Monday, January 26, 2015

"[Weatherman] you have let me down."-Lorax "I have no idea"-Vegitales "Will you stop that?!"-How to Train your Dragon

Man, for almost a month, we have been told "it should start to rain soon" or "continuous rain should be here in a day" or other thing along those lines, always being told that the weatherman said so.   Well he was wrong, every time!   It is 32 degrees out here, in our world in the states, that is high 80's.   I am gonna have a fit.   Rainy season was supposed to start last month.   I am still waiting for it.

There is a very difficult thing about being out here as the first missionaries, people come to us and tell us about struggles they are having, and they ask us what we think they should do.   Number one we aren't supposed to council people, number two, I have no idea what to tell them even if I could.   We'll have a women old enough to be my mother tell us what is happening in her life, and then she looks at us like "Now man of God, what can you tell me to fix this" and it is painful to tell them "I got nothing" because they are so disappointed, but it has to happen.

I love going to Zone conferences and such with President Cook.   He always teaches us a lot of good things.   Then he will ask us questions about things, and he always looks at me and shakes his head when I raise my hand to answer.   He has ordered me in the past to put my hands in my pockets and leave them there.  He always expresses thanks for my willingness to answer, but he always lats me know to stop answering.   

We are officially a Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   We were organized yesterday, and it was great.   Our Branch President is Blessing Sibesha, a long time member, his first councilor is Nelson Sikala, a recent convert, and his clerk is Lazarus Nyumtora another recent convert.   Our Elders Quorum President is Collen Kwaramba, who is another long time member.   I am so happy about it, things are just happening out here, we are in the Land of Milk and Honey.   I can't wait to see what happens as the year continues.   

My companion and I may be saying good-bye soon, we are coming to the end of the transfer, and I have been here for six months.   I don't know that I will go, but it is very possible.   We will see.

"As we consider various choices, we should remember that it is not enough that something is good.   Others choices are better and still others are best."
-Dallin H Oaks

"Don't yield to Satan's lie that you don't have time to study the scriptures. Choose to take time to study them. Feasting on the word of God each day is more important then sleep, school, work, television shows, video games or social media.   You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!"
-Richard G Scot

I have to be honest, back home I was really bad about studying the scriptures.   Since I have been out on mission, I have truly learned their value.   I have come to love the scriptures like never before, I have come to know them like never before.   I always smile when someone tries to disprove one of the things we teach with a scripture from the Bible, because I often know better then them what the verse is talking about.   I have a certain testimony, that both the Bible and the Book of Mormon are God's words as given to Prophets.   I also know the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price are inspired works of scripture.
You need to read these books, they will draw you closer to God.

"Well I know Skip, is the only nut case who thinks that the government is hiding all alien artifacts in Base 9. And you feed candy to your puppy so it'll poop jelly beans."
"Do you know what that means? You had no friends in High School? It means on a planet full of nerds, I'm their king."
"Brains are for breakfast. Organs and eye balls are for dinner."
"What are you gonna do to him? We can't tell you, it would give you nightmares."

I love you all. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pictures Jan. 19, 2015

Kids in our Church group.

Flowers outside our house.

"Double Parking"-Atlantas "This my friends is [terrific Tuesdays]"-Lord of the Rings "Just start with [a] name."-Finding Nemo

I got to say people out here always double park me in.   Big old wide parking lot, lets park behind the red corolla, just cause we can.   Then they go get drunk so it is hard to find them and then even harder to get them to understand that you want them to move the car.   And usually it is a big old commuter bus, which is hard to get around.   It happens a lot.   Usually we can get out, but it takes time. 
There is a restaurant out here, called Pizza Inn, where they have a promotion called Terrific Tuesdays, where you can get two pizza's for the price of one.   A great idea if you ask me.   But here in Chegutu there is no Pizza Inn, so as you may well imagine, when we travel to a city on a Tuesday where there is one, we have a great time getting pizza.   It happened last week, and wont happen again for a while.   Parting is such sweet sorrow.   HAHAHAHA..... good times.
We here in Zimbabwe Harare Mission have a focus, on Temples.   So we have started to have members doing family history work.   We just tell them to start with a name.   It is great seeing them working on it.   They are, a lot of them, working on finding the information for their great-grandparents, which is great.   We are trying to get people ready to go to the Temple, and also, to get a Temple here.   That will be awesome, and we are hoping that it will happen in the not to far future.  
The area is doing great, and things are moving along.   I love the area, and the people are great, but there isn't to much new to talk about.   We are gonna be going to Kadoma, getting organized, and all that good stuff.   I am super excited.   I can't wait to see it happen.   Church history will happen soon soon.
"My beloved brothers and sisters, I testify of angles, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face."
-Jeffrey R Holland
"If every husband and every wife would constantly do what ever might be possible to ensure the comfort an happiness of his or her companion, there would be very little, if any, divorce. Arguments would never be heard. Accusations would never be leveled. Angry explosions would not occur. Rather, love and concern would replace abuse and meanness."
-Gordan B Hinckley
I have had an interesting opportunity out here.   Never did I think I would be counseling people on marriage, and the importance there of.   Nor did I think I would ever see such a vast difference from one person to the next.   Some men out here are dedicated to their family in such a way that they would never let anything happen to them, and some are hurtful and rude to those that they should love the most.   It has taught me an important lesson.   I know the importance of a family being united under the laws of the land, and of God.   I know families can be forever, but we have to be willing to work for it.   I pray that we may all love our family as much as we ought to.   I had a wonderful example of this in my family, from my parents, and example I plan to follow when I get my own family.  
"They're about to elect  Isma emperor! I didn't know that was an electoral office."
"We wont hurt the chickens will we? What? No! We're just gonna shake them up a bit."
"You want to borrow my house? and me? And them, if it's not to much to ask."
"Oh, so I suppose the dog was the one whistling huh? I assure you I don't know."
I love you lots.   

