Okay I don't even have time for a clever introduction because our Zone Leaders just called us and said we are gonna go paint balling in like 30 minutes so this has gonna be QUICK!
But nonetheless; incredibly uplifting and probably hilarious.
ANYWAY, this week was the best week I have had on mission yet! Quickly summed up:
On monday we met a girl at a resturant named Jimmy's, she straight up asked us to bear our testimonies to her and she told us that she knew as soon as we walked in that we were servants of the Lord! WOW. She is so prepared to hear the gospel! Her name is Mpume! She came to church yesterday and that was a VEEERY interesting experience. I'll explain later.
On monday I also cut Elder Faganello's hair and I've gotta be honest.... it looks pretty bad. hahhaa it actually turned out really well!!
On Tuesday we had an amazing opportunity come up, we now get to go to a school twice a week and teach the standards of the For Strength of Youth and help rebuild and refurbish the school. The school is in the middle of nowhere and it's really run down. Our district is really excited to begin working on it! The youth there come from troublesome areas, so the school hopes that we can provide good examples to them!
We also went back to the school on Thursday because they challenged us to a soccer match! So we got a little team together and went back to play.
That game was no joke.
We had the WHOLE school watching us, we were playing on a pitch that
was just dust and a couple rocks to indicate goals, and the kids were WAYYY good. If there is one thing I have learned about South Africans, it's that they LOVE soccer. It's actually one of our greatest finding/reactivation techniques. If you tell people there is a match then every young man in Newcastle is there! We had 6 guys come to church that we met through soccer!!! So needless to say, I've gotten pretty good at soccer. I actually scored a pretty good goal in our game at Ncandu (the school) and all the kids started cheering "UMLUNGUUUUUUU" and I asked what that means, apparently the whole group was cheering "WHIT
E BOYYYYYY" hahaha every time I touched the ball I could depend on the same group to root for me hahaha
I think that biggest blessing this week was the perfect answer to many many prayers. I mentioned last week that the biggest struggle for our branch is the lack of priesthood leaders and men who are willing to be active fathers. We have 2 father lead families in our branch; it is what Elder Benissan and I dedicate most of our time to. On Friday we received a call from a man named Ephraim, he said he wanted us to come teach him; Elder Benissan and I were both really excited, but also confused because his name was already in our phone.. But we went on Saturday and met him, he is an excommunicated member who is eagerly doing all of the things he needs to do to be re-baptized! He has a very genuine and sincere love for the gospel. Best of all, he had two of his best friends over because he wants them to hear this message! They both have a firm faith in Christ and good backgrounds in Christian families! Elder Benissan and I were ecstatic to have 3 new MALE investigators! Hopefully that means priesthood holders and husbands in the Newcastle Branch! Ephraim is a returned missionary so he knows what we do, he told us he has plenty of references for us! We could not have been more blessed! Our prayers were answered PERFECTLY! My testimony of prayer and our Father in Heaven has deepened. I know that our prayers and heard, considered, and answered according to the will of our Father; that all things may work in the best accordance to us and to His plan! I am so grateful!!
Although I often speak of miracles in my email, which I am INCREDIBLY grateful to the Lord for, the small tender mercies that we receive every day are the things that help us the most. Seeing God's hand so active in my life bring me so much joy and peace! I know that our Father in Heaven cares for and watches over each and every single one of us! No doubt!
