Mhoroi everybody!! I hope this first week of May brought flowers instead of showers. For us the rain stopped, but the heat returned. Haha be careful what you wish for!!
Interesting challenge about missionary work in Zimbabwe: marriage. Most couples that you find are not legally married. Rather they have been traditionally married. However, there's also the factor of lobola (marriage dowry), which makes it difficult to get a family's approval for marriage. The Church requires that every couple be legally married before baptism, and although the Church provides the service for free, it's still a major stumbling block in the way of many people progressing to baptism. Just a thought that I'd share with you all that kind of explains a major factor in the work here.
|Mai Mondwa, Maybe, and Us|
Today I'll just focus on the main parts of my week. Sorry again for not including pictures last Monday!! They kicked us out of the internet cafe early because it was a holiday, but I promise there will be many pictures this week! On Tuesday we had a powerful lesson with Sis. Joyce about Joseph Smith and the Restoration. She said that she wanted to do what Joseph Smith did and ask of God because there are so many churches in these days. Elder Ray and I were grinning from ear to ear! It was one of the more powerful and effective lessons that we've had. On Wednesday I went on exchanges with Elder Barnett to his area. We taught some good lessons and had fun together. He's a good elder and they are doing magic in their ward.
|Sis Kwaramba, Tasha, and Us|
|Us with Saru|
Thursday brought a few unexpected surprises. We had just taught a nice lesson to a struggling member and she was feeding us dinner, when the zone leaders called us and informed us that an insane lady had been bothering the sister missionaries at their house for several hours. We rushed with Simba and the other missionaries to Zengeza to check it out. We weren't sure what to do so we said a prayer and I remembered an initial prompting that I had to call their branch president. So we did, and after some circumstances which I won't mention, the problem was solved and nobody was hurt. It was a blessing from the Lord and we were all glad that the issue was resolved relatively quickly. On Friday the zone leaders came to interview Saru and Tasha (Tasha is Sis Kwaramba's 12 year old son. She is yet another powerful woman who can't be baptized yet because of legal marriage issues). Both passed and were powerful. It was also a good time to talk to Elder Baldwin and Elder Whiting, who are both good friends.
Saturday was powerful!! Saru and Tasha were baptized and we were so happy!! We were so excited because both came as a result of street contacting. It was amazing! That evening we had our YSA talent show activity and it was a huge hit. There was singing, rapping, dancing, eating contests, everything!! The missionaries contributed with some singing, dancing, and....the haka. Elder Taloa wanted us to learn it, so we did and it was a huge hit!!! Yes I am white, but it was still kinda cool. We had investigators there and it was so much fun. Zimbabweans go crazy when they are excited.
|Us and Tanaka|
Sunday was pretty good. Saru, Tasha, and Tanaka (from last week) were all confirmed. It was so awesome. Saru even brought her mom, her brother, and a friend! I taught investigators class on prayer and it was super powerful. We had a lot of members join us and it went really well. Very few investigators came to church again, but we aren't losing faith.
Today we took a tour of the National Heroes Acre just outside of Harare. It was so awesome and we got some unbelievable pictures. I love Zimbabwe!!!!
This week I'd like to encourage everyone to read through the first 4 chapters of Jacob in the Book of Mormon. Jacob was an incredible example of teaching repentance. The pleasing word of God is what we'd like to hear all the time, but it's not always what we need. Most churches here preach the gospel of prosperity and it's so appealing because many here are so poor. However, what we truly need is a call to repentance so that spiritual prosperity may be abundant in our lives.
I love you all, have a fantastic week!!!