Monday, November 28, 2011

Baptisms, captain cluck, Thanksgiving, rise and fall, hookups in hammanskraal, JW? Step into the thunderdome

First and foremost. We baptized! Not just any baptisms, but converts.... I mean CONVERTS. Chiedza is seriously one of the most prepared 10 year olds ever. We tracted into her and her mom. Her mom was baptized 4 years ago and lost contact with the church and Chiedza knew like everything. You would think she was like a member for 20 years. She is super shy but she just stood up and smiled and said "I'm so happy amen" Mpho Masia... man what to say about this guy. This is the text we got from him last night " Elders Robinson & Bangani. Thank you for coming into my life and for showing me the way. I promise to be humble, respect, and more importantly keep the Lord's commandments. Also to follow the Church's doctrine. May God always bless you is my prayer. Mpho" When he bore his testimony he basically said this "I don't care if all of you fall away I will NEVER leave this. I owe it to my elders, my prophet, and my God. I am so thankful to my father in heaven, and I will not let you down."

So needless to say he's branch president material and just about the most prepared person ever. I love this work.

Monday we had a missionary thanksgiving and killed some chickens and made potatoes. Captain cluck and Sara were there names and they were delicious. It was way fun there were 10 of us all together and it was just like 10 super good friends and felt like family. Elder Samoela from Madagascar thought thanksgiving is basically the sweetest thing ever and started singing the star spangled banner. I laughed like crazy.

Unfortunately this week we dropped a lot of people, but we need to focus on those who are ready. We continue to teach boldly and clearly and are still finding ridiculous success. Here are two examples....

Yesterday we taught the Mfumadi family of 11 and they had a ton of questions about the Book of Mormon. So we taught the restoration and how the apostasy happened and how today we have no remnant church. They tried to justify it where in revelation it mentions the 7 churches, but we shut that down, and went to some apostasy scriptures. We testified and then the son Thapelo got it "you mean this is the only church of Jesus Christ and all the others aren't?" Yep.... that's exactly what we mean. The mother was deeply offended so we bore testimony and said we aren't saying you are wrong or that you are lost. But this is the truth and you can know it.... Well we'll see what happens Wednesday night.

Also we taught a Jehovahs witness. I love... absolutely love confounding those guys. We sat down and asked if we could begin with a prayer. "Which God will you pray too? I pray to Jehovah..." Well we pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ. "what does Jehovah mean" Sir we know you're a Jehovah's witness... we aren't here to argue... "God is Jehovah!"... No its Jesus Christ... no no its God... Yes Yes its Christ. Then I said this "sir we can shut that down with the scriptures but we aren't here to argue, we're here to teach what we know is true." he said "prove it".... Oh YES.... Throughout my mission I was taught not to bash and I usually don't unless people literally ask for it. so in the words of Elder Holland "Never bash... but if you do... make sure you win" So it was about a 10 minute fire storm of scriptures and testimony and he simply stood up and left. Touchdown Elders... Game... Elders....

Both of these remind me of a quote by Brigham Young "He that takes offense when none is intended is a fool, he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool." We don't try to offend people, we teach the truth. the choice is then theirs. But this is true no doubt about it.

So on kind of a funny note... Sister Lebo is a single sister and we meet in her house for church. One month ago she basically told us she wasn't on the dating market. We told her Mpho was perfect for her and she just laughed and kinda pushed us away... Well they went out this week, she spoke at his baptism, they text each other every day, and even her son is saying I hate you guys because we told him this would happen... its inevitable. But in the end all it will do is build the branch and get them both to the temple. Matchmaking haha I've only done it one other time on my mission... but man its sweet haha.

So to conclude its been one awesome week. and this week looks like just more awesome. Uncle Weston I miss you too Bless those rains down in Africa.

Stay well, enjoy the leftovers, happy December in 2 days, Rabani Sindhle

Elder Robinson

Monday, November 21, 2011

The divide, the rain, primary, wheat v. tares, Mission tour

Man. I don't know what happened to the week but here is Monday again.

So first items of business this week, of our 8 baptisms 4 will be next month because of a. a family trip. b. a funeral. Yeah... tell me about it... But they'll get baptized and that's what matters.

This week we had a mission tour with Elder Cook of the 70. He gave a talk in conference about "its better to look up". We spoke a lot about the growth of the church in Africa and how there is a difference between a convert and a baptism. What Africa needs is converts. Too many fall away after just a short time and its killing us. So we spoke of covenants, commitment, and the spirit. He related it first to us as missionaries and what is expected of us, and then we spoke of the field. In Africa we have something very unique. So many willing to embrace the gospel, yet not fully committed. So its up to us to tend the garden and find the wheat, not the weeds, or tares. So this week we brought this to our investigators hard core. We were taught to tie everything to the savior and covenants. so...

