Monday, December 26, 2016

Rocklands 2 Area - Week 9


Instead of a White Christmas I had a Brown Christmas. Merry Christmas!!!!!

I can't believe I have been out on my mission for 2 months. Sometimes it feels long and sometimes it is really quick. I got to skype with my family on Christmas Day. It was only for an hour and it went by too fast! I love and miss them so much. It was really nice to be able to see them and share stories and experiences. This has been my favorite Christmas present ever.

We had a fantastic Christmas party last week. Lots of food, fun, and games. We made fools of ourselves on stage but it was worth it. I met up with some of the guys who started missions the same time as me so we are in the same group. They are in the picture with 3 of us. Cool guys! So much food has been ate in the last week, but I do my best to keep in shape so everything is okay. 

This Christmas I have felt the love of Jesus Christ. More so than other years. Although I received few physical gifts, the spiritual gifts have been far more meaningful. Memories last forever. We don't need many gifts under our tree to be happy, real joy comes from spending time with our families and remembering the true meaning of Christmas. 

One meaningful experience that sticks out to me is when my companion and I sang Christmas carols to random people we met. We sang "Joy to the World", "Silent Night", and other songs. Some people even started singing with us!! As we sung, we experienced real joy. We all have something in common. Jesus Christ gave his life for us, that we may gain eternal salvation. All we have to do is exercise faith, repent of our sins, and keep His commandments. This is where true happiness comes from.

If you want to be happy, all you have to do is ask the missionaries how to be.
Merry Christmas!

Elder LaHue







Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Mission Party

Bloemfontein Zone with President & Sister Thompson and Elder & Sister Roberts
On the 19th of this month, President and Sister Thompson had their 2nd Mission Christmas Party in Bloemfontain. Their mission area is so large they needed two parties to accommodate all the missionaries.   

Singing a traditional Christmas Hymn.....

...which turned into a rap!
On the 10th Day of Christmas!

Playing games

and more games

and even more games.


Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 19, 2016

Rocklands 2 Area - Week 8

Elder LaHue and Elder Dos Santos

This week was all about service! 
Mosiah 2:17 "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God"

On Saturday morning we went over to the home of Sibongile, a woman we are teaching. We spent 3 hours raking her yard, clearing it of excess weeds and using a shovel as well. I'm not going to lie, it was hot, but I felt so happy afterward! She fed us a huge lunch to show her thanks. The rest of the day I was happy. Sibongile is going to be baptized along with her 2 daughters on January 7th!!

One day Elder Dos Santos and I were walking along a dirt road. We saw a woman struggling to hold up a fence post while putting it in the ground. Immediately we ran over and held it steady for her. At first, she just thanked us and we went along our way. When we were walking she called to us and walked over. She said, "Who are you?". We explained that we are missionaries and that we go around teaching and helping people. She said cool but she has her own church. As we were walking away she called us back again! She told us that her husband doesn't have a church and that she would like us to come back and teach him.

Service brings blessings to us and to others. As we give, we receive in return. It is a great tool for missionary work, and it helps you establish a closer relationship with others.

Side note: There's a lot of drunk people here. It's part of the culture.

Mosiah 2:41 "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it."

Never ending happiness.
Love,
Elder LaHue

Elder LaHue's Christmas Present




Monday, December 12, 2016

Rocklands 2 Area - Week 7


Matthew 20:28 "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."

Today marks one month of being in Bloemfontein, South Africa! Here is a general rule of thumb. When we are teaching lessons, the time flies by. When we are knocking houses, it drags on forever.

Some strange things have been occurring in my first transfer. The other 2 elders in our boarding were emergency transferred on Friday, meaning that it's now just Elder Dos Santos and I. Things are quiet now and we have much more work to do now that there are 2 instead of 4. Second, all of our plans for our investigators to be baptized this transfer have gone as wrong as they possibly could have. We went from having 6 with a date set to 0 now. Thankfully, we have been able to see the efforts of our hard work and many should become baptized come January. One important thing to remember is that these are not just numbers, these are real people. We are making a real impact in their lives and it is a privilege and an honor to be able to do so.

Christmas is approaching soon. Look for ways you can serve. Like it says in Matthew, Jesus came into this world to serve, not be served. You'll find that the spirit of Christmas is in giving, not receiving. 

