Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015

Family!!! How is everyone doing?! Happy Late Birthday Lissy!!! This week was so amazing as always but it was extra special since we got to watch General Conference. Everyone has told me that watching General Conference as a missionary is the best and now I definitely know what they were talking about. And even if Jacob had been here…he wouldn’t have even had a chance to tie me to the couch because I was holding onto every word that was said! And transfer news came…..I am staying in Ndola with Sister Motsi!!!!! I am really happy because I love it here and the thought of leaving here and the people I have met brings tears to my eyes. I never would have guessed that I would be in the same area for 6 months or with the same companion but I know this is Heavenly Father’s plan for me and that He needs me here and He knows there are still things I need to learn from Sister Motsi. This morning we hiked Ndola hill and it was the best Monday ever!!! I didn’t realize how much I miss hiking and especially those Idaho mountains!!! But it was so peaceful up there…despite all the people praying, chanting, and clapping, but I loved looking over Ndola and feel soooooo blessed to be a missionary in Zambia. Life is good.

WE FINALLY HIKED NDOLA HILL!!!! I was in paradise

Monday: After emailing we went to buy some things for the other sisters from the salulula (second hand clothes) and I saw these HUGE spoons that they cook nshima with. I’ll send a pic but they were so big that I asked the lady if I could take a picture with them.

 I put my camera case in my bag and I guess I didn’t close the zipper all the way and in the short time of taking a picture it was stolen out of my bag!!! I thought I just dropped it but nope...but that’s not the end of it. I was trying to be careful about my bag and I had it right on my hip and then I felt someone tugging on it and then all the people selling on the streets starting yelling and I turned and the guy trying to steal from me was running away. Luckily he didn’t grab anything because that pocket was empty but it was crazy! I have never been worried about this before so I guess I just need to be a little more careful. It was really cool though how upset the people on the streets got though. They all ran up to me to make sure everything was ok and even started going after the guy. I love the people of Zambia!!! We visited Sister Lunia (a less active) who we visited a week after her baby was born about 3 months ago and I cannot believe how big the baby is now! It made me realize that I really have been here quite awhile but wow that was weird. I can’t wait until I get home and see how big all the nieces and nephews are getting. Don’t grow up too fast!!!

Tuesday: Zone Meeting was once again so great!! I just love being with all the missionaries in our zone. And the best part….I GOT A LETTER FROM HOME! I wanted to open it up right then but somehow I made it the whole day. Thank you soooooo much Mom for the note and all the quotes. I can’t wait to start giving them away. It made me laugh though how some of the quotes you had sent me, I sent to Brooklyn and Jacob! Like mother like daughter J Zone meetings are always filled with such a special spirit and I always look forward to them because I learn a lot of things that I can improve on. Sister Motsi and I presented on Faith+Exact Obedience= Miracles. As much as sometimes I would rather just enjoy the zone meeting and not have to present, I am so grateful for how presenting really allows me to examine how I am applying the principle in my own life and I think every time I am more influenced and changed than the missionaries of our zone. Every topic we present on is exactly what I need to work on for that month. As I stood in front of the Elders and Sisters this past week, I realized how much we need faith. It really is the first principle of the gospel and missionary work. When we remember who we are, sons and daughters of God, that we have been called by a prophet of God, and that we are representatives of Jesus Christ, nothing becomes impossible. No challenge is too hard. No calling is too overbearing. No responsibility is too heavy. Miracles truly occur all around us as we have faith and apply that faith through our obedience. One thing that makes me so grateful to be a missionary is that every day, without fail, I witness some kind of miracle. They often are very small but they have changed my life and have given me a new perspective. I know that even non-missionaries can experience miracles as they are faithful and obedient to the Lord’s commandments. Thank you for all your examples of faith and obedience!!! We headed to the Simanwe’s after zone meeting for lunch. They have been wanting to feed us for such a long time. We were going to help them prepare it but zone meeting went long and so when we got there they had everything ready and there was SO MUCH FOOD!!! We had nshima (of course), rice, chicken, fish, potato salad, egg plants, lumanda ( some kind of ground leaves with ground nuts and other vegetables) and cooked cabbage. The lumanda is some special dish that they have on special occasions. I was so humbled by how much preparation they did for us and how much of their food they sacrificed for us because they have little. I just loved, loved, loved being with that family! Since the first day I met them, they have always made me so happy. During lunch we were laughing and having such a good time. For a quick second I thought I was back home eating together but seriously I wish soooooooooo badly that you all could come here and be with this family!!
lunch with the simanwes
 When I took this picture I thought of mom taking a picture of her thanksgiving plate!

