Monday, November 17, 2014

Nov 17 I am walking for the Truth!

What a great week!
We got new Zone Leaders this week, Elder Barnard (Idaho) and Elder Mwongi (Kenya), who are great! The ZL's live next door so we are always seeing them and having dinner together and such that's why this is big news haha. We had a great Zone Meeting on

Tuesday where we learned to rely on the Spirit in our teaching and not give the same lesson over and over.  My companion really focused on that this week and our teaching has improved a lot! The lessons this week were filled with the Spirit! I always love sharing the experience of the First Vision and just seeing people get pricked in their hearts. Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

On Friday we had interviews with President Erickson. He is such an inspired man.  He spoke to our district before speaking to each of us personally and talked about how hard mission is but how we need to serve willingly and joyfully and compared it to Cain and Abel and their sacrifices to the Lord.  We need to sacrifice these two years willingly, not holding anything back.

{Also on Friday I got your package! The journal is absolutely perfect, that's actually one of my favorite pictures that is on it! and my companion is  loving the compound W.  We enjoyed the warheads as a flat as well, all putting them in our mouths at the same time. My companion's face was so funny. But whyyy did you have to wrap my hymn book hahaha now I have to wait a month! It reminds me of when I was younger and would want things in October and you would say wait until Christmas...but I just borrow E. Dlamini's every night because my comp and I being our study with a hymn and it brings the spirit sooo strong. Also the shoe laces were greatly needed and they're the kind that won't break so thanks so much! I'm excited for my comp to open the baptismal clothing on Christmas! He was all down that night so to cheer him up I showed him there were things in the package for him as well and that lifted his spirit!}

On Saturday there was an all-adult meeting special district meeting with Elder Molechi, of the 70.  We invited an investigator to come named Brother Kachikondo. He is a crippled old man who can hardly walk and sees very poorly. He is very interested in the message of the Restoration, but his wife doesnt support him tooo much.  So last week he actually walked all the way to church though! The walk from his house to the church takes us about 15 minutes but for him its about 45-1 hour. At church last week he loved it and had many great questions and comments.  And so that brings me back to the special meeting. They were providing free transportation from the Zingwangwa Church house, so we told him about that since he is very poor and wouldn't be able to pay to go to Blantyre. They announced that the minibus would leave at 1:30 and then when we asked the leaders that day they said 1:00 so we told him and he said he would be there and would leave his house at 12:15. We also told the branch leaders to make sure to wait for him. Well at 1:07 we got a call from Bro. Kachikondo. Nobody was there at the church building. They had left at 1:00 with only 6 people. And so he didn't have any money to take a bus and we weren't there to help or anything so he just said it's fine and had to walk all the way back home. It was pretty aggravating that the branch leaders left without him and they even got there 45 minutes early because they left so early. But as for the meeting, it was a good meeting where they spoke on men and womens roles in the world and in the Church. Elder Molechi spoke on how parents should show affection such as holding hands in front of your children and say "I love you" often and many other counsels for stronger families and relationships. Also he spoke on how many traditions and cultural things need to be done away with because they don't go along with the Gospel Culture.  Such as lobola, or bride price. Here in Africa people have to pay the parents of a woman a huge amount of money to marry her.  That created a lot of discussion, but although it is hard for some people to give it up, they're been asked by an apostle of the Lord to end that practice.

And so for Sunday...we went to church to find 0 investigators there. And nobody showed up late either. It was so bizarre because we have had 7-10 the past 3 weeks... but it was still amazing and I felt the Spirit so strong the whole time. After church we went and visited many people to strengthen them and tell them we missed them. And one of those people we visited was Bro. Kachikondo. We apologized for the unfortunate event yesterday and he was okay with it and very understanding. He's one of the most humble men I've ever met. He was bummed he missed the discussions on how to strengthen family though because from what we've seen and what he's expressed, his family isn't too close. He tries to have family prayer with everyone every night and some will just go to bed and different things. Also he has to ask them to read our assignments to him since his eyes are too bad. And so we helped amayi wife) realize her husbands desires to learn and to come unto Christ and she committed to help him more and support his desires. My companion asked him the inspired question "Why do you keep walking to church and different things when it's so hard for you" (or something like that) and he simply responded, "I'm walking for the truth." Things like that are what keep me going everyday. This work is beautiful. I know this is the truth. This is Jesus Christ's true Church once again on the Earth.

I love you all and although I miss you all, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else than here in Malawi, Africa with no running water, 12 mosquito bites on one hand, and the blazing hot sun that makes me drenched in sweat everyday because this is the greatest and most important thing I can be doing right now. I love the Lord and I know He loves me and you!

Elder Grant Alan Hiltbrand