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!
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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.
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!