Well I guess you all heard but I've been transferred!!! I am heading to Lilongwe, Malawi !!!!! My feelings about this are all over the place and I can't really describe them but its been an interesting past couple of days. A lot of tears and a lot of excitement but most of all, I have been filled with so much gratitude. Gratitude for EVERYTHING I have experience in Ndola and EVERYONE that I have met, taught, served, and LOVED. I am even starting to cry now as I think about it but I am also grateful for what lies ahead and what is in store for me. But really, I had no idea that it would be this hard to leave....I knew my time here was limited but this change was still really unexpected and it feels like home here.
: Zone Meeting in Luanshya! It went great! The APs were there and they did a presentation on obedience and using our time wisely. It was really inspiring and built a desire within me to look for ways that I can improve in each of these areas. Mosiah has been running through my head a lot this week and although I have read it so many times (it being our family scripture) I am finally beginning to understand how very true it is as I have seen blessings in my own life and those around me. We had a lot of good lessons but I remember coming home that night and just talking with Sister Zohner about how grateful I was for the gospel. That day we taught people from a lot of different backgrounds, family situations, and life styles. I realized that the gospel brings purpose into our lives. It gives us direction and hope. It gives us the opportunity to grow and improve. No matter who we are, no matter where we live or how we live, we need the gospel and it perfectly fits into each of our unique lives.
: I can't remember this day for the life of me.....but I am sure it was great!
: Aaron Mupundu is progressing very rapidly although his wife runs away when we come to teach. We tried bringing Sister Enear, a member from the branch, but she still didn’t want to be taught. It is hard to see someone fear the gospel when we know how wonderful it is but through her husband and his strong testimony, I know that one day her heart will be softened. It made me learn a lot though, especially how we can always love more. Sister Zohner and I visited her in the hospital on Christmas but it was difficult to build a relationship with the language barrier. We tried and I am sure we could have done more but sometimes the timing is not right....I wish I knew exactly why Sister Mupundu doesn’t want to see us but until then, I will have faith and trust that as I did my best, other missionaries will come to fill in the rest. We went and saw Cletus, our recent convert, and had a lesson on prayer. He comes from a Pentecostal church so his prayers are full of faith and conviction but have a little different pattern and wording. We planned a lesson to help teach the correct manner of prayer and it was really great but then we had him pray and it was the exact same as before. Maybe we could have been more blunt or taught the lesson better but it made me ponder over my own life and look for things that I can change or improve that I may at first not recognize. I found A LOT and it is overwhelming but in this moment of examination that night, I was comforted by a picture of the Savior that Mom sent me with. As i looked at him I was reassured that although I have tons of imperfections, He has called me to do this work and He will make up for my weaknesses as I strive to make them into strengths. Then we went and visited Sister Sinkiwae( a less active) and we felt that we needed to build up a relationship with her. For the lesson, the three of us each shared our favorite scriptures . It was amazing to see how much the scriptures have blessed all of us. The primary song, “Scripture Power” was running through my head after that lesson and since then, each time I have pulled out my own scriptures in a lesson I have felt a special power about them and they have helped me to find the inspiration and courage i need to share the gospel. Hastings, the Simanwe’s nephew, is progressing and is on date for February 27th! I am really sad I won’t be able to be there for it but excited for what lies ahead for him. After we went with Sister Simanwe to visit her friend. By the way one of my most favourite things to experience on mission is seeing recent converts share the gospel with their friends. It is kind of a surreal feeling to be sitting there, hearing them share testimony and truths that only months or weeks before, us missionaries were sharing with them! This is one of the blessings of being able to serve here in the same area for a long time. We were heading back home and that's when we got a call from the APs. They started asking Sister Zohner if she knew how to drive stick and told us that we should take some time to practice. We automatically knew that that meant we were getting split up. Sister Simanwe was still in the car so we couldn’t talk about it but it was really really sad. There was a weird feeling in the car as I started thinking back on all that we have experienced and accomplished together. Sister Zohner is one of a kind and I really learned a lot from her! Thank goodness she is from Boise but it still is going to be hard to leave.
: Teaching Sister Zohner how to drive stick was hilarious and stressful! I think i finally understand what Dad went through when he taught me. Hahahaha I am glad that sister Zohner didn’t get annoyed with me but she did awesome!!! The best part was when we switched back and i sat in her seat and it was super sweaty....hahaha i guess it was good prep for someday when I teach my own children.
Teaching Sister Zohner to drive stick.......
That night we got called at around and the news finally came that I was transferred to Lilongwe and I would be companions with Sister Ratema. She was in the Copperbelt before and I have been on a couple exchanges with her so we are already really good friends!! Sister Zohner is staying in Ndola but will be companions with Sister Thueson. That night I had a harder time falling asleep as i was trying to digest all the new changes that would be occurring soon but honestly it really didn’t hit that night.
: Sister Zohner woke up early and made me breakfast! She’s the best.
Sister Zohner woke up early and made me breakfast!!! she is the best. also she said she got the idea from dad.....thanks dad!!!
