Monday, October 16, 2017

Makadii Week 89!

Hello! Another week gone, this one was very hot.

We had another good week and ended it with the baptisms of Precious and Makanaka, two young girls. They are the daughters of a long time member, Sister Patience. She was inactive for 10 or more years after being baptized in Bulawayo in 2005, but we found her in Kadoma about 1 month ago. She came to church with her 3 girls, and told us she wanted the two oldest girls to be baptized, and we were able to reactivate the mother and teach and baptize her two children. The last born is just 8 months old, but Precious and Maka were both of age for baptism. It was cool to help this family come back and make their covenants. Sis Patience is now a strong member and is one of the very few members there before the start of the Sacrament. It is cool to see the spirit work on people like her, and how she went from inactivity to full activity again. :) The girls were excited to be baptized and are doing super well.

We had yet another wonderful week with 16 investigators at church! We will be having a marriage/wedding at the chapel this Saturday, and a baptsim of 5 people on Sunday. 3 straight weeks of baptisms can be stressful, but were so glad that all things are working out. More about the upcoming baptismal candidates next week! :) Their names are: Talent, Beven, Kudakwashe, Br. Chirenda, and Valentine. It will be a busy and fun-filled week for us in Kadoma! :)

The zone conference in Gweru went well and my training was a success. I ended up doing it in front of only a smal group of missionaries, but it was still ok. Crazy to think that I have only 1 to 2 more zone conferences left on my mission! The drive there and back was very smooth. We have 3 weeks left in the transfer and we will be busy with baptisms, exchanges, and interviews in the zone. Should be great! :)

The weather was very very hot this week, and the rain we did have was very short lived. We will have to wait for another month or so for the real rain to start. All is well and the work is progressing. WIth 13 weeks remaining, I am just doing my best to enjoy Zimbabwe while I can. Things are a bit crazy with food prices in the stores going up a lot, but it hasn't affected us too much yet. 

I love you all so much and wish you a wonderful week! :) Go Pokes!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Makadii Week 88!

Hello everyone! Not too much to report today, but I will do my best to fill you in. 

We ended the week by watching all of the sessions of conference and it went well. I really enjoyed the talks and the conference was very uplifting. It is very weird that I will be home for the next conference in April. After the conference sessions on Sunday we had a baptism for two of our investigators, Sekai and Sibongile. The baptism went well, Elder Byrom and I both performed one baptism each. It was a great end to the week. Another huge blessing this week was that we had 19 investigators attend conference on Sunday. It is by far the highest attendance that I have had on my mission in just one unit. It was a blessed day and the future is bright. Things are moving along quite well here in Kadoma. We have 2 more baptisms coming up this weekend, and then 4 baptisms next weekend. :) 

My 12th MLC in Harare went well on Tuesday and the mission is near 1700 baptisms right now for the year. We have to average around 120 baptisms these last 3 months to hit our goal of 2000. We are going to hit it for sure. Lots of miracles in Zimbabwe this year. This week we have a zone conference and some baptismal interviews. Should be a good week! I am giving my first training at Zone Conference this week, after 12 months as a ZL, this is my first time to give a training at a conference. Should be sweet! :) 

The weather this week was very suprising in Zimbabwe. We had cloudy weather and rainfall. I was very happy that the sun was behind the clouds. I am getting worried to return home in the heart of winter in January. I don't even remember what a Wyoming winter really is. haha :)

One of my favorite talks from conference was Elder Cook. The focus was on humilty and I learned a lot. Humilty really is the key to so many things, and I am realy trying to be humble always. It is something I have struggled with at different times in my life but the Lord is teaching me a lot right now about being humble and accepting his will. 

I love you all and wish you all the best this week. Go Pokes! :) 

On to another week!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Makadii Week 87!