Kagiso was sitting on the fence. She knows its true, but seems a bit scared to commit. So... we put our training to use. We spoke of the growth of the church, what she was capable of, what could come, the savior and how we can repent, and boom "I need this this week" Powerful

It gave me reason to reflect on my mission. I've spent 15 months in town and now nearly another 2 on the way to 3 here. In that time I haven't brought as many converts as some missionaries in township. But looking back, they were committed and are converted. None are less active. Sometimes its good to just feel you're on the right track. I have many things to do better, but its good to know at least you're on the path.

So the rains are coming, its almost December, and I'm nearly down to 6 months. Not a second to waste, find those who will be converted, build the kingdom, not your stats. and go out in a blaze of glory. that's the plan.

today is mission thanksgiving and we're about to embark in a feast of the most excellent kind. pictures to come and dijo di monate for sure.

Sala Sindhle

Elder Robinson

Monday, November 14, 2011

I will never leave this", Aren't there enough graves in Egypt!, Behold I have told you before, Our very own Priesthood, Our very own Primary‏

Man.... great week... I am utterly exhausted thank heavens for P-day but man it was such a good week.

Elder Bangani and I continued our fire this week. We have realized how much power scriptures have if you read dialogue with gusto. So this week we put it to work. We have an investigator who received her answer but is afraid to leave her church. We went to the story of Moses at the red sea with the Egyptians closing in behind and the people began to murmur. "ARE there not enough graves in Egypt! Why did you bring us here to die, we said let us Alone!" We related that to how they had seen the deliverance of the lord, the plagues, the fire from heaven, the destroying angel, and seemingly forgot about that with the sea before them. "Stand still and see the salvation of God" Boom spoken with authority and with promised blessings. here was the response "I would like to be baptized."

We had a guy this week also a pastor from Kenya who told us the book of Mormon was of Satan and that it gave people in his congregation nightmares. Boom TESTIFY. Elder Bangani came back with the earth shattering testimony and said this "If you believe the Book of Mormon is against Christ and gives nightmares what about these verses? (he went on to quote about 5) then He said, if you don't take this seriously you are a waste of our time." Boom haha. " He tried to fire back and said "you don't have the spirit!" We then crushed him by totally destroying his authority, his school of pastors and gave him the "you will be judged according to your acceptance of this book talk" Man I love it.

We're both at this point where we are starting to get missionary work and the area is blazing. I wish I would have got it like this a year ago... But then again each little bit of your mission shapes you and no one will ever live your experience. Simply you just need to grow from it, improve, take it for what it is, and make it the best to years. We're living the dream now.

Speaking of our awesome branch. Boom! This week we had 11 Melc. priesthood aged males and church and for the first time held our own priesthood meeting. It was awesome. not really your traditional meeting but just a counsel of how to grow the church and how to be better priesthood holders. I believe in the early days of the church it was probably much like that. Mpho our golden of gold-en's said "I can never leave this, even if all of you leave, I can't leave this. I will never, and I have never had anything like this." I feel we are pioneering something great and being even the smallest part of this work is nothing short of legendary. Our primary has grown to about 20 and yesterday was so fun just reading from the book of Mormon like a story book. " How come when you read the scriptures its fun" Man I love this place.

This month I have no doubt we'll get at least 5 baptisms. But 8 are possible if its supposed to happen. But regardless of that the work goes forth, we find prepared people every day, and this is the proverbial bomb dot com. Thank you good night

Elder Robinson

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"When are you leaving?", "I saw my neighbor naked and I got my answer", Mpho, other sweet stuff.‏

Good week. Really good week. We simply went to work this week and I just feel like we accomplished a ton. Like 15 months ago or so, they taught us a principle about a quadrant. You know the parallel lines and the axis ++,+-,-+,--. anyway they taught us about the quadrant of Miracles and how a positive attitude and positive effort makes it happen. So this week we made a pledge not to complain about anything, and if we ever got ditched just to tract. So boom 27 new investigators and 40 people preparing for baptism. Yeah that's what happens. Elder Bangani and I have reached a point on mission where we know what we're doing, we aren't afraid to offend people, and we have basically a blank canvas in front of us. So seriously we just go blazing. This week here are a few quotes. "If you don't give any stupid excuses and you simply trust God you can quit smoking even tonight", "How Stupid is it to receive an answer and go the opposite way?!?! Why are you killing yourself." Man its fun we're just bold with people, we teach by the Spirit, invite, and tell the truth, The Spirit does everything else.

One such example was this. We are teaching a part member family and two of the daughters are 7th day Adventist, which are like the most hard headed investigators to teach. So both are converted and know that what we are teaching is true but are hesitant to change. So the conversation to one went something like this. "What's holding you back"...... "My church is true, and your church is true." "Ok.... Have you prayed about this?" "Yeah I know its true, but I was thinking why can't I just teach my pastor about the temple and we can have our own?" hahah Elder Bangani used to be 7th day and he just was like "How will you build it? You know NOTHING about them, what will happen there? You know this is true why are you wasting your time?" Man I was laughing after that lesson haha. They are SO stubborn. But we did have a really good chat with the other girl. We invited her to be baptized on the 27th and she was like "heck no!" So once again "What's holding you back".... "My dark side".... "Where do you think those fears come from".... We went on to give the earth shattering testimony and after she was just crying and said 11th of December is my day. Then she was like "When are you leaving?" So we were like... now? Good if not I would have you take me to the river now. The spirit baby.... that's what its all about.

