Sunday, July 23, 2017

Week 50: " it's a good time with Z. I absolutely love her!"

girl power-getting firewood and walking for about 2 hours to get back to mbizo!
the spice sisters are back together!
Kwekwe is more or less the same as Gweru, it's in the middle of nowhere! But, I think the town is a little bit bigger. It's true, there are a lot of mining projects and factories going on. Very industrial. Mbizo is a pretty big area, and it organized by section numbers. I think there are around 20 sections, and they're organized in kind of random places, but the area has been pretty easy to figure out otherwise. The area looks similar to Mabvuku, but it's a little bit different. It's a high density area though and people are always walking around. I'm driving in the area again and Z and I are actually the only sisters in the entire zone. This is my first two-man house, but it's a good time with Z. I absolutely love her!

some of the cute kids of Mbizo!

our investigator was sick and so Z and I cooked sadza, kovo and mackerel for her family over the fire!

Takudzwa-He is hilarious! He always describes things that are bad as "kinda rude" and he says it with a funny accent so my companion and I have also started saying it as well! He's progressing well and is on date to be baptized soon!  I hope the gospel will continue to help him!

Farai- He's so diligent and eager to learn about the gospel! When we went to teach him, he told us that he was a little disappointed in himself because he had failed to read the pamphlet TWICE...but he still understood everything that we taught him! He understands how the gospel has blessed his life and already has such a strong testimony. He's a bit reserved, but so spiritually prepared. He will also be baptized soon!

when Sister Ziqubu and I got lost in kumusha looking for the marriage officer, we stop to take a photo haha
Kuda-We've been trying to get him and his wife legally married so that they can be baptized! We were finally able to meet with the marriage officer and have him come over to counsel them and start the documents. The documents were all filled out, but then, last minute, we were told that there were some complications because his wife's relatives didn't agree to the marriage. Kuda was so depressed in telling us this. "This marriage and baptism is keeping me from spiritually progressing towards eternity!" So again, the baptism/marriage will have to be postponed. But, the time will come. Kuda is so faithful and even attends the institute classes. His time will come and I hope that day will be soon!

the power of the spice sisters-Sunday dinner!
Yes, the spice sisters are back! It's so nice to be cooking with Z again...we love being in the kitchen together since we both love spicy food! Our Sunday dinner was also nice nice-we had pork with a spicy marinade, rice, coleslaw, chakalaka and chicken and pea salad! We were in a food coma for the rest of the night.

The Legacy!
Today we're in Harare for MLC so our family (Richards, me, Mzunga, and Clark) were able to finally all be together! It was so nice meeting my grand-daughter! Anyways, that's all for now. Glad to hear you all celebrated the 4th! I missed my favorite holiday! But all is year!

Sister Park

Week 49: "Transfers are here and my time in Gweru was short-lived. I'm sad to leave my investigators behind"

on exchanges, little did we know we'd be companions in less than a week!

leaving these two behind in Gweru!

saying my goodbyes to Brother Learnmore and Ruth!
Transfers are here and my time in Gweru was short-lived. I'm sad to leave my investigators behind, especially since 8 of them came to church this past Sunday (Big deal for Gweru Town since it's not like the previous areas I've served in)! But, I'm sure the missionaries staying behind will continue teaching them to prepare them for their baptisms. Where am I going now?! To be with my girl Sister Ziqubu in Mbizo, Kwekwe!! Spicy food for days for at least the next 6 weeks!

This past week we had exchanges with Sister Ziqubu and Richards and it was such a good time! This time we actually went to the area and had a productive day. We almost missed our bus back, but thankfully the bus was 45 minutes late! And now I'll be back in Mbizo for good!(:

President Magaya-only knew him for a 2 weeks but he's the best!

Fortunate-She is the sweetest! She's been attending church for awhile, but this past Sunday, she finally told us she was ready to take the lessons. We got to know her this week, and I asked her what made her finally agree to taking the lessons. She was telling us that as she was reading her Gospel Principles book, she came across the chapter "Families Can Be Eternal." She's an only child, 23 years of age, and her mother unexpectedly passed away last year. At the time, she was dating a pastor from another church who taught that after death, all ties and relations are cut off with the dead. She had even posted a picture of her mother on Facebook for remembrance, but was asked to take it off. She was hurt. As she read the chapter, she came to understand that we would have an opportunity to see our loved ones again. The feelings of pain were replaced with peace. Joy substituted her sorrows, the light of the gospel illuminated the darkness she felt in her heart, all because Christ was able to overcome spiritual and physical death for us. She's also dating a member of the church, and it looking forward to start an eternal family of her own!

