Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dec 8 Faithening Your Strength

What a tiring week! On Monday, we went to Mulanje Mountain and hiked, and that made me tired for the rest of the week or something.. also I hadn’t been sleeping well because it’s been hot going to sleep then gets colder in the morning so I’m either sweating or shivering, but I figured out I just need a fan blasting on me all night and then I can use my blanket and be a steady temp all night.

Tuesday we had District Mtg, which was our first one with the new sisters. They are a bit skittish still or something, but it was still a powerful meeting and uplifting! We also went and saw Bro Milos again today (I don’t know if you remember him?) But he welcomed us and then we sat down and he blasted us for 30 minutes about how we are wrong and we just simply and respectful bore powerful, unshaken testimonies and left. It’s a bummer that he won’t soften his heart, but it was also a very spiritual experience and helped me see how my testimony is sure and unshakable.

On Thursday we had Zone Conference.  My first one on mission! President and his wife and the AP's came to Blantyre and instructed us on many things pertaining to the work. Something that really applied to me was Sister Erickson speaking on faithening our strength (because a man in General Conference accidentally said that in his prayer).  Although he said it on accident, it’s actually something we can apply here on mission. Mission is tiringgg. So we can’t rely on ourselves for the strength to do this work. We need to rely on Him, the Lord. I have learned to have more faith in the fact that He will strengthen me everyday.  And He did this week as I spent much time on my knees praying for that strength. Also we were instructed on the ABC and DEF of missionary work. ABC includes finding, teaching, and baptizing. DEF included retaining, reactivating, and strengthening members.  And as missionaries sometimes we get the idea that we just want to baptize and people judge us and we judge ourselves on baptisms, but that’s wrong. Both ABC and DEF are equal. So we are refocusing a bit and focusing on strengthening the Zingwangwa Branch in all ways possible.

On Friday we were on exchanges with the Zone Leaders, I was with Elder Mwangi in Chilobwe. It was a great day with him and I learned quite a bit. Something very important that i realized was that as missionaries we aren’t robots.  He showed me we can just talk to people and have good conversations with them and also relate it to our message and wow it’s so much more effective!

Sunday was a great opportunity to fast and hear testimonies in church. And Louis was finally confirmed! It's powerful seeing people receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost! We also organized the branch choir and will be singing next Sunday "Far far away on Judea’s Plains" with just about 6 people.  It’s gonna be awesome haha I love singing nowadays! Chilobwe is struggling really bad with water recently. They really need rains to come.  Most of our investigators couldn’t come to church because they hadn’t showered for days (They could’ve but chose not to because of that) or other water related reasons.. Even we only had water 1 day this week...and one day completely ran out.   Not a drop to shower or wash dishes or flush the toilet. I went I think 2 or 3 days with only being able to wash my face...

I love being a missionary so much! And Christmas is coming so spirits are rising in town and all over!
Elder Grant Hiltbrand

Excerpt from letter to mom:
What?! Kwanza actually doesn't exist? haha that's messed up. America has such a wrong vision of Africa.. Well kinda. I got to see the village areas of Africa and they're basically exactly what people
picture, but here in the city it's not like that at all. And here in
Malawi the split between rich and poor is sooo big it's messed up. We see Range Rovers all over the place with the rich people, but then there's Amayis (women) in our area selling peanuts and charcoal to make less than 2 dollars a day.. I found out our area is one of the most poor here in Blantyre.

The electricity went out!

My poor scriptures!