Monday, June 18, 2018

Amanzimtoti Area - Week 86

Some highlights from this week:

1) Zone Conference on Wednesday! The theme was "converted unto the Lord". I gave a 30 minute presentation on cultivating a spirit of hard work. Overall the day went quite well! All the speakers did an excellent job and, of course, donuts for dessert.

2) I was at the mission office this week going through some recent data and records. I had the thought to look up baptisms of areas I had served in, after I left. I wanted to see which people I had started to teach were able to progress on and make it all the way. I was shocked to find the names of 10 people I taught that had been baptized after I left! It was a humbling experience that strengthened my testimony of planting seeds of faith. Sometimes we aren't around to see the help we are to people!

3) On Saturday our goal was to walk the whole day as a test in preparation for losing our car next month. Our initial plan was to walk 30 minutes to a member's home, where he would go with us for the day and show us how to catch a taxi to KwaMakhutha. Our plans were doubly spoiled because it was a holiday so there were no taxis, and because there happened to be too much crime going on in that area for the weekend. We were forced instead to walk around town for the day, which lead to an encounter with a baptist minister who immediately attacked our faith.. "the bible is sufficient alone for salvation". It is a long story. Quite an interesting day to say the least!

This week I want to focus on having a positive attitude. I am sure that Heavenly Father wants me to be happy while doing his work. Attitude changes behavior! This might be my last week in Toti so I need to give it everything I've got.

- Elder LaHue 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Amanzimtoti Area - Week 85

Short email this time because not much happened this week. I was out of commission during the weekend due to a cold. I feel better today. We were able to work a full day yesterday so I am recovering! Being sick as a missionary is the worst because you just feel locked up in your home all day and you want to go out and teach people but your body won't let you. I am looking forward to getting back on my feet tomorrow!

On Saturday night we went to Quinton and Camilla's wedding reception. Camilla is the sister of our landlord and she served a mission in Australia. Quinton was baptized just over a year ago. They were both sealed in the Johannesburg Temple on Wednesday! Their reception was held at a nice lodge nearby our old flat. Even though I was sick, going to the party was so nice. We ate great food and laughed and danced! Everyone was so happy. Many pictures this week!

Nothing else new for now. Sam is getting baptized this Sunday. I probably have 2 more weeks in Toti and then I'll go to my last area. If I had to guess. I love the members here so much!!

Have a great week!
Elder LaHue

Monday, June 4, 2018

Amanzimtoti Area - Week 84

This week has been wonderful. I have gained a testimony of the principle of following up and not giving up on people. Earlier on my mission I would drop people quite quickly if I didn't think that they would progress soon. With Elder Warner we spent 2 weeks following up on people I taught with Elder Sala. One house we visited every day, and the person was never home! This week everything came together and many of those people we regained contact with.

As a result, 3 of those people set a date to be baptized and a 4th person came to church for the first time this Sunday! We have been teaching her on and off for 3-4 months before she finally was able to keep the commitment of coming to church. It goes to show that people's concerns are real and that they take time to open up.

We experienced a big miracle this week. On Friday we had an appointment set that fell through. We knocked on another door to see if they know where that person was. A woman answered the door and said she didn't know. We were preparing to leave, but first we opened our mouths to see if she would be interested in hearing about the gospel. She was talking to us and mid-sentence began sobbing uncontrollably. She told us how she has been really sick for a long time time and how she can't afford medical care. We stood there and listened, wondering what to do. I had no idea what to say. Her partner came out and he started talking to us. Since we still didn't know what to do, I offered to come into their small room for a second and say a prayer with them. After that we gave them a Book of Mormon and the man told us that he had received one many years back but he was too busy then. Right now he is looking for work so he has more time. We invited them to come to church and they accepted. We figured that would be the best thing we can do to help them. 2 days later they showed up at church!! Now we have a new family to teach that can benefit greatly from the teachings of Jesus Christ. I am thankful that Heavenly Father allowed us to have this experience. I feel humbled after witnessing these recent events.

Mormon 9:11,18-21 "But behold, I will show unto you a God of miracles, even the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that same God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are.

