Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, Right?

I've got no time today! Lesotho was celebrating "Boxing Day" yesterday and all the internet shops were closed.

I'll tell the stories from this week through pictures. It's an art form.





-

Elder Weiler

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sweet Spirit





Ho ho ho beloved friends and family,  Elder Jantjies and I are really feeling the Christmas Spirit. We were feeling a little down the other day so we started wishing every person a Merry Christmas as we drove past them, we also bought Santa hats and started giving out LIGHTtheWORLD cards, definitely turned around our day!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Elder Jantjies and I had to laugh today as I read to him all of the emails from friends/family complaining about the cold, it's full blown summer in Lesotho! 😎 It's so hot that we walk out of the shower still covered in sweat.. delightful :) 

Well this week FLEW by! To be candid, we struggled finding people to teach. During Christmas everybody wants to go home, and those that are home are celebrating with family; so it's hard to sit down with people to teach. HOWEVER, the Lord provided for us! I've learned that as missionaries (and frankly as human beings) we're frequently tested to see how committed we really are to this gospel and to the work of the Lord. When we prove diligent, the Lord pours out blessings. When we don't prove diligent those blessings are withheld.

We were invited to another event hosted by the HWPL! (I mentioned them about two months ago. They're an organization that strives to bring about religious tranquility by hosting scriptural discussions and helping different denominations understand one another). We placed two copies of the Book of Mormon while we were there! One of them was ECSTATIC, I've never seen somebody so happy to receive a copy! I pray to hear more about him from the missionaries that work in his area (he's from South Africa, still in Durban mission)!

Well, the time is far spent, but all I can say is I love this work! I know that the Lord guides His missionaries! Elder Jantjies and I definitely saw that this week! I'm grateful for His Spirit, I'm grateful for the conversion that can take place in all of us! I know that God lives! I'm grateful that He allows us to change! I wouldn't trade my mission, nor the things that I've learned and the man I'm becoming, for anything!! The restored gospel is true!!

Merry Christmas!


--
Elder Weiler


                                            We wore matching ties to church, father/son :,)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

SEMONKONG


Hello all! This email is coming to you on a beautiful Tuesday morning because yesterday we ventured deep into Lesotho to see THE BIGGEST WATERFALL IN AFRICA. Best zone activity ever.
Yesterday morning we packed into a taxi and ventured three hours into the mountains of Lesotho. The drive was INCREDIBLE. I thought Utah was mountainous but Lesotho is on a whole new level! One of the craziest parts was as we were driving through the mountains we'd see small villages in the valleys. These people live about 80 kilometres from the nearest town. ( A quick Google search told me that is 50 MILES) They have no water, no electricity, and they grow all of their own food. It was pretty humbling. Above all, I felt grateful for our Heavenly Father's plan; all of His children will hear the gospel and have a chance to accept it! These people living in these villages have no idea about the restored gospel, but one day they will, and they will be able to feel the same joy that we feel!
I don't have a lot of time because we're trying to cram emailing into a regular working day, so this will be a short one.
We also had a baptism on Sunday! It was awesome! Her name is Cynthia! She's probably the most powerful/prepared person I've ever baptised on my mission! The service was great! I attached a picture below.


The hike to Semonkong was incredible, we were literally just walking through the mountains and villages until we got to a massive canyon and BAM water falling. It's hard to explain what's so fascinating about a river falling off a cliff but there's something about it. It was a really cool experience altogether, the journey and all!


In terms of the work everything is going great! Elder Jantjies and I have been blessed to be guided to a lot of responsible fathers who want to guide their families in righteousness! We're praying that we'll be guiding a lot of families to the Atonement and to covenant making in the next few months!!
This work is true! God lives! Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the World!

--

Elder Weiler

Monday, December 5, 2016

#TshumaLifasti (#LightTheWorld)

Hello all!

It's blazing hot, every store has a Christmas tree, and we only sang hymns in the early 200s at church yesterday... IT MUST BE CHRISTMAS TIME!! 

What a wonderful time of the year! My heart has been full of gratitude these past couple of days as I've pondered the love manifested in our Saviour's life and His role in the Plan of Salvation! It's incredible to think that God, Almighty and Omnipotent, would send His Only Begotten Son to redeem us, fallen and imperfect people who are "less than the dust of the Earth". There is no greater love than this! It's humbling.

Elder Jantjies and I had a great week! In the mission field December is usually a less effective month in terms of the work. To combat this, we were given a challenge, as a mission, to find 40 new referrals on December 1 to build up our teaching pools and lose ourselves in the work! Elder Jantjies and I decided that we were going to do it -- long story short, we got 93 referrals in one day! It was awesome! We've already contacted 50 of them! This week will be filled with new people who are prepared to hear the gospel! We're so excited!! 

Unfortunately I've got almost no time left, but this week was fantastic!! I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve the Lord! I LOVE this gospel! This is the way! 

I love the initiative the church has put out this season and I'd encourage all of you to get involved if you haven't already! Elder Jantjies and I have done it every day so far and so can you!!

Sala Hantle! 

--

Elder Weiler

Monday, November 28, 2016

Elders Way La and Young Kiss

This week's email is brought to you by: Butchered names! ahhaha (that's usually how people pronounce them)

Happy Thanksgiving All!! I hope you all enjoyed your turkey :)))

This week was great (as is every other week because MISSION IS THE BEST)! I don't even know what to say anymore... Mission is just life! I'm definitely still loving it! One thing that never ceases to surprise me though is the refining and the growth that I see in myself day by day! These past couple weeks I feel like my weaknesses have become very apparent (probably because Elder Jantjies is perfect) 


but I can't help but feel that this is an opportunity from the Lord to improve! (Hebrews 12:6, Revelation 3:19, DC 105:6). This Thanksgiving my heart is full of gratitude for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel! If it wasn't for Him, I don't know where I'd be!

A few highlights from this week include, but are not limited to:

Thanksgiving Dinner with Elder and Sister Chandler! It was incredible. I haven't had turkey in AGES!



