Monday, February 23, 2015

"A trip or a slip, you'll slide all the way down"-How the Grinch Stole Christmas "It's all fun and games till someone loses and eye"-Tarzan "Where did [I] go wrong?"-Phineaus and Ferb

We climbed a mountain last P-day.   Like a really tall mountain.   Normally people when they make a path to go up a mountain they use cut backs and such so that you don't have to climb straight up.   Not on Bvumba Mountain.   It happened that way for a little bit, and then it just turned right up the mountain side.   It was like Lord of the Rings 3 when Smegil was leading Frodo and Sam up the steps to get them attacked by that giant spider.   I seriously thought I was gonna die, but the view was great from the top.  

My old companion Elder Ignatius loved to wrestle with people.   Like he would take on the other two missionaries in the apartment and he would win.   Sometimes I had to step in and stop them before someone got hurt.   It was interesting, he is such a small guy, but he is tough.

Apparently the thing I did wrong with Elder Ignatius was that I expected him to participate in the missionary work.   He seemed to think that it was gonna be like a mini vacation, but when it wasn't he got tired of it and then he decided he didn't want to be here anymore, so I now have another new companion, named Elder Mandiquesse, who is from Harare, and he has been out for just under a year on mission, and was trained by my friend Elder Stimpson who was in the MTC with me.   I am excited to have him here, and have some work to do with him in getting him to keep all the rules of the mission, even ones he doesn't understand the purpose behind.   We will get things done.   

The area is a little dry, not many people coming to church at all.   But we will get them here.   The recent converts are really powerful, and things are going well for them.   We have a lot of less actives, people who aren't coming to church, that we are trying to get to come back to activity.   I have gotten the area pretty well down in the day, it is difficult at night getting back to the car, but we have managed without too much difficulty to do it.   It is nice cause people will actually go out of their way to help you find yours.   

"I wanted to thunder, and roar out the gospel to the nations. It burned in my bones like fire pent up... Nothing would satisfy me but to cry abroad in the world what the Lord is doing in these latter days."
-Brigham Young

"Obedience is the price. Faith is the power. Love is the motive. The Spirit is the key. and Christ is the reason."

I am quickly approaching the third or fourth time I have finished the Book of Mormon, and there is something in it that I really liked that I read a few days ago.   I read, and I don't remember exactly where it is but it is at the end of the Book of Mormon, before Either, that says about how if a person believes the Bible, they will believe the Book of Mormon, because they are both the words of Christ.   I love showing people how these two sacred books work together.   A lot of people when we talk to them out here they get up in arms that we are trying to take away their Bible, but then we help them to see that we are use them both, and they help to support each other in the testimony of Jesus Christ.   I love these two books, and I know them to be true.   I read them everyday, I am working my way through the Old Testament, I am in Leviticus, and I have come to a deeper understanding of the importance that they both have and it has increased my desire to share it with people.   To thunder the gospel to all, that is what a mission is about.   

"Look kid, I didn't really see anything, but if we don't stand up for the kook's who will?"
"I'm from Canada. I think you mean North Montana it hasn't been called Canada in years."
"Give me some time to cut the umbilical man, I mean you're gonna have him for the rest of your life, but I got to give him up just when I gave birth?"
"Little Doris  now sleeps with the fishes."

I love you lots.   

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"I'm telling you man, every [stoplight is dead]"-Cars "I suppose there's really no point to this anymore."-Aladdin 3

I hate that in the big towns have lots of stop lights, that don't work.   Like you go driving around and one of them will work, so you stop and then you let them pass, and all of that stuff, and then you go through, and you get to the next one and it isn't working and then it becomes an insane time of trying to figure out who has the right of way, and who is gonna get to go through, and it is harder cause Kimbie Drivers don't care they just go, and so it is kind of scary.   It makes driving here interesting.   I almost just want to walk.  
It has started to rain again, and when it rains it pours.    Got to borrow an umbrella from a member, which was full of holes, to walk in the pouring rain for thirty minuets to get to the next lesson, to have the person be gone to half to walk another twenty minuets to get to the next place in time to teach a lesson.   All the while the roads are just turning into rivers and you're trying to stay dry, but it isn't working.   You hit the point where using the umbrella and trying to avoid the puddles are not worth it anymore, because you are already soaked, so you just start walking and it is interesting.   I love the rain, but it always comes on days where the sky is clear and sunny and hot, and so you don't expect it, and then it dumps.  
The area is getting better.   We are building our teaching pool, and I am learning it more and more, but it is hard when it is dark, cause everything looks a like.   "we're rocking the suburbs, around the block just one more time, we're rocking the suburbs cause I can't tell which house is mine" type thing.   So that is fun.   The area isn't to complicated in the day time, you learn to recognize certain buildings, or areas where other churches meet, but in the dark, it all fades into one.  
Not much to say on my new companion.   Trying to help him get the spirit of missionary work, and trying to get him to come out of his shell in lessons.   We will see how it goes. 
"If you never raise the bar you will never know your potential"
-L Tom Perry
"I will go and do that which the Lord has commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men save He shall prepare a way that they may accomplish that which He hath commanded them."
-1 Nephi 3:7
We have been talking a lot about working harder and raising the bar, and doing more and being more as missionaries.   I know it can seem hard, we are working hard, and trying and striving with all of our might, but when the Lord says yes who can say no.   I know that God will never ask us to do something that is impossible, because even as the Bible says "what is impossible for the Lord?"   I know God opens a way, but we have to put in our effort to get it done.  
"Rule number 3, I can't bring people back from the dead, it's not a pretty picture, I don't like doing it!"
"Quick Minion the spray.   It's all out.   Well use the forget me stick."
"I think it's time we said goodbye to prince Abooboo"
"Think of the most evil, horrible thing you can imagine, and multiply it by six!"

