Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Week 15: "It was such a powerful moment that Sister Erickson and I got to be a part of"


I'll be keeping it short because the office is busy busy today with transfers going on.

So this week was the end of transfers...I will be staying in Mabvuku and my new companion is Sister Dyantyisi from South Africa. In my household, Sister Wells will also be staying and her new companion is Sister Ziqubu who is also from South Africa.

This past week we got to go on exchanges with the STLS: Sister Erickson and Sister Jili. I got to work with Sister Erickson for a day and bring her to all my lessons.It was such a good time and I was able to learn so much from her. I also made sure to get her some chips from Hot-Hot Chippies because they're SO good!


Bro. Tawanda: At our last lesson with us, he tried to Bible bash us and was bringing up all these scriptures to try to put down Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. But, we asked him that if he read and prayed with a sincere desire about the Book of Mormon, the Lord would manifest unto him the truthfulness of the book. And so when we saw him this week, we asked about how his experience with prayer went. He told us that he had done exactly what we had asked and waited a couple minutes after his prayer to pay attention to the feelings and thoughts. And he told us that he felt a strange feeling, something he had never felt before. He felt an overwhelming sense of joy in his heart and felt peace in his mind. He told us that without a doubt, he knew that God had answered his prayer and that he didn't have any doubts about the Book of Mormon anymore. It was such a powerful moment that Sister Erickson and I got to be a part of.

Brother Innocent: He has been trying to quit drinking since we've been teaching him and he told us that he didn't drink at all this past week! We were so proud of him, especially because you can tell how happy Mai Cayden is with the changes that he's making in his life. They've also agreed to get legally married and so they will be starting the process so that they can be baptized. We're so excited for this beautiful family!

On Saturday, we were in charge of an openhouse that was held at our chapel and the bishop asked that our entire district be there to help out. So our zone leaders, district leader and his companions and I spent the entire day running this activity. The idea of the activity was to have nonmembers come and tour the church and learn a little bit about the gospel of Jesus Christ while having a good time (games and refreshments were incorporated). We had a lot of people come and now for the Tafara sisters especially, they have a lot of people they can now go and contact. It was such a fun day, especially since this was our last day together as a district. After the activity was over, Sister Richards and I had to rush to get things ready for the baptism. Brother Anesu, Tanya, and Brother Law all got baptized and it was such a great time. They all shared their testimonies and the smiles on their faces were priceless.

But otherwise, I'm good, I'm healthy, everything's great. I can't wait to hear from you next week! Love and miss you guys.

Sister Park

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Week 14: The joy and happiness I have felt in being a part of my investigator's lives is amazing!

 I only got the first package but let me tell you....the best meal I had this week was 1. ramen on Sunday (tradition) and 2. rice, seaweed with barley water. I missed simple meals like that...thank you so much! Also, the household is enjoying all the candy that you've sent. 


This week has flown by! Well, every week on mission has flown by...but this transfer is coming to an end which means that my time with Sister Richards as my companion is coming to an end as well! :( But, this week was full of touching. special moments that I'm so lucky to be a part of. Being on mission is a humbling experience, but an experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. The joy and happiness I have felt in being a part of my investigator's lives is amazing! 

Mai Nicole: She recently moved into a member's home a couple weeks back because her marriage was facing problems. She separated with her husband and moved with some of her children into her brother's home, President Ruvinga. She truly has been prepared by the Lord. We could tell that she was struggling with the separation and that she was having a difficult time being separated from some of her children. Also, the marriage took a toll on her and she seemed...tired. I guess that the nicest way I could put it. She just seemed done with her life. But, as Sister Richards and I have been teaching her, you can see how the gospel has been changing her life. She has a light in her eyes now, an energy. She has been smiling more often and she has a beautiful smile! You can tell that she is now excited to start her new life here and although life is still hard, she is looking at it in a more positive light. She told us how the Book of Mormon has helped her realize that God knows HER and loves her with all his heart. She told us that by reading the chapters that we've assigned her, her burdens seem to be lighter and that through prayer, she has been able to gain a relationship with God.

Brother Innocent: His wife, Mai Cayden has started taking the lessons! We had followed-up with Brother Innocent on how his drinking was going. Before, he told us that he has been drinking 10 bottles of beer (BIG BOTTLES) every single day. When we asked how his drinking was going, he told me that he had only drank twice this week! He told me that he had been amazed because he had tried several times before to quit drinking and had struggled but this time around, he would pick up the beer and not even really have the desire to drink it. I have been praying all week for him to have the strength to slowly quit but I definitely didn't expect this quick of results! The reason why we have started teaching Mai Cayden is because she is amazed at the change that her husband has gone through this past week. She said that this past week, he started staying home more often and helping out in the house with cleaning and cooking instead of sitting out in the street with his friends drinking. She said that he's been spending more time with their newborn baby and is amazed at how much he spends trying to tell her about what we have taught him. She said that by teaching him the gospel, their family has grown stronger together. How amazing is that? That's exactly what the gospel is supposed to do! The family is the most important social unit and to see this family grow closer together brings me so much joy. They showed up on Sunday and Mai Cayden told me that he used to never go to church with her. This change in Brother Innocent has been amazing. The words of Alma 31:5 has truly been fulfilled. The gospel changes lives!

