Monday, June 27, 2016

#103 "Guinea Pigs & Hugs from Budists"

Two weeks left to go HAM.

Wow. A week of weeks. Not sure why I'm so blessed and lucky to be here doing this. Had a ton of success and victories this week. in the Affluent and poorer areas. It's been amazing. Elder Swindlehurst and I just go to sleep in awe every night after the insane amount of miracles that we see every single day. I almost hate that at the end of my mission I'm learning the most. I guess maybe that's just how it goes.

We've been the guinea pigs for testing out different modes of missionary work, one of those being riding a train called the Gautrain. We spent almost all of Saturday zipping back and forth all around Gauteng, and had insane success. 

Anyways I can't really write much. Maybe my mom will copy & paste some of my journal into my blog, which would be cooler than reading this. I'm just overwhelmed that it's coming to an end soon. Like I talk and act and eat and live like a South African. I feel like I've lived here forever. I'm going to miss more than anything wearing a badge and telling people about the gospel and about Jesus Christ and how he can help them. I love it so soo so much, and I feel that it will be a quest to find anything comparable in meaning when I live this sacred Continent. One last thought;

There are approximately 107,000,000,000 mortals who have lived on this planet. (Emphasis on THIS planet) Crazy to me that the Savior suffered for each one of them, as well as others. all the children of God. Thought blew my mind this week. And he suffered for them with a mortalized capacity, only using His Godhood to not allow his tormented spirit to leave his body. Woaa. That's an accumulation of a lot of bad days, broken relationships, mental disorders, and tear-filled nights. 

Well, I love all of you guys so much. Thanks for being my friend. 

Elder Clegg

As the FIT elders, they write up each "good" contact they have and then pass it onto the elders in that area.  They spend the days contacting.  They write up reports each night.  Here's a "glimpse" into their experience:

Day Summary:
Elder Clegg and Elder McCartney
Wow, this has been my best day since the start of the FIT experience. We started by arriving in Rynfield on Thursday night, and sleeping over into Friday morning. Their flat was a bit dirty, and they weren’t super diligent when it came to study time. But it ended up being a really great day.
 
