Monday, July 17, 2017

Makadii Week 76!

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 on Sunday. 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 coming Sunday, 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, on Sunday 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 Gweru tomorrow for 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 Thursday 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 on Saturday, and a baptism on Sunday 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!

P.S. The gym isn't as bad for me anymore, and my fitness is going up bit by bit now. At least I can be grateful for that right!? :)



Monday, July 10, 2017

Makadii Week 75!

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ate happy Fourth of July for those back in America! I hope you know just how blessed you are to live in the land of the free.
Hello again from Harare! We are here again for MLC tomorrow. My first week in Kadoma has gone well, and we have some great investigators that are preparing for baptism in the coming weeks. If all goes as planned, we will have 2 baptisms this Sunday for two boys, ages 13 and 15, who have been coming to church in Kadoma for awhile. Killian, the 15 year old, is very prepared and is ready to be baptized. Simba, the 13 year old, we are not sure if it will work out this week for various reasons. We will find out if it will work out or not this week. Either way, the work still moves along whether I am in Harare or Kadoma! We have another 4 investigators that are currently working towards baptismal dates in the near future, and just like always missionary work in Zimbabwe keeps us plenty busy!
Elder Billings is an awesome guy. He is from West Haven (West Ogden) Utah. He is the oldest of 3 kids I believe, and is just about to finish his 2 years. 11 weeks to go for him. He has been in Kadoma for the last 4 1/2 months so it is nice to have him around to teach me the area and to help me meet the people. He ran XC in high school as well, did lots of track events, and loves parqour/ free running. He can do all kinds of flips and jumps. Pretty sweet. I have started working out at a gym for the first time on my mission! This past week has made me very sore, and my body is adjusting bit by bit. We go every morning, except the weekends, and all I can hope is that I can regain some of the fitness I used to have when I was training for my half marathon way back in September of 2015. We are running and doing lifting workouts. 
The branch in Kadoma 1st is great. It is organized, even though most of the members come late. Our branch presidency is so great, and President Chiwaka is one of my favorite guys here in Zimbabwe. The branch is a lot more stable than my last area for sure. Our area in Kadoma is pretty small, but there many people in that small area. We focus on an area called Rimuka, which is where the chapel is located. Our house is quite big, but I really like it. I have also enjoyed using an automatic car for a change! One huge plus about Kadoma, there is legit fresh milk that is found nowhere else in Zim, at least that I know of! It tastes the same as milk back home. Finally real milk! :) Kadoma is not much different from Chegutu, there are many similarities.
Speaking of Chegutu: I was finally able to visit Chegutu again twice this past week. Once for district meeting and another for a baptismal interview. I was so happy to be back and to see some old friends. I saw the branch presidency, and I stopped by to see one of my convert families, the Chinga Family! It was so good to see that place again, and I am glad that I get to visit often because Kadoma is so close.
One story that I forgot to mention last week: My recent convert in Eastview, Vida, gave an awesome testimony on my last Sunday last week. She gave me a shout out in her testimony. Elder Whiting and I challenged her to finish the Book of Mormon before I left, and she did. She finished the Book of Mormon 1 month after she was baptized. She is my first convert to do that! She is now helping her sister Samantha to do the same. She thanked me and expressed to me how grateful she is to have been led to the truth. I am so glad to have made such an impact on her life. In reality it is not me that has made the impact, I am just an instrument in God's hands after all. :) I do miss Eastview and the people there, but things are always changing.
We traveled here to Harare this morning and had a nice session of basketball at the mission office, and we will be having our MLC meeting in the morning.
Wherever you may be, know that I love you and am thankful for you. Keep loving life! :)

Monday, July 3, 2017

Makadii Week 74!

Hello everyone! Transfer day is here yet again! At the moment I am emailing from Kadoma, a small town near my former area of Chegutu, some 2 hours outside of Harare. 

After a crazy and awesome 3 transfers (4 1/2 months) in Eastview, I will be leaving the Harare East Zone and will be going back to one of my former zones! I will still be serving as a zone leader of the Kwekwe Zone alongside Elder Billings, a native of West Ogden, Utah. We are actually serving in a small town called Kadoma, about 1 hour from the actual town of Kwekwe, with two other elders. We stay in a house just the two of us, and work in our own branch. There are two branches here in Kadoma, along with a new "cluster" of members that will soon be a branch as well. We serve in the Kadoma 1st branch, and the other elders serve in the other branch. I served in the Kwekwe Zone 9 months ago when I served as a District Leader in Chegutu, so I am a bit familiar with Kadoma and the rest of the zone already, as we often came for meetings here. It is called Kwekwe Zone, but it is very spread out and covers many different places. 

I have gone from the biggest zone in the mission with 24 missionaries, to one of the smallest with 12 missionaries. I am excited for the new opportunities and will hit the ground running! I am excited to see some familiar places again and even visit Chegutu once in a while to see some old friends. 

After all the trials, challenges, happy moments, sacrifices, and miracles experienced in Eastview and the Harare East Zone the last 3 transfers, I will for sure miss it. I learned a lot of things during my time there, and will look back on it with fond memories. I will miss Elder Whiting quite a lot, and will always be thankful for our time together. I know he will help our investigators and will keep the work moving in Eastview. It was hard to say goodbye to my friends in the branch, as well as some converts and investigators, but I know that I did my best there, and I feel at peace with the changes that have been made. I am also thankful to have been able to help in Arcturus Branch as well. Lot of memories for sure! I am excited for new challenges and more miracles to come here in Kadoma. Should be another action packed transfer here in Zimbabwe!  

Today I woke up early to catch the bus and arrived here in Kadoma just before 10:00am. We have helped some other missionaries, and now I will be settling in to the house, and the area. 

After my first week here I will be headed back to Harare for the MLC meeting next Monday and Tuesday, and will still be in touch with other missionaries. It is nice to go back every month for MLC and to be so involved in the mission.

I love you all so much, stay safe and stay sweet. Hello Kadoma!