Also pretty funny this week was William. Sunday was fast and testimony meeting and he stood up..... Now as a missionary an investigator bearing a testimony can be the sweetest thing, or the worst thing. He started off.... "This week I received my answer about the church and the book of Mormon... its all true." (Relief flooded over me man I was happy getting my pen out to take notes for my journal.... and then he continued) "Also this week I saw my neighbor naked jumping on his fence and around his house. It was then that I learned that there are Children of Darkness and we need to have a candlelight vigil at my house" (NOOOO!!! William you were doing so good!!!! AGGGHHH!!!!) He went on for another 6 minutes or so until president told him to wrap it up... afterwards everyone was like Elders... you need to teach people how to give a testimony... eish man.... haha

We have this investigator named Mpho who is like the definition of the scripture "kept from the truth because they know not where to find it" We taught about Joseph Smith Monday. by Tuesday he had read up to Mosiah in the BOM, Wednesday he committed to live the Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity, and pay tithing, and Sunday he told us how his greatest desire is to receive the priesthood, teach with us, and convert his family and friends. Prepared? Man I love Hammanskraal. We keep running in to people who have had remote contact with the church or who are members who didn't know it was here and we had 46 people at church Sunday. we have branch application papers in, and a school is in the works. "have we not great reason to rejoice?"

So another sweet week in the land of Hammanskraal. another transfer ahead, and Christmas/ Thanksgiving just around the corner. 2012, new years resolutions, everything.... So here's a challenge. share the Book of Mormon with someone and see what happens. give it a shot, you never know what will happen.

Well time is short, So stay classy everyone, all is well in Mzansi, and I'll talk to ya in a week.

Elder Robinson

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Apostle in the house!, Baptisms, Not knowing the things beforehand what I should do.‏

Man.... Awesome week.... I know I say that a lot but man....

1st and foremost... 3/ 7 Baptisms.... Three in Hammanskraal 4 from Florida so yay! things finally came together for everyone back there and unfortunately two fell through because of a death in the family but they will be baptized this month. I had the pleasure of personally baptizing two... Jaqueline and Candice. Jaqueline is super shy but her testimony shook the house down when she talked about praying for this church to come to Hammanskraal and after one week of it being here we met her. Candice is 9 and her parents are a bit less active but she is great. She was so scared of the water though and to make matters worse it was cold... good thing I do my push ups every morning and I was able to keep her still. It kinda made me laugh because she opened her eyes and screamed under the water bringing a lot of bubbles up. But afterward she was all smiles. Awesome awesome awesome. Nothing is better than seeing people change and bear their testimonies.

Needless to say we had an Apostle visit us this week. Elder Russell M. Nelson and man it was powerful. He was joined by Elder Renlund of the 1st Quorum of the 70 and the Africa South East Area President who I know very well. Elder Renlund spoke of when he was a surgeon and operated on people whether they lived or died, he felt when he was committed to give his best he was a success regardless of the outcome. But he spoke of how sometimes after a failure in procedure and a death, he sometimes had to face the parents and he would be shattered. He related it to how we must take a step back and look at all the people as God sees them. then give our all... powerful....

Elder Nelson fried our minds with the Abrahamic Covenant and how we are fulfilling it and what blessings it yields. Man all I can say is my perspective on missionary work changed. We don't have a second.... I mean a SECOND to waste. He also spoke of the pre earth life and how we were prepared to come at this time. Which kinda led me to ponder.... I think of myself pre mission and man I was a joker... I did not take things seriously. priesthood, church, seminary, everything... and I realize how abundantly blessed I was. I kept the commandments.,... but halfheartedly.... its something that's kinda been eating me up for a while. But then I got the big picture... that prepared me to learn what I have learned now and what I yet will learn and accomplish.... I pondered on this long and hard and just this morning I had it confirmed to me that God is pleased with what I'm doing and have done. Its not about being perfect, its about getting better. I'm not going to waste my time in idle pursuits back home or taking this for granted because there is nothing better that feeling at peace with what you're doing and actually accomplishing something. Man Apostles rock... You reach a point where anything holding you back becomes abhorrent (big word of the day) to you and I've really been trying to cut any threads slowing me down so I've been doing a lot of soul searching lately. But man after these past few days I just feel ready to go out in a "blaze of glory" in the words of Bon Jovi.... So to the field. No time to waste... 8 months to go.... hoo hah

Well this commitment is burning in Hammanskraal. we're both gettin a bit old on mission but we feel like greenies still so only the best is yet to come and only awesomeness remains.

In the words of Barney Stinson... "When I start feeling down, I stop feeling down and start being awesome instead." So rather than just floating on through these next couple of months I'm going to do something awesome instead... Hopefully we don't slack... well... we won't... so buckle your seat belts and hold on to your hats and glasses.

Robani Sindhle

Elder Robinson