Monday, May 30, 2016

Sala Kahle Umlazi, Dumela Bloemanda


This week's email is going to be really short, but there is news to be reported and stories to be told -- the people need to know! 

This weekend was transfers! I am leaving my beloved Umlazi to go to Bloemanda! Bloemanda is another township area outside of a big town called Bloemfontein! Bloemanda is also in the Free State Province so I'm leaving the KZN, which also means that I'm leaving isiZulu too :(( (After 9 months of trying to master it, I've finally gotten to the point where I can hear Zulu) And now I'm going to have to start learning Sesotho, the language predominantly spoken in the Free State and Lesotho! 

In the SADM missionary also refer to Durban and areas around Durban as "the coast" and areas in Free State and Lesotho are referred to as "Outer Darkness" because it's soooo far from everything else! So... I guess I'm going to do my time in Outer Darkess! I also have to mention that here on the coast we're enjoying the most beautiful "winter" weather ever! Sunshine every day! But in the Free State it's FREEZING cold and sometimes it snows so.. yeah... I had to buy a new hoodie and hat today ahaha

This week was awesome! Although I'm really bummed about having to leave Umlazi I'm so grateful for the time that I have had here! The past three months here have been the best of my mission! I know that the people we taught here and all the people that I'll teach from this point on are children of our loving Heavenly Father, people that have been prepared to receive this gospel! I know that He directs this work! I know that He needs a lot more than 75,000 missionaries to do His work! He needs all of us! Every member! We are engaged in the work of saving souls and every single heart turned back to Him has great worth to Him! I know that the Heavens truly rejoice when one sinner repents, more so than when 99 righteous followers of Christ repent! I know that each of us, having a knowledge of this gospel and having received the Gift of the Holy Ghost are qualified and have been enlisted in this the Lord's work! I am a first hand witness that "the field is white, all ready to harvest"! So no matter who you are, I plead with you to open your mouth and share what you know! And in doing so, you will be blessed greatly, you will rejoice with the angels of Heaven! 

I know that this gospel is true! I know that the Spirit is real, that revelation does come when we seek it out; I know that God is good, all the time and that His hand is ever present in our lives; I know that Christ lives, and that because of Him, we can all live again with perfect, resurrected bodies! I know that although all of us fall short of perfection, we can all enter into the Kingdom of God if we are willing to fall down at the feet of our Lord -- to repent of our sins, to accept His will, and to do His work! 

I love you all! Thank you for all of the support!

Elder Weiler

PS I forgot my cord again... so no pictures this week :((

Monday, May 23, 2016

Family Home Rituals -- Best Family Time EVER

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Sisters and Elders, Welcome to the Weekly Email! Thanks for being here every week -- means a lot :,)

This week's email is brought to you by Fusion, really cheap juice concentrate that keeps missionaries hydated, healthy, and happy! 

Okay, let's see what I can do in the next 23 minutes:

This week was also the best week ever!! I think my favourite part about mission is that it never gets old! Every week holds new experiences, knowledge, and testimonies! I cannot fully express my gratitude for my own missionary service and for the service of full-time, Service, and member missionaries around the world! This truly is the Lord's work! 

Elder Fransen and I had an excellent week this week! We are planning on 4 baptisms this Sunday so we're suuuuper pumped! It's the last week of the transfer this week, so there would be no better way for us to clebrate an incredible 6 weeks together! As of now I have no idea whether or not I'm staying in Umlazi or not. I have so many mixed feelings, but we'll know soon enough! My time in Umlazi thus far has been a dream come true! 

Last week I mentioned that one of our investigators told me that I'm getting chubby, to make matters worse Elder Chapo (from Zimbabwe) told me that "If all young men saw you everyone would serve missions!" and I was like "What does that even mean?!" and he said "You can tell that members are taking GOOD care of you!" so.. yeah. I'm starting to get real self concious about all this chubby business. But my pants still fit, so I'll let that speak for itself. hahaha However, I'm fighting the chub -- for the past three weeks Elder Fransen and I have been walking to church with new investigators so they know how to get there; and man. I've gained so much respect for them. Umlazi is literally all hills. The whole township is built in hills and valleys. So walking to church feels like hiking Mount Everest hahaha! But every week we've made it safely, on time, and still breathing! #blessed

This week shaking hands with people has also be a horror. We did a lot of service this week and the majority of service that we do is cutting people's grass; except rather than pushing a lawn mower over their yard we are literally cutting grass and weeds with blades. It's like try to cut your lawn with a sword! So it's a lot of hard work and energy for such a meager task hahah! It also makes your hands blister like crazy from swinging the blade so much! But on the bright side, we're getting really good at cutting lawns 😎 (if you can call them lawns).

