Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31, 2016 - "Kuri Kupisa!!!"

What's up everyone?!
Another week has gone by! I hope all is well with everyone! In English, the subject means "it's hot," which is probably the best description I could offer for this week. The sun has been relentless!! As missionaries we are pretty used to it by now mentally, but it continues to make things a little hard. Even the people here know it's too hot!
On Monday after I finished my email we went and played soccer at the town chapel which has some grass. These 4 guys stopped and asked if they could play with us and we invited them in. Holy cow those guys were so good. Honestly we were outclassed and I'm glad we mixed up the teams a little. My team won 4-1 and I scored all 4 goals! (...even if I didn't do that much work) Afterwards we got their contacts and invited them to church. It was awesome!! This week we had a lot of appointments that fell through again, but we also had some of the best lessons we've ever taught.
Soccer with the Elders

I have to tell you guys about this guy we met named Brother Mutsata. He owns the 3 kiosks in our area and has been pretty successful. Holy cow this man has been prepared. He had an American friend years back who was a member and got him interested. When we stopped to talk to him, he invited us into the kiosk and let us teach him. He had great questions and was so grateful for everything that we taught him about Joseph Smith and the Restoration. He honestly just gets it. He's so humble and willing to learn, even though he's decades older than us. He's a methodist originally but recognizes that there are things missing and was so willing to hear us. He offered to help us with anything we need. We taught him again about the doctrine of Christ. He honestly just understands faith, asked great questions about repentance and baptism, and the Spirit guided us to answer his questions. He always says he is satisfied with our answers and that he doesn't want us to stop coming. He speaks really good English which is really nice. He said something profound to us last week: "this badge you wear, it's the light of the world, and it's not a joke. People see that. It's not a joke, you are doing the work of God. Your work will help us. Continue to help me understand especially from the Bible. I've read the Bible 20 times, but you have researched and you have understanding. Please help me to know." I'm paraphrasing but wow, zhakasimba for sure. I love this guy and i can't wait to teach him again!! On the humbling side, we taught the plan of salvation for the first time (crazy i know don't ask) and I was not very prepared. I shared an off topic scripture and everything, but luckily Elder Muzenda knew what he was doing. I definitely have a lot to learn and need to study and prepare better!

My street in Mkoba 12
There are a ton of cute kids. There are a couple two year olds in our branch that are so adorable and bring a huge smile to my face.
Haha I love taking combies. We only do it like once a week, but it's a blast. Who wouldn't want to be crammed into an old van with 20 random people and a crazy driver?! Every time I ride in one it's like an adventure haha. We also had our baptism moved to this coming week, where we will be baptizing Mollet and her 8 year old daughter! It's going to be great.
I got a haircut today!! The guy had to cut it really short, so it's basically the shortest it's been since my dad was giving me buzz cuts when I was twelve. It actually doesn't look too bad haha. The thing is, people are used to cutting only African hair, especially in Gweru, so the only razor attachments that they have are 1-4. The guy even wanted to do a little shaping, so he did haha. It honestly isn't bad. You can see the scar from my staples super well though, so that's a reminder in case I forgot what was happening two years ago haha.
I'm slowly starting to learn more Shona. Sometimes Elder Muzenda just sits and talks with people in Shona, and I kinda just sit there. I do my best to listen to words and to understand parts of conversations. It's hard but I'm working on it. It's hard to just talk to people sometimes because not everyone speaks good English and because of cultural and background differences it's hard to relate to people and to know what to talk about. I'm working hard to put myself out there and to be more outgoing. It's not easy but I'm improving. We focused on teaching with more unity as a companionship this week and that really blessed and improved the quality of our lessons. I feel more and more like a regular missionary each week.
Elder Muzenda and I with Sister Muza and her mom
This Sunday was a little tough. Only about 20 ish people showed up to church with about 3 Melchizedek priesthood holders and 2 investigators. Yikes, that was kinda tough. It makes me so grateful for the wonderful enthusiastic ward I have back home that raised me and prepared me in the gospel! The speakers didn't show up, so of course the branch president came to us. We gave impromptu talks and I spoke on the scriptures and the words of the living prophets. I think it went pretty well. The words of God truly haven't ceased coming to us if we know where to listen, and new revelation can always be found in past scripture! I love Elder Neal A. Maxwell's expression, that the scriptures are "thin pages thick with meaning." I honestly love the scriptures! In my personal study I've been reading conference talks from October 1999, and there are some amazing ones and I'd encourage everyone to take a look at them! I also studied the end of Mosiah and the beginning of Alma this week, and the transformation of Alma the Younger just inspires me. He, through the Atonement of the Savior, transformed from an awful sinner into a powerful prophet. His example is one of hope and one of incredible joy! I also loved the attitude of the sons of Mosiah, who shuddered at the thought of losing one of their brethren, enough that they willingly served 14 years among their enemies! They are great examples to all of us.
I just want to close this week by bearing my testimony of living prophets. God called Thomas S. Monson to guide his church on the earth today. His sacred example of enthusiastic service, loyalty to the Spirit, and boundless energy inspire me to become greater and to serve more. He truly was prepared throughout his life to answer the call of the Lord and I am so grateful to be a witness to his counsel!
I love you all and hope that this week brings blessings beyond belief! Never forget the power of faith and prayer!
Elder Barlow
At Wendy's and Monica's baptism!

No comments:

Post a Comment