Monday, October 12, 2015

"I got nothing, really I got nothing."-Hotel Transylvania

Okay, so this week was good.   We have worked to get things done, I have packed everything that I am taking home with me into my bags, and now as I sit here writing this, I am in Harare, at mission office and am waiting for interviews with President Mkabela, and that is nuts.   I really don't know what to say.   Worked to get Dangamvura 2nd to be in good shape for Elder Chibanda and his new companion, Elder Kwaramba (an old friend from my days in Chegutu) so that they can keep the work moving forward.   I hope that they are going to have a lot of success and that things get done for them.   Hope the people we were teaching will get baptized.   I have had a blast on this mission.   And I have been so blessed to have served here.   I don't know how my life would be different if I hadn't, and I hope I never find out.   I really don't know what to say right now.

"Integrity means always doing what is right and good, regardless of the immediate consequences."
-Joseph B Worthlin

"Good timber does not grow easily.   It grows through wind and rain."
-Thomas S Monson.

I want to say, one last time as a Full Time Missionary in the Zimbabwe Harare Mission, I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ.   I know that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father came and showed themselves to the boy Joseph Smith, and called him to be a prophet, and They restored Their gospel through him.  I know President Monson is the prophet here on the Earth now.   I know that all that we claim to believe is in fact true.


"You said you'd always be there for me, but you're not, and it's my fault. It's my fault."
"That's not a king, it's a fuzzy maraca."
"You got to put your behind in your past.  No, sit down, before you hurt yourself, it's you got to put your past behind you."
"When the going gets tough the tough get going, that's our motto.  I thought our motto was 'Hakuna Matata'.  Pumba you got to stop living in the past, we need a new motto."

I love you all.   See you in a few days.

Monday, October 5, 2015

"Mostly dead [or] all dead[?]"-Princess Bride "The [laugh]"-Lord of the Rings 2 "Wow! the weather. Very [hot]"-Lion King "Three sir, three."Monty Python

"There is a difference between mostly dead, and all dead."   In mission when a missionary comes to the end of their service, some missionaries die.  Like stop working, start doing zhing things, and all that stuff.   Well, I have been wondering some days, am I mostly dead or all dead.   Some days I feel alive and great, other days I get trunky and it just becomes hard to do things.   I wish it weren't so, but such is how the longing works on an Ogier.   Anyway, most days I am good, it is just in the evening when my family is awake that it becomes hard, for the most part.   "Mostly dead, they're still partly alive, all dead, there is only one thing to do.   What is that?   Well, go through their pockets and look for loose change."



Okay, so I don't know how many of you used to watch Friends, but I did, and let me tell you something.   You know the girl Chandler used to date, who had a really weird laugh, well imagine that laugh with more of a bass to it, coming from a guy, and that is my companions laugh.   It is interesting.   Every time I hear it it makes me think of when I used to watch Friends with my parents.   

Okay, so weather has been in the 33-36 range here in Zimbabwe.   The other day it got to 38, like 100 degrees for those who live in the states.   So safe to say, I agree with "old Rafiki" the weather is strange.   But it sounds like it should bring us some good rain sometime or other.   I don't know.   I just hope that my dear sweet Washington is still rainy and gray and beautiful.   

Okay, so this week we have MLC, leaving when we get done emailing to go to Harare, and that will take Monday and Tuesday.   Then Saturday we have a Braai and stuff planned with the Zone and a family that I love in Sakubva, and then Sunday we will be going to Harare for the last time, so safe to say I have like Three days in the area this week.   It is odd how that works, but it is what it is.   Tying to cement some memories that may have to last me for the rest of my life.   

This week was good, got some things done.   Got some people committed to baptism, and had several people come to Sacrament.   That was the best.   Nothing is worse then a investigatorless Sacrament meeting.   But that hasn't happened for a few weeks, so that is good. What is even better is getting a text from the AP's saying we are gonna Braai at the Presidents house, so we get to go there in P-day clothes.   In the words of my Uncle Elder Housekeeper YAGA!!!!   I love it.   

"The Gospel is a fountain of knowledge that never runs dry."
-Gerald Causse

"Disciples of the Lord are defenders of traditional marriage. We cannot yield. History is not our judge. A secular society is not our judge. God is our judge."
-Russell M Nelson

What a wonderful thing to be in a church led by our Savior through His chosen 12 Apostles and His one Prophet.   Just as it was in the time of Peter, James and John.   We got to see three new Apostles called and sustained this week in conference.   I know that we are led, not by man, but by our perfect Savior, through imperfect, yet wonderful men.   I know that they speak the words of God.   Never forget their words, or the words of any of the church leaders.   They are called, sustained, supported by God.   So why not loved and trusted by us?

"A wedding? I love weddings! Drinks all around! I know, clasp him in irons."
"Data, data, data, I can not make bricks without clay."
"Stop blowing holes in my ship!"
"I don't complain when you play your violin at three in the morning, I don't complain when you steal my clothing.   We have a barter system."
"Jack, Jack, Jack, hadn't you noticed, that's the same Island we mad you governor of at the end of our last little venture.   I had noticed."
"Case reopened."

I love you all.   

Monday, September 28, 2015

"I might [never go shopping again]"-How to Train your Dragon "[All] I see is a big white blob"-Return of the Jedi "You are [dropped]"-Terminator "You'd find more cheer in a graveyard."-Two Towers

Okay, so after today, I might not buy much again while here in Zimbabwe.   I am planning to get my last few things for my family today, and to get my last few things to eat during my stay here, and then I will be good.   It is weird to think that it has come to this time, but it is also cool.   I am so excited for the next few weeks.   

Anyway, there is a part of our area called Gimboki and it has this super light colored sand and so when you go walking there at Noon time, you just get this big old glare into your eyes and you feel like you are gonna go blind, or maybe like Han felt when his eye sight was coming back to him while on Tatooen.   It is a really big area, and we don't get there much, but man it just burns your eyes.   

Okay, so when missionaries stop visiting someone to allow them time to decide they want to learn about the gospel not be dragged to it, we commonly call that being "dropped".   Well, we have dropped a lot of investigators this past week.  And the past several weeks.   Like over 30 of them.   We took over two areas, so some of them are ours, some were ones that were left by the other missionaries, and they all wont come to church, read or pray.   So yea, we have moved on.   I have limited patience as it is, but especially now.   

Maybe not more cheer in a graveyard, but probably faster songs.   We sing hymns so slow out here.   It is irritating, when I know the tempo that it is supposed to be and they are two and a half beats behind where they are supposed to be.   How slow do we have to sing?   I can't take it!   I just wish we had a piano that could play the tunes and then the people would know what they are supposed to sound like.   

Anyway, the area is okay.   Small teaching pool, but we are working on that.   Got six new investigators, and four people came to church.   That was nice.   Now to get more of it to happen.   Yesterday was the farewell of a young man who is going to his mission, they only give a testimony, both for leaving and for coming home.   Do you think if I told that to Bishop Dunn, he would agree to it?   




My companion is doing great.   Things are well, we are getting along, and that is great.   A member on the area keeps on telling me when ever he sees me exactly how many days I have left.   Number one, I already know, and number two, at least he hasn't gotten it down to how many hours.   

"Being honest is more then just not lying.   It is truth telling, truth living, and truth loving."
-I can't remember which General Authority said it.

Okay, I know that I had another quote to go along with this, but much like the main character played by Robin Williams in Flubber, I am a little slippery minded.   

