Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 28: Just Believe!

Hello shamwaris! 

Great week down here in the ZHM. Would you like to know why it was so great? Well I will tell you. We baptized 6 this past week which makes Sister Park and I what? The most baptizing companionship in Harare for the month of September. Mission is so not about the numbers, but they're fun to have sometimes.

Miracles for daysss are happening this side! I love the area, I love my companion, I love our car, I love everything. Never wanna leave this place. Our goal this month was 8, but due to the tender mercies of the Lord, we were able to baptize 10. Now the struggle is going to be to maintain that for next month so it wasn't just a one time thing. Sister Park and I are pumped for October, and have 14 investigators on date, so things are looking zvaka naka. 

I'll start off with the funny stuff. So remember when Sister Park and I played that hysterical joke on the Zone Leaders about my comp not knowing how to speak english? Well they finally got us back this week. We're waiting in the church parking lot with the Zone Leaders about to take them to baptismal interviews, and this cop shows who looks EXACTLY like our ward mission leader. And he's just talking to us about where we're from and then he asks us where our passport are. But I was like officer before we get into serious matters, you look EXACTLY like this guy named Mabundu. Do you know him? And he gets so ticked and is like no I don't him you're wasting my time. So I'm like whoooaa alright and just fall silent. Well we all stand there and get so much fire about not walking with our passports (they're locked up in a safe in the mission office so none of us can run away) and he starts arresting us!! Handcuffs and everything!! But the spirit was telling me it was a joke so Sister P and I were not freaking out. THEN. I see little noku (bro mabundu's daughter) pop up in the back seat of the police officer's car waving at us with the biggest smile on her face. HAH. THEIR PLAN WAS FOILED. So I was like nice try officer but your niece, noku, just ruined everything for you. And everyone errupted and was like "we almost had you so good!" and blah blah blah. Can't fool sister c rich, please. Anyways so it's the first time I got kind of arrested. Overall a nice experience. 

Second funny thing is we taught Bro. David Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity this week. I honestly don't know if I've ever laughed harder in my life. I thought I was about to die! He is the funniest human. He asked us to find him a wife so if he ever has a runny tummy she'll take care of him. He's going to struggle with the coffee and tea thing, but he's so committed and is trying so hard. His front tooth fell out this week and he was very excited to tell us at church on Sunday. He's getting baptized in two weeks and I am so incredibly excited!

We're teaching the greatest couple named Wellington and Nyasha. They work at the shops and we see them every Wednesday morning. They have perfect english which is so refreshing, and they understand the gospel so well. Nyasha has been praying for about two weeks to know of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith. She struggled for awhile because she felt like she wasn't receiving an answer. We went over a couple times how to recognize answers to prayers but nothing seemed to be helping her. Last week, I had the prompting to tell her to just wait on her knees after she prayed for a minute and just listen. God will speak to us if we're listening and if we just get up and go go go after we pray we may miss the response. This week, we followed up on her to see if she had received an answer. She said yes! We asked her to tell us about her experience and this is what she said: "I was on my knees and everything was so quiet. You told me to listen to my heart and my thoughts and that's what I was trying to do. And then two words came into my mind: Just Believe. I knew that God was telling me to just believe. I know that it's true and all I have to do is just believe". It was such a tender experience for me and I was so overwhelmed with this spirit of happiness that God had answered her prayers. 

Overall, great things are happening and I love Zimbabwe. It's stinkin hot but I love it. What I've learned this week is that part of enduring to the end is helping endure as well. At the end of 2 Nephi 31 (a chapter used sooo much on mission) it tells us that we need to have a love of God and of all men. We need to help each other out. Life is hard. Mission is hard. A lot of things are hard. But when we help each other endure, life gets easier. The race gets easier. And you know what? The more that win the race the better.


Love, Sister Richards 

My feelings on weekly planning.

BROTHER DAVID complete with him BOM and Law of Chastity pamphlet. What more could one need?


Baptism! I felt like a proud mom that day.

All of these kids were referrals from Sister Jeri! (blue dress) Tapiwa Jeri baptized them all. It was adorable.

Baptismal dates for dayyyzzz

Freez its! These keep us alive.

How beautiful is my companion though?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 27: Kutsungirira

Family and Friends!

Another great week down in the books of mission. I hit 6 months last week (what) and time is flying! It does feel like I've been gone for a lifetime, but I can't believe I have less than a year left. Crazy. 

This week was super great, though. Nick got baptized which was a complete MIRACLE, I got my hair plaited, then I got sick so I had to go to the doctor, then we had a 3 and a half hour Zone Meeting (I was questioning whether I could confidently sustain my Zone Leaders at the end of that meeting), and then to top it all off, we had FIFTEEN investigators at church. Successful week? I think so. 

