Monday, January 9, 2017

January 9, 2017 - Madhaka Akawandisa!!

How's it going everyone? My title this week is interpreted to mean too much mud, which pretty much describes most of our experiences this week! With most of our area not having paved roads and there being an excess of rain, mud becomes a little inconvenient haha.

So this week kind of got off to a rough start. Our first three days all of our lesson appointments fell through. Like, all of them. That was kind of frustrating, and the reason why this email will be a little bit shorter so I apologize in advance! The fall throughs wouldn't be so inconvenient, except for the fact that we have to walk often 30 minutes between appointments. It was a bit tough but we did our best to keep working.

We ended up doing some contacting in the town neighborhoods, which ended up being ok. The houses in that area were all probably really nice 30-50 years ago but haven't been kept up too well. So there are some pretty big houses there, not to mention lots of cool trees. Most of our contacts haven't yet been fruitful, but we are doing our best! Another fun fact about Zimbabwe: there are dogs just roaming around everywhere. I'm not talking about golden retrievers or cocker spaniels, I mean mangy, irritable, zhing-looking dogs. For those of you who know me really well, you know that dogs and I haven't always been pals. Haha tracting can be difficult sometimes because of said circumstances but nothing has happened as of yet!

On Friday we went to Rimuka with Elder Barrus and Elder Ogonda. I never thought that I would miss serving in a township, but I do. There are just people everywhere, which is a change from my area. We contacted a lot of people and it was fun to see another side of Kadoma. We got to have dinner with the Chavengwa familly again. While the food was being prepared, we just stood outside and stopped people and invited them to church. Haha, oh mission life. The food was great though. Sadza sadza sadza all the time. It's pretty great haha. That family thinks I'm fluent in Shona which is kind of cool, but also a false assumption because I'm nowhere near that point! It's good to feel like I'm making progress though. It was kind of intense on the way home because our comby conductor got out to beat up a drunk guy who was in the road, so there's that. 

Saturday was one of our better days this week. We brought the other elders with us. Surprisingly our first lesson was a success! We taught Laston and his friend David about the Godhead and about part of the Restoration. We actually had a good discussion and there were some good questions asked. I was getting excited because it had been so long! It made me really happy. We were able to visit a couple other people as well, which was awesome. We then had to walk to Rimuka for a dinner appointment. That includes walking 45 minutes through muddy and watery paths. We had to stop several times to clean our shoes and our pants were all splattered with mud. It was an adventure for sure. For the dinner appointment, we cooked chicken, rice, and pumpkin leaves (which are super nice by the way) for Sister Matare, who's an older lady with a son on a mission. We had fun cooking and she's a sweet lady. She hasn't been too well so I think she enjoyed the company.

Sunday! Our whole zone fasted for our areas. We haven't been productive as of late even though we have been working hard, so we are hoping the Lord will bless our efforts going forward. Guess what?! Laston came to church!! On time! I was so surprised! I had forgotten what that felt like. It was an awesome time to have an investigator at church because it was a fast and testimony meeting and there were some powerful testimonies being born. Laston even went up and bore his testimony!! We were so surprised but it was awesome. He's in his 30's. kinda shorter and more reserved. He doesn't seem super bright, but he feels the Spirit. It was just awesome. In priesthood meeting our branch president talked a lot about making this a powerful and spiritual year. Our branch leadership really is so awesome here. The only downside was that Nellie didn't come early to be confirmed, so hopefully that will be taken care of soon. Afterwards we walked around Rimuka visiting members who weren't able to come. Then we had dinner with the Manwhere family, who was baptized a year ago. That was awesome too. It was just an awesome day overall!!

Thank you for your love and support!!! A huge thank you to my loving ward members for the packages that were sent! I hope you all know I love you and pray for you!!

Love Elder Barlow

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