Sunday, July 19, 2015

Love is Sacrifice

July 13, 2015

Darling Family,

Eating my caterpillar!

Caterpillars! Yum.

These are solid missionaries.

The District at Munda Wanga

FHE at the Nkowanes

Dinner with the Khans

Sister Falco and I. Love this lady.

My companion getting her hair relaxed in the dark. The power is still on and off.

 Last Monday we went to Munda Wanga as a district--a small zoo and botanical gardens just outside Lusaka. All of our activities have to have some spiritual purpose so the theme of the activity was unity. On our way out of Lusaka both the Elders and us got pulled over by police because of old stickers and we took a detour to the police station. In Zambia and Malawi if the police pull you over then they have to get into your car and you have to drive them to the police station. What a funny world. I guess that experience contributed to our theme of unity. It turns out a lot of us were secretly struggling with different things and so though no one mentioned what they were going through a good ole' braai was exactly what we needed.

One Elder said something this week that really impacted me. He was talking about something completely different and then he just said, "The greatest manifestation of love is sacrifice." I'm convinced the Spirit was speaking through him to me. It prompted me to read a letter Mom sent me almost a year ago about George Stevens, my great-great grandfather. Reading his story of leaving his wife and little children to serve a mission gave me strength. He showed God that he loved Him more than anything else. I feel like that's something the Lord is trying to teach me. The same blood that ran through George's veins runs through mine. I will continue through the challenge because without the sacrifice this experience wouldn't be complete. Love is sacrifice.

Many members invited us over for family home evenings this week, which was a blessing to take a breather from tracting all day err day. First, we had FHE with Sister Nkowane and a bunch of other random members of the ward that don't have families. We played games and had a great lesson and it was just sweet to be with these amazing saints. Sister Nkowane shared a scripture that touched me a lot. It is the story of Jesus healing a blind man in Luke 18. Christ asks what the man would have him do and the man replies, "Lord, that I may receive my sight." That is so much of what I am seeking lately. I want to receive my sight and see my challenges with spiritual eyes. 

Then, we had a FHE with a Korean family in our ward, the Khans. Brother Khan is the Elder's Quorum president. His wife just came to join him from Korea after living here a year so he's pretty happy to have her around with their two kids. She is still learning English but I could feel her spirit and how much she loves the gospel. I shared a scripture with them in Alma 26 about being "wanderers in a strange land" but how the Lord is aware of all of us no matter where we are. The Spirit was so sweet as we looked around the table of Koreans, Americans, a Kenyan and a Ghanian, realizing that we are all wanderers in this strange land but we are family because of the gospel. I felt that God was aware of us sitting on the floor around that tiny table. Sister Khan wept as she shared (in Korean) the perspective she has gained in coming to Zambia. She said everyone in Korea has so much but are so dissatisfied with their lives but everyone here has so little and they seem so happy. I really do love this ward.

Last night the four of us missionaries in the ward had dinner with the Sichinga family out at their lodge in the boonies. Brother Sichinga is a former member of parliament so he always has great things to say. He told us the history of the church in Zambia and all of the challenges we have had and still have with the rumors and such and it was just a lovely evening. We talked about the reality of God and His plan for Zambia and the world and it gave me greater courage. The stars were so bright and so was the Spirit in the room. Also, I tried caterpillars for the first time, so there's that. They aren't too bad but I wouldn't recommend them either :)

Sister Quaye and I have struggled a bit with our companionship unity but one thing really brought us together this week. We were knocking doors in an apartment building and we came to a door where this girl answered the door (probably only a few years older than us). She was nice at first but rejected a bit rudely at the end. As we went to the next door we couldn't help but overhear her tell her friend all of these rumors about the Church and how we claim to be Christian but we are really hiding our true nature and how the world is spiraling downward, etc. etc. etc. and we looked at each other wondering what to do. A man came up the stairs and went into the apartment so in a moment of courage my companion knocked at the door again and said, "Oh, we just saw that man walk in and we are inviting everyone to this activity so we wanted to give him a card, too." She took it and acted friendly and then Sister Quaye said, "And we just wanted to let you know that the Lord loves you and we do, too." She had no guile or sassiness but said it with boldness and kindness and the girl was totally confounded. She didn't even have to say anything about the smack she had been saying about the Church but she nobly stood up for the truth. I have a cool companion indeed. 

That's all for this week. I hope you have a great week!

Sister Proctor

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