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"
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.