Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 72: The Gift of Discermination

Helloooo Zimbabwe!

This week was just kind of a giant blur because it was so crazy. But so crazy good, so all is well. We had a powerful Zone Conference on Tuesday where President shared our experiences we've been having with Brother Tawanda and the Book of Mormon! That meeting was so full of the spirit I thought I might die. I love missionary work and I love the Book of Mormon!! 

So my comp and I accidentally got ourselves into cooking for Mission Leadership Council tonight. Oh my gosh. SO not intentional but here we are. We roped all the other Sister Training Leaders into it though so we're cooking for like 35 people tonight! Sister Mkhabela is leaving us in the mission home all alone all day to cook. President Mkhabela has informed me that he's very worried, and Sister Mkhabela said she'll take some anti-food poisoning medication before she eats. It's okay we'll show these people that sister missionaries know how to COOK. 

So we're always murmuring about the water here and how we never have it, right? Well the tables have turned here in Chintungwiza. Our water WILL NOT stop overflowing every single day. Our landlord had a heart attack about it DURING CHURCH yesterday so we had to run home to save his dear life. Shame. But all was well until it happened again while we were asleep but we could hear the water rushing and we were tired and didn't know what to do so we just flipped of all the electricity and went back to sleep. It worked so we have not yet become like Noah and his family. Yet. 

So we have this really hysterical investigator named Emmanuel who stays waaayyyy far out in Nanoview. He's 22 and calls us multiple times a day so see how we're doing, so my companion has resulted in telling him that we travel to Durban very frequently so he will just have to wait to see us during his appointments. Anyways. This week we followed up on him reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. It was very sweet moment  he said he had a vision and it was through "the gift of discermination" that he knew God was speaking to him. Oh my goodness I lost it. But like silently lost it but I didn't do a very good job of doing in silently but we were sitting in such a way that I just kinda ducked behind my companion so Emmanuel couldn't see me. I'm very grateful that many of our investigators come to know that the Book of Mormon is true, but sometimes I wonder about the visions and dreams they have. But alas, God works in mysterious ways, even through the gift of discermination. 

This weekend, we had the baptisms of Spiwe and Takudzwa! Spiwe is 16 and was a referral from her Mom who is being taught by the missionaries in South Africa. She got in contact with our branch president and asked that the missionaries go and see her daughter. We saw Spiwe on our first day in the area and it's been such a joyful experience. She's been attending Roman Catholic all her life and at first had many doubts about what we were teaching her. We prayed that Spiwe would be able to recognize the answers to prayer she was receiving and be willing to act on them. She prayed for awhile about the Book of Mormon but every time we followed up she said her answer hadn't yet come. We didn't give up on Spiwe and neither did she get up on trying to receive her answer. She came to church every Sunday, and she always asked for more passages of scripture to read. One day she told us that she had received her answer! She said she prayed and asked God if the book was true, and afterward just stayed silent for a moment. An overwhelming feeling of peace came into her heart and she said she just wanted to keep reading and reading. I feel like I've had so many experiences like this on my mission and I'm so grateful for them. What I love about Spiwe is that she never gave up, and God never gave up on her. Sometimes we may feel as though answers to prayer are delayed or even nonexistent, but I do have a testimony that God hears each prayer, and through His own time will answer them according to His will. 

2 Nephi 32 is a great chapter on prayer and scripture study that we usually read with investigators. As I was studying it before a lesson this week, I noticed something I hadn't seen before. "Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark." All of us want light in our lives. None of us would ever want to be in the dark. It is through prayer, by knocking and asking, that we can be brought into the light. Joseph Smith's prayer delivered our world from the dark night of the Great Apostasy, and we can be delivered from any darkness in our lives if we simply get on our knees and pray. I do have a testimony that through personal prayer we can be brought in the light and our lives will be filled with light.

Missionary work is bho zvekuti and I am HAPPY. I'm savoring the sweet country of Zimbabwe for my last two weeks. Love you all!

Love, Sister Richards 

With our recent convert named Tessa. She's the best!



oh happy day!!

surprise birthday party for our branch president! we made the cake. 

Sister Makosa went GOURMET for the party! Chapati and mashed potatoes. Sooo stinkin good. 

more birthday party fun.

Texas sheet cake in Zimbabwe. Powerful.

This is lunch a couple times a week. How much does this cost? ONE DOLLAR. 

oh the joys of Nanoview.

it's stinkin far away but stinkin pretty

guess who I found at zone conference?! SISTER MPIYAKHE. 

Sister Mkhabela, the best mission mother in the world. 

This is Elder Barlow. Apparently his grandparents are serving in Ghana and know Mom and Dad!

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