Monday, March 27, 2017

Makadii Week 60!

Hello everyone! :)
I hope all is well wherever you may be. This week went well for us, and the Lord blessed us with a baptism to end the week. Our  14 year old investigator, Sandra, was baptized on Sunday, and I was privileged to perform the ordinance! I am thankful for our hard work in Eastview bringing success. There will be a couple of baptisms in Arcturus this week or next, so I am happy for that. Still doing our best to help the people of Eastview, and to help the members of the zone.
The zone ended up with 48 baptisms in the month of March, with 26 of them coming this past weekend. The mission ended the month with a total of 175 baptisms, so we are still keeping the average we need to surpass 2,000 baptisms this year. Gotta keep it up! I am thankful for what we were able to accomplish! Things are looking even better for the month of April, so I am excited to see what the zone and mission can do.
We had exchanges with the Assistants this past week which went well, I hit some more golf balls at the driving range this morning with some other elders, we have interviews this week with President Mkhabela, and exchanges with other elders set up for the next two weeks. Our monthly MLC meeting will be next week, and we are now in Week 5 of my 10th transfer with 2 weeks left to go until transfer news comes again. Lots and lots happening, and still busy as ever. The banks and ATMs are still are problem, but I am used to it by now. The Lord watches out for us though, so I'm not too stressed about that.
I was super stoked to see my second Wyoming Cowboy shirt in Zimbabwe this week, but this time the guy was wearing gameday gold! I even saw a guy wearing a Five Guys Burgers and Fries shirt, which made me a bit sad actually. haha :) either way, it was cool to see.
One last thing, we got a new truck this past week. The Isuzu we had was getting pretty old, with 175,000 km on it, so we got a new Nissan truck to replace it. It was crazy, when we picked it up there was only 19 km on it. Kinda cool to think that I am the first Elder to drive it. :)
I am excited for the upcoming General Conference, but we will be watching it a week later in our branch on the 8th and 9th of April. That is pretty common here in Zimbabwe.

I love you all! Thanks for all you do, and I wish you all the best this coming week.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Makadii Week 59!

Hey there y'all!
This week has been up and down, but ultimately success was found. Although the marriage issues with Tendai will take some time to solve, we will be having one baptism this coming week for a young girl named Sandra. She has been stubborn with missionaries in the past, is really quiet around us, but she has been learning and coming to church, and wants to be baptized. I love it when that happens! So, if all goes well, another baptism will be happening this week, my first in Eastview! I also heard that some of my investigators down in Bulawayo are to be baptized this coming week as well. I hope all goes well here and there. We had 12 new investigators this week and one of them came to church! Our branch in Damofalls is relatively small, with lots of less active members. It is a constant battle to keep people coming. They are thinking about splitting the branch soon, but I am not sure how soon. Our area, Eastview, is farther from the meetinghouse, so we are having a hard time getting our investigators to church because it is so far. We also help out in a place called Arcturus, just outside of Harare, and they will be having some baptisms in the coming weeks there as well. Exciting things on the horizon!
Our zone is doing really well, and I am lucky to have such a hard working zone to look after. We had a sweet zone meeting this last week, one of the best I have had on my mission. They all enjoyed the cake I made for them, even though it was more like brownies than cake. I forgot to add the soda to the cake recipe and it didn't rise, so I made some Texas Sheet Brownies! haha :) They still tasted good, so all is well.
We had exchanges this week on St. Patricks Day, even though they don't celebrate it here. I was with Elder Dixon for the day, and we both wore green ties in honor of the occasion! It was actually his 21st birthday yesterday, so we were able to celebrate our birthdays together! We made the Texas Sheet cake again last night, but this time we remembered the soda. :)
This week we are going to have exchanges with the Assistants on Friday, and I am excited to learn from them. Our zone will be having quite a few baptisms this coming weekend to close out the month of March if all goes well. I finally cooked my own batch of Madora caterpillars this week as well. I am the only one in my house that likes them. I did good for my first time! Today we played some basketball, and frisbee at a members house in Highlands! The Spencer family was so very kind to us. She fed us breakfast (pancakes, sausages and hot chocolate), and let us use their basketball court. To top it off, they made us chocolate chip cookies. :) They have a daughter of their own coming home from her mission in France in a few weeks, and a son that is about to leave for his mission. The father is the 1st Counselor in the Harare Stake Presidency. He is actually from the states, but came to Zimbabwe with his wife, who actually grew up here. It was a fun time. We are going to play some golf next week, similar to the activity last year!
I love you all and wish you the best in all of your endeavors! :) Musare zvakanaka!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Makadii Week 58!

