13 December 2009 – Sunday
Here is a good missionary story.
I have had a feeling for a number of weeks that Khulekani Mchunu from the Enselini branch should go on a mission. He himself and others had told me that his grandmother did not want him to go and even though he was 21, without her permission he would not go. I asked Khulekani what if thought it would be OK if I went and talked to his grandmother about him going and he said it should be OK.
So on Friday before youth, I asked Khulekani if he wanted to go with me to talk to his grandmother and he said he did not want to go. So I felt that I should take President Vilane who was also there. It is a good thing that I did because it turned out that the gogo did not really understand or speak English.
To make a rather long visit short, after President Vilane told her why we were there and explained about a mission, etc., she basically said that she did not think he could go because he was the only able bodied adult male around to help her with the younger children and a disabled man who also lived there. But she said she would talk to Khulekani’s uncles to see what they had to say about it. I have to confess that I went away not felling confident that everything would work out.
The next day, Saturday, after we went to the Enseleni Christmas party, Khulekani said he would like to talk to me, but since we were just getting in the car to rush to the next party in Port Durnford, he said it could wait until Sunday after church. I asked him if his grandmother was upset because we were trying to get him on a mission. He said no that it was OK.
Sunday right after sacrament meeting – he could not wait until after the second hour – we went out to our car and talked. He said that he needed to know what to do to go on a mission. He said that when he woke up on Saturday, his granny told him that his oldest uncle who lived in Joburg had felt that he should call and talk to her. His uncle is not a member of the Church but he felt that the spirit had urged him to call. When he called she told him about our conversation on Friday and he said that he thought Khulekani should ‘go teach the gospel.’
So now he has permission and all we need to do is get his papers completed and in as soon as possible. I told him he would have to cut off his dreadlocks before he could go and he said that was not a problem and is going to get them cut off soon so he will start looking and feeling like a missionary.
He is going to need some financial help to get ready but I am sure that is no problem. What he can not afford I am sure we can help him with. It is easy to see the Lord’s hand in many ways in this story. The rock cut out of the mountain will soon fill Africa as great young men like this go out and preach the gospel.
Needless to say this made my day, but it was really frosting on an already great cake. Our morning started with PEC meeting at Esikhawini. Since most of the people were late, President Nyawo and I got to talk about a number of things and arrange for us to get together on Tuesday for some training. We talked about his vision of having a real building to meet in and I told him it could happen but he will need to lead the branch upward before it will happen.
There were very few people there for the start of Sacrament meeting but eventually over 50 arrived which is good considering that it is the time when people start going back to their home areas for the holidays.
I tried to pay careful attention to the testimonies. Some of the thoughts I wrote down included: Thank God for our family, the only way to be saved in the last days is through the gospel, without the atonement I would not be here, the leadership of this church is ordained of got, etc. The highlight of the meeting was to watch sister Tembe walk to the pulpit to give her testimony. It is something she has wanted to do since he was crippled by a beating over 3 years ago. She bore her testimony through tears in Zulu. A funny part was when Sister Mathe started to bear her testimony in Zulu but first apologized to us in English. After her I took the opportunity to bear my testimony including that I knew that the new branch presidency was called of God.
After sacrament I talked to President Nyawo about interviewing Musa for the Melchezidek Priesthood and to be made an elder so he can start to prepare to go on a mission in 6 months or so. If he can get out and Solo Mthalane goes next year, the branch can have 3 missionaries out at one time. What a blessing that would be.
We then went to Enselini for their meetings. The other Church was a little late in getting out but that was OK because there was almost no one there by noon. But as soon as there was enough PH to bless the sacrament President Vilane started the meeting only 5 minutes late. Like at Esikhawini the people continued to come in and eventually there were over 30. There were a lot of regulars missing – including Baba Justice, sister Zulu, and a lot of the young people. Also there were only about 10 primary aged children instead of the usual 30 – they came for the party yesterday but stayed home today. The good thing was that a number of investigators came.
The testimonies at Enselini tended to be more ones of gratitude than ones of actually bearing testimony. Khulekani was an exception as he bore a strong testimony of the restoration of the Church in the last days. President Vilane included a suggestion that those who have been blessed share their abundance with others.
After Sacrament I had my meeting with Khulekani, I realized I was not feeling well. My stomach had become quite upset and since Mary had not been feeling very good either, I decided we should leave a little early for home.
The rest of the day was rather laid back. I went through lots of papers looking for what might be useful for training President Nyawo. I am going to be careful and not weigh him down with lots of things at first, but he already knows that he is going to be very busy.
One thing I have not mentioned is how the Lord blessed President Nyawo at his work. Earlier I had asked him if he got the holiday season off like so many people do. He said that he did not because his magistrate worked through the holidays. When he got back to the court after being off to take his exams, he found that his magistrate had been transferred and he was assigned to another court. That court did take the month off – with pay – and he does not have to report to work until January 11th. This means he has almost a month to go out and meet with his members, study the manuals and be trained. It also means he can spend time with his wife and their new born daughter. The Lord does bless those who are willing to serve.