Monday, March 19, 2018

Amanzimtoti Area - Week 73

March 18th, 2018. Sibusiso Nxopo was baptized!!! I've written a lot about him but I'll write some more. He is a 25 year guy from Eastern Cape. He moved to KZN in 2015. Right now he is a soccer player for a local team and is looking for a permanent job. Elder Sala and I met him last month while walking down a street. We saw him walking around and went up to his home. He let is in and told us that he had seen us and was expecting us to come talk to him. We started teaching him and everything made sense to him immediately. We never had to review a lesson or anything! 

Time went on of teaching him and he progressed at a rapid rate. He has read up to 2 Nephi so far. He walks 40 minutes to church every Sunday on his own. He told his soccer coach that he will no longer play on Sundays so that he can make it to church every Sunday!! Sibu requested for Bishop van Thiel to baptize him so that he would have someone older than him who can reach out to him in case that he ever falls off course. We are so proud of him. The service yesterday went great and the spirit was very strong. It was one of those powerful moments on my mission that I will be able to remember 20 years from now. I can say that God has made his presence shown on that day and in the work we are doing here. Just waiting for him to become a general authority now!!

Other than that this week was a blast. I went on exchanges in Berea on Friday. Berea is the official "Durban" area. It was cool to be working in a huge city for the day. I was with Elder Walker from SLC. He took me to the only Krispy Kreme in the mission! My joy was full that day.

On Sunday we got to work with President Thompson's son-in-law Nate and his grandson Issac (who is 9). It was awesome having a kid with us who testified of the Book of Mormon to investigators. He was like our secret weapon to make them fill the spirit. His dad is a cool guy as well! Their family is visiting from Boston for 2 weeks.

I'll close with a scripture: D&C 58:27
"Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness"

I love you all! Have a great week!
Elder LaHue

Monday, March 12, 2018

Amanzimtoti Area - Week 72

I'm not sure what to write today. Writer's block is real. The weather was fantastic this week. Overcast, slight rain, cool breeze. My companion and I are getting along great. The work in Durban zone is still moving long. We did some baptismal interviews for the elders in Kwamashu 2 area on Thursday. Sibusiso was interviewed on Friday and he passed! We are eagerly awaiting his baptism this Sunday! From what I have heard, Toti hasn't had a baptism in a long time. We have been blessed for sure.

2 weeks ago we met a man in the shop of one of our investigators. He said he had been to our church before and would like to come that Sunday. He didn't make it that Sunday, so we called him the following week to try to set up an appointment to see him. His voice was very faint and he said that he was in the hospital in Berea. We made a plan to visit him during the open hours of the hospital. When we arrived, he was laying in bed and in pain. The doctors aren't sure what happened, but he became very weak all of a sudden. I felt like we should use the priesthood to give him a blessing. We did so quickly and then got out of there. His wife was rushing us away.

Later in the week I tried to call him but his phone wasn't picking up. I figured we'd find out somehow if he had gotten better, although we had no way to contact him. We were at the same shop a few days later and our friend told us that the man had passed away in the hospital. I was shocked. How could someone go from being perfectly healthy to in the hospital to dead in a matter of days? I'm grateful that we were able to go and visit him. If we hadn't we would have never seen him again. I'm sure that he his in a happier place now. I know that God has prepared a place for him to continue to learn and grow and become like Him. 

I guess the moral of that story is that you never know when something tragic will happen. Do your best in life to live in a way that God would be proud of you. After all, he is your Father in heaven. And someday we will all return to live with Him.

Elder LaHue

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Amanzimtoti Area - Week 71

"But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."

This scripture best summarizes how I feel right now. Work is going extremely well. One of the most successful weeks I have had on my mission so far. That being said, I don't want to get caught up in pride and think that it was because of only my companion and I. I'm very grateful for God's guiding hand in our work. He has been placing people in our path that are prepared to accept the gospel. Without His help we would just be knocking on doors all day getting nowhere. With His help we are experiencing miracles in Amanzimtoti.

