We baked a cake for her but Zambian tradition has it that you pour a bucket of water on someone before you give them a present:)
Future Sister Missionaries!!!
Ok I know I only have two weeks left and one email after this….but it really hasn’t hit me yet that I am coming home. Especially since this past week was so great and things in our area are really starting to progress well. Yesterday I talked to President Kapato, the Ndola District President, about us coming overfor my last FHE and he said that he would call President Kupu and ask if I can just stay. So is it ok with all of you if I just extend????? Maybe instead we all could just move here and serve missions together? Cause believe it or not, I do miss you all!
We had Family Home Evening at Sister Chalwe’s with her two little boys. We sang “I am a Child of God” which I remember singing at their home last year and feeling the exact same special Spirit. There aren’t words to describe being gathered in their humble home with that faithful family singing the words to that song. I was greatly touched to sing the words “to live with Him someday” as I thought of their many challenges but then to think what lay in store for them in the Kingdom of our Heavenly Father. We played the game where you put a biscuit on your forehead and try to get it into your mouth without using your hands and they LOVED it!!! I don’t think I have ever heard Sister Chalwe laughing so hard! I love bring the joy of the Savior into homes each week!
One evening we went to teach Bernard and to help him prepare to teach the lesson for this week in Gospel Principles. Oh he wasn’t confirmed last week because of a last minute emergency and then this week his mother passed away so he wasn’t able to be confirmed again but this week he will!!! Anyways it was late and we didn’t have 1. A member to work with us and 2. A female to join us in the lesson. We tried all we could and so I quickly said a silent prayer. I lifted up my head and there was the neighbor just getting home. I asked if she would be willing to join us for the lesson. She was cooking nshima but said that she would be able to join us if we sat outside and taught next to where she was cooking. We sat down and were about to begin the lesson but I felt I should try calling Justin, a member, one last time. His phone hadn’t been working all day….but HE ANSWERED!!! And he literally ran to make it to our lesson. How grateful I am for prayer and for dedicated members! Also Bernard is now in 2 Nephi!!!!
Andrew who is going to be baptized on Christmas is also doing fantastic!! In fact yesterday in Sacrament meeting he got up and bore his testimony! I have had investigators do that before and it always puts me sort of on the edge because you never know what they are going to say but he did so good. HE EVEN QUOTED A SCRIPTURE FROM THE BOOK OF MORMON. He quoted 2 Nephiand shared how he now understands the Heavenly Father truly has a plan for all of His children. He testified that it was part of God’s plan for us to have a minor accident with him just so that he could hear the Restoration. His testimony was very dear to my heart and it was especially meaningful because he is pretty shy and quiet so I know it was difficult for him to stand up there and testify but he did great. He is 26 years old and stays with his brother but we are going to teach his parents this week!!!
Brother Nkhole has also been progressing slowly but surely. We love his family and have such a strong desire to help him enter the waters of baptism so that they can go to the temple together someday. For one of my gifts to the Savior I felt that I should do all I can to help Brother Nkhole accept the gospel. I have been praying for him diligently and this week we saw many miracles! He kept making appointments with us and then last minute would cancel which was frustrating but I count it as a miracle that each time he would text us which showed that he was mindful of us and cared. Then midweek we got a text from him asking that we please come! We weren’t able to actually teach him untilmorning but the lesson went really really well. We watched the Restoration DVD with him and then answered a lot of questions he had about Joseph Smith. He has been reading and praying and he still doesn’t have a firm answer but says that he feels the Spirit. We are working to help him recognize his answer but as we testified of the Restoration and the blessings we now receive because of it, we tied it in with the Sacrament. We committed him to come to church and HE ACCEPTED!!!! We both were so happy we couldn’t respond to him for a few seconds! I know that the Lord is helping him and softening his heart. Unfortunately he was called into work morning but I am so grateful for small tender mercies that we have been able to witness with him. Oh afternoon we found him reading the Book of Mormon with his wife outside their home!!!
Last night Sister Martha invited us and the other sisters for dinner. She stays way far away but her cooking is worth it! She let us help though and I cooked the nshima all by myself….yep I’m preparing just for you all!!
Anyways while I was helping her cook she was telling me more about her experience with the temple. As she was on her way back from the temple she felt a strong prompting that she needed to act so that she could keep the covenants that she had made. She made a stop in Lusaka before coming home and discovered through her family of two young men who needed somewhere to stay. She returned home to Ndola, found the two boys and they are now staying with her. I was so touched by her story and her desire to truly live her temple covenants. The members continue to inspire me each and everyday! Yesterday I tried to soak in my last few moments with them at Church and learn as much as I can from them.
All is well in Ndola! Lots and lots and lots to be done for which I am grateful for. And I am grateful that the Lord has entrusted me to serve here. I am humbled by my calling and hope that I will continue these next two weeks to serve our Savior and bring many more unto Him.
Saying goodbye to Selina
She moved to Fatima....about 40 kms from Ndola:(
Singing in the rain
I wish I had a picture 5 mintues before....the road was a river!!!!
Baboons in our area...nbd.
at a members house in the elders area. she cooks for them twice a week because her own son is serving a mission
Farewell Article for our Mission Newsletter:
As my mission comes to a close, I have been experiencing a lot of very mixed emotions and to put the past 18 months into a few words is a difficult task. However, as I reflect on my missionary service, two words come to mind....gratitude and joy. I quickly came to learn within my first few days as a missionary that I have countless inadequacies and weaknesses but I was and continue to be humbled to know that the Lord has called me and all of us to labor in His vineyard. To say that I am extremely grateful for my call to serve would be a great understatement. Each and every day I saw the hand of the Lord provide miracles that built my faith and increased my appreciation for the Savior and His Atonement. For this I will give praises of thanksgiving for many blessings seen not just in my life but in the lives of those I taught, loved, and served. We each were promised that "more happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among His children." And if there is anything that I can testify of it is that missionary work brings JOY- complete, true and lasting JOY. But it only comes as we serve with our all. The greater we give the greater we receive. I remember a particular trying moment during my mission when I was give the counsel to lay aside my worries, fears, and disappointments and to enjoy this one time in my life where I can completely dedicate myself to building up the Lord's Kingdom. The more I left behind who I was and focused fully on my calling, the more I was blessed with an indescribable amount of joy and I can honestly say that it has been the happiest 18 months of my life! It will be difficult to leave Zambia and Malawi, to leave the people that have grown so dear to my heart, but I'm excited to continue what has begun here. The work, lessons, and miracles won't be forgotten when I take off my name tag, but will be a strong foundation as I continue in my call to serve, wherever or whatever that may be.