 After we ate we were kinda in a hurry to leave but we decided to share a quick scripture with the fam. I was impressed to share Mosiah 2:41…our family scripture and they really loved it! They all marked it and wrote it down but I hope you all will take just a minute to read this scripture this week (ponderize it maybe J). Oh how true this scripture is. I know with all my heart that we find happiness in this life when we keep the commandments. We will have everything we need if we are faithful to the end and are promised NEVER-ENDING HAPPINESS. I can’t think of anything better but honestly, I feel that way as a missionary! Thank you mom and dad for choosing that scripture for our family so I could share that with another family. Your influence is felt every day here in Ndola! We went to go pick up a member to teach with us and she sent us on quite the adventure to find where she works but finally found her we did! We went and taught Brother Barton Zulu and he played us a couple songs on his guitar…one just randomly mid lesson…but he has a great talent and can sing very well. Like I said last week about him “testing us” he kinda likes to play games. This time he sang a song about slowing down and then at the lesson he told us how we need to teach very simply and little information at a time. “I don’t know if you caught on but that was the theme of my opening song and I hope you noticed my hidden message” haha he makes me happy but its funny because I have never taught the first lesson so slowly but I guess we need to go even slower. He is doing great though! We taught him about the priesthood and he understood well but then when Sister Motsi invited him to prepare to receive the priesthood he freaked out and said he doesn’t want it. He has already done enough for God and is a good person. His comments made me realize that we do have great responsibilities in this church, so many things to do that seem hard but as I strived to reassure him I was reminded once again of the enabling power of the Atonement. We are not alone. There is nothing too hard when we have the Savior by our side and I am so grateful for the experiences I have had that have taught me this. I hope that you get to meet Brother Barton someday, if not in the next life. He is quite the character and always full of surprises! He loves to call me Sister B. I love all the different people here in Ndola!

Wednesday: I went on exchanges with Sister Andriaamamonjisoa (one of the sisters in my flat) and it went really well. She is an incredible missionary like I have said before but each and everyday she just gets better and better. She is a great example to me of consecrating herself to the work of the Lord. She loves her investigators and really does care about the eternal salvation. I got to go with her into her area so that was fun to serve somewhere new since Sister Motsi always goes into the other area because I drive. We had a wonderful day! Almost every single lesson fell through…this always seems to happen on exchanges but it didn’t phase either of us! I was worried that it would stress out Sister Andria but she was great. We went to teach a young family in the morning but the husband had to go to work. He said we could come back for a lesson so we helped the wife was some dishes and then we sat in their tiny one room house and taught her how to sing “Because I have been Given Much” I can’t even describe what I felt as we sang that hymn with her. I really have been given so much. I love how quickly the spirit came as we started singing. I really love the hymns of this church and how they can teach us just as well as a lesson. We didn’t get to share a lesson with her but I hope that she could feel the same way that I did. After that was when everything that we had planned went wrong. Usually this makes me flustered but today I felt so at peace and calm. I think it was because of what mom sent me about continuing to being positive when things go wrong. I really do appreciate all that you send! Your words and prayers lift me everyday! But at the end of the day we had a miracle! We had stopped by this family’s house twice before and then we were walking back to the car and just happened to run into the mom! She said we could come so we were able to have a lesson with the family. The other sisters have been trying to meet with the dad for weeks but haven’t been able to but we found him home! We had a short but sweet lesson about eternal families and the temple. Sister Andria was SOOOOOO HAPPY after that lesson. She just hugged me as we walked back to the car and couldn’t stop smiling the whole night! I love so much that I get to spend a couple days with the other sisters in the zone and to be with them through disappointments and moments of joy! They are all great examples to me and I always learn so much from each exchange.