But what a wonderful thought.   Are we telling the truth because we have to, or because we want to?   Are we not stealing because we might get caught, or because we respect what is not ours?   Are we being honest, or are we honest people.   My coaches always told me that integrity is who you are when you think no one is looking.   I know that it is important to be honest and do what is right in all that we do.   

"I don't think he knows about second breakfast Pippin."
"Still traveling by mail, eh mister cheap-o? Its not a money thing, I have a plain phobia."
'This my friends is a pint. It comes in pints? I want one."
"The humans are getting fatter so as to be able to overpower us easier, also they are wearing less clothing to make it easier to strangle us."

I love you all.   

Monday, September 21, 2015

"First rule of leadership, everything is your fault"-Bugs Life "[We] work out"-Megamind "[Turn] it on."-Gnomeo and Juliet

Okay, so we had MLC this past week, and that was cool.   One thing that President really emphasized to us was that as the leaders we are the ones responsible for all that happens in the Zone.   Talk about pressure.   But it is nice, cause I need all the incentive to work that I can get.   People in the area are counting down for me and are always commenting on how little time I have left, like I have one foot in the grave already.   It is sometimes difficult to get going, but the instruction from President on working hard to be a productive area has given me something to shoot for.   

Andrew's new Mission President and Zone Leaders 

So this past week Elder Chibanda and I have started to go to the gym with Elder Merritt and Mujeni, and the gym is pretty fun.  But my worst decision was to do legs on the day we are going to go hike Mbvumba mountain, again.   Yea, that place where I said I would never go again, we are going there today, and I blasted my legs.   So that might be rough.   The only down part of the gym is that they play really bad music and music videos there every time.   The funny thing is seeing the "Carrots" there, as my companion calls them.   The people who only work on their arms and chest and ignore their legs to the point where their arms are huge, like could rip me in half, and their legs are just so small that you think they might buckle under the weight.   But I wouldn't go calling them a carrot to their face, cause like I said, they could rip me in half.   

This week when we were at MLC we had the office Couple print us a list of all the people who are in the Branch, well over 200 people in the branch, but just over 100 attend on Sundays.   So we took some time to call people and try to set up appointments with them.   I got so tired of hearing the message that the phone was unreachable or turned off, or busy or some such.   Turn on the phone, and talk to us.   Me and my comp were just tired of it.   We are working through the list a little at a time.    

We have a young man going on his mission next week, this Sunday is his mission farewell.   Tatenda, a super great guy, we work with him a lot to get things done.   He has been hit as of late by anti Mormon doctrine we have had to get him away from, all from his "friends" who "want him to know how to answer hard questions when he gets on mission" and it is just irritating.   Stupid anti stuff too, like not the difficult things I heard when in Cali, just simple misunderstandings of Doctrine.   The guy will do good on his mission, just got a few more days before he is gone.

"A man and a woman, united in marriage, have a transcendent power to create happiness for themselves, for their family, and for the people around them."
-Henry B Eyring

"We were not placed on this Earth to walk alone."
-Thomas S Monson

I have a wonderful family back home.   I have seen some pretty bad family relationships out here in the past.   A husband who "lords" over his wife and treats her as property, a wife who is determined to rob her husband of his authority, parents who mistreat children, and vice versa.   It is hard sometimes, especially when we are trying to teach them that the family they have can be together for eternity and the one spouse looks at us like "are you nuts?" or "get out of my house right now" because they don't really think a forever marriage is something they want.   I am glad that I grew up in a happy home, with a wonder family.

God intends for our families to be happy and to be forever.   We have to help in that.   We have to put in our effort to get that done.   I have seen great families who have put aside cultural views to take up the gospel culture and have prepared for the Temple with all faith and are certain that one day they will be eternal, and sealed, and that they will be able to be together in the Celestial Kingdom.   That is the kind of way we need to live, with the end in mind.   The end in mind is the Celestial Kingdom, and family for eternity.   NO EMPTY CHAIRS!   

"Alright, I'm in, but I don't want nobody calling me 'son' or 'sport', okay, you chose me, so you respect the skills.   What ever you say slick."
"Aye, whey shouldn't we choose?   But she's the Princess.   Well I didn't choose her."
"Standard issue Neralizer."
"Mordou or not, I'II avenge your mother, but I'll not risk losing you too."

I love you all.       
Okay, so we had MLC this past week, and that was cool.   One thing that President really emphasized to us was that as the leaders we are the ones responsible for all that happens in the Zone.   Talk about pressure.   But it is nice, cause I need all the incentive to work that I can get.   People in the area are counting down for me and are always commenting on how little time I have left, like I have one foot in the grave already.   It is sometimes difficult to get going, but the instruction from President on working hard to be a productive area has given me something to shoot for.    So this past week Elder Chibanda and I have started to go to the gym with Elder Merritt and Mujeni, and the gym is pretty fun.  But my worst decision was to do legs on the day we are going to go hike Mbvumba mountain, again.   Yea, that place where I said I would never go again, we are going there today, and I blasted my legs.   So that might be rough.   The only down part of the gym is that they play really bad music and music videos there every time.   The funny thing is seeing the "Carrots" there, as my companion calls them.   The people who only work on their arms and chest and ignore their legs to the point where their arms are huge, like could rip me in half, and their legs are just so small that you think they might buckle under the weight.   But I wouldn't go calling them a carrot to their face, cause like I said, they could rip me in half.    This week when we were at MLC we had the office Couple print us a list of all the people who are in the Branch, well over 200 people in the branch, but just over 100 attend on Sundays.   So we took some time to call people and try to set up appointments with them.   I got so tired of hearing the message that the phone was unreachable or turned off, or busy or some such.   Turn on the phone, and talk to us.   Me and my comp were just tired of it.   We are working through the list a little at a time.     We have a young man going on his mission next week, this Sunday is his mission farewell.   Tatenda, a super great guy, we work with him a lot to get things done.   He has been hit as of late by anti mormon doctrine we have had to get him away from, all from his "friends" who "want him to know how to answer hard questions when he gets on mission" and it is just irritating.   Stupid anti stuff too, like not the difficult things I heard when in Cali, just simple misunderstandings of Doctrine.   The guy will do good on his mission, just got a few more days before he is gone. "A man and a woman, united in marriage, have a transcendent power to create happiness for themselves, for their family, and for the people around them." -Henry B Eyring "We were not placed on this Earth to walk alone." -Thomas S Monson I have a wonderful family back home.   I have seen some pretty bad family relationships out here in the past.   A husband who "lords" over his wife and treats her as property, a wife who is determined to rob her husband of his authority, parents who mistreat children, and vice versa.   It is hard sometimes, especially when we are trying to teach them that the family they have can be together for eternity and the one spouse looks at us like "are you nuts?" or "get out of my house right now" because they don't really think a forever marriage is something they want.   I am glad that I grew up in a happy home, with a wonder family. God intends for our families to be happy and to be forever.   We have to help in that.   We have to put in our effort to get that done.   I have seen great families who have put aside cultural views to take up the gospel culture and have prepared for the Temple with all faith and are certain that one day they will be eternal, and sealed, and that they will be able to be together in the Celestial Kingdom.   That is the kind of way we need to live, with the end in mind.   The end in mind is the Celestial Kingdom, and family for eternity.   NO EMPTY CHAIRS!    "Alright, I'm in, but I don't want nobody calling me 'son' or 'sport', okay, you chose me, so you respect the skills.   What ever you say slick." "Aye, whey shouldn't we choose?   But she's the Princess.   Well I didn't choose her." "Standard issue Neralizer." "Mordou or not, I'II avenge your mother, but I'll not risk losing you too." I love you all.    

