Monday, April 18, 2016

Makadii Week 11

Hey everyone!

Ndeipi!? (What's up!?)
Zimbabwe is great at the moment, and this week was chalk full of wonderful experiences. The days are starting to run together more and more, and time is starting to fly. I hope things continue to move fast, but I'm doing my best to enjoy every second.
Today is independence day in Zimbabwe. Most of the shops are closed for the holiday, so there actually aren't many people in town today, which is a nice change of pace. It is so crowded here most of the time! Winter is about to start here oddly enough. The winter season here is summer for you guys, and the summer/rainy season here is winter for you guys. Winter here isn't really winter, but it does cool down. It doesn't usually rain in the winter, but the temperature is pretty calm. Nights are always the perfect temperature, at least since I've been here.  It's pretty weird, but my body has adjusted well for the most part.
A couple of cultural things:
1. They do use US currency here, but only the bills. The coins they use aren't the US coins, which is really weird to me. They have what they call bond coins instead. They are very similar to US coins, but they are different.
2. Corn is absolutely everywhere. It is called Chibage here. I eat it almost all the time, and it is considered the staple food of Zimbabwe. Sadza is made from it, people roast it, and put it into many different foods. You can't look in one direction when your outside of town without seeing fields of corn.
3. Public transportation here is mostly done by combies. They are small vans with a driver and a conductor that collects the money from people that ride. They are everywhere as well, and they all look very similar. It only costs around 50 cents, but it can be more depending on how far you are going. So far I've only had to ride in a combie twice, which I'm very thankful for. They fill them past capacity with people most of the time, so it is very hot, smelly and cramped. Most missionaries without a car have to use them, and almost everyone else here uses them anyway.
The bugs here have really died down, and they are only ever a problem at night. My mosquito net has really helped, and the fan we have helps as well. I only have a few new bites every so often. The altitude here is almost 5000 feet, so it hasn't been too big of a change. It has been super hot this week, and I'm even more tan than I was! It is supposed to continue to be hot for a while.

We got our car fixed this week. Finally! It is running very smooth now. I wouldn't say that I'm a pro with the manual yet, but I'm pretty darn good at it now. I will be getting certified to drive soon. When we were in town getting our car fixed, there was a huge protest march going on. Politics here are pretty crazy right now. Things didn't get violent, but there was a lot of yelling, and a lot of people.
The highlight of the week was going to a small zoo/game park. We were planning on seeing some elephants, which I was super excited for, but it didn't end up happening. I sure hope it happens soon! I still got to see some lions, a zebra, a leopard, and monkeys. I got to play with the monkeys, which was a blast!
On Saturday, we got to go to the baptism of the Kambuzuma branch, another area in our district. I even got to be a witness for the 4 baptisms that took place. The cool thing is that they don't have font, so they were baptized outside in a big tub! Most areas have to do their baptisms that way, which is actually pretty cool.
Zone Conference on Tuesday was also a blast. I always enjoy learning and being around other missionaries. There were a few other Zones along with ours, so it was pretty packed. I also got to give a talk in church on Sunday about missionary work. I feel like it went really well, and I got quite a few compliments. I am singing a hymn in church next week as well with a few other members. I'm excited to share my love of music and singing with others!
Soccer hasn't been happening the last few weeks, which is a bummer. I hope I get to play again soon. Today, we are planning to go to Lake Chivero to have a braii (a barbeque/cookout). It should be really fun!
Our area is going very well. Our baptism will be happening this coming Sunday, and we are planning to baptize another 8 people, if all goes well. The marriages that we have been planning will be happening in a few weeks, so that is very exciting! Our Stake is having an FSY camp this week, so many of the members are gone until next weekend, that's why our baptism was moved from Saturday to Sunday.
Our investigators are progressing well. We are currently teaching a pair of twin daughters, and their friend. Their names are Tonderai, Tafadzwa, and Tatenda. The twins are actually the daughters of a sister we baptized last month, Sister Mapingire. It is really fun to teach them, because every time we do all the kids in the neighborhood come and join the lesson. It has been a blast to see them all get involved. They are learning a lot, and if all goes as planned, they will be baptized this coming week.
I'm loving it here, and am learning so much. I still have to remind myself that I'm really in Africa sometimes. It sounds like things are going really well back home. I wish all of the college students the best of luck on their upcoming finals! I hope they go well.
I am very excited for the upcoming changes. Elder Milikafu will be leaving in a little over a week, and I really feel like I'm ready for whatever gets thrown at me. It truly is amazing how my confidence has grown in such a short time. Jesus Christ truly does help us grow, as long as we are willing to let him work in our lives.
I love you all! Keep working hard, and keep loving.

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