Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Week 39: "Although we walk as much as we possibly can, the car always manages to get stuck!"

 We walk a lot here, but look how beautiful our area is!

The rains are back! and yes, the car got stuck in the mud again...haha at this point, I just laugh every time it happens. Although we walk as much as we possibly can, the car always manages to get stuck! Poor Sacajawea! Where we were driving, the top layer of dirt had dried, but as I drove, the ground broke and there was SO MUCH MUD! We had to walk for some time back to the main road and wave down a combi to come pull us out because the entire axle was in the mud. I laugh because the face of our investigator was priceless when she opened the door to two sister missionaries covered in mud! I had mud up to my knees because I had tried placing rocks under the tire, but our investigator happily agreed with us to have the lesson outside of the house under the stars. But it's okay haha...mud is good for your skin right?

This week the youth went to a youth conference and the branch even  allowed some of our current investigators to attend. It seemed as if they had a great time! We were supposed to baptize this weekend, but due to the conference, we've pushed the baptism back. 

the last time they tried to introduce their own currency...this is equivalent to about 2 US dollars!

To be honest, other than the fact that we got to teach about the Atonement and about Christ every day all week, it didn't really feel like Easter. In Zimbabwe, the holiday started on Thursday and is ending on Tuesday because Tuesday is Zimbabwe's Independence Day! I also don't think people understand much about the Easter bunny here. Other than going to church on Sunday for Easter, it didn't seem like much of a holiday. But, one thing I've learned to accept, well two things, is one: I've learned to always say yes when I'm asked to chorister, even though I absolutely dislike it...and two, I' ve also learned to be ready to give talks at church! One of the speakers didn't show up, and so they asked me to give a talk which wasn't the first time it happened, but I think I actually don't mind it these days.

This week my companion and I went to a funeral for Edward's younger brother who was 18. There was an accident and he died instantly. Although we didn't know anyone else in his family, we went to go mourn with them. This isn't my first funeral, but funerals are definitely different here than they are back home.

Making chapati for Taco Thursday!

Taco Night is one of our favorites!

Vanswell-He was so prepared and he has such a good heart! He's been so accepting of the gospel and I've enjoyed teaching him. This past week, he shared his experience about how he felt the Holy Ghost and it was touching. He described it to be a heavenly feeling, a feeling that he had never really before. He also expressed about how he feels like although it's only been two weeks since we've started teaching him, he's been able to see the change in his life. He said that he's really been able to feel God's love in his life and he never wants to lose that feeling.

I finally got my hair cut with Sister Thomas! haha just kidding, we decided to try on some wigs we found..but it's confirmed. I will never get front bangs.

All is well my side! Also Dad, I forgot to mention last week about how Elder Cook's talk reminded me of you! Although I don't think we reached 10,000 hours of practice, it made me think about the countless hours we spent in the mornings before school, during the summer, etc., practicing together at the field and in the backyard. I was definitely stubborn and unmotivated sometimes, but we made a good team together don't you think?

I love you guys! I pray for you every day.

Sister Park

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Week 38: "I'm doing well! I'm enjoying every second of my time here, and I suppose that's why I feel like it's going by so fast!"

 our last district photo!

Things are crazy today because it's transfer day, but I'll try to give you a quick update of my week!

Sister Namugenyi is the sweetest and makes the best chapati..came in together from the MTC! She is quite the joker!

Exchanges this week were so awesome! I got the opportunity to work with Sister Bondo and it was amazing teaching with her. Plus, we kept on running into members/my recent converts and it was so good to see them again! President Gramu was the bishop when I was there, but got called as 2nd counselor of the new stake presidency and so now Bishop Akile took his place! Sister Bondo served in Mabvuku earlier in her mission and came back to her area and Bishop Akile wants the same thing to happen with me. Haha or as he would put it, "Ah, the prodigal daughters of Mabvuku have returned together! This is your home. Any other area you go to, you will need to repent and come back to Mabvuku..."

Mai Edgar and her family! Kayden is getting so big!

