Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Week 19: "102 degree" and "Untraditional Thanksgiving Dinner"

Thanksgiving Dinner with my household

Ah, it's so nice to hear from you guys this week and to hear the good report! Reading all this good news is exactly what I needed to hear after the week that I had..what a tender mercy from the Lord!

This week has been something else. Mom, before I start this weeks report, I need you to breathe because I'm fine! On Tuesday, my companion was sick and another sister in the house was also sick and so I had to drive them to the clinic and so we didn't have a chance to go to the area. On Thursday night, I started getting a fever and by the time I woke up on Friday, my temperature was around 101 degrees. My zone leaders stopped by to give me a blessing but by the afternoon is was a little over 102 degrees. I knew I needed to cool down, but because we didn't have power, the fan wasn't working and so desperate times call for desperate measures: I took all the frozen vegetables and meat from the fridge and placed it over my body while laying on the tiles. After doing this, it stayed at around 100 degrees until later that night when it went back up to 102. I finally was able to go to the clinic on Saturday because my temperature wasn't dropping and they said that I had inflamed tonsils which caused my fever. They gave me medication and although my temperature is back to normal now, I've been getting really bad headaches which isn't letting me sleep and I'm wondering if it's because of the medication so hopefully once I have that sorted out, I'll be okay. But overall, I'm alive and I'm walking...and breathing. My point is that because our sicknesses, we could only go to the area twice this week!

But, I suppose one of the highlights of my week was Wednesday because I got to go on exchanges with Sister Jili, my grandmother! She trained Sister Richards and so it was so nice teaching with her because, well she taught Sister Richards and so they teach similarly. We got to teach many lessons together and we had a good time together. I got to learn a lot from her, not only teaching wise, but from her character as well. 

Spicy Korean Chicken Stew, Mashed Potatoes, 

We also had a Thanksgiving dinner...but let me tell you, it was a dinner that I had never before experienced..very untraditional to say the least...there was such a variety of foods but i guess all that mattered was that it was good food! Since none of us really like turkey, I made a Korean chicken and vegetable stew which they all loved so much (they all wrote the recipe). Side dishes included mashed potatoes, butternut, pasta salad, samosas, green beans, and ginger beer....okay so now that I'm writing it down I guess it wasn't too untraditional but it definitely wasn't a typical Thanksgiving dinner. The African sisters enjoyed though and we all had a good time and I guess this is a tender mercy of the Lord but the power didn't go out until we had finished our meal(:

Brother Jack: We met him on the streets this week and he welcomed us back for another lesson. As we got to know him better, I found myself really attached to him. Brother Jack had been trying really hard to study in the US and when I asked which schools, he said that he had been trying to apply for schools like Stanford and the Ivy League schools. As I continued to talk to him, I saw how bright he was and how much he valued his education. However, because of complications back home, he had to attend a college in Zim and he was expressing how bitter he was because of this. He kept bringing up how disappointed he was with how things turned out for him. And since I'm a missionary, I couldn't mention what school I had attended either because we can't encourage anything from our side. BUT, the Lord must have a different plan for him and that's what I told him. That he must have a better one set for him, one that will allow him to grow to his full potential. It was really neat to see his reaction  to what I said because although you could tell he still had some resentment, he was slowly accepting what I had to say...and he even showed up to church this Sunday! The things he was saying in our lessons...I think he really has been prepared by the Lord. He's been switching churches pretty consistently for years now because he hasn't found the "right one" and hasn't found what he is looking for...even though he says he doesn't know what it is. I hope that I will be able to help him come unto Christ!

I guess I don't have much to say this week since I was in bed for most of it so hopefully I'll have more to write about next week. I love and miss you guys! Take care((:

Until next week,

Sister Park

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Week 18: "Forget Me Not"

This transfer is going by so quick! It's crazy to think that I've been in the field for more than three months already!

the ward missionaries' farewell!

A sad, sad night!
Munya, Antony, and Larry, the ward missionaries, all left for their missions this week. They were definitely missed this week in the area, but Ghana and Kenya need them more than we do! I definitely hope that I'll be able to see them again because that would be something really special! I went to their farewell on Tuesday for a little bit and was going to leave soon because we weren't able to get money for the week but little did I know that they had asked Bishop for me to speak in their farewell! I was definitely shocked, but at the same time I was honored that they would ask me to speak and share my testimony with them and to those they love. These guys are the sweetest...they each wrote me a letter talking about our times together telling me "Forget Me Not." I LOVE this book by President Uchtdorf...when I went to work with Tatenda, another ward missionary on Thursday, we were about to leave his house when he ran back in. I thought he had gone to fetch a raincoat or something but he came out running with a blue book in his hand. He handed it to me and told me that Larry had left it for me....it was the "Forget Me Not" book. I was overjoyed and touched because I had only mentioned on one occasion how much I had loved the book and Larry had gone out of his way to get it for me. Can you see why I love these ward missionaries so much?


