Well its another week and im back again!!!! Today is Botswana Independence day so everything is closed down and since there are no such things as 24 hour stores we have email really early! So much has happened though so I will try to write as much as possible.
Last Monday was perhaps the greatest! All of us missionaries went to Tantabane Game Ranch which is an animal park/ resort where people can go and hang out. So all of us sisters and elders went up and spent the day there! It was beautiful! There was a big body of water and lots of trees and it was great! Since it was not a zoo and a real park we were pretty much out in the wild! We saw giraffes and impalas and zebras! We saw other things too but im not sure what they all were but sadly since they are all wild we couldn't even get a picture because they were all too FAST! Haha. But I reallllllly enjoyed it!!! We got to play volleyball and go on a hike around the land. Then the elders all cooked meat for us and we all sat and had dinner together. It was really a great experience and I enjoyed it so so much! Of course they cooked the food and made us bring dessert but it was nice :)
Also this week was probably crazy for many other reasons as well!!! Me and my companion decided we wanted to be real Africans and so we wanted to cook African food! So most people here grow their own vegetables and eat them and there is a plant here called Morogo (sounds like Moroho; G is pronounced H) that everyone eats like every single day so me and Sister Gehring decided to get some and try it. So one of the members sells it and so we went and got some from her. Her son was there and so he just pulled it straight from the ground and gave it to us. I didn't know what the other stuff was and I asked and he just started pulling it all out of the ground and giving it to us!!!!! So we see the power of asking questions :) Anyway he gave us tips on how to cook it and everything and we did and it was actually great!!!! I am sending a picture of our finished product if you can figure out how to upload it my dear mother :)
So Friday I also got to do exchanges again but this time I didn't leave my area and the other sister came to my area and her name is Sister Twongeiere. She is from Ugandaand she has been out for 8 months and we spent 24 hours together and this time I was in charge!!! It was probably the craziest day ever! We had a lot of fun and it gave me some practice for when I become a senior companion. She also taught me more Setswana so hey im trying hard to learn!!! Fridays are also the day we have district meeting with all of the elders and sisters in the area and this week was super crazy because one of the elders is going home today and so Friday we had a funeral!!! We all wore black and had candles and a bathtub for the casket and he actually laid in it while we did eulogies! It was totally funny!!!!! I had so much fun though!! This week was so crazy! But so fun!!!
Also me and my companion had a great experience and learned not to be disobedient haha. So Saturday night we had a appointment and it got done later like a little after 7 and so our curfew is 7 so we were rushing home but them we realized that we were almost on empty so we stopped to get gas! So we get gas and fill up and then we try to pay and the card machine doesn't even work! They try it again and it doesn't work and of course missionaries don't carry cash so we didn't have any money at all!! So here we are panicking and so I try to call the senior couple missionaries and they tell us that we should try to talk the people into letting us leave and come back! That was the advice haha. So me and my companion were just so scared and we tried to talk to the people and of course they said no! So then we decided to pray. So we sat in the car and we prayed and then we thought maybe we should call the elders. So I call them and they were great! They told us to wait there and they would come get us! So they ended up coming and bringing us the money so we could go home! So I was definitely grateful and learned to always check your gas hand and always ask if the card machine works before hand!
So im learning a lot and getting lots of experience! So on the spiritual side of things I feel as though I am really growing stronger not only in my knowledge of the gospel but also just growing in my ability to work with the spirit. We have been dropping a lot of people and so we really haven't had many people to teach so me and my companion decided to pray specifically to find a father led family. So we decided to go tracting on Wednesday and before we got out we prayed specifically to find a family. That is probably the hardest thing to ever do is find a complete family! So we got out and we tracted and found some people who were interested but no family. So we had an appointment coming up and so we said we would try one more road and we knocked and knocked and no luck. So then we got to the last house and the gate was partially open and so we weren't sure if we should go in. So my companion heard and man and was like "There's a father!" So I was like lets go in. So we go in and we walk around the house to the front of it and we see a whole family! All of the kids and the father and the mother but the mother didn't have any clothes on!!! (Sidenote: This is a cultural thing in Africa. Most people do not wear clothes at home especially women and they don't cover themselves up even when they are breastfeeding and things like that). So we were standing there and we weren't sure what to do but something told me to just keep going! haha. So we sat down and started talking to them and eventually she put clothes on but hey, we found a father led family! So that is one thing that I have definitely learned! We have been specifically called and set apart to be missionaries! God will always help us because we are working with him! We have been given the authority to do this work and I am remined of that everyday!
So yeah this week was good. Plus my birthday is in 2 whole days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Im really excited!!
I will have my first birthday in Africa :) And it rained for the first time ever so its been a good week. A really good week! Well, until next time!
