Hi family and friends!
This week was great, just like all the rest! My companion and I really saw some big tender mercies in the area and are just having the best time! We had water and electricity all week long, ate TOO many avocados in the area, and have been trying to learn as much shona slang as possible to fit in with the young crowd. Way harder than it sounds!! The latest: Pamamonya ipapo. All of the drunks say it to me in the area because it means a little guy walking around with big guys. And because i'm shorter than every person on the earth, it looks like I'm always walking with big people. Hence pamamonya ipapo. Bho zvekuti. We had four baptisms this week and it was seriusly like the best baptism EVER. They just get better and better with every weeks. Chitown, you are the promised land. I'm convinced of it.
Brother and Sister Muringayi are a couple who have been investigating the church since April and this weekend they were baptized! They are so powerful it's not even funny. Brother Muringayi used to smoke 20 cigarettes a day and is now completely clean. With tears in his eyes, he bore testimony of the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in helping him to change his life. He and Sister Muringayi already have their eyes set on the temple and are working on getting their passports to go to the Johannesburg, South Africa temple! It has been such a privilege to meet them both.
This week we met with a 19 year-old investigator named Tinotenda. He came to church for the first time last Sunday after being contacted on the street, and you honestly would've had no idea he was an investigator. He was participating like crazy and just loving every second of church. This week we invited him to read and pray about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. We discussed the fruits of the spirit and how we can recognize our answers to prayer. He said, "I have faith that God will answer my prayers about the Book of Mormon. I know He will because He already has before." He held the Restoration pamphlet in his hand and told us how he followed the instructions in the pamphlet to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He felt a burning in his heart that this is the truth that God wants him to follow. He comes to every activity, every meeting, every everything! He is so excited to have found the truth and I'm so grateful for the power of the Holy Ghost in confirming the truth to our hearts.
The last tender mercy we say was with the mother of the twins who were baptized this weekend. She's been coming to church every Sunday without fail, but has wanted nothing to do with taking the discussions. We've been at her house almost every other day the past three weeks to see her daughters, so she's gotten really used to having us around. The lesson in Gospel Principles on Sunday was on missionary work and the importance of sharing the gospel. Our branch mission leader taught the lesson, and it was super powerful. People were just pumped up after the lesson. I watched Sister Takadii super closely during the lesson and could see the wheels starting to turn in her head. After church she came and put her arm around me and said, "Sister Richards, I think it's time you and Sister D come and teach my husband and me." I ALMOST PASSED AWAY. But then I just kept it together and asked when we could come and see her. I AM SO HAPPY. God has His own time table and sometimes we don't understand it, but His plan is perfect. I cannot wait to go and see Brother and Sister Takadii so they can enjoy the blessings of the gospel as a family!
My testimony of personal prayer seems to grow each and every day. Heavenly Father truly listens to us and is aware of each word we say. I really learned this week that Heavenly Father just wants to be our friend. He wants us to be close to Him, but He will never force us. What a blessing it is so have a friend who is the perfect listener and has the perfect solutions.
A ton of weeks down, three to go. LET'S DO THIS.
Love, Sister Richards
St. Mary's extension back at it again
paparazi caught me doing the progress record
Elder Leneham and Hanson, Chitungwiza District.
The Muringayis!! How happy is this picture!!
the twins flashing gang sings.
I love these girls!
PEOPLE THIS IS REAL.
Washing our car waiting for the baptismal font to fill up.
BERNARD. my favorite child. We are teaching his Mom right now!
St. Mary's extension
chikafu chakanaka to get us through weekly planning
exchanges with sister plothow!
getting ready to make the drive back to epworth
With Foster, our member present for the day, and Katherine!
svosve street. don't even try to say this word, you will choke.