Monday, October 31, 2016

October 24, 2016 - "How Old Are You Again? (Transfer 1 Over!!)

What's up everyone?!

We made it through the first transfer!! Haha it feels good to have one under my belt. Just a couple fun things I might share from my first transfer:

You know you're in Zimbabwe when:

-there are ants and mini cockroaches crawling everywhere in the kitchen and you're used to it
-a rooster crows every 10 seconds
-every 3 steps there's a pothole in the road, if it's paved
-you hear a child ask "how are you?" 148 times a day
-people are insane drivers and bikers and you have to be on your toes at all times to not be hit
-when the only other white people are missionaries haha (every time we go into town and see a white person we are just as shocked as everyone else haha)

This week has had a lot of ups and downs. Haha with regards to the title, my favorite thing ever is when we are talking to someone and we ask them how old we are. They always say I'm like 23-26. Their reactions when I tell them that I'm 18 are the best. They are so shocked and I can't help but laugh. It's the best. Also, if I baptized someone for every time I was asked how I'm doing by these little kids, I'd have doubled the church membership by now. Haha it's great. This week we had a bunch of fall-throughs so we weren't able to be as productive this week. However, we still taught a good number of lessons and I think we will baptize some good people in November. Unfortunately, Takudzwa's parents called from South Africa and said he couldn't be baptized. We were super bummed, so we've been praying for him a lot. Also, when we went to do the baptismal interviews on Friday, Mollet wasn't there and she didn't come to the baptism on Saturday either. Hopefully that will be taken care of next week.

I tried maheu (a flavored maize drink that people love here) for the first time, and I don't know it's honestly not very good. yikes. Haha I've gotta find something that I like here. There's this juice called Mazoe that you dilute with water and it's super good. I also found some coconut biscuit cookies that are pretty nice. 

Can I just say I love the scriptures?! There are honestly answers to every question and support for every doctrine between the thin pages of the holy scriptures. Whether it be about the Sabbath day, speaking in tongues, or the apostasy or whatever. it's all in the scriptures. It's so much fun in our companionship study to come across scriptures that prove doctrine. It's the best! The scriptures truly are the word of God.

I went on an exchange with my district leader Elder Tsongora on Friday. He's 18 months on mission and is super thoughtful. He teaches with great detail and with a good Spirit. It was fun to talk and teach with him. Then we had the baptism on Saturday!! I was able to baptize Wendy and Monica. It was tough for a couple reasons: they filled the font up to like my knees, and also many people haven't been in water that much so they freak out when they go under. I had to baptize them both a second time, but we got through it and it was pretty special. 

Sunday we had our branch conference. We had a few more members attend than in previous weeks, but still not many. I got the chance to conduct the music (no keyboard) and that was nice. I also got  to participate in confirming Wendy and Monica and that was so spiritual. It was so profound to be able to confirm someone and give them the Holy Ghost. I'm so grateful for the priesthood and the ordinances of the gospel. Third hour our branch president led us in Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel and was so enthusiastic and I loved it! He's an older guy and a convert but you can tell he truly has a testimony. Then in the evening we had dinner with Brother and Sister Wicho and their family. He's an RM who's been super active in stake callings. He also remembers Elder Davenport!! So that's cool. It was awesome to talk to someone who speaks good English and just gets the gospel and stuff. It's funny, everyone thinks I'm super quiet and reserved here. They don't realize that I'm just trying to be respectful and that I'm trying to listen and learn Shona. It's hard to relate to these people because we are so different, but i'm working hard to talk to people and put myself out there. Every day it gets better.

It's been super hot this week and solid lessons were hard to come by, but we are working hard. Hopefully this next transfer will bring more blessings and more joy! I love you all and I'm so grateful for your support!!

Love Elder Barlow

PS I'm unable to send pictures because I left my card reader at home. whoops! I promise I'll send some good ones next week!!!!

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