Monday, January 25, 2016

Welcome to the First Session of African General Conference

Well this week was actually terrible...


This week was INCREDIBLE!! ( as usual ). I mean I am literally a representative of Jesus Christ sharing His word so that others may "receive peace in this life and happiness in the next"!! How can it not be amazing???

A few highlights and thoughts from the week are as follows:

First: We (unofficially) created a soccer team for the United Nations! On Saturday when we were playing soccer it was the usual crowd (all black guys with 3 white kids) and we were enjoying a nice game of soccer when some other white kids showed up and asked to play with us! A little while later a whole team of Indians showed up and we played a PROPER game of full field soccer! With coloured jerseys and all! "BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE" -- after we all played for about an hour a whole group of coloured kids came and they played with us too! (This is funny because when we were playing I literally thought to myself "We have almost all the races of South Africa now, all we need is the coloureds!"). 

I am super duper excited because we have another baptism on Sunday! Her name is Gcinile! She is the aunt/sister of some really powerful members in our branch! She was like the golden investigator to Elder Sixaba and I! We met, taught, and are baptising her in one transfer! We would leave her with a reading assignment or a pamphlet and come back and she would teach the principle to us!! So we really didn't have to do much work at all with Gcinile! It's amazing how the Lord prepares people to receive this message!! 

This experience with Gcinile reminded me of the importance of Member Missionary Work!! As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we have the knowledge and the message that will bring the mercy of Jesus Christ to us at the judgement bar! How selfish of us to keep it to ourselves!! There is not much time for a lot of people to have a chance to receive and accept this message -- every one must do his/her part!! 

This weekend we had District Conference (Pretty much African General Conference), I was so pleased and amazed at the faith of the members who had to travel over an hour and pay for transport to attend the conference in Madadeni! The conference was great! We even had African MoTab ( they are probably pretty close competitors too )! A few champion quotes that I wanted to forward to you are such:

"If you pray for rain, be sure you are ready for mud!" This goes a lot deeper than simply weather -- I would ponder each of you to ponder the important message that lies beneath this simple phrase! (If you can't figure it out you can email me and ask. Or just ask your mom -- moms know everything (sorry dads) )

A spiritual thought that I feel I need to share is that FAITH IS A VERB!

We read that "faith, without works, is dead." I can testify that that is true. Genuine faith in Christ will not compel us to sit around and waste away our time; rather it will motivate us to "wake up! and do something more!" Faith in Christ leads us to daily repentance, constant spiritual progression, and a greater desire to follow Jesus Christ and invite others to come unto Him. I cannot stress to each of you the damage that idle or lukewarm discipleship has on our spirits; even on our salvation!! "Many are called and few are chosen" because many do not understand the gravity of the gospels impact on this Earth! 

I would encourage each of you to do something, in gospel terms, that is absolutely out of your comfort zone! Do something that terrifies you! It doesn't have to be sheer or extreme; but something that will make an impact -- something that will deepen your faith in Jesus Christ and reaffirm your commitment to follow our Saviour and His prophet on the Earth! 

I love this gospel with all of my heart! I am filled with an excitement and enthusiasm for sharing the gospel! I know that I can make a difference in the lives of hundreds as time and generations move forward! 

Much love coming from South Africa,

Elder Weiler

PS I didn't take any photos this week :((

PPS I'm not the only white person in Newcastle Branch anymore :))

Monday, January 18, 2016

I'm bringing Mexican food to South Africa

Okay wow the Zone Leaders just came and said we have to take them to get their bakkie serviced so I literally have like 5 minutes

Long story short -- this week was great! The highlight of the week was committing 4 investigators to baptism on the 31st of January! The last day of the transfer! Although I don't want to go, I think I'll be transferred in 2 weeks! There is a saying here, "My home is My Newcastle" and that is so true! I love it here! I love the work so much! I have so much hope and see so much potential for Newcastle Branch to thrive! We have a lot of potential priesthood holders who are progressing really well! If I leave I hope to hear that they make it all the way to the waters of baptism! I can testify that there is no greater way to expand our happiness than to make and keep covenants with our father in Heaven! 