Sister Vongai--She has her marriage certificate! Now, her and Brother Kuda are waiting on the rings so that they can have them for the wedding. I hope that I will still be in the area to witness the marriage ceremony! 

Brother Law: He's not an investigator, but he's a recent convert. He is the sweetest kid ever and always has such a huge smile on his face when he sees us. Well, I have started reading the Book of Mormon stories with him so that he can get a better understanding of the Book of Mormon. This kid loves the stories! When I finished one chapter in the Book of Mormon stories, I asked, "So we'll save the next story for next time, is it okay?" to which he replied with a firm, "NO. Let's read it now..." I ended reading 7 chapters from the book because at the end of each chapter, I'd ask the same thing to which he replied the same answer! And of course, his favorite story was when Nephi cut off Laban's head....

Brother Foyo: We had received a referral from the sisters this week to contact Brother Foyo because he wanted a Book of Mormon. The first time we went to his house, he wasn't there. However, I had been to his area before and had always felt compelled to speak with a certain man, but never did because we were usually rushing to appointments. However, as we were walking in the area, I saw the man again and felt compelled that we should talk to him again and I listened to the prompting this time and guess what...he turned out to be Brother Foyo, the referral the other sisters had given me! He already knew my name and he said," Sister Park, I have been waiting for you to speak with me..." I'm excited to teach this one and I'm glad I had followed the prompting!

 I taught them how to "drop it"...these picture was pretty epic

Brother Takesure's Baptism. Look! this guy tilted toward me but....

 Brother Elias"s Baptism. He tilted toward my companion!
This week, Brother Takesure and Brother Elias were baptized by Simba Jeri, an RM from the Zim mission! It was a joy teaching these two young men, both 17 years of age, because they both already have a desire to serve missions. Whenever I taught these two, we'd usually have another priesthood holder, Tapiwa, present in the lessons. Tapiwa is preparing to leave for his mission in January to Durban South Africa. But, whenever I wasn't saying anything in the lessons, I'd always just sit and smile at how much soon to be missionaries I was teaching. Also, Takesure is taking taekwondo--when we finished our first lesson together, he told me "thank you" in Korean and yo, I was shocked. These are good guys with good souls and I'm so happy I was able to be part of their conversion experience.

This Cake is the Bomb!!!
I hope all is well back home...I was a little jealous of Wooram's cake because ah, Paris Baguette is the bomb! Also, I've introduced Thanksgiving to the African sisters and they are excited for Thanksgiving dinner! I will send photos of how the food turns out this next week!

Otherwise, remember that I love you guys so much and don't worry about me. Mom, go to the spa or something. Dad, if you're stressed, go buy another tree without Mom's permission and plant it in a random spot in the yard...I hope you guys have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sister Park

I think since I've been on mission, I've sang Book of Mormon stories and Popcorn Popping and Do as I'm Doing at least 500 times. Every time these kids see me they want me to sing the song!
Look at the kid on my left!

my fan club...i especially LOVE the rasta, Talent! 

Mom, I'm very unamused that you sent a hat...i hate hats...i hope you're happy though
am i african yet?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Week 17: "All I need to overcome any trials is the Lord, and I already have him on my side and so, all is well!"

Sister Delight at her baptism

All is well in Mabvuku and Tafara! It's been raining a ton this week and the weather has been funny funny...it'll be ridiculously hot one hour and the next hour it'll be pouring...I've learned to always walk around with my raincoat now but overall, all is well!

I heard Donald Trump is our new president....moving right along..

There's nothing too exciting to report about...mission is so much fun though! I work hard, but I always pull my occasional pranks. But I just realized this week how much of it has added on....as of right now, my ward missionaries think that I was a quarterback for my high school football team (i told them not to mess with me...) and they think that I was a professional chicken hunter back home. When I told them this, they started laughing because they thought it was ridiculous but then we walked by a chicken and I crowed at it and the chicken started clucking back in return. They almost lost it..

Brother Simon: We had given him the Book of Mormon last week and so when we saw him this week, we asked how his reading went with Moroni 10: 3-5. He told us that he felt so much joy reading it and that he knew the book was true even after reading only verse 3! He said that he had never felt this way and he was almost jumping out of his seat because he was so excited about his experience! In his own words, " the Book of Mormon is powerful. One verse in the Book of Mormon and prayer is all you need to know this book is true!" I've been blessed with investigators like this and I'm grateful the Lord has entrusted me with them...the next step for him is to get his marriage to go through and this will take A LOT of faith and prayers!

