Monday, February 22, 2016

Sketchy Emails Shop IV

Okay wow another week down and out and I have found myself in yet another sketchy email shop. But this one is different... It smells like fish and there is a cat wandering around (I think those two are related) But. I only have 8 minutes to write the GREATEST weekly email to date! So here we go!!!!

Okay this was actually a really average week with almost nothing eventful (almost)

Well Elder Sixaba finished his mission on Wednesday!! He is back home in the Eastern Cape! It wasn't until he left that I realised how much I loved being his companion! :,) Whatta guy...

On Tuesday we had our Zone Activity! We had a proper game of soccer (Newcastle won) and we had the best braai of my life. Holy Meat. I have never been so full in my entire life. hahahaha

On Monday we had our Zone Conference, and right after we went to FHE at the Hind's, President Zackrison came too! It was hilarious to see him competing with us at "Mormon Family Fued"! I never knew our mission president was so competitive!

Okay the most exciting thing happened!!!! Last week we had 92 people at church!!! Our little chapel was PACKED!! I think there was maybe 10 chairs not taken! It was one of the highlights of my mission -- we have been trying so hard to get 100 people at church! That's the closest we have ever gotten!!!

This week I have been listening to a series of talks from Truman G. Madsen, and if you have never listened to him... I don't know if I would recommend it. hahahah he is a philosopher; so his talks are pretty deep, you REALLY have to focus to understand. But I managed to learn one thing! He quoted another philosopher that rationalised: 

 If you live your whole life, assuming that God and religion is a foolish waste of time, and you die and learn that there is a God and that there is another life hereafter - you have lost everything.

If you live your whole life believing there is a God and trying your best to discipline yourself and yo die and realise there is no God and there is no life hereafter -- you have lost nothing. You lived an honourable life. 

And I really loved that thought! It led me to think that EVEN if there is no life after this mortal one (which is out of the question) I am totally satisfied and happy with the life that we are instructed to live by the leadership of our church! I have no regrets! 

I am so grateful for the knowledge that we have been blessed with. I am so grateful that, through modern day prophets, we have received knowledge of the eternities! That we have a clear and simple understanding of what we need to do to attain Celestial glory, exaltation, and eternal life with our Father in Heaven! 

I would encourage each of you to take time to ponder today the importance of modern day Prophets -- ponder the knowledge that we have that empowers us and endows us with the power we need to conquer each and everyday! 

 "I know in whom I have put my trust"! And I have never been let down by the Lord!

I love you all! thank you for all of your support and love! 

Peace N' Blessings,

Elder Weiler

Ps I have a lot of pictures to send, but I don't trust these shops... Pictures-- coming soon.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

"I'm so done with this Municipality (Also A Long Awaited Shower Pt. 2)"


Well I have again found myself is a (less) sketchy email shop and internet is suuuupa expensive so this is gonna be another quick email!! 

Okay so yeah this week has been a very African experience... like suuuuper African. hahaha

But first I just wanna give a shoutout to mormon messages -- I watched like 10 yesterday and I cried. Church is true. 

Secondly, Elder Sixaba is leaving today! We started calling him "Brother Sixaba" this morning hahaha

Thirdly, sorry this email is coming two days late. We had Zone Conference on Monday, A Zone Activity yesterday and, because of President's Day, we had no allotment, so we had no money to pay for internet.... So, yeah. The struggle is real. 

So let me begin my gripe session. I've got beef with the Newcastle Municipality. First and foremost -- last week I got a ticket for pulling a U-Turn in town (okay that was my bad) but the ticket was for 1500 rand!!!!!! That's RIDICULOUSLY expensive. The office gets mad when somebody gets a R1000 ticket for speeding... so... yeesh. 

