Monday, January 9, 2017

January 2, 2017 - Makorokoto Egore Idzva!!

Happy 2017 Everyone!! I hope everyone enjoyed a fantastic conclusion to 2016 and I look forward to the year of the elder (my full year as a missionary)!!

Just some quick new years resolutions that I'd like to share with everyone. I want to speak Shona semi-fluently by the end of this year, and also grow closer to the Savior. I know that second one is pretty general but I have a great desire to come to better know my Redeemer and to do what He would have me do. I hope everyone's resolutions last throughout the year!

This week was pretty tough with regards to missionary work. This is mostly due to it being the holidays and people just being busy. You would not imagine how many people are just drunk throughout the holidays. Africa is pretty different from back home haha. The weather has been pretty unkind to us as well. When it's not pouring rain and muddy, it's scorching hot. It's kind of a pick your poison thing, but we push through! The Lord's work can't be stopped! Most people that we contacted and saw this week were pretty uninterested, which was disappointing, but I have faith that things will improve in the coming weeks.

We did have a couple of highlights though! We taught a 16 year old girl named Tinevimbo about the Godhead and also part of the Restoration. It's amazing how so many people don't understand the true nature of God, and I'm so grateful for modern day prophets and continuing revelation that teach us about our Heavenly Father and His Son! We also saw the Mositeri's again, and we shared a short lesson with them on Ether 12:6 talking about faith. It was so powerful and the Spirit was there, so much that they said that they didn't feel like they should ask questions or add to it. It was pretty awesome! On another high note, we baptized a 19 year old girl named Nellie yesterday. We are just hoping that she isn't converted to us and we pray that she becomes more serious than she's been in the past. It felt great to be able to bring someone into the fold again! On a side note, the branches here are so awesome!! Everyone loves each other and has fun and they are all really supportive! They are such a joy to be around!
 Some traditional Zulu food that Elder Mtunja made

For new years eve we took care of some baptismal interviews and then had some time to kill. Elder Blignaut, my zone leader, and I were tired of waiting for our dinner appointment so we went out and contacted a little and saw some less active members, which I enjoyed. Afterwards we had dinner with a member, and then we went back home to sleep haha. We woke up at 12 to the sound of fireworks! 2017 has come!! Elder Banda kept running around excited and calling people cause he's going home next month, which is super exciting for him. We enjoyed as missionaries and it was fun to welcome in the new year!! Then last night we helped cook dinner with the Pikani family. They are awesome! The daughter served here and returned last spring and so it was fun to hear her share stories with the older missionaries. We also cooked japati's, which are basically African tortillas and they were amazing! The festivities certainly lifted my spirits a little after a difficult week.

I'm so excited to spend 2017 as a missionary and I can't wait to see the experiences that lie in store! I love you all and I hope this next year brings joy and blessings to you all!!

Love Elder Barlow

Our 5 star bathroom

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