountain School is, then don't research it.
Anyways, I feel as if my adventure in the banana plantation-locked-'tropise paradys' town of Tzaneen may be winding to a close. In the which I'm somewhat unsettled, seeing as this might be my last week. This place will always have a part of my heart. This place, more than any other place is truly beautiful for more than one reason. The word "Tzaneen" means 'gathering place', and I know there are still souls waiting here to be gathered, still feel like there's a family to be found, taught and baptized on the near horizon.
Anyways, I'm truly privleged to serve on the battlefront of the unestablished Kingdom of God. Sometimes it causes heartache, where there are 100 variables in this country surrounding someone's church attendance, conversion, potential etc. etc... Transportation issues, racism, rich/poor people clashing together, traditionalism, African culture, Afrikans culture. The list goes on. Sometimes I end up frustrated. Not knowing why things don't work out, or go smoother.
Cool thing is, however that I have a testimony that God allows things to fall into place, no matter how complex or unhopeful a situation may be. No matter how strange, daunting, vast and incomprehensible our personal situations, and present circumstances at a whole may be, God makes things work out. In a life full of loose ends remaining untied, we must remember that God knows how to tie knots- for he designed shoelaces in the firstplace.
Stoked stoked about Zebulon. His face was absolutely shining when he was confirmed a member of the Tzaneen Branch. A certain spirit was in the air. The impossible had came to pass through the grace of God.
Anyways, I don't have much to say. Stuff gets so unbelievably rough on mission. The only time it seems like you are able to relax is when you finally fall asleep after an incredibly long day, only to wake up to a blaring alarm seemingly seconds later. Mission requires you to feel and push and struggle and stretch and grow as probably nothing else. Tzaneen seriously seems like an impossible prospect at times. Sometimes faith is lost when FINALLY you teach someone the restoration, they accept to read and pray about the book of mormon, and you come back a couple days later to find out that they had read, prayed, and felt like God was telling them not to read it.
It's just rough, sometimes. I've been thinking loads about Joseph Smith lately. How unimaginably tough it was for him. People who 'ought to have been his friends', heaping on the most 'bitter of persecution' to an 'obscure boy' who had little significance in the eyes of man. His whole life was 'wasted' with persecution, hatred, and tasting maybe a fraction of a drink from a bitter cup, sizably larger than anything I've ever tasted. All he did was stand behind his testimony that he had seen the Living God, and his Son, Jesus Christ. He fearlessly proclaimed his testimony, and was hated for it. He was treated inhuman. He was treated as an imposter. As an enemy to God. The same God who appeared to him as a 14 year old boy.
Think of how hard it was for him to watch his family suffer. Think of how hard it was for him to accept the commandment of polygamy. Think of how hard it was for him to see children die as a byproduct of the devilish torment gauged at him.
For some reason, in a town with maybe 4 or 5 members in it, Tzaneen seems to be plagued with anti-mormon literature. The other day, one of our Father-Led Families in town had printed a fat stack and had it on their coffee table as we sat down to teach them.
They demanded explanation. They were suspicious, confused, angry and defensive.
For the first time in my entire mission, and quite frankly my whole life, I quoted the standard of truth, verbatum as given by the Prophet Joseph Smith, and said simply:
I know that Joseph Smith is a true Prophet.
I know the Book of Mormon is true.
I've never ever cried in a lesson before, but I couldn't stop the tears from flooding out of my eyes and I looked into their eyes and testified of these things.
Truth is, I don't know why it's so impossible to do missionary work. Why it's so hard to establish the church in a place full of rumors, deep deep deep rooted Christians, Huge dogs, false doctrine, and angry hearts.
But I believe it's what God wants me to do. So I'll keep doing it. I'll testify to everyone that my imperfect mortal being will allow me to that Jesus is the Christ. Jospeh Smith has been called as a Prophet of God, to usher in the dispensation of the fullness of times.
Admist the heartache, deep down I know that this is the greatest life the world has ever known. Despite not having my snow-capped mountains, and sweet salty smell of my coastal highway; I believe that I'm doing the right thing. Experiencing the greatest life ever known to man.
Anyways, I love you guys. Miss you guys. I'll send some pictures hopefully to you guys.
Stay well, and know that I have a testimony.. It's not anything eloquent or glamorus; It may not sound great or look nice on a display- but it's there, and it's real. And it means something to me.
Love you, pray for us. Pray for me. God bless you guys
-telling our Father's Story
Elder Tanner Clegg
"In this world, ye shall have tribulation. But be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world."