We met a new investigator this week named Memamphoma. We had a really nice lesson with her and at the end we invited her to come to church, she gladly accepted and then also extended an invitation for us to come to her church! Fortunately the services were at different times so it all worked out! So we went to the Resurrection Tabernacle Centre on Sunday at 3 PM and it was a pretty interesting experience! However, walking away, Elder Jantjies and I felt disappointed that there was no call to action or real message communicated, it was just all about how God will keep us young (which riot for all the old ladies there). 

I'm grateful that the Lord challenges us! I'm grateful to have living prophets and apostles who call us to repentance and help us see where we are falling short! In Hebrew, to endure means to "make everlasting or omnipotent", as we go throughout this life we are called to endure to the end; this doesn't mean that we just white knuckle it or we simply don't mess up; to endure to the end means that we are to constantly improve, grow, and stretch ourselves! Exaltation isn't an event, it's a process! While we're here during our mortal probation we are to prepare to meet God -- we are to prepare to become like God! And through the thick and the thin of life we have a Saviour who is prepared to support, strengthen, and forgive us! So no matter who you are, no matter where you are in life, I encourage you to prayerfully consider how you, personally, can improve! Whether it be spiritual, occupation, or education seek to magnify what you're already doing; "what e'er thou art, act well thy part". We all have gifts, discover them, develop them, and share them!

--

Elder Weiler

Monday, November 14, 2016

Call Me BABA

                                                   (Soaking up a some Lesotho sun)

THIS WEEK I RECEIVED THE BEST TRANSFER NEWS EVER

I'M TRAINING!!! I'M A FATHER (BABA IN ZULU)!!!!!!!!!
I don't think I've ever been more excited for transfer news in my life! Our transfers were a little early, so he came on Saturday morning! I literally felt like I was going on a first date. hahaha I was so nervous but so excited! I didn't know anything about him until he stepped out of the van! His name is Elder Jantjies (Yahn-kees. Like New York Yankees hahah that's how he introduced himself to me. His surname is Afrikaans but he's a Xhosa brotha). He's from Soweto in Johannesburg!! The 3 days that we've been together has been awesome!! He's ready to work and I LOVE THAT! We've set our sights high for the next two transfers!! 
                                                                    Father/Son :,)

Also before Elder Jantjies got here, we were brainstorming some good father/son pictures we could take and we determined the following: In Africa mothers often carry babies/toddlers around on their backs by tying a blanket around them; so we decided that we'll use my Sotho blanket to do the same with my trainee! hahaha the result is attached below...
                                                        .... Mother/Son? hahahha

This week was great!! The only bummer was that there was some political unrest in Maseru and we had to stay in the boarding on Friday and Saturday night -- but we're all safe and everything is okay now!!
                      
Training has already kicked me in the butt a little bit, I've realised that there's some things that I can be doing a lot better!! I'm grateful for revelation and for the opportunities we have to grow and improve!! This week we were reading in Alma 12 with a family that we were visiting and I got caught up on the thought that if Adam and Eve had partaken of the fruit from the tree of life they would have lived forever in their sins and been forever miserable. I'm so grateful for the goodness of our God! He protected them and provided a probationary state for all of us, children of Adam and Eve, as a time repent and to prepare ourselves to stand before our Father again! As I pondered about this I was filled with great joy, knowing that we have a Father in Heaven who cares about us that much! I know that God wants all of us to live with Him again; and through Christ that's possible! I'm grateful for prophets that have, for centuries, revealed the gospel plan to us! I'm also grateful that the Lord has allowed us to enter into a covenant relationship with him -- that we, Gentiles, are able to enter into the House of Israel and be counted as His people at the last day! God is good. The restored gospel is true! The Book of Mormon is the word of God and a man certainly will get nearer to God as he studies it with sincere desires to know Him. 

Love you all!! Thanks for the support! I really love being a missionary! And I know that I'm only here because of the people that have cared for me and groomed me for my whole life! Shout out to all of you! 

Okay sorry one more thing: the quote of the week goes to Ntate Moshoeshoe (a member in our branch) upon hearing that Donald Trump won the election he said "Poor Mme Hilary...." and Elder Shinga and I just starting dying hahaha "mme" means "Mother" but it's totally normal for you to greet a woman on the street and call her "mom" hahah it was just so basotho. I love this place.

                                   The American Brethren of Lesotho hahaha #TrumpsArmy

Have a great week!

--

Elder Weiler

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Kingdom in the Sky



HELLOS

It's good to be back! The plague on the Lesotho Zone has passed! 

The past couple weeks have been great, despite flu, a stomach virus, and allergy induced migraines hahaha! This is the last week of the transfer!! I can't believe it!

A few notable events over the past few weeks:

On Halloween I noted 1 year anniversary of Bucket Juice ebola! I celebrated with flu!! hahah

Last week on p day we just decided that we were gonna climb a mountain (there's PLENTY of them around) and that was super awesome! I'll be sure to attach pictures. Fun story: When we got to the top we found a whole herd of sheep, as we continued towards the peak of the mountain some missionaries ahead warned us that there were dogs in the forest. So we all picked up rocks, prepared to fight off wild dogs (we could hear them barking, there was A LOT of them) and as we ventured through this forest we were surprised not only to find like 8 dogs, but two humans! They were the shepherds for the flock, just two dudes living in the mountains with their dogs and their sheep hahah they were also really surprised to see white people (seeing white people in Lesotho only happens like... once every other blue moon)! 
(Halfway up, the hat I'm wearing is part of traditional dress for Basotho. It reminds them of the mountain (called Thaba Bosiu) where they buried their first king (legend says the mountain grows at night, so thieves can't steal his body)

I also bought a Sotho blanket! Becuase Lesotho gets so cold in the winter their ancestors used to make blankets that are crazy warm and eventually it became a cultural thing! So Sotho's make really cool, really warm blankets -- and I now own one... and I love it!! hahaha we brought the blankets up with us to the mountain and took some photos! 
                 (American Africans.. and a South African -- ALL MASOTHOS THOUGH)

The work is going great here too! People are so prepared!! December looks like we'll have a lot of baptisms, which is the most exciting thing ever for a missionary!! They're also having lots of baptisms in Blomanda which is exciting too!! 

