September 7, 2015
Yvette (one of the Besa girls) wrote in her Book of Mormon we gave her. So sweet.
Nancy so happy about the fruit she got at the end of the iron rod.
Sister Sichinga (RS president) and I. Love this lady.
Proselyting with Mary (member) and her cousin Alisha (non-member, daughter of less active)
FHE with the sisters.
It has been another good week on the mission. I love being a missionary so much. It is so challenging and fulfilling and I feel like I am becoming what Heavenly Father wants me to be. There is so much to be happy about.
A while ago we contacted this half Irish half colored Zambian lady who randomly invited us out for "coffee". When we went, she bore a very strong testimony to us about her Christianity and it was a good experience. It seemed like the just wanted to be our friend. But as we were planning one night I decided we needed to call her and have a lesson with her. We had given her a copy of the Book of Mormon so I asked if we could explain it to her. When we arrived she beat around the bush for a long time until I asked, "Will you bring your Book of Mormon so we can discuss?" She told us she didn't have it. She went on to lovingly plea with us to accept Christ in our lives. She was sincerely concerned for us, that we were lost and preaching the wrong gospel. She kept saying things like, "Because I am your friend I need to be honest with you," and "We need the full truth and not just parts." It's funny how much courage you build up over the course of a mission. These sort of trying lessons don't even phase me anymore. We just took it with love and told her we loved her, too, and because we loved her we gave her the Book of Mormon that helps us to know the full truth. In the end we couldn't change her mind but we left with love for each other and that was what mattered. Someday she will look back and remember instead of an argument, a response of love from these two sister missionaries. Maybe her heart will be softened.
We went to see the Besa girls (daughters of less actives) and taught them about the tree of life. We set up a whole course with a hose going all around the yard and they had to follow the "iron rod" with blindfolds on to get to the "tree of life" which was just a chair with papaya on it we cut from the tree in the yard. When the day is hard or we feel a bit off on our companionship it is so nice to go to these girls full of giggles and joy. (See picture)
The Besas are a family I really love so much. We came to teach the husband, who has a word of wisdom problem, and he never came. So Sister Besa gave what little food she had to us--nshima and eggs--probably one of the dryest meals I have ever had. As I ate I felt this immense gratitude that while so many people eat to live, I am blessed to "live to eat" per se. I can choose what I want to eat and it barely even phases me. The Besas live behind other members who live in a huge house and eat extravagant meals and the contrast is overwhelming. My mission has definitely taught me gratitude.
I also just love the culture of Zambia and Malawi that they call each other brother and sister. Cousins are still brothers and sisters. Tribe mates are still brothers and sisters. They really know and feel the truth that we are all sons and daughters of God. That is a culture America really doesn't have. We tend to estrange one another for the smallest differences. I want to adopt that part of this culture for my life.
We don't have many investigators but we did teach the crazy old man this week called Morgan. Last time he seemed to understand the Book of Mormon really but this time he sort of got intense in giving us fire and telling us that the Book of Mormon just confuses people and no villager would ever understand it if he can't and he said, "Why don't you just throw the Book of Mormon away and just use the Bible?" Again, when people give us fire it truly doesn't phase me anymore. I just boldly stopped him and testified. I can't change people's hearts or minds but I can bear my fervent testimony and leave it at that. Being bold and saying your mind feels so much better than keeping it inside. I have to do that a lot here in Lusaka.
We got to have a FHE with the sisters in the Lusaka zone and it was so good. We discussed fearing God vs. fearing man and everyone felt the Spirit so much. We all fear man in some way or another. What it takes is recognizing that fear and turning to God with repentance and a desire to change. Sometimes I fear being misrepresented or people thinking I am something I am not (both in the positive and the negative). My companion has really taught me not to care what people think. If we are so desirous to please the world then we will become like the world. If we want to please God, we will become like God.
I hope this week is wonderful and that you find the opportunity to bear your testimony to someone. Mariah, I love you. Blessings on your wedding day this Saturday!