Another highlight was introducing a member family to burritos! They had never even heard of them before! So obviously we can't have that -- With the help of The Hind's and the Shange family we put together a really nice burrito bar and showed them how to make and eat burritos! The first words that Ma Shange said when she took the first bite was "wow that's really good!!" and we all started laughing. Long story short (again) -- everybody LOVED them! 

The church is (SO) true, the book is blue, I'm a child of God and so are you!!

Also, it rained a lot this week -- which was a HUGE blessing! 

(Elder Sixaba and I all bundled up in our raincaots -- still happy tho :))

Love you all!
Elder Weiler

Monday, January 11, 2016

My first, and hopefully last, time swimming on mission


Most people would be appauled if I just told them that I kind of swam in a baptismal font without detailed explanation -- so I'll do just that.

Firstly -- Thank you for the prayers!! Although we continued to face adversity in Stretch being baptised last week we made it happen!! There is no joy that competes with the sheer gladness that comes with seeing somebody worthily make covenants with our loving Father in Heaven! It makes me so happy to have the opportunity to observe as others are filled with truth, light, and happiness when they come to learn for themselves that they have a living Saviour, a watchful and loving Father in Heaven, and that they have an opporutinity to follow them and prepare to meet them while they are here on Earth!

So on Sunday, Strech was (FINALLY) baptised! ( I say "finally" because he introduced a large majortiy of the young members of the church to the gospel before he was baptised! Due to disapproval from his father and other circumstances he has been an active investigator in the branch for more than 2 years!!) But his baptism, just as his process to being baptised, was not without trial. 

(I have no idea what this pose is but I think it really brings out the personality of Strech and me hahaha!)

Elder Sixaba and I starting filling the font after sacrament meeting to be ready to baptise Stretch after the last block of church; when we went to check on the filling of the font we did not see exactly what we were expecting... The font was full, sure, but the water was a deep shade of brown. And not like.. kinda brown. But BROWN -- so much so that we literally could not see the steps leading into the font. So we are just standing there baffled and confused when we realise that we have one hour to drain this entire font, fill it up again, and be ready for a baptism in a short 60 minutes. 

Remember a couples months back when I said we basically made Fast and Furious 8?? Well yesterday we could have filmed Fast and Furious 9!! We jumped into the car and FLEW home to get a pair of shorts and a tee shirt for Elder Sixaba to get into the font to start draining the water. Once we get back to the church, Elder Sixaba has changed, and we've unplugged the drain in the font we realise that it's going to take AT LEAST 60 minutes to drain! So we initiate Def Con 1. I roll up my pants, tuck in my tie, and cuff my sleeves and got in ( rolling everything up didn't make much of a difference). 

Imagine this: Two missionaries -- one still in his church clothes, wading around in a baptismal font filled with what looks like sewage, desperately trying to empty the font by using a bucket and an empty garbage can to take water from the font and dumping it out the window... It's probably more hilarious than it already sounds... Fortunately I thought ahead and got a picture.. hahaha!

(Elder Sixaba and I about halfway finished emptying the font!)

Stretch's baptism was really the focus of our whole week and definitely the highlight of it! However it has also been really awesome to work with Siyanda Khoza, a member in the branch, and help him prepare to serve his own mission! He started his mission papers about two weeks ago and has been relentlessly working with us to prepare himself for full-time missionary service! The best part is that this is not a unique case -- the majority of the young men in our branch will spend an entire day working with us to share the gospel and prepare themselves to physically take upon themselves name of our Saviour! Siyanda is the first to open his papers, but I have faith the others will soon follow his example! 

Newcastle boys >>>> (These are the guys that literally hold up Newcastle Branch! Each one of them has converted in the past few years!)

