Monday, January 25, 2016

#81 "Exchanges"


Snagged it.  Mpumalanga in a Summer's Thunderstorm.
Alma 30:44 "Frozen in Time"

Tanner Didn't have time to write a group letter today, so I took an excerpt from his letter to me:

After that we drove through the forest for exchanges.  I picked up my companion for the day; Elder X. Before we got into the car his companion whispered into my ear ‘hey, go easy on him he’s having a rough time’..

And I could tell, the first thing he said to me when we got into the car was ‘man, this might have been the worst thing I've ever gotten myself into, it’s literally been the hardest week of my entire life’.
And so I just talked with him a lot, I talked about me at the beginning of my mission and how hard it was, how I wanted to go home, how everything was going wrong. And then I talked about how much I’ve grown and all the blessings that help you keep going and stuff. I tried to just be super real. 

He’s from the States, knows some kids that I knew, loves photography and climbing, he’s a really nice guy, tall, crazy skinny, blonde hair. Anyways he told me how scary it is for him to talk to people, how he likes keeping to himself, how every day is so hard.

SO i just was kind and real to him and i think it made all the difference.  I tried to do all I could to help him feel the spirit and have fun throughout the day.

We started by having a good lesson with a less-active named b--, who ended up coming to church yesterday by the way. Oh and by the way before that we had the opportunity to contact a couple people while waiting on the streets of kwa-thema, I showed him how fun and easy and un-robotic it is. I taught him to do it as easy as this: “Hey, we have this sweet book that can change you life, it’s for free, do you want it?” and he loved it and felt the spirit.

After teaching the less-active, and having deep talks with him while driving in the car, I took him to eat some pizza cuz we were hungry, and he really appreciated that. And the place was in a super-ritzy complex in selcourt, but I still took the time to talk with some scary white people in front of him to show him the ropes. We sat by some at the pizza place, some angry-looking boerikes (afrikaaners) and I showed him how to strike up a conversation; “Hey, we aren’t from south Africa, can you teach us how to say ‘pizza’ in Afrikaans” Then they laugh and talk to you(sometimes) and then the spirit draws upon your skills to help you hold a conversation and then you say, as they are leaving, ‘hey it was good to talk with you, can we give you a gift to go on your way? It’s kind of what we do everyday.’ Then you give them a Book of Mormon, and if the opportunity is right you discuss it with them and try to teach them. If not at least they know Mormons are friendly and they might read it.

On the way walking back to the car I got rejected pretty hard twice, and so I showed him how to just laugh it off and stuff. Then we placed a few more, and got to our car and noticed an African family piling their stuff into their car, and we offered to help, they didn’t accept, but they talked to us and laughed and I spoke zulu to them and stuff and I could tell that they were really receptive and interested, so we placed like 3 or 4 book of mormons with them and got their details. They are a very well-off family living in kwa-thema, the kind of family the church needs. SO they were real sweet, and it increased Elder X testimony I think.

From that point on, I think he started to have a good time.

We went through springs, stopped for probably like 30 minutes and just talked with people in the slummy streets of the flea-markets, just grabbed a whole bunch of bofm’s an piled them into my bag and went to town. After talking with a million people, I was engaged in a conversation with someone and I noticed my companion leave me, and I glanced back down the street, and saw the most beautiful scene. Even though the taxis were hustling and bustling, the crowd pushing and music blaring and sun beating, I saw Elder X, standing in the light, staring into the eyes of some African lady, and testifying of the Book of Mormon, it was like the most picturesque, stand-still scene, as if time stopped for a moment, and the only thing God was concerned about was that interaction.

So that made me happy. I think I threw my arm around his shoulder and told him how proud I was of him. He was so happy, I don’t know if that lady will even join the church or even read the book of mormon, but it was still a miracle to me.


Monday, January 18, 2016

#80 "Consider the Lillies"

Baptism last week.  Thugs stole the lettering off of the church.

THE FUTURE

Perhaps as humans it's our number one fear. Our number one grief-generating prospect. At least for me, anyways. Like I'm never truly comfortable with the present, because of the overwhelming fear of what the morrow has in store. I think we all feel a bit like this sometimes. Stuck in this trap of life that is ever on-going and we never seem to catch any kind of real break or peace. Because there is always going to be more challenges. There is always going to be more hurt, more pain, more stretching and more turmoil.

