Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017

Hello Everyone!

Time really flies! Tomorrow I'll be 8 months...... 1/3 done with mission and it flies way too fast. Elder Reedy and I are tearing it up here in KwaMagxaki.

We've got 3 brothers who are progressing towards baptism and will hopefully be baptised this Sunday if all goes well with interviews! It's awesome finding potential priesthood holders and seeing them progress towards baptism because they all have the possibility of being future missionaries!

Monday as a district we had a taco day so we all went to the zone leaders and we made tacos, they were nice. 

Elder Reedy and I have been cooking and baking like mad, It's been fun- we've made bread, muffins, cookies, curry with chicken and veg, french toast, among several other awesome meals, and we've been staying in budget which is always a bonus. 

We have been also working on finding new investigators and we've seen much success in our efforts. We've been working closely with members lately to get referrals and within the past two weeks we've probably received over 40. And the best part is, is that from them we have over 10 new progressing investigators that are all potential priesthood holders of all ages. It's amazing to see the work move forward and I'm praying president will let me stay another transfer with elder reedy so I can see the work continue. 

There is a talk I studied for a district meeting by Elder Bruce R. McConkie about reactivating less active elders called, Only an Elder. But there was a part that really stuck out about the work that we are doing as missionaries. It talked about how we have all been placed where we are in the Lord's vineyard, whether at home or away, to call back the lost sheep. Here is a portion-

"What is an elder? An elder is a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ. He holds the holy Melchizedek Priesthood. He is commissioned to stand in the place and stead of his Master—who is the Chief Elder—in ministering to his fellowmen. He is the Lord’s agent. His appointment is to preach the gospel and perfect the Saints.

What is an elder? He is a shepherd, a shepherd serving in the sheepfold of the Good Shepherd. It is written: “And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.” (Ezek. 34:31.) It is also written, and that by Peter, the first elder in his day: “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder. … 

“Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

“Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 

“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1 Pet. 5:1–4; italics added.) Know this: elders, who are standing ministers in the Lord’s kingdom, are appointed to feed the flock of God, to take the oversight of the flock, to be examples to the flock. 

What is an elder? “And now come, saith the Lord, by the Spirit, unto the elders of his church, and let us reason together. …

“Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this question—unto what were ye ordained? 

“To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth.” (D&C 50:10, 13–14; italics added.)

An elder is the Lord’s representative sent forth to teach his gospel for the salvation of men.

Who can measure the worth, the infinite worth, of a soul, a soul for whom Christ died? And yet, is not the soul of an elder worth even more, for an elder is his minister to bring many infinitely precious souls unto him in the kingdom of his Father. Do all the elders feed the flock of God, take the oversight thereof, and stand as examples to the others in the sheepfold? Hear the prophetic answer:

“Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

“The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost. … 

“[Therefore], thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand.” (Ezek. 34:2, 4, 10; italics added.)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth. It is not a democracy, not a republic, not an oligarchy, not a dictatorship, not any form of government except a kingdom. It operates from the top down. The Lord speaks, and his servants obey. The elders go forth, and the people are taught.

Our great need, the charge that is laid upon us, is to perfect the elders so they can feed the flock, lest the sheep perish for want of the word of God. The number one need within the Church today is to reclaim the elders so they, in turn, can “feed the flock of God.”"

We need to feed each of our "little flocks" we have been placed with. God requires them at our hand. It's an important work that each and every member of the church is involved in- To help others come unto Christ; by helping them the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End.

Until next week!

Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017

Wow! Time flies, another transfer over and a new one beginning, with Elder Reedy! It's awesome because it's another home boy from Ivins UT although he has lived all over. He's lived most of his life in Scotland, Angola, and England, so he has some cool stories. We get along super well and it's going to be fun to see how everything goes this transfer. He's good at baking too... which is a bonus. 

Monday was a chill p-day and Elder Greengrass and myself finished our song. 

Tuesday we had 4 dinner appointments since it was Elder Milne's last day; 12, 2, 5:30, and 7, needless to say I feel fat..... oh well, such is life. 

Wednesday was a very early morning. We got up at 4 and took Elder Milne to catch his flight to East London. He'll be serving in Mdansane. I think he'll have a fun time there. It's a powerful area. 

Once Elder Reedy got in we got him settled in our giant house..... only 2 of us now that Zwide is closed..... 

We've been working super hard since he got here. We've been focusing on improving our relationship with members so they can help us more in the work. We got tons of referrals this week and have been contacting a lot of new people. We want to baptise potential priesthood holders to further strengthen the church here. We've already had success in finding a few and having a few progress towards baptism. Hopefully we'll have some baptisms in the next few weeks. We had 50 lessons total this week which was powerful so hopefully hard work like that can continue further as we work together.  

It's an interesting experience being a District Leader now and it's awesome to get to know the district better. Elder Ondracek and Lillback are the coolest guys and they have such a funny companionship and personalities. It's fun working with them and spending more time with them.

Sorry for the short update this week, public holiday and short on time so until next week! Thanks for all the love and support! 

Elder Smith
Elders Milne and Lane's last night at the Vena Family in Motherwell

Elder Reedy and Me

Us and Mzi
"Raise Yourself" with written and sung by Elder Greengrass with help from Elder Smith

Monday, April 10, 2017

April 10, 2017

Week 6 of the transfer over and now week one of my 6th transfer on mission! It's crazy! I'll be getting my new companion, Elder Reedy, this coming Wednesday! I'm super excited to work with him and from the times I've met him already I think we're going to have a good time together. I'm going to miss Elder Milne though, he was a work horse and loved to get things done but I'm sure KwaMagxaki will still be fine. I'll also be the new District Leader for Uitenhage and my district will only have 4 elders now that Zwide is shut down. My other district members are Elders Ondracek and Lillback. 

