Monday, November 20, 2017

Rocklands 2 - Area 56

On Saturday, we went on exchanges to Kimberley so that means... road trip! We took our member friend Thabang with us and drove for 2 hours to get there. Kimberley is in the Northern Cape province. It is the only branch of our church in that province. It is also the furthest area away from Durban in the mission! Some missionaries call it outer darkness. We enjoyed!

Sunday was a special broadcast from Salt Lake City directed to the Area Southeast Area. It was similar to a 2 hour stake conference. Speakers included Tad R. Callister, Kevin S. Hamilton and Carl B. Cook of the 70, Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, and Elder Neil L. Andersen. The church is developing at a rapid pace in Africa, and the members have been encouraged to participate in programs such as self-reliance. Other topics included the growth of the church in Africa and strengthening our current and future families. It made me excited to get back to weekly family home evenings with my own family, and eventually my future family!

Not much on the work side to report other than things are moving at a usual pace. No baptisms this transfer, but we should have a few lined up in the coming weeks. We worked 58 hours last week, which is the most I have ever worked on mission so far. Heavenly Father is definitely blessing us with added physical capabilities as we perform His work!

With love,
Elder LaHue

Monday, November 13, 2017

Rocklands 2 - Area 55

Being a missionary means you never really have plans. You have them, but something always comes up to change them. Appointments cancel, other missionaries do crazy things, people call with tasks for us to do, etc. During the week we went on many exchanges with other missionaries. I'm glad that today I finally got some time to relax!

This week we have changed our focus a bit after talking with the Bishop and Stake President. Pres. Nyatshoba showed us a video while we were sharing the stake missionary report. It was a training about how to work with less active members (and recent converts). The insight we gained from that is to bring back members and also use them to find new investigators.

Saturday was a great experience for us! There were 3 hours open in the morning where we had nothing to do. We figured it would be a good time to find some less active members. We used a GPS, an old ward membership list, and my memory from being trained here. We found 4 less active families at home and were able to set appointments with all of them! We are planning to share the First Vision with them to revive their testimony. At church another LA family, the Jubane Family, showed up. There is a husband, wife, and daughter who are members. When we taught them I was with Elder Blamoh. He felt prompted to talk about the temple so we did, and they expressed desires to be sealed as a family. In addition, the whole family came to church on Sunday. Brother Jubane has 2 potential referrals for us!

Today, November 13th, is my sweet mother's birthday. She is __ years old!! Hahaha. I love her to death. She did her best to raise me right, teach me correct principles, and love me with all her heart. After school I would always come home and talk to her about my day. I can turn to her for anything, and I know she will do her best to help me. Please take the time to wish her a happy birthday!!

Elder LaHue

Monday, November 6, 2017

Rocklands 2 Area - Week 54

It's back to being hot in Africa!!! We reached 34°C (93°F) this week. The weather is dry as usual. That doesn't stop the missionaries though!!!

Work this week has picked up quite a bit. Our teaching pool is slowly broadening. We had 12 new investigators, and 6 investigators at church. We walked 1 hour to church in the heat with a woman named Palesa. After church we talked to her and she said it was great! I felt so good after walking with her. We had offered to walk with a mother named Brenda and her kids as well, but they ended up getting a ride from her brother and came to church as well! We also met with the Bishop yesterday and talked about working with some less active priesthood holders to help them come back. We passed around a sign up sheet during Elder's Quorum yesterday and many of the brethren wrote their names on it. Next week we are working with and meeting with the stake president.

On Monday, we had zone conference at the Bloemfontein chapel. Elder Hamilton of the 70 came to address us. I was given the opportunity to conduct the leadership meeting we held before the conference. Counseling with Elder Hamilton gave us a great opportunity to learn and grow. His wife spoke to us about what it means to bear pure testimony: keeping it brief and stating truths you have come to know. Elder Hamilton taught us about how teaching people is about more than preparing them for baptism. It is about preparing them to enter the temple and make sacred covenants with Heavenly Father. Looking at others with an eternal perspective is the right way to be able to feel God's love for them.

With love,
Elder LaHue

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Rocklands 2 Area - Week 53

P-Day got moved to Saturday, this week because Elder Kevin Hamilton, President of the Africa Southeast Area, will be presiding at our zone conference this Monday. 

This week Elder Mnisi and I have been working very hard to try and find new investigators. We knocked quite a few doors this week. We are still looking, but I'm sure we'll find some promising ones soon. Yesterday we committed a man to be baptized and he accepted, so that was our bright spot for the week. Hopefully he'll be able to come to church this Sunday so that he can feel the spirit of it.

Not much else to report on there, things are slow right now. Instead I'll share a scripture from the Book of Mormon that I read this week.

Alma 48: 11-13,17:
"And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery; 

Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people.

Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood.

Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men."

I love the example that Captain Mormon set for his army. He was strong, but completely relied on God for strength. He was "firm in the faith of Christ", gave much thanks to God, and labored much for his people. If we were all like Moroni, then we would be able to overcome any challenge thrown at us! Which we can now, as long as we try to emulate the example of Jesus Christ like Moroni did.

Elders Mnisi, Nielsen, and I all turned a year this week. To celebrate we went to a fast food placed called Stadium and ate ice cream! Later that night we burned a pillow. The celebration was short lived though, because the work we have isn't finished.

Take care and with love,
Elder James Austin LaHue

Monday, October 23, 2017

Rocklands 2 Area - Week 52

I turn a year this Thursday!! And what a better way to celebrate it than being in the area where I began my mission? I got back to Rocklands late Friday night. Being here has brought back so many memories. Along with that, there is been much change and growth in the ward and with the members in the last 9 months. Even the area itself is more developed! I find myself getting lost while driving because things have changed. I imagine it's what St. Cloud will seem like to me when I come home in a year.

Sad to be out of Lesotho, but I know the Lord has great things in store for me here. Elder Mnisi and I are working very hard. I know Elder Hinnen and Elder Baker will be able to pick up right where I left off back in Khubetsoana! I got a very warm welcome from the members here. I'm surprised they all remember me! I was driving in the area and I saw two girls from a family I baptized, Tankiso and Nti. When they saw me their eyes got big and they yelled "ELDER LAHUE!!". It made me so happy! We went around visiting people that I have previously taught, and we also have many new investigators here. Rumor has it that the ward will split soon.

On Thursday we went to MLC (Missionary Leadership Council). We drove to a place called the Drakensberg, a huge mountain range in South Africa and Lesotho. On Thursday we hiked to the top, came down and ate dinner, and slept in a Zulu hut. On Friday we had the meeting with President Thompson. We discussed what changes could be made in the mission to bring us closer to Jesus Christ. It was a powerful learning experience! Also quite exhausting, I lost a lot of sleep. 

I'm still settling in to Rocklands again but I am happy to be here. I know that Heavenly Father has a special purpose for bringing me back, and I am grateful to him for doing so.

With love,
Elder LaHue