Monday, February 27, 2017

Week 32: "We had a good time and were happy that we finally did something as a household before Sister Lewis left."

A lot has gone on this week! I don't even know where to begin! And there's a lot going on in the office today so I'm sorry if I keep the emailing short short.

 Beautiful Sunset at Lake Chivero

On Monday, I decided that it was about time that the sisters do an activity so I drove and took the house to Lake Chivero in our area. We went to go see the sunset on the lake and it was beautiful! As you can see from the pictures, we had a good time and were happy that we finally did something as a household before Sister Lewis left. I hope you enjoy the pictures since we took so many....maybe too many....

Sister Namugenyi!

Chipmunk from America

Yes, we're still the cutest companionship

 Sister Thomas!

We finally were able to baptize this week: Edward, Prince and Henry! I was super excited to see them being baptized! 

Brother Henry at his baptism

Brother Prince (left) and Edward (right)

 Our investigators Ashleigh and Trevor--we were bickering about something but they're awesome!

Henry we had actually met our first day in the area: his English wasn't the best and so we took his teachings at a slower pace so that he would understand and he's been faithful in coming to church every week! Edward and Prince we also met our first week in the area, but they smoked and drank all the time and they finally were able to quit! I don't know why, but especially when I was teaching Edward, I always thought about Dad. Edward is an ex-soldier and he served for about 8 years as a sniper (how cool is that?!) He even received awards and medals for his shooting because he was so good! But, he had picked up drugs, smoking and drinking from military training and so he really struggled with quitting smoking in particular. I remember Dad talking about how hard it was for him to quit smoking, but we kept on encouraging him. The withdrawal was difficult: he said he couldn't sleep for a couple of nights, but he eventually got over it and now he says that he doesn't have the desire to smoke anymore! Edward and Prince also have been coming diligently to church every week!

last time at church together!

Sister Chaiva and Morleen Matambo

Our last District photo!

we told her to pose like a princess--Bruchelle Samaconva!

This is where we meet for church!
The end of the transfer has come! Sister Lewis will be leaving me to go to Bindura...I'm super bummed because we only got to serve in our area for six weeks. On the other hand, there are three new sisters finally coming into the mission and I will be training on of them, Sister Mzunga! The other two sisters who are training have trained before, but I'm super excited to finally have a daughter!(: Sister Mzunga is from Malawi! Because of visa issues, the sisters coming in have been having to serve in other areas, but they finally get to come in and I'm honored that I was asked to train one of them! She will be lucky because she will be born into a very productive and fruitful area and hopefully, I'll actually be a good trainer....

Otherwise, I'm doing well! Zim is good, life is good, mission is good! I pray that all is well back home! I'll write more next week, but hopefully the photos will make up for it(:

Sister Park

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Week 31: " I was given the Shona name Ruvarashe which means "flower from God!"

 New Skittles Commercial: Taste the Rainbow!
I'm glad to hear that all is well at home! Things are great my side! In my area, there's puddles everywhere but it's cool because in almost every puddle there's a whole bunch of tadpoles! Plus, there are cute little frogs jumping around all the time! Also, I was pretty pumped because the members gave my companion and I Shona names: Sister Lewis' name is Chikomborero which means "blessing" and I was given the name Ruvarashe which means "flower from God!" I love love love my name! It's cool because most of the people here, their names translate into something awesome like "mercy" "patient" "hope" "god given" etc. Also, I tried schwarma this week and I'm in love. 

My companion and I at Tanzanian Club!

Lazarus-- We were teaching the Word of Wisdom with him and talking about how keeping this commandment will allow our bodies to be healthy. We talked about how our body's are a gift from God and that's amazing how our bodies can even function! Truly this is one of the greatest creations of God! Well, we were talking about smoking and we asked why smoking was bad for us. I thought that he would say something along the lines of "It ruins your lungs" or "You spend too much money buying cigarettes..." but no. He responded with "Because you're burning God's body...." I don't know why but my companion and I started laughing with him but it's so true! 
Patrick--We've been going to teach him and his wife and they live in an area called Snake Park...we were walking with him to his house and as we walked up, there were a bunch of people all screaming at the chibage and pointing. For some reason, I didn't think much of it and we just followed Patrick to an area outside of his house. But the screaming continued so my companion and I got up to see what all the ruckus was about and THERE WAS A HUGE COBRA IN THE CORN!! I didn't realize that the area was called Snake Park because literally, there are snakes everywhere!! The snake we found in our house last week was like a worm compared to this one. Apparently, snakes are a common thing and they always come to eat their chickens! But anyways, we read the Book of Mormon with him and he's already in Mosiah! We want them to be baptized, but he hasn't started paying any of the lobola because he doesn't have any money and I don't think the in-laws want them legally married until the lobola is paid. So for now, we'll keep on seeing them to discuss about the gospel until they can get the money to be married!
Somehow my companion fell asleep like was a tiring, but fulfilling week for sure!