This Christmas, think about one thing about yourself that you would like to change. Repenting of our sins and mistakes means changing ourselves. People have compared sinning to placing nails in a wooden post. I've heard people say in church that when you repent, you remove the nails from the post. Then they say that you will still be able to see the holes in the post, due to the consequences of our choices. This is false, due to the fact that when we repent the post becomes BRAND NEW. "There is no 'hole left in the post'. It is a new post." The same applies to us when we repent. We become brand new, completely clean.

Much love and be safe,
Elder LaHue




Monday, December 5, 2016

Rocklands 2 Area - Week 6





Each week seems to be more challenging, but more rewarding and fulfilling at the same time.

Sunday morning Elder Dos Santos and I went on the local radio station, Motheo.fm, for the first time. I thought I would be nervous but we were on air at 6am so I was too tired to notice that I was on the radio. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ in 30 minutes; By having faith in Christ, repenting of our sins and mistakes, being baptized by immersion, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, we are able to fully follow the example of Jesus Christ and strive to perfect ourselves. It was a unique experience that I won't forget!

On Thursday, December 1st, we were issued a challenge by the APs. We were asked to spend the day sharing a message about Christmas. Our challenge was to receive 40 contacts this day, meaning name, number and address. We set out to work with a member friend named Karabo who is 18. For almost 5 hours we walked along a dirt road and talked with everyone we saw. We also knocked every house we saw. Pure faith and determination is the only thing that got us though this day. At the end of the day we received our 40th contact, went home, and passed out. This whole experience just goes to show that Heaven Father provides a way. Anything is possible with Him on our side.

3 Nephi 18:25, "And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me". Jesus Christ never turned anyone away. If we are to follow His example, the same should go with us. Everyone deserves to know this gospel. Share with your friends, family, and neighbors, and watch the blessings accumulate in your own life.

Love
Elder LaHue



Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving - Week 5




This week flew by!! Missionary work is so awesome. For thanksgiving we ate lunch as a zone, with 18 missionaries total. We had chicken and other food, plus tons of pie! Also, I really enjoy African food. For some reason I like vegetables now. I used to hate them. Anyways, Thanksgiving was a blast. We have a list in our home of what we are thankful for and we write on it each time we walk past it. I think what I am most grateful for now is my family and all of you. Thank you for your love and support. I mean it when I say I wouldn't be here without you.

We committed 3 people to baptism this week, all women. Their names are Thandeka, Nati, and Sibongile. The first 2 are planned for Dec. 11th and the next is Dec. 18th. They came to church yesterday and luckily the other missionaries were having a baptism so they were able to watch. They loved it and are anxiously awaiting their turn to be baptized. As missionaries we are thrilled, but we know the work does not stop there. We must continue to find people to teach so that as many people as possible can feel Heavenly Father's love and know he is there for them.

Joshua 3:5 says, "And Joshua said unto the people, sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you". As we prepare ourselves and try to be more loving and charitable like Jesus Christ, we will see miracles worked in our life. I saw one the other day. It was raining and none of the lessons we taught were going well. We were walking though a very poor area and it was muddy. After leaving a house, we saw a rainbow, the one in the picture I sent. That rainbow comforted us because it felt like God sent it exactly for us. It gave us strength and told us to keep going. Never give up!

Also my new favorite church song is Homeward Bound by Mormon Tabernacle Choir so you should listen to it. (See lyrics and video below.)

Lots of love,
Elder LaHue

Homeward Bound 

In the quiet misty morning, when the moon has gone to bed,
When the sparrows stop their singing and the sky is clear and red,
When the summer’s ceased its gleaming, when the corn is past its prime,
When adventure’s lost its meaning, I’ll be homeward bound in time.
Bind me not to the pasture. Chain me not to the plow.
Set me free to find my calling and I’ll return to you somehow.
If you find it’s me you’re missing, if you’re hoping I’ll return,
To your thought I’ll soon be list’ning; in the road I’ll stop and turn.
Then the wind will set me racing as my journey nears its end,
And the path I’ll be retracing when I’m homeward bound again.
Bind me not to the pasture. Chain me not to the plow.
Set me free to find my calling and I’ll return to you somehow.
In the quiet misty morning when the moon has gone to bed,
When the sparrows stop their singing, I’ll be homeward bound again.
 






Monday, November 21, 2016

Rocklands 2 Area - Week 4





Hello again! I don't have very much time but I do have pictures and an uplifting message. 

