Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sept 8 Muli Bwanji!

I have been assigned to Blantyre, Malawi! I am in the Zingwangwa Branch ( AKA the bush of the Zambia Mission apparently).  But so far it's awesome!  I like it because it’s more of what you expect Africa to be than Lusaka was.  I spent 2 days in Lusaka with the AP's (Assistants to the Mission President) then the ZL's (Zone Leaders) just working with them while I waited for my plane flight on Thursday.

I arrived in Malawi and was greeted by my companion, Elder Chiliza (that "ch" is actually a click sound.)  He is from Durban, South Africa and he is the best trainer I could have ever asked for! We immediately clicked! (; 
But seriously he is so excited about the work we are doing and is a great example and strength to me!  We are always laughing and having fun while we work.  The other night he made me sing to a guy we were contacting haha!  South Africans love to sing.. But it was actually awesome and the person felt the spirit and even just gave us a call to teach him this morning! I must have a good voice or something..  

But yeah we work hard and have fun with it. Rain or shine.  It has rained twice so far and we just keep contacting and teaching even though we are soaked with only short sleeve shirts on!  My scriptures got a bit wet though so that was a bummer.

So our flat is actually pretty nice for "the bush".. We have hot showers AND a toilet!  But our stove/oven is another story... I call it the easy bake oven because it is soo slow.  Also we only hand wash clothes but most missionaries pay someone to do it so I guess I will do that too.

Our kitchen.

Our flat.

Our weight.
Oh yeah a picture of our weight.  It's just cement connected to some pole and weighs about 66lbs, I haven't run yet. I've accepted I might get out of shape, but not spiritually out of shape! 

The church building is just some rented house up in the hills..it’s so hard to tell people where it is for church! On Sunday, we had someone come to church though!  His name is Witness and we taught him  on Saturday and it was such a spiritual lesson and he prayed and knows the Church is true! but..he left to boarding school today for 10 weeks... I guess we will see him when he gets back haha!  I'm sure I'll still be here because when you get assigned to Malawi in this mission you don’t really leave apparently... Most missionaries stay in this area for about 10 months...

This area is very hilly and the only paved roads are the main roads, so we are hiking all day. I love it! (And yes mom my shoes  and socks are perfect now! Oh and while I’m on that topic.. I had to ditch almost a whole suit case to make the weight limit to fly here.. It's just hard having a mother that loves you so much! But I took all that I need and they can always send stuff over when the AP's or a couple comes over here.  That’s the same with mail too. It goes to the mission home and then will sit there and sit there until someone comes to our area from Lusaka.)

So the transportation here is "mini buses".  It's just a van with seats all the way back that they cram with about 18 people.  I was squashed against a window the other night with a big lady next to me.  I’m now thinking about becoming a contortionist when I get home!
I am learning some of the language here.  For example muli bwanji is a greeting and then they say tidi bueno kai enu back and then you also say tidi bueno.  It’s like saying how are you.  Also the kids all call me an Azungu (white man) but I learned to say things like "Where’s the white man?" and then they’ll say it’s me and I say BOZA (lie!) and then point to myself and say Akuda (black man) and then call them azungu and then they all laugh. The kids are a blast.

I haven’t really gotten to eat much of the native food here.  We went to a shack the other day for lunch and got rice and meat and some green stuff and it was pretty good!  I also tried sugar cane which you apparently just chew on then spit out but I thought you eat it so I swallowed some and it felt like I have sticks all in my throat...thanks companion for not telling me! haha

I am very excited about my mission and can’t wait to see the fruits of our labors to come soon because we are white washing the area (Whitewashing is when new missionaries are put into an area without leaving one that has been there.)   so we have just been contacting allll day!  We are doing great though!

I feel all your prayers and thank you for all your support!
Love you all!  The church is true!

Elder Grant Hiltbrand

The kwacha is about 420 to 1$ so it makes me feel really rich having 40000 haha

Oh yeah I forgot to mention..everyone is a drunkard here in Malawi..I've never seen public drunkeness before or people falling over and such.. I was harassed by one on a mini bus and offered alcohol and my companion just was quiet and left me to fend for myself haha.  We had a good laugh about that after though.

Oh our sched is modified here. We skip comp study in the morning and go out to work at 9:00 then have to be home by 7:00 and then we do comp study then.  Sisters have to be home an hour earlier