Sibusiso is doing fantastic. This was his 3rd Sunday at church in a row. Bishop van Thiel met him and even offered to give him a ride home after church. He is set to be baptized on the 18th of March. We will see him on Wednesday to make sure that is what he wants and to set up the interview. I am excited for the coming weeks! He has potential to be a future bishop someday. 

I think that the ward is starting to notice more our efforts. We walked 50 minutes with an investigator and a less active member who hadn't been to church in a very long time. New faces continue to just appear at church out of nowhere! We had 13 investigators show up, 5 of which I had never seen before in my life. We set up many appointments throughout the week to meet with them so I am happy about that. I am so grateful for the Lord for helping us in this great work and sending us prepared people to teach.

In other news I can pray in Zulu now. It brings me joy.

Much love,
Elder LaHue

Monday, February 26, 2018

Amanzimtoti Area - Week 70

February is over and reality is setting in. Time is very precious and sooner rather than later I will be finished with this great work of full-time missionary service. I need to keep working hard and pushing myself so I can make the most of my time! On Thursday we were granted special permission from President Thompson to drive my trainer Elder Dos Santos to the airport and see him off to Mozambique. Now that he is home time has really set in, since I have been around him most of my mission. It was bittersweet but I'll see him again. I am grateful for the bonds I have made with others out here on my journey.

The work is still on fire! Church yesterday was great. 5 potential Melchizedek priesthood holders came! We aren't sure where they keep coming from, they just show up to church for the first time and we greet them and introduce ourselves. I'm sure the Lord is increasing the pace of the work here. Sibusiso came to church again and he is now on 2 Nephi chapter 15. He read over 50 pages in a week!! He is on track to be baptized in March. He is one of the biggest miracles I've seen on my mission, someone who was completely prepared to receive the gospel when we found him.

MLC was inspiring. It motivated me to have a desire to do more to help my zone. I think I was getting lazy the last few weeks so it was a needed wake-up call. Elder Sala and I were a bit surprised to find out that zone conference will be held on Wednesday. When we got home from MLC we said a prayer and went to work and planned all of zone conference. We are ready to uplift and inspire the missionaries around us!

Elder LaHue

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Amanzimtoti Area - Week 69

Transfer news: Elder Sala and I are staying. I'm excited!!

I don't know what happened but Amanzimtoti is on fire!!! We met with (Stake) President Mhlongo last week and he was talking about starting a group in KwaMakutha in a school or a member's home. Our ward mission leader presented the same idea to us as well. All of a sudden we have many people who want to be baptized and are coming to church!

At church an elderly woman named Valerie (who has been to coming to church for a while) said that she wants to be baptized before Easter. We found a man named Sam who is the daughter of a recent convert who wasn't coming to church. We left him with a restoration pamphlet and when we returned he read the whole thing, filled out the questions in the back and was asking us about the lower and higher priesthood. All of a sudden we are finding very prepared people.

We met this humble man named Sibusiso earlier in the transfer. He is doing so good. We just finished teaching him the gospel of Jesus Christ and he has read up to 1 Nephi 7. He walked 30 minutes to church on Sunday!!! When he was there he loved it. We introduced him to 2 YSA brethren that we know and they became friends. This man has been an answer to my prayers.

2 general authority seventies visited Durban on Thursday: Elders Ulisses S. Soares and Joni L. Koch. Their wives came as well and all four spoke to us in a conference. I haven't heard a Brazilian accent in a while so it was quite entertaining. Elder Soares spoke the longest, about the sacred nature of our calling and being representatives of Jesus Christ. It prompted me to ponder about my attitude and take my mission a bit more seriously.

Elder Dos Santos goes home to Maputo, Mozambique next week. I'll attach an old picture of my first day in the field with him. I'm going to miss him so much. He is a great missionary and had such a profound influence in shaping who I am as a missionary today. World's #1 trainer!!

Ube nosuku oluhle!
Elder LaHue