Nick was super involved in Roman Catholic before he joined the church, so it was a tough decision for him to make. From the start he had a very powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon, and I think that ultimately was the deal breaker. Once someone knows the Book of Mormon is true, everything else falls into place. Hearing his testimony after his baptism, whoa. I almost cried. It was so incredible. He sounds like he has been a member of the church for years! Now we're starting to work with the rest of his family this week. His brothers are convinced that marriage is horrible or something so that will definitely be an interesting conversation to have. But I'm just so happy Nick finally got baptized. He'll be such an amazing missionary!

Remember I told you about David last week? Well he's the shoe repair man who we visit on the corner and is the funniest person alive. All the ward missions (like 7 of them) come with us every lesson because David is just so stinkin funny. I think it makes him feel special. Anyways we taught him Gospel of Jesus Christ this week, and the last thing in the lesson is enduring to the end, or in shona, Kutsungirira. So I say the word kutsungirira and David freaks out. He like gasps and almost falls over and is like "Seetah Reechahds!! Even I think that's bad!!" So I'm thinking what the heck did I just say. I've taught this in shona like 500 times and no one has ever freaked out before. Well, apparently my "t" was evident enough (thank you, Utah county, for corrupting me) and he thought I said "kusungirira" which means self inflicted death. So yeah. Not exactly the point I was trying to get across. But with the help of our ward missionaries who speak fluent shona, we were able to get that cleared up reaaaaal fast. The guy laughed and laughed and just thought it was the funniest thing. He remembered how to end his prayer this time around, and the second he opened his eyes he looks at sister park and me and gave us the biggest high fives and said "I remembered how to end it! Remember how I ended it last time? I've been practicing!". Hah. The guy's a hoot. 

So I got my hair plaited this week (braided) and it was fun but probably the most painful experience of my life. I only lasted three days with it in because it hurt so bad. Those ladies pulled my skin tiiiight. Anyways I got fire from every mama I saw because they told me I'm not as beautiful with my normal hair. Hah. Thanks! People here are so brutally honest so it makes life pretty interesting hahaha. Then I got like this throat infection nonsense that I had to go to the doctor for. They got me all drugged up and I'm all fine and healthy for the mean time. 

Last thing I wanted to share is that I've really gained a testimony of the simplicity of the gospel this week. We're teaching 6 kids right now who speak almost no english, so we have to really simplify every lessons we teach. But as we've simplified, it's given me a simpler testimony of the gospel. It's true that the gospel is so simple that a child can understand it. Not even just understand it, but live it. It doesn't have to be complicated or hard. We shouldn't put any extra burden on ourselves. Life is hectic enough. If we let the gospel simplify our lives, we will have a clear focus on what really matters. 

Well. Life is zvaka naka this side. Iri bo! Love you all, and remember to pronounce your T's!!

Love, Sister Richards 



I'm not sure who I was speaking to or what I was saying, but my companion told me this is what I look like when i give fire. So watch out everyone.

The back.

Taking out the mane.

Can you believe all that hair was on my head? It was stinkin heavy.


Nick chose Larry to baptize him. He's our favorite ward missionary.

Hellooooo Mabvuku.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 26: Yours Faithfully

Helloooo my people!

This week was so amazing so I'll try to just sum it all up into one big happy email. Although, I did come to this realization this week. Sister Park and I were in the area and it was SO HOT. Probably hotter than anything I have ever felt in my entire life. Well, as I'm reading the Book of Mormon, it says that those who condemn the imperfections of the Book of Mormon will be in danger of hell fire. I think God will just send those people to Zimbabwe for a day and let them feel the heat that feels like hell fire. So watch out. 

Anyways, on a happier note, things here in Mabvuku are zvaka naka (great)! Sister Park and I had kind of a rough two weeks in terms of finding, and so we were praying hard to have faith enough to see miracles this week. And YO we saw miracles! Remember how our goal was supposed to be 8 for this month? Well, we have 9 people on date just for the 24, and we've already baptized 3! So everything is looking gooood. Miracles for days!

We had a baptism this week of Sister Abigail, who we've been teaching for 3 months! She is the cutest little Mom and we worked so hard to get her to church. But now she loves it! Her Baptism was so great. 

So we're teaching this man named David who is about 45 and probably smokes two packs of cigarettes a day. He repairs shoes in our area and he's seriously the nicest guy in the world and has the funniest laugh. Anyways so we taught him a really nice Restoration, and gave him a Book of Mormon at the end, and he was stinkin excited and just kept telling us how much he wants to read it and understand it. So we taught him about the importance of prayer, and how he needs to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was a true prophet. He didn't know how to pray, so we went through the steps with him. We always say that you start a prayer just like you're addressing a letter to Heavenly Father, "Dear Heavenly Father" and he was getting everything really well. So he said the closing prayer and was doing everything right, but forgot he was supposed to say "in the name of Jesus Christ". He remembered that the beginning was like a letter, so he ended his prayer like a letter. "Yours faithfully, David". It was the cutest thing!! But next time, we'll have to go over it haha. 

