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!
Monday, September 18, 2017
Monday, September 11, 2017
Hello everyone! :)
Another week gone by and more progress made in Kadoma! Petros and Maria were both baptized, 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 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.
Monday, September 4, 2017
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! :)
Monday, August 28, 2017
It is now officially 20 weeks left in the mission field!The past week was good, and we are doing well. Kinda crazy that August is over this week. Time is always moving! Elder Byrom and I were able to see a few miracles but also some disappointments in our area. Many of the people we have been working with just aren't progressing at all, and it always stinks to see the people you put your faith in not keep commitments, especially when they tell you they will. (That is a big problem in Zimbabwe). We are doing our best to be patient with everyone and to keep our faith in them. We did find some new people this week that actually came to church on their own! There is nothing set in stone, but we should be having another baptism in two weeks for a young man named Petros. Hopefully there will be another added to that day, and others added later on in the month of September. We are really asking the Lord to help us find more success in September after a tough August. One awesome thing from this week was that yesterday, some of my old converts from Chegutu came to visit our branch in Kadoma. I was super happy to see them and to see that they are still doing the right things. :)
With September coming up, Zimbabwe is about to get really hot. I am not excited for that, especially because Kadoma is one of the hotter places in the mission, and I don't know how much longer I will be here in Kadoma. We will have to see how bad it gets. The next few months I will be sweating like crazy! The mosquitoes are also being seen again. I hate those things!I love you all and I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints really is the true church on the earth today. It is the only place we can find the fullness of the gospel. Whatever others may think about the church, they will never know the truth until they come and see for themselves.
Have a good week and an awesome start to the autumn months. My favorite time of year back home. :)
Monday, August 21, 2017
The end of another week in good ol' Zimbabzwe. (That's how President Mkhablea says Zimbabwe.) :)The first week of the transfer has gone well and I have enjoyed being with and getting to know Elder Byrom. He is from a place two hours outside of London called Star, England. It is not far from Cheddar, England where the original cheddar cheese comes from. Kinda cool! His dad is his Stake President, and he has 3 sibilings, 2 brothers and one sister. He is set to attend BYU Provo after his mission and he has plans to become a dentist. He says he wants to live in Arizona. His dad was actually born in Harare back when it was still Rhodesia. He has some cousins living in Harare right now. He is just turning 1 year on his mission and he is a great guy. We have been working hard and I have been showing him the members and the area in Rimuka. We are having struggles seeing progress, and we are going to fall well short of our goal this month which is a bummer. We had planned to have a baptism for Br. Semba this coming week, but he hasn't been able to come to church for the last 2 weeks so we have to postone it until September. We did have 4 other investigators come to church this week, and it was the first time for 3 of them. We are being patient and doing our part. Miracles are on the way for sure! :)
Monday, August 14, 2017
Wow, 80 weeks for real?It has been a good Week 6 to finish off Transfer #13. We worked hard but didn't see many results. This weekend is a big holiday in Zimbabwe (Heroes Day), so people have been busy and out of town, which makes our work that much harder. Nothing to complain about, just have to work harder! Had exchanges with the other guys in Kadoma, and I worked with Elder Condie who is now in Chegutu. We had a good day together!
Same area, same branch as the last 6 weeks. Lot's of changes throughout the mission, and the addition of 2 elders in Kadoma. There are now 14 in the zone and 6 in Kadoma. My old pal Elder Aden and I will be reunited, which I am happy about. Should be a fun transfer! All the sisters that I came with are either gone already or are leaving this week. Officially over 18 months and now right at 5 months left to go.
The work is moving along despite opposition, and Elder Byrom and I have our work cut out for us the next 6 weeks. Lots to do in Rimuka, Kadoma. President Mkhabela visited our branch yesterday for church. It was the first time on my mission to attend church with him.
Monday, August 7, 2017
Well, some cool stuff happened this week!The week was pretty normal with lots of teaching and exchanges. We had a great MLC meeting in Harare on Tuesday and traveled safely throughout the week. We ended the week with another baptism on Sunday, for a 17 year old named Tapiwa! With his baptism, and the baptisms of my old investigators, Mai Owen and Mai Dorcas in Harare as well this weekend, there are now 102 of my investigators that have been baptized and made covenants with God! Another plus is that all of the confirmations happened as well. We also have an investigator, Br. Semba, who was first taught by Elder Billings and Elder Robison back in February, that finally came to church for the first time after many months of teaching! He even asked when he is getting baptized when he came to church, so we will see if he has finally found his commitment in the coming weeks. If all goes well, he will be baptized at the end of the month. We also have another awesome investigator, Davis, who will be baptized in 2 weeks time. Lot's of blessings for sure.The work in Africa really is crazy, but it is moving right along.
I also went to visit some old friends in Chegutu on our way back from MLC. If you can remember, last year when I left there was a newborn baby who was named after me. Dennis Kevin Chimusalo. I passed by and visited him and his family again, as well as some of my converts there. He is so much bigger now! It is crazy how time flies!It is pretty crazy that the final week of the transfer is here yet again. We will receive our transfer news on Saturday this week, and transfers will be on Monday next week. It is tough to tell if I will be staying with Elder Billings or not, but either way I have really enjoyed my time with him. Always exciting to see what will happen and where I will be, and who I will be with. Lot's of things are happening in the mission so it is tough to tell just how much things will change. We will keep working hard this week and will have our last exchanges of the transfer. Onward, ever onward! The last 4 transfers are about to begin! Crazy stuff! :)
Monday, July 31, 2017
Hello once again! Africa is just as crazy, and action packed as ever.I am in Harare today and tomorrow for our MLC meeting once again. It is pretty crazy that July is already over and I have been in Kadoma for 4 weeks already. We had a good week and found lots of new investigators, but many of them are not progressing. Good things take time I guess! We were able to have confirmations for Jasper and Br Karichi this week, but we are still waiting on Simba and Alexio to be around and on time on Sunday. Hopefully this coming week!