The week has been good. We have been doing our best to work smart in our area and we have been finding people willing to listen to us, we will just have to work hard to help them progress and come to church. Things are getting better for us each day. The baptism planned this week for Tendai will be pushed back a bit because of a marriage concern, so I will hope that things will work out soon for that. We did have 2 new fathers at church this week which was nice.
My birthday celebration ended up being a success. I was determined to bake my favorite cake from back home, Texas Sheet Cake, and it went better than expected! It tasted almost as good as back home, it was just a bit lopsided because of our oven. :) When I left home I never thought I would get to eat it while I was here in Zimbabwe, but I am so glad I can! During the day on my birthday we were just busy doing missionary work, but at night we had some other elders over who wanted to celebrate with me. It was a nice time, and I am happy the cake turned out well. I am going to make it again tonight for our zone meeting tomorrow! :) My baking skills are better than I thought they would be! I also received a call from President and Sister Mkhabela, and they along with some other missionaries at a zone conference sang happy birthday to me. It brightened my day for sure.
The MLC meeting and our Zone Conference this week went well and I learned a lot about leadership from President Mkhabela, We actually got to watch the training broadcast given to the Mission Presidents in December, and it was cool. I gave a piece of cake to President and his wife, as well as to some others working in the mission office. They all said they liked it! :)  One thing that President said that I really liked: "It is better to have the support of the Savior than anyone else."
Lot's of running around and driving around this week helping members of the zone. One funny thing is that my companion hates dogs, so we always have to be sure to stay away from them in the area. haha :) We continue to get lots of rain every couple of days, but winter time is on its way here in Zim. I even had to put on a pullover, or 'jersey' one day this week, and I don't ever really get too cold. I'm a Wyoming boy after all! :)
I am excited to be 21 and am excited for these next 10 months I have left as a missionary. I hope they are filled with happiness and success. I hope your lives are also filled with happiness and success, wherever you may be. If we rely on the Savior we can find the success and happiness we seek. I love you all, and wish you all the best. Talk to you next week shamwari!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Makadii Week 57!

Yebo! Zvirsei shamwari!?
Hello again from Harare, Zimbabwe! This first week in my new area and calling has gone pretty well. I have never served in a place like Eastview, it is very crazy and still under a lot of development, but I know that we will find some success. Not sure for how long I will be here, but I am excited for the time I will be given. When we got to our house on Monday we had no water for 3 days, I am glad it was resolved. :)
We actually have a baptism and marriage coming up for a woman named Tendai, next weekend on the 18th, if all goes well. The previous Elders were teaching her, and now we are just finishing up the lessons and commitments. She loves church and loves us, so it was a blessing to have someone so strong already in our teaching pool. The man she is marrying, Br. Tambanda, has been a members for a while along with his family. Tendai has a powerful support system, which makes our job much easier. We have been working with a few other investigators that were being taught  by the previous elders, and we have been trying to find some new people as well. There are some promising referrals and contacts that we had this week. We will see how things progress.

We share a house and a branch with two other Elders, Elder Koch from Denmark who is like 6'8", and Elder Dixon from Utah. Our branch is called Damofalls, and it includes a few different suburbs. We have a meetinghouse, and I am back to baptizing in tub. Oddly enough my trainer, Elder Milikafu, was one of the first missionaries to open the branch there when he was being trained back in 2014. Kinda cool :) We are part of the new Harare East Stake that was created at the end of last year.
Elder Bamutesiza and I are both new to the area, so we are whitewashing. We have really had to rely on members to help us find our way around, but it is getting better. There are so many twists and turns and crazy roads in Eastview. We actually have a sweet truck to use in our area. It is my first time driving a truck on my mission! His name is Ranger Rick. :) It is very useful to have to transport stuff for the zone and to use on the muddy roads.

Elder Bamutesiza is an awesome guy and is still going strong with 5 weeks left to go. I am glad to be with him, and I know we can do some good things together. He is from a place in the middle of Uganda, was baptized in 2011, and is the first one in his family to serve a mission. His parents aren't members, but his siblings are. He is the 3rd born out of nine! He has served in many parts of the mission. I am on the opposite side of Harare than I was before, but I now know most of Harare really well.
We have MLC dinner tonight and our meeting tomorrow, and it is better now because I don't have to sit on a bus for 6 hours both ways. I do miss Blues, but I don't miss the Bravo bus. Haha :) I am excited to be back in Harare though. I am hoping to get the chance to visit my converts and friends in Mufakose/Marimba one of these P-days, so I am excited for that. It has been 8 months since I left that place! We are going to play some basketball today with some other Elders at the Mission office, should be nice.
By the way, our washing machine is really sweet. So happy to have it. :)
I turn 21 this week on Wednesday. Can't believe I finally hit the 21 year mark! I hope my baking turns out ok. I am going to try it out! Crazy thing is, this is my last birthday on my mission. I was in Harare last year on my birthday, and I am now here again. Thank you to all those who sent emails and well wishes, it means a lot. :)

Love you guys! Wishing you the best! Enjoy March Madness! Go Pokes!