I apologize for not writing very much these past few weeks. We have faced some struggles in our little kingdom of PJ but through the Lord all things are possible. I find solace in the words of the Lord to the Prophet Joseph Smith while he was incarcerated in Liberty jail. D&C 121: 7-8: "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if though endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." Often times we expect immediate answers to our prayers and concerns when sometimes the heavenly virture of patience is required. This area has humbled me and helped me further develop the attribute of patience. It hasn't always been easy but in the end we feel stronger after we press through those trials and challenges.
Easter week was pretty difficult because everyone was busy with their church services. Here in South Africa there are literally hundreds of different Christian churches. Everytime I ask people what church they are from I swear I hear a new church each time. It's incredible but also helps us with sharing the message of the restoration. I have finally discovered an incredible way to entice people to hearing the message of the restoration this past week. A lot of people are reluctant to really sit down and meet because they think we are just going to open the Bible and discuss, they don't fully grasp the unique message we have to share. A question that so many people have here has to do with all of these so called "prophets" in South Africa. There are hundreds of "prophets" who go around performing incredible miracles in the name of Christ. Many people are confused by this because Jesus Christ himself said there would be many false prophets in our day so people want to know how they can find a true prohpet! Well fortunately we have the answers. We have been expounding the Bible when it comes to prophets and it really makes people interested when we help them discover how to find a true prophet. It's hard to describe just the amount of confusion here, there are literally so many churches and miracle workers around here. Well teaching about false prophets and finding a true prophet leads perfeclty into introducing Joseph Smith and his "fruit" of the Book of Mormon.
The dificulty the last month has been actually finding people. Well I am thankful for the promptings of the spirit and the guidance of the Lord here. I have been having an overwhelming feeling to switch the area we are tracting in to an area that is a little out of our way that we never go into. I finally decided to act on that prompting and start tracting there. We were able to find 3 families and a few other very interested investigators. Finding full families is very difficult here so the fact that we were able to find a few was a blessing. One family in paticular really motivated me to keep going out and finding. After having an appointment fall through in the afternoon, we were sitting in the car thinking about who we could visit. While sitting there, I had a prompting to check on this family we had tracted into. We found this family on Good Friday, the day of Christ's death, so they were really busy getting ready for church. They didn't seem all that interested when we found them and said we could just come back anytime (usually a sign they have no interest). Well we decided to go and check on them. We pulled up to the house and it looked really quiet, no cars there or anything. I was kind of confused why the spirit directed me here if no one is home. Well we decided to go knock anyways, to our surprise we found a young woman early 20's and her mother. At first they didn't really seem all that interested but we sat down an started to get to know them. We discovered they had just moved here a month earlier and don't really have a church, they are just going to a friends church until they can "find truth" they said.
Well let me tell you somethng, these 2 sisters have all the right questions. They are so confused by prophets, the many churches and where authority has gone. We taught the entire restoration and they were so excited. When we introduced the Book of Mormon the mother said this is what she has been looking for. The daughter is a really smart girl and I think this family has a lot of potential to progress. I'm really excited to go back and discuss more with them. We were able to teach a few other great families too, the Lord is opening doors for us.
In addition to the many new investigators we found this week, bro. B and sis. V are getting really close to baptism. It is going to be tight but unfortunately I think I'll be transferred before they get baptized. They are both ready to be baptized this very minute but they have to overcome word of wisdom problems first. Nothing else is holding them back right now. Both of them have the resolve to quit it's is just taking a little time. Brother B____ is progressing a little faster when it comes to word of wisdom, he has quit for about a week now. It will be great to have him in the branch because it will be another priesthood holder. It still amazes me to think he will be baptized, he is so different from when we met him a few months ago. He reads the Book of Mormon like crazy and loves reading everything we give him.
Patience. Sometimes patience is what the Lord requires of us. If we recieved answers immediately and never faced opposition there would be no test of our faith, no development of our character and no purpose to this mortal life. Sometimes we resist the very thing that would give us strength in hopes of an "easy" way out. Sometimes we need to step back and realize that the Lords "got this" and He sees the big picture. I find comfort in the words of Mosiah 4:9 in times of need: "Believe in God...believe that He has all wisdom...believe that man doth not comprehend all things the Lord can comprehend."
I love you all and wish the blessings of heaven upon you. Unfortunately I won't be able to see general conference for a few weeks, I hope you all enjoyed it though!