Elder Billings and I did come up with a cool parable this week about how the church is like a combi. Just a reference, a combi is a commuter omnibus that most people use to get around. It is a common form of transportation throughout Zim and most of Southern Africa. I will share more about that next week when I have some more time. I am just grateful that the true church, and all that it brings with it, has been restored today. I know that it is the only "vehicle' that can get us to our destination safely.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Well, the week was crazy busy, but we made it! Yebo, baba! :)
A zone conference, exchanges, travelling, interviews, and baptisms are enough to make a missionary go crazy, but it was actually nice to be busy. All went well this week, except for the fact that we missed our morning bus to return to Kadoma from exchanges in Harare. It only delayed us a few hours. We traveled safely throughout the week and everything worked out. Br. Karichi, Alexio, and Jasper were all baptized on Sunday! Killian was confirmed and Simba was just a bit late so he will get confirmed next week. We were able to finish the preparations to help them be baptized, and even though we still have much to teach them, they were all ready and prepared for baptism. Now just have to make sure they all get confirmed and that they continue to learn. 3 weeks and 5 baptisms in Kadoma. We are blessed for sure!
We have a few investigators that should be baptized in the next month, so we will keep finding and teaching and serving and will find more success! Exhanges with the DL's in the zone are coming up the next 3 weeks. Our Branch President and his wife welcomed a new baby boy into their family this week which is awesome. He was a bit tired at church yesterday. :)
Our exchanges with the AP's went well. Lots of teaching, and finding. It was nice to be in Harare again for a day and a half. I got to work with Elder Scoresby for the first time on my mission. We flew from the USA together 18 months ago, and were in the same MTC group. It was a good experience. At our zone conference I had to say goodbye to the some of the sister missionaries who I came with 18 months ago. They will be going back home 6 months before me, so it was weird for me to say goodbye. I won't get the chance to see them when they leave at the end of the transfer, which is in 3 weeks. A pretty normal week ahead of us with no baptisms planned, and nothing crazy happening. MLC will be next week to end July and start August, so I will be back in Harare when I send my next email. Kinda crazy the July is over soon. only 5 months and 2 weeks left to go!
Two of my old investigators were also baptized this week in Arcturus. Dorcas and Fungisai, two young sisters who walk almost two hours to go to church, were finally baptized after more teaching and commitment. I am glad not only for them, but for all the younger kids that have been baptized throughout my mission, because they get the chance to learn and live the gospel at such a young age. They all have a bright future. All I can hope is that they are helped and watched over by the efforts of church leaders and their families.
Not much to say this week, just that I am thankful for the Lord's help on my mission and for the people that have been prepared for me to bring into the gospel. I am grateful to have played a part in their conversion and in their lives. An update: With 5 of my current and former investigators baptized this weekend, there is now a total of 99 people whom I have worked with that are now baptized as a result of my service as a missionary in Zimbabwe these last 18 months. This really is a time of hastening and hard work in Africa. Like I said before, the Lord is the one doing all the work, I am just honored to say that I have helped these 99 people come closer to their Heavenly Father. With just under 6 months left, who knows how many more miracles I will play a part in? Just like the old Beach Boys song says, "God only knows."
Monday, July 17, 2017
Well, it has been another successful week here in Zimbabwe!
MLC went well, and we traveled back to Kadoma safely. We spent lots of time working with our investigators, and we ended the week with 2 baptisms. Killian, and Simba were both baptized after church and will be confirmed next week. They both have been coming to church for some time, and finally everything fell into place. 2 weeks in Kadoma, and 2 baptisms already! We will most likely be having 3 baptisms this , for Jasper, Alexio, and Br. Karichi. We will be working to make sure they are ready this week. We are always trying to find more people, but we are so grateful for the investigators that we have, and for their desire to be baptized. It makes our job so much easier. More about those investigators next week. :)
I also was able to call and talk to Augustine, my investigator back in Eastview,after his baptism. I was so excited for him to finally get baptized. Augustine is truly one of the elect that are mentioned in the scriptures. There is no one more prepared for the gospel than he was, and I know he will be such a blessing to the branch back in Damofalls and Eastview. An exciting week, 3 of my investigators were baptized!
We have a busy week ahead of us. We will be traveling to Gwerufor a Zone Conference, and after the zone conference we will be traveling all the way back to Harare to have exchanges with the mission assistants. We wont be back in Kadoma until morning. When we get back we will be busy busy working with those who are set to be baptized, and will have an eventful weekend with a branch soccer activity , and a baptism after church. In the midst of all of that we will have to do baptismal interviews for others in the zone! Yay us! Can't believe it is already week 3 of the current transfer, and it will soon be over. Time is such a weird concept for me right now. haha :)
I did realize that I am the last missionary out on mission among all those that I graduated high school with. I also am one of the oldest American elders in Zimbabwe according to age. I sure have been around for a while. 6 months isn't that long is it? I am hoping that I will keep myself busy and that time will go by faster rather than slower. I am thankful to find success in the work and joy in the little things. I won't get to be in Africa much longer, after all.
I love you all. Know that I am healthy, and doing my best. I wish the same for you!