today marks 2 months in the mission field and almost 3 months on mission! Time moves fast and I can't express how blessed I am to be serving the Lord. This email is going to be semi-short since I'm running low on time as usual. This past week has been kind of hectic with exchanges, crazy weather and crocodiles. First I'll start with the crocodiles. Last P-day we had the chance to go to this place called Croc World which was pretty cool. There was a croc there that is over 100 years old and he is huge! I sent a picture of him. That was pretty cool place to visit and the wild life here is incredible. I also was teaching a lesson this past week when all of a sudden the guy we are teaching says "Elder Summers hurry turn around!" when all of a sudden I see this HUGE spider about the size of my hand behind me. The guy goes and grabs a broom and wacks it a few times, that's Africa for you!
I also had the chance to go on exchanges again with the ZL's. We go on exchanges a lot and honestly it's kind of a hassle because we are so far away from the other Elder's in our zone. It was a good experience though and I always learn a lot. I also got my first taste of real South African rain storms. You know back home we jokingly say "It's raining cats and dogs!" Well here it doesn't rain cats and dogs, it rains rhinos and elephants! Haha, it rains and rains and then rained some more for 3 days straight. The roads are turned into rivers and everyone just huddles up in their homes. It makes it very difficult to do missionary work but I'm glad we have a car. I have been so humbled by the people here and some of their situations. I was so blessed to own a car before my mission, so many people don't own cars and most people have to drive taxi's around. Also the fact that chapels and temples are everywhere back home, people have to sacrifice so much here just to come to church. One lady takes a taxi 200 kilometers (that's far FYI) just to get to church here in Margate, oh and she takes those 200 K's by taxi with her daughter. She has to pay R200 (about $25) for each of them just to get here. That Sister realizes the importance of partaking the sacrament and renewing that sacred covenant, I know the Lord is blessing her and her family for that tremendous sacrifice.
Some big news was announced in the Margate branch here yesterday. It was announced that this branch will have a chapel built and completed within the next year. The branch currently has church in a very old rented out Red Cross building. This was very shocking news because the branch has about 35 to 45 people attend each week with only 4 fathers who hold the priesthood and only about 7 total priesthood holders. The Lord has blessed this branch with a chapel though because they are leading the Stake in tithing being paid. It's amazing how the Lord will bless us if we pay our tithing. I was so happy to hear this wonderful news, these members have been waiting for a chapel for a very long time. This should really help the branch grow even stronger here. The chapel should be completely by December next year so I'll still be on the mission when it's complete. Absolutely wonderful news to hear!
Great story from this past Tuesday real quick. This Sister named P________ who currently is scheduled to be baptized related a wonderful story to us. When we asked her how she still felt about her baptism, she told us she had a confirmation to her prayers in a dream she had the day before we came. After praying for days, she had a dream that one of her grandparents was standing in a river inviting her to join as a sign of being baptized. I know for a fact that the Lord will answer prayers if we do the 3 things Moroni tells us in chapter 10. If we ask in faith, with a sincere heart and real intent the Lord will answer our prayer. He answers in so many different ways but this just strengthens my testimony that He will answer! The Lord is so mindful of each of us and we must continue to always put our trust in Him.
Love you guys and wish you another fantastic week!