"Takae no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body thain raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neitehr do they spin: if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?"

The antidote of fear is faith. And the fruit of the gospel is peace. The amazing thing about life, is that even if there are mountain-sized ways affixed to your left and to your right, even 'all the elements combine to hedge up your way', and the future looks painfully grim; you cana still accept the Heavenly embrace of Peace. "The peace of God that passeth all understanding".

"Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?" jesus asked his toiling rowing struggling disciples admist a dark, merciless Galilean thunderstorm. "Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm"

"What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!"

Jesus is the 'Prince of Peace'. After carefully studying the scriptures, I've found that the word "Peace" is soooo closely connected with the word "Truth".

SO basically in a world of storms, there is Truth. There is peace. Truth that's been restored, to bring us the greatest measure of Peace, which is in Jesus Christ. "FOr the Son of man is come to save that which was lost."

Lost peace, hope, a broken shadowy future? THe Savior came to save.
He is our peace, He is the truth, He is why we can be happy. He is our rock, a rock that won't crumble or fall. THe only actual dependent variable Heaven and Earth have to offer. 
 
Lead kindly Light, amid th'encircling gloom; Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home; Lead thou me on! 
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see 
THe distant scene- one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor pray'd that thou Shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path; but now, Lead thou me on! 
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears, Pride ruled my will. 
Remember not past years.
So long thy pow'r hath blest me, sure it still Will lead me on
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till The night is gone.
And when the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost a-while!

anyways I wish I had longer time to write.

Just some thoughts I had this week. Hope that all is well wherever you all are. I swear I dilligently try to send pictures.. If you serve in africa  you'll understand. Love you. 



Elder Tanner Noah Clegg
What up dog


Monday, January 11, 2016

#79 "Sister Clegg Finishes her Mission..."

This week I had the opportunity to really see experience the beauty of this Nation, I'm telling you if you ever get the chance to come to South Africa, please come. It blows my mind that God created the earth, and everything in it, and what blows my mind more is that God's "work and glory, is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man".

So basically God doesn't get glory from making worlds, from creating beautiful Mountains, landscapes; From showing his intelligence and power through the deigning the universe, from making the sun give light, from guiding our solar system.

His real glory is evident in us. His 'Glory', is seeing us progress towards Him. The epitome of His glory, is us, with our families, in His Eternal Kingdom, without sin or death, without end of hapiness.

GOd doesn't recieve glory from His vast creations, from his awe-inspiring scientific phenomenons.
He glories in us, and we glorify Him by taking a step towards Him.

When I first arrived on mission, in my first area of Daveyton, I was able to teach the Tshilo family, a family of members, minus the father. I'm telling you this guy was stubborn, and it was impossible to get him to church or anything like that, even when one of his kids is a returned-missionary and the other one is preparing for a mission.

Time went on, and a year later I found myself in Springs, and much to my suprise, this faimly had also moved there. We once again began to teach them, and much to my amazement, a light came on in his life, the spirit touched him, and 8 weeks later, well I'll let you see the picture.

Anyways, it's been probably the most different week I've ever had on mission, I just turned 18 months. THat's insane. Like I thought I just got here. I'd be done if I was a sister missionary lolz.

Love you guys, have a great week.

Elder Clegg

DESCRIPTION OF DRIVING TO DURBAN FROM HIS LETTER TO MOM (he drove a fellow misisonary from his zone home for a funeral, then drove him back.)


As we were on the N17, we were driving paraleel to a huge, vast, blue-dooming storm that looked unreal monstrous. And when we turned onto the road that took us towards Standerton, we faced it head on, so I took a ton of pictures, and as we started going through it, the sheets started coming down like no body's business. It was like a blizzard of water, the window wipers couldn't move fast enough to get it all off.

And the bad thing was, that the road was absolutely horrible, crater-sized potholes dotted the fixture, making it possible to drive fast at all, especially in the rain. Plus the road was like deserted, and there was ntohing for miles, and we don't have a spare tire so I was a bit nervous. 