Yesterday was super awesome. Church was great! President Zackrison promised us in Zone Conference this transfer that because we weren't able to attend the temple, the Sacrament could take it's place as a time to feel close to our Heavenly Father and receive revelation for our investigators and for ourselves; this week I put it to test and the results were incredible! It may have been one of the most meaningful Sacrament meetings I have ever had! I really did feel the Spirit of the Temple during the administration of the Sacrament! 

Yesterday we also got bunked a lot. Sundays are usually bunk days (which doesn't make sense to me) but yesterday was ridiculous! Up to 6 PM we had only taught one lesson. So we were dying from getting denied and bunked at every house we went to -- and finally at 6 o'clock we met with a brand new investigator that we met a few days ago; so we go in and we start getting to know her and we could see that she was SUPER anxious to start talking about the Restoration ( we left her with a pamphlet, which she read and annotated in preparation for our visit ) and we were having this super super awesome lessons when all the sudden her uncle walks in, sits on the couch (at this point I was thinking "awesome! He wants to listen too!") and tells us that we need to leave because it's time for their "family ceremonies"... Elder Fransen and I just stared at eachother, then Precious (the new investigator) and were like "Really?" and he said "Yes, every day we have our family rituals at 6:00" (it was like 6:30 at this point) so we awkwardly closed with a prayer, packed our stuff up, set a return appointment BEFORE 6:00 and left our super awesome half-finished lesson. So that was probably the most anti-climatic lesson I've ever had since I came on mission hahah. Fortunately we're going to finish the lesson tomorrow! 

But amongst being bunked, rituals, and exhaustion, Elder Fransen continued to fin joy in the Lord's service! I know that this church is true! I know that the Atonement is real! And I know that all of us have great worth in the eyes of our Father in Heaven; above all, I know that each of us have been bought with a price, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for YOU! That He lives today, and through Him, you can also live with them again in our Father's Kingdom. 

Sala Kahle! 

Elder Weiler

Ps Forgot my cord so no pics :(


Elder Weiler

Monday, May 16, 2016

"Fransen and Weiler's Barber Shop and Mouse Extermination"


I literally don't know how to start this email.. This was one of the best week's ever! Unfortunately, I don't have the time to write an email to do it justice! 

But I want to share a few highlights from the week!! 

First of all, I think I have a great business idea (see Subject) hahah this week Elder Fransen REALLY needed a haircut and he asked me to do it, this was terrifying for two reasons
1) I have never cut the top of somebody's hair (the most important part)
2) Elder Fransen loves his hair

So I courageously accepted, and I have to say... It didn't turn out half bad! Especially because he only has a 4 and a 1 guard for his clippers. So I cut his hair with a 4 guard and a pair of paper cutting scissors.... And it looks good! Investigators even asked him which shop he went to for the haircut 😎

We also discovered this week that we have a mouse ( I pray that it's only one ) and Elder Fransen, being a farm boy was excited as ever to catch it! After tearing about the house chasing it, we FINALLY caught it last night when it ran right in front of us while we were sitting on the couch! So we trapped it in an ice cream container and named his Qaphelani. Unfortunately the white handbook says we can't have pets so we had to set him free (RIP Qaphelani).

In other news an investigator told me that I'm chubby so.... that's.. awesome? She said that it means I'm "healthy"...

We had some really really awesome tender mercies this week:

One of which was teaching the sweetest family in the world. The Dubazane's, to make a long story short they were found purely from revelation. Sitting in their home and testifying of the Plan of Salvation felt so right. It's families like them that make me so grateful to be a missionary! I pray that one day they can be sealed for time and all eternity!