Monday, September 14, 2015

"I don't mind [driving] but what [they're] doing is suicide!"-Attack of the Clones "I'm tired"-Monsters Vs Aliens "Why is the [Zessa} always gone?"-Pirates of the Caribbean

Okay, so as a Zone Leader I have to drive quiet a bit.   Anyway we went to Harare last week for a Zone Conference/Mission Tour with Elder Ellis and well it was great.   Anyway, driving home was interesting.   We are driving along, going maybe 120-130 K's and this car with Mozambique plates comes flying along and starts to pass people and he has this semi-truck coming his way and he runs the other car in our lane off the road and almost gets killed, and he did it so many times it was nuts.   Most people don't have a drivers license cause it is super hard to get one out here and so most people just drive without one, and they definitely don't know how to drive, so it makes things interesting for me.  But I am still alive and kicking!
But I will admit that I am tired, a lot of the time.   I don't know why, I just get tired.  Maybe it is the 33 degrees that is killing me, but I just get super tired, but it is at all the wrong times.   Like I look at my watch and I am tired at times when if I was there in the States, I would be asleep.   But  feel awake at times where I would be awake in the states even when I am getting ready to go to be here in Zimbabwe.   I don't know, is there such a thing as reverse jet-lag?   Maybe my body is getting ready to get back into the states.
Okay so out here electrical power is Magatse, but it is commonly called Zessa because that is the company that supplies it.   So out here in Dangamvura there is almost never a day when we don't lose zessa.   And it can be all day.   Gone from 7 in the morning to 10 at night.   It is rough.   I don't know how they lose it so often, but they do.   Sometimes it is good, and it stays for the entire day, but it is not very often.   It seems to only be Dangamvura.   Sakubva, Chikanga, Hob House and the other areas have zessa almost all the time now.   Not us.  
Anyway, the area is in need of some work.   Trying to get things to happen out here but it can be a little slow sometimes.   We got four new investigators this week, but none of them came to church on Sunday.   We have been trying to get the members to give us referrals but that hasn't happened yet.   So, we are just plugging away, and well, at the very least we are "laying the foundation of a great work"!   
My companion is great.   A little quiet sometimes, but he is super smart.   He is a hard worker and he just loves the work.   He has only been a Zone Leader for a few weeks, he got ET'd there middle of last transfer, and so we are both sort of new to it, but he has gotten the hang of it really well.  
"[On Easter] we celebrate the gift of victory of every fall we have ever experienced, every sorrow we have ever known, every discouragement we have ever had, every fear we have ever faced- to say nothing of our resurrection from death and forgiveness for our sins"
-Jeffrey R Holland
"The Savior accomplished the Atonement, which resolves the most terrible burdens that can occur in this life, He did it for you. He did it for me. He did it because He loves us and because He obeys and loves His Father. We will be rescued from death- even from the depths of the sea."
-Quentin L Cook
These may sound more like Easter time quotes then approaching winter time quotes.   But we need to remember what Christ did for us everyday.   I read a talk once by President Gordan B Hinckley that said that without Easter there would be reason to celebrate Christmas, and you can ask my companion Elder Chibanda, we were listening to about two hours of Christmas music on our way down here from Mutare.   It was nice.  
Anyway, I know that the Savior lives.   I know that He loves all of us and that He died and lives for us.   I know that if we will trust Him, everything will be alright in the end. 
"We've learned Earths languages, through the World Wide Web."
"I am not a real Shark slayer!"
"You want a piece of me?! You want a piece?! No! I want two!"
"Be there if you don't want to see her sleeping with the fishes, the dead ones."
I love you all.     

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

"Look, I don't care whose fault it is, just get this place cleaned up!"-Shrek 2 "It's empty, see?"-Monsters Inc "Why do you lie to me?"-Men in Black

Okay, so getting to our house here in Dangamvura, it looks like no one has cleaned this place out for a while, just huge piles of clothing and things left over from the last several missionaries who finished their missions there, and it is a mess.   I have been working almost every morning to get the thing cleaned up and in a good working order.   I can't stand the mess, and I am not even done yet, but I have taken a huge chunk of it and gotten it much better.   Found so many pamphlets that it is not even funny.   Gonna off load those on the other missionaries.   That will be nice to get that all out of the house.   Then we will be mostly cleaned up.

Okay, so the area is a little slow and struggling a little bit.  In mission you have what is called an area book where you are supposed to keep all the information of the area, people you are teaching and things along those lines.   Well, the book was like empty.   It hadn't been updated in a while, and that just tells you that we have not many investigators and are in desperate need of new ones.   I hope that we will get some soon, cause I love to teach and help people to know about the gospel a lot more then I love to walk the dusty streets of Mutare and knock on doors.  

And the reason that is is because knocking on doors is not very useful out here.   You go, you knock, you get a lame excuse of why a person can't meet with you right now, you set a return appointment for the next day, you get there, you get another lame excuse, and then you repeat.   Even Elder Mckee, the Elder I replaced here told me that tracting don't really work here.   I agree with him.   Tracting don't really work.   We need referrals.   

My companion is doing great.   Super chill guy, Elder Chibanda.   He is not a man to get angry or irritated about anything, even jokers who blow us off.   Me on the other hand, I am like Morianton in the Book of Mormon, a man given to much passion.   We have taken to calling each other Iceman and Pyro, cause he is chill as can be and I am a guy given to much fire.   It is fun, I love this companionship, and he is really helping me to understand how to be a Zone Leader.   

I think the area is already covered.  

Okay, so this week we had a mission tour with Elder Ellis of the Seventy, and it was a great time.   One of my favorite things he said was when he was talking about prayer, and he talked about how we oftentimes limit the Lord because of lack of faith.   He said we need miracles in mission life, and in every day life, but we don't ask for them and we don't work for them.   How profound is that?   We don't GET miracles because we don't ASK for miracles.   It hit me like a sack of bricks.   What do we need here in Mutare?   We need miracles.   What do we need in our families to have them be safe and be protected from the evils of the world and the whiles of the Devil?   We need miracles.   What do we need in everything that we ever do?   WE NEED MIRACLES.   The Lord spoke through the Prophets in the Book of Mormon and said that the only thing that keeps Him from giving miracles is a lack of faith on the part of man.   IF we have the faith, we will have the miracles.   IF we don't then we wont.   And the Lord told us that it wont be his fault.   It  will be ours.   

I know that I have been guilty of that a lot.   Not asking for miracles.   I have resolved to ask for and then work for miracles.   And I know that the Lord keeps his promises.   Elder Ellis said not only should we believe in the Lord, but we should believe the Lord.   Believe that He can keep his promises and that He will.   Believe He is mighty unto the fulfilling of all his words.   Believe that He tells the truth.   I loved that.  And I believe that it is true, with all my heart.   I know that God does not lie.   And I know He loves us.   

"Random security check. Random my behind you always pick me."
"Both eyes open when you shoot."
"That cherry chasing dot muncher isn't even a part of this game."
"You know what the Spanish found when they came to the new world, gold mountains of it."

I love you all.

