Monday, October 12, 2015

Fire in Eden

Oct. 12, 2015
My pride and joy--my mission journals.

Walking in the area. The jacarandas are fading out and now these red trees are coming into bloom. Too beautiful for words.

My scripture bag is finished

Darling Family,

We were walking through our area on Tuesday and a man driving by stopped his car and asked, "You beautiful ladies wouldn't happen to be Mormons would you?" In excitement that someone would recognize us, I said, "Yes, that's us!" He replied with a smile, "I would hate to see nice young women like you to burn in hell fire. But the doctrine that you teach is sending you right into that fire." That was only the first of the "fire" that we got that day. Now I completely and fully understand why people say, "He gave me fire," in my mission.

This area, especially as the heat increases, is not very easy. I think my companion has decided it's the wilderness. But the Spirit told me to read 2 Nephi 8:3 and told me that this promise applies to us, "For the Lord shall comfort Zion, he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody." So there might be fire and this might be a wilderness but I know that the Lord will make it Eden for us--even if it is just in what we learn.

Another day we made the long trek to one of our less actives homes whom we made an appointment with and when we arrived the kids outside said he was not around. When we called, however, we heard the phone ringing close to the window. When we called again, this brother answered the phone and said, "I'm in town! I can't see you today." We could hear him not only through the phone but through the window. We couldn't stop laughing. I said, "My brother, just come out and greet us." And he said, "I'm in town!" Too funny. The kids couldn't stop laughing, too. Zambians like to make their children lie for them.

Another detail about life here is that the economy is quickly diving into a depression. When I arrived in Zambia it was 7 kwacha to $1 but now it is 15 kwacha to $1. Most of the copper mines have closed and people are getting pretty desperate. With the hot season on top of it, life in Zambia is a challenge for many.

But there are still people that make this place Eden. We weren't able to see our progressing investigator this week because he was in Lusaka for a job interview but he is still on track to be baptized in a couple weeks! And the Kantas continue to be such a joy to be around. Meeting the members of the church has been the highlight of my time here in Zambia/Malawi.

Sometimes I wish that I would have had the opportunity to train on my mission. I know I still have a transfer left and it's a possibility but most likely it won't happen. But I'm finding that "killing" a missionary is probably just as challenging or more so than training one. A great lesson that I am learning in this companionship is that being Christlike is a choice. Even Christ himself had to choose to be humble and patient and kind. Those characteristics aren't just naturally apart of us but they are a choice we have to make in every circumstance. Eventually, the choice is easier to make because it becomes a part of our deepest self, but it will forever be a choice. What a blessing that we have been given agency, that instead of lashing out we can choose to forgive or say sorry. Instead of criticism we can swallow our pride with a teaspoon of sugar and decide to love instead.

I finished the 3 week Book of Mormon challenge and lest you forget, I love that book!
Have a joyous week. Pray for a missionary opportunity!

Sister Proctor

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