Posted by: capetownelder | May 9, 2011

Revelation on Qogi Street

Well, howdy family and friends! It’s me again and I can’t believe Monday has arrived already.

This week was…wow, well, just something else! Appointments seemed to fall through one after a-blasted-nother. Spare time was the theme this week, and we struggled to find new people interested in the Gospel. Ruts happen in the mission field, this was just one of those weeks! But, may I share with you a marvelous experience Elder Critchfield and I had on Sunday (Mother’s Day) that showed incredible proof of God’s love for each of us.

Lately, my companion has had concerns about the subject of revelation: how it works, when it comes, where it happens, etc. These are still questions of mine, but as I’ve progressed now to my first year in the mission field, I’ve grown to understand revelation a little better. But how do I begin to explain it to my newest “mission son”? The past week I have been praying that he can understand how revelation works in his life and even have a great experience with it.

After church ends on Sundays (which is at 12:00 pm), we typically hang out at the building until our 2:00 lunch with one of the member families in the ward. I’ll play the piano while the others will talk and wait. But this particular Sunday, I told Elder Critchfield, “Let’s go and check up on a less active family and then look for some potential investigators.” He agreed that would be a better use of our time, and we headed off to our area. We visited with the family and left them with words of encouragement and a prayer.

We then drove a little ways to a neighboring street called “Qogi Street” to visit a former investigator because we had a little time left before the lunch. We went to the home and no one was there, so we headed back to the chapel.

But on our way back, I felt a very distinct urge to go back to this street. “Why?” I asked myself. “That former investigator wasn’t even home! There’s no need to go back to this street…” Just then, Elder Critchfield reached into his bag and pulled out 3 pamphlets. “I only have 3 left! Looks like we’ll have to restock when we get back to the boarding tonight.”

As I kept driving, the nagging feeling persisted. “Go back to Qogi Street,”

Up ahead was a roundabout. I now had an opportunity to turn around! I did a 180º turn and drove back to Qogi. My companion looked behind us, then looked forward and asked, “What’s going on? Where are we going now?”

“We’re going back to Qogi Street,” I said, just as confused. “I don’t know why, though.”

We arrived back where we started and parked the car. “Now what?” I asked myself. Elder Critchfield started with the first home we saw. We knocked the door, handed out the pamphlet and that was that. We then went to the second door, handed out the pamphlet, and went on our way.

“One more!” Elder Critchfield and I observed. It wasn’t until later that I realized at this point, for whatever reason, we seemed to have picked up our pace and started skipping a series of homes. We walked faster and faster until we reached a bend. A thought then came to my mind, “Let Elder Critchfield choose the next house…”

“Elder Critchfield, which house are we going to visit next?” I asked him. He looked all around him, this way and that, until finally we pointed to a house that seemed different than the rest. All of the homes were facing us, but this one was sideways. “That one!” he said. “Because it looks cool!”

Considering that to be a good enough reason for both of us to go to the doorstep, we walked through the gate and knocked the door. Then answered a 12 year old boy named Banele (Buh-nay-lay). He told us his parents weren’t home and that we should come back later in the evening. We agreed, but gave him a pamphlet anyway. Just as we started to leave, however, his parents walked in behind us and looked overjoyed at the sight of two Mulungu’s at their doorstep.

“Come in, come in!” the woman said. The husband and wife both introduced themselves as Brother and Sister Simandla. They have been members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints for many years, but when they moved to this particular home on Qogi Street from Port Elizabeth, they had no clue where the church was.

“So, we’ve been attending another church in the meantime,” Sister Simandla said. “It’s interesting to see you here today, because Banele has been asking me almost every day for the past two weeks about this church and his desire for baptism. I have sent him to other churches, but he doesn’t feel right in any of them. I believe God led you here today!” We set an appointment with the family and told them we’d be back.

When we left that home and walked towards our car, I commented to Elder Critchfield, “Now THAT is revelation. Through the Spirit, you led us to that home today at this time.” It’s no wonder we seemed to pick up our pace as we were handing out pamphlets, for who knows, we may have never even thought of going to that street again had we run out of pamphlets. Perhaps the Lord’s angels were pushing us from behind, as if to say, “Hurry! Hurry! There’s a family that needs the Gospel right now!”

What a special experience with revelation that was. That was no coincidence: out of the thousands and thousands of people and the hundreds and hundreds of homes in our area, what are the odds one out of 3 “random” houses on one “random” road happened to contain a family that was desperately searching for the church?

I am grateful to have had my testimony strengthened and to see the growth within myself and my companion in the subject of revelation. As Elder David A. Bednar explained in the most recent General Conference, revelation comes either as a sunrise (gradually, bit by bit, until it fills the land with light) or as sudden as a light switch turning on.

As God’s children, we are entitled to personal revelation, but we must first request it, then receive it, record it, respond to it, report to the Lord about it, reflect on it and rejoice that our minds have once again been enlightened by His Spirit. (The 7 R’s of Revelation). I love this Gospel and all it stands for, and hope that each of you will strive every day to seek out revelation for your own lives!

Love you all and HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Love,
Elder Matthew G. Leach
South Africa Cape Town Mission

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