|All pictures here are of playing volley ball with the Relief Society in my ward in Lusaka.|
Whilst brainstorming different ways to find and planning many activities with all of these auxiliaries and stake, we still have to do something productive during the day when every appointment falls through. Knocking has become my constant companion but I'm learning to be bold and loving and it's great. We knocked at one gate and someone actually invited us in. The surprise in my heart was evident in how long it had been since that had happened. We taught this woman the restoration and instead of how everyone else reacts with criticism and, "Cult!" she felt it in her heart. I'm excited to see where she goes.
We had exchanges this week with one of the other companionships and I got to go with Sister Falco. It was a really lovely day of more fall throughs but we had a good discussion on being genuine and loving genuinely. It's really easy to get into the groove of being a missionary and contacting everyone and forgetting to love strangers genuinely. Many times when she was going to walk away after briefly inviting someone to church I would stay and ask them more about themselves and get to know their spiritual needs. Sometimes when we aren't teaching we look at people as numbers but each person has a need for love and genuine care.
I definitely learned that lesson this week as we went to visit a member who has been a bit less active of late. If you were doing missionary work based on "using time wisely" all day every day then we probably would have left her house after 30 minutes and cut her short of fulfilling her true needs. She simply needed someone to listen to her story. She basically taught herself as she recalled all the details of her conversion. We spent over 2 hours at her house but it reminded me of what Christ would do. Yes, as missionaries we need to be time conscious but the ministering to individuals is much more important than that administration of numbers and time management. That member came to the activity we had on Saturday and came to church as well, all because we simply listened to her.
Many times as we go about the whole day not teaching anyone it's easy to wonder what you are really doing. But this week as I asked my companion inspired questions I realized that for right now, my companion is my investigator. That doesn't mean that I will teach her a lesson her give her a baptismal date but I know we have been put together for a reason. One thing I learned about her this week is that we are completely emotionally opposite people. But I also learned more about Christ and how He is emotionally and socially.
Christ gives all the opportunity to know Him. He reaches out to the individual and line upon line He opens His heart to all that desire. He is not afraid of being vulnerable, even though He was fully aware that He would be denied and betrayed. I guess this is sort of a practical lesson for life but I have learned so much on my mission how important vulnerability is. If you don't allow yourself to be vulnerable then you can't even receive answers to prayers.
The Relief Society activity was so fun on Saturday. It went totally not as planned but we played volleyball 40 years and older vs. 40 and younger and I was on the older team. We called ourselves the Madalas (I don't know how to describe that word in English very well--sort of like old people who know what they are doing). We totally won. It was so funny.
Also, another one of our investigators is doing pretty well. He has been coming to church with his cousin but we haven't been sure if they are actually serious. Yesterday we taught him about the word of wisdom and he admitted he was sort of addicted to coffee (not an addiction I have really face here before) but he wants to follow the commandments. He seems like he will progress towards baptism for sure!
Love you all,