Monday, January 12, 2015

"It's like a [roller coaster]"-Chicken Little "Squeal[ed] like a girl"-Mulan "Brace yourslef"-Incredibles "I'm not [talking to fast]"-Toy Story 3

The roads out here are so bad.   There are huge pot holes, and you can't avoid them, there are just so many.   I feel like I am in the Indiana Jones ride in Disney Land, you know the one?   Where the car is jumping around and all that?   Yeah, that is my car on a daily basis.   It can be a little scary, but the worst part is the people on the other side of the road try to avoid them by coming into my lane, and they almost kill us.   Man it is interesting.   Looking forward to a day I can hand over the keys and go back to walking, but everyone says that wont happen till I die.   We will see.  
Okay, so we all know I can be a little weird in what I find funny.   Well my companion is afraid of frogs and snakes.   We were at a dinner with a member family and I was helping with the cooking, or I was going to at least, when a large frog jumped into the room, and so after some time I managed to catch it and then decided to go show my companion.  He screamed like a girl and we all laughed.   Then the other Elders got a fake snake that looks pretty real, and they recorded a time when they walked up and handed it to my comp, and he screamed and ran out of the room.   That thing has gotten to give us a lot of laughs, since we have done that to other people too.   I love it.   You have to have fun on mission or it just isn't good.
I have come to have a deeper love for the people as I serve, I have seen struggling families, hard ship, fear and concern, and I have seen how a friendly smile, a hand of help and a kind word can change someones day.   I  have seen people have their family lives strengthened by serving them, and I always feel a sweet peace when I serve, even when it leaves me bone tired at the end of the day.   

The Recent  Convert family, the Nyumtora family are great.   They have a daughter that the father got to baptize, who when we first got here was scared of me.   Now when ever we walk around the corner she runs at me like she wants to tackle me and throws herself at me.   I have to brace cause I can't not catch her.   She almost ran a little kid over the other day, but when I try to tell her not to do that anymore she looks at me and starts speaking in Shona, and no one else will tell her to stop and I can't get my point across and neither can she and it happens the next day again.   I love the family, I just can't get the little one to understand that she shouldn't do that.
Accent and speed.   That is my problem with communication out here.   They say I have an accent and that I talk to fast.   I don't think I have an accent, and I have slowed down from how I used to be.   I want an accent, I would love to come home speaking Shona fluent, and not be able to be understood with English cause of a thick African accent.   We will see.   
We are gonna be a branch soon.   Don't tell no one, it is confidential.   But we are becoming a Branch on the 25th of this month.   I think Christmas has come early.   I am so excited for us to be a Branch, and be organized on our own.   We recently rented that house that we were wanting to get for a meeting place, the people were so patient and willing to wait for us to make our move.   It took way to long in my opinion, but it is done, we have the place, and things are going forward.   I got the opportunity to baptize a great young man named Tanaka and that was great.   We have baptized at the beginning and end of almost every month we have been here, and I have gotten to baptize at almost every one.   Cool huh?  

My companion is doing much better.   After almost six days of being sick he is now better.   I am glad about that, cause sitting in the apartment all that time was really rough.   Let us hope that no more sicknesses will be coming our way any time soon.  