Then we drove to Kaniki to help Sister Martha slash her grass. Hahaha you should have seen the 4 of us with slashers trying to cut her lawn. We have some pretty good videos that sister zohner has promised to come show you. We all had blisters even though we only did it for probably 30 minutes. Sister Martha’s mom said that we were doing work that only men do so she made us stop and instead she had us fertilize her maize. We took handfuls of fertilizer and put it next to each stalk of maize. We the 5 of us it went pretty quick and it felt good to be working again outside. It made me grateful though for that fertilizer thing we have at home and all the people here who work so hard!!
Fertilizing the maize!
Bambuya (grandma in Bemba) showed us how to fertilize the maize...we love her!!!
We came home and showered and then went driving again. Sister Zohner is a pro and ready to drive! We went and saw the Nondes for my last time....it was awful!!! First of all they wanted us to sing “Come come ye saints” for the opening hymn so that of course made me emotional. Then sister Nonde asked me to say the opening prayer. It was a miracle I got through it. This family is so dear to my heart and has blessed me so much! We had a great lesson on the plan of salvation but at the end when i bore my testimony, i got really emotional and encouraged them to continue to be faithful. It was such a blessing that we had decided to teach the plan of salvation because it gave me a great hope for a reunion and also amidst the sorrow, i was able to feel the hope and joy of this great plan of our Heavenly Father. It was at the end that one of their daughters, Chariet, started crying really, really hard and that just killed me! But we made it through the goodbyes and when we got back in the car i felt so grateful for how hard it was to leave them because I felt that i had done my best in being a representative of Jesus Christ. Obviously I could have done a lot more and taught better, but I had loved them with a love that I am not sure I have experienced before. This love, this Christlike love, is vital in missionary work and even though I cried while driving away, I can’t wait to give more of that love to those in Lilongwe! Next we went to teach Justin and his cousin Moreen who came to church for Justin’s baptism last week. We showed them a video of the temple and all Justin could say at the end was “wow”. It made us laugh but his response was perfect. It was exactly how i was feeling and how i feel every time I am in the house of the Lord. My love for the temple continues to grow the longer and longer I am away from it. Justin’s dad came in at the very end and we were just making small talk with him. He is a police officer and told us that President Lungu (Zambia’s president) was in Ndola so he had to go to work. Sister Zohner and I asked if he could tell us where President Lungu was so we could see him. It actually has been a dream of mine to see him but Justin’s dad just laughed.
If you zoom way in on the picture you can see him in the tan SUV. #coolestbirthdayever
Anyways we had to go over to Selina’s house because she had a birthday present for me. She told me to sit on the couch and close my eyes. Before i knew it, she was dumping water on top of me!!! They have a tradition in Africa where they dump a bucket of water on you when its your birthday. Sister Zohner convinced Selina to just do a cup instead of a bucket but it was quite the surprise.
After they poured water on me!
She gave me a present though...this girl is the sweetest. She even gave me ice cream!!!! She also wrote down her testimony for me and wrote a really sweet note. I was overwhelmed by her love!!! After that We left and as we were about to pull onto the main road the police stopped us. They told us that the President was about to drive by so we had to wait.......you should have seen mine and Sister Zohner’s faces!!!! Well, I pretty much had the best birthday ever cause I WAS 20 YARDS FROM PRESIDENT LUNGU AND HE WAVED RIGHT AT ME!!!! It was pretty sweet. The policemen were cracking up at the two of us. That night Brother Nonde brought me over a card that he had made and then Sister Zohner gave me all the emails from each of you. It made me cry and laugh all at the same time. Thank you thank you thank you thank you for all your kind words and love and support. I felt so loved and appreciated and blessed that day!!! It was a birthday I never will forget.
one of the hardest goodbyes! I love this family!!!!!
The Ndola branch.... well at least some of them
: hardest day of the week. I was a wreck during the entire sacrament meeting. They had me bear my testimony and right before going up, I just prayed that I would be able to make it through. I ended up doing fine but it was hard to stand up there and look at so many people that I love! That branch has changed my life! It was so touching to see Sister Nonde there for the second week in a row after not coming for 6 and a half months! Or to see Joshua with only one shoe. As i looked around the small chapel i felt so humbled by each of these special saints here in Ndola. They sacrifice so much to be there each week yet never complain, they truly press forward with steadfast faith in Christ. It was a lot of hard goodbyes and some funny ones too that i will explain someday.
(the Branch President)
I asked what pose he wanted to do and he said lets just point at each other! I'm gonna miss this one!!
The handshake of a lifetime
Akim.....the one who expressed his love for me over the pulpit. hahahah Sister Zohner is a pro at taking pictures
Probably the most upset about my leaving......
Chalwe family plus Mercy
My girls of the Ndola branch
We had some hard lessons that day especially the Simanwes but all is well.
Well my time is up but I love this work. I love being a missionary! I love Ndola and am not really looking forward to leaving but also really excited for all the adventures and miracles that lie ahead in Lilongwe!!!
Mushali Bwino mi familia!!!!
Kirtland temple in Zambia????
I made nshima all by myself and Sister Zohner thought it would be funny to put green food coloring in it....Happy earlier St. Patrick's day???