Friday, December 14, 2012

Our Afflictions Are Swallowed Up in the Joy of Christ–November 26, 2012

Dear Family,

Well I loved hearing from you last week and it helped me to be motivated with this area. Except right after we got done emailing and went out to our bikes, and we found them stolen. I simply laughed my head off at that, in Witbank you have to be ready for the worst i guess. We then found out that we would have to buy brand new bikes from our funds, my companion was not very happy. Still I've reached the point were I'm not letting the things like that effect me too much and have been praying hard too seek help from heaven. This area is in need of much patience and healing, something I want to give the most.

We did have many positive "tender mercies" that the lord blessed us with. Tuesday we invited the district to fast with us and then we headed out to tract for a few hours. Later we would find out it was the hottest day yet this year that we did, but we met many good people and might have planted seeds all over that neighborhood. We met two white families, both seemed invested, but were leaving for a holiday till next year. One was a beautiful family where I talked with the mom and here two boys. When I asked if we could come by and teach their ten year old started shaking his head yes over and over, I hope that turns out to be a new family. Then as we were getting ready to leave because of the heat, we were let in to teach the first lesson to a young man in his 20's named bongani. That was our only lesson all week, I started dancing and singing "We just had a lesson, We just had a lesson, we just had a lesson, and it was really great!"

The rest of the week went slowly. I studied a lot about patience and love. I read about the sons of mosiah with Alma the younger preaching to the Zoramities. It helped me to find were I could place my worries and discouragement, read Alma 31. Then we met up with our branch president, President Nish, and his first counselor, brother Piercy. Both men are great leaders and are struggling to keep their branch afloat. They gave us a branch list and went through it to identify the less actives who we might be able to reach. It came to my attention that the elders here have been working hard,but not reaching out to the needs of the area. The branch is bleeding and is desperate need of healing. They lack a sense of unity and love for each other.

This was confirmed when we had our branch conference and I got to see our branches' state for the first time. I have to say it was one of the most awkward meetings of my life. There was no sense of unity and it felt that everyone was asleep most of the meeting. I was tempted to stand up and shout WAKE UP! It was good time to see that there is great members here, they just need the fresh blood that comes from missionary involvement. I felt great love and hope for the branch as I saw their state, so much that it over came my feelings of "Why me in Witbank." The way I see it, a missionary can come here do almost nothing for their time and leave, no one would know the difference. Or one can get immersed with the branch and help them to feel the love that comes from the gospel to set the stage for new converts to be welcomed in. I want to be the later. The hardest thing is going to be our transport, I just chuck it up to allowing Heavenly father to witness our faith for the miracles we will need.

I did celebrate a mini Thanksgiving here in Africa with elder Hoffman in my district. We were on exchange for the day and remembered it was Thanksgiving, so we decided to make a huge feast and braai up a huge Texas steak. They don't sell turkey here, so meat is what we went for. Needless to say we talked about home and the memories we have of spending time with family. We really wanted to watch some football that day and feel more American. We heard that the 49'ers beat the trash out of the browns! Go San Fran! I'm sure dad was very happy. As for Christmas we have no idea, we'll be inside for three days not allowed to tract. I'm open for ideas though.

Happy Birthday to Jillian! I'm send you some pictures and there will be a card on the way soon to you in the mail. The post strikes are up again and I've only received one letter since Oct. I love you all so much:)

Love your son and brother,

Elder Jack F Dalton


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