Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 19, 2017 - No Elder Horton, You Don't Want Some "Stuff"

Hey friends and family!!

Look what I found!
I hope everyone is doing well!! Happy Fathers' Day to my dad and to all the awesome fathers out there! We love and appreciate you!

This week was a bit difficult but still great. The sweet thing about being a missionary is that no matter how many touch experiences you have, they are always outweighed by the good ones!! We had interviews with President Mkhabela on Tuesday. He is a great man and really cares about us as missionaries. I've enjoyed being able to feel closer to him as my time has passed here. We also had pizza from this place called Pogo's, and it happened to be the most delicious meal I've eaten for the past 10 months or so. Mission teaches you many things, including how to appreciate good pizza haha.

On Wednesday night after bishopric we needed to grab some food, so we went to the store in our area and then walked over to a restaurant. So here in Zimbabwe, many people sell airtime for phones on the street to try and earn a little money. A man came up to us on our way to the restaurant and asked if we wanted airtime. We told him that we were sorry and that our phone had enough. He then in kind of a hushed voice said "Hey, do you guys want some stuff?" Uh oh. I was like no, we are good. My companion was confused and kept saying what stuff. The guy was like you know, mbanje (marijuana). I was like, Elder Horton, come on let's go. He finally figured it out and he freaked out as we were walking away. So, beloved friends and family, if a guy on the street asks if you want some stuff, probably a good idea to get out of there.

Throughout this week Elder Horton and I tried our best to work hard, even though it seemed like all of our appointments kept falling through. Haha even our back-up plans for our back-up plans didn't work out. I know that no effort is ever wasted, so it was ok! We went to some new parts of Hatcliffe too and that was definitely an adventure. It was a blessing because this week we got to teach families for many of our lessons! It's so meaningful to teach a family because the gospel is meant for them!! Of course the gospel of Jesus Christ is for everybody, and God put us in families because that's where the greatest blessings come. We met the Homwe family when we went to teach their neighbors. The baba doesn't speak much English and things are tight for them, but he asked us to teach him and his children. Although I had to explain a few things in Shona, as we taught them about the plan of salvation, they were able to understand and they were very happy. I hope the whole family is able to accept the gospel!!

Our front yard

We've also been teaching Brother Ndowa, who accepted a baptismal date for his family this week!! He has great questions and it is always fun to teach him because he reads and really has an interest in the gospel. We taught him about the love Christ has for us, specifically in Moroni 7, and he told us that he can see the goodness of the gospel and thanked us for the love he felt from us. It was great. This week also I was feeling a bit discouraged and I kept praying to feel loved. As always, the Lord answered me in His way by letting me see the love others had felt through me. In addition to Brother Ndowa, others we have been teaching expressed to us how great it was that we had showed our love and integrity by visiting and teaching them, and one lady even remarked that she and her family could see God through us. It was really touching and I felt so happy, because that's truly what we are here to do: love others the way God loves them. It was so amazing.

We've continue to teach Elisha and he is so powerful! His mom still won't let him be baptized even though he loves the Book of Mormon and the church, and so we encouraged him to be a missionary to his mom. He truly loves the gospel and I think he will bless his family because of it. We got to have stake conference this week and it was awesome!! Seeing so many wonderful members was a really cool experience and we received some great instruction.

You Know You're in Zim When..... #2

-kids on every corner are playing soccer with a ball made of bread bags
-traditional sungura music is playing everywhere
-people say how is it? instead of how's it going
-you pass a different church every 2 minutes
-everyone knows how to dance
-people feed you whenever you visit, even if they didn't plan to!

I love this wonderful country and I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to serve God and His children here in Zim!! 

Love you all!!
Love Elder Barlow 

(I'll send more pictures next time)

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