Sister Vongai: I have been teaching this mama since I got here and we've been trying to get her married so she could be baptized! Her husband, Kuda, has been a member, but because his job doesn't pay well, he hasn't been able to come up with the money for the marriage license. Most of the money he earns has to go towards paying off lobola and providing for Sister Vongai's family and his own. But, a miracle a truly happened. We went over to a lesson to go read the BOok of Mormon with her and Kuda as we usually do. Lately, I've been quite persistent and asking about the marriage because Sister Vongai's desire to be baptized is so strong! But, this time around, I thought I would lay off of it and just ask about the progress next week. We read 2 Nephi 2 together and as we were discussing about the scriptures, Brother Kuda bore a powerful testimony about how he knew that God was there and that he truly provided miracles...I didn't think much of it at the time. We closed the lesson and then Brother Kuda asked if we would go look in the distribution center for the nice CTR bands because he wanted one. THEN, he said, so nonchalantly, "Yea, I want this band because we should have our marriage certificate by next Friday and I won't be able to have rings for the ceremony..." I just stared, I couldn't believe my ears...it took me like 10 seconds to process that!! The joy that I felt in my heart was unbelievable. We've been trying to get this couple married since the beginning of August, and it might actually be happening now! I literally almost cried in the lesson and I couldn't sit still the entire day...the thought of Sister Vongai finally being baptized would truly be amazing! Now I am PRAYING that no complications arise and that she will be baptized soon soon! When I got in the car, I understood why Kuda had said what he had said in the lesson....the Lord must have provided him with the means of getting the money and I'm interested to hear what exactly happened. I absolutely love this family and hopefully I'll be able to send pictures soon with her in her white jumpsuit!

Sister Luwichi and us in the fields

Our household with kids
Adorable Natti Luwichi
This week we also got to help out The Luwichi Family and we worked in the fields! Because the rains had poured this week, everyone was out in the fields plowing, and planting seeds in the ground now that there was enough moisture. It was so much fun, and it was very relaxing...Dad, this reminded me of whenever we would mow the lawn together, or you'd make me climb trees to cut off branches..it was so nice to be doing like manual labor!! And also the weather was perfect because there was an overcast so it wasn't hot but it was a good time! Since we finished so fast, we helped the other gogos who were out in the field so that they could finish quicker because ah, people as old as they are should be sitting at home in a rocking chair relaxing!!

Farewell to my favorite ward missionaries: Anthony, Larry and Munya
The only reason why I didn't want to be in Mabvuku this transfer so that I wouldn't have to say goodbye to these three, but ah, the time has come. We ate mazondo (cow legs...Dad I think you would like it, it's kind of fatty, but it's nice!), beans and sadza...it was nice! And then they danced and yo, it was so amusing watching all of them dance. It was a good time with them and ah, I will miss these ones.

Steven, one of my favorite ward missionaries

it was so messy but it was good! eating with utensils is going to be kind of weird when i go home!


Guys cooking sadza
Later that night, we went over to one of the ward missionary's homes because three of my favorite ward missionaries are leaving for their missions this week! I will truly miss Antony, Larry, and Munya...they all have such different personalities, but they each bring so much to the table. They helped the work here in Mabvuku and they would work with us every single day I've worked in Mabvuku 1st. They are such a good time, but they have such powerful testimonies...the people of Kenya and Ghana are going to be lucky having these missionaries there. They've grown to become like my brothers here in this area. 

This weekend, Sister Delight got baptized! She was all smiles that day...don't mind me because I look like a mess since I came straight from the fields, but she was so happy that day. She has such a sweet and beautiful soul it's amazing. Meeting people like her make mission so joyous! The Lord has prepared so many people here in Mabvuku and I get to be a part of their conversion and experience! The love I have for this people is unreal, and it's weird but I have love already for the people the Lord will eventually place in my path. I have love for my future investigators. 

So like I said, all is well...you guys don't have to worry about me. Every missionary faces their own difficulties, but I know why I came here on mission. I've made sure to have a strong testimony and I work to maintain my faith because we need faith in order to face the unknown. While knowledge pertains to things of the past, faith pertains to things of the future and as long as I trust in the Lord, he will be able to guide me. Faith brings miracles! So I am fine. Teaching the families I've been teaching is such a blessing because I'm reminded every day of the fact that you guys had been in their position before. And look at where I am now....I'm serving a mission! I'm truly grateful every day that you two were humble enough to take lessons from the missionaries so that I could be a part of this gospel. As the scripture in Deuteronomy 31:6 says, "Be strong, and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." All I need to overcome any trials is the Lord, and I already have him on my side and so, all is well!

I miss and love you guys!

Sister Park

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Week 16: "Life is hard here, but I don't think I've experienced so much peace in my life."