Before I begin, I feel I should give my email address to all of you. Emailing me will be difficult without an address, eh?
As I said previously, feel free to send me messages. I get on the computer on Mondays around 11am, and am about 8 hours ahead of MT (Utah/AZ)
I apologize for the poor quality of my pictures sent last time, there is a setting on my camera I didn't understand or see and it was trying to take close up pictures. I fixed this, but I don't know If I have my camera on my person today, so we will see about that.
If any of you have questions, feel free to ask either my sister or my parents, as they are in charge of my blog/ facebook.
There were some things I forgot to mention in my last letter. For my area, and also throughout much of Zimbabwe, a primary form of transportation is Comby. I don't have any pictures, but feel free to type it in on the internet (good old internets =P). Imagine a large van, with 4 rows of seats, where they shove 4 people per row and 2 extra up front, so you are squished shoulder to shoulder fitting about 20 people. They then drive around and drop people off, and yell to other people which route they are on in hopes they wish to feel like sardines en route to their destination as well. As bad as that sounds, it really isn't horrible, as long as you get a window seat. In the morning though, when we are heading into town, we go maybe 400-500 feet and stop again to try and pick up more people. At night, it is fast because we get to the comby and they are mostly full already. We just jump in, pay 5R ($.50) per person, and drive off. They, just like everyone else here, drive on the left side of the road (so weird at first); they generally make little care to avoid pedestrians (no ped. rights here in Zim. Just try not to get hit) and would have almost no speed limit it weren't for the periodic speed bumbs (just called humps here) every few hundred feet or so. The tires here must be well made because they seem quite resilient when it comes to constant pot-holes etc. They generally have decent music playing, but it is usually pop and not my preference at all. What I wouldn't give for the radio to play a little 30 Seconds to Mars or maybe some Muse. . . but alas, they don't like Rock down here (I mean, really. What the crap?!?).
It is pretty flaming hot here (about 45C, or 98ish Fahrenheit), and I am fairly tempted to buy a hat (ugh). I have never liked hats myself. I really miss being able to wear my sunglasses (during the day and at night. . . =P you know me). I can't wait until the rain finally starts, I am so bloody tired of it feeling like a humid AZ. I mean seriously, I am sweating more this past week than I have the past year and a half combined.
I am really enjoying the food here in Zimbabwe. There is lots of good fruit, and mango, avocado, and guava (ahhhhhh yea baby!) are coming in season very soon. The bananas in the US suck. I kid you not, here we have bananas that are about 10-20 for a dollar (smaller than in the US) but are pretty much the most amazing thing in the world. Mostly, I eat lots of sadza and chicken when we are out, and rice and soup at home. We are also going to be making lots of chips (French Fries). I made some the other day, and they tasted kind of amazing (not the: I haven't had these in ages amazing, but the genuine kind). Next Monday, I will be making chicken curry (or curry chicken, whichever it is called. The yellow one that we made with pheasant last time for any of you who had some) for my roomies and I and it will be very delicious. (I need the recipe mom, hint hint, wink wink. ;-P )
We had a baptism on Saturday, but what was going to be 3 baptisms turned out to be only 1. Nonetheless (*chuckles* I love that word =P), it still turned out to be very good and I was happy to be a part of it. Cleaning out the font beforehand was enjoyable, if icky. There were 2 frogs, a large beetle (about 1.5 inches, give or take about .5 inches), and 2 millepedes. As most of you know, I can't touch creeping and crawling things for my life, so my comp had to take care of the frog, and I used a broom for the insect. I thankfully haven't seen any spiders larger than a pin-head, because if I saw one as large as I have heard there are in some areas, I would probably wet myself, faint, and be eaten (that would require one about the size of my hand). So let's keep our fingers crossed (Though I have to say, if such an incident were to be recorded minus the being eaten, that would be incredibly funny).
I talked last time about the Chippo family (I am pretty sure I did at least. . .) The family with the boys who came to church and the younger one who is very smart etc. Anyway, the father is really starting to warm up to us and what we teach, the trick is to catch him when he hasn't been drinking. When the people here drink, they go the extra mile. They have little reservation, and to make it worse, most men here drink. As a result, about half of the people who approach us or call us over have a little glaze in their eyes and are so excited to talk to us, ask for a free bible, invite us over to Bible study, or offer us a drink. We have even had a guy hug us and not let go. I didn't know what to do. I wasn't keen on causing him damage because he was absolutely wasted, and I didn't want to put out an aggressive air towards others, as I am not sure how those watching would take that. My problem was solved when one of the people we were talking to pried the guy off of me (and it took some effort). When the drunk went after my companion, another guy kicked him to keep him off. That was the worst experience with a drunk we have had (so not really bad at all), but teaching them is, obviously, a waste of time. I would be surprised if half of them remembered us within 20 seconds of asking us to teach them. What we end up doing to get them to leave us alone, and also to everyone else as well (for non-drunks to get the name of our church around rather then get them to leave) we invite them to church. EVERYONE says the will come, and EVERYONE fails to show up (big surprise). The people here would rather be polite (tell you what you want to hear) than be honest.
Even though I have been out here on my Mission for just over a month now, I can honestly say that it is going to continue to be amazing. I am so excited to be able to share the gospel with those whom I meet that have been prepared by the Lord to receive His word. It is humbling to see the conditions these people live in, and that they still have a positive outlook on life. They are happy people and even when they lie to your face, they do it out of love (as ironic as that seems). I would encourage any of you (even women) who are debating on a mission to make it a priority and to ask the Lord to help you. Remember to pray always, and put the Lord first in your life. You will never in your mortal life comprehend even the scale on which He helps you. If I hear any of you (or hear of any of you) saying that there is ANYTHING you don't want the Lord's help in, I will laugh and cry at the naivety which you show. Your Father in Heaven literally wants to help you in every aspect of your life. If you doubt me, think of who you are listening to when you decide not to pray to your Father. In 2 Nephi 32:8 it says:
"...For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray."
If you doubt what I say, you would be fools to doubt what a prophet says. So remember. When I say pray always, I mean ALWAYS.
Good bye all, please feel free to write more. I love you and think of you often.
~Elder Taggart Williams
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