Well this was just a crazy week. My trainer got transferred out of Mthatha and went to Cape Town. I was in a tri-companionship with Elder Stegs and Jenner for a few days in Mthatha and then went to Queenstown to be in a tri-companionship for the next week. Two weeks ago I was in Mthatha, one week ago I was in East London, and today I am in Queenstown. So wow, what a week.
During a lesson this week, one of the coolest and interesting experiences happened. We walked in and this very attractive girl knew we were coming so she had on a very immodest low cut shirt and short shorts. Elder Stegs says “Do you have a favorite pair of jeans and a sweatshirt?” And she said, “No, why?” And he says, “God likes us to respect our bodies and if we do so we will have the spirit with us.” I was thinking oh snap, what is about to happen. And she totally understood, changed, and we had the most powerful lesson. She told us that her friend died two days earlier and she asked me why bad things happen to good people and how she will never see her friend again. I told her that even as a missionary I asked that question. I told her one of my relatives is dying from cancer so I can relate to her situation. I brought up a scripture found in the Book of Mormon in Alma chapter 7 verses 11 and 12. It says:
“And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.”
I told her that Jesus Christ died so we can live forever. That she will see her friend again. I told her that the pain she and her friends family is feeling, Christ felt it first. That there is no pain that we will ever experience in this life that our savior Jesus Christ hasn’t experienced first. I told her this life is full of trials and it is in those times of trials where we need to rely on our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. There was such a strong spirit in that lesson and it started by Elder Stegs being courageous and asking her to change.
I had to say goodbye to everyone in Mthatha and it was so hard. I got so close to these people and it just kind of stinks! For my family it was really hard saying goodbye, but I will see them in two years. These people I will never see again so it was hard. I got really close to one family named the Mbonyanas. One of their sons just put in his mission papers and asked if I could give him a Priesthood blessing. So before I left I was able to do that and it was a super cool experience.
I was able to go on exchanges with our Zone Leader as well this week and it was great! We met a guy at Mcdonald’s who came up to us and asked if he could meet with us. This happens quite a bit but usually falls through and nothing happens, but we were able to see this guy later that night. He told us he had less than 30 minutes and we told him we would be shorter than that. As we were talking we asked how he was doing on time. And he said “Keep going, I am very interested.” So we had about an hour lesson and he was super receptive to our message. We even committed him to baptism! Super powerful! The next day we went to Mcdonalds again and we saw him and he came up and he’s like “Elder Taylor, Elder Hale! I will see you guys Monday!” Super awesome.
We also visited a lady this past Sunday who wasn’t able to attend church because she was sick. We came to administer the sacrament and she didn’t have any bread. All she had was a cucumber so we used that in place of the bread. We then said the sacrament prayer and said “We ask thee to bless and sanctify this cucumber…. hahahahah! First time for everything.
The missionary diet is real. My taste buds have changed hahahah. Before I would look at oatmeal and actually feel like I was going to throw up. But I had it a few days ago and I loved it. So I bought 50 dollars’ worth of oatmeal and milk and that is all I will be eating for a long time hahahah. It is a good diet and it is something I love now!
A mission is full of ups and downs. So many. Everyday. But it is how we handle the downs and trials we face in this life. We can choose the way we will go through these trials, with a smile or a frown. Remember, after every rain storm there is a rainbow. Love you all!