Monday, May 30, 2016

#99 Howzit!

Hey guys, transfer week is a long and hard  week. I love you so much. 

Elder Tanner Noah Clegg

Monday, May 23, 2016

#98 "What are these White Guys doing at my house?"

Elder Tanner Todd & Tanner Clegg, Lehi HIgh School 2014

Hey guys,

Hectic week. Every week with 3 exchanges is always an adventure. I feel like last Monday was an eternity ago. But the days and weeks are flying nonetheless. I've grown to love going on exchanges, I've been blessed to go on two or more every week for a while. Just to see all these other guys miles from home doing there best because they believe it's true.

Anyways, exchanged with E Di Ruscio from Italy on Tuesday. I was able to go back to my old area Krugersdorp, it was good to be back in the land of the Afrikaaners. Wednesday I brought Elder Hentunen, our Finnish veteran to North Riding, had a great day with him, and on Friday I went to Germiston with E Stevenson, who lives like 5 minutes away from me and graduated from Lone Peak in 2015. Maybe some of you guys know the lil guy.

I'll try to attatch some pictures.

Anyways, to finish the week on an even higher note; We were able to go back to the Johannesburg chapel and baptize the Machaba family, a family Elder Pickup and I taught in one of the high-rising sketch-ghettho appartments of Hillbrow. It was so awesome, I'll put some pics. The water was FREEZING cold. And this family is from Limpopo where it is RAGING hot. And so it was a bit rough. I baptized the father and the son, and my comp did the mom and the daughter, but as soon as the 9 year old daughter's bigtoe made contact with the water, it sounded like Bafana Bafana had scored a last-minute game-winning goal againsed Nigeria. She was FANATIC, and we tried to coax her to go into the water for like an hour and a half, but it didn't quite happen.
Machaba Family
Anyways, the baptism was great. And the father gave his testimony at the end. He send something along the lines of "One day, when I was coming home from work, I walked into my house and I saw some white guys sitting with my wife and kids. in HILLBROW, and I was thinking to myself 'what the heck are these white guys doing here?' and then my wife started going to that church for two consecutive weeks, instead of just one week. Because I was used to her picking a new church every week. And then I was like 'eish this church is seriaas', and then the white guys came again the next week and I was like 'Oh no, God is getting SERIOUS with me now'. And so the missionaries at the end of the lesson asked me to come to church, and I told them that they'd see me there, and my wife was like 'HOW MADOTA' (NO WAYS), and she didn't believe me. And then the white guys kept coming and I kept coming to church.." and the rest is history.

The whole congregation was rolling on the ground. But it was just amazing to see another powerful family come into the kingdom. Even though the water was cold.
"What you do when you get kicked out of malls"
Alright, I love you guys. This next week is transfer week so I might not be able to write a ton, but I'll try my best. Also I met an American black guy from San Francisco. I tried to speak zulu to him and he was totally clueless. He was like the first guy ever at first glance to know that I was a mormon from Utah.

E Tanner Noah Clegg

In case you are interested. here is an excerp from Tanner's journal when he was at Dominoes on Saturday night:

We finished our lessons for the day and grabbed some pizza at domino’s. Funy, there’s a dominos in my area. Weird being in 1st world after coming from 3rd world.. It seems I’ve dealt with both of the extremes.

Anyways, while waiting in line and waiting for our pizza, I was able to strike up a really positive conversation with this guy from Durban. I just talked about all kinds of stuff for like 10 minutes with him, he’s super smart, educated white guy, just a cool father who was willing to entertain a conversation with this stupid American kid.  On his way out I gave him a Book of Mormon, and I felt super super good about it. Wasn’t able to get his contacts, but I was still happy.

As I was talking to him, I mentioned that I was from Utah, and then after that guy left with his BoM, a black guy behind me was like ‘I knew you were from Utah’..

And anyways I got in this long conversation with this other rich black guy who I quickly realized was from America due to the lack of his Zulu vocabulary. He’s from San Francisco, the bay area, and has an IT business that’s taking off in SA. So I was able to talk with him for forever and gave him a book of Mormon, and really connected well, and was super happy. While I was talking to him about America and stuff and how weird it is in South Africa, I was asking him stuff like ‘Do you feel safer in downtown LA or Joburg?’ And he was like “LA!”