Greetings all on the other side of the world!!! Well this week has been a week to say the least! I am really enjoying my mission even though we have our ups and downs I definitely can not complain! So this week me and my companion Sister Gehring have been focusing our teaching method. As a missionary it is easy to get scared when your teaching people. Scared to be bold with them and just tell them like it is. When they don't read or when they ask a hard question we tend to sugarcoat it and so this week our goal was to be BOLD and teach with authority. In Preach My Gospel it tells us that if we don't teach with authority then the spirit can not testify and so this week we have been BOLD and we have definitely seen the difference. We teach better together and we also feel the spirit through our whole lessons. I don't even plan what I will say anymore I just feel it in my heart and then just speak and everything I say I can feel and so I know that they can as well. I was reading in my scriptures and I read Jacob 1:19 and he talks about our power and authority. If we don't teach the gospel we answer the sins of those people on our heads and I know that that is a huge responsibility. Jacob 2 talks about the Lords vineyard and I thought this week how I have been called of God to care for this part of his vineyard. It is up to me to plant the seeds and nourish and care for his children and so I definitely do not take it lightly because one day I will be held responsible. Missionary work is GREAT! This has however led us to drop a lot of people this week (stop seeing them) but if they are not serious about the gospel we have to find people that are. So we are going to be doing a lot of finding this week (aka tracting).
Another thing that has been amazing is just the spirit that I feel now. We learned that when you truly understand the Atonement it changes you. So I spent a lot of time studying it and I got the impression that we should start teaching the Atonement to everyone. Members and nonmembers and my companion liked the idea and so that is what we have started. I can honestly say that I have learned so much more, and my eyes and heart have been opened. The Atonement was such a monumental event and it is really one of the most powerful lessons I teach. The spirit is always sooo strong so I will continue to do this :)
Also this week was great because we worked our butts off! Me and my companion are doing great with lessons. We have to keep track of lessons taught with members, other lessons, and the number of new people we find! We are doing the best out of everyone! She even said that this is the best she has done on her whole mission which I think is great since she has been out 5 months already and its just my first month!!
Oh by the way it is HOTTTTT. Honestly it is probably over 100 every single day and it never gets better. Even at night and we can't open the windows because the mosquitoes are like monsters! But yeah that is about all that has happened! The mission president gave us permission to have a braii today though (bbq) so after this were going to go to this animal park and bbq and play games! Im super excitied. Crossing my fingers that I see a zebra!!!!!! Anyway my birthday is next week and I cant wait!!!!!! :) Thanks for all the emails and love everyone! I miss you all and you're always in my thoughts! Stay well!!!
Well this week has been quite an interesting one to say the least! We have been doing lots of finding and lots of teaching! We have a new investigator named Ona. She is just so excited about the gospel and she just smiles the whole time and asks sooo many questions so it is pretty exciting! Botswana however is hotter than hot. I dont think I have ever been this hot in my life. Since I am in part of the Kalahari Desert I definitely have a new appreciation for air conditioning. It never rains and alot of people it probably wont EVER so thats not good at all. Things have still pretty interesting! I actually stopped breathing this week and had a minor heart attack all at once. We went to a members house to teach him and we were sitting there teaching the lesson and i saw something moved really fast in the corner so I turn to look at the fireplace and all of sudden tons of rats coming running out!!!! Huge, gigantic, monster looking rats! I have never even seen a rat outside of a pet store so needless to say I was a sight to see. The things you do for a mission, right?
Anywhoooooo this week was pretty exciting as well because we had companion exchanges. This is when you switch companions for 24 hours and you go to a new area and all of that cool stuff! So my companions name was Siter Vuki and she is from Tonga. She has been out for 15 months so she goes home soon! So she came and got me and i went to Gerald which a town a little ways away from the one I am serving in! It was amazing! She is so cool and she taught me alot of things! The town we went to is sooo tiny. There was nothing there but houses not even a store or a gas station so that was extremely interesting!!!! Anyway I enjoyed it and it made me just want to work even harder so that someday I can be a senior companion too!!!!!
Other news! We had two baptisms this saturday for the two girls Gosego and Dikeledi! It was beautiful! I love baptisms it definitely is a different spirit. Along with those two girls there was a man named Brother Edward that got baptized. We didnt specifically teach him (only once) but he was a totally nice great humble man. I was so happy to get to see him baptized. I saw him at church yesterday and he wasnt feeling well and unfortunately we got news this morning that he passed away in his sleep so today has been a little solemn. Its just amazing for me to know that God has a plan for each of us. Brother Edward only needed to be here long enough to get baptized and now he can go be with Heavenly Father again. It really just strengthens my testimony even more.
This week has been sort of difficult too. We teach about 36 lessons a week and only 5 of the people ever come to church! Africa is great. People let you come in, they let you teach them, they understand everything but they will NEVER come to church. It gets very frustrating because we cant baptize people who never come to church and so we actually are planning on dropping alot of people. It really is sad for me though. Losing people that understand the gospel but wont act on what they know. But I guess we all know that in Heaven God lost 1/3 of his investigators too. 1/3 of the people in Heaven saw God and he taught them and they still followed Satan so it just humbles me to know that I just have to try my best and then the rest is in Gods hands. . Also you should know that I had to teach gospel principles for the first time yesterday! Since everyone is a recent convert, the missionaries have to teach and i was sooo nervous but everyone said I did great so that was happy!!! Anyway not much else is happening! We have 7 people on date to be baptized still and hopefully I will have tons more coming up! Also I have 7 weeks of training left. Yes I am counting down! lol I will officially be grown up! Evevn though I am the youngest sister missionary out here! Anywayssss thats about it. Life is good and HOT. Im learning more Setswana and I have tan lines! haha but im growing spiritually more than ever and I never regret coming out to spread the gospel to the ENDS of the earth. Literally. Over and Out! :)
This week has definitely been a crazy one so far! MONDAY I got to go to a restaurant in a nearby town, Debonairs Pizza and it was delightful, my only American experience :) Later on me and my companion went to the museum ( well a little house with a room of african items) it was actually quite cute and I was able to buy a couple of small items! That is pretty much what my Mondays consist of since they're my only FREE day!
