Posted by: capetownelder | October 31, 2011

The Empty Box

Hello everyone and Happy Halloween! Well, there’s no Halloween here, it’s just a normal Monday 😉 Hope all is well. Namibia is still standing and the work is still moving. No more missionary visas have been approved, though, so there still remains 4 of us in this vast desert. Also

This week has been a great one! A member in the Katutura Branch referred us to a young man named Alu who is so faithful and willing to learn as much as he can about the gospel. He’s been to church twice in a row now and he was at all of our appointments this week early. In fact, he was at our Thursday appointment 20 minutes early. We teach him at the chapel since it’s more convenient for him there, so that makes the Spirit of the lessons even stronger. He is scheduled to be baptized on December 17th, my mom’s birthday 🙂

Also, to update on John from the blog post at the beginning of this month (see “The Man Who Knew No Repentance”, October 3rd 2011), he is doing very well and he came to church yesterday! So Elder Chatora and I are very excited to work with him and continue to see him progress.

Last week I shared with you some of my goals. I’d like to follow up on the goal of being more receptive to promptings of the Spirit. This is a difficult one to master, as it normally takes a lifetime, but I prayed this week to help someone in need. On Tuesday, we were driving through the township and saw a former investigator walking by a little market. We stopped the car, got out and chased her down (Now that I think about it, I’m sure the locals looking on thought it strange to see two men with badges and ties running after a helpless woman…) We talked to her for a little bit to see if she’d like any more visits from missionaries. She said yes and we went our separate ways.

On our way back to the car, I saw two women dragging a large cardboard box full of wrinkled newspaper to a big truck near the market. I kept walking, but then had the thought, “Hey! I thought you wanted opportunities to serve?” So I approached the women and asked, “Would you like some help?”

I crouched down to grab the box from the bottom as they held the top. As I anticipated the heavy lifting, I waited for my companion to come around and grab the other end. When I saw him just standing behind me I thought, “Ok…well, then I guess it’s just me and these ladies!”

I started to lift the box and immediately the women let go and for a split second I felt a tinge of panic as I thought about lifting this all by myself!…….and then I realized as I was carrying the box that it felt completely empty. It was so light, I could balance it on my pinky. After putting it in the truck for them, I thought to myself, “Oh how stupid of me! The box was as light as a feather. No wonder my companion didn’t help and the women let go!”

The two women gave their thanks and added, “Everyone else passed us by, but you two stopped to help. Thank you!” It sure made us feel good we provided a bit of service that day, but the running joke in the companionship, mainly told by Elder Chatora, is now,

“Never be afraid to provide a little service, even if it means helping two ladies put an empty cardboard box in the back of a truck.” And then he’ll look at me with this impish grin. Haha! He has said that in many lessons ever since then.

I am grateful for the gospel. It has helped me see what true conversion really is. Perhaps today you’ll do something really small…like helping two ladies put an empty cardboard box in the back of a truck, but I felt good helping out anyway. Hope you all have a great week! See ya next Monday,



  1. Your letter was “the Treat” this Halloween. Thanks so much.

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