Monday, July 28, 2014

"Uhhh, guys I'm gonna need [some new investigators] guys? Oh well a [missionary] makes do."-Epic "They're beautiful aren't they? The stars?"-Men In Black

Well this week was pretty good.   We had Zone Conference, which means that all the missionaries in our zone came together for a meeting with President and Sister Cook.   It was good, but my companion was feeling sick.   We missed two or three days of work because of some bug going around.   It seems to be a come and go thing, but still, it is not fun taking sick days on mission.   

We have been going through a list of old investigators who we want to try to meet with now.   We have had little success with it, but it gives us names to see and places to go.   I just wish more of them wanted to learn.   There are those who "Know not where to find" the truth, but it is hard when you go to someone who used to be learning about the Gospel and they turn you down.   Oh well, we will make do.   

I have enjoyed the past few weeks.   I have started to cook more, which is nice.   I have been making real foods.  I love it.   Not living off of PB&J... so much.   I still eat PB&J, just less often, a little.   What can I say?   I love PB&J.   

My companion and I have been trying to get our ward more fired up for doing missionary work and other type stuff.   It is interesting how they are reacting.  Some are like "oh that would be a great idea" and others are a little more hesitant.   We will get it done, and this ward will do better.   We have helped some few less actives to come back into activity, which is one of my personal favorite thins to do as a missionary.   I love less active work.   And if I have learned anything from it; it is NEVER GO LESS ACTIVE.   I said that before I think, but it is a good reminder.   There is to much great things in the church to make less activity even considerable.   

My companion has gotten better.   He is no longer feeling sick, at least for the moment, and things are going good.   He is a fast learner of the area, though he talks a lot in lessons.   But that is alright.   I suppose I do the same thing.  

"Vision without effort is day dreaming.   Effort without vision is drudgery.   But vision coupled with effort will obtain the prize"
-Thomas S. Monson

"Winners never quit.   Quitters never win."
-President Cook

I really enjoyed these.   President Cook told us them in Zone Conference.   And it is true.   If you don't know where you are going then your effort is wasted, if you don't work to achieve you're dreams they will never get off the ground.   If you quit you will never achieve what you want to do.   The best way to achieve your best is to trust the Lord to help you do that.   The prophet Moses in the Old Testament felt he wouldn't be good as a prophet.   He had speech problems and felt he couldn't do the job he was being asked to do.   With the Lords help he was able to accomplish what the Lord wanted him to do.   There is a country song on my I-pod back home that says "if you wanna hear God laugh tell Him your plans."   I know that if we try to do our own things without trusting the Lord we will not accomplish all that we need to, or ought to.   But if we work hard, and follow the path the Lord wants us on, we will be able to achieve all that He wants us to, and become all that He wants us to be.   He will guide us if we choose to follow.

"There's one in every family sire, two in mine."
"Somebodies got to nail that girls fins to the floor."
"When I'm king what will that make you?   A monkey's uncle."
"And then this seagull came and it was all 'this is this' and 'that is that'"

Love you all.   See you in a week.

This is us in a KOMB, which is horribly small for a six foot 200+ pound man,


 and just cause I can, a picture I got from my old companion Elder Sant from Christmas after we had caroled to the mission President.   You can't really see me very much, but it was a blast.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

"English dude, English" -Transformers "I'm not fat, its this fur, it makes me look... puffy."-Ice Age

Let me tell you something.   They don't speak English!   I don't know what to call it out here, because what ever it is that they are speaking it is not English.   They put the emphasis on the wrong words, and the wrong parts, they switch back and forth between English and Shona, and I just get lost.   It is fun, don't get me wrong, but is hard not knowing more of the language then I currently do.   I wish I could speak Shona fluently, or at least with some level of skill, but I can't and so I will continue on.

