Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015

This week was the best! Of course I am missing Sister Motsi lots but Sister Zohner and I are already best friends! You probably already heard this…but Sister Zohner’s dad is Dad’s patient on Tuesday. Hahahah we couldn’t stop laughing when we found that out. Honestly, this entire week I have laughed more with Sister Zohner than my entire 6 months. She reminds me a lot of Chelsea Borup so now you know how awesome she is! She is in the Boise Central Stake in the Bitterroot Ward which makes me so excited that we get to see each other after mission. If you want to visit her mom, go to Deseret Book anyday but Thursday and Sunday. She works the evening shift. Anyways….I have so many things to tell you about so hopefully I can get it all in but HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY TO DAVID,MATTHEW, and JOSH AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO REBEKAH!!!!!

Tuesday: It was our last day working together in the area and we had a lot of fall throughs and there was kinda a weird feeling the whole day because of all the upcoming changes but it was still a great day! We taught Selina and as always, she walked us about ten minutes down the road to our next appointment. That day she was soooooooo excited to tell us how she shared the gospel with someone. I thought I felt joy when I was sharing the gospel but the joy I felt while listening to Selina tell us about sharing the gospel was so much greater! This girl is such a huge example to me as she continues to put her faith and trust in Heavenly Father and do all that He has asked of her. She is an example of living true to her baptismal covenants. She then proceeded to tell us with a huge smile on her face about how the Holy Ghost helped her. Selina’s family all left for the farm and she was left home alone with her aunt for 2 days. Those two days the aunt was bossing her around and treating her like a slave. Selina told us that she just wanted to yell at her but something prompted her to not. She recognized it was the Spirit and she said it then helped her to stay positive and not say anything mean to her aunt the entire time she was there. What an incredible experience that this 14 year old shared with us and my heart was overfilled with joy as she was able to experience the blesses of having the gift of the Holy Ghost. She helped me this week to cherish that wonderful gift I have been given and to listen more carefully to its promptings. Oh how grateful I am for each and every person that I meet here. They each have strengthened my testimony and made me a better person….isn’t that what the missionaries are supposed to do to them?? That evening we tried to teach Barton but he was kinda busy. Every lesson is always crazy with Barton and the funny moment from that day was that his pants were unzipped and he was trying to secretly zip them up while he was talking but was having a little bit of a difficult time and this probably doesn’t sound funny and it’s a “you had to be there moment” but it was hilarious! It was really sweet though to hear Barton express his gratitude for Sister Motsi and he shared how he has felt that she really has a strong testimony. He made me once again grateful for all that I have learned from her and the wonderful example she has been to me!
Barton Zulu...probably the craziest, funniest, investigator ever.

Wednesday: We said goodbye and Sister Motsi and Sister Ratema got on a bus headed to Lusaka where they would then get a plane to Malawi. The goodbye wasn’t as bad as I thought but I REALLY hope that Sister Motsi and I get to see each other again. I am pretty sure we will but with this mission you never really know….Well Sister Zohner and I had a great first day together! We taught Sister Sambe which I haven’t been able to see her in a long so that was really really awesome. I know that she knows the church is true and we are struggling to help her to just trust in the feelings that she is having but we had a good lesson with her about the temple and family history. I am so grateful for my family! Thanks for all that you do and the amazing examples that you set. Sister Zohner and I set goals this week and hopefully we can help the Sambe family to progress…they really are so dear to my heart. We kinda went ALL over Ndola on Wednesday but good thing they build ‘em tough in Idaho. It was incredible how fast Sister Zohner and I were unified in our lessons and I am so grateful that from the very first day, all our lessons have been so in sync. It has been fun to talk about things from back home and Sister Zohner has one wish that I said Dad could help her out. She wants to shoot a bear….She gets home August 2016.

Thursday: My most favorite day of the week! We made our way to Kawama and were supposed to have a lesson with Aaron Mupundu and his wife but he wasn’t there. His wife speaks a little English but not much. We decided to have a lesson with her and the spirit was so strong. We had to REALLY simplify the gospel and it made me realize that too often we make the gospel way to hard. We over-complicate things and think that we will never become all that Heavenly Father sees in us or we will never be able to fulfill our calling or that we never will learn the scriptures well enough. Sitting in the small home with Sister Mupundu and Sister Zohner was such a neat experience for me as simple, yet heartfelt testimonies were born. I felt the hand of the Lord guiding and directing every single word that we shared with her and I know that she didn’t understand everything that was said but could feel something different. From the beginning of the lesson to the end I saw a change in her that is hard to describe but she changed from being shy to smiling and trying her best to communicate with us. She gave the closing prayer in Bemba and I picked up a couple words but the Spirit touched my heart as I realized that Sister Mupundu probably didn’t learn very much and we didn’t teach much but we were able to share the light and love of the Savior. Through Him, we were able to bring happiness to one of God’s daughters. As Sister Zohner and I walked away from her home, I felt so at peace and so grateful once again to be a missionary! We were walking down the dirt road on our way to the Simanwe’s and these two boys came up to us. I asked if they wanted to race and I really wish I had a video of Sister Zohner and I running down this road in our skirts and with our bags.  I love moments like these! We then picked up Olivia and went to teach Justin Banda, her uncle. He was soooooo excited about his upcoming baptism and Justin is one of the most humble, shy men I have ever met but his smile is the sweetest and he could not stop smiling! It melted my heart. We had THE BEST lesson about the temple and family history with him and during that lesson I had two really cool experiences. 1. We were teaching and I was sweating sooooo bad.  I happened to look over at Sister Zohner and not only was she sunburned but the sweat was always running down her face and neck just as bad as mine. My love for her and all the missionaries in the world that work so hard for the Lord grew in that moment. 2. We were bearing testimony of this sacred work when all the sudden I had a feeling that both Justin and my own ancestors were in the tiny one room home with us. I actually don’t have words to describe what I felt then but I have a testimony that our work as missionaries does not end at the investigator…it extends to their family and friends here on earth but even on the other side. I was so humbled by the influence and  responsibility that we have as missionaries and really “how great is our calling.”  That day we also walked a ton as we had lots of appointments in Chifubu and Pamodzi and I realized how blessed we are on Thursdays. Since there isn’t anywhere to get clean water or food we usually just buy small snacks at tuck shops but it is amazing how I never feel that hungry or tired. Other days when we are in town I find myself way more tired and hungry….I know that Heavenly Father is watching over us and blesses us to do His work in so many different ways.

