theres not much to say this week. that good family were teaching didnt come to church so we will go talk to them tomorrow. we dont know why yet. some new people did come for the first time and it was a good sunday for them. we are finding lots of people to start teaching but we need to work with members better to find people who have good friends in the church. being a missionary makes me want to be a good member missionary when i go home because i know how important that is now.
we taught this really great new investigator on tuesday who started the lesson with a lot of questions about the restoration pamphlet. he obviously had a lot of knowledge of the bible and the way his first question was, it seemed like he might become contentious. When we started to answer his questions the spirit was teaching him and by the end we had taught him about everything in the pamphlet except the book of mormon and all he could say was that it just made sense and seemed right. it was great to see him be so humble and respond to the spirit like that. then we went back to see him on friday and his mom who is very enthusiastic about her own church and doctrines joined the lesson and basically tried to defend the family church the whole time which distracted from the Spirit a lot. pray for us that we will be able to properly teach the young man and maybe even his family will change their attitude and listen to us like he does.
also if anyone has any ideas on ways to work with members and get the ward involved in missionary work and reactivation that would be helpful
we will make some more interesting things happen this week
oh also we watched the joseph smith movie with a recent convert who was baptized 2 weeks ago and his friend who is a member and their friend who is getting baptized in either 2 or 3 weeks. at one of the parts where it shows the mobs persecuting joseph smith the little brother to the member asked why they were doing that to him and our investigator said “because he is preaching the truth.” that was good to hear from an investigator.
there is this family we have been teaching that has a lot of potential and yesterday, for the first time, they came to church (except the mother because she is pregnant and its hard for her to walk there). they loved church. there was a baptism after church and the father stayed to watch so while that was happening his kids were playing around the church. when we looked for them after we found his 2 year old in the other ward’s primary. apparently she liked primary so much today that she went twice. and she almost started crying when we pulled her out to go home. it was a good sunday. i think that family has started to progress more because we were able to find out that the husband has a drinking problem and we started to talk about how the gospel and can help him. now he is more committed to prepare for baptism. he sincerely wants to change and we are just starting to see him change now and i think the wife is very happy about it. she has been a really good support for him. we talked about temple sealing with them and it got me really excited for their family because the gospel is going to change their lives. teaching families is way nice.
the guy who showed up to our lesson at the church a few weeks ago got baptized yesterday. he’s a funny guy. the one who was baptizing him said the wrong name. he didn’t just say his name incorrectly but he gave him a completely different name so they had to re do the baptism but our investigator didn’t even correct the guy. he was just going to accept the wrong name haha. the bishop afterwards said we were just doing vicarious ordinances.
Bishops wife made us ribs and mashed potatoes on saturday.
the guy who was baptized last week introduced us to his friend and we started teaching him. he didn’t come to church because of a basketball tournament. i know the sabbath day is a commandment but at least he was missing church for basketball instead of some lame excuse like he forgot to wash his clothes or something. i cant be too disappointed.
have a good week
this week was excellent. we had a miracle baptism. last sunday we found out this guy was coming to church the past 3 weeks with a member friend but he was going to sunday school with his friend instead of gospel principles class so we didnt know about him. we found out he wasnt a member so we made an appointment to see him at home and when we went on wednesday we found out he was already studying the book of mormon and understanding everything he was reading and even praying to know if it is the word of God. he already had a testimony of it when we came. he had been looking through his friends copy of doctrine and covenants and made comments to us relating it to Gods promises to Abraham in the old testament. and he understood the restoration like he was already a member. it was a really spiritual lesson and we talked about baptism. he said he now knew he needed to be baptized but didnt feel he was ready (he was definitely ready he just didnt know) so we just told him to pray about which sunday in the coming weeks we should have his baptism. we told him we would also pray about it and then on friday we would pick a day together. On friday when we saw him, he asked us how our prayers went and we told him we already knew on wednesday that he was ready to be baptized this week but since he wasnt feeling it yet we picked next sunday (june 10) to give him a week to prepare. then we asked him what God told him and he said “I want to be baptized this sunday.” it was so cool. when he was interviewed we asked who he wanted to baptize him and he said “it doesn’t matter. as long as they have the priesthood.” now we are going to commit him to serve a mission as soon as he can. he turns 18 very soon and will finish school this year and he has the desire to share the gospel (he has already started doing missionary work at school) so I am confident he is going to serve a mission soon and he will be a powerful missionary. this is one of the best experiences of my mission. we had nothing to do with his conversion. all we did was meet him at church, teach 2 lessons and organize and interview for him. the Lord can really give miracles if we have faith.
i really appreciate where i am serving because this young man is so prepared already for this chapter in his life. the people of zambia and malawi are full of faith and they grow up learning the bible stories and scriptures in school. people like this recent convert know the bible more than i do and already have a foundation of faith when we start teaching them. it makes me wish i was more prepared for my mission because i see so much potential in young men like this who are going to leave for a mission with the teaching skills, faith and knowledge of a seasoned missionary
i dont know what else to say. lets take the gospel more seriously. have a good week
we were teaching a lesson outside the chapel this week and a guy walked up to us wearing a suit and holding a book of mormon and sat down and joined our lesson. we didnt know him and we thought he might be a member from the other ward but when we talked to him throughout the lesson we found out he is an investigator from our area. he was taught last year in the sisters area and one of the sisters found him in the area book this week and called to invite him to church. he almost got baptized last year but some issues came up and since then he moved to our area and now he wants to learn again. the funniest part is he showed up to our lesson on saturday thinking that it was sunday and that he was coming for the church service. so we found a new investigator because he showed up on his own to one of our lessons all because he didnt know what day it was. that sounds like a pretty good way of finding to me. we will see where it goes with him. he didnt come back to church on sunday. i think he lives far away.