Recently I've been impressed with the powerful spirit that comes when we speak about the Atonement; with a greater focus on helping our investigators repent, it's crucial that they understand the means by which a remission of sins comes! As we've taught and testified about the Atonement of Jesus Christ I've been touched by the Spirit almost daily, our investigators have too! As I learn more about the Atonement, I learn more about Christ. I feel myself coming to know Christ as I know my friends! I have a greater understanding of who He is and how I can be more like Him! I know that the way that we draw closer to our Heavenly Father and our Saviour is through the Atonement -- if you want to have a closer relationship with God or if you want to feel the Spirit more make the Atonement a greater part of your life. Pray that you will feel and see the Atonement changing you, helping you overcome weaknesses and desires of the natural man. Pray that through the Atonement you'll be able to forgive somebody that you're holding a grudge against. Pray that through the Atonement you'll be able to feel liberty and freedom from sin and guilt! As you experience the powers of the Atonement day by day you will also come to know Christ personally! You will become more like Him! And at the last day you will take a place with Him in our Father's Kingdom.

--

Elder Weiler

Monday, October 24, 2016

Basotho Boys!!!!

                                                           Elder Shinga and me!

Dumelanga!!

These past two weeks have been great! Last week I was really sick and had to go to the doctor in Bloemfontein (that's why I didn't email|) but all is well in Zion now!! We're back in business!

I don't have lots of time today but I'll do my best to summarise the good, the bad, and the ugly hahaha (just kidding it's all good stuff)

The highlight of this week was on Tuesday night, last weekend we got a call from somebody (Elder Shinga was on the phone) and all I heard is that they wanted us to come speak to some people about the Book of Mormon, so we were like okay yeah that's sweet we can do that and on Tuesday night we went to Maseru mall where a private room was booked for this event -- now in our minds we thought that maybe it was just a small function and they wanted us to come take up some time -- but upon arriving we discover that this is an event where religious leaders from all over Lesotho and South Africa have been invited to discuss the history and the trustworthiness of their holy scripture.... We're surrounded by people in religious garb and suits and we rolled up in our short sleeved white shirts and sweaters (it was a little chilly) not only that but we found out that only one of us could speak and that they were expecting a copy of a seven minute speech on that they could give for press.... whoops. We were a little unprepared. hahahah so I ended up sitting on this council and shot from the hip! AND IT TURNED OUT GREAT! hahahaha it was one of the most fascinating and uplifting functions I've ever been to! It was hosted by the WHPL, which is an organization that is working to helping different religions have greater understanding and support for one another -- in hopes that we can quell religious warfare and conflict all over the world! 


When it came time for me to talk about Christian holy scripture, I was grateful that I was sitting on the council with a pastor from Durban, he spoke about the Bible, which gave me 7 minutes to teach and testify about the Book of Mormon! I had a really sweet experience teaching by the Spirit and at the end of my 7 minutes I feel certain that every person in the room, regardless of denomination, felt the Lord's spirit! There was a distinct reverence that followed that always comes when the Spirit is present. It was a really special experience, it was so humbling to be a mouthpiece of the Lord! All in all, it was a really well executed event and I'm so glad we got to go! Also, the food was so delicious and I definitely pigged out hahaha

This weekend we had Zone Conference and Elder S. Mark Palmer from the Seventy came!! It was phenomenal!!! We talked a lot about the relation between joy and obeidence, goal setting, and our doctrinal purpose as missionaries! It reminded me how simple missionary work is -- WE ARE TO PROCLAIM THE JOYS OF REPENTANCE! Further, we're here to help people access the Atonement of Jesus Christ! The whole point of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to help us find healing and power through the Atonement of Jesus Christ! We also did a Q&A with Elder Palmer and President Thompson and that was awesome!

Overall, I want to emphasize that we're all missionaries! Every one of us that has received the restored gospel has a responsibility to share it! We've on the path to receive the greatest gift God has to offer, eternal life! While we walk along the path that leads to eternal life, we can't be satisfied while our brothers and sisters are perishing and both sides of us! PEOPLE NEED THE GOSPEL! It's the only way back to the Father; and the great plan of happiness was designed so ALL could return to our Father presence in our Heavenly home! 

Well, I don't have much else to say ( that's a first.. ever ) other than to say that I know the work is true! I know that the restored gospel is Christ's gospel! I can't live without it! The Book of Mormon brings light into our lives and the testimonies that lie within those pages are life changing! I'm so grateful to be a missionary! This is the best life a person could live!! I know that we can all partake of the joys of missionary work as we open our mouths and invite others to come unto Christ! 

Sala Hantle! (Stay Well!)
--

Elder Weiler

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Week 1 in the MOUNTAIN KINGDOM

Mmoja mmoja fam bam!!

I'm back to sketchy email shops (Lesotho is full of them hahaha) and I can't say I missed them!! hahaha but it's good to be here; thanks for having me

I'm sitting here trying to figure out where this week went.. It was crazy! We got to Lesotho on Wednesday, had to go back to South Africa for a council meeting, and watched General Conference this weekend!! So far I'm loving Lesotho!! It's SUPER different from ZA! (I've mentioned that to every person I've emailed today, sorry hahah) As soon as we crossed the border we had entered a different world! Lesotho is a lot more rural than South Africa! As we've done some traveling throughout Lesotho I've enjoyed watching men and children ride around on donkeys and tending their flocks hahaha however, Elder Shinga and I work in town, so I don't think I'll be riding any donkeys for myself (shame..) hahaha

Just a heads-up, I forgot my camera cord, so I'll be sure to send pictures next week!

Serving with Elder Shinga has been awesome! He's taught me a lot about service -- I don't think a day has gone by that he hasn't served me! It really gets the brotherly love flowing <3 :,) Serve the people around you if you want to feel more joy!! People need YOU and your gifts!!

One thing that I love about coming to new areas is the chance to set new goals for myself -- this transfer I want to be a lot more bold! I'm gravity of our calling as missionaries is really starting to distill on me and I'm realizing that if people don't repent then they won't live with God again -- they won't feel the joy that comes from the Atonement of Jesus Christ, they won't feel the joy that comes from receiving revelation, and they won't experience the blessings that we receive so generously as members of the Church -- that's where we come in!

