Monday, July 24, 2017

Week Ninety-Three: All on the Same Team

Dearest All,

This last week we had a zone conference in Gweru for the zones on that side of the mission, and we went on Exchanges with the Zone Leaders who serve in Kadoma. I got to spend the day with Elder Billings, who came on mission with me. We had a great time and I got to contact flats for the first time. (knocking every door in apartments basically)

Tomorrow we have the other zone conference for the Harare zones, Bindura, and Mutare. And then following that we should have exchanges with the Bindura Zone Leaders. (Previously we had planned to do that but it fell through.)

As for the baptisms we had scheduled, we had a young man named Earnest and a Brother named Tinashe scheduled for the 29th. However, because Earnest has been attending the other ward with his Cousin's family, we are allowing them to baptize him. Also Tinashe failed to come to church for the last couple weeks and he is traveling to South Africa for the next few months. So we are going to give his information to those missionaries so they can baptize him there.

It is wonderfully reassuring to know that this work isn't a competition. "When one baptizes we all baptize."

On the other hand, the family that we were planning to baptize on the 5th is still on date, their marriage banns are going smoothly and so their marriage should occur on the 5th, and the baptism on the 6th.

I know that this work is good. I am so grateful to be on the best mission ever, the Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Book of Mormon is true and a powerful testimony of the reality of Jesus Christ. And truly, it brings all who read it closer to Him. I know God lives and that Jesus is the Christ. I love you all.

I hope you all have been doing well, are doing well, and continue to do well.

Have a wonderful week,
-Elder Wilcken

Week Ninety-Two: Missionary Work

Honestly, it is the best.

My dearest everyone,

I am very very happy right now. And I wish to share with you why.

Because this last week I have had a renewed conviction to serve with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength.

I have been reading more from the Book of Mormon each day, I have been trying harder to talk to more people, and I have been sharing my testimony with more people.

Trials abound, but they can be overcome. The work cannot be halted.

Life is good for the missionaries.

As for upcoming baptisms, there is hopefully some on the 29th, but then we have some on the 5th of august.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. The Lord is blessing His children, and things are looking up.

I love you all and wish you the best.
-Elder Wilcken

Week Ninety-One: Every Day is "Monday"

In the Mission Office, Monday is the busiest day. Last week, every day was Monday.

To my dearest everyone,

Last Monday was transfer day, where missionaries move between areas in the mission. Tuesday is the day that finished missionaries depart and new missionaries arrive from the MTC. Wednesday we normally have training for the new missionaries, and then following that everything is calm.

Not this week though!
Monday went as expected. Tuesday we got 4/5 departing missionaries out of Zimbabwe. The 5th one however had her flight itinerary changed with no notice to us and so instead of leaving her at the airport as expected, we had to bring her back to the mission office with the new missionaries.

On Tuesday we also got 4/5 incoming missionaries. The 5th one was supposed to arrive straight from provo on the evening of Wednesday. Unfortunately, his passport wasn't gotten to him in time, and so his flights were delayed. He didn't arrive until Friday evening.

On Wednesday the trainings occurred and mostly went smoothly. We then had to pick up a returned missionary from the airport at 11am to take him to the bus stop. His flight had a technical problem and thus he was dropped off in Zambia. The alternate flight was to have them here by 5pm. When we went at 5pm, we learned the flight didn't go to zambia at all, and actually the passengers would arrive at 11pm. By Midnight there was no sign of any missionary.

The following morning, Thursday, we finally were able to pick up the Elder at 11am. And take sisters to their area. And we worked with President on agenda's for upcoming meetings.

Friday we finally were able to teach some lessons, but then we had to return to the office in the afternoon for some more logistics and then in the evening picking up the new missionary. His companion, Elder McDougal had been with us since Monday.

And on Saturday we did the orientation for the new missionary including Breakfast at the mission home.

Every Day was busy, every day we went to the Office, every day was "Monday"

But nevertheless, the work is good. The work is moving forward. This week is MLC and we also hope to do exchanges with the Bindura Zone Leaders, so we should make some good progress.

I know that I am doing the work of the Lord, even though it may not always be the standard "thrusting in of a sickle". I know that he is really there and that he loves us all. I hope you all have a wonderful week.
-Elder Wilcken

Week Ninety: Transfer 16/17 - Busy Busy

Hello my dear everyone,

I am sorry for the lack of information recently, things have just been very busy. So let me hit some highlights.

Today is transfer day, I am still with Elder Scoresby as AP. And this time we had to organize everything all day. Which is why I have very little time to write today.

We baptized sister Tsungi last week and she was confirmed that following Sunday. She was so happy, she speaks practically no English and she is very shy, but she bore a simple and sweet testimony in Shona after her baptism.