Another highlight is teaching a group of guys we refer to as "the 300 crew" (by their request) because they all live at D300 in Umlazi! 

This is a portion of my email to President Zackrison about them:

"Umlazi is truly "white, all ready to harvest"; the work here is incredible! Yesterday when we finished our day, I felt almost overcome with God's love for the people that we're teaching, it was unlike anything else I have ever felt! When we visit them and listen to their young and growing testimonies, I am filled with joy to think that I have played some role in bringing one of my brothers or sisters closer to our Father who resides in Heaven! Last night we were teaching five guys in a small tenet house, and as we discussed the Atonement of Jesus Christ and it's enabling power I had a small vision of all of these 5 guys wearing white shirts and name tags, proudly carrying the name of Jesus Christ to all the world. I knew that the Lord has prepared these young men to receive this gospel! I know that this is His work!"

Well in the last few minutes I have I want to testify that God really lives and He really loves us! I also know that Jesus Christ lives and He really did die for us! It is because of our loving Father and Brother that each of us may live with a "perfect brightness of hope"! This is their gospel! This is their work! And this is their Church! 

I love you all and thank you for all of the support! (Also, I'm sorry I use parenthesis so much) (oops)

Elder Weiler

(Also for a Momma Weiler side note . . . I recently gave an update about London in Sacrament Meeting and told the story of "The Bucket Juice" and personally thanked the Relief Society for NEVER serving us juice out of a bucket . . . . . . . can't say that anymore!  This is what I was served at our R.S. meeting this week, after playing The Price Is Right (the reason I'm dressed up)!

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Chronicles of Elder Weiler and Elder Fransen

(First off, yesterday was AMAZING!  London looks and sounds great and is loving every minute of his mission!  It sure did my heart good to see him so happy, and to see my three sons together again!)

Sanibonani Family and Friends!

This week was an excellent week.. for meetings. hahaha! This week we had Zone Conference, Stake Conference, and I got to call my favourite people in the world :,)

Elder Fransen and I, albiet all the meetings, had a great week of missionary work as well! Although we didn't accomplish what we had hoped for, I'm really proud of what we did do! I know that the Lord really does consecrate all that we give to Him!

Our Zone conference was incredible!!! We talked about receiving revelation; I feel that that's probably the most important topic that we can discuss as missionaries -- this is His work, and we have to do it His way, so we have to learn to get His advice! I think the greatest thing about mission is that the lessons that we learn in the field do not expire when we remove our missionary name tag -- but we are developing and practicing habits that will lead us back to our Heavenly home! As missionaries we discussed a few different strategies of receiving revelation, specifically receiving revelation through Prayer and through the Book of Mormon:

I think one of my favourite take aways in terms of prayer was President Zackrison's advice to pray for one thing only -- I think we are often guilty of giving grocery list prayers, in which we pray for so many things that after we close we don't even remember what we asked for; how are we supposed to watch for the Lord's blessing when we don't remember what we asked Him to bless us with?! President Zackrison advised that we spend greater amounts of time pondering what we REALLY need, and what we really need to pray for! So that's been my approach for the past few days and I do feel like there's a difference! I feel like my prayers are more focused and more sincere, and afterward, I have a greater idea (through revelation) what I need to do to receive the blessing that I asked for! 

In terms of receiving revelation through the Book of Mormon I really liked what one missionary said: "If we want to talk with God, we pray. If we want God to talk with us, we read the Book of Mormon" (that might be a quote from a general authority and I might be totally robbing them of the credit they deserve but I pray that the message still comes the same). But I loved that! It really increased my determination to use my personal study time as a follow up to my personal prayers! 

I am so grateful for the opportunity that each and every one of us have to continually get better and better! The Lord never gives up on us! The concept of eternal progression has become one of the most miraculous doctrines to me! I know that through sincere desire to be better than we are now, and real intent, we will be strengthened through the Atonement of Christ to to become the person that we want to become and the person that God needs us to be! 

I think that's all for this week! I just want to give a shoutout to those of you who have been reading this for the past 8 months! This one is for you guys.

