Monday, February 27, 2017

Makadii Week 56!

Hey! :) A busy day of traveling, and driving so far.

Well, I am back to saying Makadii instead of Salibonani! I am emailing from Harare today. I received the news on Saturday that I would be transferred back to Harare, after 7 1/2 months away, to be a Zone Leader in the Harare East Zone. I will be serving in a place called Eastview, a suburb of Harare, and my new companion is Elder Bamutesiza from Uganda. Oddly enough, this is his last transfer, so he will be the fourth missionary that I have "killed." This is his first and last transfer as a ZL. I am excited to work with him and get to know him.

I am also excited for new experiences in a new place. It does feel good to be back in Harare. I missed it for sure. We will be learning the area a bit this week, and will be getting our feet underneath us. I live in Zimre Park, so we will have to drive a bit to our area each day. Lot's to learn and lot's to do.
I had lots of good and bad times in Bulawayo in my 4 1/2 months there, but I will always be thankful for the time I spent there, and the things I learned. Had some nice goodbyes and I even bore my testimony in Ndebele. The members loved it! Elder Mhlungu and I had about 5 people we were planning to baptize next week, so I am glad things were starting to pick up in my last area. Bulawayo Zone is now the biggest in the mission, and there have been lots of changes. I am excited for the coming weeks and to see how the transfer will play out.
We finally watched the Missionary training broadcast this last week, and yesterday some less active members that I have been working with finally came back to church in Gwabalanda for the first time in a very long time. I found out that Chegutu Branch will be splitting into two branches in the coming months. The growth there is crazy good. My grandson Elder Whittier is now training a new missionary there, Elder Thomas. I now have a great grandson on my mission. My mission posterity is growing! :) 4 generations are here now! My son Elder Makalio is now in Harare with me, but in Harare Marimba, my old zone.
One funny thing: I have yet to attend a Stake Conference as a missionary. There was one in Harare right after I left last year, and there is one in Blues this coming weekend, right after I just left. Just something odd that I noticed. haha :)
We saw the caravan of President Mugabe driving through Bulawayo after his birthday celebration in Matobo this week. Kinda cool. Also, I have learned that my new house has a washing machine. How sweet is that!
I am excited to be back in H-town, and back to speaking Shona. I am sending my love to all of you! :) Talk to you again next week!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Salibonani Week 55!

Rain, rain, and more rain!
That is the theme of this past week! I'm sure some of you have heard about the cyclone that hit part of southern Africa the last 4 days. Here in Bulawayo, and much of southern Zimbabwe, we had lots and lots of rains. There was no wind, just rain. There was quite a bit of flooding, but not enough to cause harm to anyone. We were still able to get around when we needed to, but it did result in less missionary work. Surprisingly, people aren't really too keen to hear from us when they are getting poured on!
When there was a break from the rain we were able to find and teach. We found quite a few new investigators this week, one of which wants to be baptized! We had a missionary activity this weekend where we split up and went to visit investigators and less actives with some members. We got to work with Bishop Dube, and with the Stake President, so that was cool. We found some investigators and some really great members to reactivate. It was a success for sure. We have been helping out some other wards with baptisms and got witness 2 baptisms in the Bulawayo Town Branch on Sunday. It was nice to see the work moving on even with no missionaries. Baptisms are coming up the next few weeks.
There were three fun things that happened this week:
1. During the rain and floods one morning, the four of us at our flat decided to make boats out of cardboard and paper, and race them down the river caused by the floods. It was fun! My boat came in second, and Elder Mhlungu was first place.
2. I found a shop that sells Root Beer! I haven't had a Root Beer in over a year. Elder Aden and I were so happy to finally drink it again! :)
3. We had attended a Priesthood activity in Luveve Branch and got to help with the braai (BBQ). I helped make some Sadza and burned myself a little.

Time continues to move, and this week is the final week of the transfer. There is a 50/50 chance of me staying or leaving Bulawayo since I have been here for 3 transfers. I have no idea, but will be finding out this week what will be happening the next 6 weeks.
I love you all and continue to wish you the best. Please stay happy and stay safe! :) 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Salibonani Week 54!

Zvirisei? Linjani? How is everyone? :)
The past week has been pretty uneventful again, but that's how things are sometimes. We had interviews with President Mkhabela here in Bulawayo during the week, and were busy doing baptismal interviews in the zone this past weekend. We did receive some new investigators in Emakhandeni that came to church, so we will have some more people to teach and potentially have more baptisms coming up! We will see how things progress. We helped out with a baptism in Famona, an area with no missionaries, yesterday. It was nice to help out, even though it is not our true area.
There have been some changes to missionary schedules and missionary work worldwide. Most missions were able to watch the worldwide broadcast a couple of weeks ago, but we won't be watching it here until later this month. We were informed of the slight changes to our schedules, and to reporting our efforts. All in all I think the changes will really help missionaries focus on what is most important, and to allow us more flexibility in our schedules. I'm all for it! Instead of sending tons of indicators to our leaders each week, we only send 5. It makes my work a bit less stressful at the end of each week. :)
I forgot to mention last week that we went and helped the Shanana Family do some work in the fields clearing out weeds ad helping the crops grow. I did learn that I have no idea what I'm doing with gardening or farming, but it was nice to do some real service for the first time on my mission.

Our ward conference is coming up this coming Sunday, and Week 5 of the transfer has already begun! 2 weeks left before the transfer news comes again. Almost 4 1/2 months in Bulawayo. We will be having our Zone Meeting tomorrow, so it will be nice to have the zone together for some training.
I am really enjoying my Book of Mormon study right now, and I encourage all of you to read it as often as possible. I have gone through it once on my mission and am well on my way to my second read through. It really does bring peace to my life and my service as a full-time missionary. I love it so much.
I love all of you as well and wish you the best. Have a fantastic week! :)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Salibonani Week 53!

Hey everyone!!
Not much to report this week. Lots of running around, and lots to do in Bulawayo. We've made it safely to Harare today and had good weather. There was a little boy on the Bravo Bus with us today that I played with for most of the 6 hour ride, so that was sweet! :) We are doing our best to find some new investigators and get them to church, but are having some difficulty at the moment. I know as I work hard the Lord will lead us to those who we can help the most. There is a couples dance coming up for our ward and they are invited to bring friends so that we can meet them and set some appointments, we will see how it goes!
My recent convert Br. Tshuma has hit some big milestones the last few weeks. He gave his first talk last Sunday, and yesterday he passed the sacrament for the first time! It is cool to see him progress, and Br. Gumede will also be put to work soon enough! :)
I'm excited for MLC tomorrow and to see my friends the next 2 days. It is always nice to move around a bit. We had a small get together with some of the zone members this last week to celebrate the one year mark of myself, Sister Bandi, and Sister Ndhlovu. It was also the 18 month mark for Elder Mhlungu. It's crazy that I am half way there, and I know that I have some awesome experiences yet ahead of me! :) To all of my MTC group, congrats on 1 year! Let's keep it up!
For those who like musicals, there is a high school in Bulawayo that is doing Les Miserables in March! I saw the signs and ads for it, and was super excited. It brought back some wonderful memories for me when I was prepping for Les Mis back in 2012 in Casper. Can't believe that was 5 years ago, time sure does fly! Memories really do stick with us forever. I would love to go and watch, but I can't. It's just cool to see a high school in Zimbabwe doing that show!
I love you all! :) One year more! Nisale kahle!