April 12, 2014
This past week has been a great one filled with many tender mercies from the Lord. We spent quite a bit of time proselyting in our area which was nice in addition to the other office work we've been doing. We had 2 training meetings for the zone leaders this past week first on the coast then for the outer zones. We spent quite a bit of time talking about consecration, hard work and leadership responsibilities. It was probably one of the best leadership training meetings we have had. We are currently preparing for zone conferences starting on Tuesday in Newcastle. I'm really excited for these zone conferences but at the same time I just realized this is going to be my last zone conference on mission. It's interesting as I reflect upon the zone conferences throughout my mission and what a tremendous motivation they were to improve and keep moving forward.
On Wednesday after completing our training meeting at the mission home we came over to the office to pick up a few items. As we were in the office a man came in looking for Elder Poelman (vehicle coordinator). He told us about how he had been directed here by the Pinetown Elders (2 other Elders in our ward) who had hit his side mirror and damaged it. Elder Poelman was out of the office so while we were waiting for him we began to talk to this man. He seemed really curious about the church and so I got him a pamphlet and a DVD and explained a little bit about our role as missionaries. Then Elder Poelman got to the office and spoke with him and told him he would pay for the minor damage which occurred but then said: "Since I'm going to pay for your mirror you have to listen to a lesson from these Elders here (pointing to my companion and I) while I go and get the money." He then closed the door and we all looked at each other with stares. Haha.
As we began talking to him more he immediately asked us "Why are there so many churches today? I am so confused so that's why I don't go to church anymore." Whenever someone asks that question it always gets me excited because we have the answer! We ended up teaching the entire restoration and as we recited the words of Joesph Smith's first vision the spirit illuminated the room. The man had quite a few questions but he seemed to be quite satisfied with our answers. He told us at the end that he didn't have to come to our office to get this resolved but when he first met the missionaries he was curious. It's incredible what he spirit can do and how those who search for the truth are ultimately led to the truth. We are hoping to meet with him again in the future and we'll see what happens. It's always nice when investigators come directly to you!
Not more than 2 hours after teaching that lesson we started to go check on some former investigators we found in the area book. We were led to a house where the missionaries had been teaching a couple of individuals. As we were invited into the house by a little boy who answered the door we could hear in the back room that something was wrong. After sitting in the entry room for a few minutes a man came out and began to talk to us. It was apparent that he was used to the missionaries and he explained to us that their brother had passed away earlier that day. We began talking to him and he was very glad we came at the time we did. We shared with him from the Book of Mormon about the spirit world and my favorite scripture in Mosiah 16:7-8. It was not by coincidence that we had been led there that night as a tender mercy to that family in their time of need. The man that we were teaching was named Sindy and he told us that each time the missionaries came he was usually busy but he felt prompted that he needs to meet with us. We are going to his home later tonight so we hope to have a lesson with him and the whole family. There is nothing greater than testifying of the truths of the Plan of Salvation and the restored gospel.
On Friday I was on exchanges with the zone leaders in Umlazi. Umlazi was the first zone I was in when I served in Margate and it felt so long ago! They have a nice flat that overlooks the ocean. As I looked out over the ocean again it reminded me of when I was there on my first ever exchange as a greenie on my mission looking over the ocean and thinking that 2 years was the longest time ever. Haha. Time flies and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to be in Umlazi again. We spent a bit of the day tracting and facing a lot of rejection but we kept saying one more door...one more door... one more door and each time it seemed to get worse. We got in the car and decided to check on a less active only to find that the less active wasn't home but one of the ZL's decided to knock on one more door across from the less actives house. As we knocked on that door a mother let us into the house. She had seen missionaries before at uShaka marine world (like sea world) where she works. She was always curious as to what we do exactly so we were able to answer all of her questions. She was so shocked that we do this for 2 years and that led into why we do this. We taught the entire restoration and the spirit in that room was intense! By the end she asked "How can I really know what your telling me is true?" That led perfectly into the purpose of the Book of Mormon which we left her with and she committed to read for herself. I was glad that we knocked on that one more door because it made all the rejections before that worth it.
It's been a week filled with a lot of small miracles and blessings as we continue to go out and shared the restored gospel. I'm so grateful for the Lord's hand over this great work and we couldn't do it without His help. There is no greater joy in this life then being a tool in the Lord's hands to bring salvation to His children. It's not always easy but in the end it's worth it; I'm grateful for the challenges we face as missionaries as it helps us become more converted to the gospel.
Have a wonderful week and may the Lord bless you all.