We have been teaching many people recently, and honestly, we are just having a blast. Everything is going very well. We found one of our Recent Converts was struggling, and we were able to catch him at the perfect time and help him when he needed us. It was wonderful.

And lastly, many of you may be curious about when I am going home. I have been talking to the Mission Secretary and she is in the process of requesting our travel itineraries. So I should know soon (hopefully next week) when I come home, and then I will send my itinerary to those who need it. But for now, this is the most recent update of information: she has told me that I can let my family know that I should be home on Friday the 29th of September, possibly in the morning/early afternoon. Which is awesome, because it will be just in time for General Conference.

I hope you all have a wonderful week, I love you all very much.
-Elder Wilcken

Week Eighty-Nine: I Don't Have Much to Say This Week

But I love you all.

This week we got to do office stuff and proselyting stuff. This next week we are hoping to do exchanges with some of the zone leaders. It should be great.

In our area we had two families that were supposed to be baptized this week, but they hadn't been coming to church to get their marriages sorted out, so they hopefully will get baptized next week. We also had 4 other investigators with baptismal dates, yet two of them weren't coming to church. Two of them had come to church, yet we learned that one of them needs to get married before baptism. So in short: 10 people with baptismal date, 2 of them made it to sacrament meeting, and one of them will get baptized this weekend. The others we are going to work with for July.

But I think things are going well. The mission is on track to hit it's yearly goal, and so we know that the work is progressing.

I love you all, I know that this is truth. I know my Father in Heaven loves me and that His Priesthood has been restored to the earth for the benefit of His children. I know that Jesus Christ lives and guides his church in these last days.

Have a wonderful week,
-Elder Wilcken.

Week Eighty-Eight: Been to Bulawayo

But I still can't speak Ndebele.
And now for a chapter from the Book of Wilcken:

The Assistants to President Mkhabela travel to Gweru for a Zone Conference. They Perform Exchanges with the Bulawayo Zone Leaders. They return to Harare for a Zone Conference. Week 88

    1. And it came to pass that we traveled to Gweru for the gathering of the Missionary Zones and we did organize them and did teach them the will of the Lord pertaining to their gatherings and their record keeping.
    2. And we saw that the Elders, yea, and even the Sisters, did understand the word of the Lord and they did accept it with gladness.
    3. And it came to pass that we did proceeded forth unto the land of Bulawayo where we dwelt with the leaders of that zone for a time, and worked with them in bringing souls unto Christ.
    4. And behold, the field is white, and we beheld that their labor is not in vain.
    5. And it came to pass that I, Elder Wilcken, said unto my companion "These Elders are doing well."
    6. And he spake unto me saying, "Let us go back up to the land of Harare, unto our own area. For it must needs be that we organize the Missionary Zones there and in the land round about, that they too may know the will of the Lord pertaining to their gatherings and the keeping of their records.
    7. And it came to pass, that we did take our journey into the wilderness, and did pass through the city Gweru, and the city of Kwekwe, and the city of Kadoma, and the lad of Chegutu, up until a time that we were stopped by the way and were questioned about with many words.
    8. And behold, we did impart unto them of the Word of God, and they rejoiced among themselves as we continued our journey into the wilderness.
    9. And it came to pass that we did join the servants of the Lord that dwelt in Harare and in the Land round about, and we did administer unto them according to their needs.
    10. And we did behold that their labor was pleasing unto the Lord. And thus ended the 86th week since Elder Wilcken entered Zimbabwe.

-Elder Wilcken.

Week Eighty-Six and Eighty-Seven: Busy Busy

Hello my dear everyone,

So far being an Assistant to the President has been very very busy. On the first week we had to perform logistics for the departing missionaries and the new missionaries. In one day we had to go to the airport for 5 different flights throughout the day. We had to set up, attend, and host two different dinners and lead a portion of the Training Meeting for the new ones.

Last week we had the Mission Leadership Council on Monday and Tuesday which included hosting another dinner and training the Leaders on policies for meetings and record-keeping. The rest of last week was more normal in that we got to go to our area for most of it.

We have found quite a few new investigators as a companionship, and we also have many investigators on track to be baptized this month. There are two couples that want to get married so that they can get baptized, including their child(ren). Things are looking very up for us.

Today we have to drive from Harare to Gweru (about a 4 hour road trip), so we are leaving a little bit before preparation day ends. Tomorrow we have a zone conference there and then we are going to Bulawayo on wednesday to do exchanges with the zone leaders there, then back to harare for another zone conference on Friday. So this is going to be another very busy week. But the work is good.

I hope you all are doing very well. I am grateful to hear from those who are able to write.

I know that this is true, that really God is there and that he knows us. I have felt the peace that comes from going to him in prayer. I know that truly Christ died for our sins to allow us to be forgiven. I know that they love every single person in this world.

Have a wonderful week, I love you all.
-Elder Wilcken