Does anyone even read the movie quotes anymore?   It is getting hard to use ones i haven't used before.     

    

President and Sister Cook


[I feel like] Rover!"-Planet 51 "Parting is such sweet sorrows."-Gnomeo and Juliet "I'm going back!"-Lion King

Okay, so my family has asked me to collect and bring home some rocks from Zimbabwe for them.   In the movie Planted 51 there is a Rover that is obsessed with getting rocks and collecting them.   I am sure I must of looked a little weird to the people who say me stopping and grabbing rocks off the ground this past week.    But it will be worth it to get the rocks for my family.
Anyway, this week was of course transfers.   I am not in Nketa anymore.   I am super sad to have had to leave it, but I suppose I did what I had to do there, and God has moved me somewhere else.   I am now wait for it, a Zone Leader, and what is even more nuts is I am now in Mutare, again!   I am finishing my last six weeks as a Junior Companion Zone Leader and I am driving again.   I can't believe it, but to top it off, I am back here in Mutare, a different area, but still, same zone.  I am excited for this last six weeks, and what will come of it.   I hope that I do well.
Anyway, I haven't got much to say about the area, cause I haven't been there, nor about my companion as we have only been together for a few hours, not even a day.   But what I can say is that our area is pretty big, and that I love Elder Chibanda. 
I am in the same Zone as my beloved Elder Merritt, the one who was with me in California.   I love it, we are actually talking about home coming talks sitting together in the internet cafe here.   I love it.  
"What we do does not always support what we know."
-David A Bednar
Too often, a person who knows something does not follow it.   Too often we are blessed with knowledge from God and we do nothing with it.   I was told in the MTC "If you believe this church to be true, act like it."   That is good advice to all of us who are members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ.   I know that all that this church teaches is true.   I will do my level best to live in accordance.  
"Hey Phineas, what ya doing?"
"I don't need a map, I have a GPS, never need a map again, thanks."
"Curse you Perry the Platypus!" 
"The sixties weren't good to you were they?"
I love you all, sorry this is short.     

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

[I feel like] Rover!"-Planet 51 "Parting is such sweet sorrows."-Gnomeo and Juliet "I'm going back!"-Lion King

Okay, so my family has asked me to collect and bring home some rocks from Zimbabwe for them.   In the movie Planet 51 there is a Rover that is obsessed with getting rocks and collecting them.   I am sure I must of looked a little weird to the people who saw me stopping and grabbing rocks off the ground this past week.    But it will be worth it to get the rocks for my family.
Anyway, this week was of course transfers.   I am not in Nketa anymore.   I am super sad to have had to leave it, but I suppose I did what I had to do there, and God has moved me somewhere else.   I am now wait for it, a Zone Leader, and what is even more nuts is I am now in Mutare, again!   I am finishing my last six weeks as a Junior Companion Zone Leader and I am driving again.   I can't believe it, but to top it off, I am back here in Mutare, a different area, but still, same zone.  I am excited for this last six weeks, and what will come of it.   I hope that I do well.
Anyway, I haven't got much to say about the area, cause I haven't been there, nor about my companion as we have only been together for a few hours, not even a day.   But what I can say is that our area is pretty big, and that I love Elder Chibanda. 
I am in the same Zone as my beloved Elder Merritt, the one who was with me in California.   I love it, we are actually talking about home coming talks sitting together in the Internet cafe here.   I love it.  
"What we do does not always support what we know."
-David A Bednar
Too often, a person who knows something does not follow it.   Too often we are blessed with knowledge from God and we do nothing with it.   I was told in the MTC "If you believe this church to be true, act like it."   That is good advice to all of us who are members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ.   I know that all that this church teaches is true.   I will do my level best to live in accordance.  
"Hey Phineas, what ya doing?"
"I don't need a map, I have a GPS, never need a map again, thanks."
"Curse you Perry the Platypus!" 
"The sixties weren't good to you were they?"
I love you all, sorry this is short.     

Monday, August 24, 2015

"Ah, Christmas Eve"-Phineas and Ferb "[We] could have been dead, [we] could have died!"-Monsters Inc "I'm right behind you"-Shrek "No sacrifice, no victory!"-Transformers

Okay, so my last year in the real world, on August 25th my family celebrated Christmas together for the fun of it.   Well, tomorrow is the 25th of August, so today is Christmas Eve in August.   Merry Christmas family!    I love you all!
Okay, so at the train museum there is a pump trolley old time-y hand car, that we can drive around.   Well, if you try you can get going pretty fast, and dang did we get going.   The problem is there is only so much open area on the line for us to go on, and the brakes aren't the best in the world.   And the guy on the brakes likes to have some fun messing with people.   Anyway, it was a pretty close one, we almost crashed into another train, and actually once took it off the rail by hitting some other stuff.   It was kind of scary, very fun and man, we could have had some serious problems.  
Anyway, Elder Kunene is now six weeks old on mission, and so I am trying to get him to be more and more the one to lead the lessons and the area and such as that.   He is still a little hesitant to do so, but with a little encouragement he is starting to take things and run with it.   He is a great guy, and is really getting a hang of all the things he needs to do.   I love it.
Okay, so marriage and baptisms happened on Saturday, and there were a few bumps in the road.   We had to do a lot of calling around, and a lot of last minute changes and things like that to get it done, but it did get done, and that was great.   Regrettably I can't send pictures from this one internet cafe we are at, so it will have to wait a little bit on that.   I am so thankful that the things happened and that the people were baptized, they are so happy to be members and to have received the gospel.  
The area is doing good.   Now all we need to do is convince our investigators to come to church and not just let us visit them at their houses.   Really low on that bit, people just aren't coming to Church like we want them to.   And all the members who are Return Missionaries are giving me a hard time because mission is soon to end.   "It came, it finely came"-Toy Story.   My Death Certificate(as some missionaries call it) has arrived, which means that I now have my travel information.   Scary.
We are hoping to have some baptisms on the 5th of September and we will have to see how that goes.   Hope it will go well.
"How could we be content with anything short of exaltation it we know that exaltation is possible?"
-Jorge F Zeballos
I'm going to stick to one quote because I love this one.   Moses was told God's plan for mankind when he was told "My work and my glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man"(Moses 1:39).   God's entire plan is to give us eternal life/everlasting life/life eternal.   Or in other words Exaltation.   He wants us to return to be in His presence for eternity and He doesn't want us to be alone, but with all our family.   He wants us to have all that He has, to be "Joint heirs with Christ" as Paul says, in receiving all that Christ received, which is "All the Father hath".   It is possible with God's help.   "If [God] say yes, nobody can say no" as a song they play in the cafes out here says.   Exaltation is possible, so why would you settle for less?
I love you all.
"To swing, or not to swing? Swing."
"Who spit in her bean curd?"
"Ape and George not brothers? Well, I suppose we are brothers, since we both come from the primate family. Right primate family, brothers."
"Oh yeah, well I bet me and Ping could take you. I really don't want to take him anywhere."

Leaving on a Jet Plane.....

Hello Elder Melot,
Here is your travel itinerary. Also have sent it to your family.

Kind regards,

Sister Hermansen


Elder Melot will be leaving the Harare International Airport on Tuesday, October 13th and arriving at the SeaTac Airport on Wednesday, October 14th at 5:05pm.