 I was reading something called the Donaldson Papers this week and I read that missionaries are gatekeepers of the Atonement, as I pondered that I realized it was true! As a missionary I carry the responsibility to help others understand and access the powers of our Saviour's Atonement!! So, to fulfill my missionary purpose --

I know that the Atonement is real! I know that we access the powers of the Atonement through the gospel of Jesus Christ, namely:

Faith in Jesus Christ
Sincere Repentance
Baptism of Water for the Remission of Sins
Baptism of the Spirit for Purification and to Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost
and Remaining Faithful Throughout our Lives!

As we follow the plan that our Father has established for us we experience the power of the Atonement as we realize a remission of our sins, we overcome our weaknesses (the natural man), and as we literally come unto Christ by following His example!

I know that there is no other way back to the Father than through the plan listed above -- I know that even though we are in a fallen state now, all of us can become like God through the exalting powers of the Atonement!

Joseph Smith taught something along the lines that we can only learn about the Atonement by experiencing it -- not simply by reading about it. I challenge you to ask our Father to have intimate experiences with the Atonement DAILY! I promise that as you feel the cleansing, enabling, and reconciling powers of the Atonement from day to day that you will come to KNOW Christ; that He will be as real to you as any other person!

I know that my Redeemer lives, I know that because of Him we'll all live again to!

I know you can learn more about Christ from the Book of Mormon; it's true! It's a witness of His divinity and we can all get nearer to God by studying it from day to day.

With love,
--

Elder Weiler

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Forget Rand, I Need Maloti!!! + The Book of Mormon Makes All The Difference

                                Making the best out of our dusty area hahah... free advertising!! 

For those of you who didn't get the joke in the subject, the answer lies herein.

Dumelanga!! (PS This turned out longer than I intended it to be but I firmly believe that it is of great significance to you)

Week 6 is come and gone! I CANNOT believe that this transfer with Elder Masinga is already over! It's definitely been one of best of my whole mission! I feel like we've had a lot of success in the past 6 weeks!! I learned a lot this transfer how important companionship harmony is! When you and a companion (this can also be considered in terms of marriage) are unified and equally yoked in your desire to preach repentance and baptize converts, it's beautiful hahah! The Lord has blessed us bountifully!!! 

My time is Blomanda and Bloemfontein has officially come to an end :(( I LOVE it here!! Of all the places I've lived I think I could live in Bloemfontein forever hahaha HOWEVER, I'm being transferred to what President Thompson referred to as "the promised land" -- Lesotho!!! Lesotho is a landlocked country within South Africa and the field is white already harvest! President Thompson wants to have a Lesotho stake before he leaves, so missionaries in Lesotho are working double time!! 

Ever since I got my mission call I've felt drawn to Lesotho! I'm so excited to serve there! I'll be one of six missionaries serving in the nation's capitol, Maseru! Also, the currency in South Africa is the Rand and the currency in Lesotho is called Maloti! So yeah... it's symbolic of my transition.. ha.. ha.

This weekend we got to watch General Conference; we even watched a few sessions live, which was awesome!! The more and more that I teach the Restoration, the deeper the absolute need for prophets today sinks into my heart! We HAVE to be guided today! There is no other way; to say that we no longer need prophets is to say that we don't have changing standards, confusion, and a need for personal revelation.. It doesn't make sense that God WOULDN'T call prophets in our day! I'm so grateful for a loving and understanding Father that communicates to us in these last days!

The second part of the topic reflects something I've noticed a lot on my mission -- this week more than ever. We were visiting a family from the ward this week who is on and off active and less active; we've visited them a few times over the past months and I've always been interested in the way that Ma talks about Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. Let me explain: I've noticed a stark contrast between those that read and understand the Book of Mormon and those who do not by the way that they speak of Christ. Those who read and have a testimony of the Book of Mormon seem to speak of Christ more reverently, personally, and intimately whereas those who do not seem to speak of Him as a celebrity or an urban legend ( no offense intended ). Those who read the Book of Mormon seem to have a greater sense of their accountability for their actions whereas those who do not seem to do as they please and leave it to God to have grace on them; while these contrasts are not spiritually fatal -- they make a great difference in the way that we see ourselves in relation to Deity ( I hope this makes sense ). 

Ma always talks about God in the manner of those who do not read the Book of Mormon -- while she is a woman of great faith, the connection, or the understanding, isn't really there. So we probed a bit into her reading of the Book of Mormon, only to discover that not only has she never finished it, but she has hardly read any of it!! She is familiar with names, but she isn't familiar with stories, doctrines, or teachings. Elder Masinga and I then testified of the absolute import of the Book of Mormon and it's witness of Jesus Christ and His role as our Saviour, the Son of God. 

We also warned her of the danger that comes when we as Saints treat lightly the Book of Mormon (Doctrine and Covenants 84:51-58). 

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints we have been blessed beyond comprehension by the coming forth of the Book of Mormon -- the central doctrines and teaching of the gospel come from the Book of Mormon! (Atonement, Plan of Salvation, Priesthood Authority, Manner of Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, Repentance etc.)

I know that the warning administered to the Prophet Joseph Smith applies to us today! If we do not remember the Book of Mormon we will be scourged!! We will falter in the face of adversity and we will never have valiant testimonies of the Messiah. It is that clear. We have a treasure in this church and God expects us to treat it as treasure!

If you're not reading something from the Book of Mormon each day then I challenge you to start today -- it is crucial for your salvation! (2 Nephi 32:3-4) If you're studying another book of scripture, follow the footnotes! TASTE FROM THE BOOK OF MORMON EACH DAY! 

I love you all! I love the Book of Mormon! I know that it has the power to change your life! I know that the witness of Christ that lies within those  531 pages contains the most powerful testimony that exists -- that Jesus Christ came to Earth, performed the Atonement, and that He has given us access to that Atonement (ordinances)!!!

--

Elder Weiler
                  FOUND DP IN SOUTH AFRICA :,)) It's crazy expensive because it's imported. 
                                                          It was a little taste of home!

