Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Week 36: "He searched and searched and the teachings found in the Book of Mormon satisfied what his soul was craving for."

Can you believe March has already come and gone? 

I liked this lion the best because it has a scar on his face just like me!

more lions

a household picture in the park..don't worry, there weren't any lions in this part of the park

This ostrich was just sitting in the middle of the road and wouldn't move!
 my new pet lion
Last Monday, we got to go to our activity: the Lion and Cheetah Park! False advertisement. No cheetahs which was such a bummer. But it's okay, it was still fun! To see the lions, we had to stay in the car and just drive around in a gated area looking for the lions within the park. I had to focus more on driving, but everyone in the car had their faces glued to the windows looking for the lions and taking selfies and things like that...it was kind of amusing to watch them. Also, in a different part of the park, there were a whole lot of other animals: baboons, zebras, giraffes, ostriches, monkeys, etc. All in all, the activity was a success!


Bonwell: We met him while walking on the street to an appointment but he invited us to come over to his place. So, we followed up and went to see him this past week and haha, he's a funny one. He was drunk when we arrived, but insisted that we stay to talk with him. We stayed and chatted and asked why he wasn't going to church and things like that. He told us that all he wanted was salvation and that he needed a way to get that. He kept on repeating this over and over and over again to which I asked why it was important to him. His response made me laugh haha "I need salvation because I want to be saved. I don't know when I'm going to die! I can die yesterday, today, tomorrow...but yesterday I failed." I always end up laughing at what drunk people have to say when I contact them...
Venencia: She is the cousin to a less active that we have in the church. We went to go visit the less active but ended up talking to Venencia as well about going to church. Since both of her parents have died, she hasn't been really dedicated to going to church and so now we've started teaching her. We taught her the Plan of Salvation with the help of Gwande, and she was smiling every time she understood something. I'm looking forward to teaching her because she is such a sweet girl!

Baptism! Sister Nyasha, Mai Nicole, and the Shirichena brothers- Vincent, Takudzwa and Emil.

I taught them how to "drop it".

This week we were able to baptize 5 people: Sister Nyasha, Mai Nicole, and the Shirichena brothers- Vincent, Takudzwa and Emil. They were all so excited and of course, I taught them how to "drop it." They bore powerful testimonies, but I particularly loved Mai Nicole's and Vincent's testimony. Mai Nicole talked about how she was able to find so much peace in knowing that she would be able to see her husband again and how the gospel has been able to give her the strength that she needed when life took a turn for the worse. Vincent bore his testimony on how amazing the Book of Mormon was for him because he literally couldn't put it down once he started reading it. He talked about how he had never wanted to be baptized before because he was looking for truth. He searched and searched and the teachings found in the Book of Mormon satisfied what his soul was craving for.

"A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the Spirit is broken." Proverbs 15:13

I love you all and can't wait to hear from you next week!

Sister Park

we found a chinese restaurant! we wasn't the best, but still! ASIAN FOOD FOR THE WIN!

my companion and I...I tried to teach her how to use chopsticks haha

Monday, March 20, 2017

Week 35: "I love mission too much." "There are so many people that I have met and learned to love them."

Onward, Christian Soldier: The Marimba and Bindura Zone at Zone Conference

Our Marimba Zone

Sister Mzunga and I are enjoying are days in the area! We're always amazed at how fast the day goes by because we're usually always in lessons teaching! I'm teaching her to eat more and to eat faster and I can say she is definitely progressing! I'm very proud of her haha...also I've been teaching Sister Namugenyi and Sister Mzunga how to hula-hoop because they've never learned. It was definitely very amusing!

Teaching my companion how to hula hoop haha

Sunday dinner--fish, potatoes (one, two, three, ..., Seven?), cabbage, cucumbers, and pineapples!

How to be a Bad Trainer 101: Don't give your companion Stoney. Stoney, or ginger beer, is a soft drink they have here that I've learned to love! In fact, it's the only soft drink that I'll get when we get food because especially when I'm feeling sick, this helps settle my stomach/calm down my allergies/etc. I had my companion try it because most people who know me know that I love Stoney, and yes, Sister Mzunga is officially my daughter. We were in the area yesterday and right as we got into the car, she started complaining that she didn't have a Stoney! haha I think she's more addicted to it than I am...so yea, don't give your companions Stoney!

