Monday, December 29, 2014

"Don't you know it's a new year?"-Phineaus and Ferb "Jokers."-Batman Beyond "So is this [the left] or [the right]?"-Up "You got to be a straight shooter do ya got it?"-Aladdin

I know I used this quote last year at new year time, but come on, it is a whole new year!   A new year of possibilities, a year of potential and a year for growing closer to those that we love and to our God.   It is also the last year of my mission, but that is beside the point.   Now we don't really do new year resolutions, but let us all decide to have an even better year then the last one.

There is a term among missionaries, used for those who seem interested at first, then just don't have the guts to tell you that they don't want to hear more.   It is Joker.   Well there is a whole chunk of our area just full of them.   They ditch lessons and they avoid eye contact, they don't come to church and they just joke with you.   But in that same area we have a few people who are actually starting to make steps towards baptisms.   There is always a ray of sunshine.  
I have a difficulty driving in Zimbabwe, it is called getting directions from my companion.   We will be driving and he is giving me directions and will tell me "okay turn left up here" and so I start to turn left and then he goes "you're turning the wrong way!" and I have to hit the brake and swerve and I don't "mumble under my breath" (from "I been watching you" for those who are country fans as I am).   But like all of the missionaries out here who are from Zim do it.   It is really difficult to drive like that.   I've started saying Port or Starboard?   They don't get that.  
I find one thing kind of funny.   Zimbabwe culture is a culture where you beat around the bush.   I remember my mom told me that in Japan they don't say "I don't like you" the say "I don't like people who are like you" or some such.   It is similar out here.   Someone will ask my companion a question and he will answer it, but in a softer way.   They ask me the same question and I just go right through the bush.   Like a lady asked us if ministers should be paid, or pastes or what ever term she used.   She asked us to show her from the bible, and my companion answered and showed that they aren't supposed to, and she tried to counter with a different scripture, and I just told her "no, the bible tells us that they aren't supposed to be paid."   And she said "then why does my pastor tell us that he is?" and I said "cause he wants to get paid for it."   It usually works pretty well though when you just tell it to them straight.   Hopefully we will hear back from her.   We will see.
Two baptisms this week, not three.   One Baba didn't make it to be interviewed, he went to some place called Halfway.   Don't know half way to what, but he went there.   Still the baptisms were great, 45 adults at Sacrament and 31 children.   We are growing pretty well, and it sounds like the papers to make us a branch are being processed.   It is nice seeing things come together.   

My companion has been sick for the past few days.   Not so good.   But hopefully he will get better soon.  
I am running low on time.
I know that there is always a sunrise.   God is always there for us.   He will answer our prayers.   I know it.
"I object, over ruled, I object! Quiet! Darn."
"Gil, am I to assume every time we come to this here secret lair, you manage to sit in that exact spot, blocking that choice piece of property from my view!?!   This is my comfy place."
I love you all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Turn it up! I love this song!"-Phineaus and Ferb "It's good to be home"-Shrek 2 "[Thursday] is Christmas, it's practically here."-How the Grinch stole Christmas "You see this face? This is a happy [missionary] face"-Gnomeo and Juliet

I love Christmas music, Disney Music and Country Music.   But only two of those groups are approved for mission.   So when ever I get any Christmas music I am giddy as can be, and I love getting Disney Music.   I miss my good ole home town Country, but that can wait.   I have been getting Christmas music as the days have gone by and I love it.   I have also been getting Disney stuff as well, and will go into that latter.   But when ever I hear it I want to crank it up and just enjoy it. 
I got to go back to Gweru last week, the place where I was "born" for what might be the very last time, since there probably wont be another zone conference till February, and I also got to come back to Chegutu after almost a three day exchange with the District Leader.   So yea, it is good to be home.  
I can't wait for Thursday! Merry Christmas Adam, as my old companion Elder Sant would say, since Adam came before Eve.   I am so excited to call home, and to do what ever else I will do that day.   Mostly calling home is what I am looking forward to.   Only a few more days.  
I got my package from my parents a few days ago, let me tell ya, I am a happy missionary.   Disney Music, told you I'd get to it, and Christmas music, Candy, Pez, Muffin mixes, Lemonade and Cool-Ade and Slim Jims, and a great card with a Picture of the Birth of our Savior.   I love Christmas packages, nothing is better, well few things are better.  
Like Baptisms.   We are really coming alive with baptisms out here in Chegutu, and it will only get better as the days go by.   We are anticipating three baptisms on Sunday, and there are three couples that we are hoping to marry, one from our side and two from the other side.   Chegutu is doing great.   The reason I wasn't able to email yesterday was because we The Chegutu Group went to Kadoma for a Christmas activity, and wouldn't you know it I forgot my camera so, yea, that sucks.   But it is all recorded in my mind, where it will have to stay.   But it was a really fun time, and the spirit was powerful.

My companion is doing really well, we are both looking forward to the next six weeks here in Chegutu, and we are looking forward to calling home to our loved ones.   He has been a little bit sick, seems like the sudden change from super hot to nice and cold has had a negative effect on a lot of people, since it is now rainy season and has cooled off, at least a little bit.   

"When others demand approval in defiance of God's commandments, may we always remember whose disciples we are and which way we face."
-Lynn G Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy
"Courage is the form of every virtue at the testing point. Pilate was merciful till it became risky."
-C. S. Lewis
"Although it's been said many times many ways, Merry Christmas to you. Merry Merry Christmas to you.
In the story How the Grinch Stole Christmas we read the lines "it came without ribbons, it came without tags, it came without packages, boxes or bags" and then "maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more."   I testify that Christmas is found not in the packages, or the gifts, or the lights or the trees, or any of that, as nice as it is.( I did get bored and drew a Christmas tree to hang on the wall).   Christmas is found in that Holy Birth that occurred 2014 years ago, or there abouts.   It is about the Savior, who had such great "condensation" so as to leave His thrown on High, to "Walk upon his footstool and be like man almost" to "suffer, bleed and die" for all of us.   I know He is the living son of the Living God.   I know He loves us, I know He came here for all of us.   And in the words of a great Christmas song "He will come again, cause He was here".
"She can't stay here this is the men's room."
"Which door, there's more then one."
"Sully just think about a few names would you?   Lockness, Big Foot, the Abominable Snowman, they all got one thing in common pal, banishment."
"Jack, I'm only an elected official I can't make decisions by myself."
I love you all.   May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white.

Monday, December 15, 2014

"I'm a [messenger] boy, alright."-Shrek "Say it loud say it proud!"-Little Mermaid 2 "I think two genders is too much for him"-Doctor Who "Is there anything for me?"-Robots

One thing that is really annoying here on mission, people treat me like I am a district leader.   Even my District leader treats me like I am a district leader.   It is always, "how are the other guys investigators coming along" or "Hey did you get the information about this meeting" or something along those lines.   I am NOT a leader.   I am simply a missionary trying to find, teach, and baptize.   I am perfectly fine with being someone president trusts to carry out assignments in the area, and all that good stuff, but I am not a leader and it is just weird being treated like one.  