Lately I've been studying in the New Testament and I came across 1 Corinthians 4 and it's an amazing chapter! I love what it says in the heading: Apostles suffer, minister AND keep the faith..." Paul was such an exemplary missionary! I love what it says in verse 9: "For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last...for we are made a spectacle unto the world..." The apostles are placed last because we're asked to be servants of the Lord. We know that as we humble ourselves, and think not about our needs and serve others, the Lord will bless us. Verse 10: "We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised." Paul was persecuted so many times and yet, he still KEPT THE FAITH. At this point, it's a given that we're all going to have difficult times, trials, etc. But what's important is that despite everything else, we need to still KEEP THE FAITH!  I hope that as I continue on mission, I'll be fully dependent on the Lord in asking Him to put me where He wants me to be, to tell me what He wants me to do, and to feel that I'll be capable to do it.

Side Note: I received a call these week from a lady who said that they had located my bag that had been stolen in December! I went to go pick it up today and although pretty much everything was gone, they were nice enough to leave my journal, my international driver's license, and my temple recommend...I'm not quite sure what they needed my driver's license was for, but it's okay, at least they left me a few of my things! I know you sent the new international driver's license but at least with the new one, if needed by President, I'll be able to drive my entire mission since the first one expires after a year. But it's a miracle that the bag itself was found! It was such a surprise! I also hope that they make good use of the scriptures!

I hope you guys have a good week!

Sister Park

Could this kid be any cuter? 

When the banks only give you bond notes...
P.S. Shawarma or Shawurma (Arabicشاورما‎‎ / ALA-LCshāwarmāHebrewשַׁוַארְמָה‎ shawa'rmah) is a Levantine meat preparation, where lambchickenturkeybeefvealbuffalo meat, or mixed meats are placed on a spit (commonly a vertical spit in restaurants), and may be grilled for as long as a day.[1][2] Shavings are cut off the block of meat for serving, and the remainder of the block of meat is kept heated on the rotating spit.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Week 30: "Sacrifice isn't really a loss because it's merely preparation for something better!"

The Marimba Zone...yes, our house is the only sisters lol

The sunsets have been on point these days!

I know I said this last week, but honestly, this week seemed to go by faster than the last!

got to see Sister Walbeck on exchanges!

I'm always surprised at how dark I'm getting, but she always has me beat...I love this girl!!

I was able to go on exchanges this week...I was originally supposed to go on exchanges back in Mabvuku, but things got changed last minute and so instead, I went with Sister Walbeck and Sister Hopkins to Chitungwiza. We had a really good time and I literally ate THE BEST sadza that I've eaten so far this mission....we had eaten lunch at a little stand where a gogo was cooking and eish! SHE CAN COOK! Anyways, I had such a good time with Sister Hopkins and was able to learn so much! We were able to find a lot of people for them and teach and I loved teaching with her because we were able to just bounce off of each other's teaching styles. It was legit(:

There was a snake in our house!!

Eating lunch at Nando's after Zone Meeting (I have no idea what we're doing with our arms)

Edward and Prince--We met them our first couple of weeks in the area and although they were drunk at the time, we still went over to go talk to them. We've been teaching them the lessons and they've been coming to church these past couple of weeks. You can see that they are changing! They seemed hesitant at first about coming to church because it was something they hadn't done in quite some time, but they wanted to change. These past couple of weeks, we've been trying to help them quit smoking and drinking...and they're progressing! They've pretty much given up alcohol and with smoking, they've reduced an incredible amount and we're hoping that they'll be able to quit before their baptism date. It's difficult to quit something that you're do addicted to...I can't even break my habit of biting my nails, and yet these two have been so strong these past couple of weeks!
Nyasha--He was someone that we had contacted a couple of weeks ago. We invited him to church and gave him a Restoration pamphlet...and he's been coming to church since! EXCEPT, the problem has been that he lives in Granary. While the entire area has been so muddy and driving is something else, Granary is by far the worst area because almost all cars get stuck if you try to drive. So, we haven't been able to go to this area to see this guy because walking would take hours to get to his home. We tried this past week to walk and go see him, and we couldn't find his house because we didn't know the area all too well. Nevertheless, the amazing thing is is that he's been consistently coming to church every single week!! I pray that this week, we will finally be able to teach him so that he can get baptized because he's already become a regular church goer!
Desmond--We received a call from him this week asking to meet with us. He had told us that he had met with missionaries previously, but because he moved away, wasn't able to finish the lessons. However, he came in contact with a friend whom we had given a pamphlet to (along with our names and numbers) which is how he came to call us! We went to teach him even though he lives far, far, far away , but we found him!(: He told us how he has a desire to go on mission due to the example of the elders that previously taught him, and asked for a Book of Mormon for him to read(: I pray that he will be baptized soon soon!
Henry--He's been consistently coming to church and you can see his faith growing! When we met him, he wasn't comfortable with prayer or participating in classes at church, but now, he'll even volunteer to pray and from his comments, you can tell that he's growing in the gospel. His parents and siblings are impressed with how he has grown spiritually and we hope that he will continue to progress!(:

I think we win the "Cutest Companionship" award
My companion and I were super excited with the work we had done this week. We pretty much had to start from scratch this transfer because there weren't many people to teach, or they just ended up not progressing or keeping their commitments. All the people who are progressing were people we found on our own when we got to the area and the work is definitely paying off!...we were able to have 18 of our investigators attend church this past Sunday which is such an improvement from the number of people who attended our first week in the area! The branch members were shocked at how many people filled the room...since we meet in a classroom, all the seats were actually taken and Sister Lewis and I had to stand outside of the room because there was nowhere to sit during sacrament meeting! I hope that soon soon we'll be able to see the fruits of our labors. All the times we got caught in the rain, walked in mud to our knees, got the car stuck in mud, (and for my companion, all the times she has gotten sunburned), it's all been worth it because we've been doing the Lord's work. As I was telling my companion while she was tending to her burnt neck, I told her "All is well because you got burnt for the Lord!" I look back on what's happened so far this transfer, and honestly, for some reason, those times in the rain, I can't remember all too well. But the times with each of my members, each of their lessons, I treasure those moments. Sacrifice isn't really a loss because it's merely preparation for something better!

I hope all is well back home and know I love you all...Happy Valentine's Day this week!

Sister Park

My housemates are so cute....I didn't get the memo haha

 Sister Thomas and Sister Lewis

I decided to wear my companions glasses but they're so strong!

My household!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Week 29: " I'll explain more about the dinner invitations, but aish, we are STILL being fed...which is amazing! they're so willing to come and feed us it's amazing...."

We got caught in the rain and got SOAKING wet...this nice family let us stay under their roof until the rain became lighter...and of course we left our jackets and umbrella in the car.

Literally what the streets look like every day I drive because of the rain...I've never hated mud so much in my life!

Greetings from the Polynesian!...(yes, people now think I'm Polynesian and not's powerful) I'm adding more and more to the list of places people think I'm from...

This week flew by...but I feel like I say that every week. My companion and I have been busy working all week and at this point, we've just accepted the fact that it's going to rain every day. However, when the sun IS out, it is HOT HOT HOT! 

Sister Talemwa and Sister Namugenyi...all of Sister Lewis' companions together!
Life in the new house is good! the house is HUGE and so it takes forever to clean, but the living circumstances are nice there. the power goes out occasionally, but it usually comes back on after a couple hours which is much better than the mabvuku house. 

Cash is still a problem, but i think it's mainly a problem in harare. since the beginning of the month, we've gone to the ATMs to try to get cash. we stood in a line since 9 AM and couldn't get cash until around 1:30 PM and they were only letting us get 50 dollars. it's bothersome and we have to use a lot of gas trying to find money, but at least we now have food and things like that in the house!

My companion and I at the Mission Tour
We had a mission tour this week where Elder Ellis from the Seventy gave us the training and it was very inspiring. He has such a great energy about him along with a powerful testimony. He helped give us strength in our missionary work and discussed about some ways we could improve the quality of our missions.

More photos of getting soaked in the rain

I don't know if you can see it, but it's a double rainbow! 

My companion and I have been walking a lot more because the mud is just ridiculous. Many of the missionaries have been getting their cars stuck in the mud and so although it takes more time out of our day, we walk because at the end of the day, it saves a lot of time. 

Trishous made dinner for us!(:

Gogo Chakoneka and her niece!
Also, I guess it's healthy for us because the members have been feeding us. Two ladies in the Relief Society, have invited us to eat at their home every week: Gogo Chakoneka and Sister Chaiva. They told us that we should come to their home any time, any day and that they'd be willing to feed us. These sisters have been holding up this tradition since they joined the church was MANY MANY years amazing is that?! I think Gogo feeds us at least twice a week and Sister Chaiva has even asked us to come on both Friday AND Saturday night so that she can feed us dinner. How amazing are these ladies?!

The internet isn't working too well today but I guess most importantly for you guys, ESPECIALLY Mom, is that I'm fine! I'm healthy and things are better than ever on mission! Hopefully the pictures will make up for the little that I wrote today...

I love you guys a lot and I love the updates from back home! Hear from you next week...!

Sister Park

When the elders came to give one of the sisters a blessing...the gate isn't even tall enough to cover Elder Koch! (I have no idea why I think this is so funny....but he's a giant!!)

we took a better photo later but i think this shows how tall Elder Koch really is...!

A kitten that was following us for quite some time...

My companion and the Whitecliff Boys !