Complaint of the week: I need to cut my hair. 

Tashinga--He is 14 years old and we met him on the streets. He's come to church for the past couple of weeks and as we've gone to teach him, we've also started teaching his mother and sister! It took us probably over a total of 20 hours to find his house since we tried to find his home for about three weeks, but it has been a blessing! His sister has come to church twice now and his mother came for the first time this past week! It's really amazing when kids so young can be such a good influence for the rest of the family, especially since the mother and sister weren't going to church.

This coming week we are planning on having a number of baptisms which will be very exciting! The branch members do a great job of fellowshipping the new investigators which is such a huge help towards missionary work! We've consistently been having around 15 investigators come to church every week which is a huge blessing from the Lord. But yes, the pictures will come(:

Today, it's raining, but we've decided to have another activity today and so I'll send you pictures next week if we end up following through!

These kids are always taking our name tags! They want to be missionaries!

I love mission too much. Although I'm not even halfway done with my mission yet, I think, wait, yea, I've already learned so much. I know that there are things waiting for me back home, but then I think that eighteen months just isn't enough. There are so many people that I have met and learned to love her. There will be so many experiences that I will be able to treasure and take home with me. Mission is going by too fast and it just seems to go by faster every single week. I love working in my area because it brings me so much joy. Even within these past couple of months, I've had to be patient with situations and I've become even more humbled with my missionary work. The church is the Atonement delivery system, and I get to help send on that message. I can't even comprehend how much God actually loves me and wants what's best for me, even if it that comes in the form of trials. "And every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit" (John 15:2) Just when we think we should be satisfied with where we are, the Lord expects more growth from us and sets a higher standard for us to reach..and he does that because he knows we're capable of doing that. He loves us. He trusts us. He supports us. He believes in us. I've learned so much, I know that I'll continue to learn. "...And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed...inasmuch they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time" (D&C 1:26, 28)

I love you guys so much!

Sister Park

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Week 34: "He was all smiles before, during and after his baptism and even during his confirmation."

brother Nyasha at his baptism!

Elder Whiting got to baptize Brother Nyasha
This week flew by...and I LITERALLY say that every week, but it blows my mind that we're already in March! I feel like the new year JUST started! Also, my English is terrible. Absolutely terrible. There's a good chance I met fail college when I go back because my English is shakara. Broken English for the win!

Sister namugenyi and I made chapati to use for "tacos"

we decided to have a  "Taco Thursday" night...huge success haha

the chapati

the sky looked so nice, especially since it had been raining most of the day
we were slipping and sliding because of the mud!

mud caked on the bottom of my plastics...a typical day in the area!

It was actually COLD this week. I think I've adjusted to the heat here in Zim. On Friday and Saturday, it was unusually cold and extremely windy! I had to wear a long sleeve with another jacket and then my rain jacket on top! I would've worn my leggings, but we were walking through mud that day, so oh well. But I actually enjoyed it because it was a nice change from the heat. But it was short lived because now it's hot again...

Mai Nicole-- She has come to church for three weeks now and she has such a beautiful light about her. We actually first started teaching her friend and Mai Nicole happened to just join in on the lesson. She later invited us to come to her place and teach her and the rest is history! She's a single mother of one because her husband passed away from kidney failure last year. When she told us, you could tell that she was still struggling and accepting it and she needs to be strong for her daughter. She has also started going back to school so that she can support her family, especially since her mother and grandmother also live at the house with her. But she loves the Book of Mormon and is always so excited to share with us what she has read about!
Brother Hingi--He belongs to a part member family and he was the only one who wasn't coming to church. We went to go teach him and he's been starting to come consistently. He has even accepted a baptismal date now and has even agreed to be legally married and so we'll hopefully have a marriage coming up within the next month or two! But it was such a beautiful sight sitting behind Brother Hingi and the the rest of his family in church. You could tell that the children and the wife, especially, were happy that he had come to accept the gospel. FAMILIES ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Before we set up the chairs, but this is where we meet for sacrament meeting/Sunday school/relief society

This past weekend we were able to baptize Brother Nyasha! He has been coming to church consistently for the past 7 weeks! We weren't able to teach him and baptize him sooner because it took us almost three weeks just to find his home...and just as we were about to give up, we stumbled upon his house! Although he's 27, he was smiling like a little kid both for his interview and for his baptism! He was all smiles before, during and after his baptism and even during his confirmation. And this is the first baptism my companion was a part of! She was also super excited.

