Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 19: Bhabhatidzwa!

Hello Family and Friends!

A very windy and hot week in Mabvuku! Everything here is good and happy because we didn't have to stay inside the house once this week for any riots! Hallelujah! And to top it all off, we had two baptisms! We have a couple more next week, too, so things here are lookin good.

Lewis and Tafadzwa were baptized on Saturday, and both showed up ON TIME to 8:00 church to be confirmed on Sunday! Miracles! Miracles everywhere! They both bore powerful testimonies about the Book of Mormon and the prophet Joseph. Honestly there is no greater joy than seeing these people gain a testimony for themselves. We're working with Tafadzwa's parents to legalize their marriage, and then they'll be baptized shortly after. It's sad because things here in Mabvuku are really tough, but that humbles the people to want to hear about the gospel. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

This week I ate these funny funny things that I don't remember the name of. My Zone Leader ordered them and wouldn't tell me what they were before I ate one. Turns out I ate the part of the chicken that, and I quote, "you probably should just throw away, but is edible when you fry it". It actually wasn't that bad. Just a funny funny texture. Pretty much you can eat anything here if it has enough onions on it (dad you wouldn't survive). But I'm alive and that's all that really matters.

This week I was studying in 3 Nephi, when Christ dies and a thick darkness overcomes the entire world. We learn that the people use their driest wood to make fires and do everything in the power to have light, but nothing worked at all. I thought about in our lives if we distance ourselves from Jesus Christ, that darkness will come. The darkness came because Jesus Christ literally was taken off the earth. We could try to turn to other solutions to find light, even our driest wood, but we will never have light unless we draw near unto Jesus Christ.

Missionary work is good! Transfers are coming up this week, but I don't think I'm leaving. Possibly a new companion, but I'm definitely staying here in Mabvuku. Everyone have a great week, and throw away the necessary parts of chicken that you probably shouldn't eat. Love you all!

Love, Sister Richards 

Stirfry and coconut rice! it's becoming my staple food around here


Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 18: "But They That Are Sick"

Helllloooo Zimbabwe!

Or America, or wherever any of you are reading this. This week we did about nothing, so I apologize that this email will be super, super boring. 

Tuesday we had Zone Meeting, and I was asked to share my testimony at the end. I have yet to attend one Zone Meeting or Conference that I have not born my testimony or spoken at. Just waiting for these peeps to get tired of me. That day my companion was sick, so we just came home so she could rest. Wednesday the political riot things went on again, so we weren't allowed to leave the house. Thursday we had to go to Highlands for interviews with President Mkhabela (who is my favorite person in Zimbabwe), so that was another blank day. But Friday and Saturday we were in the field, and it felt soooo stinkin good! Sunday I spoke in Church about Missionary Work, and so we're hoping for a lot of referrals to come in this week! 75% of our missions baptisms come from member referrals, crazy huh?

We have two baptisms coming up this next week, which are the first two baptisms in Mabvuku where I have been there for all the lessons, so I'm super happy! Praying that they go through, because these kids are really prepared. People in Zimbabwe are just impossible to track down like 98% of the time, so baptismal interviews are always an adventure haha. But I have faith! 

I had a really nice experience during personal study this week, so I thought I would share my thoughts. I was studying in Matthew 9, when the Savior says, "They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick". I was thinking how each and every one of us is sick. We are heavy laden with burdens and trials, which make us sick. But how incredibly grateful I am to be sick, because without my sickness, I wouldn't need a physician. I'm grateful for the burdens I have, because without them, I would not know my Savior. I'm grateful to be able to help the people here in Zimbabwe find their physician and Savior. 

Well I hope you all had a more exciting week than I had, but I'm anxious to see what this week holds. God is good, mission is good, everything is good!

Love, Sister Richards 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 17: "And Then You Passed By"

No, that is not the name of the newest chick-flick in Zimbabwe, but the title of the most AMAZING experience I had this week! This week was such a great week, so I'll try to remember everything that happened. 

First off, we had 14 investigators at church! That sets the record for my mission so far, although that is split between the two wards we serve in. Still though, super exciting!

A man in Mabvuku 1st passed away this week, and it was very unexpected and tragic. Sister Ngwenya and I are pretty close with his two daughters that are both in young womens. We went to the funeral home to see the coffin carried out and it was the coolest thing! All of the ladies from the ward and the neighborhood were gathered around the body just singing in shona so loudly and clapping and dancing! They do that so the family will forget that they're sad and just celebrate the life that the person lived. I wish I had my camera that day, but they were all in their african wraps and wow it was just such a cool experience!