Okay, picture this, my companion and I are tracting, and we walk up to the open door of the house.   In this situation culturally you don't knock first, you call out "goi goi goih" which basically means "knock knock knock." in Shona.   Right so my companion walks up and calls it out, like a tiny mouse trying not to be found by the big cat.   In Cali my companions and I would say "knock like you want to be heard" when we would walk up to a door.   Now when I call out "goi goi goih" it is usually in my big old "gonna call a huddle" football player voice that might shake the house apart.   The difference is really funny, he has started telling me to call out to the people in the house because of how loud I am.   Does that surprise anyone?  
I love my companion but it is the funniest thing.   Right, English is his second language, and it seems like Shona doesn't use pronouns, like one word refers to a man and a woman, depending on context.   So he will be telling a story and start by saying, "so this lady was going to..." right and then at one point in the story he will say "so when he got there she..." and I blink and ask him if the main character has changed.   I've started calling him Strax, the name of a Sauntarin in Doctor Who that can't tell the difference between a male human and a female human.   It has become a bit of a joke for us, and we both laugh.
So, got a call a week or so ago and was told that there is a package for me at mission office.   I knew you loved me.   Now the issue is, how do they get it to me?   That is the pickle.   I hope they find a way to do it soon, opening Christmas presents in January just seems like it will take the fun out of it.  
The area is doing great.   We had three people baptized on Saturday, Sister Matosi, and Panashe and Lindsay Nyamutora.   The Nyamutora's were baptized by their dad, who is progressing towards advancement in the priesthood.   I got to baptize sister Matosi.   I love seeing the group grow.   Hopefully in January at the latest we will become our own branch, and hopefully much sooner then that we will be in a better place to have meetings.   It sounds like this will probably be my final transfer in Chegutu, which means if that is case, then I got till Feb to get the work done.   Can I do it?   We will see.   The children are great out here.   They see me walk past and they come, like they are gonna greet me and welcome me to munchkin land, and they come running just yelling "elder Melot" it is kind of scary, like a whole group of them will chase me, the funniest thing is they pronounce my name best of almost everyone.   When we are at church they will come and I'll be reading or something and they will slip into my arms with a huge smile on their faces, and the adults laugh about it.   Often times the other missionaries will say "Suffer the little Children" and they laugh.   The kids love all of the missionaries, but they flock to me in herds.       
My companion is doing great.  He has really gotten the area down, and things are going really really well.   He is a great teacher, and he has a powerful testimony.   I love it.
"love should be the very heart of family life."
-Thomas S Monson 16th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
"Kind words and good manners will cost you nothing, and will add greatly to the happiness of those around you."
-Wilford Woodruff 4th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
"There is a destiny that makes us brothers; none goes his way alone. All that we send into the lives of others, comes back into out own."
-Edwin Markham
The children out here really give me a testimony of pure love.   Most of the ones in the area, don't know who I am, they just hear the others yelling my name, but they still come running with smiles on their faces.   They love all those around them.   There is one little boy, Devine, the son of a recent convert, who when ever he looks at me will just smile and try to mimic me baptizing someone.   "There is beauty all around when there's love at home" is such a true fact.   I know that God sent us here to learn many things, including how to love those around us.   I know as we love them we will receive that love.   Reach out to those who are down trodden, lift the hands that hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees, and one day when you need it, you will receive like wise.   I know it I live it I love it.
"Don't worry, we're on her like stink on a warthog. Hey! Its a hard truth Pumba live with it."
"I believe I made my position to your boss very clear. You put prune juice in his gas tank."
"Don't worry for once we aren't following ya, were trying to wrestle up some grubs."
"I'll give you some change for the bus fare, nah I got a bus pass.   That's gotta be like a million transfers to get home from here."
I love you all.      

Monday, December 8, 2014

"[Waterguns] there's nothing [better]"-Horton Hears a Who "Thats new"-Princess and the Frog "Well this is awkward"-Phineaus and Ferb

My entire house and the Kadoma Elders got water guns last Monday and we had a huge water fight in the Kadoma house.   One Elder, Elder Kwaramba got a launcher and he was just going to town, everyone else had little pea shooters, and we just soaked the house.   That was so much fun, and now we have them in the house, and we just have fights once in a while.   I'm telling ya man, there is nothing better on a boring day then filling up a water gun and shooting people with it.   I love it, and it is a great way to bond as a house.  
Several new things happening here in Chegutu.   Because of Christmas we have ended the transfer two weeks early, which means that today is the start of my 11th transfer on mission.   That's new.   Which means that this will be an 8 week transfer to get us back on track.   That's new.    Also I have stayed here in Chegutu which will be a total of four transfers here in Chegutu, totally at almost 6 months in an area, which is the longest that I have been in an area, and may be the longest of my mission.   That's new.   Yeah, so a lot of new stuff going on here.  
There is nothing more awkward then trying to explain to someone a reason why they can't get baptized, especially when it isn't directly related to them.   For instance.   There is a religion in Zimbabwe that encourages polygamy, and church policy says not to baptize them when the one or the other is involved in polygamy.   Worse is when it is the child of someone who is involved in polygamy who wants to be baptized but can't.   It is just awkward, and difficult to explain to them.  
I am doing well, and am doing my best to get lots of water, but it can be difficult knowing which water is safe to drink and which one I should avoid, out in the area where there is no filter to put it through. 

Still in the process of becoming a branch, they are filling out the paper work to send to Salt Lake to get approved.   I can't wait till we are a branch, it will be a great day.   We are having four baptisms on Saturday, which is great, the area is growing and the recent converts are super strong.   There are lots of things getting done, and in spite of the difficulty talked about above we still have lots of people we are preparing for baptisms farther down the line.   I love the people and all of the things that we are able to do with them.   What I don't like to much is there are so many people who want to argue with us.   There is an Anti-Message guy who is just interested in teaching us what he believes, and in proving to us that we are wrong.   I finely got sick of it and told him that isn't why I am here, and that if he wants to learn and to read he can call us.   That was last week, and no word so far.      
None of the families I have visited with have one (a Nativity).   I don't know what one would look like.   There are no decorations for Christmas, mostly becasue all of it is so expensive, I am thining about getting some lights, but trees are way to much and so is everything else.   I so wish we had a tree, and lights and all that good stuff, but I have hung up my stocking. 

My companion and  I are both staying here in Chegutu, which is nice, I really like Elder Muzonde, and now that we have gotten to know each other he is quite the talker.   (There is no spell check on the computer I am sorry if things are spelled wrong)   I have a friend who is serving in his home ward in Harare, which is pretty funny.   My companion has really connected with the people we are teaching.    
"Have no fear, slacken not your labors for the truth, live as becometh saints. You are in the right way, and the Lord will not let your efforts fail."
-Joseph F.Smith 6th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

"The Gospel of Jesus is the way of peace. To the extent we follow it and incorporate it in our lives, to this extent will we be blessed and prospered. What a wonderful thing it is to be involved in this glorious work. Let us rejoice in our great opportunity,
let us serve with gladness."
-Gordon B Hinckley 15th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints   
I testify that God loves us.   I have seen great people reach out to those around them and share that love.   We are God's hands on earth.   As we share our love for others and for Him, we help Him to take care of His children.   I know that He is real, and that He is there.   I know that as we stand firm in our faith of Him, as we stand by Him, He will stand by us.   I have been reading the Old Testament as of late, and even when it got rough for Moses and the Israelites they were upheld as they stood true to their faith.   We can have the same.
"No, my parents are wealthy, but they cut me off for being a leach!"
"Sony boy, I invented Hakuna Matata. Oh yea, well I perfected it."
"I wanna play with the big boys, why don't you? I tried once, it didn't end well."
"I feel like bowling with porcupines wasn't such a good idea. Yeah, right up there with bobbing for snapping turtles."
I love you all.