Friday: We taught Benson the less active garden boy for the meetinghouse and when we usually ask how he is doing he isn’t really doing that good but this week he was so happy and excited. He said he feels like this new year is going to bring a lot of good in his life. He also shared with us how he finally bought a white shirt and he was sooo happy! I love the joy that the people here have for the simple things in life. The best part of the day was when we got home and the 11 year old girl who stays above us was outside with this weird little animal that looks like a lemur or small monkey thing. Its called a bushbaby and her dad saved it in Congo and brought it home to her. It is sooo cool and she let us hold it and everything but I don’t really do well with animals and when it climbs up your arm it tickles soooooooooo bad. When I was holding it I started to get nervous and I was laughing so hard and Sister Zohner was taking a video and laughing really hard too so none of us could do anything and I just wanted it to get off my neck. I couldn’t handle it anymore and my body was sort of freaking out and I started to get closer and closer to the ground….I don’t know what I was doing but it was the funniest and weirdest thing ever! Its probably the coolest animal I’ll ever hold though and it was quite the adventure!
 The busy baby

Saturday: THE BRANCH CHRISTMAS PARTY WAS A SUCCESS!!! Actually nothing really went as planned and we probably had a total of 10 people at the beginning but by the end when the food came out we had about 25 people. We wanted to show some videos from but there was a miscommunication with the branch and they didn’t have a computer for us to use. After a lot of trying different things we ended up watching “A Savior is Born” and “O Holy Night” and they were so good! Oh the whole thing started 1 hour late…..we planned on having everyone share a Christmas memory or what they love about Christmas but only about 4 of us shared, Sister Zohner and I being two of those. But here comes the best part….the Sunday before I had written out a script for us to act out the nativity, just like we do at home from Luke 2, and handed out parts. A lot of the people didn’t show up but we had Mercy as Mary. Akim as Joseph. Sister Zohner and I as shepherds with umbrella staffs. Sister Nkosi and Sister Mulomba and Justin (a 14 year old investigator) as the 3 wise men. Sister Kapato as the angel. And Grace as the narrator. We brought and Sister Zohner’s & my chitenga (the wraps that the women wear here) and we dressed everyone up. We drew a hut and star on a chalk board for the props and then acted it out. It was by far the funniest thing I have experienced in the past 6 months. First of all….Mary and Joseph were major acting it out and were walking soooooo slow and like a very dramatic pregnant woman. Then we had her go behind the podium to switch out her stomach for a fake baby and the Joseph started making crying sounds which made me start laughing. Then right before I was supposed to walk out my umbrella just popped open and wouldn’t shut so I started laughing harder. Then the Joseph kept playing peek-a-boo and doing funny things with the baby so I was laughing even harder and you know that when I start laughing, its hard to stop. Then we were all supposed to sing Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains but every time I tried to sing, I’d start laughing so I pretty much just hid behind Sister Zohner but Sister Kapato was laughing as well. It was a disaster! But everyone loved it and there was actually a really sweet spirit as all the characters were gathered around the baby Jesus and the congregation sang Silent Night. I had made snicker doodles and the branch had bought stuff to make sandwiches and it actually felt like a ward party. It took a lot of our time on Saturday and was a lot of work and some stressful moments but it was hilarious and I really felt the Christmas spirit while watching the videos. Our branch is small and  far from perfect but I love that I have been able to serve here for 6 months and I am so grateful that I get more time here to love and serve the people.
 African Shephards from Idaho
Branch Activity

SundaySunday was such a special day as Ntusha was confirmed and Justin was baptized. I was playing the piano on Sunday and so I was right next to them as they confirmed Ntusha and for some reason it was really different being right there. We talk about the power of the priesthood and I really could feel that power as they not just confirmed her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and gave her to Gift of the Holy Ghost, but as they gave her a blessing. I love confirmations just as much as baptisms and every time they make me grateful for the restoration of the priesthood. Justin's baptism was so special as his brother in law was able to baptize him. I have felt so blessed to see Brother Simanwe exercise his priesthood and share the gospel with so many of his family! Justin's testimony was the best convert testimony I have ever heard and I am so humbled by the changes he has made and the covenant he made that day with our Father in Heaven. My joy was full as we left the meeting house that day. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! I am grateful for those that have entered the waters of baptism and feel blessed to have witnessed and been a part of this but I know our work extends far greater than just baptizing. I love thinking of all my friends who are out there serving and what good they are doing. This work is something else! The new sisters also gave their testimonies and I just am grateful for each of the them and that I get to serve with them. They bring me so much joy as we are so far away from family! 


This week we have zone meeting and then we are heading to Lusaka on Friday for our combined zone conference with the lusaka zone/ Christmas party! And next week I GET TO TALK TO YOU!!!!!!!!!! I love you all so much and am so grateful for you!!!


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