Okay so my companion, Elders Jakopo and Brandonburg(from the MTC) and I were at a dinner appointment some few nights ago, and there was no zessa(power) and so we were sitting in the dark waiting for dinner. So after some few minuets the power comes back on and I stood up to look at some few of the different things the family had on the wall.   Well the daughter says to me "you're really tall.   And you are fat."   I mean what the heck?   That is just mean.   I know I am not the smallest guy in the world, but I am not that big.   What is that?   I was deeply hurt, and added on top of that, my companion has been making comments on my size two.   It is getting really irritating.   I mean come on give a guy a break.   

This week we had a Baptism on Saturday.   It was great.   I didn't do the baptism so I didn't have to step into the freezing cold water.   Like everyone who stepped into the water gave off some sound of discomfort.   It was like watching the movie Titanic when they first get immersed in the water.   But the baptisms were great.   We had a combined service with the Elders from the Third Branch, Elder Stimpson(from the MTC) and Elder Mujeni(his son) which is the second time Stimpson and I have shared a baptismal service.   It was great.   I loved it.   So happy for the recent converts.

Man I love having a marondgo in the apartment with me.   Elder Brandonburg and I stayed up last night playing Chess and talking about things like; Halo, Legend of Zelda, Star Wars, and all that kind of stuff.   We stayed up way late, which was not the best idea but it was nice talking about American stuff with another American.   I miss just regular talk when I don't have to explain about the Ocarina of Time and stuff like that.   I love my comp, but it is nice not being the only white guy in the house anymore.      

My companion has been learning how to budget as of late.   As missionaries we only get a certain amount of money for us to use, and he burned through it last time he got it.   We get it once every two weeks, and he burned through it in like five days.   So I have told him to budget his money better, and he has started to learn to.   This go round he has been smarter with his money.   Which is good, cause we aren't supposed to loan money as missionaries.   He is a great guy and we have spent a lot of time talking about stuff we did at home, and people we knew and stuff like that.   

"Love is the measure of our faith, the inspiration for our obedience, and the true altitude of or discipleship.   Love is the way of the disciple"

"Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely.   Though we are imperfect He loves us perfectly.   Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely."
-Dieter F Utchdorf

We read in John chapter 3 verse 16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, might not perish but have everlasting life."   We also read that we ought to love our neighbor as ourselves, and that we need to "love those that hate [us]".   Love is key to the Plan of Salvation, the eternal plan of our Father in Heaven.   IF Jesus Christ hadn't loved us as much as He does, He might have stopped the pain of the Atonement and Crucifixion, IF God hadn't loved us so much He might not have sent His son.   IF They both hadn't of loved us then They might not have shone Themselves to a young boy in a grove of trees in the 1820's.   But They DO love us.   Jesus Christ DID Atone for all of us to be forgiven for our sins, God the Father and Jesus Christ DID show Themselves to Joseph Smith, and called him to be a prophet.   How much love our Father has shown unto us in this life.   We now need to share that love with all those around us.   I pray we can find ways to express Christ like love with all those around us.   Jesus lives and loves us all, God is the Father of our spirits, and He lives and loves us.   

"So you're a real Dracula right, like 'I am Dracula, Blah blah blah."
"What were you going to do walk around and call out here birdy birdy here birdy."
"Wait I want to stay.   Hey if I put my hand in the invisible mans mouth will it disappear?"
"Well anything sounds dumb when you say it like that."

I love you all.   I miss you every day.   

Monday, July 14, 2014

"My knee hurts" -Up "Stick with me kid, I know this [area] like the back of my hand. Hey that's new." -Robots

Well fun fact being on my feet all day long in very bipolar weather really makes the old knee injury hurt.   Not very fun being in pain.   I mean it is bearable, it just makes me walk like a hop along, in the words of my Dad.   Nothing to do about it but "tough it out."   It will be great.   I hope.  Our weather is starting to warm up a little in the days.   We are actually in the middle of winter.   So if it is this warm in winter in one of the coldest areas of the mission, summers will be interesting.   

