The sign that is outside the gate of one of our investigators. It's a good thing we still had the courage to knock
|Reunited with Elder Motlhaping, my friend from the Kalambo Crew. Elder Mwangi, Elder Motlhaping and I serve|
One of our investigators gave us a pineapple from Molanje (tallest mountain in Malawi) so I decided to plan with it by my side.
Saying goodbye to Sister Chirwa. What a doll.
Heavenly Father is pretty cool. He knows me pretty well and He knows that I tend to feel small things poignantly and see the tiny, happy things. One poignant thing He gave me this week was to help my dear Agnes get ready to leave and see her set apart. It was a year ago that I got my mission call and now I am almost half way through my mission, so seeing this sweet girl get set apart as Sister Chirwa was a good reminder of how I felt when I got my call and when I was set apart myself. As I look ahead on the next months of my mission I want to be rededicated and consecrated. The time is going too fast. I only have so much time to give my full attention to this work. Hugging Agnes goodbye was really emotional. I am not sure when I'll ever see her again. She will be a fantastic missionary.
Another tiny moment that made me happy was one day as we took our long walk home. A guy from Zimbabwe drove by who is our down stairs neighbor and offered us a ride home but since we didn't have a woman with us we politely declined, looking a little daunted at the mile or so to go after a long day. But we were blessed for our obedience. As we continued walking we passed the boarding school and a girl about 16 years old excitedly ran up to us. In my tired mind I sort of just assumed that she just wanted to make a comment about me being an azungu (like so many a million times a day) but she said, "Are you missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?" When we said yes she told us that she was from South and that she was here for boarding school and hadn't been able to find the church. She told us how much she missed young women and how she had even done baptisms for the dead. As a missionary pushing everyday to help people catch the gospel fire it was so exciting to see that fire in someone so young and far away from her family. She has obviously felt her own conversion.
Remember that lady in our branch that was 10 months pregnant? She finally had her baby so we went and visited! They named their little boy Tapiwa, meaning a gift from God. It was just exciting to sit with these new parents, one a returned missionary, and think of the future of this tiny bundle.
We also experienced a girl called Tapiwa this week that truly lived up to her name. Saturdays have sort of notoriously been our long days for the past couple of months. Our plans always fall through and we feel like a couple of kids wandering despite our best efforts. As we headed to do some finding in a specific area, the Spirit said, "Expect great things," and I suddenly had a surge of faith that we would find someone special. We knocked on the first gate and a girl about our age opened the door. She knew one of the RMs in Blantyre 1st branch, Christopher, and so she let us in with an open heart. Christopher is known for being just happy we let her know that his happiness came from the gospel. The Spirit led us to talk about prophets and it just connected with her. She accepted baptism and told us she can't wait for us to come back next Saturday. She is here in Blantyre for school but guess where she is from. My old area in Lilongwe. Thanks Heavenly Father. It's the little things.
Another time during the week we had a cancellation (can you tell we have them a lot haha) and before we could even pray for guidance we both clearly knew the person we needed to go see. There is this woman we contacted and we have never been able to teach. She is always busy (or "beezi" as they say it here) and her husband is barely at home. When we knocked on the door we found both husband and wife at home just sitting on their couch. It was as if they were waiting for us to come. The Spirit knows so much better than us.
I guess the greatest lesson I am learning lately is to have a faith and a good attitude no matter what. If I expect Saturdays to be rough every week then they probably will be. I need to expect great things no matter how many Saturdays in a row are long and hot and tiring. My faith in Christ is growing so much. I know that's what God wants right now, despite how much I want a progressing investigator.
Saturday night we called every person ever to try and visit on Sunday and we only found one appointment. Well, during church, that one appointment was canceled so we had an afternoon of zero plans. I decided to go into it with excitement and God truly guided us. The Lord my God is leading me by the hand. He is patient with my weaknesses. And He even gave His Son so that I could overcome them. Sunday was just full of the Spirit. I sat there during the sacrament thinking about the Savior and the Spirit just said, "He died to know you." Being known and seen is something I dearly value in life and it was just another tiny moment that was felt poignantly.
In other news, they used to have little plastic sachets of alcohol sold for cheap everywhere (that even a child could buy them) but this week they were out lawed. Word of Wisdom, bho! Also, Sister Kuwali's (the half deaf lady that makes me laugh) husband is now the night guard at our flat and every evening when we come home he shakes our hands and says, "You are just coming in now? CONGRATULATIONS! You are doing a commendable job!" Ha! Those two are perfect for each other.
Love you all like crazy,