Monday, March 21, 2016

Makadii Week 7

Hello Everyone!
Things are going great here. We actually ended up having 8 baptisms on Saturday! 8 people! I got to baptize 5 of them, and confirm 1 of them, which was a really cool experience. My first transfer was definitely a wonderful experience, and I hope we can continue to find success. Our chapel actually has a font, and lots of meetinghouses don't, so it was nice to do it inside. It's super tough to cover two wards. We are technically only assigned to Marimba Park, but we have just picked up Mufakose as well. Almost every person you talk to is willing to be taught. Any missionary here can be successful if he or she chooses to be.
We had a Zone Conference on Tuesday with the Area President Carl B. Cook of the First Quorum of the Seventy. I love Zone Conferences! My first one was awesome. It was great to learn so many new things with a bunch of other missionaries. I'm usually just with my companion, so it was really nice to be with and see some other missionaries. We were combined with another Zone, so it was pretty packed at the chapel. I got the chance to meet with President Cook one on one, I was one of the few that he met with in person. It was great to hear his advice and counsel! I learned so many new things! Also, President and Sister Ashton, my MTC President and his wife also surprised me by showing up with President Cook! It was great to see them. They asked me to give them some words of advice to take back to the MTC missionaries. I hope they take it to heart, and that I can help them.
Another highlight of the week was exchanges! Because of our baptismal interviews, which have to be done by another Elder, we switched for a day with our Zone leaders, Elder Robison, and Elder Nyamuri. I got to spend the day with Elder Robison, an American Elder from Utah, in Domboshava, which is where we play Soccer every Saturday. It is very rare to have to Americans teaching together, but it was great. It was a wonderful change of pace. Domboshava is the most beautiful place I've been to so far. It is in the country side, and it is pretty typical Africa. There are really cool huts, Zebras running around, monkeys, and everything is spread out. I hope and pray that I will get to serve there during these next 22 months. It is a special place with such special people. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see any Zebras. I was pretty bummed, but I'm sure I will see them in the future :)
My first transfer is coming to a close in a week! Pretty crazy that I only have basically 15 left to go. I can do this 15 more times, right? :) I'm learning so much everyday! Elder Milikafu isn't really training me though. There is a 12-Week program we are supposed to go through, but we have only gone through part of it. He is so far into his mission he just does things his way most of the time, which can really frustrate me. I'm learning a lot of things I can apply to my mission, and learning a lot of things I don't want to apply. He is a great guy though, and I'm still getting along with him well. He is super crazy, and super interesting. I'm just trying to be patient. Only 5 more weeks with him, though!
I'm also struggling to find things in common with some of the other missionaries. It's been tough. The other American Elders really aren't much help. I've been figuring things out on my own. All of the Utah Elders are super typical. Their views are just so different from mine, and have grown up with so many stubborn influences. I'm so glad that I am from Wyoming. The BEST state in the USA. Always has been, always will be :) Go Pokes! I hope I can find some common ground with them.
The numbers of missionaries here is going down quick! So many are leaving, and not enough are coming in. Hopefully things will still work out. Just means more work for all of us that are still here. One thing that really frustrates me is listening to missionaries who are almost done. It makes me feel like I have such a long way to go, when really it's not that bad.

A couple of cultural things:
The kids here are the cutest, and most friendly people on earth! They just come up and hug me, walk with me, and hold my hand. I love it! As a missionary, you really don't get to show affection very much, so it's great to be around kids. It makes me feel so welcome to be here. They are crazy, and fun :)
My area, Marimba/Mufakose, is much less developed than the actual city of Harare. Parts of it are fairly nice, but many of the places we go are very less developed. Everything is really dirty, and the roads are the absolute worst I've seen in a town. The houses are very small, and not very well maintained. Still, people are loving life. There are also no washers and dryers anywhere, except the transfer house. I've had to do my laundry by hand, and will probably have to most of my mission. Kind of a bummer, but when I get home I will appreciate technology even more! So should you! :)

Still haven't eaten anything crazy, but I have found a love of Sadza. I am going to make a whole Zimbabwean Sadza meal for you guys when I get home. You will love it! Also, we never use any utensils. You just use your hands :). I'm excited to show you a real Zimbabwean meal!

Today, we played soccer against another Zone. I kicked butt, scored 1 sweet goal, had 1 assist, and almost another. We beat them 7-3! :) Soccer is such a big deal here, and I'm starting to really love it. Basketball and running are still the best no doubt.
I hope all of you are doing well! I hope spring break was wonderful. You are all awesome, and know that I love you! All of you!
Even through frustration, I've found so many reasons to be happy. I'm doing and experiencing so many cool things, and this mission is making that all possible. Thanks to all of you for supporting me at this time in my life, it means so much. I hope that you all can find happiness in frustration. Just look for the good things, and don't let the bad things get to you. Heavenly Father wants you to be happy, Satan wants you to be miserable. Trust in the Lord to help you make the right choice.
I've really come to see that a mission is so much more than teaching people. Though that is our main purpose, a mission is a complete experience. It's awesome. It's also really nice to never have to worry about exams, or homework assignments! I feel bad for all of you UW students back home. Haha :)
I've decided to do a Shona Word/Phrase of the Week each week.
This week it is Pakyipa. It means: life is tough, things are tough. It's a really fun thing to say when things get awkward. The people here just laugh :)
Have a great week everyone! Know you are loved! :)
All the best...

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