Every week is an adventure on mission but this week was extra unique. MLC was amazing!!! I wish you could have been there and learned and felt everything that I did. Both days we were taught, we counseled, we testified, etc from 9 to 6. I thought I would get bored or get sick of sitting in the same room all day long but I didn’t want it to end!!we got to meet all the leaders from around the mission which was really fun to get to meet the missionaries from Malawi. I know I have said this before but there are some amazing missionaries in this mission! President Erickson opened the council and it was so inspiring. He talked a lot about the culture of our mission and asked what we thought it was. Some of the responses were…obedience, hard work, self-reliance, kindness and love, joy in the work, beginning with the end in mind. While all these are true, President said he wants the culture of our mission to be spiritual development. President Erickson is very concerned with who we are becoming and what we are learning. He wants to establish the gospel in Zambia and Malawi but he knows how important it is for the missionaries to be changing and becoming builders of the kingdom for the rest of their lives. There is this quote, I think its from Elder Ballard that says, “it isn’t about how many baptisms you have at the end of 18 months or 2 years but where you are in 20 years.” President Erickson talked a lot about how mission is preparation for the most important time in your life. I am so so so grateful to be a missionary and what an incredible opportunity I have! He also said, “There are only a few times where you will be tried to your very core…mission is one of those opportunities.” It is true. Mission is hard and has tried me in so many different ways but I am learning so much and I know Heavenly Father is preparing me for the future and the challenges that will come then. Anyways the opening remarks were just awesome and made me even more excited for the rest of the conference. We had a council about the mission schedule and I am sooooooooooooo pumped because we get to stay out later now!!! We get to stay out until 7 unless we had an appointment with a progressing investigator than we can come home at 8. To be honest, I have always felt that I was cheating missionary work because we had to be home so early but now we get more time to work!! And now we will do companionship study in the morning which will be better because we will be more focused and united for the day. We debated about this schedule a lot but President Erickson feels good about it and this country really is safe. When we went back to Ndola and had a conference with all the district leaders in our zone, a couple of the Elders were really worried about this change. It was so sweet when Elder Etiang(from Uganda and he has blue eyes!!) said, “I fully support this decision and I am so excited to work later but I am worried for my sisters.” This schedule change will be difficult for some but it is a great opportunity for our mission to exercise our faith in Heavenly Father. His work is truly hastening here and what an amazing blessing that I get to be a part of this! That night we got to go to this super fancy Chinese restaurant…I guess it is tradition for MLC but it was sooooo good!!! I honestly ate so much because who knows when I will get food like that again. We stayed at the Lusaka STL’s flat and I felt a little out of place because all the sisters were having so much fun because they all have served around each other but have been separated. They are really nice though and included me and it just made me so excited to meet and serve with even more sisters as I grow older on mission.
The next day was just as amazing as a conference! We had some amazing training on exchanges which was good because I have been really nervous about doing exchanges. We are going to go on exchanges in Kitwe this week and I have to go with a sister who was transferred here for her last 6 weeks from Botswana. Exchanges are done with the purpose of the STL training the other missionary but I am most looking forward to learning from this sister who probably knows so much! It should be exciting but I am still really nervous. I’ll tell you how it goes! Sister Erickson taught about keeping all of our covenants and spoke a lot about the temple. I didn’t realize how much I miss the temple! I hope you all have been able to go because I really really wish I could go. She talked about how when we partake of the sacrament we not only renew our baptismal covenants but we can renew all our covenants., the sacrament was so much better and different because I pondered on this. I am so grateful for the sacrament. The rest of MLC was great and it was sad to leave!!! Hopefully we get to go again in November because I left feeling so inspired and uplifted and excited to be a missionary. BUT….it also made me miss Ndola soooooooo bad and want to get to work!! It made me realize how much I love being a missionary, missionary. Not so much a leader but I am so grateful for our leaders and the office elders…how everything runs so smoothly is such a testimony to me that this is the Lord’s work. Also, President and Sister Erickson do so much for us. They are amazing! Anyways, nonetheless, I couldn’t wait to get back to the Belt!
Sister Erickson camemorning to do a test drive with me and it went great! I didn’t even stall once!!! I kept putting the windshield wipers on though instead of the blinkers and I accidently drove on the right side of the road a couple times but all went well. Then we discovered the insurance and registration were expired so we couldn’t go home . We stayed at the mission all day which was hard but I got to write letters to our family so be looking for them!!
I love you all so much!! I hope all is well at home!!!! Keep being the people and examples you are. You are making a much bigger difference than you can even imagine!!!