whenever my companion tells people he wrestled in college before his mission they think he is talking about WWE style wresting. surprisingly its kind of popular here and everyone thinks its super real. people say he looks like John Cena so he tells them that they are cousins
we are trying to shift the area we teach in to be closer to the church because it will be easier for our investigators to come on sunday. also starting in july we wont have a truck anymore so we want to build a better centre of strength so when we start walking we can be effective. we are still ZLs (zone leaders) and right now the APs (assistants to the president), ZLs and STLs (sister training leaders) are the only ones in the mission who drive. in july the south east africa area is reducing the vehicles in all missions so we are going to lose all the trucks except for 2 for the whole mission. if we need more president kaput can work it out with the area presidency but in our area im sure we wont have one. im kind of excited to start walking again but there will be some challenges for our ZL duties.
i got transferred to Lusaka to be in an area called Libala. Im with Elder harmon from Oregon. he is a cool guy and he is really huge. he does body building and is going to wrestle in university when he goes home. We are getting along great and working hard so im excited for our area. another cool thing is that when i came on my mission i replaced elder harmon who had just finished being trained. so we were both trained in the same area by the same companion one after another.
Its nice to be serving in a ward and, for the first time on my mission, in a real chapel. Things are a little bit more advanced here in the church because there is actually a stake so i think maybe that will make missionary-member coordination a bit easier. Also things are way more advanced in Zambia for things like development and people speaking english and most other things. It was so shocking to come back and see such a big city with multiple lane paved roads that dont even have pot holes. the city is so developed compared to malawi that i feel like im back home now.
we found out this week that the south east africa area is reducing the number of trucks to 2 per mission so by the start of july we will all be back to walking which i am actually kind of excited for but im going to miss the truck.
also coming back to zambia I know almost none of the missionaries. most missionaries get trained in zambia so most here are quite young on their missions and because i was in malawi for 11 months i have not met any of them. i feel a little like i changed missions. Im happy to have young missionaries here though. they are good to have around. Our zone is really great.
we had a good week. more people came to church. we had a DA on saturday night with a young couple that are both returned missionaries and we talked about missionary work most of the time. i got some good insights into our work as we talked with them. i can tell they were both powerful missionaries. they have a 2 year old that said the prayer for the food. it was like this “Dear God, ba be bi bo bu. Jesus Christ, Amen”. (the parts you can actually read he said in chichewa, the other part is just the way a 2 year old prays) the branch president has a daughter that memorized the Lords prayer at school so she says it every time we ask her to pray but she cant pronounce all the words so she just mumbles her way through it and it never gets old so we usually ask her to pray when we visit them.
at the DA i learned as long as you have helped someone to at least know the name of the church you have done a huge service to them. because when they are at the time of spiritual need in their life, they will already know about the church. if you contact 40 or 50 or however many people a day and all you do is tell them about the church you are helping everyone and you are bound to find some that are ready for the gospel. it just comes down to opening your mouth every chance you get. that goes for missionaries and members as well so dont forget your duty wherever you are. here where the church is small, the more familiar people get with it, the more interest they will take in the Book of Mormon and the more prepared people we will teach.
this week i was eating a tangerine and when i was halfway done and when i looked down at it there was a worm in the middle of it. its all good though because i showed the guy that sold it to me and he gave me another one for free so i ate 1.5 tangerines for the price of 1
so far no one has heard transfer news. i would really like to know if im going or staying so i can pack or shop or whatever i need to do depending on if i stay or go. but the longer i dont hear news i just take it that it means i am more likely to stay in Blantyre. i hope that is true.
we met a guy this week who got out of prison a month ago. he says he was falsely accused and sentenced to 12 years but his lawyer got him out after only 2. but when he was in prison he turned to God and he says God got him out and now he is super grateful and he wants to serve God. it seems like he might have real intent to change. im pretty excited to teach this guy. prison doesnt sound like much fun especially in a third world country. good thing he got out
Mother’s Day Skype call
this week i have been thinking about how you just never know whats going to happen next or what Gods plans are. throughout a mission you meet so many people. some seem like golden investigators and then they never commit to come to church. some seem uninterested but they end up getting baptized. before transfers missionaries always like to talk about whats going to happen and where they think they will go and then there are always surprises. God has His plan and we only know so much of it. Our investigator finally resigned from his position at his church (it took him about a month) and was supposed to get baptized next week but a few days ago he was given a scholarship and left Blantyre for school. I think he will still get baptized some day when he comes back but i guess not right now. also we had some investigators drop us this week because of opposition from their church and the funny thing is they dont even really believe in their church. the older guy told us he had a dream about how there were lots of corrupt leaders in his church and he doesnt plan to stay in it forever. but he is a business man and he does business with his church so if he leaves it, they will stop doing business with him. some people just need to rearrange their priorities. its all good though. we had a new investigator come to church and she enjoyed it a lot. we also met some cool people that we should start teaching this week so the work never stops.
this is the last week of the transfer so it might be my last week here, i have been working in Soche since october so i am expecting to go but still i am hoping to stay. or at least be transferred within malawi. i like this country a lot.
there are a lot of unfinished finished houses and sometimes other buildings here because people will start building them and then run out of money to complete the project. we met the pastor of a Pentecostal church here who was building a huge church behind the one he already has and then i guess the money finished because all thats there is an unfinished foundation with weeds growing all over it. we are supposed to go to his house this week to teach him. should i share with him Luke 14:27-30? just kidding, I wont do that. but it would be funny.