Monday, May 29, 2017

Week 43: "They told us they had gotten the combi so that they could pick up any investigators that we had that side who would like to come to church."

The kids have started helping us back the car!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms/moms-to-be around the world! 

Sister Katsande- She is the wife to our released branch mission leader-he's been in South Africa looking for a job. We have been teaching her and decided to teach her the Plan of Salvation because she expressed how she was feeling so much sorrow when her parents passed away. She had been attending a different church, but she told us that although the church was able tot console some of her needs, he still felt that sorrow in her life. The Spirit has been so strong in every single one of her lessons and as we finished the lesson, we allowed the message to sink in. Tears were in her eyes, and you could tell she was deep in thought. As we let her think, she looked up to us and just said two simple words: "Thank you." The gospel can bring so much peace in everyone's life if they allow it to! It can touch those who have been beaten down by life's sorrows and challenges and give them the peace and renewal of purpose they need in their life.

The Mandrezisa's combi!

Look at all those happy walking home!
We've been teaching a lot of investigators in DZ Ext. We now have two families who have been staying that side. We've been trying to have Vanswell's mother come to church, but she would need help with transport because she suffered from a stroke a couple of years back. Her children have been coming to church, but we want the picture to be complete! This past Sunday, the Gakaka family was able to bring her to church and it was so wonderful to see all of them sit together as a family! However, it gets better! The Mandrezisa pulled up to church in a blue combi--usually they drive a small 5-seater and so we were shocked to see them in such a car! They told us they had gotten the combi so that they could pick up any investigators that we had that side who would like to come to church. The joy of the people who had walked to church earlier that morning was amazing! They wouldn't have to walk home! I'm not sure what kind of things the Mandrezisa's had to sacrifice to get a combi, but I know the Lord will bless them accordingly. 

Brother Patrick, John the Baptist (President Mwanawasauka), and Brother Vanswell
Brother Samson arrived late, but was also baptized!
This weekend we were able to baptize Brothers Patrick, Samson, and Vanswell! Brother Patrick is the father of Vincent, Takudzwa, and Emil, whom I baptized a couple of weeks back. He had always sat in on the lessons and concluded that he wanted to be baptized as well. Brother Samson was someone whom we had just met while walking (actually, more like hiking haha) to an appointment. He was a golden investigator. He was so willing to accept our message and understood perfectly the message we had to share. Even after the baptism, he approached me and handed me some money. When I asked why he had done that, he said that it was his tithing money and that he had agreed to start paying his tithing after his baptism. He didn't waste any time to pay! I explained he could pay tomorrow at church, but it was a touching moment to see how committed he was to living the gospel standards. Brother Vanswell, well I've been sending emails about him. He's going to be a powerful priesthood holder and a strength in the branch. Because of him, the rest of his family plans on being baptized in the near future!

When I asked her what my name was, Noku responded with "Sister Murungu (white) Park!"

these crazy kids
It was so good to see and talk to you guys yesterday...and the dogs! I love the dogs! I pray you guys will have a safe trip to Korea...don't have too much fun without me. Haha it reminds me of our last trip together to Korea when people thought we were certain celebrities and were asking for our autographs...I'm sure it will happen again..let me know how it goes! Love you guys!

our beloved district leader and his companion coming to interview..wreckless driving to say the least haha

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Week 42: "It's only been a couple of weeks, but he's almost done with the Book of Mormon! "

Congratulations to my older brother, Haram

I am so proud of him!
Congratulations to Haram for graduating! He looks very happy and excited to finally be done. I know that he will do well wherever he goes because he has the discipline it takes to be successful. I'm so proud of him, especially with all the awards and honors he received. He's definitely the smarter one.

 Look at all that meat!!!

My favorite princess Bruchelle
Last Monday, the Samakomva's invited us over for dinner and yo, Dad, you would have definitely enjoyed. It was a brie and it was soooo good! Pretty much, you cook a whole ton of meat and then.....YOU EAT IT! We had it with sadza and some veggies and it was so great. I was definitely in a food coma the rest of the night. Also, I think I'm going to marry their  two year old son BJ. It's only an 18 year difference...not too bad. We had our first dance that night together. I think it's a done deal.

My companion and I

Gogo made a dress for me and so I finally decided to wear it! How sweet is she?!
Vanswell: It's only been a couple of weeks, but he's almost done with the Book of Mormon! We had assigned him a chapter to read in Alma and as he turned to it, he told us that it was a great chapter. So then, I asked how much of the Book of Mormon he had read and he's about to start 3 Nephi! He said that lately he's been staying out home reading it because he just doesn't want to put it down.
Brother Hingi: He is waiting for his wife to return home so that he can be legally married, and then baptized. However, this past Sunday, he didn't come to church which was quite odd and so my companion and I went to pay him a visit. His legs were swollen and there were sores all over his legs. We followed up later that week and they told him he had some sort of skin disease mixed with a fungal infection. He will be going to Harare Hospital to get treated for it, but hopefully he'll be able to come home soon!

These kids are sooooo amusing to be around haha

Check out that sunset!
I've learned so much in the first 9 months of my mission, I can't even imagine what I'll learn for the rest of it. It's a shame that mission is going by so fast, but I'm enjoying every day of it. I love the work and I love the people I get to teach. I get to learn every day from other missionaries, from the members, and even my investigators. Mission has been humbling, but it's also given me strength. Ah, it will be so hard for me to leave this place. Sorry Mom, I'm going to live in Zimbabwe. But I know this gospel is true. I've both lived it, and have seen it work in the lives of different people with different backgrounds. The gospel unites, strengthens, and touches the hearts of people all over the world. It's quite unique.