"Noisy neighbors"-Lion King 1&1/2 "Throw it, throw it! Go long!"-Incredibles "I'm a big mouth"-Land Before Time "Now that was funny"-Surfs Up



Okay, so as of late our neighbors have been playing a lot of really loud music late at night and early in the morning.   It can be a little distracting during studies and when we are trying to sleep.   The other day it was so bad that we had to go out and ask the neighbor kids to stop screaming so loud.   Cause it was super irritating.   They stopped, a little bit at least.   But there are just so many of them pumping their music so loud and so long.   "There go the property values."
Anyway, this week we had a family fun day as the Nkulumane Stake, and "[my] heart skipped a beat when [I saw a football]" and it was great.   Spent a long time just throwing it back and forth with the different members and missionaries and taught several people how to throw it the way it is supposed to be thrown.   Cause they were throwing it like it is a rugby ball.   I am so out of practice of throwing a football that it killed my arm so fast.   Anyway the family fun day was a blast and it went really well.  
I am trying my level best to shut my mouth more to allow my companion more time to speak and to share in lessons, in contacting and other things.   He isn't always happy about it, but I am getting him to be more and more involved in all that we do.   I am just needing to not be a big mouth, like Ducky.
Anyway, last night we had our last appointment with a recent convert brother and sister(it was a DA my personal favorite).   Anyway before we left they asked us to help them remove a chameleon from their garden.  This thing was probably six to eight inches long, and when we started trying to remove it it started to hiss at us and the two of them screamed.   And so we got it out of their garden and we tossed it into the bushes outside the house, and I couldn't resist.   I ran backwards towards them drying out "here it comes!" and they screamed and ran for their house and Kunene and I laughed so hard.   They weren't very happy, but I was.
Things are going well for the area, we are planning those six baptisms this weekend, and that will be a great time.   We have found several new investigators, now if we could only get them to come to church.   We are working on it.   It will happen eventually.   Things are well for us.  
My companion is great.   Once I get him to do something once he just takes off with it.   Which is the best part of having him here.   Or one of the best parts.  
"We need to exercise faith that the Lord has prepared people around us to be taught. He knows who they are and when they are ready, and He can guide us to them by the power of the Holy Ghost and give us words to invite them to be taught"
-Unknown
Okay, so I think there might be a missing page in my booklet, cause for the life of me I can't find who said that quote.

In my mission I have had a great opportunity to see the Lord lead my companion and I to people who are prepared, or lead the prepared people to us.   I have gotten a front row seat to see the Lord hasten His work.   I know that there are people out there, around all of us, who are being prepared for the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.   If we will search for them, with His help we will find them.   Let the search begin.
"I made it coach, I got a C average, I'm going to college. That is great news son, but I am a married man."
"They kiss?   Why that looks so unique, inspired!"
"Water makes you weak, water is for cowards, water is for washing the blood of your jersey, and you better not get no blood on my jersey."
"How horrible our Christmas will be. No, How jolly."


I love you all.   

Where's Andrew?

This photo is with Andrew's new mission president. 

"Pick up the [phone] Pick up the [phone]"-Flushed Away "This is a lot more [complicated then it should be]"-Robots "Special Delivery!"-Phineas and Ferb "Where [is everyone]?!"-Doctor Who

Okay, so nothing is worse then when you are trying to organize things with a marriage officer and it isn't happening.   We tried so hard this past week to get everything to happen the way it is supposed to happen and to get in touch with the guy and well, he never picked up his phone.   It was horrible.   Then we find out that he is not authorized to do marriages anymore, so we are going to have to use a different officer to do the marriage now.   We got called by the Stake President to tell us about it.   It was horrible.   So much more complicated then it needs to be, since the guy is still legally registered to be a marriage officer of Zimbabwe.   I know I have said it, but it was horrible.   Anyway, long story short, we are gonna have the marriage and baptism on the 22nd instead.   So no marriage/baptism pictures this week.   Sorry.  
Okay, so every month the Zone Leaders go to Mission Leadership Conference(MLC) and when they go you can send them with a list of things you need them to get from the Distribution Center.   I love when you send them with a big list and then they come back with like all of it.   Special Delivery indeed.   Finely have some Bibles, Copies of the Book of Mormon, Family Proclamations, Living Christ's. Temple Pictures and all that good stuff that we need in order to help recent converts continue in the faith, and to be able to teach people.  Do you know how hard it is to tell someone that a great way to know Joseph Smith was a Prophet is to read the Book of Mormon and then have no copy to give them?   "Como se de se awkward"(-Phineas and Ferb).   Anyway, we are now outfitted pretty good out here.  
But let me tell ya, there have been like no people in the are to contact.   This week my companion and I in the training stuff were talking about "talk to everyone" to find people to teach, and then we get out of the house and into the area, and like there is no one in sight.   I mean did someone run though yelling "The [Mormon's] are coming"?   It was interesting.   It lasted for a few days and then it got better, which was nice.  
So baptisms will be on the 22nd, for us.   We are having a Family Fun Day tomorrow as a way to have missionary work done, and to of course have fun with families.   Back in Gweru we did one and it became a "Missionary Fun Day" because it was mainly the missionaries who came for it.   That was a blast.   Anyway, hopefully this one will have more members and none members turn out for it.  
My companion is doing great.   Elder Kunene is learning well, and he is taking the lead more in teaching lessons, (now if only his companion would remember to shut up once in a while), and he is a good teacher.  He still looks to me in the lessons to make sure he isn't missing anything, but he is doing great.   I love the guy.  
"If we will keep our covenants, the covenants will keep us spiritually safe."
-Neal A Maxwell
"One of the greatest gifts is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final."
-Thomas S Monson.
God's people have always been a covenant people.   They have always been expected by God to make and keep sacred covenants.   When they did they were greatly blessed by Him, and when they didn't they would lose those blessings.   We who have been baptized by Priesthood Authority have made covenants with God, and those who have gone to the Temple have made even more covenants.   If we keep those covenants we will be safe, because we will have the Spirit in our lives more fully to guide us and direct us.   Alma promised that making covenants would allow the Lord to "pour out His spirit more abundantly upon [us]"-Mosiah 18:10.   Having that Spirit in our lives will keep us safe from the growing influence of the adversary.  
"I never had any problems with my dad, maybe that's cause mom ate his head before I was born. I don't know."
"You have six fingers on your right hand, someone was looking for you."
"No snack stops this time. What?  Wait, seriously?"
"It would be completely, totally and in every way inconceivable. Out of curiosity why do you ask?"  

