Monday, November 28, 2016

November 21, 2016 - Mupande ne mheni

What's up everybody?! This weeks title is translated to mean "thunder and lightning." The weather has been serious this week! I'll mention more later.
This week was pretty good! Although we started off slow, we managed to teach a lot by the end of the week. I think cumulatively we taught about 20 lessons on Thursday and Friday alone! It was sweet. On Thursday we taught Thomas, the older guy with the WofW problem. We taught him the plan of salvation and it was the coolest thing. I just finished teaching him about Adam and Eve and the Fall, and he started realizing and talking about how God knew we would fall and sin and that was the point and so He sent Christ to make it possible to repent. Wow I was blown away by his understanding and I couldn't help but smile and nod my head excitedly. It was really awesome and I hope some progression can be made. On Friday we also taught Mai Diana. We had a really interesting discussion on tithing and also on fasting/prayer. Apparently at her church things are super different, less organized, and strange when it comes to funds. She was so surprised when we told her about how tithing works, how organized it is, and how church leaders receive no salary as volunteers. It was awesome and I think she realized that maybe she wants a change. She speaks super good English because she's a teacher so that makes the lessons we have very profitable for the both of us. It's great!!
We made an effort to visit more less actives again, and I think we totaled about 13 lessons with them this week. Elder Muzenda said he was proud of me for trying to talk to people and put myself out there. It's still hard with the language but I'm trying. He's teaching me to pray in Shona which is super cool. Hopefully my progress will continue to increase. It's a very different language from English, so I definitely need the Lord's help in learning. Anyways, that's it for teaching experiences this week!
This week it's rained pretty frequently but not very hard. It's a blessing because we are in a house every time it starts raining. It's made the weather super mild and that has really helped a ton. We can always see serious parts of the storm far off though and it's so sketchy. I have never seen so much lightning in my whole life. It's super cool! The thunder is serious too. African weather doesn't mess around. It's so funny because when we leave the house it may be hot and sunny, but after our first lesson it will be cloudy and raining, then it will clear up, and then get cloudy again. It's tough to prepare for sometimes haha. 

Our dinner/devotional
On Friday we had dinner and a little devotional with the other missionaries. We made sadza (of our own free will!) and had drinks and it was a blast just hanging around with them and making jokes. They're all good guys which is a huge blessing for me. On Saturday the other elders had a baptism so we attended. It was super awesome to attend a baptism that I wasn't participating in. I loved it!! It was hilarious too because afterwards the new converts and their nonmember sisters all wanted pictures with me, even though I'd never met them. It was super hilarious and I felt kinda like a celebrity which was cool.
Sacrament meeting yesterday was poor in terms of attendance but powerful in Spirit. We had these two 18 year old young women speak on prayer and repentance and I was so impressed. They weren't short and super simple, and it really made an impact on me. It lifted my spirits a lot. We spent part of 2nd hour talking to the one semi-active RM in our ward and it was sweet. He's a good guy and fun to talk to because he's been on a mission and he gets it. Then last night we waited out the rain at a member's house and talked for a long time about all sorts of things which was really nice. Super awesome fact, 5 out of the 6 days we proselyted we were fed dinner! And we had sadza every time haha. It was super awesome!!! Especially since we hadn't had many DA's before. I've actually grown to love sadza a lot. We had quail with the Ngwaru family, which was so so good. It was honestly amazing. Brother Ngwaru (the one who's not in the church anymore) was talking about his couples mission and it blew me away how happy and how much pride he took in his mission. I want him to come back so bad, because he still knows it's true. I want to talk about my mission like that. We also ate with this nonmember family. We've been teaching their son Tafara who's in his 30's and we'd only met them once. However, when we stopped to say hi, they invited us to come back later to have dinner and everything. It was so incredibly kind. Even though we're practically strangers, they didn't care or didn't run away because we are missionaries. It was so amazing. Zimbabwean people can be so kind.
A couple of fun facts! I finished Jesus the Christ this week! It's super long but I absolutely loved it. It contains so much doctrine and helps you know the Savior and I encourage everyone to read it! And, my brother Sam is 16 today!! Everyone wish him a happy birthday for me!! He's such a great kid and I'm so proud to be his brother!!
Until next week, musari zvakanaka!!
Elder Barlow
Sometimes you are overcome by the Spirit after church ha

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