 My skin just gets darker and darker and darker.   It is never more obvious to me as when I step out of the shower and see my arms next to the rest of me.   I miss cold and wet. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

"We're gonna need.. some more peanut butter"-Phineaus and Ferb "There is no Santa Claus there is no Easter Bunny and there is no [Ju Ju]"-Megamind "we're all gonna die"-Winnie the Pooh "[Baptisms!] Now thats my favorite part"-Brave

I am sure that to those who know me this comes as no surprise.   But I find myself eating a lot of peanut butter and jam.   Our cooking supplies are limited and time to  cook when we get home is also limited, and it just takes to long, so I eat peanut butter most every night for dinner.   I should probably find some other stuff, and I am planning to, but still, I love peanut butter and jam.   And it is so easy, just make it, eat it and go study Pearl of Great Price till bed time.  
The people out here are super superstitious.   They believe in Ju Ju an mermaids and all this stuff that makes me think of the Twilight Zone.   They are afraid of everything that goes bump in the night.   I just tell them that it isn't real.   They look at me like I am nuts, and they all say one day something will change my mind, but I don't think so.   I say it is a lot of smoke and mirrors.   It is funny when members are freaked out by it to, just the mention of a mermaid in the dark freaks my companion out.   It is kind of funny.  
I think that the world is trying to melt us.   Even the native Zimbabweans say that it is way to hot for this time of year.   We are gonna die of heat, starting with yours truly.   I can't believe how hot it is, in the upper 90's I am certain of it.   I am melting like a snowman in my parents front yard on a snow day.   I am not kidding you, it is hot out here.   It started to rain yesterday and has cooled off as a result of it.   It seems that it will get almost unbearably hot, and then it will rain a bit, and then get hot again.   I am struggling with the heat.   Much easier to ignore cold.   

I love all the success that we have been having out here.   Six people baptized on Saturday all together, with at least five more on the way from our side, I have no idea about the other elders.   The people are hungry for the gospel, and I am ready to welcome them to the buffet.   I love it.   Favorite part, is definitely seeing people accept the gospel.

 I love the people we are teaching out here.   I really care for them.   Speaking of care for and prayers, could you keep the Nyumtora family in your prayers?   They are a recent convert family and they have a son who is very sick, has been for a while and is now in a hospital, and they are in need of prayers.   Please.   I would really appreciate it.  
The area is doing great, like I said, baptisms are happening, and there are people to teach, and things are just Bho.   I love it.   And I am picking up more and more Shona.   Probably wont ever be fluent, but I can understand most of the lesson material in Shona and say some few things.   It is a fun language, but tough.  

My companion is learning the area really well, and the people really like him.   Smart guy, and a great teacher.   But still the mermaid thing, I just find it odd.   But we are getting a long really well, and things are sweet out here in Chegutu.  
"Everyone of us has times when we need to know things will get better.   My declaration is that this is precisely what the Gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need.   There is help.   There is happiness.   Don't you quit.   You keep walking.   You keep trying.   It will be alright in the end.   Trust God and believe in good things to come.   Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come until heaven; but for those who embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ they come."
-Geoffrey R Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
I love this quote.   I first found it in the beginning of my mission when I was really struggling, and feeling discouraged.   It is a powerful reminder to trust in God's time.   It brought me comfort, and gave me the courage to carry on, when I wasn't sure I had it in me.   I testify that the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency are Prophets, Seers, and Revelators.   I know that they are called of God, given His divine authority, and are guided by Him to accomplish their task.   I know if we listen to them we will never fall away or be led astray.   I know it, I live it, I love it.
"A minuet before he knows we're there, old Rob'll snatch his underwear."
"Shooting a man in the middle of his chorus , it ain't good form ya know."
"Ahhh! Mommy... I've got a dirty thumb."
"I'll fight you man to man with one hand behind my back. You mean you wont fly?"
Love you all.        

Monday, November 24, 2014

"We all gonna die, but we don't know the date, we know your date! THANKSGIVING!"-Barnyard "I miss when [I had good internet access]"-Shrek forever after "This is too hot, the [rain] was too cold. Will nothing please you?"-Iceage 2 "Don't stand that close to me I can smell your breath"-Kung Fo Panda

Man can you believe that it is Thanksgiving time again?   The last time Thanksgiving was here, I was brand new on mission, and I was going to the Bishop's house for Turkey and to trounce him at chess.   Ya, bishop loved chess, and It was a good match, but he got killed.   Man I so wish we had thanksgiving out here, and I wish I had something to cook for it, but I don't so I wont.   
The computers out here are really crappy.   The last several weeks we have had like no internet access, which means no email to President Cook, and almost nothing getting home.   I am sorry to those who I didn't get to last week.   I will hopefully not have such an issue from here on out, this internet cafe seems to be pretty good.   
Man it is really funny how much people complain over the weather.   When it is hot they say it is to hot, when it is finely cold, and I mean beautifully cold, they say it is too cold.   It is like what do you want?   Perfect weather?   Doubt that you'll ever find that.   When it rained last week it was so cold that it was like I was back home.   Man send me tracting in that weather and I will knock every door in Chegutu.   Oh well....
I have one huge problem with drunk people that is still occurring.   They stand right up close to me and just start to talk and breath their alcohol breath into my face and I feel like I'm gonna throw up all over them.   Does that make them leave me alone?   Nope, so I step back and they step closer.   I am really getting tired of that.   Feel like I need a gas mask.  Are you my mummy?   
This week has been good.   Lots of new investigators, and many people who are letting us teach them.   That is nice.   We have three baptisms on Saturday and a marriage, which means we are getting a good groove.   Lets not throw it off.   We have so many people out here, especially among our recent converts who love us.   They know that transfers are gonna come at some point and they are worried about people leaving.   Can't seem to help them know that we dont' get to stay too long as missionaries.   I love the people out here.   

My companion is a great guy.   But he can't sing on tune.   He, like me, will walk around and sing as we are doing things, mostly at home or in the car, but he is just off tune.  It is like the cow Grace in Home on the Range, loves to sing, but just can't hit the notes.   It is fun, but man, it is interesting.   I love him, super hard worker, and all that good stuff.   
"May we realize how close He is willing to come, how far He is willing to go to help us, and how much He loves us."
-Thomas S Monson 16th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
"We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see."
-Boyde K Packer President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Nothing to me is cooler then seeing the recent convert Aaronic Priesthood holders passing the blessing the sacrament.   I love seeing them using the authority that they have received.   I love seeing the families who are accepting, and applying the gospel of Jesus Christ.   They have truly found "The Pear of Great Price" and have shown that they are willing to forsake all that they have if it was necessary to be able to posses it.   
I know that we have the pearl of great price.   We have what they need, what everyone needs.   I know that this church is true.   So many people try to argue with us and refute us and tell us we are wrong.   When it comes down to it, I have prayed and sought Heaven's answer as to wither this message is true or if it is not.   I would not be out here if there was any doubt in my mind as to wither it is true or not.   I know this Church is true, and all that that implies.   
"You know how dogs are, they go where ever they want to go. Unless they're dead"
"Listen little donkey take a look at me what am I?   Uhh, really tall?"
"Oh, I got the shrink ray.   No I'm not playing with it."
 Me and the children of a soon to be recent convert.   
"I can talk I'd love to talk, I'm the talkinest dang thing you ever saw."