After we explained some of our surprise to the cop he told us that we could go to the chief prosecutor's office and have the fine reduced; so we go the following day and they tell us that they won't even receive the ticket until 22 March! That's a month and a half after I got the ticket AND if I wanted to have the fine lowered I need to appear before a court on 5 April???? I tried to tell them that I would be long gone out of Newcastle by then, they just responded that I would have to pay the whole ticket ughhhhhhhh 

So yeah that was a bummer but then it got even worse. The next day we had ZTM, and we stopped by our boarding to drop something off when we found a notice that our electricity had been turned off without any warning beforehand. So we contact the office and they pay for our account -- but it took the municipality TWO DAYS to send somebody to turn the electricity back on!!! So we lived in the dark for 2 days. We also couldn't cook or refrigerate any of our food hahahah however, we didn't have it as bad as the Madadeni Elders, theirs was out for 5 days!!

So after having no electricity, a huge ticket, and spoiled food -- what could go wrong? LEMME TELL YA. On Monday we had Zone Conference right? Well we have a really big boarding so all of the other Elders that traveled stayed with us. And the municipality decides to, without any notice, turn off our water. So imagine. 9 guys, one house, no water. Nothing to drink, no showers, and no flushing toilets. hahahah that was definitely a new experience for me!! 

Another fun fact: When the water turned back on, none of us were home; and somebody left a tap open in the bathroom. So when we came back the hall and the bedrooms were flooded. hahahah 

So. Yeah. Pretty Average week in South Africa! ahhaha I can now say that as a missionary, I lived without water and electricity in Africa. #blessed

With all jokes aside, this was a really great week! We were referred to a big family who was so welcoming and happy to receive us. We also had a really amazing experience administering a priesthood blessing to the head of the household. I am so grateful for the Lord, who continues to prepare individuals and their families to receive the message of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ! I know that He guides this work. I love Him and I am so grateful for our loving Heavenly Father! 

Through all of the unfortunate events this week I am so grateful that I had the ability to laugh at our circumstances and to find excitement from living in a new, and more challenging, environment! I know that such peace and joy can only be provided through faith in Jesus Christ, love for our Father in Heaven, and a confidence in His plan! 

I love you all! I hope that all is well in the States! 


Elder Weiler

I also don't trust this email shop so I'm scared to hook up my camera hahaha

Pictures promised next week!

Monday, February 8, 2016

a service project, a dislocated elbow, and a long-awaited shower

Okay wow so the wifi at the chapel isn't working so now we are at a suuuper sketchy internet café and my keyboard is broken so I can only capitalise some letters and I can't type any question marks hahaha so please, in advance, excuse grammatical and spelling errors.

Whatta week!! On Tuesday we picked up Elder Agyeman, I don't know if I mentioned this last week, but he's from Ghana! being in a threesome has been an interesting adjustment to our missionary work -- but so far I really enjoy it! Our lessons have so much more power behind them as the three of us bear testimony of the principles and ordinances of the gospel!

Okay I might as well come clean now... I have a personal trainer... He's 70 years old.. It's Elder Hind. hahahah We often see Elder Hind running in the morning and I have always wanted to run with him, but my companion didn't want to, so never got the chance' HOWEVER now that I have two companions I can leave the two of them and go run with Elder Hind! and to be honest, he's kicking my butt. That guy can run. but I have really been enjoying our morning runs!! I firmly believe that disciplining our minds and our bodies through exercise will further develop our ability to withstand and overcome temptation! I have developed such a deeper appreciation of the Word of Wisdom since I came on mission; I think that it may be one of the easiest commandments to overlook; but it is much more than just abstaining from harmful substance -- the Word of Wisdom is a blueprint for the ideal lifestyle to promote stronger physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health! I would encourage each of you to look deeper into the Word of Wisdom and prayerfully seek what the lord would have you do to bring you life into closer harmony with His sacred laws.

Remember back a few months ago when I got Ebola from that school, ncandu Combined! (Pretend the exclamation point is a question mark) Well.. we went back! We had a service project there on Saturday; we painted some classrooms with members from Newcastle and Madadeni! The project went great and the classes look awesome! The funniest thing though is that they had food there again... and all of you should know that I have a hard time resisting free food... so I ate there again! hahahah however I am as healthy as a horse!!