Mark Henry-We visited his home a couple of weeks back because he came to church. However, we were "banished" from the home because everyone in the house attended another church. His grandfather was even a pastor there. Anywho, we thought for sure that it would be the last time seeing Mark Henry because of his family's commitment and devotion towards their church. But, to our surprise, he came to church again this past Sunday! I was so impressed with him, because I'm sure that he's fully aware of the persecution and ridicule he would receive from his family if they knew he was coming to our church. They would honestly probably kick him out of the house, and yet, he still came. It takes a lot of nerve to do that. I asked him why he decided to still come to church-"I'm looking for the truth and I've looked for a long time, but I know the truth is here. I've found it." His faith is so strong, and I can't wait for him to also be baptized!

GGC Boys-After working two tournaments, they told us they would come to church this past Sunday and they did! It was so nice to see them there for my last Sunday in Gweru. I can't wait to hear about their baptisms!

Baptism Day!

Brother Nyasha!

The day has finally come-he was overjoyed!
Nyasha's baptism was powerful. It was so spiritual. The thing with Nyasha is that I feel like I didn't even teach him. He came prepared. He was one of those investigators where we would sit down for a lesson, and instead of me teaching him, I felt like he was teaching me! There was always an experience or comment he would share that I would end up writing down because it was profound. I don't know if he knows it, but he truly strengthened my testimony of the gospel. At as his baptism, he bore a powerful testimony. "The teachings and principles taught, I know it to be true-it just resonates with my soul." He truly is an old soul. I felt like I was bringing to remembrance truths that he already knew to be true!

I'll be sending lots of pictures! Hope all is well at home! Can't believe 11 months of mission have already gone by-can't wait to see what this transfer has in hold for me! Love you lots!

Sister Park
When Tedius buys me Stoney because he knows how much I love it! He also gave me a goodbye gift-I opened it and found chili inside! He knows me too well(:
Our district t-shirts: Lebron all times, in all things, in all places Mosiah 18:9

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 48: "Peterson is such a great guy. He lives far from the church and so we're waiting for him to save up money for transport so he can attend church as well!"

Monday, July 3, 2017

Week 47: "He told us that the thing he liked most about church was that he was able to look around during sacrament meeting and see that all the families actually looked happy together!

I think this week has been the craziest week I've had on mission!

droppin sister bergen off at the bus :(

i will never get tired of the sunsets here

exchanges with my mother!
It all started on Wednesday. Sister Bergen and I had gone to Kwekwe for exchanges and it was going to be with Sister Richards and Sister Ziqubu! Sister Bergen trained Z and so we were going to have quality mother-daughter bonding time. As we were preparing for the day, we got a call from President during our studies. Sister Bergen was being ETed (emergency transfer) back to Harare because a sister there was going home. I was so sad because I was so excited to "translate" (haha) her back to the states. He told her to go home and pack and she would be in Harare by the end of the night. So, her and Sister Richards drove back to Gweru and they left Sister Z and I to still go to the area...WELL, as we were about to leave the house, we realized that the sisters had locked us into the house! That previous Saturday, Sister Ziqubu and Richards had locked all the keys in the house and so they decided to take out all the keys and put them in the car, which funny enough, was terrible timing. We waited about 5 hours for them to come back..haha it was something else. We only went to the area for an hour because we then had to take Sister Bergen to go catch her, now I'm in a threesome with the other sisters for at least the next two weeks. The rest of the week was hectic because we were canceling appointments to compromise our schedules together.

Charity's newborn baby! she thought she was going to have a son, which is why the baby is dressed head to toe in blue haha

Reality is so cute, and has such an awesome name!