We started with district meeting at 11:30, and after participating in an awesome lesson prepared by Elder Reynolds Sr., we grabbed some lunch and then went to work.
We started by all four of us going to Northmead Mall, and I’m not going to lie, it was a rough start. We experienced a lot of rejection in the parking lot, and as we moved into the mall, we were bluntly asked to leave. So we left, and I was feeling kind of apprehensive and down and thinking ‘it’s impossible to do missionary work here’. Elder Swindlehurst and Elder Nielsen were at a different part of the mall, so they remained there as we went to a different location: The Rynfield Terrace, comprising of several small businesses with a central-feature being a Super Spar. We prayed, and went to work. An interesting side-note - we didn’t pray at the first location that we attacked.
The next two hours were some of the best two of my mission, and even my life. We had absolutely unreal success, met so many affluent & Elect Father-led Families. I can’t put it into words through this keyboard how many amazing and prepared people we met. I guess the only thing I can describe the experience with is the scene of Elder McCartney walking over to me with tears rolling down his face saying ‘I was sent to South Africa to talk with that guy.’ It was so powerful, for me and for him, and undoubtedly they will have some amazing investigators from that in the form of young, open-minded FLF’s, including a young white couple (22) who have been married for 9 months and would love to know how their marriage can be eternal. Straight Kingdom-builders. We, for the most part, used the family angle and connected it with the Book of Mormon as evidence that God’s plan for families to be happy has been restored, or vice-versa. It seemed to work like a charm. On more than one occasion I received the comment ‘for some reason this sounds so familiar to me.’
After unprecedented success at Spar, we went to a new and developing neighbourhood in Crystal Park that families are starting to move into. It seemed like a total gold-mine. At the first door we knocked on sat a powerful member from Tembisa, with his local friends. So that was a cool experience, and we picked up some potential investigators. After that, on literally the next door, we went up and knocked, and the sweetest, purest lady answered. I said something that I wouldn’t normally say on a door approach. I said ‘We’ve come to your house today with a message from God for you..’ and right after I said that, as I was trying to figure out what to say next, she said ‘Can you please come in?’
It was so legit, she was so sweet, and is potentially a Father-led. Her husband wasn’t quite home yet, so we had to schedule another appointment for tomorrow. She’s a nurse, and isn’t only prepared to save lives, but prepared to have her life saved.
After an hour or so of tracting this awesome neighbourhood, with one or two more return-appointments scheduled, we then went to the Sasol Garage just off of the Putfontein Road exit off the N12, close to the Rynfield Stake Centre. Elder McCartney noted that every evening around 5 or 6 there was a huge backlog of traffic coming off the freeway there, so we armed ourselves with the #Hallelujah cards and pamphlets and basically all of our remaining supplies, and in the words of Elder McCartney, we went HAM. It was so awesome! Running up and down under the starry night sky, trying to smile big enough to get these people to roll down their windows, and many of them did! And many of them were touched, and mentioned phrases such as: ‘I’ve been wanting to know about the Mormons!’ It was so cool, and we were able to tell everyone about the church. I almost wish we could’ve had a customized pass-along card with the chapel address and service times printed on it. It was just a super powerful experience, and we were having the time of our lives, and we even met a bunch of local members, including the Bishop, who drove by and gave us the ‘thumbs up’ of approval as we were working the road. We literally ran out of pass along cards and pamphlets. It was funny, if one car took something, the car behind it almost inevitably took something too. So if you could get one guy to roll down his window, a line of 20 cars would follow suit.
After this, we went and concluded the night at the Sasol Garage right there, oblivious that we still had even MORE spiritual experiences awaiting us. For the first time ever I talked to this Bible scholar guy and his girlfriend (in their early 20’s) who knew about a distinction between the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods, and asked if I held them. They were super intrigued with the message of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon.
I talked to this white guy, who was the nicest guy ever. He happened to want a copy of the Book of Mormon super bad, even though we had just run out. So we asked him where he lives, and it turns out he lives in Discovery, two blocks away from the chapel. A straight-gold referral for the Florida Elders to add to their collection. So cool.
The very last contact of the night was a paramount one. I was talking to this super cool girl from Daveyton, and some Afrikaaner in his bokkie pulled up right behind me and was asked me if we had any pamphlets that he and his wife could read. I was almost as surprised as Elder McCartney was. The guy didn’t want to disrupt my conversation with the lady, so he told us that he would park and wait for us.
After landing that referral for Daveyton, I then went to the guy and his wife. They were inevitably prepared by Heavenly Father Himself. They talked about how they just really need help in their life. They can’t seem to find the church that satisfies their needs, and they just are missing something in their lives. They literally said those words to me. They say that their family is crumbling, they don’t know what to do, and they need God in their lives right now. They went on to say they’ve driven past the church before, but they were apprehensive to come in, because everyone was dressed in suits, and he was scared to get judged. The missionaries have a teaching appointment scheduled with them this Sunday at 15h00. I pray for them. Truly, the PMG line was fulfilled: "He will lead you to them, or He will lead them to you." What a remarkable day. It makes me sad that I only have 20 or so more of these left. I really feel like we’re on a mission, and I think the Elders we’re with each day feel that too. I’ve never seen Elder McCartney so fiery and zealous. He was so grateful for the day we had, and it seemed to really kindle his faith, and mine as well.
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

Monday, June 20, 2016

#102 Miracle Week

Can't keep quiet during class

We'll, I'm starting to come to the realization that it's quite possible that the stranger you're talking to on a lonely street corner or in a bustling market or in the queue of a ritzy mall has spent countless nights upon their knees, likely callused by now, praying to know that God is there and pleading for His intervention in their lives. And for whatever reason, you're fulfilling that heartfelt hopeful prayer bringing hope and love and power into the life of that individual.

It's been an amazing first week with the new assignment and with my new comrade. I feel like I have strep throat cuz my throat is literally spent and hoarse, but it is well with the soul. We've been all over the mission, helping missionaries learn how to find investigators, and oh what an experience that it has been. I've been amazed that in EVERY single area we've journeyed into, there has been at least one, if not several people who you KNEW were Elect, whom you knew would turn into followers of Christ. 

Standing in contrast to the wonderful times, it has been tough as well, especially when endeavoring to tackle some of the English/Afrikaans areas that traditionally struggle the most with landing new investigators, but it's been cool to see that there are Elect, even behind the fort Knox walls of the vista estates, and there is a broken heart behind the sleek Mercedes and electric fences. But there's always a lot of opposition on the other side of the spectrum, and repeatedly throughout the week I've felt like a little baby as tears run to my eyes when people can't see through the blue book and weird clothing and nametags and easily dismiss us as annoyers of the truth and disturbers of the public peace. Not realizing that this is Christ revealing His pure love to them. Unaware that the thing they are raising their voice against and hiding their faces from is the very thing that the Living Christ offered and is offering, while he walked the dusty roads of Palestine, healing the sick and raising the dead. Healing people’s lives, and putting the puzzle of heart pieces back in the right places. He still walks and talks today, and many times His Voice is wearing a black nametag, must be His style.

