Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Week Eighty-One: Prepared People

Dear Everyone,

I love serving in Shurugwi. As we contact people and introduce the church, we find other people will listen in and ask about it. People are welcoming and friendly and say "Come by anytime". We were shown a family by a member, and when we met with them for the first time, we asked if they knew of anyone else who would be interested, and then they took us right then and there to their next door neighbor where we introduced our message. Then as we left they invited us back into their home so that we could pray with them before going to our next appointment.

In 3 days of proselyting we found 35 families/individuals that were interested. And we are going to start teaching as many of those as we can.

Things are going well, we are doing much good.

Our zone has had 19 baptisms so far, and this week we are looking forward to more. We have one brother preparing to be baptized this weekend who was found by the other Elders in our ward. And perhaps those who have been hearing from me for a while will remember that there were two children preparing for baptism a few months ago until they went off to school. Well yesterday we found that they were back and they agreed to be baptized on the 6th of May. We also have the wife of one of our recent converts who set her own baptismal date of 20 May.

Truly, the work is moving forward.

I know that God lives and is our Heavenly Father, and that his Son Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know that their Church was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. And I know that anyone who sincerely prays to know these things and many more things can receive their answer through the Holy Ghost.

I love you all and wish you the best this week.

-Elder Wilcken

Week Eighty: To Open a Proselyting Area

Dear Everyone,

First of all, There were some changes made at transfers that I didn't mention. The first one being that our zone went from 18 to 15 missionaries. Our Ward of Mkoba 1st went from having 4 missionaries to just my companion and I. The Sister Missionaries went from being two companionships in two areas, to one tri-panionship covering two areas (Mkoba 5th and Gweru Town). Everything else stayed pretty much the same.

Except we also got approval to begin proselyting in a mining town called Shurugwi. This is the first time missionaries have been there from our church. The closest congregation for the people to attend is Gweru Town that the sisters cover. As a result, we are approved to attend Gweru Town Ward on the weeks that the Sisters are attending Mkoba 5.

So in summation, We attend Mkoba 1st and Gweru Town (Shurugwi), and the Sisters attend Mkoba 5th and Gweru Town.

And despite the shrinking of our zone, we are doing much better than we have been the past couple months with our goals. So far we have more than we achieved for the whole of last month, and we still have many more baptisms lined up for the rest of the month. The Lord is blessing us.

And now we as the Zone Leaders have the biggest proselyting area. For Mkoba 1st covers 11 different villages (about half of Mkoba), and Shurugwi is roughly the size of the entirety of Bindura.
Prayers are much appreciated.

But otherwise, I am happy and healthy. I am enjoying Gweru and my companion. We are doing good in the Lord's vineyard.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. As yesterday was Easter, it is the perfect time to remember the Savior and his sacrifice and resurrection. Because of Him we shall all conquer death. Because of Him we can have peace in this life and in the life to come.

I know He lives and that He loves us all. There is no other way to true happiness but by Him. I love you all.

Until next time,

-Elder Wilcken

Week Seventy-Nine: Transfer 14/17 Starts Now

Hello all,

How are things lately?

I have now started my 14th 6-week period of time on mission. My Companion is still Elder Mwaja, and I am still in Gweru. At the end of this transfer It will have been 6 months in Gweru. Wow, huh?

I just want to tell you all, General Conference was amazing. Absolutely amazing. I loved it all. I'll have to go more in detail next time, if I remember that is.

But I will tell you all now, that the Book of Mormon truly is the Word of God. on the surface it is an awesome book to read, with a wonderful narrative, but it is so much more than that. It is spiritually uplifting words from true prophets of the Almighty God. It is true scripture that testifies of the Glory and Divinity of Jesus Christ. It is true, I know with all my heart that it is. And as such, Joseph Smith truly did translate it by the gift and power of God. Thus, he is a true prophet. I know this is true. And as this is true, The Church of Jesus Christ was restored through him in these last days. God the Father lives, He is there and He loves us. Jesus Christ is His Son and our Savior and the Redeemer of the world. I know this is true through the testimony I have received through the Holy Ghost, for he reveals the truth of all things.

I love you all, have a wonderful week.

-Elder Wilcken

Week Seventy-Eight: I Love Learning Things

I can't tell you all how much I love this. All of this.

To my dearest everyone,

Let me share with you something I have learned:

God is a God of truth, he cannot lie. (Ether 3:12)

Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. (John 14:16)

Truth is a knowledge of things as they are, as they were, and as they are to come. (D&C 93:24)

In short, truth and knowledge is of God, and therefore, good.

There is never a time when mankind has learned everything. Everyone is always learning. This is good.

You can learn things on your own, and it will fill your carnal mind with carnal knowledge. But learning goes to a completely knew level when you add God into the learning.

The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead, it testifies and witnesses of truth. (Moroni 10:5) You can think of him like the smartest individual in the world. Lets say you were studying a topic, and you figured something out. Then along comes the smartest individual in the world and says "Wow, you did a good job, that is exactly right. You have learned truth." How would you feel then?
Or lets say you figured something out, but the smartest individual said "sorry my friend, that just simply isn't true." How would you feel then?