I love you all.      

Monday, February 9, 2015

"it's not so bad"-Disneys Three Mousekatiers "Ready or not [here he goes]"-Monsters Inc "[it's] bigger, bigger then [my last area]"-Space Jam "I have no memory of this place"-Lord of the Rings

Well, after my first week as District Leader I can say that it isn't so bad.   I have some added responsibilities, but it comes down to the fact that mission is mission, and things go on the way the Lord would have them go.   It is actually a fun thing to get to be a District Leader.   

Interesting stuff always seems to happen in the beginning of a transfer.   My companion I was supposed to be with, Elder Mtetwa, had some health issues, so he has been sent to Harare to get fixed up.   I am now with a Branch Missionary who is waiting for his call to get here, named Brother Ignatius.   So now he and I are trying to learn the area as best we can, and to get things done out here in Mutare.   It has been an interesting week, and things will hopefully get moving as we go along.   

The area is HUGE!    Like 14 developments, each with some three to four hundred houses, and it is super spread out and just weird how it is organized.   So we spent a good chunk of time getting lost, and wandering around trying to figure out how the area is divided and how to keep it straight.   We ask the member "how do you tell when one part ends and another begins?" and he would say "you just do" which is not nearly as helpful as you might think.   Oddly my companion has gotten it almost totally down.   I am a little behind him in that matter, but I am cool with that.   So long as one of us gets it down.   The worst is when we get somewhere and I think, this seems familiar, but I can't remember why.   I really wish it was easier to find places, but I am sure as the weeks go by we will both have it down.

The area is full of water.   The Book of Mormon talks about a "Land of many waters" well I am sure that it is Mutare.   I mean there is always water flowing somewhere.   And most of it is not clean.   Well low and behold I managed to step into a puddle that was knee deep on me.  Soaked my shoes, socks and pant legs.   So much fun, then got to walk around with water in my shoes.   

The area is a pretty good area, but we are working on getting more people to teach, the members are nice, but a little few and far between.   I am enjoying being here, and it isn't as hot as Chegutu, so that is nice.   We are in a beautiful mountainy area, which is nice, but difficult for the stick driver who has only ever drove on flat ground.   It is gonna be good.

My companion has an older Brother who is serving in the same zone as us, here in Mutare.   He is the third child in his family and both of his older Brothers served missions, one in Uganda and one here in Zim.   He sent in his papers a few weeks ago, and they will hopefully arrive soon.   He is a good guy, but very short and very quiet.   That knee depth puddle would have been a wading pool up to his waist.   

"Teach our members that if they have a miserable day once in a while, or several in a row, to stand steady and face them. Things will straighten out. There is a great purpose in our struggles in life."
-Boyde K Packer

I have gotten to serve with 13 missionaries on my mission so far, and I have learned that everything is in how you look at it.   I have learned that things can be rough, but we can be happy.   I know that there is good in all things that we face.   I know that God cares for all of us.

"See, old village, lots and lots of new houses."
"Hi fire. It isn't alive.  But you said it would die."
"Sure some people lose a knife or a mug, I manage to lose an entire dragon!"
"We've been in there forever.  Two days is not forever.  It is with this family"

I love you all.   

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Where Andrew is now..

These are from our last baptism in Chegutu.

"it's a [girl]"-Lady and the Tramp "Once ya hit the age where your warrante expires, you start to fall apart."-Robots "Where are you going? Back to [Gweru]? Nope, already been there."-Back to the Future "Who's the bigger fool, the fool, or the fool who follows him?-Star Wars

Well, a member of the Chegutu Branch had a baby last week.   A girl, that is 8 pounds and some 1 1/2 feet.   And the mom was home that same day!   What in the world?   That is crazy.   Well needless to say, mother and baby are doing well, and so is the entire family.   

I must have hit that age, cause things are starting to fall apart.   Shower Shoes, Belt, Shoes, Bag.   I can tell I have been on mission for nearly 16 months.   Not to worry mom, the shoes and bag are holding up pretty good, I can glue the shower shoes, but I would appreciate a new belt in the next package.   

I have been transferred again.   After 24 weeks in Chegutu I have been sent out.   I am now in a place called Sakubva in the Mutare Zone.   I am a District Leader, which means I get to serve the six missionaries in my District.   I have only been here for a day, and so I don't know too much about the area or the people, but my new companion seems great, and so do our house mates.   

This wonderful question was asked by Obi-wan Kenobi, and sums up how I feel about being a District Leader, since I have never been one before, it will be a new experience for me.   We will see how it goes. 

My new companion is Elder Mtetwa, and he is very new to mission.   I am his breaker which means I am his first companion after being trained.   He is the second of three children, and is the first to go on a mission, though his other siblings are both members as well.   He will probably only be with me for one transfer, since President Cook wont leave a person in one area longer then four transfers, and this is his fourth here.   

"Salvation is a personal matter, exaltation is a family matter." 
Russell M Nelson

"The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is that a man and his wife and their children can be happy at home"
Boyde K Packer

"In these last days it is critical-even essential-that parents and children listen to and learn from one another."
M Russell Ballard

I know that we are supposed to love one another.   I was very pained to have to leave Chegutu, and it will always hold a special place in my heart.   But I also know that God sends us where He wants us to be, to bless His children.   I know He is aware of all of us and that He wants us to be happy, individually and as a family.   

"No, I know your name, is your name Matter too?"
"I said dart gun not, oh my. Oh, cause I was wondering, under what situation would we ever use this?
"In your dreams thunder.. you know cause thunder always comes after lightning."
"Are these beds made of bombs? Yes, but they are very old and highly unlikely to explode, but try not to toss and turn."

Love you all.