Anyways, it's just interesting how there's me, having like 3 weeks or something left on mission just learning more and more each day.. It's crazy. Like it's cool, now when I talk to someone, I stop caring about myself, and the possibility of rejection, and sounding cool. For some reason, not to my credit at all, now I can just look at people in their eyes and totally just try to lose all of my comfort zone and say what I'm supposed to say to that person, trying to become totally an instrument. It's wild. And it's hard.

Alright, well sorry to bore you with all this spiritual stuff I learned this week, it was a great one. Just one last spiritual thing for you, especially for anyone who is fence-sitting, or even allegedly fence-sitting on the prospect of serving a mission.

On June 17, 2016, I was sitting in the South Africa Johannesburg temple next to a dear friend named Zebulon Malatji, and eish guys, I've been crying way too much these days, but tears streamed down my face as I had flashbacks of one year ago, walking through a remote village in the mountains of Limpopo, knocking on a door of a single, lost guy looking for purpose in his life named Zebulon. And then, exactly a year after I saw him dressed in white, entering into a baptismal font that we had to chase all the red poisonous frogs out of because it hadn't held water in ages; I was sitting by him, and by his newly wed, dressed in white, as they received promises and blessings from a Loving God in the temple in this faraway land. It was even more special, as my companion and I sat in a very special room, witnessing someone with Authority from God seal upon our friends a matrimony of the royalist level;  for time and all eternity. And as Elder Tanner Clegg, a stupid kid from Utah with an embarrassing ACT score that liked buying cheap clothes and skiing every day and going to the beach as often as his parents would let him, he thought this thought: "The decision to serve a mission, will not only affect you. It inevitably will bless somebody else's life for eternity. There may be someone waiting for you, in a remote village of Africa, or maybe remote in the sense of being remote of the testimony and love of God, who is sitting in darkness, yearning for light." Tears (eish this is embarrassing) rolled down my face again, as I prayed and thanked God with all I had that I was privileged enough to be an advocate of happiness, and tell people about Jesus. And see at least one life change, of a dear friend, whose door I knocked on, in a village in the middle of nowhere in Africa. There's someone. SOMEONE. Waiting for you my dear friend, I just know it.  They will be blessed with the best blessings God has to offer, and you can help to unlock that for someone else, it's an amazing thing.

Well, I think that's about all I've got for today. There are people who are kept from the truth, simply because they don't know where to find it. Joseph Smith's validity is confirmed alone by that one statement in section 123. I've seen it firsthand this week, and will continue to see it.


It was cool, when President Dunn prayed with Elder Swindle and I at the beginning of this experience, he asked for the spirit of adventure and exploration, and I'm telling you it's happening. 

Alright, I love you guys. Keep me in your prayers, and keep mostly the South Africans in your prayers. Cheers

Tanner Noah Clegg

Monday, June 13, 2016

#101 "Can I get a Hallelujah!"

Gonna miss the good old MTB

I've lost my American English, so all of you who are disprivledged enough to come to my homecoming might get some laughs.   (Which will be July 31...by the mom)

Wow, what a week. And what an amazing week ahead. And what an amazing last month on mission ahead. I'm not sure what emotion I'm filled with right now but I like it.

This week, President Dunn called me and told me to meet him at the mission home. So we went there, he dragged me into his room that he usually grills missionaries in (jk he's the nicest guy alive). Anyways he talked a lot about some ideas that have been running in his crazy and inspired mind, of things he's been noticing and feedback from other missionaries on the struggles of our mission, etc. etc.

And he wants to try something totally crazy and new that I'm unbelievably stoked for.

He released me from my current assignment, and gave me a new one. It's called operation F.I.T (Find Investigators Team).

So basically, me and one of my closest mission friends since day 1 (Elder Swindlehurst), will be traveling the length and breadth of the South Africa Johannesburg Mission, with one goal and purpose in mind, which is to find as many new investigators as possible.