And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles. 

And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles. 

And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust. 
Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth."

I would say that this scripture has been a summary of how my week went. I see many miracles every day! This is a special time in my life. I know that I won't be able to do this for much longer, so better make the most of it while I can. Also last night we watched the Testaments movie with a recent convert. 10/10 would recommend!

Love you all and enjoy life!
Elder LaHue

Monday, May 28, 2018

Amanzimtoti Area - Week 83

Another week in Toti! Elder Warner and I are doing a great work here. We have been finding a lot more than I was before and opening our mouths. This week we had 6 quality new investigators: Andile, Njabulo, Ntokozo (3 men); Byron, Catherine and Makayla (the family and friend of a member of the Elder's Quorum Presidency. We taught them in his home). The focus lately has been on people as individuals and familes, getting to know them and planning for them. In a week it is easy for us to find many new people to teach, but we have to work more effectively to find people who are serious. 

Missionary Leadership Counsel was awesome, I thought that it was the best one I have been to since the one at the Drakensberg Mountains back in October. I love how much counseling we did together. As leaders of the mission we have a huge effect on the effectiveness of missionaries because of the example we set. Also we have a voice in decided if any changes need to take place to help the mission grow.

NEWS: At MLC it was announced to us that effective July 1st, there will only be 2 cars in the mission. One for President Thompson and the mission van for transfers. So in one month, we will all be walking or biking permanently. Now we are prepping our zones for that by looking at taxi prices, safety of areas, scheduling, etc. It was a big shock, but walking isn't a huge deal so I don't mind. It will help me stay in shape. At least it is only for 4 months :)

Our most progressing investigators is a man named Sam. I have written about him briefly before. He is the son of a recent convert, around 25 years old. He works at Checkers. We have been teaching him since February and 2 months ago he set a goal to be baptized right after his birthday, on the 17th of June. He was at church for the 2nd time today and he is getting excited for his baptism! Sam has a solid testimony of Joseph Smith and he reads the Book of Mormon and keeps commandments. I am very excited for his progress moving forward!

Attached is a picture of 9 year old Baya Masondo before her baptism. Her older brother Thobane was the one to baptize her. It was a tender experience to witness, especially since it was his first time performing a baptism! Also attached is some failed banana bread I made. I forgot to use self-raising flour, and ran out of sugar. It tasted like banana flavored wheat bread. Mom would be proud of me!

Have a great week everyone!

With love,
Elder LaHue

Monday, May 21, 2018

Amanzimtoti Area - Week 82

Post-transfers.. back into the swing of things now! On Wednesday we drove to Pinetown to drop off Elder Sala and pick up Elder Warner. He is the assigned driver right now, which I am happy about. I have drove every day since July of last year! The mission office finally decided to let me have a break. Elder Warner is from American Fork, Utah. Funny that he is my first companion from Utah after being a missionary for so long. He is a sweet guy and he enjoys music and reading.

This week we have been working very hard. Lots of contacting. Unfortunately we didn't find many people, but the Lord blessed us in other way. 4 different people came to church this Sunday for their first time! Two of them were brought by one of our progressing investigators, one was brought by a member, and the other one just showed up randomly. It was very neat to see prepared people fall right into our hands. Josh was confirmed today and both him and Sibusiso received the Aaronic Priesthood! Also the attendance of Toti Ward is increasing steadily each week, so we should break 100 in the next few weeks.

Lately I feel that I have been putting in more effort lately, kind of like my spirits have been lifted. Serving for a long time has taught me about the important principle of endurance. Things go much smoother when we put our feet forward and continue to move in the right direction. Conversely, when we remain stagnant time seems to drag and we don't enjoy each day. It has been a blessing for me to reflect each night on the work we did during the day. Then when I put my head on my pillow I fall asleep very quickly. I guess that's what makes missionary work go so quickly.

I hope you are all doing well! I'm sure it is getting hot in the US now. I have come to terms with the fact that it won't get cold here, so I'll enjoy while I can and then when I go back to BYU I'll get blasted with the cold and snow. Looking forward to it!

Elder LaHue