Nyasha-I met Nyasha at the internet cafe on Monday and as I was emailing my family, he kept on looking over at my screen. He finally introduced himself and started commenting on what I was writing and on all the pictures that were on my email. I decided it would be best to just answer his questions all together and then focus back on my screen since I only had a limited amount of time. We had a conversation about missionary work and I explained our purpose as missionaries. I invited him to church, but I didn't think much about it. He showed up that Sunday, and the next! He took his Gospel Principles book home because he wanted to read the rest, and I told him to read about the Restoration since we didn't have any pamphlets at the time. The lesson with him was amazing. We reviewed the lesson with him, but he essentially taught us the lesson because he understood it so well! He brought questions he had written down so that we could answer them. The amazing thing is is that previously, he hadn't attended church for four years! He told us that the thing he liked most about church was that he was able to look around during sacrament meeting and see that all the families actually looked happy together! He expressed his desire to have that for himself as well. Nyasha truly is a tender mercy from Heavenly Father

Alfred- Now that our areas are combined, I've been able to meet some of the sisters' investigators. Alfred will be baptized this Saturday. He has been wanting to change his life. He received a priesthood blessing this past week to help him quit smoking, and although the withdrawal symptoms are pretty bad, he hasn't smoked since! He's such a sincere person and he enjoys church so much!

all the girls!

belindah's fan club

tatenda and belindah, the cutest sisters
We had a baptism this week on the Mkoba side for Belindah! Her sister was already a member and so it was an exciting and touching day for them. Although I was never able to teach her, I was still so excited for her. She was all smiles that night!

 Simba making sure I don't hit any squirrels, oh wait, there are none.

haha when Sister Thomas missed the ball..golfing is harder than it looks!

Haram, Dad, don't laugh at my form. If you are, go golf left-handed and then we'll talk
Sisters Smith and Thomas!

Sam teaching us how to golf
Today, haha, I convinced the sisters to go golfing. Some of my investigators work at the Gweru Golf Club, and so they let us golf for free! It was very funny watching them golf, and we had a good time. They didn't have any left-handed clubs, so Joshua, Simba and Sam just told me to golf right handed. It felt so awkward, but it was still fun! We played two holes before we left and I got two bogeys haha

Glad to hear all is well back home! Yes, I'm healthy. Yes, I'm safe. Love you all!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Week 47: "Smile and remember that God is determined to make us more than we thought we could be."

our district is a mess...yes, elder brooks and elder shamanis are handcuffed to each other..and elders young yen and mwaja!

beauty of zim sunsets
Sister Bergen and I at zone conference
I've officially retired the rain jacket and have pulled out the winter coat...

We had zone conference this week and it was really good! Being in a different zone conference, I didn't realize how many new missionaries there actually are! It made me feel old, but it was super nice to see all the familiar faces I hadn't seen in a while as well. There's another asian in the mission: Elder Lin. He's from Taiwan and I'm not going to lie, it was very weird seeing another asian! His first words to me: "Sister Park! It's so nice to meet you..I'm not going to lie, since I've come on mission, I haven't felt homesick but seeing you has made me very homesick!" haha he's a funny one-he insisted on us taking a photo

Elder Lin haha

my first zone leader Elder Wilcken

Elder Larson is such a joker, but he's also from the better part of Cali! haha

Elder Gunther...we're taking this photo now so that when he's the star quarterback for BYU, this photo will be worth millions

 Reunion with my mother!
This week I was also able to play a bit of soccer in the's much harder to do in proselyting clothes, but it was still fun. Sister Bergen was helping someone do their hair and since I don't have a single clue how to do hair, I decided to entertain the younger brothers. I'm VERY rusty, but it's a good thing these kids are only ~8 years old because it makes me still better than them haha

Nobesuthu-26 years old, single mother. She investigated the church a couple of years back, but was never baptized because she left to go study in school. She's separated from her husband, so she takes care of her daughter Charmaine by herself. We've started teaching her because she expressed that she wanted to set a good example for her daughter. She's very sharp and has the desire to learn and change her life. She's super sweet and loving, and her daughter is the absolute cutest!

 late night combi rides home with McDean

Yesterday I played the piano in church which I haven't done in a couple of months..perks of being in a ward again! Also, the primary kids were super cute, but they came running up to us with their "missionary tags" on and gave us a whole bunch of "we love you" letters with drawings of...still trying to figure out what they drew was super sweet though.

Also, I was able to speak with the sisters back in my previous area and my investigators are still getting baptized! The rest of Vanswell's siblings (Valerie, Kindness, and Truth), Trevor, Ashleigh, and Mai Wayne have all been baptized since I've been gone, and there are still more to come! I'm so happy for them!!

That's all for now! I'm healthy, I'm safe, other hardships are just a part of life. We believe in eternal progression! I've been very blessed on my mission, and I've found so much peace and contentment here. Phillipians 4:11 I'm sure HF will continue to guide me down the path he wants me to go. "Smile and remember that God is determined to make us more than we thought we could be."

Love you all!

Sister Park