Wednesday, July 5, 2017

June 26, 2017 - Jersey, Jacket, Whatever You Call It

Mhoroi everybody!!
Me and my little friends
I hope you all are doing well and enjoying the warm weather back home in Utah. Weather is so funny here. In the mornings and evenings it is super cold (like see your breath in the air cold), but most days are warm and sunny. It's kind of funny because even in the sunshine you'll see people bundling up and asking us why we aren't wearing jerseys (jackets, don't know why they call them that haha). It's funny because when it actually gets cold, 75% of the time I don't have my jacket. If any of you don't believe that Africa gets cold, come to Zimbabwe during June. You will have a testimony haha.

This last Tuesday we had dinner with the Melvin family, who are actually family friends of Elder Barrus. They fed us Mexican food and we had a great evening with them. Right before we shared a message, they asked if any of us were musical. A few of us raised our hands. Sister Melvin looks right at me and asks if I sing. I said yeah a little. And she said you should sing for us before we start. I was like uh.....but of course we had almost the whole zone there and they all piggie backed on that idea. So I sang I Am a Child of God for them, and although I was shaking the whole time, it was pretty good. I like singing hymns because they bring the Spirit in a way that words sometimes can't.
Faith's baptism!
Temba is in the middle and he baptized,
which his cool cause he's still a recent convert!!

Faith got baptized on Saturday!! She's Rachel's little sister and only 12, and though she's quiet she really knows the gospel! Since she speaks mostly Shona I had the privilege of teaching her most of the time, and it was exciting to have her be baptized. We had Temba, a recent convert, perform the baptism and he did great! It was an awesome day. Sister Barbara was unfortunately not baptized. President Mkhabela told us that we should wait for her husband (who is working indefinitely in South Africa) to come so they can be married first. She took the news ok, I just hope she gets baptized soon because she is so active at church!

We found 12 more new investigators this week and we have 13 people on baptismal date! It's so amazing because 3 of them are fathers. It is always a blessing to teach a father because they often are busy, but when you find those who are humble, they can lead their families closer to God! The humility that some of these people have, though they may not have much money or education, is so touching and so incredible.

Yesterday we had a two hour discussion with these Seventh Day Adventists. One guy started off by saying that we shouldn't have a church fight or whatever, but that we should talk civilly about what's important to salvation. We happily agreed. However, they kept interrupting us, often with the phrase "so let's cut the long story short." That was a bit frustrating. At least they were much nicer and willing to listen a little more than most people like them that we've met. They mostly were trying to convert us, so not much was accomplished. Zimbabweans know the Bible SO well. It's pointless with many people to try and settle a point using only the scriptures. That's why I love that a testimony comes from God through the Holy Ghost, and we can obtain it through asking in humble and sincere prayer. We concluded by offering them the Book of Mormon and asking them to pray and take the Lord's word for it, not just ours. The scriptures are incredible and support the restored gospel, but so many people are unable to see that. That's why the Holy Ghost must be the true teacher, not us.

Earlier in the week, we went as a district and ate at this Indian restaurant in our area called Taj. They took an hour to bring out the food, but when they did, it was about the spiciest and most delicious food that I've had on the mission. Not to mention the Indian outfits on the African waiters were powerful haha. Our stomachs are used to sadza and vegetables, so it was kind of a fun experience. Who knew that the best Indian food that I've ever eaten would be in Zimbabwe? You learn something new every day.
Elder Horton and I enjoying the Zimbabwean winter
I know that the Lord watches over us and loves us. As a missionary you come to know that we need to rely on the Lord in a very literal way. There have been many times when my own knowledge or my own strength have fallen short. It has required me to take a deep breath and trust that my Heavenly Father will accomplish His purposes through me. I am learning more and more about being humble and patient. The Savior never came to testify of himself or of his will. Rather, he was the perfect disciple of His Father, doing "always those things that please him." (John 8:29) Earlier in that same verse, Jesus said that "the Father hath not left me alone." I know that as we too seek to do those things which please our Heavenly Father, we will never be left alone. He knows us, cares for us, and His ways are higher than ours. 

I love you all and I hope you have the best week ever!!

Elder Barlow

Elders of Harare enjoying Pday

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