This week has been a busy week wrapping up things with Elder Milne. First off we started back in March with a diet/exercise program; needless to say results have been, consistent, but not much loss, the only thing we've done is gain and settle again..... oh well, we tried. Didn't help that I had the flu this past week. It always stinks being sick on mission, but- the work must still go forward. 

We've been working hard with several of our investigators and what was awesome is that Amanda was able to find answers to her questions at the session of conference she came to where Elder Holland spoke. Elder Holland's talk was awesome if any of you haven't heard or read it. Because of it she has committed to baptism towards the end of this month and it'll be awesome to see her progress! 

Mama Yalolo's sister we've also been teaching and she's been seeking an answer whether the church is true or not and it'd been a few days since we had last seen her. When we saw her we followed up and she said she needs to start the process of leaving her church because she got an answer the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. It was pretty powerful. We'll be setting a baptismal date with her soon.

We've been taking "Carrot" and "Bean" with us fellowshipping lately (Phillip and Khanyiso). Haha they are funny guys. They gave each other those names because they both love working out at Khanyiso's gym and all Phillip does is upper body so he's a carrot and Khanyiso doesn't really bulk so he is bean. haha. These guys.... they are powerful fellowshippers though. Even though they are recent converts they bear powerful testimonies, refer us to new people, and even walk with our investigators to church. These guys are the best! We're working with each of them so they can both go on mission and it'd be awesome to see where they each are a year or two from now. 

We've also been teaching Khanyiso's sister and cousins and they are fun investigators. They actually read the Book of Mormon and even though they struggle to understand at times, they keep commitments and are pretty powerful. 

It's going to be fun to see what this next transfer has in store with Elder Reedy! Until next week!

Elder Smith 

Khanyiso and Phillip, the best fellowshipper/recent converts ever!

Khanyiso's sister and cousins


Mega Bed

Elder Milne and Phillip arm wrestling... I think Phillip has him beat haha. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

April 3, 2017

This week was great, 

Last Monday Elder Greengrass and myself did some more recording on our song so pretty low key....

Tuesday through Friday we were busy teaching and teaching a lot of people. Mpumi is a new investigator and she is progressing very well. She was able to find answers to her prayers and hopefully she keeps progressing. Our other progressing investigators Aphelele and Jr are also progressing well and both made it to one of the sessions of conference which was awesome!

This week we've really been pushing that our investigators, recent converts, less actives, and members come to conference with a question, and pray that it might be able to be answered in conference and those who went we will be following up with and it'll be cool to see how that goes. 

Leading to, Saturday and Sunday! Some of the best days on mission are Conference! Saturdayevening we were able to watch the Saturday Morning live and Sunday we were able to watch the Saturday Afternoon and Priesthood tape delay, and Sunday Morning live!  It was two days full of conference and although I still haven't seen Sunday Afternoon, I learned so much from this conference. 

Many of the Key Points I saw across the sessions in this conference were

1 Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God
2 The Plan of Salvation
3 The Holy Ghost, the third member of the Godhead
4 Building a future sin resistant generation
5 The importance of Family History Work
6 Having faith

(now these are just some of the many notes I chalked up but in brief I will mention)

First of all,

Jesus is the Christ. He is the central figure of God the Father's eternal plan. Through his pre-mortal, mortal, and ante-mortal existence, he was chosen to be The Saviour of ALL mankind. He performed the atonement in which he took upon himself the sins, infirmities, tribulations, and all other things pertaining to this mortal estate in which we now abide (which in it's entirety is an eternal and infinite atonement). Through His resurrection on the third day, we all have the promise of a resurrected, immoral body, and through our actions, have the opportunity to achieve all that the Father has, which is the Father's purpose, to bring to pass the immortality AND eternal life of man; where we will abide with the Saviour Jesus Christ and the Father in the celestial kingdom.

Read Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage and The Living Christ by former and many living Prophets and Apostles. 

Through faith in Jesus Christ and acting on that faith, the Holy Ghost will provide power, and a sure testimony to Christ; of who he was and what he did. As we recognize and act on our first impressions of the spirit, we will draw closer in our testimony and love of Jesus Christ.

Because of us our deceased ancestors have access to the enabling power of the atonement and through proxy we are able to be "saviours on mount Zion" for them as we make sacred covenants and promises for and in behalf of them in sacred temples of God. There is not a more important work. If you are not doing it, Do It. Don't be a weak link in the chain, because you might be the only one capable and blessed with the time, talent, and energy to do it. 

As we are to be of help to our ancestors we have as much need to raise our children to become a sin resistant generation. As a future parent (myself) and as parents, children must learn and grow and develop their own testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as early as possible. As we provide examples for them they will follow our light, and as light builds upon light, until the perfect day, our children will be armed with the light and gospel of Jesus Christ. They will be prepared to face the challenges, temptations and wickedness of the world. 

Conference truly holds the words of God, if you haven't watched it, watch it. If you don't want to watch it, watch it. If you don't think you have time, make time. The words of the Prophet and Apostles were prepared for us in this day in age, as we learn and grow from them, we will be better prepared to walk the difficult path back to our Heavenly Father.

Until Next Week! 
Elder Smith 
Coolest kid in the township!

Khanyiso and his sister and cousin

Conference Time!
VW Factory Tour