A scripture that I really like is in Ecclesiastes 3:1, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose in heaven". Patience is one big thing I would like to work on. There is a time and a place for everything, and we often want it to be now. But Heavenly Father has a specific plan for us, and he will keep us in good hands.

It has been a very busy and long week. We teach several lessons a day, and talk to people we see when we don't have lessons. It is very tiring. Luckily, I seem to always have just enough strength to keep going. Right before I want to give up God gives me that extra ounce of energy. Right now, two years seems like an extremely long time. But if I look at it in the eternal scheme of things, it is just a small dot on the road of life.

The people here are beyond wonderful. They let you into your homes without even knowing you. They offer you something to drink, even when they live in a small house with barely any food to survive. Not to say that everyone is poor, however. Almost every person I have met has a strong belief in Jesus Christ. We get to speak English, and we even have a car. What more could I ask for?!

Look forward in faith.
Love, 
Elder LaHue





Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 3 - SOUTH AFRICA



Elder Dos Santos and Elder LaHue in the Rocklands 2 Area

I am safe!! This has been the craziest few days of my life. Let me tell you all about it.

It took me 3 days to make it to my house. I flew from Salt Lake City to Atlanta. Then I took a 15 hour flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg, South Africa. My flight to Durban got delayed so I arrived at the mission home at around midnight of my second day traveling. First of all the airports are super sketchy. People walk up to you and follow you around and ask for money. I was scared out of my mind when I first arrived. The city of Durban is huge. Several million people live there! I got there at night so I could see all the lights and it's nothing like what you would expect Africa to look like. Before I left in the morning, my mission president, President Thompson, took me driving. Since they drive on the left side of the road here it was both awesome and scary at the same time. I drove on the freeway as well. I don't understand any of the traffic rules here. Also, the taxi drivers are crazy and don't obey the law and run red lights and stuff. Crazy.

After I drove I found out I would be taking a 10 hour bus ride to my first area. Fun stuff. Luckily, I met up with my trainer at the bus station. His name is Elder Dos Santos from Mozambique. He is an amazing guy and he is always smiling. Also, he is younger than me so it's kind of funny that he is training me. His English is so well, even though he learned it on his mission. He originally speaks Portuguese. We got to know each other very well on the bus. I was pretty delirious from traveling 3 days and the culture shock of being in Africa. On Saturday night I finally arrived to my first area.

Our area is called Rocklands 2, and we are in the city of Bloemfontein (Pronounced Bloom-fon-ten). In some places the city is nice and in others is very poor. There is a lot of trash laying around. Luckily where we live is nice and has a fence to keep out intruders. We live with 2 other Elders, Elder Leonard and Elder Wright. We all share a car which is nice as well. The people are here interesting. They are so nice, and they all will talk to you! The main problem is I have a hard time understanding most of them. They have a heavy accent, influenced by the 11 national languages of South Africa. The people at church are absolutely wonderful. They speak English and Sotho (Pronounced Soo-thoo). I am trying to pick up on some of the language but I am not really getting anywhere. I am still adjusting to African food; they feed you a ton. These are some of the nicest people I have ever met.

When we sing in church it's normal church hymns but it sounds more like soulful music. There is no piano playing. I actually really like it. The spirit inside our church building when we sing is so powerful, maybe even more than when we sang at the MTC. I am definitely blessed to be here and in this ward. One interesting thing is that every Sunday a set of missionaries speaks on the radio at 6am for about 30 minutes. Maybe I'll get to be on African radio!!

Everyone here calls me Elder LA-HOO-EY which is really funny to me. In one of the languages here the way they pronounce my name means "white person". They have a special handshake here which is cool. Also, the missionaries here say "POWER" all the time except it's pronounced "pow-wah". I don't know why but it's fun to say. When we talk to people instead of saying "good" we say "POWER". Fun times.

One thing that Elder Dos Santos said to me that really stuck out is "love keeps me on my mission". I am already beginning to develop a strong love for the people and culture here.

I love you all! I could only send one picture because of the slow internet but I think we are going somewhere better next week.

Love,
Elder LA-HOO-EY

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Durban Mission Home

There are two posts on the Mission blog  regarding Elder LaHue's assignment to his new area.

New Companions

New Elders Depart

Tomorrow we'll hear from Elder LaHue about all of the traveling he's done the past few days.

Mama LaHue

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Arriving in South Africa



Elder LaHue flew to Durban, South Africa on Thursday, November 10th and late Friday, November 11th. Total traveling hours = 26.

