Sunday, May 5, 2013

2 1/2 Years Later

A Guest Post From Michael: It has now been two and a half years since I returned from my mission. Everyday I am blessed by the experience I had serving on my mission. The lessons I learned and people I met are forever etched in my memory. Perhaps one of the greatest blessings that I ever had was being able to meet one of my good friends in South Africa, Nkululeko Somacala. It all began one day when I was teaching a lesson in Sunday School at Church in the Hospital View Ward in Tembisa, South Africa. During the this lesson I notice a stranger sitting in the back. He had a scarf covering the bottom half of his face, and the half of his face that was visible appeared to not be very happy about something. About midway through the lesson the young man asked a question "Why can't Mormons marry people who aren't members of the church?" It was pretty easy to figure out the source of his anger and after the lesson when we had a moment to talk he explained that he had been dating a member of the church but she wouldn't let the relationship get too serious because he wasn't a member of he church. We were then able to explain about temples and how in the church we believe that families can be together forever. Finally, I asked if we could come by and talk a little bit more about the church, he reluctantly accepted my invitation. A few days later we met up and began to teach him about the restoration. The lesson went alright, but I still wasn't sure if this guy was really sincere or not. However, something changed between that day and the next day that we taught him. First of all, he beat us to the church house for our meeting by 15 minutes and gave us a hard time for being late. During this second appointment he was active in the readings and he was eager to learn more. Every subsequent lesson continued like this until the day that Nkululeko was baptized. Later on, when I had an opportunity to ask him what happened that caused the change he told me that his experience in reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration of the Gospel changed him, he told me that the life that he had no desire for the life he lived before and wanted only to serve god. A few weeks ago I got an email from Elder Nkuleleko Somacala of the South Africa Cape Town Mission. He excitedly told me that he was fourteen months into his mission, was loving every minute of it, and recently had been called to be a zone leader. The joy that this message brought to my heart was perhaps the greatest I have experienced in my life. I will forever be grateful for the the decision I made almost 5 years ago to serve the lord as a full-time missionary. Through me the lord was not only able to bless the people I contacted directly but now the hundreds that people like Nkuleleko teach everyday. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Since his mission Michael has been going to school at Boise State University. In January of 2012 he married his beautiful wife Valerie. During his free time he enjoys playing soccer, making music, and writing for a website that specializes in selling leather scripture cases online.