Elder Benson - South Africa Jo-Berg Mission

Elder Benson - South Africa Jo-Berg Mission

Monday, January 11, 2016

Ultimate Challenge: Contacting While Being Mugged

Another event checked off of the bucket list!  This is even better than the dogs.  Here's the story:

Elder Jorgensen, my trainee, had a prompting to visit an investigator, so we went to the apartment complex where he lived.  We found him on his way to work, and we scheduled an appointment with him.  With nothing to do, we started contacting people on the street.  It started to get a little dark, so we were en-route back to our car when a man approached us.  He described that he was in a dire situation and needed to contact his mother.

Side-note: Even if the situation seems harmless, always follow the mission rules.

Seeing no harm in the situation, we allowed Guy #1 one phone call on the phone (that's against mission policy).  He called his "mother", and we asked for our phone back.  But Guy 1 ignored us and proceeded to walk down the street to where his "mother" was waiting.  We attempted to regain control over our phone, to which he continued to protest and walked into an alley right next to us.  Not two steps into the alley, I stepped in front of him and told him to stop.  He puts the phone in his pocket and tells us to calm down.  Guy #2 walks into the alley from the direction we had just come from.  They begin to converse in their own language, and we noticed that Guy 2 was playing with something in his waist belt: a knife.

Just our luck: we were getting mugged.

Guy 1 asked for some money.  Luckily, I remembered a week prior to carry some cash in my handbook in case of robberies.  I gave the guy the 100 Rand I had in my handbook and told him it was more than plenty.  Guy 1 and Guy 2 looked pretty disappointed and asked for more.  We emptied our pockets, our handbooks, everything, with no luck.  Obviously a little irritated, Guy 1 said ,"How about we go to the ATM?"

They began to lead us to the ATM just 50 meters down the road.  Me, being a missionary and trying not to make a scene, gave Guy 2 a pass-along card.  He asked what it was and I explained that it was a pass-along card.  He looked curious and then asked what we did as missionaries.  I told him that we testify of Jesus Christ and we help people draw closer to him.  I quickly took out another 150 Rand and gave it to the guys.  Guy 1 proceeded to leave, but Guy 2 said that he'd give the number a call.

I feel that regardless if we had given the guys our phone, we would've been robbed one way or another.  But this made the whole situation a whole lot worse because we disobeyed one of the mission rules, even though it seemed like it was for a righteous cause.

To my future missionaries out there: don't break any mission rules.  There are here for your protection.  I feel so blessed to be protected while out in the mission field, but I feel bad for justifying a simple rule.

On the bright side, I only lost 250 rand, which is around 20 american dollars.  But that's a whole week of my allotment so I'll be living off of instant dinners for a while!!  My son is pretty shaken up by the whole thing, but I'm doing good so no need to worry about me.  We've received calls from President, The Zone Leaders, and many other Church Representatives to help us out.  I'm really glad it happened actually!  It taught me a lesson, allowed me to check off being mugged on my bucket list, and gave us a chance to do some contacting.

Don't have any time left to write about everything else.  I love you all!  Stay safe, stay strong, stay true.

-Elder Benson

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