Another amazing week here in Malawi! And yes Dad...I'm still in Malawi. We have two more weeks until transfers but I'm pretty positive I'll be staying here for awhile which is perfect cause I love it! Just this morning I was running around our house and I just thought about all the other places I have been blessed to serve and how crazy missions really are. We just get thrown in different places across the world and are expected to just give all of our heart, might, mind and strength to the work of the Lord. It is usually so different from anything we have experienced before yet we just love it and do what we need to. Ok sometimes we have to warm up to it but it truly is such a magnificent work to be a part of and I love being a missionary! I hit my 11 month mark this past week and it was bitter sweet. Time is flying.....
Highlights from this week:
Zone Meeting was inspiring as always! Sister Kgwetiane and I presented on "embracing the gospel" and I think I was the one who learned the most even though we were trying to help the other missionaries. I am really grateful how we have many, many opportunites to teach people about the Gosepl of Jesus Christ because everytime I grow in my own testimony. We really tried to recreate what President Erickson had counseled on about consecration and relying more on the Savior and one thing that I loved that he had said at our most recent Mission Leadership Council was that "the more you feel lost, the better. When you feel lost, that shows signs that you are changing." I have had a lot of those feelings the past week and I know that this is one of the greatest chances for me to lose myself and become a new person and I want to take as best advantage of it that I can! After zone meeting we went to get in our car and the alarm would not go off!!! 30 minutes and 4 elders later and it finally stopped.....I am grateful for the priesthood.
this picture doesn;t do it justice but it was INSANE!!!!!
We finally got to meet with Sister Tembo!!! I need to send you a picture of her!! She sells Mazila (eggs) out of a shipping container and works everyday so its been really hard to see her!! we have tried and tried to just see her for an hour at lunch but she gets really nervous her boss will get mad. Anyways we've been stopping by her shop every single day for the past 2+ months just to say hi. The other day I ran in and gave her some flowers I picked and ran back out...Sister Tembo thinks I'm crazy cause every time I see her she just starts laughing at me! She's great. Anyways she is a less active but came to churcay which was amazing! we had a super simple lesson with her and read from the Book of Mormon and honestly, the spirit was so strong in that hot, small, shipping container and in that moment I just felt all is well. I have felt that time and time again when I read from the pages of the scriptures. Sister Tembo struggles to come to church, her husband hasn't come in forever, she doesn't have money to send her boys to finish school, but as we were reading I knew that everything would be ok. She has the gospel. She doesn't completely understand everything in the Book of Mormon but she tries and has a great desire. I know that as she makes just small changes, even reading one verse a day that someday she will get to where she needs to be. You know, this week I really learned that Heavenly Father loves us soooooo much! sometimes I used to think that if we did things differently that He'd love us more. But He loves us right where we are in life. Nothing changes His amount of love. He loves Sister Tembo even if she comes to church every 3 weeks and only stays for 1 hour as much as if she were to come every week and stay all 3. So I need to be patient and love her just the same. Help her to understand that so that she will be able to more fully trust in Him and find the strength to live the gospel.
Friday we had a REALLY hard time setting an appointment in the morning so we ended up just planning to stop by a less actives home and if she wasn't there, go find someone to serve. We ended up finding the brother of one of our investigators at home with his friends. We were able to teach them and to explain a little bit about the Restoration. As I shared with them the story of Joseph Smith I felt the Holy Ghost present as I thought of how each one of these teenage boys needs the blessings that have come from a simple prayer of a boy just like them! I loved being able to testify to them that Joseph Smith saw God, the Father and His son, Jesus Christ. That they answered his prayer and then later called him to be a prophet in bringing back the gospel of Jesus Christ. One boy was Catholic, one was CCAP (central church of Africa Presbyterian), and one was Muslim, but I felt something whisper to me that the message we hold so dear and proclaim day after day after day, is not something that they can just pass by but they NEED it. I am grateful that forever person, there is something that we can relate to their lives to help them to immediately feel the spirit and recognize its importance. They are friends with Joel who was just baptized so I hope that we can help them progress!!!
Making nsima with Alli!!!
This is Alli and Oscar. Oscar was baptized in December and were are just starting to teach Alli again. And this was the first pot of nsima that I made 100% on my own!!!
Ok so here comes the climax of the week....wait first of allay, Grace called us to tell us she needed to give us something. We stopped by her house and she had made us matching dresses for her baptism!!! I couldn't believe it!! I know that it cost her a lot of money to make them but I was sooooo touched by her love. She had the whole family ready for the special day....she made herself a dress, her daughter and her nephew George. She was soooo excited! It really made me so happy and grateful for her as she sacrificed so much for us and for her special day. Not going to lie....I could not stop laughing all o ay as my companion and I walked around in our matching dresses! Some of the looks we got, especially from the Elders were hilarious but Grace loved them! So the baptism....everything was going great. The talks were amazing, she got in the font, Praise said the baptismal prayer, she went under the water, she came up out of the water and then she passed out. Uh......it was soooooooo scary and we didn't know what to do!!! She was out cold! Some women rushed over to help carry her out of the water. I was shocked though!! hahah a million different thoughts were rushing through my head....was she just nervous?? was the water too cold? did she lock her knees? Was she unworthy and struck dead? Was it going to ruin the experience for her? What was she going to think about it? What were the members and investigators going to think?? They quickly rushed us all back inside to not make it dramatic and then she came walking in perfectly fine and gave a beautiful testimony! Afterwards she didn't say anything and was just beaming! She invited us over for dinner that night and never mentioned anything about it. We were kinda scared to ask about it. We had the sweetest lesson with them though! We ended up each bearing our testimonies. The family felt more comfortable saying theirs in Chichewa so I obviously couldn't understand but the spirit was so strong. When it came to my turn I was fighting back the tears but the love that I have for that family and how much they are growing in the gospel was just too much for me to handle. I really feel like they are the blessing that Heavenly Father has sent me to continue to be positive and love the work!
GRACE PASELI'S Baptism!!
We could not get her to smile....
And she made us these matching dresses!!!
finally got a few smiles out of them!
Everyone with their newly made dresses!!!
Well it was a terrific week! I love you all. I love everything about Malawi except maybe the mosquitoes...my legs look like I have a disease but all is well!! I am really grateful for the Savior and that He has allowed me to be a representative of Him with all my weaknesses. I am really grateful that He has first set the example for me in accepting the will of the Father so that I can better know how to fulfill my purpose here and that I can turn to Him when I need help. I am really grateful for goals and plans that even sometimes aren't accomplished but help us to educated our desires for righteousness. I am really grateful that families get to be together forever and that this week we were privileged to help a family get one step closer to going to the temple. Have a great week!!!
Sister K's umbrella
after 15 months of faithful service it finally died.....she still insisted on using it though until we could get to the truck and she could use mine. Funny how all my African companions can't stand the sun more than us azungus!!
since you all were asking lots of questions about the house...here are some pictures!!!