It was my birthday this past Monday and I'm grateful for all of the birthday wishes! Thanks for the letters and packages; it made it a great birthday. I got a cake from Sister Zackrison and the couples in the office so that was nice. My companion didn't know it was my birthday until one of my old companions sent me an sms wishing me happy birthday and my companion read it haha. He was mad I didn't tell him!
It has been another week of driving, driving and more driving. My companion doesn't have a license so my foot might fall off from pressing the gas pedal but I'll survive! We have been rolling out the new "My Family" booklet throughout the mission while President is traveling around doing his interviews. As I mentioned before the mission has been asked to pilot the "My Family" booklet. We have been doing mini training meetings throughout each zone on how to use the booklet in proselyting. It has been a great experience as we see the spirit of Elijah touching the hearts of the people within our mission. The purpose of the booklet is to give people a way to record names and memories of their ancestors without the need for a computer. As I've been filling it out myself it has been great to be able to record my memories and I've felt my heart turning as I seek to learn about my own ancestors.
We started out the week by going up the coast to Richards Bay, then to Swaziland and down to my old area in the Newcastle zone. We were able to work with all of the Elders in their different areas so it is nice to be able to meet people in all of these places. We have been using the My Family booklet in all aspects of proselyting and from what I've seen it's working well. We had a lesson when I was in Newcastle with a less active sister using the booklet. She has been less active for years but when we presented this to her she said: "Wow this actually sounds fun! I don't know how to explain it guys but I'm really excited." She said she felt something different and that she just felt so happy she couldn't explain the feeling. We helped her understand that she was feeling the spirit again and she said she was going to fill out the whole book. The great part with this booklet is that it's something that's non-threatening to investigators and less actives because everyone loves their families and wants to preserve family memories. Another part that I've seen that has been working is that it gets less actives excited about wanting to go to the temple which they know they need to be keeping the commandments in order to do. I have a feeling this is really going to boost the mission and help take us one step closer to getting the temple in Durban!
On Sunday we were able to attend Osizweni (my old area) for church. It was a very special day because Osizweni was becoming its own branch! When I was there just a couple of months ago it was still a group but President Zackrison officially made it a branch on Sunday. It was amazing to see everyone there and so excited! There were 140 people at church (usually about 80-90) and the room was literally overflowing. The 6 of us missionaries had to stand outside the whole meeting! We were able to listen through the window; the spirit was pervasive and every person there could feel it. I was extremely grateful to be apart of that moment; public affairs took pictures so it should show up in the Africa Southeast area part of the Liahona.
It will be another week of travels, interviews and conferences. We are doing our best to continue to move the Lord's kingdom forward here! It's incredible how the Lord is blessing the Elders in this mission who strive for consecration. I continue to be converted unto the Lord each day as I lay it all on the table. I have so much energy still and I'm moving forward with all my strength! I have to give it my all these last 3 months.
May the Lord bless in all that you are doing!