I was reading in 1 Nephi 16 today and realised that Satan knows when we are discouraged, tired, and lonely; he knows when to strike with lies, doubts, and temptation; likewise, we have to recognise when we are vulnerable and at that point we must cling to our faith, look towards the Lord, and actively fight to stay on the strait and narrow -- even when the adversary is breathing down our necks. 
I also spend a considerable amount of time pondering the situation of Nephi's family after he broke his bow and returned home with no food; my thoughts are the following: 
Do we too murmur against the Lord when keeping His commandments gets tough?
Is our faith only as deep as our satisfaction in Earthy means? 

Enduring faith in the key to enduring peace, love, and happiness. We receive personal revelation, (including guidance), blessings, and the Holy Spirit according to our to our faith and dilgence in following the Lord! The greater the desire -- the greater will be the endowment of blessings. 

As usual, I love missionary work! I love South Africa! And I love the Lord! This week an investigator asked us about tattoos -- Elder Sixaba responded saying that we are only allowed to have one; confused, I looked to him and before I could recant what was said he followed his comment with "The only tattoo we are allowed to have in a name on our heart -- the name of Jesus Christ." I love the comparison that he made between a permanent decision to our personal discipleship! After all, our personal discipleship should be a permanent decision!! 

I am incredibly grateful to bear the name of Jesus Christ on my chest each day and I am even more proud to report that His name is indeed "tatooed" on my heart forever.

With love,


Elder Weiler
(I have spoken a few times about Smanga, Strech's little brother, he's kind of going through the same thing as Stretch right now when it comes to him being baptised.. But we are not losing faith!!)

Monday, January 4, 2016



Okay first and foremost I promise I'm not an apostate missionary, we hear that Adele song literally everyday. hahha

WARNING: This email contains very African things -- including, but not limited to, lions, ostriches, tribal shirts, cool guys in sunglasses, and more.


HAPPY 2016!!! Our New Years was CRAZY!!!! WE WENT TO  BED AT 11:30!!!!!!! An hour later than usual!!! hahahha #missionlife

Recently we have seen the works of the adversary in trying to stop the valiant from being baptised into Christ's restored church; Nhlakanipho, we call him "Stretch" because he is really tall and skinny and it's also a lot easier to say than Nhlakanipho). So Stretch was planning to be baptised two weeks ago, but two days before his baptism his mom was admitted to the hospital for an asthma attack and was in the hospital all weekend; this week, as we stop by visit investigators being baptised every day the week of their baptism, we found that Stretch and his brother were mugged while walking home one night.. And it wasn't just like a guy pulling a gun on them and asking for their wallets, they were attacked by 9 guys who beat them with steel poles.. and Stretch got the worst of it.. FORTUNATELY they didn't beat out Stretch's sense of humour; when we saw him he said "How do I look?" and we didn't even say anything because we were shocked. He then said "That bad huh? Well you don't have to worry, you should see the other guys." hahahah! I am so happy to report that Stretch has not lost his firm desire to follow Jesus Christ and is planning on being baptised on Sunday! He is also making a GREAT recovery! I would ask that you would include him in your prayers this week.

I also want to give a quick shoutout to Ujeqe. It's literally my favourite food in the world and every member knows it -- so we eat a lot of ujeqe. ❤❤❤

We also watched a really cool video called "the wall" -- I would recommend that each of you look it up; it's only 5 minutes and it's incredible! To summarise the message (which does it no justice), God does His best work in seemingly hopeless situations. What a beautiful message! I can testify that when things "can't get any worse" it means that things have to get better!

I am also VERY excited to report that a white member moved into our branch so I'm not the only person who doesn't speak fluent Zulu in our branch :)))

I handed out some of the CTR rings to that came in my Christmas package!! 

The best thing I have to report is that today we went on a safari for our Zone Activity! WOW I wish I could send all the pictures I took but that would literally take 10 years.. So I hope that a few will suffice. But that took up most of our day today so I only wrote like... 6 people... So... yeah. I'm sorry guys. 

