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,
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.