Monday, September 26, 2016

Makadii Week 34!

Hesi! :)
It has been a busy busy week, but also a good week. As usual we had some really good things happen, as well as some disappointments. The training is going really well. I am so grateful to have a humble trainee that loves to learn. He is adjusting so well and I am enjoying my time with him. Makalio is an awesome guy!
This week I was the designated "wedding planner," for our two couples, the Mapurangas and the Chatayas. I was running around most of the week to make sure all went well for the marriages and baptisms. Buying rings, coordinating cakes and gowns! Unfortunately, even after all of my hard work, we only ended up having one of the marriages take place, and only one couple being baptized. Everything is taken care of for Nathan Chataya and his new wife Rhoda, but something unexpected came up with the Mapurangas, and their marriage and baptism have been delayed at least for the time being. We will be doing our best to resolve the situation in the coming weeks. It sucks when things like this happen, but I know it will all work out in the end. We have found some success in finding new people and families to teach, and took our number from just 4 investigators at church last week, back up to 11! We have some new people that our really promising, and we will be extending baptismal dates to them this week.I hope we can help them progress! :) As a district, we ended up having 4 baptisms with 2 fathers this week. In addition to our marriage, the other guys had one as well. The cool thing is that Elder Makalio and Whiting got to perform there first baptisms as missionaries. They did great! :) It was sure a busy, but wonderful week.
This week we also had an nice Zone Meeting in Kadoma. This coming week, on Friday, we are having a huge Zone Conference in Gweru, a place I have yet to visit in Zimbabwe. The Kwekwe Zone, Gweru Zone, and Bulawayo Zone will all be in attendance. It will be a sweet meeting! :) the cool news is that I will be singing and playing my guitar again for everyone. This time it will just be me though! I am planning to play a mash-up of a popular EFY song, and a song that I recently wrote here in Zim. I am super happy to be able to share my talents with others, I hope they like it! Also, just like always, I have been asked to be the chorister for the conference. All of my musical training back home is really helping me here! :)
The future is bright in our area and I am trying to enjoy every second that I have here in Africa! I hope all is goping well back home and that you all are enjoying the football and baseball that is happening! I love you and the Lord does too! :)

Here is some more Shona: Uno penga! (You are crazy!)
By the way, it is getting very hot here in Zimbabwe. Kuri kupisa! (It is hot!)

It isn't too horrible, but is for sure hotter than Wyoming!

Musari Mushe everyone! :)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Makadii Week 33!

Hello everyone! Ndeipi? (What's up?)
Things are mushe-mushe here in Zimbabwe, and I have enjoyed my first week as a trainer. My trainee is Elder Peter Makalio, a native of West Valley, Utah. He is one of 8 boys in his family, and has been a member his whole life. He is a super sweet, funny, and humble guy, and I am excited to be his "father." He plays some rugby and football, and his ancestors come from Tonga and New Zealand.
It has been the craziest week for me. Elder Makalio, who is now known as Mhofu yeMukono (Buffalo), came in with about 20 others, almost all of which were from America. Some were from Austria, New Zealand, and Australia as well. The Elder from Austria, Elder Till, is being trained in Marimba/Mufakose, where I was trained. I felt so weird being around them, I haven't seen that many Americans is a long time! It made me feel pretty old as a missionary, haha :) Makalio attended the Provo MTC with some others, while some came from the Joburg MTC. It was the biggest incoming group since I have been here. They all loved hearing my stories and advice, and I hope that my experience and testimony can help all of the new elders and sisters. Things are changing like crazy, but it is awesome. It will be a nice change of pace to have some Americans around. Some of them even said that I don't act like an American anymore, and that I have a bunch of African in me now! :) I don't even remember what home was like at the moment, so it was weird to see all of them arrive. Things will be new, but good. The future of ZHM is very bright! :)
Things in Chegutu are going so so well, and the training has gone well so far. It sure does help that he is a humble and teachable guy! We have two marriages happening this week or next, for the Mapuranga family and the Chataya family, with baptisms to follow. The work is still moving along nicely. It is a wonderful thing to be a part of! As part of training, we are working on finding new people, and we are finding success there as well. It is pretty funny that I am now the one teaching my companion how to taura (speak) Shona. It makes me sekerera (laugh). :) 

The whole of my zone is training, save for the ZL's. There is a lot of that going on in other zones of the mission. I ran into Milikafu and Sekerere while I was in Harare. It was so good to see my old companions again! Man, time really is flying.
Seeing all of these new missionaries coming has really made me reflect on how far I have come since I arrived. All of the frustrations, lessons learned, and success that I have had have made me change so much. I can't believe all that my mission has taught me, and it has only been 8 months! It truly is incredible. I am still growing with every step, and now I get to help others on their own missionary journey. As I look back at how much I have grown as both a missionary and a person since I came, I am in complete awe of what my Savior has done for me.
I love you all so so much! I hope all continues to go well wherever you may be!
Here is some Shona for the week. If anyone is giving you a hard time just say, "Ndinoda kukurova." It means, I want to beat you up! Haha :)
Ka one! (It's ok!) :)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Makadii Week 32!

