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."
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.