June 22, 2015
Exchanges with Sister Mbele
This is Grandma. She is the distribution center lady that LOVES
missionaries. We all call her Grandma.
Celebrating my ONE YEAR since Sister Frimpong won't be here this
week to celebrate with me. The third sister is Sister Selwa waiting to
go to New Zealand.
Ma Elders and ma sister at coordination
Well, I believe in being honest (and true and chaste and benevolent
etc.) and so honestly this week was really rough. I can count on one
hand how many times I've really cried on my mission and two of them happened this week. And one also happened to be in front of the Elders. It was quite embarrassing but the priesthood is real and all is well. In my interview in Blantyre right before President
transferred me here I told him how much I loved Blantyre and he said, "Well, maybe you won't realize just how much you love Blantyre until you are somewhere else". Truer words were never spoken. Lusaka is no joke, my friends. Sister Frimpong and I are a really good team and when we get down I usually sing her song or she gives me a hug.
But alas, nothing gold can stay. Transfer calls came and Sister
Frimpong has been called to my old area in Blantyre to be with dearest Sister Dlamini. I am still the STL and now Sister Quaye is coming to be my companion. Sister Falco is also coming to live in my same flat so that should be good. Sister Quaye, Sister Falco and I were all trained in the same house together and now we will be reunited! But I am sad to see Sister Frimpong go. I don't feel ready to take this area and to be the driver but Heavenly Father has bigger plans.
I went on exchanges with Sister Mbele in Chainama this week and they were a success. First off, I love her name (shout out to all you
people who went to Mbele with me!). The greatest thing about being an STL is just getting to hear all the ups and downs of the area and companionship and offering sincere love and encouragement to the sister. Sister Mbele was the first sister I met on my mission. She was 4 months at that point and all she wanted to do was go home. I asked her what got her from 4 months to 16 months and she told me it has been a really hard journey. She hasn't had one baptism her entire mission. I got to be the mouthpiece for Heavenly Father to express great pride and love for her.
Most of the week we have been in a threesome because a sister leaving from Lusaka to go to New Zealand on her mission was denied a transit visa in Indonesia and flew all the way back to Zambia. It has been fun to begin training her a bit. I keep laughing inside because of all the weeks to be with me personally she has seen me at my very worst. She's probably terrified for her mission now. Ha!
Most ironically, Sister Frimpong and I planned a family home evening on Friday night for all the Lusaka sisters on gratitude. After one of the roughest days of my entire mission, we arrived to the Chainama flat and the power was out. So we sat around the kitchen table with two candles and I taught about gratitude in any circumstances. Heavenly Father has a great sense of humor. It was good for my heart.
Probably the best part of the week was Sunday. After too many dropped investigators and too much stress with Sister Frimpong leaving I felt great renewal in taking the sacrament and fellowshipping with these good saints. Lizzy Wallin, who was a sister missionary in this mission and spent 13 months in my area in Blantyre, was back to visit the mission with her parents and she came out teaching with us. It was quite refreshing to hear her perspective on her mission now that she is home. Even through all the days and weeks and months of not much happening and feeling a bit like a failure she looks back and realizes that God was proud of her every day and pleased with her offering.
While Lizzy was with us pretty much every appointment bounced except one and that lesson made the whole week worth it. We taught a Hindu family from India who don't really have much of any religious foundation and the daughter prayed for the first time in her life. The Spirit was so sweet. We all walked out with the biggest smiles and the greatest reverence.
Something I have learned through all of these challenges being in
Lusaka is that with the Lord our burdens may be light. We think of
"light" as pertaining to weight but light can also signify knowledge.
When we are on the Lord's side our burdens will be light or knowledge to us. When we are not on the Lord's side we suffer unnecessarily and our burdens are just heavy. These challenges are great but the Lord is turning them into great knowledge for me.
Keep me in your prayers. I went driving with Sister Erickson this
morning and I'm still getting the hang of manual driving on the left
side. My companion was laughing at me too much.
Have a wonderful week!