This week we were able to watch Conference and it was such a good time! All the messages were so inspired! It was so good to see the recent converts and members who came to watch for the first time because they all enjoyed! Vincent and Takudzwa even WALKED all the way from their home to the stake center to watch and it wasn't until afterwards that I found out. From their house, it would take me about 30 minutes to drive to the stake center! But they told me that they enjoyed it very much and it was worth the walk!

working in Mabvuku with Sister Bondo and I got to see Steven and Obert!

Tatenda and Brandon
There were TOO many inspiring talks that I honestly can't tell you which ones I loved best! Of course, I will always love the talks from President Monson, Bednar, Uchtdorf, and Holland since they are my favorite speakers for different reasons, but every talk was enlightening. There were lots of messages that I could relate towards missionary work, and a lot of speakers spoke about experiences they had as mission presidents. With some of the speakers, I just stopped writing down notes and just listened because they spoke about topics I needed to hear! I think the only difficult part was maybe listening to the American speakers because their accent sounds funny funny to me and it takes me a couple seconds to understand what they're saying, especially when they don't annunciate! There's a joke that if you get sent to Zimbabwe for your mission, you will go back home having learned "proper" English haha

Sister Namugenyi and Sister Mzunga
Transfer news is here...my companion and the household, in fact, are staying the same. I suppose it's kind of nice because Sister Thomas and Sister Namugenyi are like Sister Mzunga's "aunts" because they teach her things as well. The only changes in our district will be coming from the elders. We will be getting a new district leader and one of the areas in our district will actually be closing so we'll only have a district of 6 now.

Sorry to keep it short, but know that I'm doing well! I'm enjoying every second of my time here, and I suppose that's why I feel like it's going by so fast! I love you guys...I was reading this morning the letter that Dad had written when I left to come here and I couldn't help think about how lucky I am to have you guys as my parents. Pray for daily opportunities to serve others. Count your blessings. Hear from you next week!

Sister Park

Monday, April 3, 2017

Week 37: "I've come to realize that there is no use in teaching and baptizing converts if the foundation isn't there."

This week, my companion and I have been focusing on the less actives we have in our branch. I've come to realize that there is no use in teaching and baptizing converts if the foundation isn't there. The branch is great, but there's always room for improvement! This week was such a blessing because when Sunday came around, we were able to have about seven of the less actives show up for church and four of them even bore their testimonies during the meeting. "It's been five years since I've been to church, and I felt so much peace and joy in my heart and that I couldn't help but stand up to share with you how I feel." One of them we've been visiting for awhile now and this past lesson we had with him, he said how this was the first time he really understood and appreciated the Book of Mormon. We've been assigning him chapters to study, to which he's been truly benefiting from! He bore his testimony on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon this past Sunday! "...for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return...and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them." (3 Nephi 18:32)

Personal Accomplishment of the Week: I haven't bitten my nails for two weeks! (I've been staring at this sentence for a couple minutes now and I honestly don't know if it's grammatically correct...my English is gone.)

Patrick: Patrick is an investigator that has been coming pretty consistently to church for about 2 months now. He's 29 and he's married to his wife, Mercy, who is 24....they have a recently newborn baby named Samantha and she's is the cutest! Although he wasn't considered a progressing investigator because of marriage problems, we still went to go teach him anyways. However, after talking to his wife and also his in-laws, I think his marriage will be on its way soon soon! I feel like just in general, if I stay in this area long enough, there will be a couple of weddings going on!
Mai Tashinga: She has been coming to church with her son and daughter and she was finally able to receive a confirmation about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon! She's more eager than ever to learn and she told me that she's finally been able to grasp the idea of how much our Savior loves her. However, she might be moving away to a different area because she's been offered a job, and there aren't any missionaries that side. But, if she ends up moving, I've directed her to the church building and she'll still be able to be baptized. Although I hope that I'm around when she's baptized, I know that everything will work out according to the will of the Lord.

I'm excited to watch General Conference this weekend! This coming week is going to fly by since my companion and I have 2 meetings to attend, general conference, and I get to go back to Mabvuku to work with the sisters which will be so exciting!

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9)

I hope that all is well back home and I'm grateful for the updates! 

Sister Park