To bring it onto a lower level, lets say you were in school and you were assigned a problem to figure out for homework. It was a very difficult problem, but after much studying and trials, you found an answer that works. You take your homework assignment back to the teacher and they say "Wow, you got it right! you did a wonderful job, you must have worked very hard. *gold star*" How would you feel then?

Now on the other side, lets say you worked hard and then came back to the teacher. But this time the teacher says "sorry, this isn't the right answer. Maybe try checking this part." How would you feel then?

This is how the Holy Ghost answers us. God doesn't want to give us everything without trying, but he wants us to learn and to grow. You must study it out in your mind and ask if it be right. (D&C 9:8) If the "Teacher", the Holy Ghost sees your solution is correct, he will cause your "bosom to burn" with "Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith..." (Galatians 5:22).

But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings (D&C 9:9)

When you learn without the guidance of one who knows, it is much more difficult to find truth. If you were going through school without a teacher to check your work you would find much difficulty when you get to the final exam.

No one ever stops learning. Just as in school, where we start learning addition, then work our way up to probabilities, statistics, calculus, etc, we also are always learning. No one knows everything in this life. But those who know more can help those who are still learning.

As I said earlier, I love learning. I have much to learn, and my knowledge is not perfect. But I am so grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who has allowed me to go through this life and learn so much.
I know I am doing the Lord's work. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. The Holy Ghost is our comforter and teacher if we will seek his counsel.

I love you all, have a wonderful week.

-Elder Wilcken

P.S. The area is very good.

Week Seventy-Seven: Car Troubles

Dear Everyone,

So recently we had noticed a strange buzzing sound from the back of our car. We were preparing for a trip to Masvingo, which is about 179km away, so I felt it should be checked prior. As we took it to the shop we learned the rear brake pads were worn out completely.

I was so glad to not drive that car to Masvingo. But we then were given authorization to use the Sister's car, which was much worse off. It also had a strange noise, and following the 400km trip, It was not well off. But thankfully all is well, no one is hurt, and our car got fixed.

As for our area, Brother Leslie is excited to be baptised next month, as well as one of the friends of the Tamwa girls, Panashe. She agreed to be baptized on the 15th of April on the same day as Leslie. So hopefully that will all go well.

Mama Tamwa went to South Africa to hopefully get helped with her gallstones. Then when she returns their marriage preparations will commence again.

I am well aware that this work is wonderful. It is not at all a joke, peoples lives are changed for the better everyday. Heavenly Father loves each of his children, and this really is the true church of Jesus Christ.

I love you all and wish you the best this week.

-Elder Wilcken

Week Seventy-Six: Fear Not, It Is I

Dear Everyone,

It has been a while. Don't worry, I am well. I have just been very busy lately.

These last few weeks have been very busy with Elder Mwaja. He is a wonderful companion and we have been working hard. Gweru seems to be in a bit of a dry spell, and we can't learn why. I think possibly poor planning in the past, but we are fixing now so the future will be brighter.

Your prayers are always appreciated.

Currently my companion and I have only one brother progressing for Baptism, brother Leslie. He is super cool and composes "beats" on the computer. He came to church yesterday and seems excited for next time.

The Tamwa Parents had to be put on hold because of health dilemmas, the Husband has TB still, but also we learned the Wife has gallstones as of two years ago, and sometimes they act up really badly. She is hoping to travel soon for operation, which means it will delay their marriage and baptism. But they are not discouraged, they still love the gospel.

The older daughter, Tsitsi became a Ward Missionary a few weeks ago so we have been working with her to teach her friends. Most of the people we are currently teaching has come from the Tamwa family. It is wonderful.

Last week I gave a talk in a zone conference where I spoke boldly (hopefully without overbearance) and many people loved it. I got calls all throughout the week from missionaries thanking me. I spoke about the Laborers in the Vineyard, using the Lord's Time wisely, repentence, and so forth. It was very good.

I know that I am on the Lord's errand, I am doing His work. I know He loves me and each one of you.

Have a wonderful week!

-Elder Wilcken

Week Seventy-Three: Transfer 13/17

Dear Everyone,

Gotta keep things brief this week.

I am still Zone Leader In Gweru. My new companion is Elder Mwaja from Tanzania. He is super cool from what I've seen so far. Elder Mahlangu went to my hometown of Bindura.

This week has been super busy with errands and baptisms and all the such. We had 8 new converts to the church. We also had a lot of trouble with plumbing at houses. A lot of rain storms, etc.

One of the greatest Sister Missionaries I've worked with went home last week as well, but she has served the Lord well and I know she is doing what the Lord wants her to do now.

I would tell more stories, but I have like no time today. We need to go pick up more missionaries entering our zone.

I know this work is the greatest work in the world. I know I am in the service of the Lord. I am so blessed to be here in Zimbabwe. I love you all, and I hope you have a wonderful week.

-Elder Wilcken