Brother Davidson: We have started teaching him and he has a strong desire to be baptized! However, the problem is is that he has a physical disability which doesn't allow him to walk anywhere. He sits at home all day fixing TVs and his brother provides for the things that he needs. We are going to try to work with the Bishop and members to see if we can come up with a way to get money to help find a wheelchair or something. But, he really wants to come to church and we hope that with the Lord's help, we will be able to come with an idea to help fulfill his wish!

This weekend, we were able to baptize sisters, well sister! Both sisters, Getrude and tanya, were supposed to be baptized, but Tanya needs to be baptized next weekend. They had filled up the water overnight which left the water FREEZING. The poor nine-year-old didn't want to go in the water and we didn't want her to force her so after talking with her, we decided that she would just get baptized this coming weekend. They are the absolute cutest!

I miss you guys and love you so much!

Sister Park

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Week 13: Oct. 2016 General Conference

I received the package last Monday and I only had to pay $6! My companion and Sister Wells had to pay around 80 dollars for their last package...Anyways, I stopped by the office later in the day and the package was there and so yes, I received it. The household is loving all the candy and the kids at church/neighborhood are always asking me for candy now. Even the adults are asking Sister Richards and I for candy...it's pretty funny.

Brother David! I absolutely LOVE this picture. He's actually fixing the flats that mom sent...it was so hot that the soles of the shoes fell off because the glue had melted...but look how happy he looks!

So most of the ward missionaries come from Mabvuku 1st. They recently called around 15 new ward missionaries in Mabvuku 1st. Sister Richards and I try to work with all the ward missionaries at some point because some of them are recent converts and even if they only bear their testimony in our investigator lessons, it helps strengthen their testimony. There are a couple ward missionaries that we always work with in Mabvuku 1st who all live on the same street. We always work with them because they're not in school and they're waiting to leave on their missions. Most of them will be leaving in November and so they spend all day with us teaching the lessons and sometimes translating for us in Shona.

Mabvuku 2nd doesn't have as many ward missionaries because they just happen to have less young men. But, we have great members in this ward who are eager to help the work progress. Sister Richards are particularly proud of the work we've done in Mabvuku 2nd because with her previous companion, most of Sister Richards baptisms are coming from the Mabvuku 1st area. However, Mabvuku 2nd, although it is HUGE, is blowing up with baptisms. We've been sectioning off the area so that we can focus on the people in each section and we're working our way through the area. BUT, the best part is is that the members have been noticing how many new investigators we have at church each week and so it's been getting them excited to help us.

This week has been great...well every week on mission is great. We weren't allowed to have baptisms this week because of General Conference, but I'm not going to complain because conference was great! Our household loved it particularly because the entire conference seemed to be centered around Preach My Gospel and all the missionary experiences were so nice to hear. I honestly felt as if the entire conference was just molded for me on mission, but our investigators loved watching it as well. I was honestly waiting for Elder Holland's talk because he gives so much fire, but I guess he only spoke in the priesthood session.

Anyways, one of my favorite talks was from Elder Yamashita which was centered around "being ambitious for Christ." The missionary experience he shared was touching and inspiring because I can only strive to have the faith that this missionary exemplified. His counsel was uplifting and I loved his counsel to "serve faithfully, endure nobly, pray fervently, and partake worthily." Powerful. Russell M. Nelson's talk was also great, and most of my investigators said that they enjoyed his talk the most. I guess I never really realized that joy is kind of a foreign thing to most people. We should plead to have joy in our lives because there are so many things to be joyous about! Joy of being free from guilt and shame, joy in striving to have the Holy Ghost, joy from eternal families....and this joy will bring about great change in our lives. I loved the quote "I have learned to suffer with joy..." Everyone suffers and is given there own bag of difficulties and trials to work through, but when we focus on striving to become like Christ and not on all the bad things happening around us, then we can feel joy. We just have to direct our focus on the right things, because no matter how difficult the situation, everyone has a chance to feel this joy!

Sister Richards and I bought another cake to help the youth and it is beautiful..and HUGE! I honestly hope the other sisters eat a lot of it because there is no way we can finish the cake...

Last transfer, before we got a new district leader, Elder Nkhonjera, we had made district t-shirts. Because our district is in the ghetto and we strive to follow all the mission rules (straight), we got shirts that say "Straight Outta Ruwa" and they are NICE. It's kind of a thing for each district to come up with shirts and kind of gets to be a little competitive but I think our shirt definitely won this time around. It kind of reminds me of home, but it's nice since most of our district is American and so we all get it.

Investigator Highlights:
Brother Innocent---He walked up to us on the street one day and told us he wanted the lessons. He has been so responsive to the teachings and has agreed to be baptized. However, he is not yet married and needs to find the funds to obtain a marriage certificate. Also, when he agreed to be baptized, he knew that he would need to quit drinking beer and as he put it, "baptism and beer do not go together." So, Sister Richards have come up with a plan that every time he has the money and wants to buy beer, he'll put the money aside and save up for his marriage certificate. It will be tough for him, but I'm hopeful that he will succeed and receive the blessings that come with it.
Brother Anesu---He is powerful! We went to teach Restoration and he pretty much worked everything out for himself. I think this was definitely one of the most powerful lessons I got to be a part of because you could see how the Lord had prepared him so well. All Sister Richards and I now have to do is help him recognize the Holy Ghost so that he can have a testimony about what was taught and I'm sure the Lord will provide the rest for us.

I love and miss you guys! Hope everything else back home is great!

Sister Park