Okay well the topic might seem random.. but it all connects I promise! during the service project some of the members from Madadeni were trash talking us missionaries; they heard that we play a lot of soccer and they doubted our skills, so they challenged us to a game. Right after the service project we all got together at our pitch and started a really nice game of soccer! but the game ended rather unfortunately, Elder Agyeman (who is like the best soccer player I have ever met in my life) was tripped and when he fell he managed to dislocate his elbow.... so yeah.. envision that... It looked super nasty. so we had to rush him to the hospital, where we spent 5 1/2 hours!!! needless to say, Saturday was a long day. hahaha Elder agyeman is fine now! also, none of us had showered that day since we had a project early in the morning and began playing soccer right after -- so we didn't get to shower until like 10 PM!! I don't know if I have ever wanted to shower more in my entire life... hahah!

While we were sitting at the hospital I had a nice conversation with the Hind's about some of President Uchtdorf's remarks during this past General Conference; primarily, "are you satisfied with you experience in the Church of jesus Christ of latter day saints (Question mark). and it provided a great opportunity to really ponder that question, and my answer is "YEs! absolutely!" I am so grateful to be a member of Christ's Church! I love it in Matthew when jesus counsels His disciples on how to spot false prophets -- he says, "by their fruits ye shall know them." as I pondered the "fruits" that have grown in my life due to activity and love of the Church of jesus Christ of latter day saints, I realised that I couldn't be more satisfied with my membership!! I would encourage each of you to ponder the same question as I did; ponder until you have determined your answer!

Well I only bought one hour at this sketchy shop, so I think I'll wrap this up and try to respond to a few emails. but I hope that all of you know that I love this gospel with all of my heart! I am grateful for the knowledge we have that through the atonement of Christ, we are able to have second chances, we are able to continually progress and get better, and we are able to be forgiven of our sins! I testify that this is true, and I don't even want to imagine where I would be without the solid foundation of my belief in jesus Christ! I pray that each and every single one of you will continue to seek out that which is righteous, continually hold fast to it, and enjoy the peace and happiness that comes from discipleship, obedience, and sincere effort!

This is Elder Weiler, signing out ( seriously I want to get out of here... It smells like cigarettes and I think this keyboard has more bacteria than the surface of a toilet seat....)

sale kahle!

Elder Weiler

Monday, February 1, 2016

I Guess Baptisms Will Always Be Stressful....


Okay usually I make notes on what I want to write about in these emails so that I don't just ramble aimlessly.... But it's a new transfer today... and I don't have a new planner, so I didn't make any notes... So prepare for aimless rambling!!

Okay. Here we go.

Transfers were this weekend! I was certain that I was leaving. But the Lord had other plans for me!! I am staying in Newcastle with Elder Sixaba! BUT we are receiving another companion! His name is Elder Agyman, from Ghana! Together we will be a tri-panionship! And not just any tri-panionship... We will be the greatest tri-panionship that this mission has ever seen! I'm determined!!!

Well when I think of this week the first thing that I think about is Gcinile's baptism! 

Okay. I thought that after Stretch's baptism we'd seen it all. But no. I was wrong. So, so wrong. 
On Sunday morning I walked out of the boarding, baptismal clothes and record in hand, thinking "This baptism has been so much easier than all the others. This is so nice!" But little did I know, we had a whole adventure ahead of us once again. 

Suddenly, as if God was waiting to jinx me, I remember that we had forgotten to assign a talk for the baptism -- okay no big deal. But the was the first domino....

When we got to church I was asked by President Mbhele to give a talk. (#BranchLife never ceases to surprise me) so I accept and sit down to begin writing my talk; a few minutes before Sacrament Meeting, still writing my talk, Elder Sixaba informs me that the water is not turning on and the font is not filling. (Oh boy.) So we go outside, turn the water back on, and walk back into the church to find the Boy's bathroom being flooded by a leak in a toilet!! So we panic for a minute and look for help. Eventually the Branch Clerk, Mpume, helps us start cleaning up and we tried stopping the leak by tying a plastic bag around the pipe hahaha (that didn't work) -- but nevertheless! The baptism must go on! So with a flooding toilet, we start to fill the font right in time to start for Sacrament Meeting. 