Love ya

Monday, November 17, 2014

"Somehow [how bad the frying pan is] had totally slipped my mind"-Phineaus and Ferb "[He's] quiet, too quiet"-Shrek "And we all share one bathroom"-Horton Hears a Who "Well finely!"-Shrek 2

I made pancakes the other night, and I had forgot that the frying pan is crap, so yea, burnt pancakes for me.   Still great and I love pancakes, but just the smell and trying to clean it and all that stuff wasn't the best.   It was a total "What kind of a Domcov" moment from Doctor Doofensmirtz.   Funny, but would have been better if there was a decent frying pan.
My new companion is Elder Muzonde, a great guy.   Super powerful teacher and it is great being with him, but he is quiet.   He just don't say much, and as we know I say a lot.   It will be a great transfer with him, but I need him to warm up and speak.   He is the only member of his family, the rest are of different faiths.   His sister is actually in the states and is anti-mormon.   But here he is, serving the Lord with all his heart, might, mind and strength.   Great guy.
The bathroom situation is fun.   Only one shower, the floor is always soaked, and dirty, I wonder if college feels like this.   I don't know, all I know is we can't take any more people in our house.   Too small.
We finely got our own baptismal fount here in Chegutu, which is nice cause it is a huge pain in the butt getting to and from Kadoma in a Kombie with forty to fifty people.   So we will be doing baptisms and such here in Chegutu.  
  Our meeting yesterday was a little small, since it rained for the first time, and people seem to be afraid they will melt.   But we had 11 people confirmed from baptisms the last few weeks.   Things here in Chegutu are going great.  

I have to be fast this one, we got to go somewhere really quick and then get back here to continue what we are doing.   We had three baptisms on Saturday in our side, a great group of people, and we got more on the way.   We are looking for a more reverent place to have our church meetings.  We might have found one, we are actually gonna go and take a member of the Kadoma Branch to it now, hence the urgency.   Things are going well, sorry this is so short.
"Things will work out. Keep trying. Be believing. Be happy. Don't get discouraged. Things will work out."
-Gordon B Hinckley 15th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
I know this Church is true.   I know God speaks to man in our day.   I know Jesus is the Christ.   I love them, and I know they love us.
"Is this a pit, I think I'm in a pit.  That guy better be back soon."
"I'm just a big fat panda, I'm The big fat panda."
"Our dear friend has been taken by a creature called the Bacson."
"The invisible trident of destiny!"
Love you all.   

"it's your anniversary!"-Phineaus and Ferb "Do you know anyone who's happy to see a mosquito?"-Bee Movie "Let it begin!"-Bolt "I need you to stay [in Chegutu]"-How to train your dragon (Nov. 10th Post)

Hey now, just so ya'll know, fifteen years ago, my Mom and Dad got married.  In Las Vegas, by a preacher man who looks like Elvis.   Or I think he did, I don't really remember it too much.   But I do remember that I am super happy that my parents got married.   I can't believe it has been that long of a time.   Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad.
Man there are a lot of mosquitoes out here in Chegutu.   Sounds like they are supposed to spray the area to keep them from spawning and that they either forgot or decided not to.   Ether way I am happy for Deet, and for fans that stop them from landing on me.   I slap at them all the time, but they are fast little buggers.  

I can't wait for rainy season to get here.   I want it to cool off, I want the sky to be a beautiful gray, and I want to feel like I am back in Washington.   Hopefully either this week, or the beginning of next we will get rain.   I say LET IT BEGIN!
I am staying in Chegutu for one more transfer, and after that we will have to see.   But my dearly beloved companion Elder Hove is going to Ruwa in Harare, and I have a new companion Elder Muzonde.   I am pretty excited to have him, he is a young missionary, and it will be great working with him.   Don't know much about him yet, but I will.
This week was good.   We are still working on becoming a Branch, but it should be soon.   We have some great people we are working with, and a few more marriages coming up.  Surprise of the week, the drunk guy that kept bothering me, who I hadn't seen in a long time, is being taught by the other missionaries and they are hoping to baptize his family and get him to stop drinking and he came to church yesterday.   I almost had a heart attack.   It was cool.
Not much on my companion more then what I have sent.  
"A friend makes more then a dutiful visit each month. A friend cares. A friend loves, a friend listens. And a friend reaches out."
-Thomas S Monson President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
"Everything He does is for our good and our protection. There is evil and sorrow in the world, but there is no evil or harm in Him. He is our father, a perfect Father-and he will shelter us from the storm."
-Geoffrey R Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
I love these men, the people we sustain as prophets, seers and revelators, are wonderful people.   I know that they hold the priesthood keys to lead and guide and direct this work.   I know this church is true, and that families can be together forever.   I know it and I love it.
"Wow that was great timing, now say money should be falling from the sky!"
I've had it with you and your emotional constipation!"
"Well then why do you call her aunt fanny? Couldn't call her aunt booty."
"I've never felt more alive! Good cause I'm gonna kill ya!"

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"And I just can't wait until next Halloween"-Nightmare before Christmas "Speak up [Machakaire]"-Tangled "Pins and Needles"-Despicable Me 2 "I could have made road pizza out of you."-Hoodwinked

I just got to say it, I MISS HALLOWEEN!   I really do.   The pumpkins, the candy, the costumes, the candy, the decorations, the candy, the haunted houses, the candy, the movies, did I forget anything else?   Oh yea the candy.   I miss it all so much, and next year is gonna be a great Halloween.   I'm gonna go all out.
My goodness, but the people out here are so soft spoken.   Like even in the car without music on it is super hard to hear from Elder Machakaire, or even when I am right next to him.   I keep telling him to speak up for me, but he is still so quiet.  
We sit on the ground a lot as we teach, and my legs begin to fall asleep, every time it happens I think of Despicable Me 2 when Gru falls out of the back of the car.   Pins and needles.   What is worse though is I got a head ache this past week that felt like I had pins and needles in my brain.   Don't get sick on mission, nothing is worse then a sick day on mission.   I can tell you that of a truth.  
Driving out here is interesting.   Unless you honk at people or flash them with your brights they don't get out of the way.   They don't watch where they are going.   The other night a biker was biking along right into our head lights, I was answering a question by someone in the back seat and my companion yelled, and so I down shifted, hit the breaks and only narrowly missed killing some guy who apparently thought the lights of my car were the tunnel to heaven.
This week we had a bit of a rough one, since we had a very limited amount of time in the area.   Got sick on Tuesday, got worse on Wednesday, Still sick on Thursday, got better on Friday. (I feel like Solomon Grundy from Batman)   And we traveled to Gweru on Thursday night for a Zone Conference, so yea, few lessons, and few people at church.   But it is okay, since we are in a new week.  
There is no time change out here.   Interesting for me, since I am used to it.   I am proud of you for getting to Church on time.   Our Sunday was good, I got to ordain our Recent Convert Brother Nyumtora to the Aaronic Priesthood.   That was a great experience for me.   I love being out here.   There are many children in our group, but no Primary.   

