Monday, October 3, 2016

October 2, 2016 - "Be Careful What You Wish For"

How is everyone doing?! Sorry for any typos this keyboard isn't super cooperative. There's so much to tell about this week and I hope I can get as much of it down as possible! This week went by kind of slow, but that's ok. The beginning of the week was very very hot, and it seems like I can't carry enough water haha. Thank heavens for the members that let us in. We contact a ton of people and it's getting hard to remember everyone. My planner is almost full and it's only halfway through the transfer! 
Briefly about some of the people we are teaching: 
    Tafara: He's a barber probably in his 30's. He's very humble and receptive and teaching him is very encouraging! We taught him the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and his own copy, but he didn't come to church. Hopefully we can help him progress!
    Takudzwa: He's 15 and staying with his cousins, a less active family. He's so enthusiastic and told us he wants to be baptized on our first meeting! He's so excited that he doesn't understand much so we have to teach him slowly. His only barrier is coming to church because of the less active family members.
     Shane: 16-17, great kid and we love being around him. He was progressing well, but missed an appointment and church, so we are doing our best to help him.
     Tafadzwa: A 15 year old girl, she seems like she isn't receptive but she asks good questions ad seems to be understanding. However, I think she's afraid of coming to church.
     Ayami: age 15, his two sisters are members. He's a good kid, but kind of immature in the quiet, ignorant sense. He won't look us in the eyes and doesn't respond too well, but he surprised us by coming to church yesterday!
    Wendy/Monica: Wendy is in her 30's Monica n her 50's, living in the same house. We've only taught them the doctrine of Christ and it's gone over well! They came to church!!
The best part is that we've committed all but Shane to baptism this week!! That really got me excited and I want to help them keep their commitments and realize the importance of this gospel! It's going to be hard with new converts in our branch if we can't reignite some enthusiasm at church. The members and less actives need as much strengthening as the investigators so we have our hard work cut out for us!
Zone conference was on Friday and that was so awesome!! It was so good to see the Elders from my district! They are like my brothers and it was so great to share experiences and see how they are doing! We got to do some role plays, ad the one I did got lots of encouraging feed back which was awesome! President Mkhabela also bore his testimony at the end, which was super powerful. So needed. He's a great man. 
Haha I save all my change to buy Bompies on the street, which are basically frozen fruit juice. Everything is super cheap here. I can buy all the groceries I need for around $30 which is nice. They don't have everything from home so sometimes I have to be creative. i made french toast this week, which tasted like manna from heaven holy cow. Also, i found cereal!!! I had the equivalent of cocoa crispies this morning which was awesome! 
A couple of times this week I had the opportunity to bear my testimony about the Book of Mormon and the blessings of baptism, and the Spirit was really there. All I had to do was open my mouth. Our Heavenly Father wants to use us as instruments in his hands, and all we have to do is be ready and willing to open our mouths! 
To our surprise on Saturday night a massive storm blew in. Dark, rainy clouds came around 4 and the wind was whipping around 5. By the time we got back to the house it was really storming!! My companion said it will rain at night in October and then all day in November so time to buckle up! Saturday night all the elders in Gweru came over and we celebrated our Zone Leader Elder Allen's year mark with cake and soda. That was awesome to interact with the other elders and just have a good time. I love being around other missionaries and it was such a blast!! 
Church was ok, but our branch needs some more life. Fast and testimony meeting was good, and my companion and I had the chance to speak which was good. I love sharing my testimony more than just about anything. it reminds me of why i'm here and what is important to me. Everyone, this gospel is so true. I love the Book of Mormon so much. We are all children of our Heavenly Father and He loves us enough to send His Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior! Wendy, Monica, and Ayami came to church which was good. it got super stormy as we came in last night, and I was weak from my fast. It was crazy last night. Today it is overcast and cold with crazy windchill, so i'm not sure if I should've asked for rain!! I'm doing pretty well ad doing my best to lose myself in the work!! Which is hard when there are giant spiders everywhere haha. Those are nuts. The kds are as crazy as ever, and the looks on their faces are priceless when I turn and say somethig to them in Shona. People understand English but often prefer to use Shona, so my companion is a necessary medium when teaching some people. i'm doing my best to pick it up quickly. Anyways, that's about it for this week! IT's funny, i have so much to put down and after I go I feel like I left stuff out! Oh well!
Love you all!!
Elder Barlow
PS I left my card reader at home so I'll send pics next week!!

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