Elder Benson - South Africa Jo-Berg Mission

Elder Benson - South Africa Jo-Berg Mission

Monday, March 20, 2017

I Have Become a Fool

Sanibonani abangami bami!
(Hello my friends!)

Yo!  Seven months to go!  Eish!  Five transfers left!  Aaaiii man, I can't leave SA!!  I didn't think they were serious when they said that the last year of your missionary service passes away in a heartbeat.  The time is flying past us here in Soweto!  We had ten investigators turn up to church this week (most of which were women! #girlpower), four new investigators, and two frowing faces as Elder Blow is leaving Protea Glen!  Shame kakhulu!  I'm nonetheless super excited to have Elder Mkize (South African) as my new companion!

I've decided to try out song writing in the past few weeks.  I made a really nice song about growing a beard and fighting a bear (which had a solid two lines... wahoo), but I've decided to stick to writing about missionary work.  There's a fun arrangement under way, which will hopefully be coming your way.

At the beginning of last transfer, for those of you who haven't heard, I was coming out of what was the worst part of my mission, with parasites and hardship and death, and I can honestly say I'm doing great!  I'm nearly back to my normal self, besides the fact that I've become a fool!  Elder Blow can testify of the crazy companion that I am, but I'm talking about a different crazy here.

I'll just share it from Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-11), taking away the numbers to help it make a bit more sense.

"And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

And he said unto me,"My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

I have become a fool in glorying;"

Normally I wouldn't praise an apostle of the Lord for admitting that he's foolish, but Paul absolutely nailed it!  For no other reason does it make so much an impact than a few short words, namely "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."

I'm not advertising an absolute binge of two dozen donuts to become a lean, mean body-builder (although that is my dream), neither am I suggesting that we should focus on enhancing our weaknesses to become perfect beings, but I am suggesting that we all become fools in Christ!  If there's anything to gloryify and take pleasure in, it is in the Atonement of Jesus Christ!  Christ is so eager to help us, more so than we could comprehend.  If we but turn to him in weakness, then in HIm will we be made strong.

Even further it testifies in Ether 12:26-27:

"... The Lord spake unto me, saying, Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek that they shall take no advantage over your weakness;  and if men come unto me I will show them their weakness.

I give unto me weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things be strong unto them."

Now let's remember that Christ does not want to do all the work for us.  Like it says in 2 Nephi 25:26,"...We know that it is by grace we are saved, after all we can do."  Building our spiritual self-reliance is crucial in our journey towards acquiring the strength the Lord promises us.  It may be a gradual process, but it doesn't need to be an unhappy process!  I remember taking a road trip up to northern Canada with my Father.  The total driving time was over 48 hours (if I remember correctly... maybe all the driving fried my brain.), which would seem a daunting task.  But, in the words of Will Smith,"The first step is you have to say that you can."  We packed our food, downloaded our favorite comedy tracks, and started on the long road to Calgary, Canada.

Throughout the whole journey, we sang, we joked, we slept (not while driving), and we enjoyed to the end of our journey.  It didn't seem like an eternity, but seemed to be like any other normal two days in my life (besides experiencing a pretty sore behind).  Relating to our journey in life towards discipleship, we need to not only endure to the end, but enjoy to the end!  The resources to help us are endless: families, FOOD, friends, the list could go on for ages.  Don't be surprised if you hit some low points, even rock bottom in this conquest.  Because sometimes God allows you to hit rock bottom for you to realize that He is that rock, and that He hath truly descended below us all so we can be lifted up.

To conclude, become a fool in Christ.  Be perfected in Him as you enjoy to the end, eat food, and become the morally-strong person your Father in Heaven expects you to be.

I wish you all a blessed week, filled with the love and support of the Savior, surrounded by those you love and the food you love.  Salani kahle!

-Elder Benson 'Mhlongo'

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