Remember my 7-legged friend? Well he disappeared shortly after I included him in my email... I thought he died... But he showed up yesterday morning in our bathroom! He scared me to death too hahha

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Pap, intestines, and all you can eat chicken feet!"



HEYO this is Elder Weiler speaking, how do you like my pretty bow?  I don't have time to email so I'm just going to keep typing -- we're going to play with lions (yeah I know) so we've gotta get going and I'm the last one emailing and I'm stressed sorry hahaha

This week was great! President Thompson came to Bloem for interviews and specialised training for our zone! It's always so good to be around him, he's a great mission president! He has a lot of excitement for the work here and it's really contagious!! 

Our paintballing activity was a blast!! We're going to go again next week during transfers -- Lesotho Zone VS Bloemfontein Zone!! So that's going to be super super sweet! Sweeter than sweet (our ward mission leader ALWAYS says that -- His name is Jojo, he's hilarious but also super powerful haha)

Transfers are this weekend and I think my time in Blomanda is coming to an end :(( I have LOVED serving here so much!! The thought that I might be leaving is a bummer -- I wouldn't even mind staying for 6 months!! But we shall see! 

Saturday was Heritage Day in South Africa! It's one of the big holidays in SA! It's when we celebrate all the different cultures in South Africa (there's a lot..... hahha)! We celebrated with a party at the Stake Centre in town! They had members from different tribes come and teach about their cultures, their languages, and traditional clothing (everybody dressed up traditionally, including me, wearing some traditional Ghanaian clothes I picked up in Newcastle hahah)! They even invited a missionary from Idaho, Elder Ottley, to teach about his Cowboy culture!! It was awesome! Afterward we feasted on African food! The meal consisted on just about every food I have ever talked about in these emails -- chicken feet, intestines (tripe), jeqe (bread), pap (corn meal porridge), samp (crushed corn kernels) and beans, sour porridge -- YOU NAME IT! It was there! I love African food toooooo much.

This week was amazing! I realised this week how many miracles the Lord has worked among us this transfer!! At the beginning of the transfer, we went through all of our investigators and decided to drop those that weren't progressing and keeping us from finding the elect; I can testify that that was revelation! This transfer we have found so many incredible people that are prepared for the gospel! People who hear the message and are anxious to act on it! This week we also had a really sweet experience administering a blessing -- surely miracles have not ceased! God still works among men today! 

I'm sorry that I can't write more -- but I want to express my love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! Everyday it becomes more and more apparent that if there was no Restoration of the gospel, I would not be the person I am today! If there was no Atonement, I would not be the person I am today! If I didn't have the knowledge and the testimony that I have been blessed with, I would not be the person I am today! 

The gospel is a significant part of me! I love the transforming nature of the gospel! I love our Father's forgiving and merciful nature! I know that He wants to forgive us! And I know that we HAVE to repent if we are going to stand at His right hand one day! 

I love you all! Thanks for all the support! Stay Righteous!

Kgotso leli Hlonolofatso!! (Peace and Blessings (Sesotho))

--

Elder Weiler

 We had a birthday party for Elder Leonard at a member's house this week, it was a blast! This is the district!
Just a tank... driving through town... ???

Monday, September 19, 2016

1

                                                          Johannesburg Temple

WOW CAN'T BELIEVE I'VE ALREADY BEEN ON MISSION FOR ONE MONTH!!!! 

wait...

what?

It's been how long?

A year? 

Nooo man that can't be...

*checks calendar* 

HOLY HANNAH MONTANA

Well the rumours are true... I've been in South Africa for a whole year! I can't even explain how I feel to think that my mission is halfway over... Bittersweet... but I think it's mostly bitter.. I don't want to go home!! (Sorry Mom)

The past year of my life has been (wait for super cliche) the best year of my life!! I can't even think of anything else to say. I literally do not have words to express my gratitude and my love for the Lord because He has allowed me to grow and transform in ways that I could never foresee!! God is so good! I love my Heavenly Father!! Eish, I wish I could just send a 10 hour voice recording of my telling stories and sharing my feelings about the past year.. But I can't. So, I'll do my best to express it over this keyboard. 

The past year of my life has been so refining. The Lord has cast light on my deepest imperfections -- the past year has been one of the most uncomfortable and most awkward of my life -- but I have become a greater man because of it! I know that missionary service for 18 year old boys and 19 year old girls is evidence that Father is wise. The past year has taught me lessons that I don't think I could ever learn anywhere else at this time in my life! More importantly, I have learned more about responsibility, spirituality, and the gospel in the past 365 days than I have in my entire life! God knows how important this period of time is in the lives of young adults, so to springboard us into those years he sends us on missions to learn about and master what matters most! 

This past year has also been the most challenging year of my life! I have never been so stressed or frustrated as I have on mission! I have also never felt so much love and so much peace in my life! 

My personal conversion to this gospel has grown more than I can ever begin to explain. Before I left on mission I definitely had a testimony that the church was true, that Jesus Christ lived, and that the gospel was the best (and only) way to live my life -- BUT today -- I literally cannot deny the absolute validity and total necessity of the gospel in my life! I cannot live without the knowledge and testimony that I have now; it is a beacon of strength that I can lean on when I feel like I have nothing more to give, it is a pillar of comfort when I feel like I'm being drowned in responsibilities, it is a seat of hope that constantly uplifts me and keeps my spirits high when discouragement runs around me!! 

Dangit I can't even tell you how true this church is. This is the Church of Jesus Christ. I cannot deny that. I always joke that I can never join another church because this gospel has ruined every other options!! hahaha! Simply, I know that God speaks to us through prophets today -- President Thomas S. Monson and the Quorum of the Twelve are called by inspiration and that if we follow them we will find great joy and great protection from the evils and the dangers of this world. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that the Atonement is SO real. I have seen it change others and I have most definitely seen it change me; for that, I am eternally indebted to Him. We all are. He payed the price that we never can (Alma 22:16) and the only way that we can show our gratitude (because we can never pay him back) is to serve Him! To do what He says we need to do! Christ has suffered all things (Alma 7:11-13) so He is the perfect person to give commandments and laws, He has never asked us to do anything that is TOO hard, He knows perfectly our limits and bounds! 

