Serving February 4, 2015 - January 16, 2017

Serving February 4, 2015 - January 16, 2017



Sunday, August 23, 2015

Mais Uma Semana Na Africa (8-17-15)

Bom Dia, 

So this has been a good week.  I dont know if i mentioned this or not yet, but Elder Combs and I are whitewashing, and so we started the area out by dropping a bunch of people that werent proressing, then we started finding and this week we got to see a lot of the fruits of our finding.  We were able to give 8 people(4 families) baptismal dates, and they all accepted.  We also had the marriage talk with 2 of them.  They both accepted, but one of the families had a doubt about doing the marriage now.  There is huge traditions here with marriage, Lebollo, Presentation Ceremony, and the actual marriage, and it is super ridiculous, becasue it is all of the devil. I told one of the families that all this stuff was not designed to help make the marriage better, but only to hinder it, and my comp was very surprised at how direct I was.  I have learned very well how to be direct, because here if you just beat around the bush the people dont understand and it is super frustrating.  Anyways, none of them will be baptized within this transfer, but I they should be baptized next transfer, so that is super exciting.  I cant believe we are already in week 4 of this transfer, it is flying by.  On saturday we had a mormon helping hands project, it was at a school, and when we got there a bunch of kids that werent supposed to be there were using the facilities for sports, and because we cant do work in schools if there are children we  couldnt participate.  Instead president koch said, lets have a half p-day since you all came into the city, and we went and played soccer at a field near by, then they took us all out to kfc, it was pretty dope, but today we will cut our p-day a little bit to compensate.  We are finding a lot still, and it is the hardest part of missionary work, and I feel bad because my companion is struggling with it a lot, I feel super inadequate as a trainer, but I am grateful that I have the oppurtunity because it is forcing me to grow in ways that werent possible before.  I also am more tired than I have ever been in my life, I will not, and can not say that the mission is easy, but I am enjoying it, and I wake up in heaven every single, at least after I get up and going.  I am really loving it though, because I feel really comfortable with the language, and now it is just workand grind time.  I never thought is was possible to be tired spirituall, but I am feeling it a lot right now, but it is all good.  I did get to give a talk yesterday in church with about 10 minutes notice, but it was a good experience.  

I think the biggest lesson I have learned these last few weeks is about sacrifice.  I keep asking myself why sacrifice is so prevalent here, I never felt like I was sacrificing when I was back home, but I am sacrificing myself every single day, and I ask people to sacrifice to follow god every day as well, and I was really struggling with it until I was teaching a family the importance of putting God in the first place with getting married, and all the sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks.  The feeling I had reminded me of a talk by Elder Holland, where he says, "I am so convinced that Sacrifice is necessary because salvation is not a cheap experience."  In that moment my thoughts became his, and I realized that as we sacrifice we are literally doing the same thing that our Savior did for us.  We are nowhere near the level he was, but as we sacrifice, we learn a little bit about what he had to go through, even though it is smaller than a billionth of a part of what he suffered, for us it brings us that much closer to him.  And in those moments he reaches out to us and gives us his strength.  We may not sacrifice our life, we might not give our only begotten son.  But when we give up what is importance, we become as Elder Holland says, "more acquainted with the greatest person that has ever lived."  "Sacrifice brings forth the blessing of heaven," and these blessing come in the form of Him reaching down with His hand, to pick us up, when the sacrifice knocks us off our feet.  To succor the wound of which only he knows the pain, be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.  I am so blessed because I have been set apart by His holy Priesthood, to be literally represent Him, and to be a witness of Him to this people of this blessed land.  Because of this, I am blessed because I am starting to recognize His grace, and I am seeing His hand, in my life, more so than I have yet witnessed.  Is the mission hard?  Without the slightest shadow of a doubt.  It is the biggest sacrifice I have yet made in my entire life.  Yet, through this sacrifice I have come to know my Savior in a more personal way that I would have ever thought possible. I love you all and I miss you so much, but please do not worry about me, I am here in the only place I should be right now.  Please continue sending your prayers, we need them so much, and you could also send some pixie sticks and red vines if its not too much to ask, and if it is, just letters and emails will suffice. 

Ate O Dia Glorioso em que nos reunimos, Vosso Missionario, Amigo, e Irmao,

Elder Anthony James Holt

(Below are some pictures the family they baptized a couple of weeks ago posted on facebook for me of Anthony-Treasures for sure!)

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