 Okay I might look happy in this photograph but inside I was literally screaming because I was playing with a 6 month old lion and that scares me. Also, I think it was trying to eat me.

yes this is an ostrich (aka actually the most terrifying animal in the entire world) 

But to wrap up the email I want to include John 16:33  33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. -- I actually have nothing to add to that because the scripture does a pretty dang good job of conveying it's message! 



Elder Weiler

P.S. I realised that I haven't sent a picture of Elder Sixaba and I yet! I still don't have one, but here is one of two super cool guys wearing super cool sunglasses and doing super cool things so.. I hope that works....

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Crying Christmas Carols, Bombastic Birthday Bash, and Abhorring Aggravating Alliteration!!

Well.. the subject kind of gives it all away eh?

I hope everybody took the time to contemplate and appreciate the gravity of the Saviour's Atonement in each of our lives on Christmas!! 

Christmas on mission has proved to be VERY different than any other Christmas I've had before! Although I missed all of your beautiful, smiling faces -- I really loved celebrating with my mission family here! The members took good care of us! 

Talking to the fam on Christmas was incredible!! However after the call I was feeling a little lonely and perhaps a little homesick.. BUT I was quickly uplifted as I read the letters that I have received from beloved friends and family; this is a universal "THANK YOU" to everybody that helped me feel loved and encouraged when I felt vulnerable!! My first Christmas on mission will not be remembered as lonely, but rather it will be remembered with peace and with love!! I am so grateful to bear the name of He whose birth we celebrate! I love being a missionary!!

As part of getting into the Christmas spirit, I was able to find a BUNCH of Christmas decorations in our boarding, SO naturally, I went ALL out decorating our boarding!! Elder Sixaba walked out about half way through my project and just said "woah" hahha! The boarding looks great!! We had a small Christmas tree with lights and all! I originally had intentions to take pictures... but I forgot... Whoops.

On Sunday I was also able to spend my first Birthday on mission! This, too, but unlike any other! instead of waking up to either: a) friends kidnapping me for breakfast at Kneaders (shout out to you guys. b) the smell of a delicious breakfast being made by mom, or c) with the thought of gifts and a celebration; I woke up, made myself a REAL NICE breakfast ("treat yo' self") and went to church! Upon our arrival I was asked to give a talk. AGAIN. So I prayed for inspiration and gave an impromtu talk on the different levels of Prayer, what a blessing it was to share my witness of the power of prayer and to share advice on how we can make our prayers more meaningful and more personal!! 
From Preach My Gopspel the following is provided in guidance on how we can make our prayers more deeply personal and meaningful -- how we can develop a greater relationship to our Father in Heaven through frequent, fervent prayers:
1.Use the Correct Language of Prayer
2. Always express gratitude for your blessings
3. Pray specifically for the guidance of the Holy Ghost
4. Pray with love and charity
5. Pray with Real Intent
6. Recognise that Heavenly Father knows better than you!

I would encourage each of you to put each of these and more habits into practice as you strive to have more meaningful prayers! 

Although a few members gave me sweets and sang "Happy Birthday", the greatest blessing was to be edified through teaching the gospel to my beloved brothers and sisters here in South Africa! We had two powerful lessons to end our Sunday -- in which I grew greater testimony and gratitude for the gifts of the spirit; specifically for the Spirit of Discernment and the Spirit filling our mouths with the words that are needed to be heard! In one lesson we spoke about how fixating our eyes upon the Celestial Kingdom and setting a goal to join our Father in Heaven there can and will influence every decision we make in our lives! I challenge each and every one of you to recommit yourselves to make it back to our Father in Heaven, to follow Jesus Christ, and to continually find way to make frequent habits ( church, partaking of the sacrament, studying the scriptures, and daily prayer) more spiritual and more central to your life! I testify that as we make consistent habits of making the gospel a priority, we will enjoy greater peace and happiness in living on this Earth, that our burdens will be lightened, and that we will find more love for ourselves, for our God, and for our brothers and sisters in the human family.

Regrettably, I didn't take any pictures this week (I don't know why??) But I will be sure to include photos of Elder Sixaba and I next week! 

With love,

Elder Weiler