Monday, June 27, 2016

Microwave mishaps, Climbing Mountains, and Revelatory Popcorn!

Okay I'm not even wasting time with a whitty beginning because I have two weeks to report in 26 minutes.

Life is awesome. The church is true. This work is most definitely, undoubtedly, and unequivocally (shoutout to Elder Rowe from England for that last adjectivce (it sounded way better in his accent))
the Lord's work!! I LOVE IT! 

This week was probably the best week of my mission. Here's why:

Last week while Elder Mcopela and I were weekly planning -- forget it I'm attaching a portion of my email to the mission president (my FIRST letter to our new mission president! He arrives with his family tomorrow!)
"last week during weekly planning, Elder Mcopela and I were discussing the status and progress of our investigators and the work as a whole, we've been working hard, but we felt our efforts weren't leading anywhere! Although we were teaching and testifying, investigators didn't seem to progress, although we met with members and taught them the overs and unders of missionary work, members didn't seem to want to help us -- as we contemplated these things, we received very clear revelation, we weren't using the Book of Mormon enough. As we recognised and began to apply the Book of Mormon in all of our lessons, it was also revealed to us that we weren't being bold enough, and that we needed to make our purpose more clear to everybody that we met! As we received continued revelation our energy and our excitement grew more and more bright, that energy and excitement carried us through our week, and as we reviewed our stats yesterday we discovered that this was our best week yet, by far!! "

Elder Mcopela and I also read a quote from PMG that talked about having our "fishing lines" in the "water" -- referring to being effective and working hard while we're in the area, we knew that our lines were in the water, but we need to Change the Bait!!! #ChangeTheBait 
The comparison actually brought to life Christ's invitation to "Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men" -- through revelation, Elder Mcopela were guided to "cast our nets on the other side" and they were definitely filled!! I know that the power behind the Book of Mormon is the power to convert, soften hearts, and answer prayers! It is true! There is NO other option! 

A great portion of my joy also came from speaking boldly -- as missionaries we have the authority to preach the gospel by the spirit of the comforter, but unless we seek it, that authority will not translate into spiritual POWER! This week I really felt like Elder Mcopela and I spoke with power and authority, and it worked! People listened! Investigators are progressing! And the ward will grow!

In addition to revelation concerning the Book of Mormon, baptismal commitments, and boldness -- it was revealed to us that if we want to more fully fulfill our purpose as missionaries we need to be working with more Part Member families, to enable them to enter the doors of the Holy Temple to be sealed for time and all eternity! 

Also, I only said revelatory popcorn because all of this revelation came as Elder Mcopela pondered in silence eating popcorn hahaha

But I stand as a witness that because of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the windows of Heaven have been opened again! That God is guiding us! I am also a witness that Miracles have not ceased!! The Lord lives! 

We also had two microwave explosions this week... 

We were warming up a container of food that an investigator cooked for us.. I guess the lid was on too tight... It was a disaster... and the food looked REALLY good... RIP

the second was a boiled egg that Elder Mcopela tried to warm up... also... terrible mess.. RIP egg :(

Last week we had our Zone Activity, we climbed Thaba Nchu Mountain! It was AWESOME! The best Zone Activity I've ever had! Upon arriving I was feeling confident in my mountain hiking abilities, BUT I WAS HUMBLED BY THAT STEEP, VICIOUS MOUNTAIN! But it was awesome. The view was INCREDIBLE! I took a TON of pictures but my camera won't connect to this computer soo... tons of pictures next week! But it sufficeth me to say that is was awesome. We had the time of our lives! 

Okay, this email is already really long, but I feel like I could write forever. This really has been the best 2 weeks of my mission. Receiving, following, and witnessing revelation has brought boundless joy to Elder Mcopela and me! I have said this in every email I've typed today but I love mission more than I can ever describe with words!! This is the best time of my life. I love the change that has occurred in me! I love the knowledge that this Lord has blessed me with; increased understanding of the gospel has changed my perception on life! It has helped me to know what I can do to prepare for the eternities!! 

I know that this church is true. I'm not afraid to tell any man or woman that! THIS IS THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST! WE ARE GUIDED BY A PROPHET CALLED OF GOD AND NOT OF MAN! I pray that you might find the same joy as you continue to FEAST upon the words of Christ, open your heart to the Lord daily, and pull down and follow revelation from the Lord!! 

Elder Weiler

PS We also had to say goodbye to President Zackrison and his wife last week -- that was hard! I LOVE them! I will always remember them! But I'm PUMPED for President and Sister Thompson! 



Monday, June 20, 2016

Bag stolen . . .really!?!

(London didn't have much time today, but he did send a short e-mail to me, which I thought I would share.  Thanks so much for your love and support!)
Hey Mom!!
This was a great week!! But I actually had my bag stolen last week.... So I lost my scriptures and the SD card that you sent me. I'm so sorry about that. I know that you spent a lot of money on it. I should be getting new scriptures from the office sometime this week!
Thanks for the pictures!! I'm glad to hear that Alys's funeral went well. How is the family doing now?