I have taken over the area.   Which is to say I am the missionary that has been in the area the longest and so SHOULD know my way around.   Well I can get us to the area and I can get us back.   Once we are inside the area, that is where the difficulty occurs.   I have gotten us a little lost a few times.   We always find our way and we have fun when it happens, but still, it is not a very good thing.   Getting lost.   But I am getting better and I know the area much better then I thought.   

Hey mom, questions I should have asked in my other email.   Just so I know, what is my blood type, other then red.   And could you send in a letter some stickers for me to put on the back of my tag?   You know Spider-man, Captain America, starwars, transformers and such like that?   And maybe some bit bigger picture of similar stuff I can put on my PMG?   I have come to enjoy customizing my things.   I love you!

We have a Baptism on Saturday.   Our investigator Tatenda is being Baptized by Elder Mwashusha.   We have been putting together a list of people to visit, from less actives, to former investigators (we have 46 former investigators?   Can I hear you say Jack Pot?)   It will be great.   Also since the computers are often down we are putting together our own ward list.   Downed computers make it hard to print one.   It will be nice to have that sort of stuff in the area book.   We are doing a lot of great stuff in our area, and hopefully we will be able to reap the fruit of our work.   

My new companion as I said last week is Elder Mwashusha.   He is from a little outside of Harare, he speaks Shona, which can help, and also get irritating depending on what we are doing.   I am struggling to pick up much of the language, and even though we don't really teach in it, it causes a language barrier that is hard for me to get past.   I am sure it will come with time but you know how I do with being patietnt.  He has a weird sense of humor.   But he says the same thing about me so it is great.   We are really working well together, and he is learning the area really well.   It will be a great transfer.   Looking forward to it. 

"Our words, like our deeds should be filled with faith, hope and charity, the three great Christian imperatives so desperately needed in the world today.   With such words, spoken under the influence of the Spirit, tears can be dried, hearts can be healed, lives can be elevated, hope can return, confidence can prevail."
-Jeffrey R Holland

"We talk a lot about the weather, but we don't do anything about it."
-Mark Twain

I think that we all have someone in our lives who could use a kind word, a showing of love and care.   Too often we think about reaching out in love and never do it.   Let us follow the example of the Good Samaritan in the parable taught by Jesus Christ.   We can lift and help those around us and be the ministering angels that people need.   I know that as we share the love of God in a kind word, an act of service, or even a smile we can change lives.   I know God loves all of us, and wants us to love each other too.   Let us make the effort to lift and love those who need it, where ever we see them.   

I love you all.

"Oh sorry Ling... You know how it is when you get those manly urges and you just got to kill something."
"Take a look at me what am I?   Uhhh.... Really tall?"
"Well I think my bunny slippers just ran for cover."
"There are those who think little of him."   

For Momma:  a hippo in a pond.

Monday, July 7, 2014



That is the view outside our gate.   The door has a roof over it and a building across from it.   So it is out of my gate.   They have cell phones, but not a lot of people have "air time" which is the same as minuets so they "police call" us which is sending us a text and asking us to call them since mission supplies us with air time.   We do our laundry in a bucket with washing powder.   We bath.   Our showers aren't working, so we bath.   We have mince meat(ground beef) we have chicken, beef, pork, sausage, basically most of the stuff you can find at home.   They don't do gallons of milk.   They do litters, and food is not very expensive, and they give us 130 bucks every two weeks.   Our roads are sometimes paved with pot holes, and sometimes dirt, depends on what part of the area you are in.   The ward is small and slow.   Not a lot of attendance, and not a lot of support from many people.   Lots of less actives and so we have our work cut out for us.   But it is good, and the people who we work with are great.   

"Well boys, order another round cause [I'm] staying here!]"-A Bugs Life "What ever you do do not eat the [creamsoda sucker] it has turned."-Cars 2

Well now it is a new transfer.   I am staying in Mkoba 2nd ward.   I am excited for that.   I have a new companion.   Elder Mwashusha.   Good luck with trying to pronounce it.   HAHAHAHA.   It is gonna be a great transfer.   My old comp got in zone transferred, which means he is still in my bunch of missionaries so we will see each other on occasion.   

