Monday, June 5, 2017

May 15, 2017 - ET After Phone Home

Hey everybody!!

Things have been absolutely crazy this week, so I will do my best to record my thoughts. This week has been a little bit emotional and full of ups and downs, which is a good way to describe missionary work.
Chitown District:
Elders Ray, Taloa, and Barnett
Sisters Erickson and Walbeck

On Tuesday we had our last district meeting together and it was really powerful! We discussed about studying and we were able to take pictures afterwards. It was awesome and I really will miss the amazing elders and sisters in this district.
Elder Whiting and I

On Wednesday we had exchanges with the zone leaders! I had the opportunity to be with Elder Whiting, who is awesome and one of my best friends on this mission. We got to use a lot of Shona together and we taught some powerful lessons. One thing I've also always appreciated about him is the great conversations that we always have about desiring to be good missionaries. We had a ton of fun. However, then came the news: the AP's called and told me that I was being emergency transferred (ET'd, see title) to Hatcliffe and Borrowdale. I had to scramble when we got home from Eastview and pack all of my stuff so we could leave directly. I was very sad to have to leave my recent converts, district members, favorite companion, and favorite area so suddenly. I now live in Borrowdale alone with my companion Elder Horton, who is from Draper. He's a little odd, but I think we'll do good work. A little info about our area: it is so massive. Borrowdale is the richest part of Zimbabwe, and Hatcliffe is pretty poor but extremely big. We have one ward that covers both areas. There are white people in our ward!! It's a little weird but super cool. You don't see too many murungu members of the church here. I've also seen some of the biggest houses ever in our area, along with the smallest. We definitely get the best of both worlds. It was a little discouraging at first with the circumstances of the whole situation, but things are picking up. Elder Horton knows 0 Shona because he was trained in Bulawayo where they speak Ndebele, so I have to try and translate and communicate with most of the people. However, we have received many referrals in the past few days that we are very excited about!

On Saturday and Sunday we had ward conference. The Stake presidency came and did priesthood training on Saturday and it was super powerful. It's good to meet the members and see the strength of this ward. Sunday was super spiritual as well. We had great meetings and managed to have 12 investigators at church!! That was incredibly encouraging, as was the personal and general counsel that we received from the Stake presidency. Hopefully this area will be fruitful and I pray that we will have good experiences this transfer! On a side note, I also met two more RM's from Ghana that served under Mimi and Papa! That has been so fun.

Elder Horton and I

Also, today with transfers I wasn't planning on doing any activities. However, when the other missionaries showed up with a basketball and needed one more player, I couldn't say no. So we destroyed the other team haha, but it came with a lesson: don't play basketball in dress clothes--you feel miserable even if you win haha.

I would encourage everyone to read King Benjamin's sermon in Mosiah 2-5. It's so uplifting and an incredible discourse on the Savior and keeping his commandments! 

Have a fantastic week!!

Love Elder Barlow

Farewell to Elder Blignaut!

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