I love Jesus Christ so much. I can't even tell ya. 

Well, this is getting long. So I guess I'll wrap it up..

If I can recommend anything, it's that all able bodied people should prepare to serve missions and get into the field ASAP! It will bless you life more than anything else you can possibly imagine! Mission will do for you what nobody/nothing else ever can! 

And finally, thank you to everybody that has supported me in the past year! If you're still reading these every week, shout out to you. I love you so much. I love all the emails and letters of love and support, they really help me when I'm feeling down! "Mission is not easy mfethu" (inside joke, sorry) 

BUT that's it. People to teach. Gospel to share. Ward to build.

Habashwe. 

Peace and Love,

--

Elder Weiler

                                      Just chillin with my rhino friends (This was terrifying!)

                                           Found two new investigators tracting this week!



                                                    Got my turtle and ready to go!! 

                                       Best dinner appointment ever!!  We called him "Smiley".

This spider has been on the wall at my study desk for like 4 weeks, I was going to kill him, but he only has 7 legs... So I have sympathy for him.

The pump in our baptismal font is broken... So this is how we empty it! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Who needs a PDay??

Hou Gan Dit Met Jou? (Bloemfontein and Afrikaans are getting to me)

Well today marks the end of my Joburg weekly roadtrips!! They took the stitches out of my hand and I'm almost back to full capability in my hand!! Elder Roberts and I also placed a copy of the Book of Mormon with my doctor! Last week we gave her the family proclamation! (It's an immersion programme hahaha) and she glady accepted it! It was awesome. We've gotten really close with her these past three weeks! She's the best. 

Well the topic says it all -- I haven't had a P Day since the beginning of the transfer!! Sorry I didn't send an email last week... But the past two weeks have been really great!! Elder Masinga is AWESOME! We've been working really hard and that's definitely my fav thing in the world! He also speaks Sesotho and that helps A LOT! 

This week we drove like CRAZY! On Monday Elder Roberts and I went to Joburg ( 8 hour round trip ), Tuesday we drove to Phuthaditjhaba (4 hours ) for MLC, which was awesome!!! From PJ to Welkom (2 hours), to Kroonstad (1 hour),and back to Bloemfontein on Thursday (2.5 hours), then today Elder Roberts and I went to Johannesburg again!!! hahaha so I've spent a lot of time in a car this week! But it was such a great week; we got to see a lot of the Elders in our zone and see a lot of missionaries from all over! 

Our MLC was soooo good! We talked about increasing our spirituality and letting revelation guide us in our work! I learned a lot about the role of revelation in the Lord's work and in all our our personal labours! It really brought Alma 37:37 to life! Prayer is so powerful! 


 (A big thanks to Sister Thompson for sending these pictures to me.  It looks like "someone" really enjoyed the pizza after the meeting!)

This week we dropped an investigator whom I loved dearly; his name is Samuel, he's from Ghana, and I've never seen somebody read and love the Book of Mormon like he does!!! It's so inspiring! Over the past two months or so we've been visiting and teaching him -- he accepts and loves everything that we teach, but he won't come to church because of xenophobia... While we were in MLC Elder Masinga and I had a prompting that we really needed to sit down with him and talk about our purpose. On Saturday night we met with him and together we decided that we won't be meeting anymore. That's the first time that I've cried over dropping an investigator... I love Samuel so much -- But I know that the Lord has prepared people for us to teach and baptise, and if we're spending time with people that aren't ready we're risking our chances of meeting those people! 

In D&C 4 it says "the field is white already to harvest" -- This phrase has really come to life to me recently. The Lord really does prepare people. As missionaries, we are harvesters!! Not planters, not waterers, but harvesters! Although we might feel really good when we're with certain people, at the end of the day what matters most is their progression! I feel like my trust in the Lord and His hand in our work has been strengthened a lot! I know that when we receive revelation and act on it, we're doing exactly what the Lord wants us to do!! I know that that's true! I'm so grateful to have the Gift of the Holy Ghost and if we're willing and prepared to put in effort, we can have meaningful interactions with our Father in Heaven every day!! 

I love you all! And I love this gospel with all my heart! I love missionary work, it is absolutely the hardest work in the world but it's definitely the MOST IMPORTANT WORK IN THE WORLD!! 

Tot Ziens! 

--
Elder Weiler


PS 1,000,000 pictures to come next week! Sorry in advance...

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mom finally gets a long awaited e-mail!

Hahaha Mom I think this is the funniest email ever! I can totally read this in your voice! 



I'M FINE! I went to Johannesburg again today to have a checkup on the hand and they said that it's healing wonderfully! In fact, the surgeon said "I love patients from your church, they're always so healthy and heal so quickly!" hahaha! She also told me that it should be 6 weeks until I have total feeling again! But that's okay, I've totally adjusting to bathing with a bread bag on my hand and using three fingers for everything hahaha! 

I'm sorry that I kept you worrying all week! I promise I didn't do it on purpose!! ;)

The surgeon actually emailed me the pictures of my hand while it was opened up... they're super nasty... But I can send them if you want... hahaha 

Okay I typed everything before this earlier but I'm back now! We have to be in in a few minutes so I don't have much time at all!! Sorry!! On the bright side we had really good appointments tonight and we've got dinner in the car :)) 

But it was a great week this week! the surgery went really great! Next week we're going back to Joburg and they're going to take out the stitches and then we're done!! 

Sorry this is the worst week not to email but I promise that I'm fine! The surgeon is super awesome (we're sharing the gospel with her) and the Robert's are taking great care of me! 

I'm so happy to hear that you're being well taken care of! :)) Elder Masinga was with the Bloemfontein Elders while I was away! But now we're together and loving it!! I feel like we're very compatible in our talents!! So I'm SUPER excited for this transfer! 

I love you so much! Thanks for being the best mom ever! Sorry i wasn't able to call this week! But you can find peace in knowing that I am alive and loving mission!! 

Please send all the fam my love and I'll be better at planning more time to email you all next week when we get back from Jozi! 