Okay two last stories then I'm gonna go shoot other missionaries:
Every Friday night Sister Lethuma, our grandma in this area, feeds us an amazing home cooked meal. I always look forward to a nice meal, refreshing discussions about gospel principles, and good company. But this week I was in for something I never could have prepared for. As I was sitting back and enjoying some discussion on scriptural prophets and stories, Sister Lethuma was preparing something that was about to scar me for life. As she placed a full plate of food down in front of me- my eyes beheld one of the most disturbing things I could have imagined. COOKED.CHICKEN.FEET. Claws and everything. I looked around in dismay hoping that this was a joke- but to my utter horror this was no bad dream; but a haunting reality. It was no sooner that I realised that chicken feet are supposed to be some kind of special treat. Elder Benissan was SO excited when he saw them. I looked at him with big, fearful eyes as he began to tear apart the thin bones and sucked off all of the skin and meat he could find. I have eaten some strange things here. But I was no match for these feathery feet. I noticed that eyes began to turn on me and I sat there, shocked. So, hesitantly, I picked up a foot, broke off one of it claws, and put it in my mouth. Nods of approval surrounded the table as I attempted to enjoy this strange entree. Elder Benissan whispered "I'm proud of you, my son" and took the other foot when Sister Lethuma wasn't looking, he finished it and put it back on my plate after. Man, I wish I would have been warned. That was probably the hardest thing I have had to do my whole mission. hahaha but I must admit.... they don't taste THAT bad.
And my last story to close this week's edition of "The Chronicles of Elder Weiler and Elder Benissan" is one of disaster (with much less drama and detail because I spent WAY too long on that last story)
Sundays are very different when you're a missionary and the branch relies on you for almost everything. Good, but different. So we got to church at 8:30 and started the routine, we had left our keys at home (we also walked to church) and coincidentally every other person did too. But we were surviving and we thought that we had finished everything. We thought. So as we carried on preparing to start church, Elder Benissan invited me to play piano ( I've been practicing ) and I confidentally accepted. So after we think everything has been prepared we meet Mpume at the front of the church and show her around and sit her down in the chapel. She went to every person already there and introduced herself! Unfortunately, our branch is NOT good at fellowshipping. So everybody was kind of indifferent to her. So that was bad. We literally had to ASK people to sit by her and talk to her. So if that wasn't already an awkward start, 9:00 rolls around and our branch president isn't at the chapel yet. So we're all panicking and he comes in at like 9:10 and there still isn't more than 20 people in the chapel for the sacrament. Also, we realised we don't have any bread. So after scrambling around we got bread about 5 minutes later. So sacrament starts like 15 minutes late and people are finally starting to show up (SIDE NOTE: We actually had 87 people come to church yesterday and that an AMAZING turn out. We also set a goal for 85 so we are incredibly grateful for the Lord's help in accomplishing that goal.)
So we begin the meeting and I did really well on the first hymn, so we are finally starting to relax a little bit. But the hymn for the sacrament was a whoooole new story. I start playing and the conductor is shaking her head at me saying that I'm not playing the right hymn. So I check the hymn book and start playing again and Elder Benissan is shaking his head yes. So there was a solid minute of confusion because I didn't know what to play if this wasn't the right hymn, but the chorister was not having it. So we sang acapella, which was a little awkward, but that's fine. So as the sacramental prayer was being said, nobody could hear it... That's when we realised that the microphone wasn't on. And nobody has the keys to get into the room to turn it on. So we stuck out sacrament meeting with very quiet prayers.
Then, we asked one of our investigators, Stretch, to take us back to our boarding to get the keys. I wish there was a camera there, because they definitely could have used the film for the next Fast and Furious movie. We FLEW back home and back and got the microphone on for the last talk.
To make this more awkward for Mpume, the lesson in YSA was on the Law of Chastity.
Did i mention the teacher didn't show up? So Elder Benissan had to teach the lesson. impromptu style.
I'm not complaining.... But it was awkward. We actually didn't get to talk to Mpume after church so we are anxiously awaiting our appointment with her so that we can ask her what she thought. hahahaha
All in all, IT WAS A GREAT WEEK!!!! I'm sorry for all the typos but I have no other choice!
Picture of us with a class of students from Ncandu! I'm the awkward white spot in the back...
The losing team of our match... Heads high and smiles on our faces!
The Hind's found this shirt at the mall????
a very candid and profound photo of Elder Benissan and I in our study.