Heeeellllloooooo family!! (And friends),
I don't have a ton of time today, but MAN MISSIONARY WORK IS THE BEST!!!!
Elder Benissan and I are BFFs. We get along so well! I am so grateful that the Lord put us together as companions! I definitely do not mind spending 2 transfers with him! However, we just discovered that transfers are on December 20. Right before Christmas!?!? That's a crime. I am so bummed to think that we might not be together on the greatest holiday of the year!.... My birthday....
Just kidding. Christmas is the best holiday of the year, no argument.
The work is ripe here in Newcastle! Elder Benissan and I stay very very busy, which is SO nice! I am really starting to love this little branch of ours. This week, at 8:55 the branch president asked me to speak... IN THAT MEETING. So I scrambled through my scriptures trying to find a topic that would be applicable and effective to our congregation, much to my despair, my mind was running blank. I had nothin.
So I decided to say a prayer and ask for the guidance of the Holy Ghost to help me know what I needed to speak to the branch about. I was no later prompted to open up Preach My Gospel ( which I felt strangely inclined to bring to church that day ) and began to search through the index. My eyes stopped on one word; "Charity". So I began to collect and stockpile quotes, scriptures, and my testimony of charity. I was assigned to the last speaker spot, but the two speakers before me took, collectively, 10 minutes. So I approached the pulpit with a prayer in my heart that my tongue would be loosed and that my mouth would be filled with the words which would mean the most to this congregation. I calmly delivered my sermon on charity and the blessings that we receive as we exercise and ask for charity. I think it went perfectly! I am so grateful for the loving attention that our Almighty Father in Heaven gives to us! He knows exactly what we need, exactly when we need it! I am so grateful for the tender mercies we all receive, every day!!
Elder Benissan and I had incredible experiences with the spirit guiding us this weekend, my talk only being one of them. On saturday night's we always visit a family on recent converts. The Shange's, the Hind's (the senior couple in Newcastle, they're the best. ) always come with us. The kids loveeee them! They always bring little games that we can play after we teach a short lesson. But this week the Hind's called us and told us they couldn't come about an hour before we were supposed to be at the Shange's, so we are calling members, trying to get somebody to come with us, but nobody could. So we grudging took the long drive to Ngogane to teach by ourselves. When we arrived, they had 3 of their Gogo's with them (Gogo is a Zulu term for an honored family member that is a female, usually a grandma or aunt), so our lesson had to change. So we called an Omaha and tried to figure out what we needed to teach, having no idea, we prayed. Elder Benissan then took out his pocket hymn book and asked the family to turn to the hymn "Love at Home". We began to speak about how we can strengthen our family relationships and how we can receive great strength and security within our families. We asked the family to go around in a circle and tell what they loved about their family members ( cheesy I know but please bear with me ). So it was tender and sweet, and when the oldest daughter began to speak she broke down and started sobbing, through her tears we discovered that she had been running away from home a lot recently, and that her family had always written her and accepted her no matter what happened. We could see that there was an elephant in the room, that has just been dismissed, the rest of the family began to cry and it ended in a very sincere group hug. It was amazing to witness. God's love prevailed in that lesson; and I am so grateful that Elder Benissan and I had the opportunity to act as God's mouthpiece and deliver the message that he would have delivered if He were with them! I know that God knows each and every one of us and all of our needs! He waits for us to pray and ask so that He can answer our prayers!! I love the way that the Lord blesses us. I know that he is mindful of you and is always watching over you! The lesson was really sweet, but I must admit that it got a little awkward after they hugged for like 5 minutes.....
We had a few more experiences of the same caliber, all having different and profound experience and opportunities, for the sake of time I wanted to share the one that was the most special to me!
Well, I'm just about out of time, and Elder Faganello ( my Canadian Zone Leader) is about to cut my hair, so please wish me luck.
But South Africa is an amazing place and I could not be more grateful to be here!! Right now is especially fun because the whole country has World Cup fever! The Springbok's are headed into the Quater Finals against Wales this week! Although we don't watch the games, we hear about it alllllllll week after every game! So it's a blast to be here now! I cannot explain how much I love serving the Lord! There is no greater pleasure than knowing that I am fulfilling the promises that the Lord has made, that the gospel will be spread to every end of the Earth!
I know that last, fulfilling, and true happiness comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through exact obedience to the commandments of the Lord, we can receive blessings that the Lord is saving for us! I know that my Redeemer lives, and I know that He has atoned for all of our sins; that through Him we may be forgiven of ALL things. We can always start over, we can always grow closer to Him!
I love you all and I am so grateful for all of the support that I have received from all of you!!
Stay on the straight and narrow!
Talk to you next week!
Every Monday we have FHE, with our district of missionaries, members, investigators, and all others who enjoy wholesome activity and treats, at the Hind's house!
All of the people around me are recent converts!! From L-R: Siyanda Nxumalo, Ayanda Luthuli, and Nonto Buthelezi
It was Elder Benissan's birthday on Tuesday, so we celebrated with the Hind's!
In the word's of Sister Hind: "Obviously, a companionship made in heaven"