"[Like] father [like] son."-Aladdin 3 "I believe in learning on the job"-How to Train your Dragon "Feels good to stretch"-Loony Toons Back in Action "Yep, those were the good old days"-IceAge the Melt Down


Okay, so Elder Kunene and I are very similar.   We both love Disney music for one.   We walk around talking about Disney movies and singing Disney songs and we just love it.   We are getting along great, and he is really picking up on the mission stuff.   He is working hard and is coming out of his shell more and more.   I love it. 
Along those lines, I am trying to get him to come out of his shell faster and faster.   I love to put him in situations where he has to apply the things he has learned in the Training stuff and then see him use it.   My favorite is to stop three or four people and introduce ourselves and then tell them that "Elder Kunene has something very important he wants to tell you" and then focus shifts to him and he, after a slight hesitation, will launch into contacting and talking to them about what we do and why we are here and that is great to see.   He is really a fast learner and is coming along great.  
Okay, so no car for us out here, so we take Kombie's like everywhere that is not our area.   Well, they are no better now then they were last year in Gweru.   Actually we have rode in some pretty iffy ones, and some pretty small ones.   So I have to fold up and then unfold in order to get in and out of them.   I miss my truck.  
Okay, so Elder Machakaire is out here in Bulawayo.   For those who might not remember, he and I were six months in Chegutu, in different areas, but the same house.   And we love it, being around each other again.   We are talking all the time about people who were there, about things that happened and about all the "good old days" that we had on mission while we were there together.   And talking to the missionaries there in Chegutu the people there are still talking about us and the one guy from Canada still gets called by my name by all the little kids after having been there for three months.   I love it.
Okay, so we are gonna have a marriage and a baptism this coming Saturday.   I love that too.   A great guy named Kelvin is getting married to his Tribal wife Sibusisiwe(good luck pronouncing that one) and then he is getting baptized.   She is already a member, who has returned to activity and is now going strong.   So they are super excited for it, and it is our first baptism while I have been here, and the first marriage I have had since Chegutu.   I am so excited for them, they are such a powerful couple.  Also working on some more baptisms on the 22nd of this month.   We will see what will happen.   Saw some pretty cool pyrotechnics from an electrical wire that we walked past going home last night.   Really cool blue and I was wondering what would happen, but nothing did.   Let down.
I brought my book this time.
"When we choose to follow Christ out of faith, rather then another path out of fear we are blessed."
-Quentin L Cook
"I hope to see us dissolve the artificial boundary line we so often place between missionary work and temple and genealogical work, because it is the same great redemptive work."
-Spencer W Kimball  
I know that it can be scary sometimes, standing for what we know to be true.   But, it doesn't need to be.   Think of Elisha when he faced an army of some of the most cruel people in the known world at the time, and what did he say?   "There are more with us then there are with them."   There will always be more with those on God's side then there will be those on the other side.  Because who can stand against God?   I have heard some things about stuff happening in the world and it can sound a little scary, but with faith in God, and His only Begotten Son, we can get through anything that is put in our path.   All it takes is faith and trust.  
"What I did, I did in the name of peace. But not in the name of the Doctor!"
"Maybe I killed a Jedi and took it from him. Can't nobody can kill a Jedi. I wish that were true."
"I'm still in the first 12 hours of my regeneration cycle... and this is a fighting hand!"
"Hey, push the nose."
I love you all.  

"This is my new companion"-Army of God "That's the nicest thing anybody ever said about me"-Happily Never After "Destroy [them]!"-Lord of the Rings 1

Okay, so my new companion is a great little guy.   His name is Elder Kunene.   He is from the Durban area down in South Africa, near where they are building the temple.   He is super cool to be around, and he speaks several languages from down south.   He and his three siblings are members of the Church and his parents are not, but he told me they are taking the lessons and meeting missionaries.   So that is good.   He is adjusting to the mission and to the area.   He is a super smart guy and he does well when teaching, when he gets the courage to open his mouth and not be afraid to talk to people.   I am so excited to be his trainer and to be able to teach him about how mission goes.   He is picking up on the lay out of the area and he is starting to come out of his shell more and more.   It is gonna be a fun 11 more weeks.  
Okay, so when you get a new missionary you go to Harare to meet him and you get a dinner with the mission president, his wife and in our case his daughter and the assistants.   Well our assistants are Elders Mayall and Tanner, and Mayall was my Zone Leader for some four and a half months.   So as luck would have it, or as the Wheel would weave it, my new companion were next to them at dinner.   Man Mayall and I had a great time talking about Chegutu and Kadoma and getting to spend some time together and he and Tanner were both just talking all this good stuff about me.   Even we get to the area and the members are telling Elder Kunene how lucky he is to have me for a comp.   It was super funny.   Good to see that people like to have me around.   Of course I have only good things to say about Mayall and Tanner and the area as well.   Love it.
Okay, so when you are working with someone to live the Word of Wisdom, one of the most important things is to remove the temptation.   What ever it is, tea, coffee, alcohol, tobacco, what ever it is.   It is so important to remove that temptation from their life.   I loved the look on a baba's face as he told me that he is committing suicide by smoking cigarettes and that he know it will kill him, I respond by holding out my hand and asking him to give them to me if that is how he feels.  I think he thought I was kidding but he gave me a full pack of cigarettes and I get ride of them.   He was surprised when I did it.   I gave him a book that talks about the Word of Wisdom and asked him to get in touch with us.   Also had a Baba we are working with come clean about how much he drinks, and we got him to give us his alcohol and so we dumped it out.   I love helping people live that law, by what ever means necessary.
So the area is doing good.   We got the "all ahead full" on baptizing the Deaf Family, so after a few more lessons we will be baptizing them into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   They were super happy when we told them that we are gonna baptize them later this month.   I love it.   We have been working hard to involve members in our teaching and we have had some good success with it.   We are still trying to do it more often, but the members are starting to get the hang of it.
I hate when I forget that little booklet with quotes in it.   Ugh!  
Anyway, I just want you all to know that the Book of Mormon is true.   So many people this week tried to argue with us about it, but we just answer them "read and pray and find out" and that is what has to happen.   Without doing that you can never know that it is true, and by doing it you will find out without any doubt.   I know it for myself.   I love it, I love it.
"His name is Stitch.  That's not a real name.. in Iceland, but here it's a good name."
"We are trying to find an Island that can't be found with a compass that doesn't point north?   Aye, but we're not trying to find north are we?"
"Get me galactic control."
"A pistol, no extra shot. A compass that doesn't point north. And I almost expected them to be made of wood. You are by far the worst pirate I have ever heard of. But you have heard of me."
(That one was for you Mistress)
Love you all.       

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"Big eyes, give me those big eyes" "I'm gonna be a dad!"-Robots "[Dirty water is] disgusting"-Ice Age

Okay, so it is funny the looks that kids give me when they see me walk past them, or enter their house, or speak to them.   Just huge eyes.   SO as of late there is a family with a very noisy child, who when ever we come over gets even more loud and so the parents have taken to handing me a belt and telling their son that I will beat him if he is not quiet.   I can intimidate, but I don't know how to follow through.   If it came down to it, nothing would happen.
Okay, so in mission lingo, when a missionary trains a new missionary, or in other words, teaches he/she the way to be a missionary, they are your "son/daughter" so yea, I am gonna be a dad.   I am gonna train a new missionary, and help him to learn how to be a missionary.   It will be cool, gonna stay in Nketa 1 and be here till the end of my mission.
Okay so dirty water, like unfiltered water is nasty.   It makes you sick, and can cause some really big problems.   Anyway, got some bad water this week, and man it made me sick.

Things are great, dont' have time left.   I love you all.   Sorry this is a short one.
"Pumba let me define, baby sitting!"

