My shorty companion and me in the flat.
Copperbelt sisters representing Utah, Idaho, California, South Africa, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe.
|In front of the church.|
For those missionaries that have lived with me, I am known for singing, "I LOVE MY LIFE!" all the time. Well it's true guys. I really, really love my life and being a missionary and serving the Lord.
My companion is just amazing. I feel so blessed. Sister Ratema is from South Africa and I was the STL at the time when she arrived in Lusaka 6 months ago so we were already good friends before being companions. I'm pretty sure President thinks he's funny because he keeps putting me with the shortest sisters in the mission. I love this little shorty :) She is super hard working and fun at the same time so every day is full of good times and spiritual impressions and miracles.
A lesson we have been doing with our members lately is called "Works of Salvation". Sometimes members think very narrowly when it comes to who they think they can share the gospel with. So we make a list for them of the "V.I.P.s" in their lives and all the ordinances they need to perform (baptism, confirmation, priesthood, endowment, sealing to parents, sealing to spouse). Then we begin listing the people that are most important to them in their lives. With the families we have done it with we fill an entire page of member and nonmembers and almost every person has at least one "work of salvation" they still need to perform. Everyone gets super excited to see what work they can help their families and friends with. I made my own list and I'm excited, too.
No tracting November is in full swing. We love it so much. We've pretty much been trying to do it since we had zone conference in September but not knocking doors is the best. Instead of knocking we are networking. Pretty much everyone we teach we ask if they will just walk us next door and introduce us to their neighbors. Some people refuse but most are willing and that way we are not just strangers but we are friends of the neighbors. Referrals are booming and it is so fun to be creative instead of trudging along in the heat knocking gates all day. It is still HOT in Luanshya but at least October is over now.
With my study of the Atonement I have thought much on the resurrection. Basically when you think about it, everything represents the resurrection. The scattering and gathering of Israel. The apostasy and restoration. Sometimes I think we feel like "big" miracles don't happen in these days but this week I realized how miraculous missionary work is. I may not see a physical body raised from the dead but I have seen spirits raised from the dead on my mission. Spiritual death is very real and spiritual resurrection is just as real and miraculous to take part in.
We have been trying to teach this family for a long time but every time we would go we would only find the wife at home (who seemed more interested in being our friend than hearing the gospel). But this week we just tried one more time and we found both husband and wife at home and had an amazing lesson with them on eternal marriage. They have been married just over a year and have a tiny baby so they are pretty glowy people, so introducing the fact that they could be together for eternity just made them glow more. We taught them again on Sunday and they seem very curious and excited. The husband said, "I think I understand Joseph Smith. It really is confusing in the world. I am confused. And I want to know that truth." Sister Ratema and I sang all the way home, we were so happy.
We also found a less active that has been gone for a long time. As we are still in the whitewashing process, I was looking through the phone and found her name and felt like I should call her. She picked up and said, "Wow! I can't believe you called. I would love to meet with you!" She met us at the church and we heard her story. She has been a member since she was 10 (now she is 25) and she was one of the first members in the Copperbelt. She just glowed as she bore her testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Church. She felt like she had been lost and that no one cared that she was gone so when I called she felt a glimmer of hope. The Spirit just told me, "You are still meant to be here." I wanted to weep. I really am meant to be here, even for these last weeks.
Last night we watched the General Women's Session of conference as the Copperbelt sisters and it was so delightful but I looked around the room and felt super emotional. Those sisters are so lucky they have so much time left. I cherish my mission so much. It is so hard to think it will come to a close sometime soon.
In other news:
-That less active that told us he was "in town" from his bedroom window ran away from us again. We finally sat down with him to have a lesson with his wife and half way through he just got up and literally ran. Yep.
-The men of Luanshya really like calling me names. They just make up anything that sounds azungu. "Catherine! Hey Catherine! How are you??" Sister Ratema and I laugh for days.
Love you all,