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.


  1. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story of love, patience and example. All Christ like attributes that has become a part of Elder Clegg.

  2. Thanks, Tanner. I love reading your letters and your experiences. What would've happened if you'd never met those people? Can't even imagine.

    Love from the Chuns