My companion is doing well, but the guy can't stay awake when we get home to save his life.   He is so a young missionary, since most every young missionary seems to struggle staying awake at night, including myself when I was that young on mission.   It might be different for sisters, but Elders die at the 6-8 month mark for staying awake past the close of the day.  
"People don't care how much we know until they know how much we care."
-Elder Mapugwa, my DL
"Now be strong, live the gospel faithfully even if those around you don't live it at all. Defend your faith with courage and courtesy but defend it."
-Elder Geoffrey R Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
"All men have fears, but those who face them with faith have courage as well."
-Thomas S Monson President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
I love being able to tell people that I care about them, but I love more being able to show it.   Some times all that takes is an ear that will listen to what they have to say.   You could be the smartest guy in the world, but people don't know you care for them, they wont care.   One of the best things about missionary work is showing through action, that we care for the people around us.   Our love for others is a reflection of our love for God.

I know that God loves us, each and every one of us, His children.   He loved us enough to give us His Holy Son.   He loved us enough to give us this world to live in.   He loves us enough to forgive us of our sins, and to welcome us back home as we do all He would ask us to do.   He loves everyone who ever has, will or is living on the Earth.   There is a strange concept taught out here that God doesn't love us when we sin, but I testify that he loves us even when we sin.   I know he is there, and I know he loves us.  
"I though he'd never leave. Well that's what you get for sleeping with your mouth open."
"it was a run by fruiting!"
"I thought I was the cute one. No you're the fat stupid one with the big mouth! What are ya saying exactly?"
"No, I don't need a hand, I need a face."
I love you all.   

Monday, October 27, 2014

"Happy Halloween!"-Nightmare Before Christmas "That's messed up"-Open Season "I'm not sure where to go with that." "[Heat] drains my [energy]"-Mega Mind

Hey guys, it is almost Halloween!!! I really miss carving pumpkins.   I got some great pictures from my Mom of the pumpkins and the carving and I really miss doing that.   My companion has told me carving pumpkins is a total no.   So no pumpkin for me this year, next year though, I'm carving a pumpkin.   Happy Halloween everyone!

You know what I hate?   Stereo-typing.   Like people look at me and their first thought is "Maroundgo" the next one it\s "equals money".   My companion can go into a shop and have me standing outside and he can buy something for five bucks, I can go in and buy the same thing for ten.   It is like West Side Story "one look at [me] and they charge twice. Twice!"   It really sucks.   Cause if I go in with him, they think I want the thing and he is bargening for me, so they play hard ball and wont let him bargen for a good price on something he wants.   It is really difficult.  
I am still struggling to get a hang of how people talk.   Cultural differences and things like conjugation are different, and so I am often lost.   I will ask a person a question about some simple thing, and they go on for a while about something that isn't connected to what I had asked, and I just think "right, where are we going with this?"   I love the people I just wish I could understand them easier.   I watched "The other side of Heaven" last week and I remember when I first watched it I wondered how it would be to be in such a foreign place, and now I know.  
It has been hot, and I mean hot out here.   We go to lessons, the houses don't have much in the way of ventilation, and it is just hot and stuffy and it is hard to stay awake.   I have almost dozzed off a few times, and my companion has.   The heat is intense.   In the words of my old companion Elder Hogan, the heat was like my last camping trip.   Ahhh, I miss that kid.   

We had a baptism on Sunday, only one not two.   Stuff happened that stopped the second one.   But the first one was great.   Brother Nyumtora, who's wife was baptized a few weeks ago, got baptized on Sunday, after watching general conference.   It was great.   The guy is awesome and his is super strong as well as his family.   Things are moving along and we are gonna become a branch soon' in the next few weeks hopefully.   That will be good, I love Kadoma but it is a pain in the butt to get people out there for things.   
My companion thinks that there aren't gonna be any changes in our apartment this coming transfer.   I don't really know.   Things are going well in the area, and that is usually when a change is made.   We will see in a few weeks.   
"You can't control all the circumstances of your life but you have control of your happiness.   You are the architect of it."
-Bishop Gerald Causse in the Presiding Bishpric
"If you let him lead your family, things will work out."
-Henry B Eyring 1st Councilor in the First Presidency
What better reason to be happy then to know that God loves us and lives.   What better reason to be happy then to know that Jesus is the Christ and He lives.   I got to see a few sessions of General Conference this past week end and I loved seeing as men and women of all walks of life testified of these truths.   I add my voice to theirs.   I know that what they said were true, I know we have a prophet on Earth.   How blessed are we.   
"Hello and who are you?   I'm Thor.   Thor?  Well it hurts."
"You were good kid, real good, but as long as I'm here you'll always be second best."
"Once again we want to remind you that this broadcast is brought to you by sand its everywhere! Get used to it."
"Did ya miss me?   Guess not!"
Love you all.

Monday, October 20, 2014

"Look you're already Half Way."-Shrek "Look at me I'm [one year] old."-Madagascar "Same [Apostle] Twice.-Mummy 3 "Well this sucks"-Madagascar

Well now, it is official.   I am on the down ward slide.   I am over the Hump.   I am any number of other phrases that I can't think of that mean I am half way done with my mission.   It is a weird feeling to be half way done.   It really is.   Only so long left and then I am done, not enough time to do half of the things I want/need to do.   Weird.
We got to be visited as a mission by Quinten L Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles this week.   It was great to see him for a second time.   For those who don't know I got to see him in California San Jose before I cam here to Africa.   It was really super cool seeing him twice.   The power those men carry, the Spirit that attends them, the strength that they have is incredible.   He encouraged us and blessed us and much of what he said felt as if he were speaking only to me.   It was a wonderful experience.  
Not so wonderful is the problems that our house is having with water.   Oh don't worry the pump is fixed, now it is the pipes, and the pressure tank that have huge leaks.   So yea, we are able to get water now, it is just a huge ordeal to do it.   It really really sucks.  
Our area is great.   We are hoping on having some more baptisms on Saturday, and a family fun day activity as well.   It will be a busy day for us.   Lots of things are going right, and lots of things are not going right.   Guess you have to have both to really know the difference.   It is going good, there are just a few pot holes along the way.  

My companion's brother is getting married in December.   He is all excited for it.   While we were in Harare to see Elder Cook he was like ten minuets from home.   We stayed the night at the Highlands Chapel/Mission Transfer House which is his chapel.   It was a fun experience.  
"Let us go forth with a song in our hearts and a smile on our faces and build up the kingdom."
-Gordan B Hinckley 15th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"if our lives are centered around our Faith in Jesus Christ nothing bad can last."
-Howard W Hunter 14th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
All I have to say today is that this Church is true.   I have shaken the hand of an Apostle of God and I can say without a single doubt that he is an Apostle.   The Church is the only true and living Church on Earth.   Thomas S Monson is the only true and living Prophet.  
"What I bought them, most of them"
"Nefu I'm afraid I've been thinking.   A dangerous pass time.  I know."
"Is this you?   Now they're just being mean."
"Where have you taken us Phillip?"

