Elder Benson - South Africa Jo-Berg Mission

Elder Benson - South Africa Jo-Berg Mission

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Letter to President Dunn

Hey President!

Seeing that I'm about to head out to Rabie Ridge, I just wanted to thank you for allowing me to serve in Potch/Ikageng these past three transfers.  It's difficult to describe the experience, other than joyful.  It's been a roller coaster through it all; but looking back, I can only be grateful.

A highlight of this week was the exchange that took place on Saturday.  It was an incredible learning experience.  Elder Jorgensen went to Klerksdorp and Elder Zitumane came here.  We visited a member named Sister Bobbi.  She's truly a pioneer in Africa missionary work.  The Charchenko's have a lot of her history if you're interested.  She's been a dear friend of mine while being here in Potch.  We had an incredible visit with her that was filled with the Spirit.

Right afterwards, we went to Promosa, a township just out of Ikageng.  We were planning on visiting an investigator named Moses.  He was a powerful investigator with an extreme desire to know more about the gospel and the peace it brings.  We were going to put him on date!  However, when we arrived, we were met by his friend Njabulo, who is on date for March.  He told us that Moses has committed suicide the night before.  The news hit me pretty hard.  With the renewed faith I've come to find in the Plan of Salvation, I was at peace.  But nonetheless, I was still pretty shaken up.

Through it all, it was a big learning experience for me.  From my journal that night, I wrote this:
"The question is raised, 'How could a dear friend, who I had the privilege of teaching and blessing, who I helped spark a flame within, go from a man with hope for the future to committing himself to such a terrible end?'  To uplift and care so much for a soul in anguish is one of the most rewarding experiences one can have, for this is a glimpse into what Christ did and continues to do for all of us.  The charity that I felt for Moses was a divine gift from on high."

Through it all, I've come out on top.  I've found great strength in writing out my feelings in my journal.  I'm moving on from it all, ready to serve in Rabie Ridge and find new experiences there.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Magic Number Four

A lot of awesome things happening here in Potch/Ikageng.  Four things that are worth mentioning:

4 Months In:

It doesn't feel like I jumped on a plane to South Africa four months ago!!  It's weird seeing how much you can change in such a short amount of time!  Hopefully Africa hasn't changed me too much!

4 Weeks Left:

Four weeks left in Potchefstroom!  I can't believe that I have to leave the people in this area.  There's so much potential here!  We've recently began reteaching all of the college students who have returned from the holidays, and many are progressing nicely.  There's a lot of new investigators that we've also met in the hospital as I've played my violin for the terminally ill patients.  On top of that, the branch is growing!  We've consistently hit over sixty people in attendance over the past month, and they're all diving into missionary work!

It's definitely going to be hard for me to leave behind the people here.  Many life-long friends made and many being brought to their Savior.

4 New Investigators:

This week we've had four new investigators!!  All of them have stemmed from an investigator of ours: Njabulo.  He's a powerful human being!  He's allowing Christ to really take control of his life!  He's leaving behind his life as a full-out gangster and sengoma-believer to Christian.  He's so humble and he's on date for March 20th!

4 People on Date:

Yep!  Like just stated, we have Njabulo on date for March 20th.  There's also Verlicity (Feb. 28th), Vusi (Mar. 28th), and Torraffe (Mar. 7th).

Torraffe has quite an amazing story:

She's the daughter of a short, ugly english man and a tall, beautiful African supermodel.  They fell in love, and eventually had their first child.  They named her Torraffe; it's a mixture of tortoise and giraffe because short-and-ugly and tall-and-beautiful.  She's had a rough life after her parents divorced, and now has 5 children.  She's was looking for the true church, but she wasn't having very much success.  But one day, while she was working at Vodacom (mobile provider) when the missionaries (Elder Asay+I) walked in.  In her own words, she described them as angels walking into the room, filling the room with light.  She immediately asked them what church they belonged to, and scheduled an appointment with them.

And now here we are today, with Torraffe progressing towards the waters of baptism and Elder Benson being a very joyful missionary.

Here's a cool little acronym I learned about how to have JOY:


As we put others before ourselves, but most importantly put Christ first in our life, we will find greater healing, greater satisfaction, and greater JOY in our lives.  He descended below us all; all we have to do is allow Him to lift us higher.

-Elder Benson

PS Pray for me!! Next week, cow intestine and chicken feet are on the menu!!