THANKS MOM LOVE YOU HAVE THE BEST WEEK EVER 

THE CHURCH IS TRUE!

--

Elder Weiler
 So grateful for President and Sister Thompson for also sending us an e-mail letting us know that London is doing well.  They are leading and loving our Durban missionaries beautifully!
This is the same type of "offending" fence.  OUCH!

Monday, August 22, 2016

I'm being transferred to Johannesburg? + Anniversary Trip with the Roberts!

Warning: the following email is really long but I promise it's going to be the most entertaining 10 minutes of you life! If you're not satisfied you get your money back!! 


Greetings for Johannesburg! 

This week has been so awesome and so crazy! First of all, it was the last week of the transfer, and we finished it with a baptism! Maki was supposed to be baptized a month ago, but she had to go to Lesotho to renew her worker's visa. But it FINALLY happened!! 

We also had some really really really (that's 3 "really"s) powerful lessons this week about the Plan of Salvation; reading the Infinite Atonement has made me obsessed with the Atonement, and it has broadened the horizons of my mind and my spirit like perhaps nothing else has! As we taught investigators about the Plan of Salvation, we capitalized on the Atonement to make sure that every person that we taught could not possibly misunderstand the eternal significance of the truth that we have a living Savior, we descended and became like us so that we could eventually ascend and become like Him and our Heavenly Father (Hebrews 2:17).

And now for the main event:


On Saturday morning we had our Mormon Helping Hands Project at an Orphanage, and that was going great! UNTIL DISASTER STRUCK (just kidding it's not a big deal, Mom don't freak out) I was pruning this ridiculously tall bush, and to get to the top I had to stand up on something; so while I was cutting (the bushes were looking really nice if I can mention it) the rock underneath me turned over and I fell, while I was falling I tried to catch myself on a fence I was leaning on, and in South Africa every fence is topped with spikes or forks, and on of those forks just so happened to be right under my hand and punctured my palm (how rude). So I was just like "oh no this isn't good" and just ran into the courtyard and was like "Hey.. I need some help.." and then two members and Elder Mcopela jumped to the rescue and drove me to the hospital.

We went to the hospital in the township (bad idea; but please don't judge we were rushing) and we sat there for about an hour and they didn't do anything and I'm just sitting in the waiting room trying to be cool and finally we were like nah man this place is bogus so then we drove to the hospital in Bloemfontein and waited for like 2 hours and FINALLY we got help! 

First and foremost, I got an young(ish) female Afrikaans doctor who was way too excited that I was American and maybe it's because I have had zero contact with girls in almost a year, but she was VERY VERY touchy!!!!! hahaha Elder Moore can attest that it's true! ( 2 Corinthians 13:1) Yeah she was way too friendly and I was freaked out hahah but in the end all they did was give me a tetanus shot and wrap my hand (they wanted to give me stitches but I was like "no ways keep that needle out of my hand woman") and then sent me home.

Now this story would be alright if it ended there... But there's more!

Throughout the day I was really concerned because ever since I hurt my hand I had lost feeling in my ring finger and my little finger! I told the Robert's ( the senior couple in Bloem) and they called the Mission Doctor and he was like oh my days you guys have to come to Joburg to see a specialist (those were not his exact words but it sufficeth me to say that he was very concerned) SOOO this morning the Robert's and me packed the car and left for Johannesburg (Joburg is outside of the mission boundaries so this is a big deal ppl)! We sat in a hospital for four hours today and I think we filled out like 10 pages of forms, but finally we were referred to a plastic surgeon! We met her in the "breast care unit" which was really awkward and had very interesting pictures so Elder Roberts and I just stared at the floor hahahaha

The doctor told me that the fence injured a common digital nerve in my hand and that explained the loss of sensation in my two fingers, so they amputated my fingers!!
just kidding. they didn't amputate. I'm getting plastic surgery on Wednesday! They're going to open up my hand, repair the nerve, close it back up and I'm going to take a nap and wake up with fingers that feel normally again :)) hahaha

So yeah, that's the story! I think Mom is probably booking a flight to South Africa right now to pick me up... But that's the whole of it! I'm okay, don't worry!! I'm mostly worried because we had scheduled appointments and I have to be here until Thursday... hahaha

To make matters better, today is the Robert's 44th Anniversary! And I'm chaperoning!! I have a feeling that this anniversary will be pretty hard to forget... hahaha!





So, that was my week! I'd say it's been a success! I'm so grateful for the protection from the Lord, and I'm so grateful for His gospel! I know that there is no greater joy nor greater peace than that that comes from living righteous and obedient lives! I know that we experience the greatest joy when we are in the service of our fellowman, teaching the gospel, and magnifying our callings and responsibilities! 

Okay this is so long but I had a really sweet impression yesterday during Priesthood meeting -- Life isn't supposed to be easy! It has never ever been in the plan of our Father for life to be convenient! We are here to be tried and tested! We are here to learn and grow -- not to vacation on Earth in mortal bodies, not to waste away our mortal probation with temporal things of no eternal significance, and it's never been in the plan for our lives to be easy going! We have to give something of ourselves to lay up treasures in heaven ( Matthew 6:19-20)! Although life is meant to be enjoyed and life is meant to be good; we should not expect life to be easy! We must teach ourselves  to learn to LOVE to be tried, to LOVE to work, and to LOVE to be mindful and obedient to our Heavenly Father's will! 

I love you all! And I am so grateful that I am able to serve in the Lord's vineyard! I know that this work is true, I know that this message changes lives, and I know that the Savior lives and that He loves YOU!

--

Elder Weiler

Monday, August 15, 2016

Garage church pics + FUFU

Okay hey guys this is Elder Weiler we're not in a sketchy email shop today we're at the chapel in Bloemfontein and we've totally abused free internet becuase we just watched mormon messages for like an hour and a half so I'm really tired and everybody wants to leave but I HAVE TO UPDATE THE BLOG hahahha so this will probably be the best email ever in the shortest email ever. 

