Saturday, January 19, 2013

Diversity and the New Year - 1-7-13

Hey All!
My first full week in Des Moines was great! Elder Hess had the flu, so we stayed in Tuesday and Wednesday. We have a set of DVD's all about the Doctrine and Covenants, so I watched those as he slept.
I played basketball my last full day in Kirksville on P-Day with the 4 missionaries down there plus some of the young men. It was a lot of fun. Took me back to playing for hours after young mens back home. But later in the week my right pinky felt the same as my left pinky did when I broke it in 5th grade. So I called our Mission President's Wife (who we call for health concerns) and she told me to just buddy tape it. It doesn't hurt too bad, I'm not even sure it is broken, but better safe than sorry.
So who thought that Des Moines, Iowa, in the middle of the United States, would have people from all over the world? I sure didn't. When I got out to the mission field. I was told some missionaries were learning to speak Marshallese because there are a lot of refugees from the Marshall Islands in that city. Then I come to Des Moines. I have met African people from Sudan that speak Arabic. Some Africans from Egypt, Tanzania, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, and Ghana. I have met Thai people from refugee camps in the state of Karen (pronounced Kuh-rin). It is crazy. I have heard the languages of English, Swaheli, Arabic, Karen, and Spanish. What a city!
We began teaching a Karen (Kuh-rin) family that we met by knocking on their door. They were very friendly and they invited us in. The parents and 2 of their 3 daughters, one was late 20s, one was 20 or 21. The youngest could speak English and she told us they had just moved from St. Louis to Des Moine a few days ago, so we set up a return appointment where we could come with a translator, a 19-year-old Karen (Kuh-rin) boy from our ward. We taught the father the next day about prophets to help him understand authority as they had been baptized into a baptist church before. The father and his wife came to church yesterday. Aung, the Karen (Kuh-rin) translator picked them up. Then the rest of his family came and Aung's father sat next to the investigator father and they started talking. They knew each other! They were from the same refugee camp in Thailand. What a miracle! They said they will need time to discuss about being baptized, but they are a wonderful family.
I had a wonderful study this last week on Elder Richard G. Scott's talk from the April 2012 General Conference. He spoke on enhancing our ability to receive spiritual revelation. I invite you to read this talk and to learn something new! I sure did!
Love from Iowa,
Elder Zachary R McKenzie
Iowa Des Moines Mission
    D&C 6:34, 36
Doubt Not, Fear Not.
Faith in 550 for Christ in 2013

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