Monday, July 13, 2015

"Would you relax?! It's just a [dog]"-Rio "Do I look stupid to you?"-Bugs life "So how are [you] related again?"-Emperors New Groove

Okay, so out here there are several stray and wild dogs that walk around without any problems right.   Well, these dogs are as far as I can tell, truly harmless and they are more afraid of us then we are of them, well other then my companion that is.   He is terrified of the dogs out here.   When ever one walks past he starts to say "comp it's a dog" over and over again.   I am trying to get him over it, but it is kind of funny.   Anyway, no cause to fear dogs so far as I can tell.   Well, at least the stray ones, the ones inside the gates that go crazy at night as you walk past the gate, those ones I can understand being afraid of.   I remember back in Gweru there was a time we were doing a service project and the Sisters walked up to this gate and like five German Shepherds jumped up and started barking, well safe to say the sisters hurried out of there.  
Okay, so funny experience this past week.   We were going around tracting, and so we contacted some people outside of a house who said they were in a hurry but we could talk to the other people inside.   So we go and knock on the door and a little kid comes out.   We send him to call the people inside, and so he goes and we hear them quietly scold him and he rushes out.   Then a young man comes out and my companion says "what did they tell you to say" and he said "they said they are bathing."   Well as we walked past I had noticed that the room they were in was the living room, with the TV.   So I said "in the TV room?" and the kid really quick ducks back inside and slams the door.   So we walked away and as we went past their window said we hoped they enjoyed their bath.   People have really bad excuses for when they are busy, or they thing we are stupid.  
I love the focus on family out here in Zim.   But it is hard to tell the family relationships, who is blood related and who is just friend.   Like we go somewhere and they say, "this is my daughter" and we say "so where is your wife" and he says "well not my daughter but my brother's daughter" or they have like cousin brother/sister if you are their aunt they just call you their mother, it is nuts.   Even my companion gets confused.  
Anyway, this week was a good week.   Seven people at church, meaning investigators.   Three prepping for baptism, the others at one stage or another in their own progression.   We are looking forward to some baptisms maybe at the end of this month, or the start of the next.   We will have to see what happens.   We had ward conference this week, so that took some time,but it was pretty good, we even got to sing in the choir.   That was great.   I got to sing bass, and my comp was doing harmony.   I loved it.  
My comp is doing great.   We are having a lot of fun, and things are going well for us.   This week is transfers, like we get the information, and I really hope we don't get changed he and I.  
"In order to help others, we ourselves need the spiritual and moral courage to withstand the evil we see on every side."
-Thomas S Monson
"When we choose to follow Christ out of faith, rather then another path out of fear, we are blessed."
-Quentin L Cook
It takes a lot of courage to stand up for what you believe.   Even as a missionary to other missionaries, sometimes it takes courage to stand for what we know, believe and have been taught to do.   But if we don't stand up, who will?   God asks us to be bold in living according to His divine laws, and as we do so He will bless us with the strength to withstand the evils we see, and the hardships we face.   If we will be "steadfast and immovable always abounding in good works" as King Benjamin tells us to be, then we can have the spiritual strength to say no, stand firm, even when it is not the "cool" thing to do.   It is always better to be on God's side, then to be "cool" in the eyes of the world.  
"Why don't you have a parachute on?   Because I have to take care of the VIP's first... now that string, you're gonna have to pull it real hard.   Not now were on a plane!"
"This is Esma, living proof that dinosaurs once roamed the Earth."
"You mean you don't have to work for those Decepticons? It's an extremely personal choice."
I love you all.   

Friday, July 10, 2015

"That boy is our only hope"-Star Wars "That was a close one"-MIB 3 "You'll learn to love it"-Lion King "Don't be a [baby]"-Hotel Transylvania

Okay, so the Deaf couple, Solomon and Susan Nhengu, have a hearing son, named Tawanda, and we are putting a lot on him let me tell ya.   Right he is also learning with his parents about the Gospel and we are trying to get him converted to the gospel as fast as we can to get him to be able to help with his parents.   We are working hard to get that all to work well, and the great news is that Tawanda came to church.   So that is great, and we are hoping soon to have some instruction on what to do about baptizing them, cause the parents want to, but we are worried about them being able to endure to the end.   Keep your fingers crossed.
So nothing is worse then when a powerful investigator who you are planning to baptize calls you and tells you he and his wife want you to stop visiting and they want to give back everything you ever gave them.   Well my comp and I had that heart attack this past week.   We did some damage/fire control and got a member to go with us and have what could have been our last visit, and well, we were blessed insomuch that they are still meeting with us and want to get baptized.   It was a combination of language barrier and they were getting some bad peer presser from their family.   But all is now well, and they are coming along great.  
Okay, so back when I first got here to Zimbabwe, if you remember me talking about Sadza and how nasty it was?   Well it is an acquired taste.  And once you have it you love it.   Man now that I am used to it Sadza is so good.   I wont eat it from a tuck shop, cause a lot of the time they just reuse old sadza by heating it up and mixing it with newer stuff, but at a members house or at our house it is really good to eat.   Fills you up pretty good too.   I still am not sure how to cook it, but I know how to eat it.  
Okay, so me and my comp have some fun while we are in the area and the house.   Well sometimes our fun turns into a wrestling brawl, or we start hitting each other and it is actually pretty fun, at least for me.   He puts up a good fight, but I usually win.   I love it though, cause we always end it by laughing and it is never cause we are mad at each other.   it reminds me of Elders Arnell and Rollins my trainers back in Cali.   Super fun.  
Anyway, things here are going great.   Working for at least two baptisms next week end.   If all goes well that will happen for us.   And that would be great.   It is the two who we thought were gonna drop us.   So that would be awesome.   Also this past week we have gotten to meet our new Mission President, President Mahkabela, I might have misspelled that.   Anyway, he and his wife and their daughter are now here in Zimbabwe and they are gonna be leading us onward and upward.   This is my third President on mission.
Anyway, I remembered my quote booklet.   Now, can I remember what I used last?
"With gratitude in our hearts, may we fill our days -as much as we can- with those things which matter most. May we cherish those we hold dear and express our love to them in word and deed."
-Thomas S Monson
"It's the set of the sail, and not the gail, that determines the direction of the ship."
-Unknown
This last one was said to us by President Cook, and he quoted from a painting he had seen once a long time back.   He told us that basically our outlook on life will determine what happens and how we go forward, as well as what we choose to make important to us and what we do.   And so he encouraged us to "set the sail" of gospel living, keeping the commandments and loving our family, especially our spouse when we are married.   Good advice, I think.   It is funny to me how many people seem to get freaked out when we talk about how families can be together for eternity.   But I know that it is true, even though "it may seem a bold doctrine to some, a power which binds on earth and in heaven" as the Prophet Joseph Smith said, but it is the truth.   Our love for our families is eternal and God means for our families to be so as well.   I know that it is true.
"I believe money is like manure, it is only good if you spread it around so that things can grow."
"Have you ever thought that the reason that we are having so much business is because the dead have been rising from their graves? Lets listen to some music."
"You're the best girls two guys ever went to jail for."
"He got slimmed."
I love you all.   

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Pictures for Nicolas








"There's 104 days [left on my mission]"-Phineas and Ferb "That's just a wee [rabbits leg]"-Brave "It's because I'm green isn't it?"-How the Grinch Stole Christmas "There goes another one, just like [The Watkins]"-Hercules

Okay, so I am continuing the fun of the D&C Challenge.   Can't believe how easy it is, I don't see why people would start and then stop before ending.   Anyway, I have red the 105th section today of the Doctrine and Covenants and it was a pretty good section, directed to Zions Camp.   Not to bad.   Anyway, section 104 is tomorrow, meaning not counting today, I have 104 days left of mission, kind of like summer.   Interesting.   