Anyways, after I talked with the American guy, who graciously took the book but didn’t want us to come, he left, our pizza came, my comp grab it, and we went to leave, and it’s like.. I couldn’t control myself for a second. The spirit took over, and I let it,, and despite my fears I opened my mouth and talked to the college girl behind me in line.  

Anyways, I had put three book of Mormons in my bag, and I gave her the third one, and had an amazing conversation with her. Anyways, I feel that she was one of the people I was sent here to talk to. She didn’t want us to come, she wanted to investiagate it herself first. She’s from a place called ‘Greenpark’ or something in Durban. And is working in Rumsig, and commutes on the weekend. Anyways, she was awesome, and after talking to her, I walked back to the car on a spiritual high.

I thought of God, and I felt the spirit confirm to me that he was proud of me, and happy that I had endured persecution to do that. And it was as if for a moment, my mind was opened up to a later day, and I could see me embracing those three people one at a time, welcoming them into the Celestial Kingdom.. and it was probably just a conjuration of an over-creative mind, but I felt the spirit. And felt that I’d be deeply connected with those three individuals for eternity. I felt I should put three BofM’s in my bag,  and there were three people.. Idk, It was cool though and I thought a lot about it and found happiness and comfort in it.

Monday, May 16, 2016

#97 Long Boring Letter

Hoe gan did mojitos? Hope that all of you had a great week like I did.  I wish I could find all the pictures and words that adequately give it enough grandeur as it respectfully deserves. This week was full of less meetings and less statistical reports; And more missionary work in its rawest form. Weird I’m saying this but it’s seriously such a blessing to have a week like that. And I’m super freaked out to see the time going so fast.

Anyways I went on three exchanges this week, all of them super especial experiences. Kicked it off on Tuesday with an awesome exchange with Elder Broadhead, my ex-companion and super good friend. I was companions with him in Springs, and now after Nelspruit he’s back in Gauteng serving as a Zone Leader again in Soweto. Brought him to North Riding. It’s been really interesting to have primarily blank days in the planner, so we’ve had a lot of fun trying to figure out how to fill it up. Snuck into a couple complexes, got chewed out by a couple white people, but the main success of the day came from street contacting at a petrol garage (gas station), we found this awesome new Congolese family who we’ve begun to teach.  

 On Wednesday, I was able to exchange with the Benoni Zone Leaders, and go back to my previous area- Springs. It was just super cool to see families like the Maseko family and other people whom I’d grown to love, striding forward in the gospel.  I was with Elder Bergman, from Sweden. Awesome guy. He fed me some Swiss Muesli. I’ve acquired a love for Springs and the areas surrounding; To the common folk of SA, Springs is something like the armpit of South Africa, a once-prosperous, very efficiently run town on the East Rand, but now it’s like insanely run down and dangerous and dirty, and the punchline of almost any south African joke. But I’ve gown to love it, and was so privledged to serve there.

Had back-to-back-to-back exchanges, and on Thursday I went with my fellow Lehite brother, Elder Tanner Todd. Lol it was so weird to be with him in Africa together. Anyways the highlight of the day with him was standing in the middle of a busy highway in the cheesiest part of south Africa with all these cars rushing past on both sides, tryna teach people the gospel and spark interest and help them feel the spirit for a 10 second window before the light turned green again. Really cool experience, and believe it or not we found people who were super prepared. Amazing that like everyone has some Mormon connection somehow; "Oh yeah, my uncle. or friend, or co-worker".. just was really cool. Anyways it was good to be with Elder Todd the mighty Vaal Zone Leader. The same spunky weirdo you knew two years ago, with a testimony a couple kilometers deeper.

Well, I never thought I would make it this far. I have something like 8 weeks left before I see my family again. And the prospect almost tears me apart, that the days left are severely limited.. I love sharing the gospel. I absolutely love it, and I feel that nothing else over the course of my remaining lifetime will every measure up to the life that I'm living now.. And it kills me to think about.

On Sunday, we were privledged to attend the most power-packed church meeting I've ever experienced. Never before have I seen so much emotion and real conviction from a pulpit, it felt like the days of the earlier church. 