There was some political riot thing this week, so there was a day that none of the missionaries in the mission were allowed to go outside. So we had one day just stuck inside the house. Let me tell you, you can get through A LOT of conference talks in one day. Fortunately, that day we had power! We went four days this week without power AND water which makes life really difficult, but it came back on last night and I almost shed some tears of joy. 

Okay now for my story. So on Thursdays we go to Chizhanje (chee-janj-ay), which is about an hour and a half walk from where we stay. So our first couple appointments near home were all fall-throughs, so we started to head to Chizhanje early. I brought my camera that day, and so there was this funny funny street that my companion wanted to go down to get a picture. So we're like okay we have time so spare so we went. So as we're walking down this street, there's this lone house in the middle of nowhere, and a couple guys out front. They start yelling at us in shona, so we just wave and keep walking, then we decide to turn back and contact them. Well we ended up talking to them for almost two hours, and we able to answer a lot of their questions, and teach them the whole restoration! There was such a special spirit there, and I know the spirit led us to that home, even if it did just feel like a coincidence! The best part was, at the end, one of them said to me, "You helped me keep believing. I was about to give up, and then you passed by". Wow, my heart. They came to church on Sunday, and so we'll see them a couple more times this week! 

Congratulations to Bethany on the engagement! Welcome to the best family on earth, Dallen. Hope you all have an amazing week, and don't forget to be grateful for power and running water!

Love, Sister Richards

also didn't see the rat once this week so I'm hoping it's dead 

#1. finally did my photo wall this week!

#2. we had quail last week at our braii! super yummy 

#3. my very dirty, dusty, and windy mabvuku

#4. Area

#5. Area

#6. The ward had a Mormon Helping Hands activity this week that we stopped by for on our way to Chizhanje

#7. I learned how to wash by hand this week. My hands are RAW. It was so stinkin cold outside and the water was cold! Overall a really good experience, though.

#8. The bright and shiny result of my washing. Don't worry, the holes were there before.

#9. Gogo gave us the wraps to wear while we cleaned. We felt so african. 

Monday, July 4, 2016


Family and Friends!

The weeks here in Mabvuku are flying! I can't believe we started week three today? So crazy! We had 11 investigators at church yesterday, and had a baptism on Saturday! Things here are going so well and I'm super super happy.

Other than my favorite pen dying, here's the most traumatic thing that happened to me this week.
*me peacefully eating dinner in the kitchen*
me: (whisper shouting at sister walbeck in the other room) sister walbeck, I think I'm staring at a rat
sister walbeck: you think?
me: it hasn't moved in a really long time
sister walbeck: well don't just stare at it, move!
me: (waits for about a minute) IT MOVED!
And then I proceeded to run around the house screaming. So pretty much I try to keep my eyes shut while I'm in the kitchen. Which is actually really hard to do while you're trying to cook. But I successfully went 48 hours without seeing the rat, but then saw it again yesterday, and the screaming commenced. The ZL's are bringing rat poison today. Hallelujah. Amen.

Anyways, on a happier note, we contacted over 200 people this week! We walked and walked and walked and found so many people. I'm super excited for this next week so we can go into these individuals homes and teach them! So great. 

Wellington, who I taught in Chi Town, blessed and passed the sacrament this week! I seriously almost cried when my old companion told me! Baptism is not the end result of teaching these people. Baptism is just the start of the many blessing that will come for the rest of their lives!

I also made it through my talk in Zone Conference on Wednesday, and it went super well! A couple people have asked for copies of it, so my hand is almost dead because I have to hand write it all over again haha. The Lord has truly promised us so many blessings if we go through tribulations with a cheerful heart. In D&C is teaches us if we endure our adversity well, someday "we will be crowned with much glory". 

I love missionary work, I love the gospel, and I love America!!! Someone drink a diet coke under the fireworks for me (miranda graves this is for you) 

Love, Sister Richards 

My companion hit 9 months this week so we had a feast! Her hat sums up her personality perfectly haha!

Americanized my planner. Happy Birthday, America!!!

I saw Sister Erickson when she came to pick up her new companion and it was probably the happiest moment of my life! We screamed and then gave eachother a big hug and everyone in the office started clapping. It was so funny!!