Okay so a winner quote from sacrament meeting yesterday was "Love is making time for someone else in your life" -- I was pondering about that in relation to showing our love for God; and the principle is identical! We show our Heavenly Father by consecrating time to do the things he has asked us! Serving a mission, attending church and attending the temple, doing family history work, serving others, and fulfilling our callings are all excellent ways to consecrate our time and talents to our Heavenly Father and show Him that we love Him! Will you make a conscious effort to show your love for your Father in Heaven this week? (Good missionaries always leave commitments).
Now, for the crowning event of this email. The topic says it all. This week contained one of the funniest stories of my whole mission!! On Tuesday we went to contact a guy that we met while we were filling up with petrol and when we got to his house he was like "Oh yeah so I told my pastor that you guys were coming to visit and he wants you to come visit the church, he's having a session right now!" and we were like Uh-oh... But we just went with it.. hahha so when he said "church" I was expecting a chapel, but we started walking down the street and he led us into one of his neighbor's garage that was decorated with a cross on the far wall and filled with decorated, plastic chairs. He was at the front of the garage standing at a pulpit talking about "dangerous sons" (I have no idea), so we just sat down and listened to the rest of the sermon. 

At the end of the sermon he was like "We are so grateful to have our brothers from the Latter-Day Saints with us, one of them will now come and introduce themselves to us." and Elder Mcopela and I just looked at each other and Elder Mcopela said "Go ahead, it's a once in a life time opportunity". So I got up and made my way to the front of this guy's garage and took my place at the pulpit and introduced ourselves to all 6 people in the congregation hahahaha I established our purpose and then bore my testimony of Jesus Christ while this guy was just jamming out on his keyboard in the back (that was his job), after I finished everybody clapped.. that was weird... I've never had anybody applaud my testimony before... ahahah after I sat down we all sang a gospel song that I didn't know the lyrics and it was awkward hahaha! After closing with a prayer, the archbishop came and invited us to have a meal with all of them, but unfortunately we had to run to another appointment (I was really hungry and really interested in what they were serving... But the world may never know... It could have been bucket juice :) ) 

Well that's it for this week! Everything is great here in Blomanda! This is the last week of the transfer, I can't believe how fast transfers are flying by!!! I think I'll stay here though! Which is exciting because the Lord has blessed us with so many great people to teach recently!! 

Love you all! 

Peace N Blessings,

--

Pastor Weiler

P.S. My companion hit his one year mark last week.  I got up early and surprised him with some delicious homemade savory bread!




Also, a Ghanaian member, Brother Kwame, made us traditional Ghanaian food!! This is called Fufu! 
I love Ghanaian food too much.





Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I'm running out of creative subjects...

Okay so remember last week when I said I had no time? Same situation this week.. EISH!

Also, I apologise for not emailing yesterday; a python got into our boarding so Elder Mcopela and I spent the day hiding and catching it and returning it to the zoo -- the mayor also gave us the key to the city and we're nationally acclaimed for our act of heroism to the wonderful people of the rainbow nation (South Africa)!!!

Just Kidding. 

We had Zone Conference yesterday. hahahhaha but that's just as exciting right?? (Nah.)

The past few weeks have been awesome!! We've had a lot of meetings and exchanges, but I feel like we're growing with each and every one!! Two weeks ago we went to Mission Leadership Conference in Bethlehem (not in the middle east) (that gets confused a lot) and that was awesome!!

On our way to Bethlehem
Picked up a new missionary


 It's so exciting to meet with and hear from President Thompson and his vision for the mission!! He's a great man! I'm so excited to see where the mission goes with him leading us!! He also includes his wife a lot, and I really like that!


This week we had a Zone Training Meeting, and I had a really great experience with receiving revelation concerning what I needed to teach, it is presented as the following (this is a clip of my letter to President Thompson):

Last week I was feeling stressed because I was diligently searching for revelation concerning my ZTM lesson, but to no avail. Finally, as I knelt in prayer just a few nights before our meetings, I asked the Lord to help me prepare and present a lesson that would be most beneficial to our entire zone; I think before I may have had some selfish desires concerning the lesson, but as I humbled myself and promised to do His will, the lesson dawned on me! I taught a lesson titled "How Do I Help Investigators Apply What They Learn From Missionary Lessons?", I searched the scriptures, Preach My Gospel, and my past experiences and as I did, not only did was I able to put together an informative and uplifting lesson, I was able to recognise how much the Lord has worked with me and helped me to become the missionary He wants me to be and the missionary that I need to be! 

Yesterday we had our zone conference and it was awesome!! The spirit was so powerful!! It strengthened my testimony that the Spirit is the greatest teacher!! As missionaries (and as Latter-Day Saints) we can go about teaching as much as we like, but our efforts will be nearly wasted if we don't do it with the Spirit!! Unless our words and our testimonies are confirmed by the Spirit of the Lord, people will not remember nor value what we have shared with them!! Yesterday, the Spirit did the teaching, not President or Sister Thompson or their assistants!!

In terms of testimony, I am falling in love with the Book of Mormon and the Atonement over and over again!! As I study them and really really consider and apply them, I am seeing the absolute relevance that they have in our lives!! They are central to our happiness, both temporally and eternally speaking!! I would encourage all of you to reflect on your testimony of the Book of Mormon and your love and understanding of the Atonement! Study them! Share them!! 

In terms of the work, I mentioned before that we were feeling like we kept hitting dead ends, but after seeking revelation, studying hard, and working hard, I feel like Elder Mcopela have found the right street in our work! I can see ahead, and the future is bright!! (2 Nephi 31:20) I know that this is the Lord's work, and I know that He is guiding us! I know that we (all of us as Latter-Day Saints) are representatives of Jesus Christ! I know that the message we testify of has the power to change lives and bless all those who will believe and act on it!! 

Elder Weiler

This is from a dinner appointment we had with some investigators! They're from Ghana so they made us traditional Ghanaian food! This is Banku and Nkate3 soup! (Yes, I meant to put a 3 there, in Twi (their native language) they have a different alphabet that includes a letter that is almost like a 3.. hahaha)
the Nkate3 soup included Fish, Peanut Butter, Goat Meat, and Chillies called Peri Peri (it sounds gross, but it's better than you'd think!!!) Also, you eat Banku with your hands, I don't know why they put spoons there hahaha! Best DA ever.