So for the next 4 weeks of my stay in South Africa, my only job will be to talk to as many of God's Children as possible that can fall under my voice, and share the gospel with them. To join with the areas which are traditionally ineffective with finding new investigators, and see if we can't come in contact with those who are "Kept from the truth, because they know not where to find it". We'll sleep on the road, usually; with other missionaries in their areas. We have a temporary residence behind the mission home, and a laptop to record our data, cuz we have like a totally new set of key-indicators we're piloting. So it's just gonna be insane and fun and awesome. And I look forward to growing closer to God through all of this.
Gonna miss Elder Pickup

So, no more planning MLC's, transfers, zone conferences, family road trips, baptismal records, or dinner with famous people. And I'll miss the Dunns like crazy because they are like the best thing that's ever happened to me and have helped me like none other could to battle through the trials of mission. But, I'm going to leave this land kicking hard, and I'm sooo unbelievably stoked for this new assignment with one of my best buds, Elder Swindle(who by the way I've slept in his church parking lot in Newport Beach a couple of times with Grant and McCall and other friends). Maybe I'm even frothy.

Alright, all of that is exciting but hey get this:

Remember Zebulon? The guy from that remote village called Mokgolobotho right outside of the paradisiacal town of Tzaneen who was baptized a year ago Sunday? Well he and his newly-wed are coming down to the South Africa Johannesburg Temple this Friday, June 17 to be endowed and sealed for time and eternity. The thing that gives me chills is that's the same day that my best bud Derik will enter into the Timpanogas Utah Temple to be sealed for time and all eternity to his sweetheart and partner in crime. June 17 will be a big day to remember, a special day for the 2 dearest of friends. I love you both like crazy.

Anyways, needless to say, I'm happy. And I believe in God. Even though sometimes I get confused and do know why to believe, I believe anyway. His hand is in the details. Keep me in your prayers, I'll need the strength and protection. Weird to say that but I really will. And hope I don't freeze to death cuz it's insanely cold. Love you guy’s sooo so much. Can't believe I only have 4 weeks in this magnificent land of Africa. I’ll miss it dearly. I'll miss these people. But I'm gonna cherish this new opportunity. Cheers
Another Kool experience this week that my grandma will love-

As a finding idea we've been placing copies of the Liahona in barber shops and dentist offices and places like that. Getting it out there and also generating conversations with the shop owners and also it was an easy way to not get kicked out of places. And anyways we went into one hair cutting place owned by two Islamic guys, one of them from Northern Africa in Morocco, and the other one from Jordan, just east of the Dead Sea. They were super intrigued by our message, and I was able to get hold of an Arabic Book of Mormon and give it to them.


The cool part is that my Grandma Brown played a huge role in translating the Book of Mormon from English into Arabic. So I thought my grandma would like this picture. 

E Tanner Noah Clegg

Pedalling
I used to think of God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there, sort of like a president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I didn't really know Him.

But later on, when I met Jesus, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Jesus was in the back helping me pedal. I didn't know just when it was He suggested we change, but life has not been the same since I took the back-seat to Jesus, my Lord. He makes life exciting. When I had control, I thought I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable. It was the shortest distance between two points.

But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places and at break-through speeds; it was all I could do to hang on! Even though it often looked like madness, He said, "Pedal!" I was worried and anxious and asked, "Where are you taking me?" He laughed and didn't answer and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into adventure. And when I'd say, "I'm scared", He'd lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed, gifts of healing, acceptance and joy. They gave me their gifts to take on my journey, our journey, my Lord's and mine. And we were off again. He said, "Give the gifts away; they're extra baggage, too much weight." So I did, to the people we met, and I found in giving I received, and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life. I thought He'd wreck it, but He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, jump to clear high rocks, fly to shorten scary passages. And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I'm beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus.

And when I'm sure I just can't do any more, He just smiles and says... "Pedal."
(Author unknown)

Monday, June 6, 2016

#100 "Cheeseboy"

Sister Dunn is the best kind of friend!

Hey guys, post-transfer week. Is hectic like transfer week. 

Well here's a list of people I ate dinner with this week:

1-A. Scott Anderson, the President and CEO of Zion's Bank.
2-The Jacobsons, the owners of Jacobson's construction.
3-The son of Ken Garff, who owns Ken Garff Auto.

The Dunns have connections. 

I have 5 weeks left in this wonderful country. I hope that in those 5 weeks I can somehow find out how to send a decent email. And also make South Africa a better place.

Loves,

Elder Tanner Noah Clegg

Look how energetic I look in this presenation.