Hello again everyone! :)
I am in Harare yet again for my 12th Mission Leadership Council. This now my 12th month, 1 full year as a Zone Leader. I am one of the 3 oldest members of the council now, so it is a bit weird to think that the younger missionaries are now looking up to me. The drive from Kadoma was good this morning and not many problems. Officially 15 weeks to go, 3 full months and 2 weeks. 2017 is in it's closing stages already!
This past week went well in Kadoma. Gogo Martha was confirmed yesterday and is doing well. We now have 8 people on baptismal date for this month, and all are doing well. We will be having a busy next few weeks with baptisms scheduled for the 8th, 15th, and 22nd of October. We have some really great people we are teaching and we are always doing our best to find more to prepare for more success in November as well. Sekai and Sibongile will be baptized this Sunday after we view the General Conference. Should be awesome! More info about the other investigators getting baptized later will be in next weeks email. We are blessed and are looking forward to much success in October! :)
I realized today that I now have only 3 more fast Sunday's away from home. Pretty crazy actually. We were able to watch most of the Priesthood session yesterday after church, we had Fast Sunday yesterday while many of you were watching conference, but the electricity went out in the middle of President Eyring's talk. I really enjoyed President Uchtdorf's talk.

My first temple recommend expired this past Saturday so I will be having an interview this week with President Mkhabela to renew it. Kinda crazy that it has been 2 years already.

I don't have much to say this week, I am just thankful for all of my blessings and for the many experiences that I have had. These next 5 weeks will be full of miracles for Elder Byrom and I, and I hope and pray that all will go well with our investigators and that the work may proceed.
I love you all and wish you a wonderful week! :) Go Pokes!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Makadii Week 86!

One transfer ends and another begins!

I recieved the news that I will remain in Kadoma as a ZL with Elder Byrom. He is only my 4th companion out of 11 that I have stayed with for more than one transfer. It should be a successful transfer. We had 11 investigators at church this week, so the future is bright. We also have 7 people on a baptismal date for October, so the transfer will be filled with many lessons and preparations. 

We ended the week and the transfer with a baptism! Gogo Martha was baptized! She is such an awesome lady and I have really enjoyed teaching her and seeing the spirit work with her. She is the grandmother of Sister Ndhlovu, who I was in the MTC with. She came home last transfer and gave us Martha as a refferal. She progressed and was baptized! :) It was unique because of her age that two of us were needed in the font when she was baptized. She has some wrist and limb problems so we made sure she didn't fall. Elder Byrom and I were both in white with her this time. A cool experience! 

We had a pretty normal week with exchanges, lessons, and interviews. We have seen some great progress with those we are teaching and many miracles are coming our way. General Conference is coming up and I am excited to view my last Conference as a full-time missionary! We are viewing the sessions a week later. 

Lot's of work to do and Week 1 of my 15th transfer is underway. I, along with the 4 other elders in my group, am the oldest/most experienced missionary in the mission as of right now. The crazy thing is, no other elder in ZHM is finishing his mission before me. I am the next elder to go home. Pretty crazy that I have made it this far. 16 weeks left, with at least 6 of them being in Kadoma yet again. 

I love you all and wish you the best! Have an awesome week. Go Pokes! :)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Makadii Week 85!

Well, the final week of the transfer has arrived yet again!
This past week went well, and we saw some miracles. We had 7 investigators at church this week. That is the highest total we have had since I arrived in Kadoma 11 weeks ago. For 5 of them, it was their first time at church! Gogo Martha, and Leeroy are both doing well and are preparing to be baptized this coming weekend. We will be having 2 more baptisms to end the month of September! :) We will also be working hard this week to set some baptismal dates with the others that came to church. We have high hopes for those that came, and it looks like we will have some great success in October. Maria and Petros were both confirmed and things are going well. We are going to work to make sure we finish the last week of the transfer on a high note, and that we prepare for the next!
Today the Kadoma District had a BBQ lunch and it went well. We cooked some beef, pork and sausage, and even had some desert. Elder Byrom and I also went to the gym to lift and play some squash. I beat him 5 games to 1 today. :) Not a bad Monday.
I realized that tomorrow marks 2 years since I went through the temple for the first time back in Twin Falls, ID! Pretty crazy that it has been that long already! :)
Another week ahead of us! I will let you know the transfer news next week. With 3 transfers left, it is tough to tell what will happen and if or when I will leave Kadoma. We will find out at the end of the week!
Until then! Love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week! :) 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Makadii Week 84!