               "Where in the world is Elder Weiler?": Amanzimtoti (Zulu for "sweet water")   

Love from Umlazi,

Elder Weiler


Monday, May 2, 2016

Crying Over Lost Chocolates

Happy Worker's Day! (It's a national holiday today in South Africa)

We had a great week this week, but it wasn't without it's due adversity! It is so interesting to observe the adversary's patterns of temptation; he always strikes right before or after significant spiritual experiences! Elder Fransen and I are looking at an incredible week this week, and we are absolutely determined to pull off our goals by all means possible!!!!

Unfortunately we are restricted to email shops in Umlazi, so I don't have a lot of time, and the computer is being bogus and I can't figure out how to upload pictures.. So this week might not be the most exciting email! 

This week we had a really nice Zone Training Meeting. We talked about finding joy in the work! I think my favourite take away was this
Joy is all about where we place our attention and priorities -- whether you're a missionary or not!

Priorities belong as such:


I know that this is true! I feel that the hardest times in my life have been the times when I was being most selfish or only thinking of myself!! So, if you want to be happier -- I encourage you to look outward! Find somebody that needs YOUR help! Find out how YOU can make a difference! Above all, remember WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) (Okay that was cheesy but it's true)

A funny story that I forgot to include last week:

We have an investigator named Thembeka and she is super powerful! She has really great faith, and despite great persecution from her family and her neighbors she is progressing towards baptism like crazy! We saw her a few days after we watched conference and we were asking her how she liked it and she said "The last speaker (Elder Holland), yoh! He made me cry and cry! I didn't know people could speak like that!" hahaha so that just made me laugh because Elder Holland makes all of us cry. Almost immediately after this she told me I was chubby and I was sad. hahaha I can't tell if I'm in denial or if Thembeka needs glasses (I'm pretty sure that Thembeka needs glasses) (I'm not in denial) hhahah.

I also want to include a piece of my letter to President Zackrison:

Personally, I feel like I am growing as well! Recently I have become captivated by the story of the Brother of Jared seeing the finger of the Lord, it was all possible because he had a "perfect knowledge"; I too want to have this perfect knowledge! Not necessarily because I want to see the finger of the Lord, but because I know that the mysteries of Heaven are unfolded to those who diligently seek and ask. It has become one of my greatest desires to learn the fullness of the gospel, and I know that that might not be possible in my 2 year missionary service, but I know that it is a great place to start! 

So yeah, recently I've been trying to go deeper on the most simple principles of the gospel, and as I have I have seen the Lord's promises fulfilled! I have greater joy in teaching, I have a greater idea of what the Lord wants of me, and I feel that I have greater interactions with the Spirit and receiving personal revelation! I am so grateful for the covenants that the Lord entrusts us with! I know that He keeps those covenants when we obey His conditions! Above all, I know that obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel brings the greatest joy that we can ever seek out! 

Yesterday in fast and testimony meeting a member said something really cool; he said: "The peace we yearn for is not the absence of war, but it comes from living the gospel of Jesus Christ!" and I know that that's true! One of my favourite aspects of being a full-time missionary is watching people change -- it is so incredible to meet somebody and watch them accept the gospel and change their lives! 

We have an investigator named Moses (he's super old) and we teach him with his grandsons; we had a really cool lesson this week in which they were all bearing their testimonies of how their lives have changed since they started meeting with us and coming to church! Moses has been trying to quit smoking for years, but he was able to go cold turkey since our second visit! He's been tobacco free for over two weeks now! I love the gospel and it's power to change our lives! I was just telling Styles that we will never comprehend the gospel's power to change us if we aren't willing to change certain aspects of our life for it! Although change can be scary, I know that man people have walked that path before you, it is well marked, well pathed, and that as you walk it you will find many others at your side supporting you!

I'm so grateful for the gospel! I know that it's true! and I know that it has made me the person that I am today! The knowledge that I have gained through daily study and pondering of the scriptures has become some of my most cherished knowledge! I love the way that the scriptures open our minds to the tender mercies of the Lord!

Keep on Keeping On,

Elder Weiler

PS The subject of this email alludes to huge drama in our zone because some missionaries ate another missionaries candy and it totally blew out of proportion (like "it went to the APs" -- out of proportion) hahah but all is well in Zion now.

Sala Kahle!