Candy out here is different.   Suckers are okay, but the gum inside it is Jing, and cream soda is not good, not even a little bit. It is like a super horrible cough medicine.   I think cough medicine is better then that stuff was.   YUCK!!!   Safe to say I am gonna be careful what candies I eat.   Man oh man if I wont be.   HAHA... it was fun.

The area is great.   We picked up three new investigators last week.   A Mama named Elizabeth and her son Shane, and a Baba named Magunje.   Super great people super prepared for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   We also have and investigator named Tatenda who we will be baptizing soon, and will hopefully be able to begin teaching her family so they can all receive of the restored gospel.   I love it, I love the work and I love these people.  

So new companion... Elder Mwashusha... he has been on mission a little over six months, and just got here from outside of Bulawyao... I think.   He seems like a pretty sweet guy and I am looking forward to working with him.   

"We are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness.   We are the Lords hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and lift His children.   He is dependent on each of us."-Thomas S. Monson

"[We are] to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide for the widow, to dry up the tear of the orphan, to comfort the afflicted, whether in this church, or in any other church, or in no church at all, where ever [we find] them."- Joseph Smith.

"when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God"- Mosiah 2:17

"In as much as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40

I love service.   Recently we have been helping to build a house.   I don't know who it is for, but it is a great example of service.   Helping those around us has always been a teaching of the Prophets.   We are told of Enoch and his City of Zion "and the Lord called His people Zion, for they were of one heart and one mind and dwelt in righteousness and there were no poor among them"(Moses 7:14. That might be the wrong reference, don't hate me if it is. )   Enoch taught his people to care for each other, and in this Dispensation the Prophets have again taught of its importance.   I know serving others allows them to feel of the love of God, and that it does the same for us.   I know God wants us to serve those around us and that He cares for each and every one of us.   

"Mr. Fredricson, I found the Snipe.   Oh did you now?"
"Bob it is time to engage!   Don't just stand there I need you to intervene!"
"Hello.   My name is Russel.   Sweat Lodge four troop seven.   Are you in need of any assistance today?   No."
"I mean one more zap with this death ray and I'm vaporizer, what does Barron von Ruthless do?   He starts monolouging!   I mean the guy has me on a platter and he wont shut up."

I love you all.   

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"Wake up rise and shine! Its another fabulous morning in [Mkoba] lets go! Not for [Elder Njuguna, he's] calling in sick"-Madagascar

Yes I know I have used this one before but it is the only quote that I can think of that actually says the words "Calling in sick" and it fits for the week.   

My Companion was sick all week.   I mean we got to the area like once this week.   That was it.  The rest was Elder Njuguna sitting sick, and me sitting board.   All day long.   He slept for a decent part of it, but I just couldn't do it.   So I washed dishes, cleaned the Kitchen and read Bible Dictionary and played a lot of Solitaire.   That was most of our week.   The area was doing good when we got there, but nothing huge and major to report.   Sickness has been going around Gweru for a while now.   Elder Njuguna, Elder Jacopo, Sister Supero I think almost half of the missionaries in the Zone are sick.   So yeah, slow week.   But that is just how things go.   Bitter and Sweet, and all that opposites and opposition in all things stuff.   Have read some pretty cool stuff in the BD though.   I'm gonna be honest we have been struggling here and there me and my comp.   He is a dead missionary with almost half a mission to go.   President Cook has asked us to emphasis obedience and Njuguna just refuses to be obedient if he thinks the rule is stupid.   I try to talk with him about it and he gets mad, tells me it is a different mission so the rules don't apply and refuses to change.   So we have butted heads off and on.   It will get better, but it will take some time.   I feel like we haven't developed much of a friendship.   We work together cause we have to but he doesn't open up and talk about much of anything.   It is a little discouraging.   