"My counsel for all of us is to look to the light house of the Lord.   There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue.   It beckons through the storms of life.   The light house of the Lord sends forth signals readily recognized and never failing."
-Thomas S. Monson
"We believe in a God who is engaged in our lives, who is not silent, not absent, nor, as Elijah said of the god of the priests of Baal, is He '[on] a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth and must be [awakened]"
-Jeffrey R Holland
It saddens me to know that people out there feel alone, or lost, or unloved, uncared for, or unwanted.   To many people feel this way.   To any who read this who may feel this way, I ask you to search your feelings.   The Book of Mormon tells us that "all good things come from God... wherefore ye may know with a surety it is of God."   It also warns that all bad comes from the devil.   If you feel bad, or others make you to feel bad, IT IS NOT OF GOD!   God is the one who loved us so much that He allowed His perfect Son to die for us.   Imagine how much love that must have took.   And it was for you.   If you ever have feelings of being alone, unloved or unwanted, reject it.   Realize that you are never alone, never unloved, and always wanted.   Our Heavenly Father is always there, He always loves us, and He wants us to come home more then anything else.   "This is my work and glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" the Lord told Moses.   Everything He does is for you.   I beg of you, "cast your burdens on the Lord, and bear a song away", you can feel of His peace, and His love.   I was reminded by my Seminary Teacher Sister Watson that the Book of Mormon tells us that to find peace in this life all we have to do is read it.   Start from the beginning and see what peace it can offer you, I can promise you it is there, I have felt it in my life.   Please read it, and never lose hope.  
"And don't underestimate the importance of body language,hah"
"It caught me completely by surprise, for the fifth year in a row!" 
"Whoa, Mermaid off the port bow, Ariel, how you doing kid? Wow what a swim."
"You were messing with the Shadow Man? He was very charismatic!"

Always remember that I love you.    


Monday, January 5, 2015

"Like my [momma]"-Wreck it Ralph "I don't have it."-Pirates of the Caribbean "It means [he's sick!]"-Incredibles "Turn [off] your [brights]"-Cars

I have a friend and fellow missionary out here named Elder Machakaire who is much like my momma.   Let me explain, my mother hates going to work.   She seems to enjoy her work once she gets there, but going she hates.   Much the same with this Elder, he hates going places to do things, but once we get there he has fun.   It can be a little irritating when he complains in the car the whole way there.   But oh well, such is life.
There isn't much worse then being caught between "a rock and a hard place".   Well it happened this week.   My companion was sick for a long time, almost a week, so we decide to take him to the doctor, well, I say decide, but we were told to do so.   So we get there and start to figure out what is up, and they start to tell us the different amounts of how much it will cost.   I had also been told I needed to use my allotment to pay rent for the groups church place, and well long story short the costs were the exact same.   I didn't have the money to pay both.   So after some consideration I paid for my companion to get his medicine stuff, and left it to the mission office to figure out the rest.   He is doing much better now, and the rent has been paid, it is just difficult when these kind of things happen.   

People out here never turn off their brights.   They drive with high beams on and just blind me.   If I was in my truck it wouldn't be such a problem.   But their lights are right at my eye level.   But they get irritated at me when I flash mine to get them to turn theirs off.   The joys of driving in Zim.
The area is doing good, but I have been demoted.   In testimony meeting I was being called Brother Melot, all the other missionaries were being called Elder.   I looked at President Sibesha, a returned missionary, and I took my tag off and he almost laughed in the middle of the meeting.   For those who don't know when a missionary is released they have to remove their tag, hence I took mine off for a moment.   Things are going well out here, and we are hopefully gonna baptize a few people this week.   We will see how it all comes together.   We have some people on the fringe of becoming investigators and progressing, so keep your fingers crossed.   
"If you have a testimony, share it!"
"if you haven't red the Book of Mormon, read it!"
-President Thomas S. Monson
"We believe those three divine persons constituting a single Godhead are united in purpose, in manner, in testimony, in mission... I think it is accurate to say we believe they are one in every significant and eternal aspect imaginable except believing them to be three persons combined in one substance, a Trinitarian notion never set forth in the scriptures because it is not true."
-Jeffrey R Holland
I know I am late by a week, but I have a challenge for everyone who reads this email, for the new year.   READ THE BOOK OF MORMON.   That is my challenge.   Some of you reading might think "I have read it" or "I don't need to read it" or "but I have my Bible" or anything along those lines.   Read it.   I know it is true with every fiber of my soul.   In the words of my great friend and Zone Leader, "you could put a gun to my head and tell me to deny it, and I would say shoot me."   There is no book on the earth that is quiet like the Book of Mormon.   I love the Bible and know it to be true, just as I know the Book of Mormon to be true.   IF you want to know God better, IF you want to know our Savior better, IF you want to understand just what They have done for us, read it.   Then PONDER the message that it contains, then PRAY and ASK God if it is true.   I have met people out here, taught people out here, baptized people out here, who's whole understanding of God was changed because they did so.   I have seen the influence that this book can have on a persons life.   IF they will JUST READ IT.   I know it is true, and that it teaches the truth about the Godhead.   You can and must, find out for yourself.
"Hey, when I'm king what will that make you? A monkey's uncle"
"I got a jar of dirt, I got a jar of dirt, and guess whats inside it! Hard to starboard."
"So whats so cool about the watering hole? I'll show you when we get there."
"Impersonating a clergy of the Church of England"
I love you all.