Anywho the work here is getting quite hectic. Since we are basically starting a new branch here all of the members are recent converts. So this past Saturday we held a training meeting (the missionaries) and we had to teach everyone in the church basically how church runs! We had to teach them how to do primary, young women and relief society! Boy am I glad i paid attention all these years :) I never knew how hard it could be. Since we barely have any members we cant call presidents and counselors and teachers. We have a primary president and she runs everything. And the same for all of the others so I know that this will mean that we will probably ending up teaching almost everything but I guess it will get me some experience!
This week was good for me and my companion Sister Gehring. Or atleast it started out that way! Things were going really great but lately all of our appointments have been falling through up to 5 a day and so then we are left tracting alot. I enjoy tracting and I think its really fun but most times it doesnt yield great results. Since this is a new area we have a mission goal of findinf father led families. The way branches and wards are formed are based on the number of worthy men that have the priesthood. African society is mostly women raising their kids on their own so we can baptize tons of women and never even be made into a branch if we dont have men. So we look for men all all day that we can teach and I think that is the biggest struggle we have because there just arent alot of men in Africa and if we find a man with a family they need to be married and most arent because they in Africa you have to pay a dowry to the woman's uncles to marry her. So we usually find a women and man that arent married but have been living together for years and then we have THAT problem. haha. So yeah we really are trying our best. I know that we have been called here for a reason so Im hoping that God will make a way realllllly soon :)
Thursday night was also Mission president interviews! The mission president came up to Monarch to interview each of us individually! He is so great! He really discerned alot of my issues and told me that I have a list of worries this big (holds up 10 fingers) and I need to narrow it down to this big (holds up two fingers). So that is my goal. Stop Stressing. He also told me he wants me to write down everynight how the Holy Ghost led me that day. I started doing it and I am already amazed. One experience I had was actually Friday and it made me so grateful. Since I have been here these past 3 weeks me and my companion have tried locating members and trying to visit them. There is a particular lady, Meriam who is the Primary president and she never comes to church. So we literally go to to her house every single day and we can never catch her there! We even tried going in the morning and then the evening. So Friday me and my companion were just driving around and we didnt really have an appointment for a little while so she asked me what we should do. I sat there for a minute and immediately this name pops into my head to go check Meriam. I tell my companion and she says okay. We get there and guess what! She was there! For the first time in weeks! I knew it was the spirit that guided us to her and we were able to visit with her and even invited her to church the next day and she came! I just know that you could never serve a successful mission without the spirit because its not me talking and its not me teaching, its the spirit.
Good news! We have 2 more baptisms Saturday. Two girls Gosego and Dikeledi! They are both young, like 19 and 20 and they are both great! I love Gosego!!! She is like the sweetest thing I have ever met! She is so excited about the gospel and SO ready I just am so excited for her! And she totally wants to serve a mission so that just makes my heart happy! All the tough times just dont matter when you find GREAT people that are ready and willing to change! I hit my one month mark yesterday and I cant even believe it!! 17 more to go and Im super excited!
Im so happy and excited to be here!!! Even when times get tough I know that im where God wants me so nothing else really matters!!! Anyway gots to go but love you all dearly!!!! Over and out!!!
THE DOGS ARE OUT OF CONTROL This week was better. I am trying to listen to the spirit more and find more families and I did and we have like 20 plus people to teach. We had our first baptisms Saturday a brother and sister 9 and 13. It was beautiful. Even though it gets hard God always balances my bads with good and for that i'm grateful! We have 6 more people on date for baptism too so i'm excited! Theres nothing like seeing someone get the gospel and see it change their lives. People are really nice, well the members are lol and yes we had testimony meeting and it was amazing. They're just are so dedicated. They walk miles just to be there and they're just are so strong. It is admirable? Some things are very interesting though. They don't sell cut bread, you have to cut it yourself. Sandwich meat doesn't exist. Soup in a can doesn't exist. Milk and eggs are not in the fridge. You never pump your own gas! I struggled with the language but Ether 12:27 gives me comfort that it can't be easy! I quote " And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me, for if they humble themselves before me and have faith in me , then will I make weak things become strong unto them". Close quote. Oh yeah, Animals are crazy here, especially dogs! we got chased and had to walk blocks back to our car! Short and sweet! Write more next week! Birthday is in 1 month! Wow I will be 20. I can't believe Sunday will make 1 month here. Tell everyone hello and I miss them and tell them don't forget to write or email me. Love you guys.