Monday, December 12, 2011

dec. 12 what happens if you see a snake

Family and friends,
Holy Crap I'm Alive! I mean, uhhh, greetings from Zimbabwe! (reference anyone? anyone? Nathan? NTAS if you are wondering. . .)

This last week has been mostly average, so this email will be largely the questions, as well as the experience where I ALMOST STEPPED ON A PUFF ADDER!
that's right, last night my companion, Elder Hayes, and I were walking to our last appointment. It was getting dark, and we were walking in time. All of a sudden, *hiss* We jumped back, and right where I was about to step was a baby puff adder (identified by my comp). It was about a foot long, and it's bite is highly venomous (according to my comp, a baby is even worse if it bites because it can't yet control the amount of venom it secretes with it's bites). Puff Adders kill more people a year in Zimbabwe than any other snake. It was a blessing from the Lord that it hissed when it did. As it was though, my comp was the only one who could have been bitten, and the snake would have had a difficult time striking him while being crushed by my foot (as would have happened if it hadn't hissed). If it had tried to bite me, it would have gotten the sole of my shoe, and then its body would have been flattened. I have attached a picture.
My comp didn't want to kill it, (people here stone snakes when they are on roads) so we got a long (don't worry, it was about 3 feet) stick and moved it carefully and safely off of the road AAAND into the ravine (again, reference? *cough* *marshmallow people*).

Last Sunday, we were trying to find people to pick up for church. We found an investigator we haven't seen in a while (he has been out of town). And his father (who we see most every day in that area) had had a stroke on friday. He was presently bed-ridden. We offered a blessing, and we saw him again on tuesday, back to normal, at his post out front. It was great to see! That's right, power of the priesthood there. Four days for a grandpa to recover from a stroke.

We have had many opportunities to give blessings these last few days, and it is always good to be able to help others. We have quite a few people who are ready to be baptized, so hopefully they will be ready for it this Saturday, but the Baptism I am most excited for is the one I only heard about. My cousin Connor was just baptized! I am so proud of him, and I know he is going to make an awesome cub scout!

to append my list of things I want, I would add:
Black forest Gummy Worms, and butterfingers/snickers
=P gotta have mah sweets!

Questions asked asked:
   I was interested to see your list of things you are wanting.
I see you also have a sweet tooth.  That also is a family thing.
Do they not have many sweets there or is it just a different kind?
     Are the people there very vocal in their worship? In North
Carolina the Black people were very enthusiastic when praying
and they would call out "Amen",   " Hallelujah " , "Praise the Lord", etc right while we were praying, which was a little disconcerting . We were almost reluctant to invite them to
Church until we had given them a crash course in proper
LDS  prayer.
Beautiful music is so much a part of the Christmas season and
no doubt you are learning to appreciate good music since you
can't listen to the other kind right now (Ha Ha) Do you have a
cassette player and do you have adequate CD's to listen to?
     Another do you take a shower? Is that little
butane burner all you have for a cookstove?  Do you have an
iron or is everything just drip and dry? Are you in an apartment
or in your own little house?  Do you sleep on regular beds?
 How did the chicken curry turn out?  dad made curry beef stew tonight and mmmm just hit the spot for my sick body.  What have you been studying lately?  Any ah ha moments?

-The sweets here are not very good, and are generally just solid, untasty sugar stuff. Not the nice tasting sugar/gummy stuff we have in the US. I honestly eat no sweets here, so it is nice to have a little chocolate or gummy-ness to eat every now and again.
-The people here are similar to that, when it comes to praying, but not as much. You can always tell someone who is either Matzi baba or Ex-Matzi baba because while praying, (only the men pray) they wave their hands up and down alot. Afterwards, everyone claps as well. As far as yelling halleluiah, not as common, but singing is very popular here. The people love their songs. It is nice as we are walking because we can always hear the Matzi babas singing, beating drums etc in what is considered traditional African tribal music. The reason I say so much about Matzi-babas is because they always worship outside and on mountains, and these are very prevalent in the very hilly region of Sakubva (mostly the outskirts, where we travel between areas by usually).
-Music is one thing I love so much, and really miss having my music to hear, but it isn't that bad. I am working on memorizing more hymns, and that is going well. One of our invesitigators who is making such great strides (Word of Wisdom, Law of Chastity etc.) apparently plays piano well. Hopefully after he is baptized he can become the branch pianist. (We always sing A-Capella, and slightly off-key =P I guess these guys didn't have choir class all through school like we do. . .) As for me personally, I have a cd-player and some good CDs. However, for some reason, the batteries I brought from the US (all new and unused) died quickly. I don't know why, but one pair didn't even last more than 2 hours of use. I will try the batteries made here, but my comp says they don't work well. It makes you appreciate something so common as an ipod!
-The butane stove is only for when we don't have power; some nights, we have it starting at 7ish, others not until 10pm. It is inconsistent, and sometimes we have power go on and off all night. For a shower, we have a normal shower head, in one of the bathrooms, so showering is nice and easy.
-We have a flat for 4 missionaries, and we hand wash all of our clothes. It is drip dry, and we have an iron (which I never have to use, because my wrinkle free clothes stay surprisingly wrinkle free. . . it is way nice). Our beds are normal type, though not quite a tempurpedic mattress. My tempurpedic pillow, however, is heavenly. I brought my pillow and blanket from home, and it was the best decision after going on a mission.  =P good stuff, eh?
-I have made chicken curry twice now, and it was delicious both times. The first time I used only hot curry powder, and the other two elders in the flat said it was way too hot (WHY? WHY? WHY?). So I had to make it less spicy the second time (using mild curry powder, which in comparison tasted not near as good, and mild enough to give to a baby still developing in the womb). I must honestly say, when I get married, if my wife doesn't like spicy food, I will help her learn to love spicy food.
-No super A-ha moments, but I have recently been studying the Books of 1/2 Nephi, Daniel, Isaiah, and Jesus the Christ. I will soon be studying also the books of revelations, Job, and a few others. I love it all, and it is great to read about others who have lots of Dreams. In a blessing I had in the MTC, I was told that I would be led by the spirit as Nephi of old, and I am seeing this much already.

I love you all, and think of you often. I will be calling home on Christmas, so I will be able to talk to some of you.
love always,
~Elder Taggart Selar Williams

Remember: Pray always, and look to the Lord. Write often, and live life to it's fullest.

Doubt is the seed of failure. ~Taggart Williams

Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. ~God (D+C 6:36)

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