I can't wait to skype you guys next week! I am healthy, I am safe, and you'll be able to confirm that next week. Love you guys soo much!

Sister Park

Week 41: "But when I finally thought about my family and their needs, it was so easy to stop drinking. I love them so much."

I'll officially be hitting my 9 months on mission this week! Sister Namugenyi and I will be very excited to send you our 9 month photos next week!(:

This week we had Zone Conference and four of the zones got together. It was such a happy reunion to see all the missionaries! Zone Conference was very enlightening and I definitely learned a lot!

 I love my companion!
.Pizza Night with my companion!
Zoro: Brother Zoro contacted us and of course, he was drunk. I've learned to love the drunk people in my area because they too are children of God! He drinks every day because he doesn't have a job and drinks 4-5 Supers every day..not healthy. He told me that he wanted to change his life because he wanted to start living a righteous life. Of course, he asked if drinking was allowed in our church haha. As my companion talked to his friend, I went on to teach about the Word of Wisdom and the value of families. I asked him how his wife and children felt about him coming home drunk every night. He didn't have anything to say. I told him that if he loved his family, he would value their needs over his needs. He would spend time with them. As we were leaving, I asked him to think about how he showed his family that he loved them, and told him to tell me his answer the next time we saw him. Well, that was two weeks ago. We had our lesson with him this week and guess what? He hasn't had a drop of alcohol since we saw him! His wife came and told us and she couldn't believe what she was seeing. The man we taught that day was completely different from the drunk that we had met before. His answer to my question: "I thought about it, and I wasn't. I wasn't really do anything to show them that I loved them. I looked at things from their perspective and realized how terrible it must be to have a father/husband come home late every night drunk, and not spend time with his family. Once I realized that, dropping alcohol was easy. It was amazing. I've tried to quit before, and I couldn't. But when I finally thought about my family and their needs, it was so easy to stop drinking. I love them so much." I was absolutely touched by the experience because already, we can see how the gospel can change lives! Now that he's stopped drinking, I hope that my companion and I will be able to teach him about the church and that his entire family will be converted to the gospel!

Long night in the area after zone conference!

Brandon, Diana, Mama and Tashinga at their baptism!

This past week, we were able to baptized Sister Maulana and her children, Tashinga and Diana! Brandon was also baptized by his father this past weekend and so it was a happy time for the family. I was joyous to see Mai Tashinga and her children get baptized...they were ALL smiles that day, even if you can't tell from the picture. They love the Book of Mormon and the takes them over an hour to walk to church, but they do it every Sunday because they know the church is true!
I hope that you have a good week fam! Love you's a holiday today so I promise I'll write more next week!
Sister Park 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Week 40: "he had a strange feeling in his heart and he didn't know how to put it into words. He told us that he had never really felt anything like it before, but assured that he would do anything to feel that same feeling again. I think this may have been one of the first times that he was able to recognize the Holy Ghost!"

Two appointments, two bags of peanuts!
 I absolutely love these kids! Tashinga and Diana will be baptized
Mai Tashinga and her family!
Winter is coming and it's starting to get a bit colder! It's still raining (bleh), but it makes all the greenery look so nice! 

This week was a blur, but we were super busy this week! We usually don't have time to stop for lunch, but it's okay because especially this week, the people have been FEEDING US! Sadza, chibage (it is not pronounced like cabbage), peanuts, mah veggies, etc. You name it. We have eaten it this week. My companion always laugh at how much people want to feed us, but we're also touched by how willing they are to share the little that they may have.

This is Goddy...he ran to his father to tell him that he had a murungu chimoko (white girlfriend) and so now the parents call me their makoti haha
Right now, I currently have two mamas who are calling me makoti (daughter-in-law). One of them is joking, but the other one, I'm afraid she is quite serious because whenever we go to teach her son, she always prepares something for us to eat! It was even funny because she asked my companion if she had anyone waiting for her at home, and then she looked at me and didn't even bother to ask me! She just told me how happy she was to have me in her home as her makoti..."My son is quite a beauty, he's dark in complexion and has a great build...etc." He was speechless. My companion and I were laughing as we left the house this week because it was as if my companion wasn't even sitting next to me! haha

 Sister Nomsa

Sister Vision

Trevor: We have been teaching him and his friend for quite some time now and he shared an experience that he had with us this past Sunday. His friend, Ashleigh, told us how Trevor had told him that he was so excited to be baptized. When we asked Trevor if it was true, he agreed! He shared that as he was leaving church on Sunday, he had a strange feeling in his heart and he didn't know how to put it into words. He told us that he had never really felt anything like it before, but assured that he would do anything to feel that same feeling again. I think this may have been one of the first times that he was able to recognize the Holy Ghost!
Edward: Last week, I told you of how Edward's younger brother had passed away and so we decided to sit down with him and talk about it. We reviewed the Plan of Salvation lesson with him, and this time around, you could tell that it had a whole different meaning to him. Before, he had been more interested on the question "Why are we here?" and this time around, we focused more on life after death. When we finished discussing, there was silence and the Spirit was so strong! I could tell he was just soaking it all in and had found the peace he needed, accepting that he would be able to see his brother again.
The Shirichena's: As we were teaching about Adam and Eve, my companion described their innocence while in the Garden of Eden saying "They were like babies..." Takudzwa, sat up so quickly as if he had a lightbulb moment and said, "Ohhhhhh! So that means they were very, very small!" I couldn't stop laughing because it was if something had connected and made sense, but we had to explain that they were just in an innocent state of mind. Also, I don't know how, but these kids know some Korean and their accents are on point!

I love you guys and hope the family is good! As you can see, things my side are the usual, always great!

Sister Park

No it is not just a pile of's Sister Namugenyi! haha she fell asleep on my bed