South Africa has perhaps a more rich, complex, and heart-breaking background than any other corner of the world. It's had apex after apex of dramatic form, yet calamity after calamity of dramatic tragedy. The country, once segregated at the uttermost assumption of the word; In epic fashion broke down the palisade of Apartheid in 1994, bringing tears to the eyes of millions and hope to the spirit of this nation. However, there seems to remain walls of partition, becoming stronger and more prominent than during the heroic turning point of the Nation. Race contending againsed race. Skin color vs. skin color. And as the Nephites and Lamanites of old, there exists among this diverse society 'Politic-ites, inferior-ites, superior-ites, ethnic-ites, cultural-ites, traditional-ites, irreversable-reality-ites, and unforgive-ites'. 

The theme of the conference, and frankly- The word of the Lord for South Africa, is that for this Nation to work. For the pure survival and advancement of this country into a society that functions and works and still has morals and families and hapiness; We need to break down the walls of emnity that have been decietfully crafted between us, and join together as a people- as the Saints of God. The only thing saving this counrty is the gospel. It's the only thing that has potential to be a constant in this perverse, judgemental and generational world. The Father of Lies has whispered the same phrase through the centurions, the notion that we, as people, must divide ourselves into classes. Must associate ourselves with only those individuals whom are worthy and compatible of our intelligence level, social status, and cultural differention. He teaches us that our views are superior to the views of our fellow man. And that others should humble their mind to our personal panorama of the world, and bring their life in line with ours. Lucifer wants us to compare ourselves to others. To measure our God-given attributes and spiritual gifts in the distorted light of other people's. Not receiving happiness by way of progressing and following Christ, but of seeing other mortals hindered in life and feeling above them.

But the fact remains; Never once in your life have you ever associated, talked to on the street, greeted at the cash register, or loved in your family- a mere mortal. Because there are no 'mere mortals.' Not once have you ever looked into the eyes of an inferior human being, not once have you ever been less dependent on the blood of Jehova than another living soul. We are of the lineage that the most exalted of earthly royalty cannot measure up to, that kings, powers and principalities cannot summon up in the dreams of the night. We are the Posterity of God, His Living Children. And for you to ever attain any kind of Godly happiness, it starts with that realization. With the desire, at least, to view others through the eyes of the Messiah. Anything less isn't happiness, but the momentary thrill of being above someone else.

Anyways, I was deeply touched hearing a general authority literally shout through the pulpit in tears that South Africa can be a wonderful place. Because there are still wonderful people here. And if there is faith, God can do miracles. Lots and lots of citizens have been immigrating away from South Africa due to corruption and fears of raising thier children in a decaying civilization. But there are two things that God wants us to know- and they were announced by the angel Gabriel when he appeared in the outer court of the Holy of Holies to Zaccharias and to the young Virgin Mary's home in Nazareth. "Fear not." and "Have Faith". If there is faith. And there is good people. The nation will be held together by the hand of God. And South Africa will forever be a wonderful place if we can only burn down the walls, and build the bridges. If we fear not, and have faith, and see people for who they are. We just need need to 'seek this Jesus', because he is there and he is real, and he's so much more aware of modern stuff as it plainly is.

I came out with a rock solid testimony that God is liberal. He is plain and He is simple. He does not overcomplicate things, and he's permissive, humanistic and loving. That he asks us to do things, because he knows if we do those things we won't be miserable. Because the Nephites had Faith, Jesus came to them on that remarkable occasion, healing their sick and raising their dead. Angels clothed with fire poured down out of heaven and encircled their little children, as the Son of Man blessed them one by one, infinitely aware and understanding of each and every one's past, current, and futuristic situation. Faith can go a long way.

Alright. Eish guys I hate to just belt so much out. Sorry it's scattered and stuff. I hope you had a great week. It's freezing cold over here right now. super weird. President Dunn is in Cape Town this week, so time to try and hold down the fort.    
Party time. I mean.. 

Elder Tanner Noah Clegg

FROM his buddy ELDER TANNER TODD's LETTER THIS WEEK:  The both graduated LHS together and left 6 weeks apart for the same mission!!

I was also privileged to exchange in Northriding with Elder Tanner Clegg (it only took us nearly two years to make it happen). It was cool to be back by Fourways again, but even cooler to be with this other guy who shares my name and amount of siblings and high school graduated from. We met lots of people and I learned a lot. If you thought you knew Tanner Clegg before, just wait. He might surprise you.

 Hittin' the streets while not getting hit ourselves with my fellow Lehite. Got to have a sweet exchange with The Missionary Formerly Known as Tanner Clegg. This guy's planners seriously inspired me. He's either a hard worker or he always forgets to empty his pockets when he throws his clothes in the washing machine. You know, one or the other.

