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