This past week has been so crazy I wasn't able to email last week! We have been busy with moving all the Elders around the mission. Since serving here I have come to realize just how massive the boundaries of the mission are; you can drive from Durban to the other end of our mission and it takes 10 1/2 hours. It's pretty hectic when we have to drive around working with the Elders, it can be pretty exhausting with all of the driving. I have received a new companion at transfers, his name is Elder Mathebula and he's from Johannesburg, South Africa. He has been on his mission about 15 months now, he has served in a lot of the same areas as me actually. He is an awesome guy and were getting along great! He has a lot of great ideas for the mission that we are discussing and beginning to implement. He will probably be my last companion on mission so I'm excited for him to "kill" me. My previous companion Elder Dube was transferred from here to Swaziland to finish his mission training which he was pretty excited about.
Well overall transfers went really smoothly moving all of the Elders around. We didn't have anyone miss their bus this time around which gave us less stress! One of the challenges I have come to discover is that it's not always easy moving Elders around in this mission since we have 3 different countries in our mission (South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland). It definitely takes a lot of brain power and it can be mentally draining at times but it's part of the challenge which I enjoy. The decisions we are making here affect the entire mission and it's nice to be able to be involved in that process as it's helping me to develop new talents and attributes. At the same time it's also a humbling experience that's making me recognize my dependence upon the Lord and the guidance of the spirit.
We have recently been notified by the Africa Southeast Area Presidency that he Durban mission will be piloting a Family History program called "My Family". It's a family history book that helps people record their family names, stories and photos. We are expected to implement this throughout the mission and report back to the Area at the end of April. We had a large meeting with one of the directors of Family Search the other day as we brain stormed ideas on how to implement this into our mission. One of the struggles throughout our mission is getting the members to do family history work and getting to the temple to do the work for their ancestors so we have high hopes that this will give a boost to family history in our mission.
The Durban temple was announced almost 3 years ago but yet a temple site has not yet been chosen. I believe (my opinion...) that one of the reasons the temple is not moving forward here is because there needs to be more enthusiasm from the members to get to the temple. I think it's something we can really improve on as a mission that will help the members get more excited for a temple coming to Durban. If the Lord doesn't feel that we are prepared for a temple then it will not begin until we are ready! We play a fundamental role in preparing the people here for a temple to be built. We will be going around the mission preparing the Elders on how to use this Family History brochure in finding, retention and reactivation work. I'm really excited to do this and I believe there is a reason our mission has been chosen to pilot this program.
I continue to see the Lord's hand over this work as He helps us work through the various situations we face on a daily basis. This really is His work and that's something I must always remember! I am weak but He helps me become strong which I am so grateful for! Thanks for your love and support as always and for the birthday package!