As I sat in Sacrament Meeting, I enjoyed the partaking of the holy sacrament, renewing my covenants and my determination to follow Jesus Christ and to serve Him, when (RIGHT before I'm about to go up and give my talk) Mpume comes to tell me that, to my worst nightmare, the font is filled with (I bet you can guess) THICK, BROWN WATER. So here I am -- already nervous to give an impromptu talk, thinking about a flooding toilet, and remembering wading around in the font desperately trying to empty the font just two weeks ago. Awesome. hahhaa

So I get up, give my talk (I actually think it turned out really well. S/O to the Holy Ghost) (that was probably irreverent) (sorry) (I'll stop putting things in parenthesis now) (I really should have made notes) Fortunately, we were much more equipped and experienced for brown water, so we were able to stop that with MUCH less stress than last time hahahha

Long story short, The baptism was awesome. The talks were great, the baptism went well, and Gcinile bore a POWERFUL testimony! She shared that she had investigated the Church back in 2004, but the baptism just never happened, she said she was so grateful that Elder Sixaba came back and finished the work that other missionaries had already started! I am so grateful for those two missionaries back in 2004 that prepared Gcinile for baptism; and I wish that I could find them and tell them that their hard word was not in vain! I am also so grateful that the Lord prepare people to hear the message of the Restoration and that He guides us with His Holy Spirit! 

This is a picture of Elder Sixaba and I with Gcinile and her family that invited her to begin her investigation of the church again!! 

Speaking of people being prepared by the Lord -- we met Stretch's cousin last week and scheduled an appointment with him; we met with him yesterday, and that was a hilarious and powerful lesson all in one! When we started talking with him he asked us "What is the meaning of life?" and we laughed and we were like "We have an answer for that!" and then he said "No, that's not all. What about all the crime, wars, and diseases? Why are all of these things happening?" And I think he thought that that would intimidate us because he was shocked when we told him "Yeah we have an answer for that too!" hahahah We began teaching him about the Plan of Salvation and before we had even started talking about Adam and Eve he said "Wow okay you've answered all my questions! You guys are amazing!" and we just started laughing and we were like "Buhle we just started!!" 

He loved everything we said. The spirit was so powerful as he began to discover the depth of his identity and his purpose on this Earth! I love testifying of Eternal Truths! I love helping others discover the love that our Father in Heaven has for them! Missionary Service is truly the greatest work that a person could ever be engaged in!! 

Well I just realised that this is really long. So I'll close my weekly email with probably one of the most exciting things that has personally happened for me!! We are teaching a family named the Lukhlele's and their gogo (grandma) likes to sit in and "listen"; she doesn't speak English, but she enjoys sitting with us and we usually spark up some conversation with her in Zulu (and when I say "we" I mean Elder Sixaba because I can start the conversation but I can't carry it hahah) but as we were leaving I said goodbye to her in Zulu and she said "Hamba Kahle Baba"... She called me BABA. Baba means "Father" in Zulu and to call somebody baba is a huge sign of respect for that man! So I was SUPER pumped -- I'm finally starting to get the street cred that I deserve.

I just realised that it might sound weird to you that a grandma called me Father but I promise it's not. 

It's a Zulu thing. 

You wouldn't get it.

hahahah Well "all is well" here in South Africa! Literally. The hymn, "Come, Come Ye Saints" is HUGE here! A couple years ago a really popular DJ used it as his bumper music on his show! He isn't a member or anything! He just heard it and loved it! The hymn quickly became an anthem for those victim of the apartheid that ended here just over 20 years ago. 

If you think about it, the only part of the song that is specific to the Mormon pioneers is "Far Away IN THE WEST" -- other than that, this amazing hymn hits home to all those who seek refuge from persecution because of their religion, race, or culture!

Peace N' Blessings,

Elder Weiler