A lot of the talks in Church yesterday were about the importance of taking care of your family, specifically of Spouses taking care of/supporting/loving each other.   That is a pretty big topic out here, since there the issue of Lobola and a lot of false cultural traditions, and such like that.   A lot of people hold to the whole, the man comes home and rests and the wife does all the work in the house, and the church is really trying to move away from that.   It is nice cause it teaches the importance of families, and helps to remind us missionaries what we ought to do when we get home.   It also helps cause it gives us stuff to share with people who have tribal  marries and need to understand the importance of a more permanent marriage.   It is interesting.

This week we had a "family fun day" put on by us the missionaries.   It was an activity to help get the community active.   The people out here are starving for activities.   It was a lot of fun, we played cards, had a scavenger hunt, played soccer, and a lot of other stuff.    It was great and we got to have fun with members of our district and build stronger friendships.   I love it out here.

Often times we play soccer out here, and I am in a walking area with the area I cover being about an hour away from where I live.   We live that far because security is better and there is more often power and water.   We cover two areas about the size of my second area Cabrian Park in San Jose.   We have a few investigators who have promise.   Ruth is an investigator who can't get baptised till August.   She was born really early and it effected her health really bad, so now cold water plus cold air equals bad.   Then there is Evidence, and Khumalo(but Khumalo needs to get a civil marriage first.)   That is an issue out here, lots of tribal marriages and they need a civil one to be baptized.   The area is pretty new so that is it for really progressing investigators.

I have not eaten the Caterpillar yet.   They look really really weird.
It doesn't really swirl, it just kind of goes.   Get a bucket of water and pour it in the toilet, that is what it does.   (Daddy wondered which way the water spun in the toilet..)

Speaking of the Fourth, tell Grandma Diane that I said happy birthday if you get the chance.  

It kind of looks like the Lion King, and kind of not.   There aren't so many animals as you expect and it is really western style out here.   Speaking of which; I would like for you to send me some recepies.   Simple stuff that I can make like Tacos, meatloaf, burritos, hamburgers, spaghetti,  maybe some desert stuff, (maybe stuff out of my cookbook?)   I find myself with extra money and figure I can eat better then PB&J even though I love them.   I can't find the actual seasoning packets but I can find  individual seasonings so I figure I can start to eat more american food.   

We sleep in normal beds, we have in door plumbing (its gonna be big) and it is a house.

I do still want those photos, if you don't mind sending them to me.   Often times I hear your voice in my mind, calling my name.   Wether it is to dinner or not I don't know.   I am slowly learning the language, President Cook actually says not to devote to much time to it since we use English to teach.   I have a flash drive and a can stereo to use to listen to my music. 

Jeffrey R Holland gave a conference talk a few years ago, where he talked about the importance of continuing to strengthen our faith.   He said something along the lines of "Honestly acknowledge your doubts and fears.   But first and always fan the flame of your faith.   For all things are possible to them that believe."   What a powerful statement that is.   He also has said "In this Church what we know will Always trump what we don't know."   If we have faith and believe then we can do all things.   We don't need to know everything for if we did we could have no faith, and we are to walk by faith.   

I know that I don't know everything.   But I know that what I know is enough.   I know that Jesus is the Christ and that if we have faith in Him we can over come all things, and we can be blessed.   I know obedience to God's laws will bring blessings, and I know exact obedience will bring miracles.   I know God loves all of us, and He wants us to come home to be with Him with our families.   I know families can be eternal through the Priesthood Keys that were restored to Joseph Smith.   I know God lives.

"Dishonor!   Dishonor on your whole family!   Take this down Cricket!   Dishonor on you, dishonor  on your cow,"
"Now look I'm not gonna eat ya! I just, ah look I just,"
"What if I plucked one of your antenna off and threw it across the yard?   Then who's the loser?   Me or you?"
"Man you gotta warn someone before you crack one off, my mouth was open and everything.   Believe me donkey if it was me, you'd be dead."

Love you all.      

I love you so much.   I miss you dearly.