Okay, so out here you never know what you are gonna get at a dinner appointment.   Fish, cow throat, Kovo, a really slimy veggie type thing that I don't know the name of and sometimes even home raised rabbit.   Yep, went to a dinner this past week and they told us that they own rabbits, and then they bring in our plate of Sadza and what at first glance could have fooled you into thinking it was chicken, but wasn't.   Yep rabbit, from their own that they keep.   And it was really good.   A little tougher then I thought it would be, but super good.   I mean given then choice between cow throat, chicken throat, fish and rabbit, I'll take the rabbit.   I wouldn't mind going back there for seconds.   

So, being in a walking area, we sometimes are slow getting home.  So sometimes you have to try to hitch hike your way home.   Sometimes it goes great, and you get picked up no problems and you head home and it is all good.   Other times you stand there by the side of the road for a good fifteen minuets and you wonder if you will make it home before pumpkin hour hits.   Well that was how it was the other day for us.   Out there trying to flag people down and nothing is worse then when they stop, ask where you are going, and then tell you that they aren't going there and drive off.   I never thought I would have to do this so much, but it is a fun experience.   Then when you get one, usually a private car, you and your comp get to squeeze into the back of the car that is made for three in the back, with two already there.   Good times, good times.   

So, this week we say goodbye to the Cook's.   Man that is weird.   I love the Cook's so much.   I am really gonna miss them.   Hard to believe that I have been here with them for a year now.   And it is hard to believe how similar their last advice was to the Watkin's last advice.   All about dating and marriage.   They were like "for those of you who are going home soon this is things you need to know" which I was fine with, till my companion nudged me and was like "that's you" and then it was like, awww.   I hate being reminded that I am getting old.   Anyway, new mission president gets in this week, who knows what changes that will bring.  I don't.   The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills.

Anyway, this week was pretty good.   Lots of other lessons.   Not many member presents.   Anyway, we are working hard, and planning on some baptisms in a few weeks.   Also working hard on earning the trust of members.   Told them yesterday that if they see us walking past their houses, not to assume that we know that a member lives there, but rather to yell out at us.   That way we can learn who lives where in an easier way.   That would be really nice.   Not too much to say there this week.

My companion and I are doing great.   Let me tell ya, we get along well.   We both just had a companionship that we didn't really enjoy but we are both enjoying this one. 

Dang it.   My comp and I left the house this morning to go to a Train Museum here in Bulawayo, and "visions of [trains] danced in my head" and I forgot my quote book again.   I am really sorry.   There are some good quotes in there that I was gonna share.   Well how about some pictures instead?   

I had an interesting conversation with a man trying to get me to forsake the Book of Mormon and deny my faith, or at least that was his intent but he wasn't so blunt about it.   Made me think of the conversation Christ had with His Apostles.   "Will ye also go away." the Savior asked of them.   "and Peter answered and said, where shall we go... thou hast the words of eternal life."   I know it is bold of us as missionaries to tell people they need to read the Book of Mormon and learn about the Prophet Joseph Smith, but we are bold because we "fear not what man can do, for perfect love casteth out all fear" as Mormon puts it.   We love those around us and we know that what we have will bring peace in this life, and eternal life in the world to come.   

I know that is the truth.   I know that what we have is what everyone needs, Jew, Gentile and everyone in between.   

"Whats this mini bar fee?   Well honey, the kids threw the mini bar out the window. And that's our fault?"
"1, 2, 3, 4, get the kid back through the door."
"Go sit in the corner, you're in time out.   Time out?! I'm a grown man."
"That's a cute little dance you got there, almost looks like you have ta... oh."


i love you all.  

[It was] awesome." "Focus, focus, focus" "I'm just one me"-Kung Fo Panda "Just like [back in Gweru]"-Scooby-doo

Okay, so this past week we had a deaf Baba that we met and he asked us to teach his family, right.   So we met him at church and now we are doing our best to teach him.   Well it is awesome.   His wife is also deaf, and his son is hearing.   So we are teaching all three of them.   We have found a member to help us with the sign language, and that is good cause let me tell you, American Sign and Zimbabwe Sign is apples and oranges.   Hard to figure it all out.   But it is great, the baba has come to church twice now and we are working to go through everything with him.   
Okay, I have t admit, I am so easily unfocused from what I am doing sometimes.   And so is my companion which can be really bad.   For me it is hardest when conversations go into Shona or worse Ndebele and I can't understand anything.   Well, then my mind goes to other things.   Like a member was telling me about Avengers 2 and now like any given time my mind can go to Avengers in a heart beat.   It is rough, and sometimes I come back into an English conversation and think, wait what?   It isn't good, and I am working on it, but it is rough.   
Anyway, back to the sign language stuff, the member who is working with us wants me to baptize 20 father led families who are deaf, start a group and master Zim sign while I here.   That is a lot of stuff for me to do.   I am just one man.   It would be boss, but a little rough.   We will see what happens out here.
Anyway, Bulawayo is like Gweru in some ways.   The area is similar, the housing is similar, and the weather.   It is cold in the morning and the evenings, and then it gets super hot during the day.   Let me tell you it is hot in the day.   Like Blighted Land hot, and then it gets so cold at night, I have to put my Ton-ton inside or it will die.   I wonder if anyone caught those references.   Be cool if you did.
Anyway the area is doing great, still working on learning it all, and getting everything down.   It is coming along.   Good area, a small one, not too bad.   I love it.   I love the ward and the people and it is just great.   Had five people at church this last Sunday, 2 babas.   I am so glad about that.   
My comp is great.   I love the guy, things are going well.   He has a lot of great questions about deep doctrine stuff, and I love to answer those kind of questions and talk about it all.   We are having a great time together.   
Dang it, I left my quote booklet.   Oops.   Ummmm.....
Anyway, I know this work is true.   I know that God is leading this work.   The Standard of Truth has been erected, and it will go forth.   I know that this gospel is true, and I have seen God make things happen to forward his work.
"Slow down Thing, it is horrible when you stutter."
"What kind of power you got?   I got soul power.  How strong are you? I'm too strong."
"What are you for Halloween? I'm a homicide maniac, and they look just like everyone else."
"No, no Sunshine is from Cali-fonia he's a Cali-fornian."
I love you all.

Monday, June 15, 2015

"You call that popping?"-Rio "The cold never bothered me anyway"-Frozen "She kissed me"-Princess Bride

Okay, need to be fast, time is not on my side.  
We got locked out of our house last week.   Well, we tried to break into the house.   And I learned that, well, good luck anyone smaller then me who wants to bash his way through the door of the house, cause all I did was hurt my shoulder.   I mean dang, that door is tough.   Anyway, they had to send someone to remove the lock, and so now we have a new lock and we are back in our house.   But still it was an interesting experience. 
Okay, I have wanted to use this movie quote ever since I heard the song.   Anyway my first several  days here in Bulawayo it was very cold and well, it was a little bit of an adjustment, but I am good now.   My comp is having problems with it but I am great.   The cold never bothered me anyway, and it wont start now.  
Okay, so we were visiting at an investigators house, well she stays with members, and the members have a little three year old daughter/granddaughter there.   Well, in the middle of saying a prayer she comes over and sits next to me, so I moved over, and then this little three year old kisses me on the cheek.  It was a surprise.  She is such a cute little one.
Things are well, we are working hard to learn the area.   I so did not manage my time on here well today, had lots of emails to respond to from last week.   We are trying not to get lost so much, and things are going well, had a deaf  baba come to church on Sunday, which is great.   Gonna go try to teach him and his family.   Okay, sorry, few minuets left.  
I love you all.
Jesus is the Christ, and God lives.
No quotes this week, next one.