The darling Besa girls that cooked for us
The not so darling capenta I ate. Those eyes went in my mouth. Yum.
This week we had very few lessons but we also saw a lot of miracles and the hand of the Lord in every step. He is so aware of me personally, not only in the missionary work but in my personal life, too. When things work together just too perfectly for it to be a coincidence I think of them as "God winks". Little reminders that God knows and gets it.
District meeting was so powerful. We talked about revelation through the Book of Mormon and it was a good reminded that the Book of Mormon is literally our most powerful tool we can use. I think sometimes it's easy to sit down and want to teach the restoration from the Bible because that is what people so dearly love and trust here in Zambia but the hard evidence that you can hold in your hand that the restoration is true is the Book of Mormon. All of the few lessons we had this week were so much more powerful because when investigators had questions we would turn them to the Book of Mormon instead of to our own thoughts or to the Bible. I love that book. It is like a little book of light I carry around with me everywhere and whenever I need comfort I can open it with full faith that I WILL find comfort.
I think the best feeling in the world is being the answer to someone else's prayer. So many times this week we showed up right when someone really needed a reminder that they were loved in the heavens. We were knocking doors in an apartment building and this lady passed us while we were talking to someone else and we both felt like we needed to talk to her as she walked up the stairs. We didn't know where she went so we continued knocking and asked for a referral from one girl at the door. She told us to try a couple floors above so we skipped a ton of doors and went up to this referral. The referral wasn't home so we tried next door and that woman who had passed us answered the door. When we asked how she was she said, "I'm not too good. I just lost my brother and I have been gone since yesterday at 3am." We literally caught her in the only ten minutes she would be home for days. She didn't have time for a lesson but we came in and bore our testimonies to her and gave her hugs and I knew we were where God wanted us to be.
That also happened with a less active. We had been praying and praying and completely had a stupor of thought of where to go. As we were getting in the car to head to another area we just thought maybe we should check on a less active. At first it was just nice to chat with her and get to know her a bit. After a full day of knocking and getting yelled at with doors in our faces she offered us some hot chocolate. As we were talking though, all of a sudden she began to cry and sort of bore her heart to us. We totally figured out why she is less active and much of it has to do with a lack of testimony. I am excited to continue working with her.
We had a lesson with our investigator called Friday who is in his 50s but we literally called every woman we could think of to come teach with us and everyone said no. We finally went to the chapel, because every time we go to the chapel we find a miracle, and the only person we found was a member of the stake presidency. He brainstormed with us and finally got his wife to come to teach with us. It may sound like not a miracle at all to you but when you desperately want to teach on of your only investigators and you might have to cancel because you don't have a woman to teach with you, it is a miracle indeed. The lesson was so great. We also brought Brother Sichinga who is a former Minister of Parliament and when Friday saw him it was like his celebrity crush had shown up at his door. So funny. He was definitely blessed by these two powerful members.
One of my favorite moments this week was when these three little girls (who are the daughters of a less active couple) made us lunch. They are about 3, 8, and 9 and the most giggliest gaggle of girls you will ever meet. When we arrived at their tiny house they saw us and brought two food warmers and two plates out to their little picnic table. They could hardly contain themselves as they opened their tiny warmers and revealed the lumpiest nsima I've ever seen and capenta (tiny fish). They were so proud of their concoction and Sister Frimpong and I ate with so much gratitude in our hearts. To be honest, capenta is probably my least favorite food in the entire world but I savored every nasty bite with tiny tears in my eyes as Heavenly Father expanded my visions. It was totally a type of how He feels about me and us as missionaries and as His children. Our offerings to Him are so imperfect and pale in comparison to His greatness and glory. But when we offer what we have with all of our hearts then He will just cry with gratitude. He doesn't expect a five course meal. He just expects our best. If our best is lumpy nsima then He will love every bite. No matter how many weaknesses I have as a missionary and person He is grateful for my meager offering. It was the most revelatory meal of capenta I've ever had.
Another sweet God wink this week happened as we ate dinner at a members house. Yes, people actually feed us meals here at dinner tables with forks and knives (is this real like?). I was asking Sister Charity about her life and she told me that she helped to found Mother Without Borders, the humanitarian group based out of American Fork. She and the CEO began a school and an orphanage here in Lusaka. As she spoke, I remembered that Liz Lemon Swindle, the painter of that beautiful painting of Christ walking with the African children, came to Zambia with Mothers Without Borders to find inspiration for this painting. I got that painting for Christmas right after our first trip to Kenya and it has hung on my bedroom wall at home sort of as a symbol of my deepest loves in life, Christ and Africa. As we got talking, I found out that all of the orphan children attend our ward and a few of them are the children depicted in that painting. It was such a simple discovery, but to think that this painting that hung in my room years before I got my mission call came from the very ward I am now serving in--it's just too perfect.
I loved talking to you over Skype and feeling the love. You people are the greatest. Thank you for your forever support.