Well this week was pretty rough. But, you need to have some bad weeks to appreciate the good ones! This week we had no water or electricity at our house so the toilet and shower situation was a little interesting hahahahaha. We had to shower with water bottles outside hahaha! And we also had rats in our house and to top it off, I was sick! But, it’s all part of the experience!
I had one total “I’m in Africa” moment this week. We were driving back from an appointment and we saw a dead sheep on the side of the road. We asked CJ and MJ, our two fellowshippers, if they wanted it and they said yeah. So, we pulled over and they put this sheep in our trunk. We then took it back to CJ’s and his family was super happy. They gutted the sheep and cooked it over the fire. They used every part of the sheep too hahaha, even the liver and intestine! My companion was eating some of the intestine and he said, “Dude, do you want some? It taste like sausage!” I was like “Bro, you couldn’t pay me to eat that” hahahaha. As I was sitting around watching this family cook the sheep we found on the side of the road on a fire outside of their shack, I was thinking “I am definitely in Africa” hahahahahaha, but I love these experiences I am having and I know that I wouldn’t be able to have these experiences if I was somewhere else, so I am super blessed to be here!
Driving is so weird here. I hate driving on the other side of the road. The first time I drove I hit a car and it smashed our mirror in hahahahahaha… but ever since then I have been able to pick it up naturally with no problems! Here in Mthatha they don’t have any police that patrol the streets so everyone just runs red lights and stop signs and goes however fast they want, so I can’t lie, it is pretty fun to do that.
This week we spent a lot of time with our five investigators getting baptized. We met with them four times each to get them ready with any questions they had before their interviews on Saturday. It is super cool getting to be involved in their lives at this time! My companion told them to pray about who they wanted to baptize them, that it could be anyone who had the authority in the ward or me or him or our fellowshippers, so I didn’t think I would be picked. So the next day, we met with our investigators. 4 of them that are getting baptized are cousins. So we asked them who they want to baptize them. Zhakanye, a 14 year old boy, raised his hand and said, “I’ll go first. I want Elder Taylor to baptize me.” My heart was filled with joy. It is one thing to see one of your investigators get baptized, it is a whole different thing when you get to be the one to baptize them! So, I am super excited for Sunday! His cousins picked my companion and the fellowshippers. And then our last investigator, a 16 year old girl named Khomotso, also picked me to baptize her so I am super excited to say the least!
Thus far, my mission has been filled with joyous times, memories that will last me a lifetime. But, a mission is tough. I have already faced several trials. Through the trials I have faced, I have been able to overcome them and become stronger as a result. I have relied on my Savior Jesus Christ to be with me through the tough times that I face. I have gained a greater relationship with Him because I know He is right next to me with everything that I go through. I am grateful for the trials I have faced because they help shape me into the man I want to become.
I miss all of you, especially my family. But, I will see them and everyone in around 22 months. So, the next 22 months I will continue serving my Heavenly Father will all my heart, might, mind, and strength, and become the best missionary that I can be. I am so blessed to be where I am, and so thankful for the opportunity I have to spread the gospel to the people in South Africa.