Monday, September 19, 2016

I LOVE Ndirande

 Church Cheesin'
Valentine and Luigi!!!

Future Sisters!!!

It was another whirlwind of a week here in Blantyre and I am still just loving every single second. There were so many times this week where I had to ask my companion if I was doing something wrong because I am so happy all the time! I have always loved my mission but it has never been so good. Here is why...

At family home evening Chikondi told everyone to be quiet and then said, " Aren't we so blessed to have these sisters here?" Sister Arok and I just looked at each other and didn't know what to say. The members here are so enthusiastic about missionary work and their trust in us and our calling is so humbling. There are so many things that have made me realize I was sent here for a reason but one of the tender mercies of serving here is to be so close and involved in the lives of the saints. They are inspiring and encouraging and fill my life with joy! 
Sisters of Blantyre
 Sister Newey, Sister Chibase, Sister Brown, Sister Porter, Sister Bingham, Sister Arok

I went on exchanges with my favorite, Sister Newey!!! She is amazing. She has the biggest heart and such a strong desire to be in line with the Savior's will. The whole day, I couldn't stop smiling. I loved being with her and being in our area and teaching the gospel. We finally met with Connie, an investigator, who has been out of town for the past couple of weeks. Sister Arok and I have been stumped on how to help her because she reads the Book of Mormon but just can't seem to get the answer she is looking for. We had a really powerful lesson where we reviewed the Restoration and it hit her hard. She has taught me the importance of patience and consistency while we seek guidance from the Lord. Then we had a lesson with Sister Katunga about family history. She was sitting outside on her reed mat, waiting for us which never happens!!! Then she even offered to say the opening prayer without us asking. Her granddaughter Thoko was baptized yesterday and it truly is blessing their family and helping them all to be active. Anyways lately we have been witnessing the power of Elijah as we have helped many members and investigators do family history. Records and dates are really difficult to find here in Malawi but every time we teach someone they are able to remember so much. I felt a lot of help from the other side of the veil this past week. We also saw the Makunganya family who is doing incredible!!!! They are reading the Book of Mormon and praying as a family and they received confirmation that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. And they ask the most inspired questions in the lessons! Felix, the husband, had  to work but Sarah, his wife, still came with their 2 kids and her sister in law. Finding and progressing families has been a big focus for me lately and as I have been reading the Book of Mormon, I have realized how much power and strength our families bring. I know that the Lord will continue to prepare families for us to teach. 

We taught Vaida this week about patriarchal blessings and the whole lesson I was thinking about how much I want Blantyre to be a stake so that they can have a patriarch. And then guess what??? The Zone Leaders said that Blantyre is making super good progress on advancing towards a stake!!!! Miracles are happening. Brother Phiri drank again this week:( BUT he went over two weeks without giving into temptation!!!!! It was disappointing but when we went and saw him we told him we had to move his baptismal date back to mid October and then asked if he knew why. He responded with "Because I need to fully repent." He is doing so well and really really really wants to change. He will do it. and the day he is oh man I can't wait!!! We met with a less active family this week, the Tembos. I have only taught their mom
 but we Finally got both boys to join us. And they came to church this week and Davey passed the sacrament! It brought tears to my eyes.

Aggie and Adisum passed their baptismal interviews and will be baptized this Saturday!!!! For some reason, I was really nervous for their interviews which is weird because they are some of the most prepared people. Anyways we went through the questions with them and their testimonies and faith amazed me. They really are converted to the Savior and His gospel. I loved hearing them share how happy the gospel has made them and how the changes they have been making have blessed their lives. I once again was in utter awe of how the Lord truly is preparing hearts for us and how small our role is. I had a lot of moments this last week where I was reminded that the Lord expects us to be obedient, faithful, and diligent and then He will shape us into the instruments He needs us to be. 

The baptisms were so great!!!! Thoko and TIonge were beaming. Clifford and Vaida gave their very first talks!!! They were stressed about it all week but they did soooooo well!!! I love how simple the gospel is that even youth can teach and testify of its truth. Sister Arok, Beauty Paseli and I sang "When I am Baptized"...yes I actually sang and I wasn't nervous at all. The actual baptism was the highlight for sure. No matter how many times I witness a baptism, the same special spirit is there. I am so grateful for the priesthood and ordinances that help us to be happy now and to return to live in complete joy with our Father in Heaven. Thoko and Tionge's testimonies were short but so inspiring. They each testified of the Book of Mormon and our living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. How blessed we truly are to have both! 

 We didn't get a good one of them but at least we are smiling:)
 Stella, Tionge, and Vaida...future general relief society presidency
 Watipaso, Thoko, Tionge, and Osman
 Model poses with the girls
 The girls
 Katunga family!!!

So many amazing things happened this week but words and time are just not enough. I want to thank each of you for your prayers on my behalf and the people of Zambia and Malawi. I really have felt so much help this week and our area is continuing to improve each day! We have never had so many people to teach and so many people keep their commitments. I love you all!! I love being a missionary.

 Soche Mountain Round 2

Jamika...our own personal guide:)

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