Sunday, February 26, 2017

Week Sixty-Seven: Transfer 12/17

My dear everyone, How is life?

Where was Elder Wilcken last week? What happened? What awesome thing did he get up to that caused him not to email home?
More of that will come later.

But let me cover this first. This is the start of my 12th transfer on mission. Meaning I have been on mission for 6 weeks x 11 transfers = 66 weeks.
Here is my transfer news: I am staying in Gweru. My companion is Elder Mahlangu. I am Zone Leader, serving in an area called Mkoba 1st, and the two other Elders in our house are Elder Bamutesiza and Elder Kunene. Essentially, it is the same as last transfer.

Some of our zone has changed, but mostly it is the same. And we have a baptismal goal of 40 that we are working for. Prayers are appreciated for that.

Currently my companion and I have the baptism of Brother Simon this Saturday, the 21st, and of a brother McDonald and Sister Sarah on the 28th. They are all wonderful and coming to church. Miracles are not ceasing.

Now what happened last week to cause Elder Wilcken to be absent?
Well, we had missionaries in Masvingo who needed us to deliver something to them. So we received permission from the AP's to go as a household and then to extend the journey a little further. And we went to Great Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe meaning House of Stone). It is an ancient ruin and historical landmark.
We took some awesome pictures, but I don't have access to them right now on the computers we are using. (no USB ports). So I will receive them later and send later. If not later today then hopefully next week.

But all in all, I am happy and strong. Gweru is powerful. I am in the Lord's service.
We had a zone meeting on tuesday and my companion presented on Repentence and I presented on Conversion. And I felt like it was powerful. I shared the difference between testimony and conversion. How someone can have a much stronger testimony but be less converted. There was one part in particular I felt was very powerful. I shared that those who are converted seek to do good, they do not rebel against the Lord, they share the gospel with others, etc. I pointed out that most missionaries have strong testimonies, but through disobedience and rebellion, they show they are not converted. I then felt prompted to emphasize the point in a certain way, that I hope wasn't overly inappropriate.

I pulled my Missionary Handbook out of my shirt pocket and held it up for all to see. I declared to them all "If we do not keep these rules, we are rebelling against God. We are not converted if we throw them away." and then I emphasized this by throwing my book to the side on the floor. At this half the room erupted in gasps and shock, even some ready to scold me. I pointed to the book on the floor and spoke clearly "You get shocked when I throw the book away, yet when someone throws the rules away in their hearts you accept it as normal."
The room went silent as I picked up my book and continued to share. I encouraged them all to become converted unto the Lord, and when they are converted to strengthen their brothers and sisters. I shared about how even the strongest converts can falter if they are not strengthened.

Afterwards, when new missionaries were giving testimonies, two of them bore testimony about conversion. Other missionaries had tears in their eyes. One Elder came to me afterwards and hugged me and thanked me for my discussion.

I know this work is true. I have a strong testimony of my Savior and this church. I like most others am still working on my conversion. But I am getting more and more converted by the day. I love you all. I pray for the Lord to bless you.

Have a wonderful week.
-Elder Wilcken

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