E Todd served in Fourways, so I told him to take us to the busiest intersection as it was getting dark. And so he did, cars lined up for kilometers on kilometers.

And we just stood in the middle of the road, on the white lines that divide the lanes, as the cars raced past us on both sides and we waited for red lights. It got particularly sketchy because freaking taxi drivers like switch lanes right by the lights, so you’re always freaked out that they’re going to hit you, and plus when they do that the other cars can’t see you so they’re more likelyl to hit you. And the worst part was the motorcycle drivers, who drive down the middle of the lane-spaces, and so like you have to play human-tetris and somehow stand inbetween two cars and a motorcycle as they pass you.

Anyways it was awesome, I placed at least 10 bofms, we probably placed 20 between the two of us, met some of the most awsesome people. Everyone has a friend of acquaintance that is a Mormon it seems like, and theyu were also super nice. I love just trying to cram as much love and sincerity as possible into a 3 second encounter, I feel like those type of things have impact on lives and evoke some kind of emotion.

Anyways, while I was standing there, tight-roping the lane back towards the lights, walking as cars were passing on both sides at rapid speeds. As I stood there facing them, I had a profound thought; “I’m standing as a witness of God”.. Like I’m evidence that God is real. Seeing as I’m devoting time, in a dangerous place, suffereing from public humiliation and no doubt a ton of behind-the back criticism and unkind words uttered behind closed car windows. I was standing as a witness of God, with my fellow brother, Elder Todd. In South Africa. Like Jesus would.

Anyways it was good to be with him, I love the kid and care a lot about him. Had some really really good conversations with him.

Monday, May 9, 2016

#96 Die Dag Van MaFro (The day of ladies)

Well I totally thought I took a bunch of sick awe-inspiring notes this week so I could write a legit mothers-day email home but I can't see them anywhere. 

Anyways, I hate to give a travelogue of the week, but it was such a sick week... so that's what I'm gonna do.

After a lekker mountain bike over in Centurion on Monday, we had an awesome exchange with the Elders in Kagiso. Kagiso is a township-suburb of the world’s biggest township being Soweto. I was with Elder Chakanyuka, a newly called trainer who is from Zimbabwe, and who is opening the area. It was such an unreal day, and it was good to be walking through the streets of the township again. On the same level as the people there. I used to feel weird being the only white guy in the entire Khasi, but now it's as if I've lived there my entire life, the whole culture is engrained within me. And I love Africa like a friend that has always got your back even when you screw up all the time. It was a testimony builder to me to see how God led us to His children who needed us at that time. I learn more and more everyday about what it means to have the name of Christ engraved within you. You're literally his hands, mouth, feet and eyes, and he puts you with those who have been praying to find you... it really is true, I can't fight against that because I see it happen too often.
After a long dusty hot day of walking and walking and talking and talking with people, my throat was a mess, coarse cuz it had been talking all day. Those are my favorite days. 

Anyways after the awesome exchange- we have this super cool thing of loading up all the missionaries at the South Africa MTC and talking them out to do a real-life in-field proselyting experience, which is always a cherished privilege. WE coordinate with our guys in Soweto and split two MTC missionaries to one normal missionary and go out for two hours. SO we were able to do that, which was the coolest thing. I was with two Elders from Zambia, and it was just one of those times where your eyes are opened to how far the gospel has really come, where even those in the remotest of Africa are responding to the clarion call to bless the earth with the fullness of the gospel. It was a great day, I always love doing that.

Then on Thursday morning, we packed up a big trailer full of beds and desks and missionary stuff and followed President and Sister Dunn up to Nelspruit to spend the weekend with the missionaries up there. On the way up we stopped at this campsite to spend the night cuz the drive is super long, and it was cool to just look up into the Mpumalanga sky, without a lumens of light pollution to distort the glorious night sky. I felt like I was up in the mountains with my bruus back at home, only I was with my companion and Mission President and Sister Dunn. It was so legit, I took a couple pictures of the sky. I'm telling you, in Africa- the Milky Way is MILKY. I'll try to attach some pictures. Some point & shoot long exp pictures lol.

Then on Friday morning we woke up before light and pulled out the bikes from the trailer, and biked up an old logging trail 16 Km's straight uphill, and I was totally humiliated by everyone, especially sister Dunn, who was riding circles around me :). 
Sister Dunn rides super fast!

