Monday, August 8, 2016

First Week in Zim!!!

This week has seriously been awesome. Since I haven't emailed in forever I am going to back track to the MTC.
It was Sister Park's birthday on July 30th! President Ashton let us escape the MTC and we went to a pretty botanical garden and saw a waterfall. It was a great break from being locked up in the MTC. :)
I got to Zimbabwe on August 2nd. My new companion and trainer's name is Sister Ziqubu. (The q is a click.) She is from Durban, South Africa and is quite a character. She knows Shona really well so it is very helpful in our area. Our area is called Kwatzana! I absolutely love it, it's peaceful for the most part and the people are humble. The struggle I am having right now is the language. It is hard for investigators to understand my American accent but everyone just tells me to wait a couple of weeks and it'll start changing. Also, they speak Shona here a lot more than I thought they would...English is more of a second language so it's tough but it's ok! 
The first day in Kwatzana I went to a Mormon Helping Hands activity. We did some gardening and planting and it was nice to meet some members and to start to build a relationship with them. It amazes me how receptive to the gospel people here are. It's almost like, "wait what, are you serious?!?" The highlight of my week was that our investigator Michael agreed to be baptized on August 27th. His faith in Jesus Christ is incredible.

 I met with Brother Shekede who is a recent convert to the church as of last year. He is a very devoted and faithful member. When we visited him he asked us a very bold question. He said, "If we didn't get a chance to accept the gospel while we were on earth will we be saved?" I realized he was asking that question because his wife passed away several years ago before he was a member of the church. It was a tender moment to be able to tell him that because our Heavenly Father loves us, we can be together forever and your wife still has a chance.
If you are ever questioning the importance of paying your tithing, just come to a fast & testimony meeting in Zimbabwe. The members rely on tithing for the blessings they receive from paying it. An inspiration of this is Sister Makondora. She lives in a very humble home. By the time we walked to her house, my companion and I had to go to the bathroom.It was a hole in the ground outside. We shared 3N 13:32-34 with her. It says, "
 32 For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof."
After I shared this scripture with her, I said, "Since God loves us, he is always willing and ready to bless us. We just have to ask." Sister Makondora has a small little market off the side of the road where she sells home grown fruit. She said how we never have to worry about tomorrow because God always takes care. She has trouble putting food on the table for her family, but still tells my companion and I to take home some fruit from her market.. She sees these blessings as blessings from God.
I love the scripture Matthew 25:35-36 and how much it relates to missionary work.
35 For was an hungredand ye gave me meat: was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: was strangerand ye took me in:
 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: was sick, and ye visited me: was in prisonand ye came unto me.
"I was lost and you taught me that God has a plan for me. My family was waiting and you gave us a way to be together forever. I was broken, and you gave me hope."

P.s. another highlight of the week was finding Quinn in the Liahona I was reading. I love my buddy!!

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