For Jeremiah..

Yes ... that is indeed a zebra.

Monday, October 13, 2014

"So uh, was that a yes or a no?"-Halo 3 ODST "It seems [slow]. Its the deep breath before the plunge."-Lord of the Rings "First I actually commit a crime, and then you get to [fine] me for it."-Sinbad

The Wheel of Time turns and ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend.   Legend fades to myth and even myth is long forgotten when the age that gave it birth comes again.   In one age, called the second age by some, an age long past, an age yet to come, a wind arose in [Chegutu] the wind was not the beginning, there are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time, but the wind was a beginning.

Had to throw that in there, since on Thursday, I am a year old on mission.   Weird to think that a year ago, almost I entered the MTC, fresh from the arms of my crying momma, and my smiling daddy.   It is an interesting thought to have.   The first age of my mission has been completed, and now my second age is about to begin.

I know that it isn't a Disney movie quote, but I am running out of ideas and it really sums up how things go out here.   I ask a question, and then they respond in some long string of Shona, and then I ask my companion, "so was that a yes or a no?" and then he tells me how they responded.   It is interesting having a three way conversation every lesson.   It is good, and I am getting bits and pieces of the Shona, when it is within lesson material, but once they leave that, I am lost.   

The weeks leading up to this one have felt slow.   It is my deep breath, before my plunge.   Gonna start down that mountain that I started a year ago.   

I keep running into problems with the police out here.   They will ding you for anything, including apparently, a sticker on your window that someone put tape on since it was falling off.   Really?   It is a sticker!   they don't have anything better to do with their time?  

We had a great week end out here.   Four people baptized, two couples married civilly, and all of it went pretty well.   trying to get things organized for getting people to Kadoma, that was a different story, but it got taken care of and so all's well that ends well.   Worth every moment of wanting to bash my head into a wall.  

We did have the wedding, and since this is the first weddings and baptisms in Chegutu they are gonna try to get it into the South East Africa part of the Liahona.   Which would be super cool. 

My companion and I are doing well, though we are being swarmed by bugs every night.   Things are great here, and we are working in unity and all that good stuff.   Not much to say about him this week, nothing has gone on really.

"You are never far from the sight of your loving Heavenly Father."
-Boyde K Packer President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

"Preach the Gospel at all times.   When necessary, use words."
-Dieter F Utchdorf 2nd Councilor in the First Presidency

"we Pray with confidence that we can feel the Saviors love for us. He loved us enough to pay the price of our sins."
-Henry B Eyring 1st Councilor in the First Presidency

I have met a lot of people this week who flat out reject what I have tried to offer them.   From Jehovah Witnesses who refuse to listed to us as we try to answer their questions, to a guy who says we are supposed to pray to Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost, even though when asked he admitted that you can't find it in the Bible. So many people try to make us not believe what we believe.   So many people fight against the truthfulness of this Gospel.   It makes me sad, but that is how it is.   

I know without a doubt that this message I am sharing with others is true.   I know that God lives and so does His Son, Jesus Christ.   I know that this Church is true.   I know that we have a living Prophet on the Earth in Thomas S Monson, and in the words of my Zone Leader Elder Mayall, you could put a gun to my head, and I wouldn't deny that this is true.   But he says it in an English accent, since he is from Manchester.   

"its not a dress its a kilt! Ya Sick-o."
"Giant? I prefer big boned, or jolly.   Now who are we hiding from?"
"I'm speaking in rhyme! Max! Fetch my sedative!"
"Da! Quick to the SLOW!"

love ya

Monday, October 6, 2014

"Ignore him"-Cars "Blah, blah, blah"-Hotel Transylvania "It will never brake, it will never, it broke."-Aladdin "I [love] the rain"-Planet 51

Well I have learned this week, that a drunk person is like a two year old having a tantrom.   If you ignore him, he will stop and leave you alone.   Point in case, Prosper.   Your friendly neighborhood drunkard.   He always used to bother me, and then I started to ignore him and now he don't.   It is nice when the drunk guy leaves you alone.
My companion and I have started saying "Blah, blah, blah" like Dracula.   I don't really know why, it is just fun.   I enjoy having an inside joke with my companion.  
Well our bore hole pump broke last week.   Which means it is back to getting water from the city council.   They have been out to fix it, so it should be done by the end of today, but still.   We just seem to be getting Jing stuff out here in Chegutu.   It is alright, since they are getting it fixed, but still, it would be nice if everything just worked right.  
It started raining this week.   It was funny watching people duck in cover, and scramble for the houses.   Me I stood out in it for a little while and just enjoyed it.   If that is a "type of things to come" this rainy season then I am EXCITED for it.  
This has been a pretty good week.   Lots of great lessons, and several people at sacrament meeting.   You know who wasn't at Sacrament meeting?   Our investigator Fortune, who is supposed to be baptized on Saturday.   We haven't been able to see him for a few days now.   He is in some Football League and it has taken much of his time.   I hope we get to meet with him soon, still a little left to teach him for Saturday.   Our other two people we are gonna baptize are ready, and it is going well.   We are getting a marriage done for the Nyumtora family, so the mom can be baptized, the dad needs to come to church a few more times, and for the Kwaramba family so they can go to the Temple.   It will be great.  
Me and Hove are doing great.   The guy seems tired a little as of late, but he is working hard and we are doing great things here in Chegutu.   I am loving this transfer.  
"Hope is the anchor of our souls, hope is trust in God's promises, faith that if we act now, the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future.   The unfailing source of our hope is that we are sons and daughters of God and that His son, the Lord Jesus Christ, saved us from death."
-President James E Faust
I know that this Church is true, and that this gospel changes lives.   I have a great family that I have gotten to know with my Companion the Shiri's and they have embraced the Gospel.   They love the Book of Mormon and the fact that we have Prophets on the earth again, real prophets, not like the ones we see so often out here in Zimbabwe.   They said they saw the "Love of the Lord" when they first saw us, and I think that it is amazing how our very actions can have such an effect on those around us.  

My momma reminded my today that God knows my name.   Now I would like to testify that He knows your name as well.   He knows, He loves, He cares for all of us.   Not a one of us is too far away to not be under God's watchful eye.   He is there, He has always been there, He will always be there.   He loves us and wants to hear from us.   This much I know to be true. 
"We need a plan of attack.  I have a plan: attack.... these guys are basically gods.  There's only one God ma'am,  and I don't think he dresses like that."
"You see Face, that's a plan, and I love it when a plan comes together."
"How did he turn two of the smartest guys I know into his own personal flying monkeys?   I caught that reference."
"Wow these three D glasses are great it's almost like they're shooting at us.   They are shooting at you Fool!"
Do you know these ones?

I love you all.   