But we kept being in the storm for hours, until we finally came into the eerie small town of Standerton.

Once we got to standerton, somewhere in the middle of nowhere of mpumalanga, we went to a petrol  station to grab some food really quick. And sure enoough there was a KFC there, cuz there are kfc's wherever there is a somewhat formal establishment. I knew that the gospel had never come to this little town, so as my comp went to KFC, I grabbed a handful of book of mormons and was placing them to people, not getting their contacts, just getting the book of mormon out for a second  you know, and then when i went into KFC, I talked to this guy sitting in the corner with his laptop, and he said that he was a pastor, and then I talked about the book of Mormon and he seemed to be intrigued, and i was like 'well we have a lot of these, do you think your congregation would be interested?' and he was like 'definitely, how many have you got?' and I was like 'how many do you need?' I ended up running back to the car and bringing him an entire box of 40 to give to his congregation. So I feel like I somewhat opened the door to salvation to a town in the middle of nowhere.

As we walked back to the car, the storm was looming it's dreadful colors. Literally when you looked at the sky, it was like a freakish pale green color, unlike anything I'd ever seen before, It must have been polution-induced or something, cuz it was terrible. IT was super cool. I thought of the scritpure in Ether or Mormon where it talks, referencing the coming forth of the book of mormon: "And it shall come forth in a day where there shall be many pollutions"

Then driving away, the rain was even worse, and they were doing construction on some of the road but we drove through a lot of rain for a while and eventually we got out of the rain, and beheld the marvelous african landscape that I can't give enough credit to, it was absolutely stunning, I saw like the real kind of african trees on the movies, with hills and mountains and rocks, it was beautiful.

The fog became so thick you could cut it with a knife, and the problem is that there are potholes all over the road, and it's raining super heavily, so our drive took forever. It was a windy mountain road, through the fog and rain, in the dark. The road was very empty, but it was still scary to pass the big trucks due to the fog, and it's just a dinky two-laner road. But I loved it. We had a problem though- we were running low on petrol, but magically out of nowhere this totally random, mystical petrol station literally in the middle of nowhere in the mountains appeared. I couldn't believe it. it was a very old, run-down one, and it was just mysterious-looking with all the fog and everything. But it was functioning. There were like two other cars there. We filled up, it looked like a scene out of a movie. i also siezed the opportunity to help someone jump-start their car, place like 7 book of mormons. I just was envisioning someone's testimony after their converstion somewhere down the line: "In the middle of a foggy, wet, dark dark night at this petrol station in the middle of nowhere, THis white guy hopped out of his car and gave me the book of mormon, and he was so happy. It was the strangest thing."

SO anyways after a lot more driving we pull to his house, which is an amaaazing place

It's so beautiful, it's like a hilly- mountainous ritzy village. So you still get the look of Africa, with all the clostheslines etc and chickens and mango trees, but it looks like hawaii or one of those areas in central or south america where my friends are serving. With SOOOO sooooo much green.

 it was amazing to see the landsape, it's so unreal beautiful. KZN is by far more well-run and organized and beautiful than Gauteng. Even though it is still super village-like, it is still like righteous and less-havoc.

This place is beautiful, I can barely see the ocean from here.  YOu can tell that this place is mmore blessed than johannesburg, there is more peace, they have more morals. Everyone in JOhannesburg is like the prodigal son who ran away to be naughty in a faraway land, KZN is like where all the super traditional old-style zulu's live. BUt they have morals and wisdom nad the Lord blesses them with intelligence.

Monday, January 4, 2016

#78 HAPPY NEW YEAR

Skit at the Christmas activity, companion plays Feliz Navidad and guitar and sings while Tanner loads books on his head.

Happy New Year majitos

Well it's been easily in the top 5 most hectic weeks of my life. My brain has never had to think so many things and solve so many problems in a week before.

But we had a miraclous baptism at the close,  completing a family, and opening the door for celestialized relationships. I"ll write more about it when i have more time. And when I have a better computer I'll send pictures.

I love you guys, Jesus is real to me now, he really is. Have a great week, thank you for your prayers. sorry for the lack of words.

Elder Tanner Clegg