The mission home posted pics and more info  on their blog. Links are below.

Elder LaHue's Arrival

Traditions

We'll learn all about his traveling adventure on Monday when he can send an email.

A big thanks to all who have supported Elder LaHue on this journey.

Love,
Mama LaHue

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Missionary Training Center, Provo, Utah - Week 2





Elder LaHue with Elder and Sister Danley
Hello everyone! I'll keep this email brief because I leave for Africa in 2 days and I'm running around trying to get everything packed and ready.

President Russell M. Nelson spoke last Tuesday night at the devotional. It was the first time I've ever seen an apostle in real life so it was a pretty huge deal for me. I have about 3 pages of notes written just from his talk. The biggest point I took away from it was a message of hope and strength. He spoke about the power of missionary work and it made me feel so grateful to be in the MTC. Also, our whole district sung in the MTC choir in front of President Nelson. We sang "Praise to the Man". It was so awesome.

This whole week has been a huge blur. All of the days blend together. If I didn't write in my journal, I wouldn't be able to remember anything. We are getting better at teaching, but mostly understanding people. This girl we taught shared with us that she had felt like God had deserted her in her life and left her alone. It was a humbling experience to see all that she had gone through. I think we have all felt like that in some point of our lives. However, everything happens for a reason. Like my companion said, "God sends us storms to wake us up". Regardless of how far off the path we feel we have gone, or how undeserving we feel of His love, He is there and listening. You can have a lasting relationship with Him, like with our own fathers. 

See you in Africa!
Elder LaHue





Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Missionary Training Center, Provo, Utah - Week 1




Elder LaHue with Elder Phelps and a pair of sister missionaries at the Provo Temple.


Hi everyone! I made it through my first week at the MTC!! It has definitely been an up and down experience. The flight up here was awful because I was super stressed and not used to wearing a white shirt and tie 24/7. As soon as I arrived here I walked into the front entrance and instantly felt peace and security. We immediately jumped into orientation and there was no time to pack our bags.


We are constantly moving, either in classes or going to eat in the cafeteria. The meals are too close together in my opinion and they hurt my stomach. The classes are awesome. We are learning how to teach people and communicate well and let them know we love and care about them. It is really hard, however, and takes tons of practice. And we are ALWAYS tired. We wake up at 6 and go to bed at 10:30 and there is never time to stop and rest. The only time we get a real break besides bathroom breaks is an hour of exercise time each day. 

When I arrived I was assigned my companion, which is basically your partner in teaching that you are always with. His name is Elder Phelps. Hopefully you can point him out in the pictures but he is usually right next to me. The first day he barely said a word but he is so nice and has a sweet spirit about him. He has since opened up to me and we get along very well. We are learning how to teach in unity with each other and it is going well for the most part. As a companionship we are placed in a group of missionaries, called a district. Our district consists of 3 pairs of Elders and 2 pairs of Sisters, so basically 6 guys and 4 girls. We get along like a really tight family. All of us love each other so much even though we have only known each other for a week. We laugh and joke a lot and are happy together. Plus we can really feel that love and spirit when we are in class together. I am going to miss all of them when we leave the MTC. Since they are all going to serve in the US except me, I am leaving 6 days before them, on November 10th. Then I fly to Africa!!


Elder LaHue (center) with his MTC district


Here at the MTC, part of what we do is teach "investigators" that want to learn more about the church. It is really hard, because sometimes we stumble and don't know what to say and they seem disinterested. However, there are times when Elder Phelps and I are in tune with each other's thoughts and we teach really well. When that happens, we can see the investigator's eyes light up and can see the happiness in their eyes. It is a powerful feeling. As we grow in experience and ability and faith, we will become much more successful teachers. It is truly a humbling experience.

I won't share too many spiritual experiences just yet, but there is one takeaway from this week that I would like to share. The most important thing we can learn as people is love. As you love your friends, family, and in my case the people you teach, they will open up to you and a lasting bond will be established. God loves you so much. He cares about you and wants what's best for you and will do everything in his power to cause joy in your life. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he died for our sins and provided us a way for us to be forgiven and be able to return to live with our Heavenly Father. God provided a path for us because he LOVES us! I know that by increasing my love for the people around me, I can grow as a person and create a positive change in the world. 

And that is why I am here.

Sincerely,
Elder LaHue