I’ll try to post more often and keep these stories shorter but sometimes… yeah, they just have to be told. And you know I am not a person of few words.
However, the business of the mission has been steady and miraculous and one or two stories need to be shared. I do this for several reasons—share these incidents, that is—but one of the most significant reasons I keep this blog is to record them. Another is to create compassion for our brothers and sisters in Africa and yet another is to show you God’s hands in our lives and finally the last and probably the most important is to strengthen yours and my own testimony. Sometimes I do not even realize how incredibly significant these situations are until I write them down. I am trying to recognize Heavenly Father’s hand in all areas of my life; even beyond the mission and I believe I am getting better at it.
Here’s the story. We were in Lydenburg Tuesday teaching Lindy, Lizzie (a neighbor of Christine’s) and with a couple of others listening in as we were outside in the space between Christine and Lizzie’s shacks. The lesson was about the plan of salvation. Lindy understood it perfectly. She had been talking with her husband, Simon, who had the lesson the Saturday before. The Jrs. had challenged Simon for baptism on May 10 and he said he would think about it, pray about and speak with his wife about it. That was good news to us but it wasn’t a definite Yes! So, when the lesson was over and Lindy had understood everything about the plan of happiness, Elder L asked her if she had spoken to Simon about being baptized. She responded with yes. “We have spoken about it,” she said. “We have prayed about it and we want to do it.” Then she added, “When Calisto invited us to church we were unhappy in our marriage. We were fighting and always crying and being angry. Even with our children. Then we went to church and we felt different. We are happy. We do not fight. We are very happy. I told Simon that we must join this church of Calisto’s because it is the right church. We are very happy now because of Jesus Christ.”
Wow! My eyes filled with tears. Lives are changing because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am in awe. We have 2 who will be baptized on May 10.
So, we leave and teach another great lesson and then onto dinner at Spur and to greet all those who work there… Calisto, Simon, Olgar and Yolanda. Calisto comes over to our table and introduces us to one of the white managers by the name of John. He is from the UK—Manchester to be exact. Calisto has invited him to church. I told him that this Sunday would be a great time to come because Christine is going to be baptized. He replies that he would also like to be baptized. I know your church and I would also like to learn. I will bring my fiancé and come to church this Sunday. Then you can teach me as well.
Well, I’ll be darned! Another referral. So far, not one person we are teaching in Lydenburg has been tracked into. They are all member referrals. What an amazing missionary system we have when members teach non-members. Imagine what would happen if a couple of missionaries could serve in Lydenburg and there was a place close by to attend church and all the members would visit those new investigators and bear their testimonies to them… On Fire!
Elder Swan was at the grocery store last Monday when a bakery attendant saw his name badge and said, “Do you know Elder Scott?” He said, “Yes, I know Elder Scott. How do you know Elder Scott?” She told him that she met him in Pretoria and that he was teaching her the gospel. Hmmmm? Interesting.
Long story short it was even a different church but the Elders went to visit with her and we ended up teaching her the first discussion today. Her name is Jessica and what a sweet thing she is—18 years old and just moved to Nelspruit. She wants to own a restaurant and cook for others. Amazing.
Oh, and the Nkosi sisters have obtained permission to be baptized from their father. June it is. Exciting!!!!
So the work goes on.
Another Week! I can’t believe time is moving so quickly. We have both been well and it is a little cooler especially at night so all is well. Sister Swan has been really sick with Virtigo. Eish, she hasn’t even been able to get up without falling over.
Christine was baptized by ES last Sunday. She bore a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon and the plan of salvation. She said the gospel has already changed her life. We have to postpone Lindy and Simon’s baptismal date even though they are ready because they are not married. They have 3 children and have been living together for at least 8 years but… due to a thing call Lebola… it’s the 10 cow thing…they haven’t been able to marry. They have committed to do so and plan to be baptized as early as June. We should have several in June. Hugely excited.
We approached the President with the Branch idea for Lydenburg. He wants us to write a proposal along with statistics and photos. So lots of work ahead of me. He said, “”There’s no hurry; a week to 10 days should be okay.” Eish. But we’re on our way and its perfect timing since we have picked up more people to teach! On Thursday when Christine was leaving her yard a young girl, about 10, approached Christine and asked if that was a church because she had seen Pastors teaching there. Christine explained what was really happening. She told her that she wanted to learn next time we went out there.
Another week has passed… You should probably read this in segments obviously it is how I type this…
We have taught more in Lydenburg. We have picked up more referrals. We have added some more in Nelspruit as well. We teach about 35 people each week. Well, along with the Jrs. I do not teach as many as they do. ES goes with them when they must teach a single sister or someone new but they are doing an amazing job of staying busy with all those who are interested. Miracles abound.
Elder Swan was leaving our flat last week and overheard a man speaking on the phone about not being able to find a church to attend. He passed on by but then he said to himself, I should go back. A few minutes later the man, Eliadab, was in our flat learning about our church. He attended on Sunday and even bore his testimony regarding the love he felt the minute he entered our little branch building.
While I was teaching Seminary last Saturday, a youngish man (28) came in soliciting money for his record project. He said he was making CDs of gospel inspired music so young people could get out of their lives of drugs and sex and turn to Christ. I gave him some money and invited him to stay and then to attend church on Sunday. He stayed and learned about repentance. He came to church. The Elders are now teaching him.
The work goes on. The Love goes on.
I have been working on the proposal to send to the area presidency regarding the Lydenburg Cluster/Branch.
Saw about 3 baboons on the way to Lydenburg. I have a lot of things in my life but still no monkeys in my kitchen and I am forever grateful for that…. The cute little things…
|Teaching at Christine's... investigators Lizzie and Lindiwe (lindy)|
|Peace getting her hair done at the salon... It turned out really nice. She said it hurts your head for the first few days but it lasts for many weeks...|
|Jessica... our newest investigator in Nelspruit I just found out she stiffed the Elders appointment.. so maybe not our newest...|
|Christine's baptismal day... ES baptized her|
|with her husband Calisto|
|Another group on another day... along with the Siguakes|
|Eliadab and Exalt... the ones who came to church Sunday looking for something extra|
|Christine in her new outfit. she was confirmed last Sunday|
|Calisto, Collins, Olivia, Christine, Me and Kwasie Esther... Kwasie means Bright Morning Star... So cool.|
|More of our Lydenburg investigators....|
|Our Elders in Kamatipoort visiting the Krugers. this is their business. Potatoes and onions only... they do very well...|
|Sister Kruger demoing her wares|
|The youngest son, DeVille... Kinda small kid huh? He's 18...|
|We were enthralled by the momma with the onions and potatoes on her head. They each weighed 20 pounds.|
|Our American baking class. Laheri with the bottle, Khetsiwe then Bridget with the cupcake... Such a great night. Eish!|
|Christine and Calisto in their new clothes with our name tags...|
|A Cattle stampede in Barberton...!!!!!|