This may have been the happiest week of my mission and might possibly my life!! It has been filled with the sweetest reunions as I have been able to be back in Ndola. There are so many stories to be shared but the highlight was returning back to the Simanwe's home Saturday morning we pull up to their house. Poor Sister Reid...it took my all to just not sprint into their house!!! Olivia comes running out screaming and gives me a big hug. Then Sister Simanwe comes running. I think she gave me 30 hugs! But guess what??????? THEY WENT TO THE TEMPLE!!!!!!! Sister and Brother Simanwe and Olivia were sealed this past week in the Johannesburg, South Africa Temple. I hardly had words for them as we sat there and they told me all about it! I thought that going through the temple and being gathered with my own family was the best moment of my life. But honestly, seeing this family, who just over a year ago, was taught about the Restoration, to now have made sacred ordinances in the temple......was the happiest moment ever.
The Simanwe's and their sealing certificate from the temple!!!!!!
It felt like I was home Sunday, as I sat in the Ndola meetinghouse. Sister Maggie still hobbled up in front and bore the most powerful testimony. Selina stood there and bore testimony about the importance of the Sacrament. Brother Simanwe conducted the meeting as he is now the first counselor in the branch presidency. Sister Simanwe taught the lesson in Relief Society. Brother Thole taught our gospel principles and told another amazing story that built my faith. It really is the biggest blessing that I have been able to return to this area to see the growth and change over the past 10 months. I have missed so many of the members and it is humbling to know that the Lord has called me once again to serve them and learn from them. There is a lot of work to be done but I am grateful for all the things that I have improved upon since I last served here so that now I can serve more diligently and with greater faith!
We had our Mission Leadership Council this past week in Lusaka. It was great to be gathered with so many of the sisters that I have developed dear relationships with! The Kupus....are incredible. Each time they speak to us missionaries, I am amazed by them. They have so much faith and humility and a desire to be completely obedient to the Lord. I am grateful for the trust and love they extend to us missionaries. As we were instructed by our mission president, I felt the strongest desrie to not disappoint him but to do my best to fulfill what he expects and asks of me. I am grateful that President Kupu has been able to help direct my focus to the Savior so that I can learn who my leader is. We did things different this MLC and we went out proselyting in the evenings with the other sisters serving in Lusaka. I was able to go out and teach with a couple different sisters and learned so much from them!!! I taught with two sisters who have been out for less than 3 months and they have so much fire for the work!!! It got me pumped for my last 6 weeks. It was also so great to immediately put into practice what we were taught that morning. We were able to witness many miracles together as our president asked us to go and find a family. At the end of MLC President Kupu announced that Sister Thueson, Sister Owusu-Afriyie, and myself would be leaving soon. I had totally forgotten!!! He thanked us for our service and then guess what the closing song was...."God Be With You Til We Meet Again." Obviously I cried. It was a hard hit as I all the sudden realized how little time I have left and how much I sincerely LOVE my calling as a missionary. And it was the last time that Sister Arok and I would see each other before i go home and Sister Newey and I would no longer be serving in the same zone. It was sad but I will forever be grateful for what i experienced with both of those sisters. Sister Newey has been the biggest strength to me as we have served the past 9 months together. But I know the Lord has great plans for her!!!!
Ndola is so great. Our area needs to be built up again and so we have our work cut out for us in the upcoming weeks! Which is the biggest blessing for me so that I can finish out my mission strong. When I first arrived to Lusaka in June, President Erickson interviewed me and shared with me a few things that he knew I needed to and could do as I strive to humbly and faithfully serve the Lord. It was interesting to hear President Kupu share almost the exact same words to me as I begin the close of my mission to the same area. This is the Lords work. He has called me and knows me. He knows my imperfections. He knows my weaknesses. But He also knows my potential. Sister Reid and I have already seen great miracles. We set a goal for the past 3 days to find new investigators. In our very first day we found and taught 7 new investigators!!! Ever since I was told I would be transferred, I have been praying for the Lord to prepare individuals for us to find, teach and baptize. Then yesterday, I was able to fast for the same purpose. I was surprised to find the Lord answer my prayers different then I expected. Rather than just sending the people right to us, He was able to bless me with a great enthusiasm and energy so that I was able to contact and talk to SO many people despite the heat and exhaustion that accompanies missionary work. And we found a great, self-reliant, noble family that agreed to meet with us this weekend. I know that Heavenly Father ALWAYS answers our prayers. I also know that what we read in D&C 58 that we need to be anxiously engaged in order for those desire and wishes to be given. We were blessed to have baptisms . The Nkhole family was baptized and I already feel a great love for them!!! Vincent, the 19 year old son, has been teaching with us everyday for the past 3 days!!!!!
I love being a missionary. I love Ndola and am grateful for all the many blessings I have been able to witness this past week!!!
sistas round 2
Nkhole Family's Baptism
Selina and Justin!!!
Selina and Justin.....she still is carrying her little brother to church!
This is Stephen. His mom was pregnant when I left Ndola but she came running to tell me that she finally went to church like she promised after he was born!
Hiding from the rain at the baptism
back with Mercy!!!!