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

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