Things are going really well here, the work is a little slow because the area was just whitewashed, so we're still working our way into things, but we're seeing very real progress! We are also rejoicing because of the revelation we're receiving that's guiding our work!! The Lord is definitely watching out for us!!!
Being a Zone Leader is great, but we have to travel a lot, so we aren't able to work in our area as much as we'd like to, so that's a little disappointing, but we're still making a way!! The work of the Lord must go forward!! (I also say that all the time). Also, will you please update my blog and mention that I don't have time to write a weekly email today? Send my apologies.
I love Elder Mcopela! I really love him! We're great friends!! He also loves the work and he has a really sweet testimony! He joined the church when he was 20, he's 25 now, and his knowledge of the gospel is astounding! I think my favourite thing about him is that we have so much fun doing the work! We both love to teach so when we tract we tract with purpose!! Even just walking around and contacting we're always having a good time! The time is FLYING by! I can't believe that this transfer is already halfway over!! I feel like my mission is flying by too quickly!!! I don't want to leave!! (no offense)
We're serving in a ward! The members are great, but we're still wrestling to get them involved in the work with us, but we're most definitely seeing progress!!!
Love you so much!! Please tell Grandpa that I said Happy Father's Day!! Also tell Gogo I said I love her!! :))
Did you make cinnamon rolls yesterday?? I was definitely dreaming of them while we were at church yesterday ahhahaha!
Thanks for always being here every week! I always LOVE your emails and I LOVE hearing from my sweet mom!!
I hope you have the best week ever!!


Elder Weiler

Monday, June 13, 2016

No electricity, no problem.


First and foremost, mission is flying by! I felt like I was sitting here, rushing to type a weekly email, just yesterday! 

We had a great week! Here are a few highlights:

On Wednesday we drove to a little town called Bethlehem (lame reference to a hymn) and had a Mission Leadership Conference! It was suuuper nice to roadtrip (the round trip was 500 kilometres (RIP to our monthly K allotment)) and the meeting was incredible! As I left the meeting I felt somewhat crushed by the weight of all that I need to change as a missionary, the meeting really opened my eyes to a lot of my shortcomings and weaknesses, however, the next day I read a quote that I LOVE -- it says: To gain knowledge we must recongise that we lack knowledge first" -- and that really brought everything into perspective for me, I realised that me seeing all of these things that I needed to change wasn't supposed to discourage me, but it was the Lord showing me where I can grow! I am so grateful for the constant opportunities we have to spiritually grow and mature, provided through the Atonement of Jesus Christ! 

This week I have found myself saying "The Church is so true" more often than usual hahaha, Elder Mcopela and I have been blessed with so many faith building and testimony confirming experiences! Unfortunately, lack of time prevents me from sharing all of them, but it sufficeth me to say that we have had so many tender mercies this week! The Church is most definitely true!! I have pondered a lot Christ's advice concerning false prophets -- He said "By their fruits ye shall know them" -- as I have really considered and pondered the "fruits" of the Church I realise (more logically than spiritually) that the Church really is true!!! The Lord really is communicating with us through our beloved Prophet, certainly miracles have not ceased!!! I'm sorry that this is so scatterbrained but I'm literally racing the clock right now ahaha

Also to explain the subject our electricity went out again last night but I think I've become well acquainted with dark, cold showers hahahah TIA (This is Africa)

Lastly, when I first got here, I was very satisfied with the weather -- cold mornings, warm afternoons, cold nights -- but now... It's literally Freezing mornings, numbing afternoons, and hypothermic nights hahahaha however, Elder Mcopela and I have managed to survive! it's good to be back in Utah winters!! (That was sarcastic) (I still use parenthesis too much).

Sala Kahle!!

Elder Weiler

Pics: This is an area called "Beans" ( I have no idea why ), I also think the stray dog really really brings the reality of what it's like here hahahah

Monday, June 6, 2016

Welcome to the Wild, Wild West of South Africa (Blomanda)


Okay I am terrible with managing time while I'm emailing, also the guy next to me at this shop keeps asking me about "mindset success" and I have no idea what that is so I only have 14 minutes to type the greatest weekly email that this world has ever known...

To make a long email short:


My first week in the Free State has been incredible! I love it so much here! I have been fascinated how much missionary work changes with environment! Missionary work is totally different amongst the Sothos! However, I feel like I have already learned so much this week! I have high expectations and so much hope for this transfer! 

After a 11 hour bus ride I finally arrived in Bloemfontein! We were greeted by almost the whole zone of missionaries! I have really loved the brotherhood that exists here! 

Just like the subject says, Blomanda literally looks like those classic Old West towns that you always see in the movies, except everybody has barbed wire fences and their houses are made out of cement hahaha!

But I have loved the area so far! The ward also seems incredible! The only struggle that we have faced thus far is that the area was just whitewashed last transfer, so our teaching pool is shallow and we aren't acquainted with all the members yet, but we're absolutely doing our best to get there! I am certain that the hand of the Lord has guided us this week and we have worked to find new people to teach and to familiarise ourselves with the area! 

In terms of a spiritual thought, I'll include a portion of my email to my favourite little brother, Styles (shoutout) --

"I think the best admonition I can leave with you comes from Elder Mcopela-- he says that "we can't get too comfortable knowing that we are members of the true church, it's not enough to have our own testimonies, we HAVE to share the gospel!" Nowadays, it's not enough to save ourselves, we have testimonies of the fulness of the gospel! We cannot let our brothers and sisters perish in unbelief while we are totally qualified to open our mouths and invite them to experiment on the principles of the gospel! We can help people find the answers to their questions, find the fulfillment that they're looking for, and help them receive forgiveness of their sins!" 
I challenge all of you to open your mouths this week! To test the Lord's promise that He will show us in the very moment the words that we need to say! I add my own promise that as you actively seek out opportunities to share your testimony and invite others to come unto Christ that you will experience and retain a deeper conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ, that you will feel greater joy, and that your eternal perspective will deepen!

With love (and two minutes left on my timer), 

Elder Weiler

Leaving Umlazi and headed to Blomanda . . . .
 There's an Elder in the mission that looks just like me! We even have the same clothes and the same haircut! But I don't think he really likes me...
I knew I was becoming an African...