Found an old run down pair of airplanes that used to be a fancy restaurant, so me and my comp got some pictures of it. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

"Our [games] quickly became more elaborate, he would win some, I would almost win others."-Megamind "[Melot's] blown a tire!"-Cars "I'm stayin!"-Hotel Transylvania "Don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry"-Hulk

Hey mom, a while back you told me you had given a friend at work a copy of the Book of Mormon.  How did that go?

Would it surprise any of you to know that I have a travel sized Chess set?   Probably not.   Well, Elder Hove and I play Chess when ever we get the time and we are home.   He is actually pretty good.   I have to really concentrate to beat him, and even then he wins his fare share of the games.   Not like when I used to play my old Zone Leader Elder Thomas. He would just throw pieces away willy nilly.   So it is pretty fun having a challenge when I play chess.   It is nice that he knows how to play since many people out here don't.  
I have had really bad luck with my car as of late.   Old Shela Mark II has given me problems.   So last week we went to Gweru for training with President Cook.  Good meeting.   Great to see old friends and meet some new ones.   Anyway we were heading back to go to Chegutu and we have to pass through Kadoma, which has awe-full roads, and people out here don't have a concept of staying on their side of the road.   So big old truck coming my way, I tried to edge over a little to give him room and my front left tire went off of a drop off, and BOOM!   Tire dies.   Yep that sucked.   I have gotten pretty good at putting the spare tire on the car.   Gotta tell ya, next time we have to get up at five in the morning to drive most of the day I'm gonna buy me a Dragon.   A big old energy drink they got out here, cause it didn't help that I was exhausted at the wheel.  
Well anywho, Elder Hove and I are both staying in Chegutu for another transfer, as are Chasouka and Machakaire.   In the words of President Cook we are "the four horsemen of the Apocalypse".   I have claimed War.   My companion is Death.   But that is just an inside joke for us.   We are gonna tear it up and do some good.   I am excited.
It is very important to not get angry when you are on a mission.   Sometimes that is hard, when the same drunk guy always bothers you.   There is one guy Prosper, who every time he sees me starts to follow us around and bother us and kills our time and he is always drunk.   The guy is a gold pan-er so every day is Pay day which means everyday he gets drunk.   So every day he comes and bugs me.   It is very hard to keep a tight reign on my anger.   I have a short fuse, and that isn't good.  
Our area is doing well.   We are working on getting at least two baptisms on the 11th, more if we can get the people married.   It has actually been cooler during the day as of late, but the night gets horribly hot.   It is weird.   People out here still crush rocks.   Every few days we see huge trucks dropping off piles and piles of rocks.   It is interesting.   There is a religion out here called Matsie Baba's who are super hard to teach.   They don't read the Bible, so they wont let you quote from it.   Since they don't read the Bible they don't have much of a grasp on Christianity, other then what their leaders tell them.   They have a strange concept that Jesus is the Savior of only Africa.   I don't now where they got that from.   Anyway one of our members, sister Nomatta, has a brother in law who is a Matsie Baba and so we were trying to teach him, since his wife wants to learn with us.   Let me tell ya, didn't get us anywhere.   UGH.
Elder Hove and I are doing well.   The guy loves P-days.   He calls it "going less active".   It is really funny seeing him go from being a super focused missionary to being just a goof.   I love they guy and I am excited to be around him for another transfer.   It's gonna be great.
"That is the thing about work.   If we simply keep at it- steady and constant- things certainly will improve.
-Dieter F Utchdorf 2nd Councilor in the First Presidency..

"There is no problem to big, or to small, for God."
-Thomas S Monson 16 President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
"Your Potential is not determined by any outside circumstance.   Your potential is determined by your faith and how much you want it."
-Elder Mohl my old Zone Leader in California
Well it is interesting, as I sit here at the computer I realize that I am coming up on a year of missionary work.   It really doesn't feel like it has been a year.   But it has been, my time on mission is not infinite, and neither is our time in life.   People say YOLO all the time, but I prefer YOMO, You Only Mortality Once.   We tell our investigators all the time that their actions here in life are very important, because what we do here will affect where we go after this life.   In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were given agency, or the ability to make decisions for themselves.   That gift is given to every son or daughter of Adam and Eve on the face of the Earth.   We are free to choose our actions, but not our consequences.   We must use our agency wisely.   The prophet Lehi in the Book of Mormon said that we are free to choose between two things, either "life through the mediator of all flesh" or in other words, Jesus Christ.   Or to choose "captivity and death according to the captivity and power of the devil for he seekth that all man might be miserable like unto himself."   So every decision we make either takes us closer to God or farther from him.   We have to choose which way we are going to go.   Elder Mapugwa my District Leader said "it is better to be a step away from Hell facing Heaven, then a step away from Heaven facing Hell".   We have to choose where we are going to go and who we are gong to follow.   We have the words of prophets, both ancient and modern day, that guide us closer to God.   I testify that the Scriptures are true, both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, also the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.   They contain the word of God as given to Prophets.   I know that they are true.
"Well then Mr. Lightbeer, prove it."
"You're a walking stick! It's funny! Now GO!"
"Stranger, from the outside. Ohhh.."
"I know its a rock! Don't you think I know a rock when I see a rock I spent a lot of time around rocks!"

Love you all.

Monday, September 22, 2014

So[what do you do on P-days] absolutely nothing!"-Space Balls "Stop following me okay!"-Finding Nemo

Had a few more I could have used but time is short, and computers are super not good out here.   Tried to respond to an email from Auntie Jessie, but the computer deleted half of it.   So Auntie Jessie, I got you message, thank you so much for the email and encouragement and I love you so much.
Hard to believe that a year ago I was at Auntie Lizzy's place, staying up all night playing Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword cause I wanted to beat it in a week.   And I did too.   Man that seems like such a long time ago, and at the same time, not that long ago at all.   I love my family and I really enjoyed that week I spent at Liz's.   

There is nothing to do on P-day here in Chegutu.   I mean nothing.   We email, we shop and that is it.   But today I got some stuff to use for baking banana bread, which should turn out well.   Hopefully.   There is a dam outside of Kadoma but we need permission to do that and we haven't received it yet.  
I have a strange group of followers.   All the drunk people follow me around, and all the little children.   I don't know which is more irritating and weird.   Seriously, they just migrate towards me, both of them.   It is weird.
We see a lot of large reptiles out here, and the other day an investigator kissed my hand.   Don't know if he was drunk or what, but I might not shake hands with him again.  
The area is good.   38 people at church yesterday.   That is a new record.   Got to get Mackaire to give me those pictures.   That might take a while.   Anyway, things are going well.   We are working on doing a group marriage that might or might not get us in the Ensign so keep you eyes out for it.
Everything here is great.   My companion and I are probably gonna be together for another transfer, so that will be nice.   I really love the guy.  
"To be effective in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, we must have this purpose in our mind, feel it in out heart, accept it in our soul and act upon it."
-D Todd Christofferson of the Qurome of the Twelve Apostles
"The best way to make a permanent change for good is to make Jesus Christ your model and His teachings your guide for life."
-Richard G Scott of the Qurome of the Twelve Apostles
"If we don't feel like praying then we should pray until we do feel like praying."
-Ezra Taft Benson 13th Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I recently started to read the Book of Mormon again.   It truly answers the questions of the soul.   I know that the book is true.   It contains the word of God, clarifies teachings in and fully supports the Bible.   I know that when we pray and ask God we can receive answers to our prayers, I know it, I've done it.   God lives.   He is there.   No matter what everyone else may say HE IS THERE.   I agree with the great prophet Alma "All things denote that there is a God, yea the earth and all that is in it denotes a supreme creator."   God is that supreme creator, and even though He is holding all creation in its place, He always has the time to hear us and answer our prayers.  
"Putting the word 'who' in front of everything doesn't make it hurt less it just wastes time."
"A person is smart. People are dumb, violent animals and you know it."
"You can be what ever kind of mayor you wanna be, hands on, strong and silent, its really up to you."
"So wait you just flash her with that thing and it erases her memory and you replace it with a different one? Standard issue nuralizer."
Love ya

