Monday, March 13, 2017

March 13, 2017 - The Best of Both Worlds

Hey everybody! I hope you all are doing well and feeling the Savior's love for you! This week was pretty awesome, both in the missionary aspect and the adventure aspect. I'm not even sure where to start.

This week we were kind of running around all over the place trying to get Faston and Moreblessing prepared for baptism. The car has really come in handy for that. We managed to teach all the lessons to both of them and they both were very prepared. It made me happy to see them both understanding so much, especially because they're both about 18. We had a lot of appointments fall through, but we were thankful that we could prepare them for baptism.
Our picture at zone conference!

Elder Dixon and I...6 months later!
On Thursday we had a surprise zone conference. We watched the training broadcast for mission presidents, which Elder Oaks said should now be shown to missionaries as well. It was so cool to hear Elder Bednar teach the mission presidents and to hear their insights about repentance and conversion. It was amazing and I learned so much. Repentance is truly the most important step to conversion, because it leads to everything else. It's never a checklist, but an ongoing process to become more like the Savior! I loved it and could've watched it all day. It was also super fun to see Elder Sink, Elder Dixon, and others. It's amazing to see how many awesome friendships that you make while you are serving the Lord.

Elder Bamutesiza and I!
On Friday we brought Elder Barnett and Elder Taloa to see Mai Makore, an investigator who a member brought to our branch but who stays in their area. She doesn't speak much English because she comes from kumusha (rural areas), but she studied and did all the additional stuff in the back of the Plan of Salvation pamphlet and it was so powerful! I taught her mbijana (a little) in Shona, which was cool. The zone leaders, Elder Baldwin and Elder Bamutesiza also came to do baptismal interviews. All our candidates passed. We also met Chantel this week, who is an 8 year old who actually isn't a child of record, and she was interviewed as well. I love both those elders and it's fun to talk about mission life with them.

Triple baptism!!
Saturday we had the baptism!!! Moreblessing came an hour late, which was stressful, but it happened!! We were so excited to see our efforts coming to fruition. Both Elder Ray and I were super pumped. Also, it was chilly, windy, and overcast all weekend, which was very unusual. The warmth we felt from the Spirit drove away the cold and it was a great weekend. On Sunday only Faston showed up on time to be confirmed, so the other two will be confirmed next week. Then we had an awesome lesson in Elders' quorum about the women in our lives from the teachings of President Gordon B. Hinckley. It made me so grateful for the wonderful influence of my mom, my grandmothers, and other women in my life!

Cool experience of the week!! Last Sunday Mai Mondwa brought her younger sister to church. We taught her on Thursdayabout prophets and the Restoration. Then we asked if she had prayed or had any good feelings since we'd taught her. She told us that after our visit on Tuesday, she had a dream about Elder Ray and I being in her home in the middle of the night. She said she was confused, but that a voice said that we were protecting her. then she said she made tea for us but we refused. It was so cool to see how the Lord was telling her of our roles as missionaries, to protect people from the wiles of the adversary.

Spiritual thought! I've thought often this week about two words: obtain and maintain. The Lord commands us to obtain His word and every good thing. However, if we fail to nourish and maintain the good that we have, we will lose it. As the scriptures teach us, he that receiveth receives more and more, but he who neglects that which he has received will lose even the portion he has. So we must not only obtain our testimonies, faith, love and respect, integrity, and our relationships, but we must maintain them so that the blessings can remain in our lives!!

Today was super awesome!! We got up early to clean and stuff, and then we drove with another district to Lion and Cheetah game park! We paid $5 each and then literally drove our car through a lion enclosure and then a game reserve. Man it was so cool!! The lions were super close and pretty intimidating. We even walked out in the bush next to some zebras, wildebeest, eland, and a giraffe!! It was so awesome. Then we ate lunch at Nando's, which is a delicious Portuguese restaurant in town. Overall it was a fantastic week!! We had to drop a lot of our investigators because they weren't progressing, so we're really going to be focusing on finding new people that will accept the gospel!!

Love you all!! 
Elder Barlow

Elder Koch and I.
He's the son of Sarah Allen's mom's friend in Denmark!
We emailed pre mission. He's 6'9"!!


 Elders Barlow and Sink,
album dropping Fall of 2018

Elder Allen and I

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