Monday, May 16, 2016

Makadii Week 15

Zvirisei!? How is everyone?
Things are well here, and just like past weeks, this one was very action packed, and a lot happened.
It was my first week after my 12 week training, and my first official week with my 2nd companion, Elder Takudzwa Sekerere. His last name means smile, so I call him Elder Smile. :) He is a really great guy, and he ends his mission in 11 weeks now. He has served all over Zimbabwe, but actually hasn't served in Harare until now! He is from Mabvuku, Zimbabwe, which is also part of Harare. He has been living with just his mother for most of his life, and he was baptized in 2009! He actually just finished training my MTC companion, Elder Silotile, in Bindura!
I really enjoy being around him, and just like with all of my companions, I am doing my best to see the good in him always. To be honest, he is a very tired missionary. There are many aspects of the work that he just doesn't do anymore, so it puts a ton of pressure on me to pick up the slack. The teaching is going well, but almost everything else has been up to me. Leading the area has officially opened my eyes to how hard missionary work is. When you hit week 13 on your mission, and you no longer have the mask of being trained, your whole perspective changes. I'm just doing my best to make sure things still happen. Since we are covering 2 areas and 2 wards, I sometimes feel like the responsibility of 4 missionaries is completely on my shoulders. Setting appointments, planning for our visits, and all of the indicators are done by me. I'm doing my best to push through, and fill Elder Milikafu's shoes. I hope that I have been doing that so far. Driving back and forth from the area isn't too bad, but to save gas we have had to walk a little bit more. It's not bad at all, but endurance stuff comes pretty easy to me I guess :) The first week back in the area went well, and we are trying to get some referrals from members at the moment to build up our teaching pool.
I've just come to know that every week will have ups and downs. That's just how it is, in all aspects of life, but especially on a mission.
One of the investigators that I was teaching in Glenview during my week there, Brother Gwezere, was baptized this week, along with another sister that Chidarara and Sakala had been teaching. I was very honored to be able to perform the actual baptisms for them!  It was a wonderful Saturday for me! I love putting on all the white clothes. People have started to call me John the Baptist! haha :)
The investigators in our area are doing well, and we have 2 marriages and 7 baptisms scheduled for this coming Saturday. The two marriages will be for families that I have been teaching for a long time, and I'm super excited to see them get married and baptized! I hope and pray that things will go well this week with all of the final preparations we will be doing. Please pray that things go well for us and these investigators! :)
In the next few emails, including this one, I will be including many random cultural things, from both the mission and the country. I hope you enjoy!
1. The mission language is very funny. We say fetch a lot, which we just use in place of that other word. There is also what we call a mission family. Fathers, sons, brothers, grandfathers, nephews, etc. Milikafu is my father, and I am his son. His other son, Elder Chibanda, is my brother. At first I thought it was really dumb, but I've actually started to open up to it. It's like another family away from home. :) They also have what we call dying missionaries, and missionaries being born. I was born in Marimba and Mufakose, and I have no idea where I will eventually die. Haha :) There is also what we call killing a missionary. I actually got the privilege of killing my father!
2. There is currently a cash crisis happening here in Zimbabwe. You will have to look it up to really understand. To summarize, it is very hard to find cash! The government is issuing a new currency soon, to go along with the US dollar.
3. At our house in Glenview, we have lots of bugs in the kitchen. We even had a rat in there the other day! At least the birds don't poop everywhere like the other house! The house really isn't too bad, though. I'm just looking on the bright side. :)
4. People just ride on the back of combies here, even when they are going super fast. I have no idea how they hang on sometimes! The combies are just nuts, and they drive very crazy. They usually pack it full of people. You could even be sitting on someones lap!
5. Mothers here are super cool. They carry their babies on their backs, and carry lots of stuff on their heads. I don't know how hey do it sometimes, but it's cool to see. The babies really like to chill on their backs wrapped in a blanket.
6. The phones we use, which we share with our companions are very small and very old school. There is not much technology in the mission!
7. Schools are very different here, and I don't even know very much about it to be honest. I do know they have 3 sessions a year. They go for 3 months, have 1 month off, 3 months on, 1 month off, etc. It is a very different schedule. From Pre-school up to high school they all wear uniforms. Each school is a different color, so you can tell the difference. They have what they call Form A, and Form O, but I'm not really sure what that means, haha :) Elementary school is Primary school here.
8. There are no trash cans anywhere, and also no drinking fountains. The trash is just left on the side of the road, and then it is burned. The cities just don't come and pick up peoples trash. People just have to figure out their own ways to make things work.
9. In lots of places, people walk for 30 minutes or more to come to church. It's really cool to see the commitment that people have here in Zimbabwe.
No soccer this week, but we did do some fun hiking today as a zone in Domboshava. I even got to see a giant baboon! It was really great to be out and about. It felt a lot like hiking around in Wyoming actually. You will see in the pictures that I love to rep the great state of Wyoming all the way here in Africa! :)

Happy late Mother's Day to all the mothers out there! Thanks for all you do.
Congrats to all the college graduates this past week, and also to the high school grads coming up!
I love you all so much! Please know that I am safe and well, and that I'm loving every second, even if it is tough. I know the Lord is looking out for me, and is helping many of my weaknesses become strengths. I continue to enjoy learning so much in such a short time!
Remember, any questions at all are welcomed. I will do my best to answer any that come! :) I am trying to keep you all as involved in this experience as I can.

Next week y'all!

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