Hey guys! There is tons and tons to report, but I will try to be brief.
First of all, all of our baptisms and confirmations, as well as the marriage happened as planned this week! It was such a blessing! We ended up with 6, and the Ndholvus finally were married! :) They were baptized along with Charity, Sibongile, Phillis, and Tinashe. The Lord really helped me and Elder Mahlangu these six weeks, we ended with 9 baptisms! We are killing it! :) We also have 2 more couples who are progressing and will be married soon. We are keeping the marriage officer very busy, which is super great. There is nothing like getting a couple married and baptized! The future is still so so bright.
Today I am emailing from Harare. I received the news on Saturday that I have been chosen to train a new missionary who is coming mangwana (tomorrow)! I don't know much about him yet, but I know his name is Elder Makalio. The sheet says he is from Utah, but his name sounds very foreign. I will find out and have some great pictures with him next week to send to you! After a day of training here in Harare I will be headed back with him to Chegutu. I am staying and training in the same area, which I really sweet. We have people already in the teaching pool, and it is the perfect place to train my "son." I am very humbled and very excited! It seems like yesterday that I first came here, and now I get to help another Elder adjust to life in this crazy country of Zimbabwe! :) I am now 7 1/2 months, plus my weeks at the MTC. Time is moving, and by the end of my training, I will be almost half way done! Crazy stuff! :)
The 6 weeks that I had with Elder Mahlangu were filled with many miracles, but also many frustrations. I have learned so much more Shona, and have grown so much as a missionary. This transfer has been so so great. I will miss Mahlangu a lot, but I really enjoyed my time with him! Such a great guy. He has been transferred back to Harare. I am honored to say that I was his first Murungu companion! :)
I hope all is well back home, or wherever you may be. Please know of my love and appreciation for every single one of you! Enjoy the football and hunting seasons for me! :)
I love you all! :)

Monday, September 5, 2016

Video from Elder Baldwin

Makadii Week 31!

Hesi shamwari dzangu! (Hello my friends!) :)
I hope all of you have had a wonderful start to the fall, and a wonderful start to the school year. Glad to hear the Cowboys pulled out the W! I hope all of my family and friends were cheering them on for me! Go Pokes!
This past week in Chegutu has brought many blessings, and we are finding success. Elder Mahlangu and I are hoping to have another 6 baptisms this coming Saturday, as well as the marriage for the Ndhlovu family! I have come to know on my mission that many things can go wrong leading up to a baptism, so not all of those that we hope to baptize may end up happening, but I am holding out faith that they will! Just like it says in the Book of Mormon, miracles can only come through our faith. I have trying to have faith no matter what may be getting in the way. :) The people we are preparing are: Phillis, Charity, Baba and Amai Ndhlovu, Tinashe, and Sibongile. It will be another wonderful weekend for us! :)
We also have a couple other families that are progressing for a date later in September, so we will hopefully have a few more later on in the month! We are very blessed, and just like Elder Edward Dube of the Seventy said, "This is Africa's time, and the Lord is blessing us abundantly!" It is so true in this part of the world. :)
The sweet news is that we were blessed to receive a temporary car replacement while our last one is being fixed in Harare. The AP's brought their extra white Chevy down on Tuesday night, so we were only without a car for 4 days. It is still a pretty darn new car, with less than 40,000 km on it! Since it spends most of its time in Harare, it is in a very nice condition still. The AC actually works, so we don't have to keep the windows down and let the dust in! It really is a blessing, and I am being extra careful to take care of it! So, we will have a car until we get our other one back.
Yesterday was one year to the day that I got back from my half marathon in Jackson Hole and my visit to Star Valley and opened my mission call! I've hit another milestone! :) It is so crazy how much my life has changed since then. I can't believe how fast time has gone by! I still remember how awestruck I was when I read that I would be coming to Zimbabwe. I sat there with my family for a few minutes and just didn't speak. I had no idea at that time how much of difference this mission call would make in my life and the life of my family. It wasn't what I had expected, but I have since come to realize that I am where I am supposed to be. One thing is for sure, my call came from the Lord. I know He is preparing me for a bright future! :)
We have interviews with President Mkhabela this week, which is the last week of the current transfer, in preparation for the next transfer. I really never have any idea what will happen, and I am now in a position where really anything can happen, so I am keeping my heart and mind open to any possible outcome! I am trusting the Lord to inspire President Mkhabela to put me where I need to be. Pretty crazy that in next weeks email I will be 8 months a missionary, with 5 transfers behind me. I am on my way now! :) Only 4 more months or so until I reach 1 year! We will have Zone Meeting again next week, as well as a Zone Conference at the end of this month.
Here in Zimbabwe they have totems, sort of like a spirit animal thing, that everyone gets. When I first came to Chegutu, our Branch President Bveke gave me mine, Nzou Samanyanga (Elephant with big tusks). I think its crazy because elephants have been my favorite animal my whole life, and he had no idea. haha :) Either way it is super cool! I am now Elder Nzou Samanyanga!
I have been in Africa long enough now that I am slowly becoming African more and more each day! It's starting to scare me a little bit, but it's cool that I will always have a little something African about me. :) 

Things are going mushe-mushe (well-well) for me and the other Elders here in Chegutu, and an exciting future is ahead of us! Keep cheering on the Pokes for me, and always remember how much all of you mean to me! :)
Ndinowonana time-time! :)