After the excruciating climb, we had the SICKEST ride down, like it was unreal, the best MTB I've ever done. I think that redbull does some races there, anyways it was insanely cool. Good time with good friends.

After the gnarliest descent recorded in the history of man, we packed up our camp and finished our drive to the beautiful land of Nelspruit, the last remaining out-of-Gauteng gem in our mission, after we lost Tzaneen and all the Limpopo areas- we had another awesome finding activity on the streets of Nelspruit, I'll try to attach more pictures of that. I Guarantee my Mission President is cooler than yours, He's the only guy ever over 50 that's stood in the middle of a busy dangerous road with me and contacted people in their cars during a red light. People are always jaw-dropping when we do that cuz hardly ever do they see nicely-dressed white guys giving stuff away- usually it's people in rags begging for a couple rands.

President Dunn talking with the locals.

After that, we went on exchanges with the four Elders up there. I went with the KaNyamazane Elders; E Hosmer and E Gwaka. E Hosmer is from Idaho and E Gwaka is from Tanzania. Sister Dunn even came and taught a lesson with us which was tight.
Had the most unreal exchange with them. KaNyamazane is one of the only few remaining villages in our mission with the presence of the church. It was cool to see, like I saw in Tzaneen; that the blessings and power of Christ are for everyone; the black and white, the filthiest of the rich and dirtiest of the poor. Met some amazing people in the village in the mountains. Was good to be back in the roots of Africa again. 

Saturday morning we did a New-missionary orientation which was cool as always, and we continued the exchange for the rest of the day. I'm literally the most blessed kid under Heaven to have been able to be a part of it. 

Sunday morning we went to church in Nelspruit, which is a bought-out old Afrikaans church with some 'tribute to the pastor' on the cornerstone in the front. Really amazing to see how powerful the saints are up there. To see young men and women preparing to serve missions. 

Drove down after church on Sunday back to the land of Gauteng. Then I got to call my family, which was the only thing that could top the unreal events that transpired in the previous week.

I love you guys. Sorry again for giving you a travelogue. Grateful for my mom, who taught me not to doubt, for God would deliver me. I'm finding that more and more to be true... it really is. And I wouldn't say that unless some extraterrestrial feeling had coursed through my veins telling me that this stuff I'm sharing actually is real. It comes and goes. Sometimes too sporadically that doubts and unbelief begin to surface... but it comes, and I guess that is the important thing. Just wanna end with a wonderful written depiction of the Saviors love and faith Himself:

"14 ¶And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
 15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
 16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
 17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me.

 18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, why could not we cast him out?
 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Faith is real... Good things happen to you if you believe in God. Believe in Him, and believe that He is using you to shape the world into a better place.

Anyway love you guys. Hope you have a great week. Cheers

E Tanner Noah Clegg

Monday, May 2, 2016

#95 "Thank Him Every Day"

Heita exoxo

Cosmo City
Exchanges w/ Elder Masiya (from Malawi)  Good to be back in Africa for a day.

Satan: "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High"

Jesus: "The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?"
Biking in Cosmo

Learned this week that it's really dumb to try and put yourself above another person.
Biking in Cosmo

Sorry, not a ton of words this week. Really got into the new area which was good. It's gonna take a lot of prayers and effort to get things going. But I'm excited for the challenge. Besides that and slideshows, the week wasn't super eventful, but it was just great to be in the service of God. I try to thank Him every day for that, cuz I'm starting to realize how great of a blessing that it is. SOunds cliche, but it really is great.

Love you guys, have a great mothers day.

E Tanner Clegg
AFRICAN TRAMPOLINE....What Children are really doing in Africa... 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

#94 Just some pics

Hello to my new area!
Goodbye on date FLF!
Tanner didn't write a letter today, just sent some pics:

African Froth

Sister Dunn has an amazing blog.  She has a bunch of pictures from week to week and I always pull the pictures of Tanner from it for my personal files.  Here are some of those pictures from meetings and various activities:

Picture at the temple

Tanner's friend Elder Quigley

Tandisonner's Companion from Italy (on his way home)

Current Companion Elder Pickup

Elder Widdison
Goodbye to Elder Quigley

Goodbye to Elder Nicotra

Yummy food at the misison home

Missionary Orientation

Teaching how to fix a flat

Eating delicious food

Mission Leadership once a transfer

Taking pictures near the temple