Monday, November 2, 2015

#69 What is Halloween?

Tanner's Trainer Elder Smith's last day on his mission.


I’ve fallen into this horrible contacting habit, when I talk to people on the street or at their door, often the first thing I say is ‘don’t push us away yet, we’re not Jehova’s Witness’, because everyone knows them and has heard their story and thinks that we are them.
Anyways that bad habit disastrously backfired this week when the person I said that to was a Jehova’s Witness. I was dreading that day.

Well, it would be super tight if everyone could pray for it to rain in South Africa, we’re in a freak heat-wave and the normal rainy season should be now, but instead it’s blue skies and dust storms on the daily. I guess on the bright-side it’s nowhere close to the Tzaneen heat.

Anyways I had a solid week. Up’s and downs, but a lot of up’s.
I got a new companion, Elder Arthur from Cape Coast, Ghana; My second Ghanaian companion. He’s a super sweet guy, and he’s crazy good at soccer.

It was weird to see a lot of my good friends on mission go home on Tuesday. It’s also weird that I’m something like 16 months out on mission. In the moment the work feels slow, but then you look back at all that’s happened and you feel it’s gradually slipping away, kinda like the Sprinkbok’s hopes to win the worldcup.

Well, I’m a little scared for this upcoming week, seeing as it is ‘guy-fawkes day’ on November 5th.
I’ll tell you time and time again that South African sunsets are unmatched.
 I’ll see if I can attach a picture or two.

Well, this week I’ve learned something. Not this week alone, but more over the course of my entire mission; Don’t count mistakes, count miracles, because you can’t count on mistakes, but you can always count on miracles. We had some straight, Heaven-sent miracles placed in our path this week. There’s this really cool family called the Van Rooyen family. They are straight Afrikaans, and we started teaching them this week. Anyways at the coclusion of our 2nd lesson, after testifying of Joseph Smith and the book of mormon, a baptism invitation somehow came out of my mouth, and somehow they accepted it. December 6. Like whaaat? White people in South Africa like don’t get baptized. Let alone afrikaaners; So it was a miracle, and kept my faith alive.

Well, did a lot of teaching, tracting, contacting, a mix of about everything this week. It’s a privledge to be in such a diverse area.  Springs holds slums, towns, townships, run-down highrises; Some of the most prosperous of South Africa, some of the poorest of South Africa. Locals, Foreigners, about every class, every denomination, every color you could ever imagine. Yet we are teaching them all the same message. We are testifying to each one of them that God lives, that Jesus is His son, and that Jesus bought their souls with the price of his undefiled blood. Kinda wild that the gospel can apply to everyone.

I love the thrill I get from skiing, from being on top of those high alpine basins, looking down at straight powder. I love the thrill I get from climbing, from surfing the perfect break; but there is a certain unsurrmountable thrill associated with sharing the gospel. From getting rejected 100 times and seeing someones life change 1 time.

“The Lord God will proceed to do a marvelous work among the Gentiles..which shall be of great worth..not only unto the Gentiles but unto all the house of Israel, unto the making known of the covenants of the Father of heaven unto Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.. And I would, my bretheren, that ye should know that all the kindreds of the earth cannot be blessed unless he shall make bare his arm in the eyes of the nations. Wherefore the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel. Wherefore he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered togheter to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.’
(1Nephi 22:9-12)

Sometimes days are hard and long, but then you remember that you are the Lord’s missionary. You have been blessed with the opportunity to fufill the promises of the Abrahamic covenant. Offering blessings of Eternal Families to the ends of the earth. Helping people become Heirs of the Covenant that God made to Abraham.
 No other kind of work results in an end-product of Celestializing families. It’s the art of rescueing. We’ve been called to rescue, and anything is worth it for that. It’s daunting that imperfect 18 19 and 20 year olds are the means by which the lord ‘makes bare his arm in the eyes of all nations’, but whoever the Lord calls, he qualaifies. It’s crazy that ‘the kindreds of the earth cannot be blessed unless he shall make bare his arm in the eyes of the nations’, makes your calling as a missionary seem more real.

Well in closing it’s just super weird and strange that the less you care about yourself, the happier you become. It’s a super weird phenomenon, but when you are selfless, you are happy

Anyways I’m just really hoping it’s gonna rain soon. We literally had a stake-wide fast for it to rain just barely. Sorry my letters are lacking lately. We were invited into some zulu prayer-hour this week with some investigators, where everyone prays at the same time and spins around in circles and yells a lot. I tried to take a video. Maybe I’ll be able to get it better next time.

Love you guys, miss you guys a lot.

Elder Tanner Noah Clegg

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