Hello everyone! :)

Another week gone by and more progress made in Kadoma! Petros and Maria were both baptized on Sunday, our first baptisms in over a month! In Zimbabwe, 1 month without a baptism is a long time. It was a great baptism and all went well. We even had 3 other investigators recieve baptismal dates this past week, and they all came to church! Another baptism is planned for the 24th of September for Martha, Leeroy, and Sekai. Our labors are starting to bring forth fruit! :) We have been busy just like usual with exchanges, and finding new people to teach. We do have a good group of new investigators from this past week, so we will continue to find, teach, and baptize. That is what a missionary does after all! I worked with Elder Porio from Austrailia on exchnages this week and learned a lot. 

Today I played another round of golf with Elder Byrom but it didn't go well for either of us. Many lost balls, and just a few nice shots here and there. Still a fun time though! :) Crazy to think that there is just one more preparation day left in this transfer. Week 5 has begun, which means there is only this week and next left until transfer news comes again. Time is moving fast. The last transfers of your mission do go by pretty fast from what I have seen. My 11th MLC meeting went well this past week and the mission is doing great things.  

One big milestone from this past week, (actually last Sunday), is the 2 year anniversary of my mission call! 2 years ago I found out that I was coming to Zimbabwe to serve for 2 years of my life. Pretty crazy for me that it was really 2 years ago. I waited for 5 months to leave for Africa, and I now have 4 1/2 months left in Africa. Crazy stuff! I am doing my best to make the most of my time here. I am missing things from home quite a bit, but I know my time is not yet done. I am always looking for the strength to keep going despite oppostion. 

This week is going to be quite busy for us. We have interviews, exchanges, and a zone conference coming up the next few days. Should be busy, but fun as well! Before I know it, the final week of the transfer will arrive. 

I love you all and wish you the best. Go Pokes! 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Makadii Week 83!

Hello again! :)
A lot of normal frustrations this week, but also miracles once again for me and the guy from England. We will be having 2 baptisms this coming weekend for Petros and Maria. They are both 16 years old and we were very blessed to find them both. To find people in Kadoma who will actually come to church on their own and for the right reasons is quite a miracle, and all has gone well in their preparation. In addition to Petros and Maria, we had a few new investigators come to church for the first time! We will be having some more baptismal dates this week for sure. We did visit many people on the member list that we didn't know, and found out quite a number of things. We found that some people had moved away, some wanted their names removed from the church, some that wanted us to come back and help them, and many of them that were inactive members. We are hoping that going through the list of members will lead us to reactivate some members and to find more through them. All in all not a bad week. When miracles happen there is not much more we can ask for! :)
One crazy thing: We contacted an older baba who stays not far from the church, and he seemed like a really cool investigator. We taught him 2 lessons thinking he was an investigator, and we came to find out later in the week after looking at the member list that he was actually already baptized into the church. When we visited him again he said that he was baptized back in the 1990's and then moved to Botswana. He has since moved back to Kadoma, but he hasn't attended church in over 10 years now, and he stays a 2 minutes walk from the chapel. Even though we won't be able to baptize him, we will still be working hard to bring him back. He has forgotten almost everything about the church, so we have lots of work to do. Just goes to show what will happen when someone is not properly fellowshipped by the members! Lesson learned.
Today we are in Harare for our monthly MLC meeting tomorrow. It will be my 11th MLC. I have been a Zone Leader for almost 1 year now! Crazy stuff. This morning we had another squash ball tournament in Kadoma but I ended up taking 2nd place this time. Elder Hamling and I had a hard fought championship match and he beat me just barely at 16-14. I had several match points but couldn't finish it off. We are having fun with Squash ball in Kadoma! :)
One awesome thing is that my investigators back in Eastview, the Mashaya family, were baptized this past week! It is a family of 5 that Elder Whiting and I found back in April. One of the most prepared families I have ever found or taught. The mother and father were legally married and baptized soon after along with 3 of their children. So sweet! I was bummed not to be there, but I was able to call the family after the baptism to extend my congrats to them. They were all so happy and they have see just how much the gospel is able to bless their lives. That's what it's all about! :) Another cool thing is that one of the converts I taught and baptized in Chegutu, Tsitsi Chinga, is finalizing her papers to serve a mission! She visited Kadoma for church on Sunday and told me all about it. It is so cool to see the chain reaction that comes from your efforts. :)
We are halfway through the transfer already and these last 3 weeks of the transfer will be full of adventure. Exchanges, interviews, baptisms, zone conference. A fun and busy 3 weeks coming up.
I love you all! Peace out until next week.