I'm glad to hear that things are well back home! I love you guys so much!

Sister Park
Sister Beckstead and I at Zone Conference

 Sister Jili now has a great-granddaughter!

Reunion with Sister Lewis

Monday, March 6, 2017

Week 33: "Sister Mzunga is from Malawi and the missionary who baptized her actually attends the Tafara ward! She's super cute and sweet."

 my daughter! 

In terms of missionary work, I wasn't able to go to my area for much this week. My companion didn't fly in from the Ghana MTC until Thursday and so I had to stay with Sister Stegelmeier and Sister Ziqubu in Mabvuku since they're also training. BUT, it was so nice to go work in Mabvuku again! Sister Stegelmeier is whitewashing and so it was actually good that I got to show her how the house numbers and things like that worked. Also, I got to see my investigators who got baptized by the other sisters! Brother Davison, Brother Foyo, Chipo, Clayton, Gift, Anderson all got baptized while I was gone, but it was so good to see them! I also got to see my RCs and hear that they are continuing to help the missionaries do missionary work which is awesome!

we bought her a cake to welcome her on mission!

our new household picture: Sister Namugenyi and Sister Thomas stayed as companions

Most of this week was dedicated toward meetings for the trainees and things like that, but like I said, Sister Mzunga is from Malawi. She's 27 years old and the missionary who baptized her actually attends the Tafara ward! She's super cute and sweet..she told me she wants to gain weight on mission and so that it something I can DEFINITELY help her with...I think most of the missionaries here on mission associate my name with food. Funny story: at the training dinner, Sister Mkhabela cooked for all of us and so after serving all of the elders, the sisters served ourselves. i walked into the dining room and i could tell that the elders were just looking at the amount of food i had on my plate. but, they were more shocked when i was able to finish all the food on my plate. one of the elders has been teasing me about it since but he was also one of my previous zone leaders and so he knows that i love food. "Ah, can you drive after eating all that food?" "How are you walking?!" "Are you still going to be hungry tomorrow?" etc. I don't think they realize that when you are raised in a house with only brothers and in a house where we love meat, you learn to eat fast and eat a lot. I think Sister Mkhabela also gained some respect for me because I ate so much lol

Brother Vincent--He's around 20 and he lives with his father and three brothers. He has been coming to church and it took us awhile to find his house, but we were finally able to meet with him two Saturdays ago with Sister Lewis. As we got to know him, we felt impressed to give him a Book of Mormon even though we had never explained it. We told him to read through it and that we would discuss it the next time we came. We saw him this past Saturday with Sister Mzunga to teach about Restoration. Guess how much of the Book of Mormon he read?! He read all the testimonies, the Book of Mormon itself, AND the index! He literally read the book from cover to cover! He explained in perfect detail about how the Book of Mormon came about...it was insane, and also an awesome teaching appointment since this was one of the first lessons Sister Mzunga was able to be a part of! He told us his favorite chapter was  the book of Ether because it amazed him how much faith the brother of Jared had since he was able to see God. He said that the brother of Jared was his favorite person he read about and he hopes that he will be able to strive to have a faith like his. He's also invited his brothers to come join us at church and so they've been coming as well! He lives in VERY humbling circumstances. His home maybe about the size of a decent sized bathroom and everyone in his family stays in that one room. But it's amazing how brilliant he is!

I hope all is well back home! Yes, it's still raining this side and yes, the car is still getting stuck in mud. But I think the rains should be ending soon because people will be harvesting soon. Can't wait to hear from you guys next week!

Sister Park