Thursday: We spent the entire day in Kitwe getting our car serviced and it was insane trying to find the Toyota shop but after about an hour of driving around Kitwe we found it! The Hulls ended up picking us up so we got to spend the day getting to know them as we ran errands. They are really awesome!! They took us to lunch and bought me a steak!!! It was so amazing….when I first got here I remember saying…you know if I ever eat a steak on my mission I will be so happy!! Well they made my dream come true!  So that was kind of a bummer day as far as missionary work but I am grateful that we have a working car!

Friday: Happy Birthday Melissa!! This day was incredible! We had a packed full day of lessons! We saw Claytis and he is moving quite along and we committed him to baptism for November 15th. I am a little worried that he isn’t totally sure about everything and is just going with the flow but this next week should be good. We saw Sister Mwiinga and I mentioned to her how we have been teaching her for 4 months and the other sisters have taught her since January and then she said, “One day I will get there. Don’t lose hope on me.” This brought tears to my eyes as I realized she has many struggles in her life but she knows its true and our efforts are not wasted. Last week I thought that we should drop her since she isn’t progressing but that day I was reminded that she is a daughter of God and he has a plan for her. He knows better so we will keep doing our best and trust in His timing. We taught Barton Zulu with Sister Enear again and I have a stronger testimony now that the gospel is for EVERYONE. Sister Enear (a convert of a year and a half) gave such a sweet and powerful testimony. Yes it was simple and she has a lot to learn herself but she knows its true and is doing what she can. She really is amazing and such a hard worker! I admire the joy she finds in the gospel. I just loved this day and will save you all the boring details but why I loved it so much is because we worked hard! We taught a lot which was a blessing but I have come to really know that as we lose our self in the service of heavenly father we find ourselves. I love being a missionary and the joy I feel!

Saturday: Conference was incredible!!!!! We got to watch both sessions at our meeting house and it was the best! We had two investigators come for the morning session and I just loved sitting there with the 15 of us, listening to the apostles and other leaders of our church! It was really encouraging to see the conference center and all the people. Sometimes I forget how big this church is and I get discouraged by the slow progress here and the small branch but that day I was so happy to remember how true our church is and how huge it is! I got a little homesick watching though and then seeing President Eyring…hahah it was like I was with Dad! I wish I had more time to tell you all I learned from conference and how I had so many answers to prayers but i just loved it! In between sessions we found out that Sister Motsi and I were staying together for this next transfer in Ndola! I am not sure really what I was expecting but it kinda took me by surprise. Sister Motsi is a champ though for staying in this area for what will be 10 months and especially for putting up with me. I am grateful that I get to be here because there are so many people that we still need to help here! I will write more about this in a letter to mom that maybe she can share with all of you but nonetheless conference was the best!!!

Sunday: Conference again and it was incredible! We had a lot more members there so that was awesome. Selina came again carrying her brother! I could hardly hold back the tears as I watched her walk in with a big smile on her face and sweat dripping down her face. She has so much faith and I will never forget the example she is to me. She hasn’t missed a Sunday since I have been here and we got permission from our district leader to extend a baptism date to her this week. I can’t wait!!! 

Selina hero! She carried Lushomo, her little brother all the way to conference both Saturday and Sunday. She is amazing!!!!

Boas, Barton Zulu’s neighbor came as well. When he came I had no idea who he was and once he told me I remembered. We saw him the other day and invited him to come and I can’t believe he did! All our other investigators didn’t come yet he did. I hope that he could feel the special spirit that was there! This was a testimony to me that we should never miss an opportunity to invite others unto Christ. It may seem useless or they won’t accept what we have to offer but we never know what will happen. I am sad we have to wait another 6 months until we get to hear from the prophet and apostles but until then I am excited to apply what I learned and felt! 2 more conferences and then I’ll be back home with y’all!!!
You are the best and I love you so so so much!!!!!!

 these trees are absoluetly beautiful!!!!!! they are called flamboyant trees
 eating blackberries from a tree! can you tell I was enjoying them?!

happy independence day!!!!!

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