Then, we're teaching these five teenagers who were a referral from Sister Jeri. They are the cutest little things. Their english is really limited but they're getting everything pretty well. We, too, taught them about the importance of praying about Joseph Smith, and at the end, a 14 year old named Tanaka gave the closing prayer. It was probably the most heart felt prayer I have ever heard. "Dear Lord, I'm thankful for all you have given me. I'm thankful for my family and that I can go to school. Lord, I need to know if the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph Smith was true. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen". I seriously almost cried. It was the cutest thing. And then he gave a prayer on Sunday in class, and even asked about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith too. It was awesome! 

We had 12 peeps at church, and we have 14 on date for baptism (yes that doesn't add up because two of the jokers didn't show up). But everything here is so good! Love you all. Drink some diet coke for me.

Love, Sister Richards 

The prettiest papaya I've ever seen. (It was pretty good too.)

The difference between old planners and new. Kind of disturbing.

Sister Park and I at Mormon Helping Hands.

The poster that was hung. Can you see me?

There I am. My big debut.


Avocados are in season. A very happy season.

Nick!! we've been working with him so hard these past couple weeks. he came to our baptism this week and loved it!

 Our district leader got transferred to blues. he told us to pose like this. we didn't ask questions. 

Planner number FIVE.

My beautiful companion. Wow.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 25: Weddings and Baptisms

Family and Friends!

Interesting week down here in Mabvuku, but everything is good! Everyone is alive and happy, and some are even baptized. For the win.

So pretty much all of Monday and Tuesday I was just really sad about Grandma passing away, but God was looking out for me. Every investigator we had scheduled for Tuesday was supposed to be taught the Plan of Salvation. So, we taught the Plan of Salvation about 98 times which was a nice reminder that I will be able to see Grandma Richards again someday. God is good!

This week we had two weddings! Hallelujah AMEN. Mai Edgar got married at the court and wore this giant gown and it was the cutest thing ever. We stopped by their house after and she changed into her dress for us, and then we went to her house that night for a celebration of chicken and chips and wedding cake, courtesy of Sister Gondo. Brother Tashu also got married this week on Saturday, and their wedding was at the church and it was soooo interesting. First off, there was a staight up DJ in the chapel, and people dancing everywhere. Seriously the gogos were going crazy. Anyways, definitely a culturing experience, but I'm so happy for them both. Then on Sunday, both of them were baptized!! Mai Edgar's son, who introduced his family to the church, was able to baptize her and it was really tender. 

We had some pretty funny lessons this week. One with Brother Iweni Awali. He's probably 50, and the first time we met him we pretty much just sat there for a solid 30 minutes while he told us how his ex wife ruined his life. Nice guy, though. We taught him Restoration this week, and there's this page near the back that has these questions such as, "Why did we need a restoration?" and "Did the apostles know there was going to be an apostasy?" with scripture references to look up. Well Iweni filled in all the spaces and we're like what the this is awesome! He was so excited to show us and kept saying "I thought of all these answers on my own". So he starts reading it to us, and I'm like hm interesting this sounds exactly how the pamphlet puts it. My companion and I just kinda look at each other and we know what we're both thinking. So we secretly pull out a pamphlet and start reading, and Iweni rewritten the pamphlet word for word in the question and answer spaces. He just kept reading to us and saying I thought of all of these answer by myself it was so incredible. And I'm just trying not to crack up cause obviously we see right through him but we're just like wow nice job Iweni that is awesome. Anyways he didn't show up to church, so we'll see what happens with him.

Speaking of church, we had 12 peeps there. It was awesome! Members are getting really involved in the work and bringing their friends, so it's been really good. 

This week I started the Book of Mormon again, and I've loved the phrases about how Nephi has diligently sought the Holy Ghost or the love of the Savior in his life. Specifically how he used the word diligence. We talk a lot about diligence here on mission, and how it's doing something energetically, enthusiastically, and with persistence. In D&C we read, "Draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you". We can show our love to the Savior by diligently seeking him. Not just seeking him once or twice a week, but seeking him diligently every day. If you have one missed call from one friend, but 20 missed calls from the other, you'll obviously call back the latter friend first, right? The Savior will draw near unto us if we diligently seek him. I love that.

Well, everyone. Missionary work is great and Zimbabwe is stinkin hot. Love you all!

Love, Sister Richards  

Our fan club

The bride and the cake

This mama makes the best chicken and chips

At the celebration

The chapel for Brother Tashu's wedding

The chapel

Kayden was all dressed up for the wedding!

Sister Park and me

Mai Edgar, my favorite person

Brother Tashu's wife. She looked so beautiful!

Same fan club, different venue


The happiest baptism of all time!