Area - Johannesburg, South Africa
Companion - Elder Mabuza
What a wonderful week! I am jealous for your week cause I didn't do ANYTHING for thanksgiving. ha. I actually forgot on Thursday and then remembered on Friday. It's good that we can be thankful for things every day of the year and not just on Thanksgiving cause there is way too much to be thankful for! On Friday we watched a Mormon message with a family called Thanksgiving daily and it just helped us all to realize all the small blessings that we have and the importance of noticing the good things in our life so that we can be thankful for even more and we start to realize our blessings. At the end It was a clip of Pres Monson speaking when he told us to "cultivate an attitude of gratitude." Then also in the Liahona for October the very last article on the very last page that I almost skipped and didn't read was a story from a young adult who realized the blessings that she had in her life. She was sitting around talking to friends one night and thought "good things just keep on coming." She talked about how she had had past friends and moved to new places and continued to make new friends and to joy and happiness throughout all the changes that she was going through. She realized how blessed she was because no matter how many good things happened and passed away, there were always more good things coming and all she had to do was allow them to come instead of wishing for and missing the past. I liked it and it was inspiring to me!
This week we have continued to have success. We met a new guy named Tau who is a friend of a member and has come to church twice now. He is such a humble man and trusts us so much. He wanted to come to church with his friend because they had used to be drinking and smoking buddies but over the past 2 years he has seen his friend change and become a happier and better person. Tau was inspired and wanted to know what he needed to do to be like his friend. See how much of an example we can be to all of our friends?? We can be missionaries just by doing what is right! Anyway the first time we visited we asked how he felt his relationship with God was and he said very good. Then the next time we went to visit him he asked us what he could do to improve his relationship with God. i think that when we came we brought the spirit with us and then when we left it also left slightly and so when we came back he realized that he needed to change something in his life. It is such a great thing when the person you are teaching is really trying to be better and is open and humble so that the spirit can touch him. We were there to say the things that needed to be said and to provide the guidance but I am sure that it is the spirit that is teaching this man and not us. I love it!
We visited brother Frances on Wednesday and as we were there I felt that i needed to invite him again to be baptized on Dec 09 since previously he had been saying "I'm still praying" and then last time " I just need to get a suit." This time after I asked he sat and thought for a little bit and finally looks up and says, "Yes, I have to. I have been coming to church and developing my faith and it is time to take the next step." We had been reading Alma 32 with him about faith compared to a seed and how we have to take the actions to show our faith. Once again it was the spirit that prompted everything to happen. Me to ask and him to respond that way. He felt the spirit say yes and so he followed the prompting. I am super excited for him and Steward to be baptized in two weeks. They are gonna be so happy! It is such a great experience to be bale to see people change, progress, and feel the love that the Savior has for them to inspire them to know the truth and act on it. Sometimes I feel like the investigators we are teaching are more humble than me and as we teach them and invite them to do things, I think to myself how lucky I am that I was born as a member of the church cause I'm not sure that I would be willing to make the kid of changes that these people are making. They are incredible and are going to powerful examples to other people!
Family, I love you and I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to be here as a missionary even though I don't get to see you for 2 years! Guess what though! It's gonna be two weeks less than 2 years! ha. Due to the age requirement going down there is going to be huge influx of missionaries and so to accommodate, they will only go to the MTC for 2 weeks instead of 3 which also means that all the current missionaries have their missions shortened by 2 weeks! I will be home for Thanksgiving and not have to miss 3 of them!! haha :D
Love you all!
-Elder Dirkmaat :D