Monday, July 31, 2017

July 31, 2017 - Stressed but Blessed!

Hey everyone!!
Tendai, Josh, Mai Arnold, Sister Pardon

I hope everyone's week was as good as mine! The Lord is so kind to us as missionaries, and this week was a culmination of many blessings from Him! It was a little worrisome, but definitely worthwhile.

This week we were focusing on our investigators who were being baptized, namely Bro. Tendai and Mai Arnold, Bro. Josh, and Sis. Pardon. All of them are so amazing and I feel like we got to know them just a little better this week. Bro. Josh is 17 years old. A friend invited him to church my first week in Hatcliffe, and he came. We couldn't find his house for the longest time, but we finally located him and taught him. Although he kept coming to church, we weren't too sure how interested he really was. However, as we've taught him, we've seen glimpses of a budding testimony. He answers questions during church and has potential to be a great priesthood holder. Elder Horton and I found Sister Pardon and her family when an appointment next door fell through. We taught them for a while with no progression, until she prayed and got an answer that the Book of Mormon was true. She's a single mom with two young daughters. Her husband took another wife and sent her away a few years back, so she lives with her mom and sister. She takes notes on everything she reads, and she said that her baptism was the happiest day of her life! And then of course, Bro. Tendai and Mai Arnold. They are so prepared and so wonderful. They have two kids, Arnold (4) and Prince (9 months), and we helped them to be married (more details coming). They are so humble and committed and love reading the Book of Mormon! I am so blessed to be among such special people!
Elder Barlow and Elder Gunther

Elder Barlow and Elder Bollinger

On Tuesday we had zone conference. President and Sister Mkhabela taught so powerfully as always. Sis. Mkhabela talked about protecting our mission from sin and idleness, and President taught us about using the Book of Mormon as our greatest tool in conversion. It was really enlightening, especially as we've seen amazing things as we've tried to use the Book of Mormon more when we teach! Also, I finally got to sing! I sang A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, one of my favorite hymns because it talks of serving the Savior. I had been very worried about it because I had been sick with a cold for the whole week, so I asked my companion for a blessing. He said that my sickness wouldn't impede my singing, and I also prayed that I at least would be able to bring the Spirit. Priesthood power is real. My song went really well, and Sis. Mkhabela said that the Spirit blanketed the room when I finished. Singing is a powerful form of worship, and I'm grateful for the opportunity that I had to share something so dear to me. 

We had some interesting experiences this week, one of them being with Sister Bridget, who I mentioned in an earlier email. She's been through a lot in her life, whether it be tough circumstances or consequences of her bad choices. On Friday she was incredibly emotional, and she proceeded to tell us some extremely terrible things that are happening to her right now. I didn't know what to say, but the Spirit reminded me of what we should always do as missionaries: listen with love and then when appropriate, bear testimony of the Savior. We did so, and she said she felt much better after telling us. We gave her the Book of Mormon and taught her some of the things the Lord told Joseph Smith when he was being tried and tested. She loves the Book of Mormon and she even came to church again! She still has some big changes to make, but I pray that this gospel will give her a new outlook on life.
Tendai and Mai Arnold

Sunday was so sketchy but so awesome!! 13 investigators came to church, the highest since I've been on my mission! However, Tendai and Mai Arnold weren't among them. Elder Horton and I were freaking out a little, trying to figure out where they were. They finally showed up right after church...but they left their ID's at home and had to send someone else to go pick them up. That took another hour. Ahhhh stress. Finally, everything was in place and they got married!! It was so awesome to see their little family brought together and I pray that it only foreshadows their eventual journey to the temple!! Afterwards, we had the baptism. Bro. Nyakuchena, a recent convert, performed the baptisms and did great. It was so special. Honestly my heart was so full. I love being a missionary!! Even though we had to be at church from 9 am to 4:30 pm.
Being a missionary is tough sometimes, I have to admit, but it's moments like these that make everything worth it. I know that this Church is true, and that the Lord loves each and every one of us. We are never alone, and we all have special purpose in life. I am so thankful for the blessings that my Heavenly Father has given me, and I'm so thankful to be here among the people of Zimbabwe!!

Love Elder Barlow

No comments:

Post a Comment