Monday, September 15, 2014

"What? Snake eyes? Eleven!"-Nightmare Before Christmas "Right where I LEFT you"-Pirates of the Caribbean " "Hey the showers are awesome!"-Elf "Them [fall through's] are rough"-Barnyard

Wanna know something that I can't seem to get my head around?   I hit 11 months tomorrow!   I can't believe that it has almost been a year since I came into the mission field.   It is weird.   Lots of stuff happened this time last year.   Hey mom, did you ever try to play Dead Space like you said you would?   Or did you forget?   Anyway the time is going fast, before you know it I will be home.   It is a scary thought.   But it is what it is.

You know what is really embarrassing?   An experienced missionary making a greeny mistake.   That was me last week.   Went to the ZL's (zone leaders) on P-day (Monday) because it was half way to Kwe Kwe where we were having a Zone Meeting.   So we get all our stuff and get out the door, on our way to Kadoma, where the ZL's live.   Latter that night I realize I forgot my bag, my scriptures, my Preach My Gospel, and so I didn't have anything for the meeting.   Rookie mistake, by an experience missionary.   Embarrassing.

I sit on the right side of the car when I drive and I shift with my left hand.   It is interesting, and I think I am getting better.  Tell Jeremiah that the only animal I have seen other then lizards and monkeys is a Zebra. 

The good thing is now our geaser works, we get warm water and showers!   I have missed warm water.   And showers are great.   No more bucket showers.   Running water is great.   The bad news is that lots of people have been making appointments to meet with us and learn about the gospel only to not be there or to tell us it is a bad time, or something along those lines.   That isn't fun.   For a missionary that is a fall through.   And they suck.   

The area is doing well.   We are still working on getting people to come to church, but it is starting to work.   Our numbers in Sacrament Meeting are going up, as well as our number of lessons, and Babas that we teach.   A Baba for those who don't know is a Father.   And they are very important in this mission.   We are trying to teach and baptize more fathers, and more families.   And we have a few out here in Chegutu that we are trying to get ready for Baptism.   It is gonna happen, but it will be slow.   I might have ruined white people for a kid yesterday.   The children out here like to play around, and they like to mess with me, so one of them will poke me and run off, or throw things at me and run off, and so at one point when she wasn't paying attention I crept up behind her and surprised her.   She happened to have her little brother in her arms, and the poor kid just starts to scream and cry and it was so bad.   He may never like white people.   Years from now he will be asked why he hates white people, and he will say "Elder Melot".   I felt so bad, but it was super funny at the same time.   Gonna need to buy him some candy to win back is friendship.   My bad.

Out here in Zim there is Civil Marriage which is the Legal of the Country marriage, then there is Tribal Marriage, which is much easier to begin and to end.   So church says a marriage needs to be civilly binding.   So there are members of the Church who are marriage officers who can do the marriage, or other marriage officers can do it.   It just needs to be done before baptism.   So yea, they are a little crammed for time, and tight for money, so we are gonna have the wife clean our laundry to earn some money so they can get married, cause the church marriage is free, but it takes longer, and they seem to not want to wait that long, the non church one is $20 or so.   So yea, that is how we are helping.   Paying them to clean some laundry so they have the money to get married.   It is a common thing yes, lots of people get tribaly married, cause they have Labola out here, you know "I want three cows for Mahana."   type thing, so they don't really have money when they start out to get civilly married.   

My companion and I are doing well.   His cousin is here in the mission as well.   He is serving North of Harare, in Bendura.   Anyway my comp is super excited about it.   He is 22 years old.   But he acts like a teenager sometimes.   It is funny, seeing him go from being all serious in a lesson and then be back to goofing off when we step out of the house.   I wonder if I ever act like that.   It is interesting being the "Senior Companion" to a guy two years my senior.   But it is going well.   

"A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation and it [is] through this sacrifice , and this only that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life"
Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration 

"One who is obedient to His commandments is trusted of the Lord.   That individual has access to His inspiration to know what to do and, as needed the divine power to do it."
Richard G Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

"Those who understand the eternal blessings which come from the Temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings."
Thomas S Monson 17th Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I have seen lots of people out here in Zimbabwe.   Lots of struggle and hardship and also lots of joy.   There can not be one without the other.   The Prophet Lehi in the book of Mormon taught that if Adam had not fallen there would not have been any change or progression, then he says that "Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy" (2nd Nephi chapter 2: 25).   There are many things in this life that are hard, and many things that are difficult.   President Watkins my first Mission President said "You're gonna do hard things everyday of your life.   Step it up, it will get better."   If we look on the bright side, if we have an eternal perspective and know that this isn't the only life we get then we can face trial and opposition with faith and courage.   I know that God has a plan for all of us, and that we are able to be happy in this life.   The song "Red Dirt Road" says that "happiness on earth ain't just for high achievers".   We can all be happy knowing that God lives and loves us, and that Jesus is the Christ, and that because of Him we will live again.

"And then Snap! Dad's leg was clean off! Oh now that's my favorite part."
"Um,  I'm supposed to build a hive for the alien queen, yea and I'm supposed to blow up things unless you need help with the hive."
"At least we have hair, yeah and all of our teeth, and at least we don't live under bridges you grumpy old troll."
"I think I'm a zombie, I keep hearing this piercing voice in the back of my mind.   It's me.   There it is again.  It's me you idiot."

I sing to the moon every night.   Usually a country or a church song for you to hear.   Problem is by the time it is night for me you are home asleep.   So I don't know if you hear.   We live in a pretty good size house.   I will send a picture sometime.   The computers here in town don't let us send pictures, so it might be a while.   I have a kitchen, and one bathroom, and one toilet room.   There are two stores in town, but they don't have very much in all honesty.   It is a city, but it is a very small city, barely worth calling it a city.   I don't hear much when I lay down to go to sleep, other then the buzzing of flies.   It is quiet out here.   I don't get many pictures, since we are encouraged not to take them into the area.   Mom this is me, when don't I sleep at night?   I have a bed, that is to small for me.   I am like the man from Cornwall, except my feet stick off the bed.   My knee and health are good, and I don't know how much weight I have lost.   I think it has slowed down now that I am in a car part of the time, but it might not have.   I do eat, I make myself dinner most of the time, cause too much Sadza makes me sick.   

Love you all.